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27 days in Italy

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1. Posted by NantesFC (Respected Member 531 posts) 9y

I have no real itinerary yet but as things stand I'll be in Italy for 27 days. I'm going to list the major cities and regions I want to travel to in the order I intend on visiting them. If you can recommend for the better please let me know.

Milan (2)
Verona (1)
Venice (2)
Bologna (2)
Florence (3)
Perugia (1)
Ancona (1)
Pescara (1)
Foggia (1)
Bari (1)
Sicily (Catania, Palermo...) (?)
Amalfi Coast (Sorrento, Positano...) (?)
Naples (2)
Rome (5)
4 hr train from Rome to Milan (For my flight to London which is the cheapest plane option)

Right now I have 4 cities on the east coast and I am wondering if it's necessary to visit all 4, assuming I'll spend a day in each city. How about Sicily? Should I do Catania, Palermo and perhaps Messina nearby? Many people like to go to Rome after Florence but I prefer to have Rome as the climax to my trip. I'll be traveling on a Eurail pass so I'm trying to stick to the main rails. Any help would be appreciated :)

2. Posted by fraluchi (Full Member 129 posts) 9y

Reading your program, you got me puffing! After you get home you'll probably not remember the difference between one town and the other ?! It's probably better to watch Discovery Channel or read the National Geographic on the subject Italy.
Some towns, because of their history, deserve more attention than others, even though all the ones you mention have their peculiarities. The most "classical" ones are certainly Venice, Florence and Rome. At the rate you intend to use the Eurail pass perhaps you should just rush all over the country, including Sicily, and just take pictures.
Oh, by the way, just make sure which airport in "Milan" you are flying from.

3. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello Nantes

That looks OK, as a loose itinerary.
U dont have to see everything, on one visit to Italy. It will still be there, if u want to go back again.

I would only visit one of the cities, on the East coast. 1 day in a city is very little time.

I have been in Sicily and I think it is worth a visit. Home of the mafia, and all that. Interesting to see. I went to Catania. I actually meant to go to Palermo. Apparently, the train splits in half, on reaching Sicily, and one half goes to Palermo, and the other to Catania.

I travelled by interail, in Italy, for a few weeks. If u want, u can sleep on the trains, but I think it is necessary, to sleep inside a sleeping bag, no matter how warm it is, to protect your moneybelt. The night trains in Italy are known for robberies. Having said that, it was 15 years ago, that I was interailing there, so things may have changed.

Mel

4. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

I'd scrap Naples, because that is one of the trashiest and biggest crap hole cities on earth in my view. I have my own personal reasons from the bad experiences I had there, but anyone who actually thinks Naples is a good city either has lived there all their life and never explored even as far as Rome, or has completely lost their mind.

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 16, 2007, at 6:05 PM by aharrold45 ]

5. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 9y

That looks like a handsome itinerary, however if it were me planning I'd probably chop a couple of cities and spend a few extra days in the beautiful countryside instead.

I agree with AHarrold, I don't think you need 2 nights in Naples, though it is a useful staging post on the way to Pompei from Rome.

6. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

Have you calculated travel time in there? It can quickly eat into your plans and exhaust you. I'd leave at least 4 days for the Amalfi coast and a good few days for Sicily. We only drove through Naples, but I'd spend the days you planned there in the Amalfi coast instead, and maybe take a day trip to Naples, if you really want to see it. Personally, I'd spend 3 days in Venice because its just so beautiful, but I think most people here believe 2 is ideal.

7. Posted by Polar9 (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

You have given yourself a lovely long time to spend in italy, but I would definitley go for quality over quantity.
Milan is really only good for shopping in my opinion, and wont need too long!
Personally I would spend some time in Venice and Verona, possibly adding a couple of days to visit some of the beautiful lakes nearby.
Florence, Sienna and the surrounding countryside is stunning and worth dedicating at least 4 or 5 days.
Your right to give Rome a longer time, and Pompeii and the Amalfi coast are really worth a visit.
In Sicily I think Taormina is the most intersting town, as it has a snow capped volcano towering over it and some great roman ruins. Its quite easy to get to from Catania. You might also condsider Island hopping your way back to Naples through the unspoilt volcanic aeolian islands (depending on the time of year)

8. Posted by NantesFC (Respected Member 531 posts) 9y

I'm very grateful for all of your responses! I may add a few more days to the trip (30 days) so I have more room. One person said I should only do one day on the east coast. However, I think that's too little for the entirety of the Adriatic coast, perhaps I'll spend 2 days there. This is not the first time I've heard bad things about Naples, perhaps I'll spend only one night there and the other nearby (Does Capri have cheap accomodations?). Even when posting the original cities, I figured I should add more days to the Tuscan region and the north so I did. Here is what my revised list would look like. Any other suggestions are welcome :)

Milan (Lake Como) (2)
Verona (2)
Venice (3)
Bologna (2)
Tuscany (Florence, Siena) (5)
Ancona or Pescara (1) -Which is more interesting?
Bari (1)
Sicily (Catania, Palermo) (3)
Amalfi Coast (Sorrento, Positano) (3)
Naples (1)
Capri (1) -If I can find a cheap room
Rome (6)

Including in the days spent in each city are trips to all the nearby attractions. It'd be stupid to stay inside all the cities wouldn't it I'm finding it hard to find cheap places to stay along the Amalfi coast and Capri so if anyone has any recommendations please let me know. You'd be a life saver :)

Oh and I do have all the the travel time calculated and I think I'll be fine.

9. Posted by NantesFC (Respected Member 531 posts) 9y

Any more suggestions?

I'm going to add a visit to the Cinque terre between Bologna and Florence then just go to Pisa before Florence to get it out of the way (In a good way of course :) )

10. Posted by branca (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y

i think your itinerary looks great but i have to say I'd skip the travel over to the east coast places you've mentioned (ancona, pescara, bari) as to be honest the beauty of those areas are not in the cities but in the villages around them. From Bari you can go to Alberobello and the amazing Trulli and Lecce is a gem. The coasts are spectacular and the villages stunning. I don't feel that you'd experience any of that by doing day stops in the cities mentioned so i'd recommend adding time to the other places on your list.

i'd say that you won't regret adding time to your travels in sicily as there is lots to see and agree that Taormina is a beautiful place. It is very pricey there but there is an excellent campsite just off the road that winds up to the village. The views are spectacular.

have a great time