I am 39/f traveling with 21/son and 15/daughter. We are planning 36 days in Italy starting June 26th. Originally, we planned to fly into Milan and work our way south.... Plans have now changed and we are flying into Rome. I am wondering if it is feasible to simply stay in Rome (rent an apartment?) and travel to other areas/sites as day trips? My answer is 'probably not'.
So....what would be a good route through Italy starting in Rome? 21/son will probably only travel some of trip together and then home-base in Rome for the remainder of the trip.
Any/all suggestions welcome!!
Most sights are too far from Rome for day trips. For a better answer we'd need more information: will you be renting a car, what type of vacation (culture, outdoor, leisure, mix) are you hoping to have, what is your approx budget...
I always feel it's a waste of time to have a "base", since it means a lot more driving. Best to pack up and drive one way to somewhere new and enjoy.
We did Rome-Venice-Tuscany-Amalfi-Rome in about 15 days, and it wasn't too rushed. Lots of other possibilities, though!
If I were to choose a home base, it would be more central to cities of interest and MUCH cheaper than Rome. Why use high cost accommodations in a place you're not in most of the time? I've never done a home base, though, because I like being able to have somewhere to go rest any time I need it, especially since you are going during the boiling summer time. I was in Italy for a month last summer during the exact time you are and almost every day was near or over 100 degrees F. The heat was exhausting and I definitely needed to take a nap in the afternoon to get out of the heat.
Thanks to everyone for your comments. I have given up on Rome as a home base! Just not practical....
Does anyone have any ideas for an economical route for us?
I am thinking about Naples (fly or overnight train to Venice), then bus/train to Turin, Bologna, Florence working our way back to Rome....any thoughts?
You want my opinion. Tackle Italy by dividing and conquering like the Romans did.
North or South Italy.
Don't try to be North to South...well, I guess you could but focus on areas specifically in the north and then south.
Here is my North Italy divide and conquer tip.
Start in Venice... Stay there at least 3 to 4 nights. Get lost.
Then take the train towards Cinque Terre, 3 to 4 nights and enjoy! These are the pictures you see in travel channels.
Then take a train to Florence (Firenze) and use it as a base.
From there you will hit, San Gimignano, Pisa, Orviedo, Siena, Pretty much several awesome (lack of better word), must see cities. Pretty much day trip cities. Of course, don't forget about Florence. How many days, is up to you, you can do two cities a day or 1 city a day but Florence alone is at least worth 3 to 4 days (especially, if you are an art buff). This is where art came from.
From there, since you already have a rental, drive down to ROME. There is a main highway but take the highway halfway and take a parallel local road towards Rome the rest of the way. What do you get?
A scenic awesome drive through Tuscany, talk about scenic, simply wonderful. Stop at a local vineyard, have a half bottle of wine and just enjoy.
I should note, there are several "cottages/houses" I don't know the proper term, where you can stay at some of these places for a night or two or more and live a tuscan life. Cook breakfast in the morning with your kids, there is a whole package for these things (expensive perhaps) but it's very nice "family" thing to do. This is an option you can do if you don't just want to run through Tuscany.
Once in Rome, stay there at least 3-5 days, depending on how much history you want to absorb.
That is northern italy for you. Of course, there are tons more other places but like anything else, divide and conquor. try not to sweep Italy in one fell swoop. Although 36 days is a good amount of time, divide those days to specifically be either north or south and then based on the days, that should help you plan accordingly.
I forgot, fly in from one spot and fly out at your last destination, don't double back, unless you want to.