I am trying to plan a first time trip to Italy. I have no idea on how to start. Even with the airline. Can anyone give me some advice, or should I just go to a travel agent? I love checking out everything on the internet. But I don't know where to start.
I am traveling with my husband. 25 year anniversay. We are in our late 40's and active. I would like to travel this October 09. for about 12 to 14 days. We live in New York, JFK airport.
I know its last minute, but that is me. I love site seeing, beaches,
4 or 5 star ratings, beautiful hotels, B&B's & Inn's (but would like to get deals) love good food & wine. I have been hearing alot about, Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, Sorrento - I guess the South. I also want to see Rome, Florence etc.....
I don't really want tourist traps.
So my question is how do I go about planing this vacation.
Thank you so much in advance.
Sincerely, Gaetana (with a name like mine, I should be an expert, but I am far from it) I can't even speak Italian.
I love checking out everything on the internet.
If that is the case, don't bother with a travel agent (except maybe for booking the flights). It is usually cheaper to do everything yourself.
From JFK to Rome return in September expect to pay around 700+ USD return per person for the flight.
So my question is how do I go about planing this vacation.
Err, post in the right forum: Europe, not Round-the-world?
But seriously: 14 days is just enough time to see either the north or the south of Italy. So either Rome+Naples and the Amalfi coast or Rome, Florence and Venice. Tuscany is the region around Florence, btw.
You can easily get around Italy by train. If you take the Eurostar trains it is comfortable and fast and relatively inexpensive compared to the train prices in Europe. See www.trenitalia.com for schedules and fares - just don't try to book there, the website doesn't like it if you do that from outside Italy.
As for places to stay, look on the internet. "Rome hotel" should turn up a gazillion results and you can also use the Accomodation link on the left-hand bar on this website.
I am Italian and I give you my 2 cents. 14 days is not such a long time to see all the places you listed, even if all these places are wonderful! My advise is to start from Rome (at least 3-4 days), then continuing south to Amalfi Coast (at least 5-6 days to see Amalfi, Sorrento, Ischia, Capri), then continuing south to Sicily and spend the rest of the trip on Palermo, Catania, Agrigento (I love Sicily). In October you will find very nice weather in all these places and you will have the chance to enjoy the beach-life when you are in Sicily and Amalfi coast.
The other option, (maybe for your next trip to Italy) is starting from Rome and going North to Florence spending 2-3 days and then going around in Tuscany to taste good wine, then going north to Liguria and staying few days in Cinque Terre and finishing your trip in Venice.
Concerning the transportation, you can use both trains (www.trenitalia.it) or you can consider low cost flights (www.ryanair.com; www.easyjet.com; www.windjet.it ).
If you need further info please ask!!
I am trying to plan a first time trip to Italy... for about 12 to 14 days... love beaches
This is not a lot of time at all. Stick to two, maybe three cities or you'll regret it. There's too much to see. The beach in October is not the best of ideas unless you go far south, for which you really don't have time.
I don't really want tourist traps... 4 or 5 star ratings
In that case, avoid all places you mentioned, especially the Amalfi coast and Sorrento (which I never understood people wanted to visit anyway. As to the level of comfort you're seeking, that definitely sounds like a city person to me.
I'd suggest sticking to Rome and Florence, or, if you like that bit of town feeling, Rome and southern Umbria (rent a car if you decide to go there). Rome alone will take about a week; the other you could use for Florence (4 days), and maybe day trips from there to Siena and Pisa (which I recommend, for food as well as the leaning tower).
I agree you can't get it all in. I have been to Italy twice and plan to go 2-3 more times to see everything.
To save time try to do an openjaw flight from New York: into one city and out of another. That saves you from backtracking and it isn't anymore expensive. From JFK you might be able to get direct flights to Rome, Milan or Naples. If you could go into Milan and out of Naples that would be a huge time saver.
You can try booking your hotels from any of the major hotel Internet sites, but I would highly recommend checking out Hostel World at www.hostelworld.com. Don't be misled by the name. There are hotels, B&B's a Guesthouses on that sight. With places in Italy you want to avoid the big chain hotels because they will not always be in the bets locations. If you want to stay in the heart of it all and experience real italy sometimes you need to go with the smaller hotels. The atmosphere is different. It is a safe Internet site to use.
If you can do an openjaw here are a few ideas:
Milan(2 nts), Venice (3 nts), Florence (5 nts), Rome (5 nts)
Milan (2 nts), Mennagio-Lake Como (3 nts), Venice (2nts), Florence (4nts), Rome (4nts)
Milan (2nts), Venice (2nts), Florence (4nts), Rome (3nts) , Almalfi (4nts)
Gaetana, I'm in the exact same boat and just posted a new thread with subject "From NY to Italy - Help needed with Logistics". Would be great if you have any update to your research and planning.
It's true, you can see much in 2 weeks (unless you want to do a marathon :-) ) so you will need to focus on one part between north and south. For north, I suggest you to fly to Milan as your start point, spend 2 days here and then go to Genoa, then following the coast go to Florence spend some time here. After, turn back to north to Bologna heading to Venice where 2 days should be enough. From Venice turn back to Milan visiting Verona, one of the lakes (or all of them) Garda, Como, Lake Maggiore and fly out from Milan.
If you really want to see Rome, than... you could change like this: Fly in Milan - Lakes - Verona - Venice - Bologna - Florence - Rome ... fly out from Rome.
You can travel by train or you can also rent a car (it's better in my opinion, for 2 persons but it also depends if you like to drive)
Have a great trip in Italy