Hi, I’m a first-time traveler to Europe. My husband and I have 14 days for this trip and would like to seek advice for the best logistics going out from New York and a trip that offers maximum mix of activities/sceneries. Below are the places that we’d like to visit:
Rome (3 days)
Florence (+Lucca, hill-side Tuscany) (2 days)
Venice (2 days)
Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi Coast (2-3 days)
What's the best order to travel to the above destinations? Should I fly in to Florence/Venice from New York and then go south by train and fly back to New York from Naples? Ideally I’d like to visit Rome first but not sure if it makes sense logistically. Any comment on the days to be spent in each destination?
In addition to your invaluable input, any recommendation for guidebook or websites would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for your time.
HappyCampr/Rookie Europe Traveler
Welcome in Europe!
Hope that I can help you a bit.
Which is your period of travel? Spring (april/may) or autumn (sept/oct) should be nice.
I should change the plan a bit! I hope that you’ll read further, when I advice that you skip Venice....... ½ a day Venice would be enough, but the time to bring you there can be used far better!
My suggestion is flying in into Amsterdam instead. I offer you Amsterdam instead of Venice!
Day 1 NY – Amsterdam; you’ll arrive around noon, so be ready to make the famous canal tour right on.
Day 2 Amsterdam
Day 3 Amsterdam – Paris by fast train; http://www.nshispeed.nl/en/france/paris-by-train
Day 4 Paris
Day 5 Paris
Day 6 Paris – Pisa by cheap plane http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/ Book these tickets as far ahead as possible. So directly after deciding of buying your ticket to Europe
In Italy use trains for your transport. http://trenitalia.it/homepage_en.html
Day 7 Pisa – Lucca (30 min) and later Lucca – Florence (90 min)
Day 8 Florence
Day 9 Florence – Rome (90 min)
In Rome this is a nice B&B: http://www.absoluteinrome.com/index.php?l=uk&sez=home
The owner is Greek and speaks English too.
Day 10 Rome
Day 11 Rome – Napoli and Napoli – Pompeii
http://www.villadeimisteri.it/ This motel is a bit outdated, but rooms are clean. It’s a 3 min walk to the train and at the opposite of the entrance of Pompeii.
From this station you can visit Sorrento within 25 minutes.
Day 12 Pompeii and Sorrento
Day 13 Pompeii – Rome
Day 14 Rome – NY
Tourist information: buy the Lonely Planet. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/
If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask again.
Rome 2 days if you're organized.
Florence 2 days if you're organized. Use Original Walking Tour of Florence for all museum visits, etc.
Sienna and surrounding 1-2 days, depending on your transportation.
Lucca 2 days if you're organized.
Venice at least 2 days.
Pompeii and Amalfi coast at least 2 days.
Remember you have to get to all those places. It is at least a half day travel to each one.
1. Leave hotel and take taxi
2. Wait for train and then board.
3. Train ride
4. Get taxi
5. Find new hotel and check in
That is at least 6 hours, sometimes longer depending on where you are going and if you are making connections.
If you are going 6 different places -- add at least 3 days travel to your trip.
The trip I described above is 15 days once you include travel.
Best wishes, -Hal