My fiance and are going to Italy on our honeymoon. We want to travel basically from the North of Italy to the South...hitting all the cities plus little towns and villages that are romantic and beautiful as well. It will be the last week in June and the first week in July. Is it better to use the train or rent a car? We do have a budget, and would like to see and do as much as possible for the least amount of money. Any suggestions! Thanks!
If you dont mind public transport usually then I would say go by train. It's less hassle and more fun. Renting a car is useful if you want to go really off the beaten track but if you only have two weeks and you're trying to see the whole of the country then you're probably not going to do that too much anyway.
Where are you flying into?
If you're starting in Milan the I recommend a quick spin off into Bergamo - it's a really nice little town just outside Milan - it's divided into Bergamo Bassa and Bergamo Alta and the two are connected by a funicular. It's a really nice little place to spend a night - two at most.
What are your major destinations? It's gonna be hard to fit in everything....
If you're heading to Florence for a few days..try to get out to San Gimignano - one of those pretty hillside Tuscan towns. Well worth a visit.
You will need at least 3-4 days in Rome! (and even then you wont see a fraction of it!)
If you're going to Naples make sure to take in Pompeii.
Sorrento is beautiful too and you can take in the islands of Capri and Ischia while you're there. Hydrofoils leave hourly from Naples.
If you PM me with a rough itinerary I can give you lots more detailed info.
Hope that helps.
My wife and I have been living in Italy since last Nov. in sesti Levante, Near Genova. The cheap fares are mostly into Milan from London. There are 2 airports there. 1 is about 40 min. away and the other is in the city 10 min. from the train station. We have traveled both by rental car and by train and bus. I much prefer the trains. They are easy and cheap. July and Aug. are the hight of the tourist season so accomodations could be scarce. This is when the Italians go on vacation.
I like Genova, about 2 hours from Milan and then south. Practicaly every little town on the Riviera is beautiful and romantic. But crowded in July.
Another and different Trip would be to go to Pulia. Bari? Then Rent a car As train and bus transport are not as ubiquitous as on the West coast.
I am sure you have already been warned about this, but the june and july are very crowded in Italy, so be prepared. I would definately urge you to spend at least one day at Lake Como. It is a beautiful area, my favorite area. Basically it is a bunch of small cities surrounding Lake Como. You can take a carriage type thing to the top of the moutain near the city of Como and get a great view. Or you can rent a little paddle boat and wade around inthe lake....that is kinda tiring though. Warning: it is also very expensive area. However, while there I stayed in a hostel in Menaggio (another small town on the lake). I cannot remember the name of the hostel, but it is one of like 3 in the area. Since you are on a budget it is great, I think it cost 15 euro a night...great deal for the area. Also, the area in Italy called cinque terre, which is on the northern coast of Italy. It is a set of five small coastal towns all within a couple of km between each one. Beautiful!!! One tip...if you want to Da Vinci's "Last Supper" make reservations in advance. You will not be able to see it if you dont. They only let in groups of 15 people every couple of minutes to view the painting. Hmmm, what else? In rome, if you know any italian you can haggle your way for a hotel room. I did this a couple of times in the train station. They will usually quote a ridiculous price at first. Trick is...tell them something really low and then they will bring the price down or that you have an offer at another hotel for the price that you really want to pay...Anyway, hope this helps!