Italy trip

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1. Posted by susiedee (Budding Member 4 posts) 13w Star this if you like it!

Please review our revised itinerary to Italy in June
Day 1 - Arrive Venice (BASE)
Day 2 & 3 - Venice
Day 4 - Pick up car at airport and drive to Selma Val Gardena (BASE)
Day 5 & 6 - Dolomites
Day 7 - Drive to Varenna (BASE)
Day 8 & 9 - Lakes Region
Day 10 - Drive to Montepulciano (BASE)
Day 11 & 12 - Tuscany Region
Day 13 - Return car at Chiusi Rail Station, train to Salerno. ferry to Positano (BASE)
Day 14 & 15 - Amalfi Coast
Day 16 - Ferry back to Salerno, high speed train to Rome (BASE)
Day 17 & 18 - Rome
Day 19 - Fly home

We are looking to concentrate on Venice and Rome, the mountains and lakes in the north, and the southern coast. Thank you!! :)

2. Posted by road to roam (Respected Member 143 posts) 13w Star this if you like it!

Praiano, a few miles from Positano, is worth a visit - the Amalfi Coast is STUNNING!

If you have time, the Le Marche region is quite nice.

Save up all your energy for Rome.

3. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 887 posts) 13w Star this if you like it!

I assume Selma Val Gardena is a typo for Selva Val Gardena?

You are planning to cover a lot of ground and you'll see relatively little in each place but I guess you know that already. Personally I would drop one base at least (perhaps the Amalfi coast) to give an extra day in Rome and one of your other bases. You might also consider the Cinque Terre coast rather than Amalfi, as it would involve less zigzagging around.

Assuming you're committed to the flights but not to the hotels, an alternative less manic tour might be:

Day 1 - Arrive Venice (BASE)
Day 2 & 3 - Venice
Day 4 - Pick up car at airport and drive to Lake Garda region
Day 5, 6 & 7 - Lake Garda with side trip to Verona
Day 8 - Drive to Cinque Terre (maybe see Pisa en route) BASE
Day 9 & 10 - Cinque Terre
Day 11 - Drive to Montepulciano (BASE)
Day 12, 13, 14 - Tuscany, including at least one of Florence, Sienna, Lucca
Day 15 - Return car at ? (would Sienna work perhaps?), train to Rome BASE
Day 16, 17 & 18 - Rome
Day 19 - Fly home

Other thoughts:
Umbria is quieter than Tuscany and just as pretty
You're bypassing several interesting cities (Pisa, Florence, Sienna) in an effort to cover more ground
If you stick to the Amalfi plan it would be a shame to be near Pompeii and not visit

4. Posted by Old Man At (Budding Member 49 posts) 13w Star this if you like it!

I did a road trip through Italy once, 4 weeks and I was tired all the time. Driving takes concentration and tires you out. Years later I went to Italy again, but this time I took the train to travel around. That worked out much better for me. Cheaper too.

Unasked-for advice, I know :)

5. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 789 posts) 13w Star this if you like it!

I do like touring (Car or Motorbike), but I do limit myself to travel days of a max of 250 Miles per day if possible (I have done 1k but only on the 'to' and 'from' first/last days with non-travel days following).
My American friends found this odd until they got here and we did some travelling around Europe together. They're used to long wide straight roads where they can generally keep a high average speed, so the little 'cart tracks' and heavy traffic (permanent rush our traffic by Colorado standards) really caused them problems around the tourist areas they wanted to visit. They were always exhausted after long driving (but smallish mileage) days.

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Jan-2019, at 07:39 by Andrew Mack ]

6. Posted by susiedee (Budding Member 4 posts) 13w Star this if you like it!

Revisions per your advice:
Day 1 - Arrive Venice
Day 2 & 3 - Venice
Day 4 - Train north to first railstation with rental cars (Bozano?) Drive to Ortesei, settle in Airbnb apartment/cabin with kitchen)
Day 5 - 8 Explore Dolomites
Day 9 - Drive to Lake Como hotel
Day 10 - 13 Lakes Region
Day 14 - Drive to Cinque Terre hotel
Day 15 - 18 Cinque Terre
Day 19 - Drive to Montepulciano (Airbnb with kitchen)
Day 20 - 25 - Discover Tuscany/ Umbria
Day 26 - Drive to Chiusi to return rental car, train to Rome
Day 27 - 29 - Rome
Day 30 - Fly home

7. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 887 posts) 13w Star this if you like it!

Allowing more time for your trip makes a lot of sense. Just a note about the Cinque Terre and driving. Most of the towns don't allow private cars so you may need either to stay just outside the region, park on the outskirts, or choose your accommodation carefully. Book well in advance as many of the places are small B&Bs and fill up quickly in the summer months.

8. Posted by ronkee (First Time Poster 1 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

I agree that Cinque Terre is a beautiful place and should help the trip logistics. It is almost imperative, however, to visit by train to save a lot of time and trouble. La Spezia is a great embarkation point for all of the Cinque Terre towns.
My wife and I traveled 3 months through Europe on a rail pass and rented a car in local areas, rather than trying to drive everywhere we wanted to see. This worked out great for us.
We did have trouble with Airbnb however when the 'Host' was not able to meet us. Most wanted to know a specific time that we would be at the property and this proved a problem on our schedule. Frequent trains allowed us to stay longer in an area if we wanted but made our arrival hard to pinpoint. We finally gave up on Airbnb and went with 24 hr hotels. She wanted a kitchen and washer/dryer, but it finally became obvious that we didn't eat in when we had the kitchen, and taking clothes to the laundromat was not that inconvenient.
I told my friends that I was trying to stay under $100/nite AVERAGE for my 3 month+ stay and they laughed at me. I used Booking.com almost exclusively and stayed at some really exceptional places (and some not so special but nothing that was 'bad' or 'uncomfortable') All our bookings were clean, safe and conveniently located hotels that we really enjoyed. I managed to pay an average of $89/nite. I impressed even myself!!
Good luck and enjoy.

9. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1051 posts) 12w 1 Star this if you like it!

There is parking in the Cinque Terre but usually at the edge of town and expensive. We stayed near La Spezia but did drive up to the Cinque Terre. However, you can take a train from La Spezia to the Cinque Terre and when you get there, get a rail pass for the National Park and the train between the five towns. You have to pay for the park if you want to walk any of the trails so getting the train pass makes sense. We walked from town to town and then took the train back from the end.

Here is another vote for booking.com rather than AirBnB. We found a lovely hotel in Italy with ocean view on booking.com for 40 euros a night. That's not common, but they cover all price ranges and the reviews are very helpful. You can find them by going to the very top of this page and clicking where it says "Book Accommodations" and it takes you right to their web site. We've used them for years and never been disappointed.

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