March 28, 2013, 10:55 AM
Help with 5 days in Tuscany
You give great advice.
I want to post a query but I seem to be unable to or I just don't know how.
Anyways if I may I will use this opportunity to post my question and have you validate my thoughts for my trip with my daughter in may.
28may to 1 June we are at Rome doing all the museum n historical sites
1-6 amalfi coast wanting to do the blue grotto, Pompeii, mt Vesuvius , paestum, naples as I day tours.
6-11 Florence where we want to do historic places in the city, tours to Pisa, San gimignano, wine tasting, Luca, outlet mall maybe if we can fit in cinque terre.
My questions are since we don't want to do all tours but would like to venture out on our own, which sectors should we do?
I've heard that during our travel time the buses will be crowded and the outside temperatures will be hot, so is it a good idea to travel by bus?
Which is the best mode of transportation to take between cities?
And please could you also tell me how to book it becoz I think I've taken on too much.
Which place to stay in the amalfi coast for he best connection to sightseeing places I've mentioned?
Thanking you and looking forward for some clarity
April 3, 2013, 12:32 PM
I think it is doable...
Sounds like you have a great vacation with your daughter in the works!
The best way to move across all of Italy is by train. All of the main train stations are very central in each town so they take you into the heart of Rome, Florence, Naples, Venice.
You are trying to do a lot in each place but I am sure if you base yourself centrally in each one you'll be able to do a lot. Take into consideration also that you need time to move between each place....
May 28-29-30-31 June 1 Rome: I think you can do all of Rome + Vatican museums without tours. Just be prepared to do lots of walking and if need be, catch a few local buses once you're tired... but really walking is the best way since you see so much that way. All of Rome is a museum!
June 1-6 Amalfi/Naples: I've personally have yet to go to this part of Italy :/ so I can't offer many suggestions. I just know that you'd want to stay central from which to do day trips, maybe Pompeii would be a good tour to take with a group. I think staying in either Amalfi or Naples would be good, there are likely lots of local groups that specialize in tours to Pompeii and Mt Vesuvius.
June 6-11 Florence/Tuscany: From Naples, the train ride to Florence will be 3 hours at least. You can easily do Pisa, Lucca (1 day trip) and San Gimignano (another day trip) on your own. I'd also add in Siena (another day trip). I'd leave out the Cinque Terre since between Florence and Tuscany your days are pretty much taken up! San Gimignano and Siena are best reached by bus rather than train but you take them by the main train station in Florence (SMN) anyways.
I recommend you use Florence as your base for your entire stay and for day trips to the other part of Tuscany to use the train and bus.
June 11-13 Venice: train ride takes 2-3 hours.
For train schedules, check out both trenitalia.com as well as italotreno.it (newer company offering high speed trains for certain parts of your itinerary and might be cheaper that Trenitalia).
June 2 is a national holiday in Italy (Day of the Republic) so just expect lots of people out and about taking the day off, restaurants to be crowded so go there early or book night before if you already see someplace you'd like to try).
Definitely book accommodation for all of your days, as the high season is starting and there is a holiday in between when many people will travel. Start your search here. You can also follow these links to search for hotels in Rome, Amalfi and Venice as well.
As far as hot and crowded - there are likely to be crowds as the high season starts and weather sometimes can be tricky... it is definitely not yet super hot by the start of June but do pack to dress in layers, you just never know.
Ok I know this is just a start.... I'm here if you have any more questions!
You have lots planned, I think it is best to plan your accommodation in each place and then once you're here, decide on a day to day basis what to do so that you can remain flexible, take it slower and rest without "needing" to be somewhere and enjoying what you're doing at the moment.
That way you'll soak up the atmosphere as well which is a great part of the vacation and of experiencing Italy, something hard to explain if you've never been before ;-)