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SuwMwf
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2012
794 posts

Italy airfare booked *new question*

I was unexpectedly gifted with a trip. Airfare is booked for myself and teen daughter. We are starting in Naples and plan to go to the coast. I have booked an apartment in vietre sul mare for 3 nights in July. We’ll work our way North by train after that and fly home from Florence. Where do we go from the coast and for how long? She’s 13 and has never been over the Atlantic. We’d like to see rome and Vatican but not overdo it anywhere. We have 11 ish nights. I am not used to this loss off a day concept. Any tips appreciated.
This post was edited on 6/2 at 9:39 pm


LoneStarRanger
Houston Astros Fan
Texas/Europe
Member since Aug 2018
2046 posts

Hit Rome for 2-3 nights then Bologna for 2-3 nights, then Florence to end things. Take day trips if you want.


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24
GOP_Tiger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2005
11065 posts

Rome in July will be absolutely packed with tourists and miserably hot.

I love Rome. It's my favorite city in Europe. But you have to start planning with the above truths in mind.


Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
92854 posts

So Naples is by all accounts kind of a shithole, so I wouldn't spend a lot of time there.

The "coast" you are likely thinking about is Amalfi Coast...which is South of Naples, so you'd be going in the opposite direction (although it isn't that far).

Rome, you have to see and do, but it will be HOT and packed in July. Whatever you can book in advance do so.

Florence is one of my favorite cities on Earth, it is amazing. I'd spend at least 3 nights there.

Between Rome and Florence, you may want to consider a night or two in one of the Tuscan hill towns. Those are amazing.


LuckySo-n-So
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2005
21319 posts

quote:

Tuscan hill towns.


Siena and San Giminiano are beautiful.


JW
LSU Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Jul 2004
4193 posts

I'm leaving Wednesday for a 21 day solo visit ....
first timer - hitting Rome, Cinque Terre, Florence,Venice and Naples/Amalfi.

I'm reading mixed things on Naples ... some say it's an underrated stop. Including Stanley Tucci (i dig his travel show about Italy). May switch it up to Sorrento. Currently, I have only 2 nights there in a nice hotel, so will likely stick it out.


hungryone2
Member since Oct 2021
78 posts

Frequent repeat visitor to Italy, from Trento in the north all the way to Palermo in Sicily. A few thoughts based on your proposed itinerary of Naples/Sorrento to Rome to Florence:
1)previous poster is correct--July will be hot & fairly crowded. So just bear that in mind when planning stops at mass tourist sites (pretty much all the big sites in Rome & Florence).

2)Naples gets a bad rap, but it is a fascinating city & the old pre-Roman center (Decumani) is easily walkable. It is worth a day trip to Naples to see the national archaeology museum, where the best artifacts from Pompeii & Herculaneum are housed. Plus, pizza...you can buy a pizza folded like a napkin and eat it on the street if you're pressed for time.

3)Herculaneum or Pompeii should be on your itinerary. From Vietri, its about a 30 minute drive. You can hire a driver, or, if you & daughter are intrepid, take the bus. (I'd take the bus, simply bc I like people watching and local color.) The Metropolitano 21316 bus only makes 5-6 stops between Vietri and Pompeii. Check out the Trenitalia website for schedules, bus stop info, ticket info, etc, in English: Trenitalia schedule info

3.) The ATAC buses go up and down the Amalfi Coast, so you can see Positano, Amalfi, and the lovely scenery....but be warned: that road is the curviest, twistiest thing ever, and it feels like it is barely wide enough for a car and a half, much less two full size buses. I got carsick, and I never get carsick. The ferry service is a better option. See the schedule here: Amalfi Coast ferry schedule

4)Amalfi area is lovely, but there are not "beaches" per se. Little pockets of rock and sand, accessed by a long climb, in many cases, down rocky stairs. So prep your teen by looking at pics so she's not thinking of a wide swathe of golden sand.

5. Train from Naples to Rome is fast, not expensive. You can eat/drink on the train, so pack a lunch (or breakfast) and enjoy the trip. Termini station in Rome is a big chaotic place--not sure if your lodgings are nearby, but the bus queues can be a push-fest, and a taxi might be a better (but more expensive) option.

6. Hopefully your apartment in Vietri has a washer/dryer so you can pack lightly and do laundry before you head north. If you can manage a pair of backpacks and a single roller between the two of you, it would be a much better idea than trying to schlep multiple large pieces of luggage. Teach baby girl about a capsule wardrobe, layering, and the freedom of not having 1,000 pounds of crap to drag around.

I have lots of thoughts on Rome, but maybe if you post where you're staying, etc I can offer some more relevant tips.


AmosMosesAndTwins
New Orleans Saints Fan
Lake Charles
Member since Apr 2010
17327 posts

Despite the heat, you can’t go and not do Rome. Spent 3 full days and could’ve done more. Cook With Us In Rome was a lot of fun, highly recommend.

Took day trips from Florence to Pisa and Cinque Terre, so I suggest 4 days in Florence.

Venice was cool to see but 1-2 nights probably enough.


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30
JW
LSU Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Jul 2004
4193 posts

good info ... thanks for sharing.


JW
LSU Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Jul 2004
4193 posts

as far as restaurants go ... is it typical that they have bar/counter service? I'm rolling solo and usually prefer that ... but am also prepared to grab a small table and chill.

Soccer? AC Roma is in town this Saturday .... seems like that would be a nice experience. Tickets are available ... but a website mentioned a club membership of some kind. Any feedback about catching a match is appreciated.


language? I have spent many months in SE Asia, so am accustomed to learning key phrases and attempting at least to engage the locals. I imagine that helps a bit.


Gilly
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2014
122 posts

If you fly into Naples, you may want to stay in Sorrento. From there you can check out Amalfi and even Capri. Once you begin to go north, I recommend Pompeii. We loved the ruins but get a tour to get some history. It will be hot so make sure to bring light clothes, no denim.


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Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
92854 posts

Which town are you staying at in Cinque Terre. It does get very crowded in all of the towns during the day, but at night they are quiet with all the day travelers gone and are super lovely. I LOVED staying in Vernazza at night.

Its the same thing in Venice. It gets very quiet at night with all the daytrippers gone.

quote:

as far as restaurants go ... is it typical that they have bar/counter service?


Cafes do, as you actually pay less if you just get coffee,etc at the counter instead of a table.

Restaurants not as much. I don't recall a lot of bar seating like you see in American restaurants.


JW
LSU Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Jul 2004
4193 posts

thanks ...

Riomaggiore .. have a nice little apartment in the town.


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hungryone2
Member since Oct 2021
78 posts

Circling back for some Rome thoughts:
1)I prefer apartments to hotels, but I speak some Italian and have pretty good knowledge of the city. You might consider a small hotel or even a religious lodging (lots of them take in paying guests, and the people staying in them are pilgrims from around the world who are often friendly and helpful) if you feel like you will need the assistance of a concierge. BUT, Rome is the most touristed city in a country full of tourists. Many customer-facing employees will have some English.

2)the historic center is where you want to stay. Do not waste your time on the chain hotels located on the periphery....you want to be walking the streets, not stuck in the subway or on a bus.

3)St Peter's basilica is immense & always bustling. Early and late offer better chances to see the Pieta, the baldacchino, and the crypts without being crushed by a crowd.

4) the Vatican museums are incredible, but completely overwhelming and ridiculously crowded. Alas, its the only way you're going to see the Sistine Chapel, so either book a group tour and be prepared to shuffle along slowly with a guide. Or, if you don't really care about the art of the Vatican museums and the Sistine is your focus, you can book an "early entrance only group tour" through Viator. This gets you into the museum as a group, before the regular visitor hours, but does not include a guided tour. Thus, you can zip along at your own pace, and if you're a fast walker, you can manage to get inside the Sistine before everyone else descends. (The last part of the Vatican museums is an incredibly dull section of contemporary ecclesiastical art--you can power walk through it). Having time to see the Chapel before it is crowded with tourists is pretty nice. AND: the Rick Steves tip about the side/back exit to the Sistine is also golden. You might have to tag along with a group to get out of the right side exit, though.

5)things in Rome really do close for a long lunch break in the middle of the day. Plan your days carefully and eat lunch when the Romans do. Otherwise, you will be stuck outside in the heat when all of the churches and many of the shops close for the midday break.


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baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
17424 posts

I always highly recommend a rental car for italy once you are out of the big cities, certainly DON'T rent one in Rome. Some of the best of Italy is in the country and you can really get away from the worst of the tourists which are the buses and cruise people that just want to be catered to like a tourist, and not get out and explore on their own.

Lots to do in Rome obviously, I'd probably an extra day or 2 there especially since your first day or 2 will be jet lagged.



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Mahootney
Florida State Fan
Lovin' My German Footprint
Member since Sep 2008
11444 posts

quote:

The "coast" you are likely thinking about is Amalfi Coast
I've been all over the world, this is still the best view I've seen (with the full Milky Way in the night sky over the Great Barrier Reef being 2nd).
Amalfi over Naples and Pompeii every day of the week, twice on Sundays.

quote:

Rome, you have to see and do, but it will be HOT and packed in July. Whatever you can book in advance do so.
Yes, but you have to do it.
Private tours vs group tours in Ancient Rome Area. Should cover Roman forum, colleseum, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, palazzon Venezia, Quadriga, Trajan's forum, etc.
You can see Trevi and Spanish steps by yourself at night.
Vatican is a day as well. Sistine and St. Peters are amazing.
quote:

Florence is one of my favorite cities on Earth, it is amazing. I'd spend at least 3 nights there.
Agreed. Probably my favorite Italian city, but 2-3 nights is likely enough. You have to make room in the trip for wine country.
quote:

Between Rome and Florence, you may want to consider a night or two in one of the Tuscan hill towns. Those are amazing.
Yes. Orvieto, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Siena. Radda/Catellina.


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SuwMwf
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2012
794 posts

Thank you so very much. She’s my travel buddy and she does well, but dad will be at home so I need to have her prepped as much as possible. We had the beach discussion and I showed her typical crowded Italian resorts so she’d understand. We do have a washer and dryer dryer at our apartment which is always helpful. Thanks for Recs on ferry and advice about the roads!! I’ll post more here when I figure out our next leg.


hungryone2
Member since Oct 2021
78 posts

quote:

She’s my travel buddy and she does well, but dad will be at home so I need to have her prepped as much as possible. We had the beach discussion and I showed her typical crowded Italian resorts so she’d understand

Kudos to you for taking her on an adventure with just the two of you. I encounter so many women who are mortally afraid of traveling without a spouse/SO. Show her how to be smart & safe and you will have given her a gift of independence and freedom.

Since you've already got the Vietri sul Mare section booked, I'll suggest a few Amalfi Coast things to do/see:
--Cetara; it is famous for making a traditional (ancient) Roman style fish sauce, called Colatura di alici. You can read about it here:
quote:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colatura_di_alici
. There is a small museum in town that covers the making of the fish sauce, in the Torre Vicereale.
--Vietri is the hotbed of handpainted ceramics along the Amalfi coast. Lots of places to buy souvenirs & most places will ship so you don't have to schlep fragile stuff back with you.
--Minori: small town of mostly locals and not as many tourists; worth a stop simply to eat pastries at Sal di Riso's cafe. Amazing selection of sweets for a relatively small place: LINK
--Amalfi: the papermaking museum: LINK
--Ravello: the Villa Cimbrone gardens: LINK


Mahootney
Florida State Fan
Lovin' My German Footprint
Member since Sep 2008
11444 posts

quote:

She’s my travel buddy and she does well, but dad will be at home so I need to have her prepped as much as possible.
Thought it was dad/daughter.
I didn't feel super safe in Rome after 11pm. We passed several groups of young men that gave me spider sense.
Just be sure to stay focused if walking around later in the evening.


Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
92854 posts

To say Rome is a shitshow is an understatement. It wasn't for me at all, but I could understand others liking it.

There's no chance in hell I'd drive there.


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