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Angelskates
05-30-2012, 04:23 AM
I'm taking a holiday to Italy :cheer2: from around the 20th or 25th of June (still sorting out my work schedule) to the 12th of July.

I'll be flying in and out of Rome. I'd like to see as much of Italy as possible, including all the tourist places and also Sicily.

Does anyone have a recommended itinerary? Must see things or places? Best (and not too expensive) ways to get from place to place?

Budget? I want to stay at places with character, funky places rather than fancy hotels or hostels - any suggestions?

Is there any skating on at that time? ;)

Nomad
05-30-2012, 04:46 AM
How long are you planning on spending in Italy?

PrincessLeppard
05-30-2012, 04:49 AM
I really enjoyed Pompeii. It's sad and beautiful at the same time.

Angelskates
05-30-2012, 05:04 AM
How long are you planning on spending in Italy?

The whole time ;) So it'll be at the most from the 20th June leaving Beijing to the 12th of July arriving back in Beijing, and at the least, 25th of June leaving Beijing and arriving back on Beijing on July 12th. So 17ish to 22ish days, depending on travel time (transit :yikes:)

IceAlisa
05-30-2012, 05:06 AM
Love the Amalfi Coast but not if you get car sick easy. The North is very beautiful as well. If it's your first time, I'd go North, Florence, Venice. Rome itself is pretty amazing, the Vatican and usual attractions.

Gelato! :swoon:

Angelskates
05-30-2012, 05:13 AM
Love the Amalfi Coast but not if you get car sick easy. The North is very beautiful as well. If it's your first time, I'd go North, Florence, Venice. Rome itself is pretty amazing, the Vatican and usual attractions.

Gelato! :swoon:

I have been before, but not at an age I could appreciate it, so now I want to see it all again ;) I don't get car, or any sort of travel, sickness, though I can't drive in Europe. Do you mean go on a tour up the Amalfi Coast?

I'm already psyching myself up for the :coffee: and gelato :swoon::swoon:

Nomad
05-30-2012, 05:21 AM
A nice Tuscan itinerary would be Pisa, Florence, Sienna, and San Gimignano. A good time to visit Florence would be the 24th, when they celebrate the festival of San Giovanni in Renaissance costume. The highlight for me was the group of sbandieratori, a group of guys who juggled flags back and forth. A bit like patriotic 15th century rhythmic gymnastics. Venice is worth the visit. Try to attend a mass at San Marco if you can; the Guggenheim was hosting Monday night Spritz, hors d'oeuvres, and cultural events back in 2010; if they still are, it's well worth the visit. Teatro La Fenice is a beautiful venue for theater or opera. Trattoria Donna Onesta serves a killer seafood salad. A visit to Murano is worth it if you like glassware; Burano is a cute little island although I doubt if all that lace is really handmade. Torcello has one main attraction - the mosaics in the cathedral. Otherwise there isn't much to see or do. Padova makes for a nice day trip - I enjoyed visiting San Antonio and the nearby Prato del Valle. Bologna is a lovely little city. The arcades are a boon in summer and you can make day-trips to Modena (Caffe Mozart by the Duomo has an awesome all-you-can-eat Sunday buffet) and Ravenna (spectacular mosaics). Genrally speaking, keep an eye out for leaning towers. Almost every city in Italy I've been to has at least one. :)

IceAlisa
05-30-2012, 05:55 AM
If you have been to the North, go South. And if you don't mind windy mountain roads and crazy driving, go to the Amalfi Coast. I gave up a trip to Ravello, turned around and went back because I got car sick on a bus! So may be you can go see it! And Positano and Pompeii, etc. Beautiful.

I stayed in Positano, at the Villa Rosa. :)

Angelskates
05-30-2012, 06:20 AM
Is it practical in the amount of time I have to go north and south?

IceAlisa
05-30-2012, 07:18 AM
Actually, I think it is.

Tinami Amori
05-30-2012, 07:49 AM
I'm taking a holiday to Italy :cheer2: from around the 20th or 25th of June (still sorting out my work schedule) to the 12th of July.

(assuming you chose the shortest time)

Take Air China’s Pekin-Milan route – PEK - MXP ( Monday, Wednesday and Saturday) FL CA949 and CA950. Outbound flights will leave Pekin at 13:30 and arrive in Milan at 19:00. (11 hours and 30 minutes)

24th depart/25th arrive into Milan
26th – 1 day in Milan
27th – train to Verona (leave bags at station, see town, late train to Venice).
28th – Venice
29th – Venice
30th – ex Venice train to Florence (1/2 day in Florence)
1st – Florence
2nd – out of Florence local train for 1 day in Siena (return to Florence)
3rd – Leave Florence - New Speed train to Naples (fr Naples – ferry to Capri – 40 min)
4th – full day in Capri
5th – take ferry ex Capri to Sorrento (35 minutes), rest of the day explore Sorrento.
6th – stay in Sorrento – take local train (45 min) to Pompei (or Herculanium)
7th – out of Sorrento take local bus along the scenic route to Amalfi, travel back/get out at Positano, travel back to Sorrento.
8th – take train ex Sorrento to Rome (that’s going to be a long day).
9th – Rome
10th – Rome (possible trip to Tivoli, or Ostia Antica)
11th – Rome
12th – Ex Rome to Pekin/Air China FL CA940 FCO-PEK – ETD 19:30

I’ll be glad to work with you on this, and answer all your questions. If I missed any places you’re interested in, let me know. If you like any of these places – I’ll give you more details. If you have more days and CAN LEAVE ON THE 20TH – we can add few more places.

If you can add 3-4 more days to this schedule, then I recommend adding a trip to Lake Como/Bellagio north of Milan, and 1-2 extra days in Tuscany region (near Florence), seeing towns of Volterra, San Gimignano, Aussis, and/or a trip to Cinque-terre, etc..

Or you can use these 3-4 days to go to Sicilia (it will take that long to get a good wiff of it).

I do NOT recommend Sicilia this time. This is your first trip to Italy I suppose, and there are "must places" and "optional places" to see in my opinion.

pingu
05-30-2012, 07:53 AM
In July there will be Star On Ice :) It's usually located in small mountain towns in the north of Italy, and once it will be out I will probably post a link of the schedule in the italian skating thread.
As you have a month, I think places you must see are:
Rome, the Amalfi coast, Tuscany (Florence, Pisa, Siena and its countryside), Venice, Sicily, Puglia, Trentino or Alto Adige (beautiful mountains). If you want to visit other cities you could stay in Milan for a few days and visit a few cities for a day (Genova, Torino, Bellinzona) as it is right in the middle of the north of the country.
I can't think of anything else now but there is so much to see, just PM me if you need any help :)

Angelskates
05-30-2012, 08:16 AM
(assuming you chose the shortest time)

Take Air China’s Pekin-Milan route – PEK - MXP ( Monday, Wednesday and Saturday) FL CA949 and CA950. Outbound flights will leave Pekin at 13:30 and arrive in Milan at 19:00. (11 hours and 30 minutes)

24th depart/25th arrive into Milan
26th – 1 day in Milan
27th – train to Verona (leave bags at station, see town, late train to Venice).
28th – Venice
29th – Venice
30th – ex Venice train to Florence (1/2 day in Florence)
1st – Florence
2nd – out of Florence local train for 1 day in Siena (return to Florence)
3rd – Leave Florence - New Speed train to Naples (fr Naples – ferry to Capri – 40 min)
4th – full day in Capri
5th – take ferry ex Capri to Sorrento (35 minutes), rest of the day explore Sorrento.
6th – stay in Sorrento – take local train (45 min) to Pompei (or Herculanium)
7th – out of Sorrento take local bus along the scenic route to Amalfi, travel back/get out at Positano, travel back to Sorrento.
8th – take train ex Sorrento to Rome (that’s going to be a long day).
9th – Rome
10th – Rome (possible trip to Tivoli, or Ostia Antica)
11th – Rome
12th – Ex Rome to Pekin/Air China FL CA940 FCO-PEK – ETD 19:30

I’ll be glad to work with you on this, and answer all your questions. If I missed any places you’re interested in, let me know. If you like any of these places – I’ll give you more details. If you have more days and CAN LEAVE ON THE 20TH – we can add few more places.

If you can add 3-4 more days to this schedule, then I recommend adding a trip to Lake Como/Bellagio north of Milan, and 1-2 extra days in Tuscany region (near Florence), seeing towns of Volterra, San Gimignano, Aussis, and/or a trip to Cinque-terre, etc..

Or you can use these 3-4 days to go to Sicilia (it will take that long to get a good wiff of it).

I do NOT recommend Sicilia this time. This is your first trip to Italy I suppose, and there are "must places" and "optional places" to see in my opinion.

Thanks for all of this. I will be flying in and out of Rome, and have been to Italy before (when I was younger, too young to appreciate it!) I'm interested in everywhere, and now extra interested in Pompeii. ;) I do want to go to Sicily.

I will be flying Emirates or Lufthansa into and out of Rome, either via Dubai, Munich or Frankfurt, not that that really matters, I'm just choosing the cheapest flight!

Now I want to go to the Festival that Nomad mentioned, and Stars on Ice! pingu - definitely keep me updated on that!! I am not on FSU as much as before (work is, well, too much work!) but have subscribed to this thread!

I'd love to meet any FSU'ers in Italy!

ETA: I just booked my flights! :cheer2:

I arrive in Rome at 9 p.m. on June 20th and leave Rome at 10:10 a.m. on July 11th :) Nothing else is booked!

vesperholly
05-30-2012, 11:02 AM
I've only been to Rome (6 days with BFF!) so my advice is limited :D Tinami helped me back in 2008, too!

Not worth the time:

You can skip the Circus Maximus - it's just a field now. Boring and a PITA walk from the Forum. Piazza Navona was cool for the merchants but otherwise ehhh. The fountains were under construction when we were there, though. I found much of the Vatican museum bo-ring. And the tour we paid for was totally worthless - get a guided one (we tagged along on one).

Depending on your interests:

I enjoyed walking on Via Appia Antica. We didn't go quite far enough out of the city to see the huge aqueduct ruins. Took the train to Colli Albani stop and then a bus to the road. We went on the San Sebastiano catacomb tour.

Everyone goes to the Forum, but I felt underinformed, even with my Rick Steves book. I later found one that had overlays of Roman architecture vs. current day, and I wish I'd had it with me. A lot of the importance of things was lost on me. It's really ruined ruins, too - hard to tell what things are.

Unexpectedly cool:

Piazza del Popolo was very cool. Really impressive, large twin churches. We did a circular tour starting at the Trevi Fountain, up the Spanish steps, through Villa Borghese and to Piazza del Popolo, then down Via del Corso where all the uber fancy stores are.

If you are a cat person, check out the stray cat sanctuary. It's in the Campo dell'Fiore area. www.romancats.com

Pompeii was (obviously) incredible - and mind-bogglingly huge. Plan an entire day for it and pay for a tour. I really wanted to visit Ostia (it was a Latin class joke - "Ostia on the coast-ia") but ran out of time.

Things I'm sad we missed: Ostia, Baths of Caracalla, Castel Sant'Angelo.

Lodging:

We stayed in a fantastic hostel on Via Palermo. Comfortable, clean, and only 90 euros for six nights. The best part was the location - completely central and an easy walk to everything but the Vatican. It was fairly residential and we never felt unsafe. There really isn't anything west of Piazza Navona. If you stay in the area around Via Nazionale, you're in a great neighborhood.

Angelskates
05-30-2012, 11:09 AM
versperholly - thanks! Do you have a link of the hostel?

Any idea on how much to budget for 3 weeks (including transport and accommodation)?