Europe Itinerary Help Please!!

Old Nov 17th, 2022, 05:36 PM
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Europe Itinerary Help Please!!

HI, my husband, daughter and I are flying into Milan on April 3rd and staying until the 18th. First tie going to Italy. I would love to go to Lake Como, Florence, Venice, Rome, Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, but am wondering it that is too much to fit in. I would love to get some hiking in as well. I wouldn't mind exploring the countryside of Tuscany but just don't know if 2 weeks is really enough time to do all of this. From what I have read it is best to take the train versus a car. I would love any and all feedback because I am a bit overwhelmed. I know over Easter will be busy so maybe I should avoid the bigger cities over the holidays. Not sure. Thanks in advance!
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Old Nov 17th, 2022, 06:04 PM
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If you are flying in on the 3rd and departing on the 18th you really only have 14 days of sightseeing time. Your list of 6 locations plus the Tuscan countryside is too ambitious. I recommend picking up a Rick Steves guidebook which is a great introduction to travel in Italy for first time visitors. You should figure out which locations are the top on your list and narrow them down so you have time to spend enjoying yourselves.

I plan thinking of nights where I will be sleeping. One possibility that would be very busy is:
April 3 & 4: Milan
April 5 travel to Cinque Terre and spend the night
April 6 Cinque Terre
April 7 travel to Florence and spend the night
April 8 & 9 Florence (possible day trip to countryside but there is a lot to see in Florence)
April 10 travel to Venice and spend the night
April 11 Venice
April 12 travel to Como and spend the night
April 13 Como
April 14 Fly out of Milan

Save the Amalfi Coast and Rome for your next trip. Personally, I would also cut out the Cinque Terre this trip and add time to some of your other locations. You could add another day to Florence and Venice.

It is probably better to rent a car if you wish to explore the countryside of Tuscany.
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Old Nov 17th, 2022, 06:11 PM
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Ok, thanks for the feedback!! I appreciate it.
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Old Nov 17th, 2022, 09:44 PM
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With the time you have available, I would choose between Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast and Tuscany beyond Florence (one of them). I think I'd leave the Amalfi Coast for next time as it's a fairly long journey to get there. Cinque Terre is primarily about hiking so you'd have to get fine weather to enjoy it. And for a first time visit to Italy, I would skip Milan. As you are arriving in Milan, one possibility would be to travel by train to lake Como on arrival in Italy. If you can fly home from Rome, that's likely to be better, giving you (maybe): lake Como - Venice - Florence - Amalfi coast/Tuscany/CT - Rome. If you have only a few days in Tuscany, a car is not essential (plenty to see without one) but might be useful if you want to get into the countryside and prefer not to walk. A busy trip but some wonderful Italian destinations.

If you have to fly home from Milan, you could consider swapping out lake Como for lake Maggiore, which is closer to Malpensa airport for your departure (there is a bus if needed).

Last edited by dreamon; Nov 17th, 2022 at 09:54 PM.
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Old Nov 18th, 2022, 04:09 AM
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5 Terre hiking can suffer from the weather as the steep slopes get muddy if it rains a lot so if possible hold off until you get a feel for how the weather is progressing. Other than that a train, city to city centre is a great way to see Italy for the first time.

I think the idea of visiting smaller cities is a great one, but then you have Milan in the mix, the other cities are small but they are tourist hot spots. I like KT's plan a lot and I might also look at something like Milan, Florence, Bologna, Venice, Milan as a sequence. This keeps you roughly in the Po valley (not quite but sort of) and the train system getting to each of these is simple and efficient. I've added Bologna, but you could add in any other fascinating smaller cities along those train lines but Bologna has a student vibe which you might like.

I'd get the Rough Guide to Italy and have a good read
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Old Nov 18th, 2022, 05:23 AM
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A few logistical considerations. You have 14 touring days. Each change in location uses up at least a half day and effectively a whole day once you add meals, hotel check out and check in, and an allowance so you won't be late for the train. Travel is not instantaneous.

The other consideration is closure days, often Sunday and Monday. Don't set yourself down at a place where what you want to see is closed. Use closure days for travel instead.
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Old Nov 19th, 2022, 08:30 AM
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Just a heads up. Two different trips in April, we had to cancel going to Cinque Terre because if torrential rains. We managed everywhere else with a lot of rain, but not there, so have an alternative plan if that happens.
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