“We are planning a 2 week vacation to Italy in July. Your two week plan seems a little overwhelming to me, but opened my eye to more possibilities . We are planning on arriving into Venice and staying 2 more days then going to Florence for 2 days then leave for Tuscany for 3 days and end in Rome. I was thinking on staying in one town in Tuscany and then doing day trips. You mention so many towns to see. What would you recommend as an area to stay.?I was thinking of stopping on our way to Florence in Bologna but Verona sounded nice too. Which?And from Rome you have me thinking of visiting Tivoli. Is that a day trip from Rome?
Hi Rachel, thanks for visiting Delightfullyitaly.com.
Cutting out the Cinque Terre + Lucca and Pisa from the 2 weeks itinerary will allow you to travel at a much more relaxed pace (which is consistent with the Italian laid back approach!), so it’s perfectly legitimate!
Coming back to your questions (and assuming you will travel mostly by train):
– Verona vs Bologna: they are both very convenient to be visited, Verona is 1,20 hours train from Venice, Bologna is just between Venice and Florence on the high speed train line. I love Bologna, but I’d rather suggest to visit Verona: I find Verona more cosy (it’s much smaller than Bologna, has a nice river and a huge pedestrian area) and Bologna can get really hot and humid in July. On top of that, in July Verona hosts fabulous concerts in the Roman theater, it could be a great experience to attend one! From Verona you have many trains going to Florence (2.5-3 hours). Alternatively, you can visit Verona as a day trip from Venice.
– In Tuscany, 2 days in Florence are OK if you wish to visit its many museums (Uffizi, Accademia, Palazzo vecchio). Have also a walk to San Miniato church and nearby piazzale Michelangelo, for superb views from its terrace. It could be also worthwhile to visit Fiesole, on the hill just in front of Florence (delightful small town, with great views) – half an hour by bus.
– From Florence, I would suggest you hire a car and drive along the SR222 road to discover Chianti hightlights (Greve and castellina + stop in the wineyards for wine tasting & shopping!). It takes one day and you can sleep near Siena, in a nice country house with view and pool (check www.agriturimo.it
). This could be your tuscan hub. On day 2, visit Siena, Monteriggioni and san Gimignano. On day 3 Montalcino and San Galgano church (10 Km from Montalcino). On day 4, Pienza, Montepulciano, and from there the highway to Rome, where you can leave your rental car (by the way, you can’t drive a private car in the center of Rome, that is inside the Roman walls).
– Tivoli is a easy day trip from Rome, it’s better to have your own car (30 km, 1 hour from Rome), but public transportation is available. In Tivoli the highlights are Villa d’Este, with its fabulous renaissance gardens and fountains, and Villa Adriana, the remains of Adrian emperor residence. You can do both in a day, or one of the 2 in half a day. If you have a car, villa d’Este gardens should be open at night, and are just magic.
Enjoy your trip to Italy!
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