I would like to travel in Italy for 4weeks (sept 2014). I’ve been dreaming of going to Italy for quite some time now(2008).
Therefore I’m seeking info to finalize my travel tour choice and anything else that would benefit a solo independent traveler like myself thru Italy.(resources for train transport,hotels 3star and B&B’s centrally located/restaurants where locals vs.tourists eat/must see hidden gems along the path I’m traveling).
Milan day 1(arrive airport), would like to visit The Duomo cathedral, the Santa Maria delle Grazie, with Leonardo Last Supper fresco. (Need reservation not sure if too late).Train to
Lake Como/ Varenna days 2,3,4
Venice/days 5,6,7,8 (can add a day here n take away south 1 day?)
Cinque Terre/days 9,10
*The amalfi coast/sorrento(as base location ?)vs. positano.
*visit some quaint towns,experience the cuisine,music and people. Also would like to do 4 hr visit Pompeii.
Ischia /days 25,26,27,28 (also would like to do Capri day trip).3
Naples/days 29 (Archeological museum visit) day 30 departure.
1.What’s the best tour route for this trip.
2. Is this 4 week tentative plan (local/length of stay) realistic?
Again I really appreciate the time you have taken to read/reply to any part of this lengthy inquiry. This site is truly amazing.
Hi Joanne, thanks for liking my blog.
Coming to your itinerary, 4 weeks will give you plenty of time to really appreciate and “live” Italy. You may even be a more ambitious and include “side” (but really rewarding!) destinations such as Umbria, Sicily or Puglia in your itinerary, depending on your tastes and interests.Sicily is already partially covered in my Blog, I’m going to write about Umbria and Apulia in the next weeks, I’ve just went back there in April.
September is a very good month to visit Italy, good weather, not to warm, hotel prices lower tan in Summer time. Booking.com is a good and convenient source for hotels, you can also try the Italian Bed and Breakfast site: http://www.bed-and-breakfast.it/
Unfortunately choosing a limited number of hubs from where organizing day trips is not always possible
Coming back to your itinerary:
Milan: yest you need to reserve your place, just call their call center at +39 0292800360
(wait for the English message). Cost is 8 € including reservation fee.
Train to Lake Como/ Varenna: here are time schedules: http://www.trenord.it/EN/ (note that this is a regional rail service, different from the one you will use to travel Italy). in 2 days you will easily visit lake Como and its Villas, you can use day 3 for travelling to Venice and maybe for a stop in Garda Lake / in Verona (this is a beautiful area, where you could spend one nigh if you like it. Verona is als an easy 1 day trip from Venice)
Venice/days 5,6,7,8 (can add a day here n take away south 1 day?): four days are more than sufficient for Venice. If you’re not a museum fan, 2 full days + 1 to visit Murano-Burano-Torcello are more than sufficient. But of course, it’s so beautiful that you may just like to wander around Venice during your fourth day. You should better reserve your visit to San Marco basilica, so you won’t need to queue (http://www.venetoinside.com/en/attractions/saint-marks-basilica/)
Cinque Terre/days 9,10: 2 (full!) days are OK for 5 Terre, but it’s faster to reverse the order and go there from Florence (otherwise you’ll need to go back all the way to Milan). Here I would add one day to visit Portofino, San Fruttuoso and maybe Lerici and Porto Venere (one additional day if you plan to visit all of them)
Florence/days 11,12,13,14,15 Florence will require at least 2 full days, then you should visit Tuscany. Pisa and Siena are easy to reach by train / Bus, but when it comes to the other Tuscany Highlights (Chianti, Montalcino, Val D’Orcia, …) getting there by public transportation gets longer and difficult, especially if you don’t speak Italian. You should use Siena as a hub and consider teaming with travel mates to rent a car (this would also give you the possibility of sleeping in a charming country house – check here: http://www.agriturismo.it/
Sorrento/days 20,21,22,23,24 Sorrento is a very convenient base for visiting Naples, Pompei, Capri and Positano, but I personally prefer Positano (actually, I’m in love with that small town!). Lots of days, unless you would like to have some beach days. All this area is rather expensive.
Ischia /days 25,26,27,28 (also would like to do Capri day trip). Good place to relax, with many natural spas. Visit also Procida island. Again, many days, here you may cut in case you wish to visit other locations.
Naples/days 29 (Archeological museum visit): foreign tourist usually skip it, but Naples is a really fascinating town (not more dangerous than New York…) The historical center is gorgeous, albeit rather ran down.
I hope this long mail didn’t confuse you even more! Drop me a note in case you have other questions.
For additional info, have a look at my post: http://delightfullyitaly.com/italy-in-four-weeks/
Happy travel planning
Would you like a personalized Italian trip advice? Just go to my page “Free Travel Advice“!