Post # 16
I did Venice to Florence to Positiano to Rome in 10 days. Personally my favorite places are Florence. It’s the most beautiful place out of all. I wished I could have stayed 2 nights instead of just 1 night there. I definitely suggested to stay at Venice for a couple of nights. You can use one night to explore Venice the main island. Then spend the next to take the ferry to Burano and the other islands. Each of the island are very unique ( one is famous for its lace and the other is famous for its glass). I wouldnt miss going there. I think 3 days in Rome is very sufficient if you just want to hit the major tourist area.
Post # 17
My husband and I lived in Munich for 1.5 years beginning in 2013. If you choose Munich as a layover point, the airport is really easy to navigate. If you wish to spend some time in the city (which, I biasedly [is that a word!?] recommend), you could start there, rent a car, and drive to Venice. All of the cars are equipped with navigation that can be put into english. The drive to Venice is about 3.5 hours hours through the German, Austrian and Italian part of the Alps. It really is a beautiful ride. From Venice (which to be honest you really only do need 2 days for), you can fly or train to a different part of Italy.
Just be careful on the subway, the other couple we were with was pickpocketed in the rush onto the train.
If you are a truffle lover (the mushrooms, not the chocolate) I recommend a restaurant in Rome called Osteria Barberini. It was absolutely delish.
Also, we had great luck renting an apartment from AirBnB. We were able to get a 3 bedroom top floor apartment on the canal in Venice with 3 separate terraces for the same price as one hotel room. It was really cool to stay in an authentic Italian abode.
In Italy I only visited Rome and Venice but if you have any question about either, just let me know. Happy honeymoon planning– I am jealous!
Post # 18
I think it’d be very hard to do all four of those cities in just 8-10 days. I’d think of restricting myself to a region. For my money, I would go to Rome and then hitch a ride (or train it) down to the Amalfi Coast (I’ve only done the drive, which was about 2 hours with my crazy Italian uncle driving in the dead of night–more like 3, I think under more normal circumstances), where you stop in Naples and do the little coastal towns (Sorrento, Capri, Positano…) That has a lovely Mediterranean feel and for me, it’s nice to have a blend of sightseeing/cityscape with something more “resort.” I think 3-4 days in Rome is fine, with maybe a day in Naples, and then 2-3 days relaxing on the Coast. Alternatively, a “northern” option is to explore Tuscany–go to Florence and Siena and Pisa and see the wine region and go to all THOSE little Tuscan towns (Lucca, Arezzo, etc.). The nice thing about Tuscany is you can stay in Florence and day-trip out if you like (or stay in a Tuscan villa and day-trip in!). I think that Rome and Florence are about equal in terms of the attractions they offer–it just depends on what you like. Personally, I do tend to prefer Rome a bit more because it’s more of a city and has more of a life outside tourism than Florence, but the flipside is that Florence has a little more romance, I think, and is a little less noisy/busy. If you love Renaissance history and art, then Florence wins; if you’re more enchanted by ancient Rome, then Rome wins. Venice is a wonderful place, but it’s also kind of out there on its own. Unless htat’s a dream destination for you, I would say that might be a city to save for the future.
When we traveled, we walked and used taxis in the major cities, the public train network for the Amalfi Coast (or my uncle driving, which I don’t recommend even if you are related to him!), and a car rental for exploring Tuscany (even though parking in certain cities, like Siena, can be tough).
Hope that helps!
Post # 19
Thanks! you bring up a good question – how easy is it for americans to drive out there? I always hear (and picture) under the tuscan sun type driving through the countryside in Florence 😉
Post # 20
We had a huge family reunion (roughly 400 people), so I was in Switzerland for roughly 2.5 weeks, Netherlands (another family reunion of roughly 250) for 1.5 weeks, and a week in London with my cousin for some non-reunion relaxation time. A group of us travelled an additional 1.5 weeks, around other cities in Europe. Essentially, we used Zurich as a hub for all of ours travels, but we were there for almost 7 weeks, and I have a large family presence in Switzerland. If your focus is Italy, I wouldn’t place emphasis on adding Zurich to your itinerary, but it is decently easy to use as a hub to get where you want to go. I would feel more comfortable with the refugee situation in Europe to travel through Switzerland over Germany though. I’m hearing lots of first hand horror stories at the moment from family in Germany – just a word of caution.
Post # 21
I would pick one city only. 10 days in Florence would be fantastic. We were there for a week and it wasn’t enough – take the trains out to other parts of Tuscany. We drove (New Zealanders) and it was fine. If you do Rome instead, make sure you do a day trip to Tivoli to Villa d’Este. Breathtaking. But I would choose Florence. We’re doing 2-3 weeks split between Florence and Munich. Our original plan was Florence, Amalfi Coast, and Rome, but you just spend all your time travelling Between places and not seeing anything. Last year we went to Rome, then Venice, then Florence over three weeks, but we didn’t get to finish Florence.
Post # 22
Not all airlines/cities will allow you to just do a stopover- some will actually charge you quite a bit to do so. A 2 or 3 hour layover is much less of a hassle than a train ride from Zurich to Rome and back- trust me. Plus ‘spending a night’ in a layover city can be a huge hassle– often when flying from the US you’ll arrive in Europe in the morning- now you’ve got your checked bags, but can’t check into your hotel til 2 or 3 pm– so what can you do? Then the next day you have to check out by 11 or noon, so you won’t be able to do much then either– plus then you’re losing days in the cities you actually want to go to.
I travel a lot. And I see a lot of new travelers have these pre-concieved notions of what is easy to do and what is hard/not possible– and usually they’re just way off base, sorry. Layovers are not hard- I have a personal rule to not do any layovers that involve an international flight that are less than 2 hours, but I know many people who will cut it closer. 2 hours is plenty of time to transfer in an airport, and far less hassle (and more time saving!) than flying direct to a city you then need to take a lengthy train ride from.
Post # 23
In regards to driving- you may need an international driver’s license, and also check with your insurance company to see if you car insurance covers international car rentals, and not just car rentals in the US.
Post # 24
I travel to Italy multiple times a year and I agree with everyone who says just connect in ZRH or MUC to FLR or VCE. ZRH and MUC are delightful and easy to use/connect through. Meanwhile, Rome’s airport is, IMO, one of the least pleasant in Europe. Avoiding FCO is always a good idea, IMO–though if you do want to go to Rome to visit, an open-jaw flight out of FCO back to the USA is a better idea than having to get back to FLR or VCE.
I also agree with everyone who says that 3-4 cities in 10 days is way too much.
Post # 25
We’re doing South of France for our honeymoon and we’ve rented a car for 9 days so we can drive between towns and do day trips at our lesiure. We orignally wanted to stay in 4 hotels in 4 towns but it was too much moving. We’re doing 3 hotels in 9 days.
The towns you want to see in Italy are spread out, I’d reccomded taking a high speed train. I’d reccomend Tuscany if you havent been (Siena and San Gimigiano).
Florence is spectacular, I’d reccomend two full days to walk the city, go to the outdoor market and visit the AMAZING museums (see the statute of David).
Venice is nice, but you can get away with just one night if you’re pressed for time. I didnt do the gondola ride, Venice is famous for its blown glass. Its quite small, but the streets are confusing. Make sure to visit St. Marks Sq.
Keep in mind the travel between Venice and Florence will eat 1/2 a day. I would also reccomend Cinque Terre and Positano as more relaxing alternatives to hustle and bustle of sight seeing cities.
Post # 26
For car rental you’ll need an international drivers license. Note though, that you won’t be able to pick up a car in Austria or Germany and return the car in Italy. IF you found a rental agency that even allowed this the cost of international pick up/drop of will absolutely be prohibitive.
Since you have not expressed an interest in visiting any areas outside of major city centers there is no reason for you to have a car. A car will be a major hindrance in cities. If you change the trip to a scenic/rural/small village hopping then a car would make sense.
Post # 27
Might check out Emirates as well. You would have to fly through NYC but then they have flights directly to Milan. We got roundtrip for around $580.