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11 days in Italy mid sept, pls advice!

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Old 22-06-2017, 10:43 PM   #1
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11 days in Italy mid sept, pls advice!

Hi all, this is my first post, been TA reliant previously but have since discovered this site and the like-minded (read: local). Understand that there have been previous threads on Italy and have gained valuable info from dere, still hope this thread will be welcome here and advice freely given. Gum siah in advance!

Wifey and I are flying into Pisa and out Venice mid sept and have 11 days on our maiden Italian trip. Plan is to spend time in cinque terre, Florence (incl Space outlet for wife) Bologna n Venice of course! Any advice on -

1. feasibility of itinerary
2. Skip Pisa? Leaning tower not really worth it?
3. If you cld pick 3/5 cinque terre locales, which wld u pick? Stay where as base best there?
4. Florence really need 3 days as most have posted?
5. Is Bologna a good stop along the train route frm Pisa to Venice? Heard food is great? Any other reason to visit?
6. If choose another stop, any suggestions? Lucca, Siena, Ravenna, Verona?
7. Not driving so not a good idea for Tuscan countryside detour?
8. Pisa to Venice Train route can book on Trenitalia in advance? All others can book at stations there?
9. Things to eat n see at above places?

Sorry for the long post, hope to hear from the Italy aficionados here!
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Old 23-06-2017, 06:36 AM   #2
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If you're flying in to Pisa, then might as well stop by the leaning tower since you're already there. depending on the time you land, either depart that day or next morning.

I stayed at Monterosso because it was one of the few places with roads and accommodations with parking (I was driving). I liked Ristorante Miky if you're there. I think you need to go read for yourself what each town brings and hence which you prefer. Also, what's your interest - if you're into photography, sunrise / sunsets then there are a few "iconic" shots and you see what makes sense logistics-wise with first / last train

Florence depends on what you want to do / the pace you like to take. Different strokes, different folks. Personally, I prefer the smaller towns (e.g. Siena, San Gimignano) but those would require you to drive (at least I think the public transport sucks). For Space, if possible, arrive at opening - otherwise it might look raided. You'd understand when you see how some nationalities shop there.

I won't bother with Bologna. If anything, I would say Verona's a nicer place. It's also a lot cheaper for accommodation than Venice. But given how this is your first trip and only 11 days, you won't have that much time to play around with.

If it's 11 days, you don't really have that much time to do so many places, especially if you're taking the train. you've got to sit down and plan the connections, factor in the train timings, etc.

I won't bother with Bologna. It's a university town. If you're looking for somewhere else to break the trip up, I would suggest Verona. It's a bit prettier and at the same time less touristy. Accommodation is also a heck of a lot cheaper than Venice.
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:59 AM   #3
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I would definitely recommend Venice! Even one day only but it is a must experience!
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Old 07-07-2017, 11:18 AM   #4
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1. feasibility of itinerary
-> As Jarvis said above, it depends on train timings and your route. Looks doable though. Previously visited those cities within a longer trip, all by train.

2. Skip Pisa? Leaning tower not really worth it?
-> Worth a short stopover on the way from one city to another. Stopped there for about two hours on the way from Cinque Terre to Florence.

3. If you cld pick 3/5 cinque terre locales, which wld u pick? Stay where as base best there?
-> Monterosso, although all except the first one (upon arrival) seem decent. The local train connects all of them well enough.

4. Florence really need 3 days as most have posted?
-> Depends on what you want to see, although in view of the crowds and queues, 3 days is necessary if you want to see the key attractions and chill a bit.

5. Is Bologna a good stop along the train route frm Pisa to Venice? Heard food is great? Any other reason to visit?
-> IMHO, nope.

6. If choose another stop, any suggestions? Lucca, Siena, Ravenna, Verona?
-> Not going to visit Rome this time ?

7. Not driving so not a good idea for Tuscan countryside detour?
-> Inconvenient, although day tour arrangements can be made.

8. Pisa to Venice Train route can book on Trenitalia in advance? All others can book at stations there?
-> Yes to both. Should be able to get considerably lower fares if you book in advance, although that obviously hamstrings your flexibility.

9. Things to eat n see at above places?
-> Really too many to list, although Wikitravel has good and suitable coverage for a relatively short trip like yours.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:37 PM   #5
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I am not an expert but I can answer some questions too

2. Pisa is a classic stop, that kind which you-know-that's-tons-of-tourists-but-you-still-want-to-go kind. Lots of PRC tourists, worthy of a 3 hour stop between cinque terre and florence.

3. When I was there, not all the hiking routes were open. So we only managed to walk between first and second village. You can visit all 5 via train easily as mentioned earlier. I chose to stay an area off at an airbnb at Levanto, cheaper and accessible to Monterosso by train. No need to choose, can see all five in a day.

4, 7. I also choose to stay 3 days in Florence, reserving one entire day just for shopping at The Mall. Transport to and fro and long queues for paying and tax refunds (again here got lots of AT tourists) will take you one entire day. Other good activities I like to recommend are the free city walking tours (it get you oriented quickly on the first day) and a full day bike tour in the tuscany countryside (search for Tuscany Bike Tours on tripadvisor).

6. I agree that you should pay Rome a visit too. The classics of Colosseum and Vatican city really really deserve some time on your maiden italian visit.

1. feasibility of itinerary
-> As Jarvis said above, it depends on train timings and your route. Looks doable though. Previously visited those cities within a longer trip, all by train.

2. Skip Pisa? Leaning tower not really worth it?
-> Worth a short stopover on the way from one city to another. Stopped there for about two hours on the way from Cinque Terre to Florence.

3. If you cld pick 3/5 cinque terre locales, which wld u pick? Stay where as base best there?
-> Monterosso, although all except the first one (upon arrival) seem decent. The local train connects all of them well enough.

4. Florence really need 3 days as most have posted?
-> Depends on what you want to see, although in view of the crowds and queues, 3 days is necessary if you want to see the key attractions and chill a bit.

5. Is Bologna a good stop along the train route frm Pisa to Venice? Heard food is great? Any other reason to visit?
-> IMHO, nope.

6. If choose another stop, any suggestions? Lucca, Siena, Ravenna, Verona?
-> Not going to visit Rome this time ?

7. Not driving so not a good idea for Tuscan countryside detour?
-> Inconvenient, although day tour arrangements can be made.

8. Pisa to Venice Train route can book on Trenitalia in advance? All others can book at stations there?
-> Yes to both. Should be able to get considerably lower fares if you book in advance, although that obviously hamstrings your flexibility.

9. Things to eat n see at above places?
-> Really too many to list, although Wikitravel has good and suitable coverage for a relatively short trip like yours.
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:17 PM   #6
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Guys what is the weather like early to mid Sept for Italy? How safe is Rome? Heard stories of daylight robberies.
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:57 PM   #7
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Guys what is the weather like early to mid Sept for Italy? How safe is Rome? Heard stories of daylight robberies.
Now still quite warm as in August. I went there on November and it was quite cooling. Cold as the winds blow on u.

Of all the European cities I visited. I find Rome is one of the most unsafe cities. I always to stick to crowded places when the night comes.

In the train stations around Rome . I felt Those gypsies were aiming to rob or tried to pickpocket me ,however as the weather is cool and with my important procession hiding under my jacket. Is not easy for them but always on guard. while I was buying the train ticket. They were aiming to take the loose changes. Other than that. Italians are much friendly than other Europeans and Rome is full of historical building that shouldn't be missed.

I feel over in Europe. robbers would only choose to rob unguarded, lost and flashy tourists. They don't pick up to rob someone randomly.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:57 PM   #8
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This website might be helpful

http://www.italythisway.com
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:19 PM   #9
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This might be useful. Just be wary. Quite often they work in a group. One guy to distract, one/two to cover and one to steal.

http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/eu...y-4685875.html
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:12 AM   #10
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weather is always unpredictable. Sept should theoretically be relatively warm (teens - low twenties) but these days you can get freak weather anytime if there's a weather front. so check closer to that time. Plenty of websites and apps you can check forecasts.

Yes, compared to many other European cities, Rome is a bit less safe and there's more scams there. But just take the usual precautions and you should be fine. If people approach you on the streets speaking English, pretend to be from China and don't understand them.... If they speak Chinese, pretend you don't understand.... if you get people going up to you to ask you for directions or things, antenna up because you're obviously a tourist so why would anyone ask a tourist (who is presumably just as lost) for directions?
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:19 AM   #11
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Yes, compared to many other European cities, Rome is a bit less safe and there's more scams there. But just take the usual precautions and you should be fine. If people approach you on the streets speaking English, pretend to be from China and don't understand them.
I went to Rome alone and I think it is a lot safer than other parts of Italy,like Naples. If a gypsy approach you,just ignore them or be firm with them when they ask you to sign a petition or sell jewellery to you. As for pickpockets,so long you carry your valuables in a sling bag and keep an eye on your bag at all times, it should be fine and you won't be pickpocketed.

Last edited by Gerridin; 11-08-2017 at 08:30 AM..
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:15 AM   #12
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watch out for pickpockets on the train too. a husband and wife duo asked me if i needed help with my luggage. later on, they came back with my wallet in their hands, asking for a reward for bringing it back.
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Old 28-01-2018, 05:01 PM   #13
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The pick-pocketing situation is horrible.

In all our trips to Italy, there have been near-misses. My wife got attempted at least twice when we went to Rome. Fortunately, the pickpockets (all very well dressed) only managed to steal tissue paper.

My Dad also got attempted on, while on the train. The pickpockets are very devious. They work in groups. One or two of them will distract you, while the other makes an attempt.
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Old 29-01-2018, 09:48 AM   #14
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The pick-pocketing situation is horrible.

In all our trips to Italy, there have been near-misses. My wife got attempted at least twice when we went to Rome. Fortunately, the pickpockets (all very well dressed) only managed to steal tissue paper.

My Dad also got attempted on, while on the train. The pickpockets are very devious. They work in groups. One or two of them will distract you, while the other makes an attempt.
share leh how they distract you.
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Old 13-03-2018, 04:52 PM   #15
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Don't spend so many days in florence, 2 days is enough to see everything! (also be careful of some people there dressed as statues - they'll try to grab your hand and kiss it, then ask you to pay!) i just ran away.
If you have time, spend more time in Rome
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