We are planning a trip to Tuscany and then our home in Campania. Tuscany is a popular spot for vacationers. Here is what we do before boarding the airline:
1) Get a general idea for timeframe. This is important to determine airline costs, clothes to bring, and sites to see.
2) Price your airlines and hotels. Remember saving a few hundred dollars on an airfare that adds 10 hour stop overs is not a wise use of your money. We choose Italian hotels but insist on private baths.
3) Pick the main cities you want to see. Don’t try to do all of Italy in a week or two. All you will see is the inside of planes or trains. Good size trips are a) Northern Italy (Milan, Verona, the lakes and Venice), b) Tuscany, c)Rome and Orvieto and Pompeii, d) Naples and Capri, e) Amalfi Coast, f) Southern Italy and g) Sicily.
4) Now look around each city on a map and see what small cities are close by. Research them on the internet. If you find a great city plan on a visit. Maybe it is to see a festival or a museum or taste wine.
5) Now list the top ten things you want to see in each place. More than ten starts to use up a lot of your time. If you are going to a major museum list the top ten things in the museum you want to see.
6) Determine how you will travel to each city and in what order. Will you need a car or go by train or plane?
7) Now estimate the amount of time you will need in each city. This is critical in doing the things you want to do.
8) If your total time is more than you can take, cut something out. If you have more time, add it to tight cities.
9) Make a list of hotels, addresses, phone numbers and costs as well as museums, etc. This will help when you arrive.
10) Make a check list of what to pack and what to do before leaving like Passports, Euros, turn water off, camera, umbrellas, etc.
The most important thing about traveling in Europe is to be spontaneous. If you find something unexpected, add time to enjoy it and cut something else out. The important thing is not to check off everything on your itinerary but to create lasting memories. Be romantic and enjoy the country that created romance…Italy!
City Passes sometimes look expensive unless you are going to see most sites included but can still be worth the money to save hours of time avoiding lines. City Passes usually allow you to go to the head of the line and have minimal or no delays.
Also don’t miss out on enjoying Italian life:
1) Try some gelato
2) Local wine
George & Jo Anne