We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Researching for 2019 Visit

Mississippi
Level Contributor
89 posts
14 reviews
Save Topic
Researching for 2019 Visit

I would love to visit Italy in April or May of 2019 but don’t know if it is feasible given our travel preferences.

We are two seniors (mid 60’s & early 70’s) who enjoy travel on our own rather than a guided tour where everything is planned. However renting a car is not an option for us so we would have to rely entirely on public transportation. From my limited research it appears Italy has a well planned, reliable train system.

So I am wondering if the Italy TA experts think we could have a good holiday relying totally on the public transportation system. We would of course join day tours where available for excursions to nearby attractions.

We would probably plan on about 10 nights so I’m thinking maybe having three base cities. We would have to fly in and out of Rome due to flying non rev standby. Any suggestions for our base cities? Is public transportation about the same in all parts of the country or better in certain areas?

Any suggestions or thoughts are most appreciated. Before I get too involved with planning I would just like an idea if this is doable for us. And I will admit I am concerned trying to find our way around with the language barrier.

Thanks all for your assistance!

Mentioned in this post
Italy
Italy
Europe
Rome
Rome
Lazio, Italy
Best Seller
Skip the Line: Vatican Museums, St...
23,956 Reviews
from USD 71.90*
Likely To Sell Out
Waking Up the Vatican: VIP...
44 Reviews
from USD 520.60*
Best Seller
Skip the Line: Ancient Rome and...
12,074 Reviews
from USD 56.80*
15 replies to this topic
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
33,178 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Researching for 2019 Visit

Trains are best for visiting cities, and can be booked 120 days in advance www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en www.italotreno.it

Tourist class is best value and comfortable

You can use the Trenitalia site for excursions from Rome, Florence and Venice

Regions www.italia.it/en/discover-italy www.rome.info www.discovertuscany.com www.venice-tourism.com

Accommodation www.booking.com

Mentioned in this post
Rome
Rome
Lazio, Italy
Florence
Florence
Province of Florence, Italy
Venice
Venice
City of Venice, Italy
Mississippi
Level Contributor
89 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Researching for 2019 Visit

Thank you for these website suggestions.

Pt. Pleasant, NJ
Level Contributor
2,300 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Researching for 2019 Visit

Susan, we are doing a similar trip this year. (Flying direct to Venice on UA from EWR, then back home to EWR direct from Rome). We are in our late 50s (when did that happen? LOL)

I've been to Rome a couple of times on business and have found no issues in hotels, shops, restaurants, transportation with language barriers. I'm not saying there isn't some confusion once in a while, but that just adds spice to life :-)

We are doing our 14-night (plus one night flying from the US) via trains. I have found the Trenitalia website easy to navigate and have already bought our "supersaver" train tickets that will transport us from Venice to Florence, Florence to Rome. And we will do day trips also using trains, buses, and maybe a tour outfit for a Chianti Winery day from Florence.

In other words, with some planning, it is very doable. Go for it!

Mentioned in this post
Venice
Venice
City of Venice, Italy
Rome
Rome
Lazio, Italy
Florence
Florence
Province of Florence, Italy
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
973 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Researching for 2019 Visit

Completely doable, and don't worry about the language barrier. Tourism is huge and you can easily get by with only English, though it is always nice to know a few polite phrases, like please and thank you in Italian. Train travel is very convenient and high speed trains can be easily booked online. Seat61 is an excellent website that will walk you through all the steps of train travel.

Start researching which cities look the most interesting. Most people do Rome, Florence, Venice as a first trip. I have to admit I fell in love with Naples and I am not a fan of Florence. To each his own, and you can get a good sense of what you might like through watching YouTube videos. (Research like the kids do these days!). Three cities in 10 days is quite do-able.

One tip is to end in the city of your departure. So when you arrive, take the train to your farthest destination and work your way back to Rome. That will save you backtracking and travel time.

Enjoy your planning!

Mentioned in this post
Rome
Rome
Lazio, Italy
Florence
Florence
Province of Florence, Italy
Venice
Venice
City of Venice, Italy
Naples
Naples
Province of Naples, Italy
Mississippi
Level Contributor
89 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Researching for 2019 Visit

Thank you jtwiz and Travelbug68! Your comments make me more confident that we could pull this off.

I need to start researching and come up with a list of where we want to go and what to see. Is it a better idea to try to limit to Rome and points south or north, or is it possible to go in both directions with our timeframe using public transportation?

Mentioned in this post
Rome
Rome
Lazio, Italy
Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Berlin
Level Contributor
21,610 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Researching for 2019 Visit

I would say just go one direction.

There is a lot to see in Rome itself so I would suggest you just do Rome and one other place from which you could do the odd day-trip (like Siena and/or Pisa + Lucca if you stay in Florence).

If not Florence.....Bologna makes a great base for visiting other towns in Emilia Romagna (Ravenna, Ferrara, Parma, Modena)

On forums you will find recommendations for Naples and the Amalfi coast (the usual places people think of if heading south of Rome)

Mentioned in this post
Rome
Rome
Lazio, Italy
Siena
Siena
Province of Siena, Italy
Lucca
Lucca
Province of Lucca, Italy
Florence
Florence
Province of Florence, Italy
Bologna
Bologna
Province of Bologna, Italy
Ravenna
Ravenna
Province of Ravenna, Italy
Ferrara
Ferrara
Province of Ferrara, Italy
Parma
Parma
Province of Parma, Italy
Modena
Modena
Province of Modena, Italy
Naples
Naples
Province of Naples, Italy
Virginia
Level Contributor
4,152 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Researching for 2019 Visit

With 10 nights, I would select three places max, and you could go north or south, or do a loop. Read up and narrow down your choices first, as you will find the options dizzying!

In cities, you will not have language difficulty, but I would definitely learn numbers and polite phrases.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
973 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Researching for 2019 Visit

I don't think you need to stick to one direction from Rome. We didn't. High speed trains are frequent and easy. Just see what appeals to you most.

Mentioned in this post
Rome
Rome
Lazio, Italy
Puget Sound...
Level Contributor
1,697 posts
224 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Researching for 2019 Visit

My sis and I, both in our 60's, did this last November. With only 10 days and round-trip from Rome, I think I might concentrate on Rome and then Sorrento/Amalfi coast.

Mentioned in this post
Rome
Rome
Lazio, Italy
Sorrento
Sorrento
Province of Naples, Italy
Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast
Campania, Italy
Mississippi
Level Contributor
89 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Researching for 2019 Visit

Thanks to all for your ideas! Please keep them coming!

My first thought is to fly into Rome and immediately take the train to Florence area for four nights. Planning four nights there to account for jet lag and what would probably be a pretty full day traveling from Rome airport to Florence. From Florence go someplace south of Rome for three nights and then finish in Rome for three nights. Sound like a good starting point for further research?

One other question, my great grandparents came from Santa Croce di Magliano in the Province of Campobasso. Any ideas how our trip could include a visit to this area? I’m thinking we’d have to hire a private driver?

Mentioned in this post
Rome
Rome
Lazio, Italy
Florence
Florence
Province of Florence, Italy
Rome Airport Inn
Rome Airport Inn
94 Reviews
Fiumicino, Italy
Reply to: Researching for 2019 Visit
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted