Need Help With Itinerary!

“Need help with itinerary” is a frequent question on the forums

Paestum was a "must see!"

Deciding the itinerary is a difficult job! You can ask for advice, but in the end it’s up to you to research the cities and attractions to decide what’s important to YOU to see and do!

I was frequently frustrated with the opinions of certain posters on the message boards.  All of the “experts” thought my itinerary was too ambitious so I paid for a $50 consultation with a Rick Steves’ specialist, but it was pretty much a waste of money.

Many suggest that travelers stay several days based in one location and do day trips.  I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of day trips because I felt that backtracking wasted time!

Pompeii

I read the guidebooks to decide what I definitely wanted to see, what would be nice to see, and what to eliminate to determine how much time was needed in each place. It’s tricky to plan to being in the cities on the days that the sites are not closed. The RS guidebook was helpful in showing the operating days, hours plus how much time one should allow for each site.

My Original Itinerary:

The Coloseum in Rome

Days 1-3:  Rome (4 nights)

Day 4:  Rome, then Naples en route to Paestum (1 night)

Day 5: Paestum to Pompeii enroute to Sorrento (2 nights)

Day 6:  Sorrento – day trip Amalfi Coast

Day 7:  Train to Orvieto (1 night)

Day 8:  Orvieto to Civita di Bagnoregio to Siena (1 night)

Day 9:  Siena to Florence (1 night)

Florence

Siena

Day 10: Florence in 1 Glorious Day, travel to Venice (2 nights)

Day 11: Venice in 1 Glorious Day

Day 12:  1/2 day Venice, Cruise

This might have been perfectly doable, but Rick Steves says to keep the one night stays to a minimum.  So first, I canceled my reservation in Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio, and then I decided to cancel my reservation in Siena – adding extra nights in both Florence and Venice.

I was determined to see as much as I could and cutting cities from my itinerary was so hard.  Even now, I lament over what I didn’t get to see.

My Final Itinerary:

Days 1-3:  Rome (4 nights)

Naples

Day 4:  Naples en route to Sorrento (2 nights)

Day 5:  Day trip to Positano

Positano

Day 6: Sunday: Pompeii en route to Paestum (1 night)

Day 7: Travel from Paestum to Florence (2 nights)

Day 8:  Florence and side trip to Siena

Day 9:  Florence, then evening travel to Venice (3 nights)

Days 10 & 11:  Venice, with evening trip to Padova

Day 12:  To Cruise Port

Days 13-20:  Cruising

The Grand Canal, Venice

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