There are many itinerary ideas available for Italy, so why not one more? (This itinerary was for two travelers who both like history and hiking. My traveling companion had never been to Italy and had not traveled much.) Note: Italy today is not the Italy of 30 years ago; I recommend you book ahead to avoid lines. Best train prices were found when purchased at more than a month in advance and by purchasing the two tickets together. (The basil gelato was surprisingly good.) Here is our 25-day itinerary, which worked well.
Friday, May 1
arrive in ROMA @11:05 am This is May Day, a holiday.
Lodging: BLUE HOSTEL (4 nights)
Borghese Gallery (Timed entry at 4:30pm)
Saturday, May 2 ROMA
PrePAID 3-hr walking tour, Collosseum and ancient Rome 9-12:30
LUNCH & the National Roman Museum – Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
Sunday, May 3 ROMA
Centrale Montmartini (sculpture museum in an old energy plant)
LUNCH & Capitoline Museums (Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Venezia)
Monday, May 4 ROMA
PrePAID Vatican 3-hr tour at 9am
Lunch, & the MAXXI, (modern art museum)
Tuesday, May 5
Take train to airport Hertz reserved RENTAL CAR and drive 3 hours to ABRUZZO region.
Lunch and a wander about in Pescaseroli and onto SULMONA
B&B Sei Stelle (2 nights)
Wednesday, May 6
AM-Sulmona town market, then off to Pescocostanza for lunch & ending the day with a walk about chasm at Fara San Martino.
Thursday, May 7
CHIETI, see MUSEO Archeologico Nazional dell Abruzzo
On to PESCARA, Lunch and see MUSEO delle Genti d’Abruzzo, art museums…
Overnight in PESCARA at the Hotel Alba (1 night)
Friday, May 8
Swim in the ocean from the city beach.
From Pescara, drive north along coast two hours to the MARCHE region.
And see MUSEO Archeologico Nazionale delle Marche at ANCONA.
Return Hertz car to Falconara Airport; taxi to Le Stazione Centrale; TRAIN to BOLOGNA
Lodging – Hotel Centrale (2 nights)
Hike to the top of San Luca; Eat all the Bolognese specialties!
Saturday, May 9 BOLOGNA
–Palazzo Pepoli & the Museo della Storia di Bologna
-Free university museums in Palazzo Poggi
Sunday, May 10
Morning TRAIN from Bologna Centrale, arrives VENEZIA S. Lucia. GET FERRY PASS.
Booked for Free 4pm walking tour from Campo San Geremia
Doge Palace (Palazzo Ducale)
Lodging: Foresteria Valdese Venezia (2 nights)
Monday, May 11 VENEZIA
Guggenheim Collection & Galleria Dell Accademie
St. Mark’s Cathedral – PrePAID Voucher for two to enter at 4:05-4:15pm
PrePAID Gondola group ride with serenade STARTS 6:30PM
Tuesday, May 12
Morning in VENEZIA
Afternoon TRAINS to STRESA, Lodging: Hotel Elena (2 nights)
Check out hikes on Mt. Mottarone
Wednesday, May 13,
STRESA ….. on the Lake visiting the islands
Thursday, Mary 14
TRAVEL DAY! 4-hr TRAIN to LaSpezio and on to Cinque Terre village of RIOMAGGIORE
Lodging: two nights of dorm beds in Ostel Cinque Terre
Late afternoon hike, Corniglia to Vernazza
Friday, May 15 CINQUE TERRE
Other Cinque Terre path sections:
– Riomaggiore to Manarola, Manarola to Corniglia, & Vernazza to Monterosso
Saturday, May 16
TRAIN to FIRENZE
Pre-PAID 11:30am-COOKING pasta & desserts CLASS with lunch
Lodging: Academy Hostel (3 nights)
Academia Gallery – booked entrance at 4:45pm
Sunday, May 17 FIRENZE
Uffizi– booked entrance at 8:30 am
Option: two free tours at 11 (Renaissance) and 2 (Medici)
Bargello– booked entrance at 3:30 pm
Monday, May 18
Day trip to PISA by TRAINTuesday, May 19
Day trip to SIENA by BUS from Firenze
Free morning. Booked 90-min. Neighborhood Tour at 2 pm, includes gelati-making lesson.
TRAIN to LUCCA, 18:10 TRAIN option (need to purchase train tickets)
Lodging: B&B Antifeatro (2 nights)
Wednesday, May 20
LUCCA – Walk around city walls, take picnic breakfast
San Michael’s, Duomo, Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro, San Fediano Church
Concert (Italian opera-arias and duets) starts at 7:00 approx. at Chiesa di San Giovanni
Thursday, May 21
TRAVEL DAY!! TRAINS to Napoli Centrale via Firenze SMN to SORRENTO
Lodging: Sorrento B&B (3 nights) (P.S., We wish we had stayed in Napoli for first 2 nights.)
Friday, May 22
See NAPOLI including Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Tunnel Borbonico.
Saturday, May 23
Local train to POMPEII which opens 8:30 am, late lunch, and then 20 min train to HERCULANEUM which is open until 7:30pm. Pizza in Napoli?
Sunday, May 24
The SITA SUD SS163 Bus at 8am takes one hour to get to POSITANO on the Amalfi coast.
12:30 Ferry back to Sorrento, LUNCH
One hour Commuter train to Napoli & 2 hour fast TRAIN to ROMA, final evening in ROMA
Lodging: The Beehive Hostel
Monday, May 25 TRAVEL HOME.
This itinerary left enough time to be spontaneous but ensured we fit in what we wanted. Here is my reading list prior to departure.
Tattoo—Journeys on My Mind by Tina Marie L. Lamb is available on Amazon and on iBooks and on Barnes and Noble. Get an ebook or paper book now.
Buy it. Read it. And let me know what you think.
Questions Answered: The trip cost us each approximately $5,000 USD, including airfare, meals, attractions, lodging, domestic travel…everything! We used Dublin Air (economy). A recommended restaurant in Rome (2015) would be the VelaveVodetto Ai Quiriti.