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travelinteach

Itinerary suggestions pre/post cruise

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We are taking a 7 day cruise beginning and ending in Rome in 2021.  We have 2 weeks to travel and will add 3 nights to Rome at the beginning but are open to doing that at the end if that is better.  We need suggestions on where else to go.  We are in our 50's - 60's and in good health.  2 have never been to Europe.  We are also free to fly into and out of different airports.  Not really museum people but open for anything else.  Suggestions???

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How about taking the train to Venice at the end of your cruise?

I loved walking around Venice.  Do the touristy things like visit St Marco, visit the Doge's Palace.   You can take a trip to Murano and see glass blowing.  Take a gondola ride.  If you like modern art, visit the Peggy Guggenheim collection.

 

 

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You could train to Venice, as mentioned, which is a fantastic place to see, or to Naples, or to Florence, although the last two are a little  more museum oriented. You could train to the Cinque Terre and fly home out of Milan...commonly a cheaper airport than Venice. 

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Milan is not only much cheaper, but a much easier airport to navigate than the zoo that is Marco Polo.

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Excuse my ignorance.....Can I take a train from the Civitavecchia cruise port to Venice or Cinque Terre or do I have to go back to Rome??  Also, your thoughts on going to the Amalfi Coast for our last two nights?  Can decide on going north or south.  Love the thought of both the places you all suggested.

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1 hour ago, travelinteach said:

Excuse my ignorance.....Can I take a train from the Civitavecchia cruise port to Venice or Cinque Terre or do I have to go back to Rome??  Also, your thoughts on going to the Amalfi Coast for our last two nights?  Can decide on going north or south.  Love the thought of both the places you all suggested.

You can research the routing on trenitalia.com. We trained from Cinque Terre to Rome, and the train went through Civi.

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Check out the rome2rio website.  They have terrific info on the best way to get from anyplace in the world to any other place, including trains.

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Posted (edited)

Your cruise may well include Naples as a one-day port-of-call.

When you research what to do on that day you'll find yourselves having to choose just one, perhaps a rushed two, places to go, including.......

Pompeii

Herculaneum

Capri

The amazing Amalfi coast (Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, etc)

Vesuvius

Sorrento

Ischia

Naples itself.

So the Naples / Amalfi area is well worth a week or more, let alone a couple or three days.

 

Naples is a little over 2 hours from Rome by road or frequent direct trains.

From the main road there are great views of Monte Cassino (and mebbe worth a diversion to visit), or there's the much slower but scenic coastal route via Anzio. Probably glimpses of Monte Cassino from the train

If you choose to travel by train, Naples (between station & port) or Sorrento give you the best local travel options. If you rent a car, perhaps base yourselves somewhere like Ravello or Sorrento (but wherever you choose, check out the parking)

Not sure if there are convenient direct flights from Naples to the US.

 

Rome itself is worth a bare minimum of two, preferably three, full days.

 

Just MHO as always

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

 

 

Edited by John Bull

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What is the itinerary of your cruise? That may help in deciding what to do during the rest of your time.

 

My first thought would be to spend the time you mention in Rome first -- Rome is the biggie.

 

After your cruise, assuming you still have 4-5 days, I'd take the train to Florence, spend two nights there, then to Venice, spend another 2 nights and fly home.

 

As to the Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast -- you don't say what time of year you are traveling, but the CT villages become a terrible crush of humanity during the summer months (as does Sorrento) -- these places would NOT be top of my list in July or August particularly. 

 

Then again, Florence and Venice are also uncomfortably crowded at those times of year....

 

 

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Our cruise is June 30 - July 7th and are planning on 3 nights in Rome prior.  Our stops are Livorno, Cannes, Palma Majorca, Barcelona, and Naples.  I do think it may be extra busy with Covid cancelling all travel this summer.  I have been to Venice but the others have not.  Part of me is leaning towards Venice then when I look at pictures of the Amalfi Coast that looks amazing.  Part of me says to go to the Amalfi Coast while I can still do the steps...I am not getting any younger!  I am really torn.  I will have to investigate flying out of Naples.  I have not thought of that.  Thank you so much for all the advice.  I love these forums!

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Your 3 days in Rome make sense, as does visiting Rome pre-cruise. Rome to your ship at Civi. is far easier than from Florence, Naples or Venice, and gives you wiggle-time if there's a foul-up in your flight out - you won't miss your sailaway. 

 

Florence is quite easy (though some distance) from Livorno.

Or Pisa is very easy for your Livorno port-of-call day, so you could leave Florence til post-cruise.

 

Naples has that wide choice of places to go, but if only one (perhaps a rushed two) of them interested you then the port-of-call day would suffice.

But on a port-of-call day, the Amalfi Coast can only be done by private / shared tour because the limited local buses and ferries make it impossible in the time-scale, and renting a car creates problems of parking and the driver seeing only the narrow, tortured, twisted and busy pavement of the scenic high coast road.

 

So Florence or Naples are both good candidates for post-cruise. 

At over 300 miles, Venice is twice the distance, twice the travel time. But if Venice beckons .......... 

I don't think the crowds will be much different at any of those places, but your dates are before the main part of the season. :classic_smile:

So it boils down to what interests you most.

 

JB :classic_smile:

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Posted (edited)

We spent a week in Tuscany a few years ago and had a wonderful time!  We visited the small towns and villages in the area from our AirBnB villa and then spent a night in Florence before flying to Barcelona for a TransAtlantic cruise.  We had one day to tour Florence (we did a self directed tour using a customized Visit a City itinerary) and we loved it.  However, we loved our countryside villa and the small villages we visited even more.

 

Next year we are planning 5 nights in Rome and one night in Civitavecchia prior to taking a 9 night Greek Island cruise (with an overnight in Naples, so we can do both Pomeii and  the Amalfi Coast) with a Trans-Atlantic B2B.  We are spending 5 nights in Rome since we have never been there before and plan to only take half day tours for the most part with plenty of time to just enjoy the ambiance of Rome.  We have learned that Italy can be tiring with hills and plenty of uneven surfaces and stairs.  We aren't getting any younger (We will be late 68 - late 71 on this trip!) and we enjoy it all the more when we can sit at a sidewalk cafe and watch everyone who is in a hurry scurry past us as we slowly enjoy a cappuccino or a gelato.😎

Edited by Sunny AZ Girl

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8 hours ago, Sunny AZ Girl said:

We spent a week in Tuscany a few years ago and had a wonderful time!  We visited the small towns and villages in the area from our AirBnB villa and then spent a night in Florence before flying to Barcelona for a TransAtlantic cruise.  We had one day to tour Florence (we did a self directed tour using a customized Visit a City itinerary) and we loved it.  However, we loved our countryside villa and the small villages we visited even more.

 

Next year we are planning 5 nights in Rome and one night in Civitavecchia prior to taking a 9 night Greek Island cruise (with an overnight in Naples, so we can do both Pomeii and  the Amalfi Coast) with a Trans-Atlantic B2B.  We are spending 5 nights in Rome since we have never been there before and plan to only take half day tours for the most part with plenty of time to just enjoy the ambiance of Rome.  We have learned that Italy can be tiring with hills and plenty of uneven surfaces and stairs.  We aren't getting any younger (We will be late 68 - late 71 on this trip!) and we enjoy it all the more when we can sit at a sidewalk cafe and watch everyone who is in a hurry scurry past us as we slowly enjoy a cappuccino or a gelato.😎

 

You have the perfect attitude -- enjoy your time in Rome. As you put your plans together, feel free to post any questions or float your ideas here for feedback. 

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so much you could do....Fly into Florence and spend a week in Florence and Tuscany area, train to Rome

 

Fly into Sicily...then cruise, Rome, home,

 

Fly into Venice, train to Rome, cruise, home

 

Fly into Milan, do Lake Como area, train to Rome, cruise, home

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Posted (edited)

This is easy. Fly into Rome and spend 3 nights pre-cruise in Rome. You have a port day in Livorno so instead of rushing through Florence on the port day, check out Pisa at a leisurely pace. Then post cruise, take the train to Florence and spend 2 nights there and then take the train to Venice and spend 2 nights there and then fly home from Venice.

 

You can see a lot of the Amalfi coast on your port day in Naples.  We were in port for 12 hours in Naples and took a private car to Ravello which was one of our favorite stops. We made visits in Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone and then hiked down to Amafli. Spent about an hour in Amalfi and took the ferry to Positano. We had a nice lunch and spent about 2 hours here before taking a ferry to Capri. We did an hour boat trip here around the island and then ferry back to Naples. This was probably a little aggressive for most people but we like to see as much as we can. If we could do it again - we would just hire a driver for the day and stick to the coast. Ravello, Amalfi, Positano, Pompeii etc. In our opinion, Capri was a little overrated and not nearly as memorable. (it seemed like 90% of passengers from the ships just came to Capri)

Edited by XuGator

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We have spent many months driving all over Italy (from Sicily to the Swiss and French Borders and enjoy most of the country.  I would not try to design an itinerary for somebody unless we had a better feel for their likes, dislikes, and travel sense/smarts.  I have some concern about independent travel when a poster says it is their first time in Europe.  We love (and often recommend) independent travel but that assumes the person has some travel experience and good travel instincts.  

 

To the OP I would offer this suggestion.  You have plenty of time to do homework and learn lots about Italy, its different regions, cities, attractions, etc.  There is a ton of info online.  We would also recommend getting a copy of the Rick Steves Italy book (his travel guide series is a great resource and bible for many independent travelers) and reading it cover to cover.   We are not big fans of flying around Italy and think that the trains and/or rental cars are better options (keep in mind that driving in Italy is a challenge for many).  

 

With 2 weeks to work with the OP might want to consider flying into a different part of Europe and then making their way to Rome (and ultimately Civitavecchia). For example, we once did a fantastic driving trip where we flew into Paris, drove all the way to Nice, and then took a train to Rome.  But one could also do that and fly from Nice to Rome.   A combination trip to France and Italy is very satisfying to many Americans.  

 

The other issue, that none of us have good answers for, is what will Europe be like post COVID-19.  There is every reason to believe that the virus will still be around in 2021 but nobody has a clue how the world will change behavior in order to live with this bug.  

 

As to Italy, if you are into major cities then Rome, Florence and Venice are the trio that most folks would recommend for a first time visitor.  Personally I love using Florence as a base to also explore the very popular Tuscany region which is full of wonderful smaller towns (San Gimignano, Volterra, Lucca, etc) and also has the rural Chianti wine area.

 

Hankk

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Also keep in mind that you don't have to stay in Italy. Once you are in Europe, it is quite cheap to fly from country to country. We took a 12 night Med cruise last Aug from Barcelona and then flew to Lisbon, Portugal for 2 days. What other places did you want to want to visit while in Europe? For me it was a once in a lifetime trip (19 days) so I tried to pack as much in as I could. 

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You most definitely do not have to travel back through Rome if you are going Cinque Terre or Florence.  There is a train route that heads north to Pisa.  From there, you can go to Cinque Terre or Florence.  We have done this a number of times.  '

 

One of our favourite stops along the way from Pisa to Florence  is the walled city of Lucca.

 

There are so many great places to go.  Train to Florence,  spend a few days, then rent a car and drive around Tuscany and Umbria.  Or move on to Venice.  Fly home from Venice or backtrack to Milan and spend a day in Como.   

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