After taking cruises throughout Europe the last couple of years, we feel comfortable branching out and doing a DIY vacation this year.
One of the places we really enjoyed was Italy. Anyone who has ever gone to Europe on their own, knows there is research involved. Reading Rick Steve’s guide books or other tour books, reading travel forums/blogs and asking plenty of questions helps in the planning. A successful trip, will take months and months of preparation.
Our planning started last winter. There were lots of things to consider such as deciding when to go, where to fly in and out of, how much is this trip going to costs, and how much money do you have to spend, what to see and do, and where exactly do you want to go. Narrowing down exactly where to go in two weeks was difficult. We started with a much different travel plans, but found we were trying to do too much in two weeks.
Using Frequent Flyer Miles
Looking for air fare using frequent flyer miles, was frustrating to say the least. After two months of trying to find tickets that were not British Airway (because of the $500 fuel surcharge), I gave up and used a service that specializes in booking award tickets. I will write about that in a separate blog.
The itinerary we ultimately decided on is not for everybody. It requires one to pack light and be able to carry your own luggage off/on trains, buses, ferries. If you have ever been on trains in Europe, you can tell the Americans. They always have the largest luggage which does not fit in the rack. They then have to stand in the aisle blocking everyone as there is no place to put the luggage. Watch Rick Steve’s video to get tips on packing and traveling light. You are on vacation, these people will never see you again and you are not going to the same place even if you wear the same clothes multiple times. Travel clothes can be washed in the sink and hung up to dry overnight. Taking sensible shoes for walking hiking is very important, especially on the cobble stone streets in Italy. Some of these destinations require you to be able to carry your luggage up many steps up the side of the hill to get to your hotel/B & B and moving every couple of days. As you get to know us you will discover this is how we travel.
Our itinerary has us flying into Milan where we will tour Milan, then spend a day in Lake Como taking the ferry to the different locations around the lake. Moving on we take the train to Cinque Terre, visiting the five villages. After a couple of days exploring the villages, we go to Florence for a night. Since we have been here before, we decided one night was enough, and it will help break up the long train ride. The next day we go to Naples. Once we arrive in Naples, we take a ferry to Capri.
We choose to stay in Anacapri, instead of Capri as it is the quieter part of the island. After our two night stay on Capri, we take another ferry to Positano – Amalfi Coast where we spend time four nights before heading to Rome. After two nights in Rome we fly back to the states.
Do you have any recommendations on places to eat?