Thinking of spending a week and a half - with my dad - in Italy this April/May. Looking your suggestions for how to customize my trip.

I think I would spent at least 2 days in Rome seeing the more obvious sights plus some stuff at the Vatican.
I imagine a day in Venice, it’s an unusual place.
And a trip to the top of Mt.Vesuvius & Pompeii.
Civita di Bagnoregio looks interesting but that might be just a 2-hr walkaround.

I know there is a lot of other stuff but I need help generating ideas. I enjoy just seeing beauty - beautiful art, beautiful countryside & mountains, beautiful architecture.

Italy appears to have decent trains, but I wouldn’t mind going for a nice multi-day drive to hit rural areas - as long as there are lots of reasons to get out and see things along the way.

Where should I go?

What about heading south? You’ve got Naples, Pompeii or the Herculaneum, and then on to the Amalfi Coast. I think we did three days for that leg and it was amazing.

We got an Air BnB in a little town called Praiano, there are lots of quaint little beach villages. It wasn’t very expensive and we had stunning ocean views.

Also, if you happen to be near Termini (main train station), look up Er Buchetto, it’s a restaurant. It’s about nine feet wide and not much deeper. And they sell one thing, porchetta, you can have it with or without bread. It’s so good.

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Cinque Terre is really beautiful as well. You can hike between towns, some paths are easier than others and the train goes there. I’d recommend staying there for a night or two but it’s also possible as a day trip from Florence.

If you’re taking the train from Rome to Venice, there are serveral small and gorgeous towns along the way to stop for a few hours or the night.

What we did when visiting France and Portugal was find a base in a smaller town or rural location for 4-7 days that was reasonably-priced and do day trips from that location. That way we could get to know a region fairly well, buy the local delicacies, cook for ourselves and have some wine bottles on the go for the week, all without having to pack up and move to the next destination every couple of days. I have heard that Tuscany is nice but can’t vouch from experience.

You could bookend that with 2-3 days in the big tourist locations (Rome, Venice, Florence etc.)

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We had a house in Tuscany for a week when our kids were small and we loved the area. We used buses to get around but a car would have made it easier to explore some of the lovely hilltop towns as well as Sienna.

Ostia Antica is an interesting day trip from Rome for that part of the trip.

Venice is special: almost unreal.

Trains are excellent to get between major cities.

+1 for Ostia, and there is a nice little beach there if that’s your thing.

Florence is on my list. And Venice. And Rome. Hmmmm.

Not that I will ever actually go to any of those places.

I have to ask why you feel you will never visit any of those interesting places, especially now with the strength of the US dollar?

Travel does not seem to be a priority in my budget.

We did 10 days in Italy in 2017. Very good trip. Did Venice → Florence → Rome area.

Venice was great. Stuff in the city was awesome. Murano/Burano islands are cool and easy to get. Went to Lido beach was excellent. Probably the the best city we went too.

No issues with Train ride to Florence. Quick ride, easy to get to the stations and everything.

Florence: Decent. Smaller than I expected. Spent 3 days here but probably could have cut a day out. Galleria and Uffizi were kind of cool, but they are huge and we aren’t that into art stuff so it got a little old. Duomo was probably the best part.

Rented a car to go to Rome since we wanted to stop in Pisa. Pisa was cool. Worth spending a few hours IMO. Tower was cool but there are a few other buildings in the area to walk around in too.

Did most of the typical stuff around Rome. Went to Herculaneum instead of Pompeii since we heard it was less crowded. Can’t compare since we didn’t seem Pompeii. But Colosseum, Ruins, Pantheon, Trevi fountain, Vatican were all really good to see.

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In the end i decided my trip will probably look very similar - Venice, then probably Florence or Milan, maybe stop by Pisa momentarily, Rome, Pompeii/Vesuvius. On the way back probably a day in Barcelona and a day in Madrid. It will be a lot of transit, but my dad is 80 and although he is extremely healthy and will be fine on this trip we won’t mind being forced to spend 1/4 of each day not walking.

I considered Cinque Terre but a couple of the trails on the popular blue path trail are closed.

I’m always up for renting a car, having driven in France, Germany, and England (and Canada and the US). I think that swinging by Pisa might mean slower trains and it might be just the excuse to find something else in the countrywide along the way to justify it.