DAY BY DAY
For our trip to Italy this fall we've decided to visit some old favorites, Rome and Florence, with a stop in Orvieto, then we'll head 'home' to Umbria for a week or two. It's been a few years since we've spent time in Rome and Florence, and there's always something we we still need to see, or a special exhibit, or, most often, we revisit our favorite places again and again.
This trip will be a little different for us - we'll have a friend with us. The funny thing about our friend, let's just call her K, is that for years she was married to a man with Italian heritage, but try as we might we could never get them to visit us in Italy. "He" blamed it on his family, but I guess he just really wasn't that interested - in travel, in Italy, in us, who knows. Anyway, now that K is newly single, she's ready to see Italy and has signed on! We're excited to show her "our" Italy - yes, some 'big' sites for sure, but also lots of lesser known sites, things that will be new to all three of us, and the chance to just hang out with some of our friends, to see where we lived and what Italy's like if you live there, rather than just visiting for vacation.
The itinerary is still a work in progress, and we have the days numbered because we're still not sure what day of the week we'll arrive. If we leave here on Saturday we'll arrive in Italy on Sunday, which might be nice because it'll be less hectic. We might leave on a Tuesday or Wednesday if it's significantly cheaper, but we're too far out to know what the airfares will be - I'm still hoping they'll drop, but in this economy it's hard to know.
- Day 1 - Leave the U.S. Fly to Rome
- Day 2 - Arrive Rome around 8:30 a.m. Leonardo Express to Termini. Check in at hotel (Beehive). Lunch. Wander - maybe take the metro to St Peter's, or walk to Santa Maria Maggiore. Early bed
- Day 3 - Colosseum/Forum/Palatine Hill. I'm thinking the 3 hour tour, which includes the lower level of the Colosseum, plus the Forum, might be a good choice.
- Day 4 - Capitoline Museum. Wander through Jewish Ghetto (lunch). Campo dei Fiore. Pantheon. Pizza Navona (dinner).
- Day 5 - Borghese Gallery. Vatican museum??
- Day 6 - Visit with friends who live in Rome.
- Day 7 - Early train to Florence. Check in hotel. Lunch. Wander. Duomo. Duomo museum
- Day 8 - Bargello. Academia. More wandering.
- Day 9 - Mercato Centrale. San Lorenzo mercato.
- Day 10 - Walk through the Boboli Gardens to Pz. Michelangleo. Walk back via Santa Croce
- Day 11 - Morning train to Orvieto. Spend the day in Orvieto
- Day 12 - Pick up rental car and drive to central Umbria
- Day 13 - Umbria
- Day 14 - Umbria
- Day 15 - Drive K back to Oriveto where she'll take the train to Rome
- Day 16 - K flies home. We stay in Umbria for an undetermined number of days.
- Next to last day - Turn in rental car in Orvieto. Train back to Rome. Spend night in Rome
- Last day - Fly home
The places I have listed are just some suggestions, and of course I don't know if we'll do 'X' on day three or day four, for example, but I find it helpful to list all the places I want to visit, then see how they might work out logistically with other things on my list. For example, some places need to be visited in the morning, like markets, or in Florence, the Bargello. Museums might be closed one day a week, so we need to plan for that. I'm thinking that after viewing the Capitoline Museum it just makes sense to wander through the Jewish Ghetto and find someplace for lunch, then continue on towards Piazza Navona and surrounds, ending up back at Piazza Navona for an early dinner, and so we can see the artists and the fountains all lit up.
Am I forgetting something? Do you have any suggestions? If so, I'd love to hear them!