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11 replies
Italy and Ireland in 12 days-are we crazy?!
rufareal
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My husband and I are visiting Europe for the first time ever in October, and we can’t wait! I already purchased our airfare (because the price was just too good!) so we fly out of Washington, DC on Oct. 1 and land in London on Oct. 2. Since we have never been there before, and don’t know many people who have, I had a few questions I am hoping you all can help me out with!

1. Is 11 days really enough time to do a southern Italy tour and a southern Ireland tour? Rome is an absolute must, but we also would like to see Pompei, Venice, Florence, and the Amalfi Coast. I was thinking of spending about 8 days in Italy and 3 in Ireland before going back to London for our return flight. I just don’t know if I am nuts or if this is doable.

2. We would probably be flying into Dublin, but can you recommend any places/cities that we should visit in our 3 days in Ireland? I think we will rent a car.

3. Is the easiest way to get around Italy via the train system? And if so, is it hard to cart two big suitcases around with us?

I hope my questions don’t seem ridicuolously stupid, I just have a bad concept of time (and space) and don’t know if I am trying to pack too much into 11 days. We really want to enjoy ourselves and not worry about checking our watches all the time, but I also want to be able to see as much as we can because who knows if we will ever have the opportunity to go back!
Thanks so much!!

augustin25
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Yes, it sounds really rushed and not too enjoyable to me. Seeing five places in Italy in eight days (with two of those days being partially given to travel in/out of Italy) is way too much. Rome deserves at least three full days, I’d say Florence deserves two, and I’d want at least a couple for the Amalafi Coast. Pompei can be done as a day trip from Rome, and some people say Venice is fine for a one day stop. Prioritize and cut something. Three days in Ireland will probably turn into two and a half or two when you factor in flights from/to Italy & London.

Cil
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I agree with everything Augustin says.
You could get away with one day in Venice, but that’s about it.
You need to cut something.
I would rent a car in Ireland, but maybe you could get by on the train in Italy.
However, if you take the train, it would be a very good idea to learn how to pack light so you will not be lugging around suitcases.

rufareal
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Thanks so much for all of the advice so far. I just wanted to make the most out of our trip over there, but I think I am setting my hopes too high. Maybe we will just cut out Ireland all together and devote our entire trip to Italy.

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Agree with the above advice. 11 days would be a nice Italy trip- maybe 3 in Rome, 3 in Florence, 2 in Venice, and 3 on the Amalfi Coast (with Pompeii included). That’s the minimum number of days I’d want in each of those places. Plus you need to account for travel time, and your first day in Europe you likely won’t do much sightseeing, as you will be jet lagged, tired, and a bit in culture shock.

Also, for 11 days, you do not need a big suitcase. A backpack or medium size suitcase is fine. Make sure everything matches, and you can multiple outfits out of the same clothes.

I am leaving from Boston, MA with $5000 for 47 days
Madrid, Barcelona, Athens, Santorini, Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Lyon, Paris, Zagreb, Grabovac (Plitvice), Split, Dubrovnik, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Sights
oldlady
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Train is definitely best for Italy. Find out the baggage restrictions for your flights between Ireland and Italy and pack to that. Overweight fees on economy airlines can be a budget breaker.

rufareal
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Thanks again for all of your help! We have created a plan and I was wondering what you all think:
Day 1: Land in London; fly to Dublin
Day 2-3: Dublin
Day 4: Fly to Venice early
Day 5: Take train from Venice to Rome (leave early)
Days 5-8: Rome
Days 8-10: Sorrento/Pompei
Day 11: Return to London

But my question is, is it WORTH going to Venice for 1 day? I have talked to a few friends/colleagues who said it is absolutely gorgeous, and others who said they would have been fine skipping it. We could also fly from Venice to Rome (1hr 20mins versus a 3 hour 45 min train ride), but I heard that the sights you see on the train are absolutely amazing. I would really appreciate any advice on whether it is worth visiting Venice for just one day. THANK YOU!!!

oldlady
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Venice is worth it for one day, although I wouldn’t rush out first thing the next morning — spend 1/2 day wandering to the train station through Venice.

Quote:
We could also fly from Venice to Rome (1hr 20mins versus a 3 hour 45 min train ride)
The train is faster than flying between Venice and Rome. You will spend 45 to 90 minutes getting from Venice to the airport (leaving from Port Roma which is next to the train station), 2 hour advance check-in, 1 hour 20 minute flight, plus another 45 minutes getting to Rome (ending up at the train station since that’s where the airport trains and buses go) from the airport. That’s about 5 hours, compared to 3 hours 45 minutes, roughly city center to city center, on the train.

IMO, Dublin is not worth if for two. I would skip Ireland if I only had two days there. Dublin is “just another city” for me and you don’t really have enough time to get out of Dublin and see Ireland.

DreamingOfItaly
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Agree about skipping Dublin. I don’t think you should skip Venice- it is a must see place, IMO.

I am leaving from Boston, MA with $5000 for 47 days
Madrid, Barcelona, Athens, Santorini, Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Lyon, Paris, Zagreb, Grabovac (Plitvice), Split, Dubrovnik, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Sights
augustin25
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If you really, really want to see Dublin go for it, but only if you can get there relatively quickly and easily so that you actually have a good part of that first day there. Get a flight to Dublin from the same airport you land at in London without something like 7 hours between flights.

rufareal
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Thanks! We actually got a really cheap flight out of LHR to Dublin, so I figured might as well take the opportunity to see it while we are over there and have the chance. I definitely think we are going to do Venice, even if it is for only one day. And the train seems like the way to go. The only problem is that it seems like you can’t book tickets until about 2 months prior to the date of travel, so it’s kind of hard to plan since it all depends on timing/budget. I hope we can make it happen! Thanks again all! Smile

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Quote:
he only problem is that it seems like you can’t book tickets until about 2 months prior to the date of travel, so it’s kind of hard to plan since it all depends on timing/budget.

Train schedules seldom change at all, so current schedules are fine for planning purposes. Any change that might occur will be minor, like the trains now leave at 24 minutes after the hour instead of 19 minutes after. The same is true for prices — regular fares seldom change and the same specials are usually available. If you buy tickets on-line, you’ll want to book as soon as possible (usually 60 but sometimes 90 days out) to take advantage of special fares which sometimes sell out quickly.