I think I just saved Christmas, errr, Italy!!

****I wrote this before several recent conservations with Lindsey about how many days she can realistically take off, our revised must-sees, etc., so the plan has changed considerably from this, but this article still has some good information in it so I’m posting it anyway. Look for up-to-dates plans soon!****

I think I just saved Christmas, errr, Italy!!

Ok folks, I know I said I was going to lay off Italy for a while so I could like my wounds from the budget beat-down that beautiful and oh-so-expensive country gave me, but let’s face it, I’m way too stubborn to just let it go.

I took a look at every place Lindsey and I really wanted to go, cut one of hers and one of mine that were really messing with the flow, switched the order around, downgraded a few places to day trip status and Voila! Success! Ok, so it wasn’t that instantaneous…I’ve been working on it for the past 4 or 5 hours…but that is time well spent if it gets us closer to our best Italy experience possible given our time and money constraints.  I’m going to show the timeline first and then the price estimate.

Day 1 — Travel to Venice

Day 2 — Explore Venice

Day 3 — Travel to Florence (direct train from Venice), arrive early afternoon, explore

Day 4 — Explore Florence and Tuscany area

Day 5 — Travel to Salerno (direct train from Florence)

Days 5-8 — Day trips to Capri Island, Pompeii, various town along Amalfi Coast (Extensive bus and ferry system makes this easy)

Day 9 — Travel to Rome (Direct train from Salerno)

Day 10 — Explore Rome

Day 11 — Leave

       The beauty of this plan is that it simplifies the amount of traveling of our previous plan by a LOT.  I would even go as far as to say it will cut our travel time down by about half and our transportation costs by about a third.  The thing that really made the difference here was realizing that it would be cheaper/faster/better to use Salerno as a jumping off point for day trips to Capri, Pompeii, and the rest of the Amalfi Coast rather than trying to stay at each of those places for a night or 2.  I wish you could see the mess this was before.  Almost every travel leg required multiple trains, buses, ferries. Now almost every travel leg has just one mode of transportation.

The price estimate is by no means complete because neither the route or the specific accommodations, activites, etc have been locked down…so keep in mind this is still just a possible route and price breakdown. Also, this is per person.

  • Accommodation = 20 euro X 2 nights in Venice + 23 euro X 2 nights in Florence + 16 euro X 4 nights in Salerno + 20 euro X 2 nights in Rome = 40+46+64+40 = 190 euro
  • Food = (based on the accommodations i picked, we would have 4 free breakfasts and 6 days at places with kitchen access. That is reflected in average price/day)  20 euro X 11 days = 275 euro
  • Transport = 21 euro Venice to Florence + 41 euro Florence to Salerno + 20 euro for 3 day tourist transport pass (more on that later) + about 30 euro to/from Capri + 20 euro Salerno to Rome = 132 euro (does not include local transport in cities)
  • Activities = Until I talk to Lindsey, this is impossible to give a good estimate, but for argument’s sake, I’m going to say 200 dollars or 156 euro
  • Accommodation + Transport + Food + Activities = 753 euros or 966 USD.

There are ways we could still cut back, if we want to. A day less overall taken from Salerno, our cheapest place, cuts out 41 euro just for accommodation and food.  Days 1 and 11 are not going to have activities per se, just transport to or from the airport.  Many of the places we’re going don’t actually require “activity” money…just Florence, Capri, and Pompeii, really, for a wine tour, maybe an island scooter rental and entrance fees.  Everywhere else, I’d be more than content to walk around and connect with the people, culture, and traditions of the place I’m visiting.  Also, there are so many free *and awesome* sites/attractions/activities in Italy, we’d be crazy not to take advantage of them.  So there you have it. A *somewhat* realistic projection of what we will be spending on what during our time in Italy.  We might cut this down even further depending on how many days Lindsey can take off from work.

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