What it is: This is a ladies’ only 10 day trip of the highlights of Italy. This includes Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence/Tuscany, and Rome. The target dates are Sunday August 9- Tuesday August 18th. The target group size is 8-12.
Note: As per the results of my preplanning survey, the majority of the voters asked for an economical trip. For this reason, there are a few items in the itinerary that are optional. This means that they are not included in the total trip estimate but are available, should you so desire. These items will be noted with an * .
Day 1: A Trip’s Beginnings
Right now the flights I am seeing depart in the afternoon/evening and arrive the next morning. We will be flying from NYC to Venice for the first leg of our trip. There is more information below if you are wondering, “Why NYC?” In order to allow everyone time to gather and for us all to check in on time, I’m assuming that the entirety of this day will be spent in pulling everything together. If something changes when we go to book the flights, the itinerary will be modified as necessary.
Day 2: Venice
Arrive in Venice. Spend the evening roaming and dinning and finding our first official gelato of the trip. A possible walking tour to orient ourselves depending on the final budget and our arrival time.
Day 3: Venice, Burano, and Murano
Venice is not a lone island. It is actually part of a lagoon. We will spend a full day between Venice, Murano (known for it’s unique glass blowing), and Burano (known for it’s colorful buildings and lace making). Window shopping, visiting St. Mark’s Basilica, and roaming the nearby islands will fill our time nicely.
*Gondola rides are optional. A beautifully iconic way to see the city, but can be $40 and up.
Day 4: Venice to Cinque Terres
We will wrap up our time in Venice after breakfast and take our first regional train to Cinque Terre. The plan is to arrive in time for sunset on the coast.
Day 5: Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is a coastal string of 5 colorful towns. We’ll spend the day riding a train between each and roaming the cities. And eating gelato, I’m sure.
Day 6: Cinque Terre to Florence
We will head to Florence first thing in the morning to give us plenty of time to explore. A walkable city, Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance movement and home to beautiful architecture, piazzas, and cobblestone streets.
Day 7: Florence and Tuscany
* Seven days into a trip is always a good time to slow down a little. This day will be a choice between a free day to roam the city or a day trip tour to Tuscany’s medieval villages and/or vineyards.
Day 8: Florence to Rome
From Florence we will move by train into our last city of the trip, Rome. I’m thinking we will see the Colosseum this day, but that’s subject to change. We will at some point though, don’t worry.
Day 9: Rome
Our list for our full day in Italy includes the Vatican and museum, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain. I’m guessing more will be squished in there, but that’s the rough draft plan.
Day 10: Rome and Home
We will have our last espressos and gelatos and ‘ciao’s. Depending on our flight time, traveling home will consume the entirety of this day.
Setting Your Expectations
What to Expect of Italy in August: August is peak travel season and we aren’t the only ones looking to experience classic Italy. You can expect it to be warm/hot and you can expect large crowds. One thing I like to do to avoid the crowds is to take advantage of our jet leg and start our days early. The later you go in the day, the more people you’ll be navigating through.
You can also expect a lot of pizza, pasta, and gelato. When I was there before we actually went looking for a Mexican restaurant. Hard to believe you could get tired of Italian food, I know.
Also, you can expect to walk, a lot. As you may have noticed, much of our itinerary involves roaming. It is the best way to see a place that’s dominated by stairs and cobblestone streets. Plus, you have to work off all the carbs. Not to mention, we will be relying on public transportation. Italy is very walking and training friendly, but that also can make it tiring. You should be physically and emotionally prepared to walk six or more miles a day.
Note on the flight: I will be booking our flights round trip from NYC because 1. we need a place to meet and this is the most Eastworthy location with good ticket options. 2. I cannot book flights for you from your home town as you need your credit card to check in and I won’t be flying with you at that point to use my credit card. (aka, I’m not an official travel agency.) 3. I live here. If you want to fly in a day early or leave a day later, I can advise on accommodations, etc.
What to expect from me: If you don’t know me well, you can read about me here. If you want to learn more about my travel style, I blogged about my favorite experiences here. By the time of this trip I will have been to 20 countries, the majority of which I have had a significant role in planning. I do enjoy figuring out the details, but I also love the travel itself. Sometimes things don’t go as planned but my favorite part is when they go better than planned. So I keep planning and going because I love the surprises that travel brings. I’m excited for the opportunity to share these surprises with you and want to thank you profusely for even thinking this is an idea worth reading about.
What I expect from you: I expect that you are adults. I am agreeing to coordinate but I’m not agreeing to be a chaperone or a maid. I ask that everyone is considerate and responsible, that you ask for help if you need it, chip in where you can, and you don’t wander off without telling someone.
I always say that travel is a gift. It’s an incredible privilege and my hope is that we can all keep this in mind as we go. Gratitude and grace go a long way about half way through a trip when the sun is beating down and you don’t know where the nearest bathroom is and maybe your travel coordinator is scrambling to pull the group together. So, I am asking that you bring your gratitude and your flexibility because we’ll be growing together.
Luggage Policy: If you haven’t traveled much in Europe you are going to be surprised by my next statement, but everyone will be allotted one carry on suitcase and one hand bag/backpack. First, because we are being budget friendly and probably basic economy airfare. Second, because Italy = stairs and you do not want to be lugging a full sized suitcase over the bridges of Venice. Also, we will be traveling by train. You will be very thankful for packing light, even if it means you have to decide what you will wear before you get there. In light of this, I will be booking accommodations with a washer and dryer at some point on our trip in case you need to do any laundry.
$1450-$1650 depending on final flight costs, size of the group (if it is large enough for group discounts), and if you opt for the extra tours.
What is included
Trip Planning Fee: itinerary formation and managing bookings
Transportation: Round trip flight from NYC and within country travel by ferry, bus, and train.
Continental breakfast at our accommodations.
A sim card for phone data and calling within Italy. This will keep us from getting too lost in the city and from each other.
Tours: Tickets to the Vatican and the Colosseum are included as well as a walking tour in Florence. Tuscany day trip is optional. *
What is NOT included:
Your transportation to NYC.
Most food: Lunch, dinner, coffee shop stops, and gelato. Also, breakfast on flying days. This is to allow you maximum control over your food budget and preferences. I recommend budgeting an additional $30-$40 a day to cover this cost.
Extra tours, namely- the gondola ride.
Travel insurance (including health insurance).
The Payment Plan
If you have read all the way to the bottom of this page, I’m assuming you are pretty interested in this trip. Hooray! If you are ‘in’ and ready to make it official here’s the plan:
- Email me to Sign up and confirm your spot.
- When I have 8 ladies committed to the trip I will contact everyone on the trip with the news that this trip is officially happening.
- At this point, you will need to pay a $100 non refundable deposit that will go towards the total cost of your trip. If, for some reason, I need to cancel the trip, I will refund the money to you, no cost.
- You will also complete a form with your travel information and preferences for optional tours so that we will be ready to book everything.
- On February 8, 2020 the next payment of $1000 will be due. At this point I will inform everyone of the final size of our group, buy tickets, and book hotels.
- On March 15 I will update the final budget and the remaining amount will be due.
- August 9th, we will head out on the adventure of a lifetime!
NOTE: This trip is non refundable and any travel insurances that you wish to purchase will be additional costs to you.
There! That’s the whole thing! (I think)
To sign up or ask any questions, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Payments are accepted via paypal and venmo. I will share my accounts to receive payment when you sign up.