Mini Jaunt: Planning A Short Visit to Italy

rome view italy

Recently I wrote about how to overcome post-trip blues, but I didn’t touch upon one of the best ways to cheer yourself up a a big trip: planning a mini jaunt!

As I’m sure all my fellow travel bloggers will agree, it’s always best to have a new adventure in mind to keep your cultural side in tune and even that sometimes, you don’t need a reason, just a ticket 😉

When I was in Italy this summer I knew there was a lot more I wanted to see, so along with my boyfriend I’ve recently planned a ten day trip to visit Italy once again in February.

Flag of Italy

Artist’s representation of Italy’s flag.

What’s in a short trip?

Is ten days a short trip? I’d say so, but in other words it’s an extended holiday where you’ve got enough time to see several places – cities, towns, attractions – in quick succession. Less like a holiday, it’s centred around doing things and finding out something new.

Shorter breaks with multiple locations still need an itinerary, just like extended trips. When building one out it’s important to know what short means for you and how much travelling downtime you’re prepared to clock up. I’ve capped my own limit at three hours for February for two reasons:

  • It’ll be fairly cold in Italy before the spring
  • When I’ve got a travel partner I’m much more aware of travelling than when I’m on my own.

After all, I don’t want us to spend too long getting to experiences, rather than having them.

train journey

Start as you mean to travel on – fresh faced.

My route through Italy

In August my ten or so days in Italy revolved around Rome, Florence and Venice, the big three. In February without the 30+C heat I’m looking forward to getting more adventurous and a little bit historical.

Starting in Naples, the home of pizza, I’ll don a waterproof coat (most likely) to trek up Mount Vesuvius, which will hopefully remain dormant for a little while longer, before spending an afternoon in Pompeii, working south until we reach coastal Sorrento.

From a couple of days relaxing by the water, we’ll catch the fast train to Rome for a manic couple of days (read gelato, everything Roman and the Jewish District) before Siena and a quick stop at Pisa before the return flight.

View of Rome, Italy

View of Rome, summer 2015.

Booking tips

I’ve gone ahead and booked flights and accommodation all in one go, and well in advance to save some money. I go through everything systematically – but in a fun way! – so arrange everything for the first location, second, third and so on, marking it all off on a spreadsheet.

I’d recommend this way as you don’t end up getting your dates wrong and accidentally booking an extra night in one place and not enough in the next. Personally, I’d rather be organised and not have to worry.

visit italy

Line up your next trip, just like this artwork from Florence. Is this ironic?

 Research

Of my February destinations, I can’t wait to visit Pompeii as that’s been of great interest since primary school. In the last week or so, I’ve been reading blogs and looking at tour options and visitor photos to imagine myself being there. If this sounds like a lot, I’ve stopped myself at a 3D tour as I don’t want all the mystery removed!

Main points of research have been opening times, prices and travel times between each destination just so I know everything is covered. Looking up the temperature was also useful – as I’m a winter lover I won’t need to buy anything extra as I’m good at wrapping up warm!

I’ve also spotted that the Trevi Fountain in Rome is now back in action after significant restoration work, so it’ll be good to return and see it as it was intended.

coat

My coat plus travel companion. Who takes a coat to Italy?

Sit back and relax

After a big trip, you don’t always want to commit to another upheaval, so in comparison, short trips are a breeze. If you go ahead and book everything in advance, you can just plan the finer details at your own pace and start looking forward to it.

Right now, I’m glad I’ve got Christmas and the start of the New Year free but with this mini-jaunt in the pipeline. Saying that, I can still do more research as I sit back, so if you know any good sites to check out for Italy, or you’ve been and have tips or recommendations, I’d love to hear from you.

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