Some time has passed since I last gave an update on how the Italy trip is coming along. While the exact details of the trip are still very much in flux, my parents have finally figured out what days they have available for travel, which is a small but very important step in the planning process. The timeframe available to us is November 17 through December 2. This isn’t the most ideal time of year to be visiting Italy, particularly the northern half of Italy, but it’s what we have to work with and on the plus side there should be fewer tourists than more popular months.

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With this piece of the puzzle now in place we can start looking at flights into and out of Rome. There is the possibility that we might be able to fly out on the night of November 16, but for now I’m assuming a November 17 departure. This will mean we arrive in Rome sometime on November 18. Depending on how the flight goes and what time we land in Rome we may or may not be jet lagged, so on the first day we might not really get anything done or we might check one or two things off the sightseeing list.

The big question, however, is how many nights we then spend in Rome before moving on. Having never traveled with other people before, I’m having difficulty trying to calculate how much time is needed. When I visited Rome in 2012 I spent five nights there and that was enough for me to see everything I wanted, but for this trip we might be moving at a slower pace, and we might also do a day trip to somewhere that can be reached quickly by train. At the same time we’ll have to come back to Rome at the end of the trip and we could dedicate a final day there to visiting anything we missed during our first stay in the city.

After Rome there’s a good case to be made for visiting Venice next, mainly because the flooding in Venice gets worse the closer you get to winter. Currently I’m thinking we’ll just be there for two nights, which is enough to see all the big-name attractions and maybe a couple of smaller ones. Hopefully we’ll get lucky and have decent weather with minimal flooding.

From Venice we’ll come back down to Florence for something like four nights. Three nights ought to be sufficient but we’ll likely day trip to Siena while in Florence, so I added another night to the potential schedule. Alternatively, I suppose we could spend the night in Siena instead.

We’ll have to return to Rome at the end of the trip but how long we stay there before departure depends on which day we leave. Because of the way time zones work, we’ll arrive back in America on the same day as we depart, so we could theoretically fly out on December 2 to maximize our time overseas. My parents, however, might want to return earlier to give them more time to adjust before returning to work on December 3, so it could be that we’ll leave on December 1. Whatever the case, I’m guessing my parents will want 2 nights in Rome at the end, just so we can have one full day in the city before we leave.

There’s a bunch of other things that could also happen in the trip depending on how the schedule plays out. If we fly out on November 16 and return on December 2 we might have enough time to maybe visit another city like Milan, or maybe go south of Rome down to someplace like Pompeii. Hopefully we’ll have our flights figured out within the next month, and once that’s done we can finally try to draw out a concrete schedule and start looking for accommodations. In another month or two I’ll probably give another update on this trip and let you know how things are coming along.

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