Planning an Italian vacation to maximizeize your enjoyment can be a fairly easy task provided you know all the tricks to planning and doing some research. The first thing to do is put everything on the computer not on paper just for the simple fact that paper can be lost and computers can not. To start the process off I recommend getting the travel guide DK eyewitness travel Italy. It is a great book and has just about everything you would ever want to know about what to see in Italy.
Look through the book for at least a few days checking off sites you want to see as you go then later list them on your computer in a word processing program like Microsoft word. Next go to Google maps and set up a my maps account because they have a great feature to use for planning. Once logged in you can plot the location of everything you want to see in each city, if you are only going to one city then it only needs to be done one time. After you have everything plotted look over the map, seeing everything you want to see on one map often give a much better picture of just how many things have been picked out.
Next look at how far apart the sites are and think about how much time you may spend at each one. Now circle within reason the sites you want to see on the same day. With that done you now have how many days you will need to see all the sites you picked out, and hopefully you have not picked out more things to see then you have vacation days, just remember you will need to use one vacation day both coming and going to Italy.
This is why the research and planning is done for a vacation at home in a nice relaxed setting where there is plenty of time to discuss what to see and not to see rather than in a hotel room frantically trying to plan the next day's events. With the sites put into groups the best thing to do next is go back to Google maps and plot the sites that were chosen to be seen on the same day on their own map and print them. Do this for every day whether the trip is for multi cities or just one city for the entire vacation and the trip will be so fun and everything will go much smoother. Without you plan on seeing everything in a certain order you do not really have to label each map.
Now that you have all the sites picked out and plotted and know how many days it will take to see everything (hopefully you have a few extra days left) it is time to figure out how to get to Italy and where to stay while there. If your schedule dictates a traditional vacation, meaning while school is out and your required to use vacation days during the calendar week (Monday – Friday) it will be difficult to find any deals on flights but not impossible. If you have no work related travel restrictions then all the better. Many travelers have discovered they can save money by flying on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday depending on the season and I normally fly in the middle of the week. After picking an airline or service put in the date you want to fly out and the date your flying back, most airlines now a day's post a date range with the specific day you've already marked as well as two to three days on either side to be able to compare prices for different flying dates. If there are no set dates that are being considered for the trip and you have time you could put in many different dates just to see what the prices are, often the prices would be very different between flying in the beginning of a month to the end of the month. After the research is over and the flight dates are picked it is time to find a place to stay.
Picking a hotel is a little different in Italy because there are not any hotel chains to speak of, most hotels are family owned and between 10 and 50 rooms. What most people look for in a hotel in Italy is its location relative to where most of the sites they want to see are. No one wants a hotel on the opposite side of town from what they are planning on seeing everyday so this will be a big consideration. Now find a good hotel reservation service there are about 20 in Europe and type in the city and dates you want to stay. After the results pages pops up you can narrow the search by price, star rating and sometimes location. Pick a few hotels you like and read the reviews to see what pasts guests had to say and choose a place to stay it's that simple.
Planning a great vacation requires some research and can not be done in haste so take your time and have a great vacation.