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Trip Report 3 weeks of Italian bliss...and extraordinary luck

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My husband and I just returned from amazing 3 weeks in Italy: Oct 15 to November 6

Stayed in the Cinque Terre, Firenze, Siena, Montepulciano (apartment for a week)
Positano,Rome.

I will attempt a full trip report later ...busy holiday week...,but wanted to post brief mention of amazing accomodations, in case anyone needs to book soon...

I say "lucky" for many reasons which I will discuss in TR.
Weather was unusual...no rain where we were,ever! we just missed it at each place it seemed.

Manarola in Cinque Terre: La Torretta on top of the tiny town was gorgeous,but tiny.
request larger room than standard. but lovely appointments,great hosts and fantastic breakfast brought to private terrace.even sunset wine and appetizers on terrace overlooking the sea
sadly..... towns are so destroyed due to mudslides....even people killed.
we were there only a week before the devastation....beginning of our luck

Firenze: can't begin to sing the praises of Francesca ,owner of Palazzo Alfani !!
deluxe suite apartment
location across street from Accademia, huge apartment in quiet back of Palazzo, such a helpful hostess for reservations,recommendations. Can't wait to return one day!

Siena: Palazzo Ravizza, standard room, with higher floor with view of countryside from windows. Gorgeous room of adequate size for 2 nights there. Amazing huge breakfast buffet. Gorgeous garden with overlook of countryside to watch sunset/sunrise
very helpful concierges

Montepulciano: fantastic apartment for a week from owner who lived below and SO helpful! Politian Apartments
Giacomo was a great host
fully equipped , large, comfortable bed, washer,etc.
Linens not that great, but adequate
loved location for exploring Tuscany which we did 5 of 7 days there
loved loved Montepulciano for a town to return to pre-sunset: great restaurants and also fun to buy local produce and cook a few nights

Positano: 4 nights and hated to leave!
Alcione Residence: almost don't want to recommend as it is a gem and we hope to return and find it available
had largest room with huge private terrace overlooking sea
since weather was sunny and sea calm boats still ran!
so we were able to go along the AC to Amalfi; see Ravello and return by boat
also took terrific boat with Salvatore's company (highly recommend) to Capri for the day and around the island
used boats to see the coast rather than the SITA
highly highly recommend La Tagliata for lunch or dinner: reservations essential
make sure you go during daylight hours to see the view: we took the SITA up to Montepertuso as it was the day, but they will pick you up for dinner from wherever you are staying. We had amazing meal, prix fixe, and then walked downhill about an hour back to Positano.... one of best days!

Sorrentocars (Ugo owner) for car service from Sorrento to Positano and then for ride to Naples to catch train, stopping along the way at Pompeii for 2 hours while Tony , our driver, waited for us. He was the nicest man and even was like a tour guide!!! helped us change train tickets in Naples!!! only 20E per hour to wait for us
80E for trip from Sorrento to Positano
120E for trip from Positano to Naples termini

Rome:
NEVER USE ROMERENTS to rent apartment!!!
only horrible, and I mean horrible, experience ever had with any accomodations, hotels or apartments in my life
photos misleading
only truth was location, which was good, but not worth the bad experience dealing with the screaming rental agent/owner of company who tried to add money to the CONTRACT she had us sign the day before we arrived!
she yelled at the Italian friend who even tried to calm her down!
apartment in Campo de fiori was terrible, but I would not have been upset had we not had the bad experience of her temper tantrums
also, no internet as promised!!! finally got us a connection halfway through our stay
AVOID this company!!!

had an overnight in London and stayed at incredible hotel (in case anyone needs one) : in Covent Gardens, the Waldorf Hilton: gorgeous room, wonderful people, and terrific breakfast! wish had more time there. walked everywhere!!!

that's the quick broad brush stroke for now
will come back to the Forum post Thanksgiving and add TR in appreciation of all the wonderful ones and help we received from great people on this Forum...
many thanks! appropriate for the season...

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