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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Italy here we come!

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When I last sought some advice, my husband and I were thinking of pairing Bologna and Le Marche for our first trip to Italy. I'm not sure why I switched gears, but at some point I started obsessing about Umbria, with a few days in Rome. And thus a plan was hatched.

Over the weekend, I reserved a rental house in Spello for seven nights and an apartment in Monti for four nights (the Dolce Roma apartment that comes well recommended on Slowtrav's website and forum). Deposits have been paid. We'll be there from early to mid-May. We plan to rent a car at the train station in Foligno through Avis/AutoEurope. This will be our first time driving in Europe, so we wanted to avoid driving in Rome. But it means we likely won't get the car until our first full day in Umbria, as the agency will be closed by the time we make it into Foligno from Rome Termini. But Foligno is a very short train ride from Spell, so we aren't worried about it.

Now you may be wondering about why we went with an apartment in Monti. I realize that it's a walk from some of the usual tourist haunts. That's okay with us. The apartment is in a charming area, was very reasonable at 130 Euro a night and required no extra fees. The owners, by all accounts, make themselves readily available, too. So while we have never been to Rome, we felt it was a relatively safe bet. We like having that extra space and flexibility and, like I said, many Slowtrav members recommended it. I wish we had another night in Rome, but this is about our limit right now.

Now I just need to keep an eye on airfare. We received some 10% off base fare coupons from United after a long delayed flight this past spring. I'm hoping to make use of them for this trip assuming United's fares are otherwise competitive. Right now, my preferred itinerary is $1418 per person without the coupons, $1287 with.

We are very excited to say the least!!!!

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