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Italy...the last weeks of planning our trip.

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Time has flown by since my first post here. I have been checking things off my to-do list here and there, but I can't help feeling like I am forgetting something. I figured this may be a good place to work it out. It's a bit long winded, but you all helped me so much in the beginning I am hoping a brave soul or two will "check my work"

Let me make these statements first.
~ Airfare has been booked for MONTHS, hotels too. I emailed the hotels to reconfirmed my reservations.
~ I've figured out which luggage we are going to use, with the exception of my day bag.
~ I've ordered the little things, like luggage locks, headphone splitters (for the plane), outlet adapters... Feel like maybe I am over looking something obvious.
~ I've booked a couple walking tours, the ones I had to have. (See below)
~ My transportation to and from each airport has been arranged.
~ passports up to date

Next, a run through of our trip.

Venice- four nights
I've booked transportation from the airport already thru alilaguna. There is a stop near my hotel.
I've also booked the secret itineraries tour of the Doges Palace.
I am planning to get my vaporetto pass once we get there... Bad idea?
We want to see St Marks Basillica but I have made no arrangements yet.
Murano, Burano and Torcello are also must sees, I am planning to take the vaporetto.

From Venice we are traveling by train to Riomaggiore. People have told me that I cannot prebook this because some of these trains are regional. I plan to book my travel from city to city while I am there, but I keep thinking I want to book this first train. It looked like I could prebook on the websites, but I know a lot is subject to change. I was thinking I would prebook a few days before we fly out. Or maybe it's better to book it a couple days before we leave venice? The train travel has me a little bugged out. As excited as I am for it, it's just so new to me and I don't want to screw it up.

Riomaggiore- four nights
I think we are planning to walk from the train station to our hotel... Need to look at the distance.
We want to generally explore and hike all over 5T. I need to get our trail passes...but I was planning to do that on arrival...is that the right thing to do?
I do want to see the towns from the water so we will take the ferry from one end to the other at some point. I am also planning to book this there.
Apparently on our first full day in 5t there is a Lemon festival in Monterosso. Would love to check that out.

Planning to travel by train from Riomaggiore to Florence. Will book train ticket while we are there. I was considering stopping in Pisa on this stretch of the trip. Since we connect there anyway. There is a baggage check in the Pisa train station. This kind of sounds like a pain though... Has anyone does it? If we did do this would we have to buy two different tickets. Riomaggiore to Pisa and then Pisa to Florence?

Florence- three nights
Once we arrive on Florence our hotel is in the center of everything. I am again thinking we will be taking a taxi to our hotel, it seems like it would be too far/busy to walk, but I plan to look into that more.
We want to do the Uffizi, the duomo and the Accademia here at the very least. I am not booking tours here but do plan to make reservations in advance for both.
I want to see piazzale Michelangelo, and the Ponte Vecchio as well.

It was suggested to me to take the bus from Florence to Siena which makes sense. I am planning to book this as we go. If I don't do Pisa on the way to Florence we could do it here too, or as a day trip from Siena (maybe adding another Tuscan town (hill town?) or two by bus.

Siena- three nights
In Siena I actually don't have anything major on my list other than the possible day trip listed above and exploring the city by foot, and just going with the flow.

We plan to travel for. Siena to Rome by bus, booking it as we leave. Then plan to take a taxi from the bus station

Rome- four nights
One day in Rome I have a walking tour booked for the Vatican and St. Peter's (against some advice, but please don't be too hard on me, this is what works for us.) Another day one of the forum and the colosseum. Some of the Vatican museums and Palatine hill we will be doing on our own. I'll need to make reservations for those.
I want to see the Apian way, the Campo di Fiore, Trevi fountain, the Spanish steps.
I'm also interested in the villa borghese. Reservations?
We are planning to travel by foot as much as possible, and by taxi some...possibly by bus?
My hotel has arranged a ride to the airport for us.
One more thing... I have been tempted in Rome to do a day trip to Pompeii. Walks of Italy has a tour that provides transportation, takes you to Pompeii, with a short visit to Postiano. I haven't booked this because know there is so much to see in Rome and it would take a full day. My husband is interested and it is affordable. I am worried that I will regret not doing it since it is so doable. This is something I am working out.

What do you all recommend about bringing euros vs taking out cash there. My bank has suggested getting some in advance. A travel savvy acquaintance of mine said to take out as much as i think i will need before we leave so to not have to pay higher exchange rates in Europe. My guide books have recommended just getting your cash in Europe but doing larger withdrawals so you do less transactions. My head is kinda spinning on this issue. What about customs if I bring my own cash, what are their limitations? I don't feel comfortable bringing ALL the cash we will need on my person, that seems risky...advice would be appreciated greatly!

So this is where I'm at. A lot is done, but there are still lots details to work out. If you made it through all of that rambling thanks for hanging in with me! Thank you for letting me process "out loud"

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