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10 Day Trip starting in Rome, ending in Zurich

10 Day Trip starting in Rome, ending in Zurich

Apr 12th, 2013, 06:55 AM
  #21  
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Ellenem, I have thought about it, and Cinque Terre can wait for the next vacation. The top of my list is Rome, Venice, and Florence. I was only told recently about visiting the lake region, but I've heard great things about it.

To Neckervd, I like that itinerary a lot for the last few days. I just want to see if doing the Bernina Express is worth it. I know it has great reviews, but if I got to Lake Como on the evening of 6/20, I'd really enjoy just staying the whole next day there then taking the train directly to Zurich from there during the morning on 6/22. Then there'd be some downtime toward the end of the trip, which may be greatly appreciated.

Lastly, my final option, which really eliminates the lake region, but gives me more time in Italian cities is this:

Leave Venice on 6/21 for Zurich (via Milan/Como, which seems to be quickest), still get a nice ride through the Alps, albeit on a faster train, and have a final day in Zurich.

I think the beginning of my trip will work well, I'm just trying to figure out the itinerary from Venice to Zurich. I don't want to miss out on anything in Rome, Venice, or Florence. One thing to note, it's myself (in my 20s) and my girlfriend (also in 20s). We're both in good shape and don't mind walking around a lot in a day.
BradCurry16 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2013, 07:03 AM
  #22  
 
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>>>MULTI LEG FLIGHT Australia - Rome and back from Zurich CHEAPER than Australia - ROME AND BACK?
That's the first time a hear that, but one can obviously always learn something more.<<<

Fares from my area are often cheaper to Zurich, but usually not as much as the OP's (more like $100 or so). I can also find FF tickets for low mileage to Zurich when I can't get them to Milan or Rome. If using Zurich for Italy, you have to factor in all the extra transport costs, waste of vacation time and the very high prices in Switzerland.
kybourbon is online now  
Apr 12th, 2013, 07:15 AM
  #23  
 
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One suggestion: if you have a rental car for Tuscany, just drive to Venice. Otherwise you'll pay for the car that day AND for train tickets. And dropping a car in central Florence is not easy; you chance happening on a ZTL, a locals-only driving zone, with heavy fines.

Your girl friend will appreciate your keeping Venice on your itinerary. It's the most romantic of cities. On your third day there, you could take the vaporetto (water bus) to some of the islands in the lagon, like Burano and Murano.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 12th, 2013, 12:27 PM
  #24  
 
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And dropping a car in central Florence is not easy; you chance happening on a ZTL, a locals-only driving zone, with heavy fines.>

A good place to drop a car in Florence is at either of the town's two secondary mainline train stations - Rifredi or Campo di Marte (sp?) - assuming they have car rental agencies - I think Rifredi would as many trains stop there and not at the main S M N station in Florence.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 13th, 2013, 05:42 AM
  #25  
 
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So you may leave Varenna June 22nd at 15.24 and arrive at Zurich at 21.20. Change at Colico, Chiavenna, Splugen, Chur and Sargans.

You may also travel via Lugano: Varenna dp 16.25 - Menaggio dp 17.05 - Lugano dp 19.12 - Zurich ar 21.51
But be aware that, coming from Italy, you would regret too strand to early at Zurich.
neckervd is online now  
Apr 13th, 2013, 06:01 AM
  #26  
 
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"Fares from my area are often cheaper to Zurich"
Under these circumstances it might be useful to know that low cost fares from Naples and Rome to Zurich and Basel start at about 70 EUR (incl 1 piece of checked in luggage)
http://www.meridiana.it/
http://www.easyjet.com/
neckervd is online now  
Apr 13th, 2013, 10:09 AM
  #27  
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NeckerVD, what did you mean by saying "coming from Italy, you would regret to strand too early in Zurich?"

I feel like I want to spend a majority of the time between Rome, Florence, and Venice. I think leaving Venice for lake maggiore/Lake Como on the 21 would put me there by late afternoon, still giving me time to enjoy the lake. Then head to Zurich early on the 22nd. If my companion doesn't care having that travel for the last days, does that look like a good itinerary?

Proposed: Rome 12-14, Florence/Tuscany: 15-17, Venice: 18-20. Then 21 and 22 as outlined above. (Assume I'm headed to the proposed next location the morning of the next day, ex: depart to Florence on 15th in the AM
BradCurry16 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2013, 12:40 PM
  #28  
 
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NeckerVD, what did you mean by saying "coming from Italy, you would regret to strand too early in Zurich?">

Yes indeedy - what does he/she mean?
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 14th, 2013, 08:52 PM
  #29  
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Any advice on hotels in Venice and Rome? Where to stay to be close to train station, but still close to not have a haul to get places?
BradCurry16 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2013, 01:43 AM
  #30  
 
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In my opinion, there is a lot to see in Italy (and even between the Italian border and Zurich)but there is not much to do or to see at Zurich (unless you are particularly interested in some Zurich museums). Personally, I would be really frustrated if I had to kill my time in boring Zurich instead of having stayed longer in beautiful Northern Italy/Ticino.
But that's my personal opinion. It's not forbidden to prefer Lake Zurich to Lake Como, Fraumunster to Duomo di Milano, Meilen to Morcote or Ufenau Island to Isola Bella.

That's all I wanted to say.
neckervd is online now  
Apr 15th, 2013, 05:55 AM
  #31  
 
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BradCurry, what is your nightly budget for hotels -- in euros?

It's not necessary to stay close to the train station. Maybe, if you're only staying one night, but other locations, especially in Rome, are more central to the sites.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 15th, 2013, 07:11 AM
  #32  
 
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Assuming a lower end hotel budget:

For your exact dates, prices found on booking.com - all excellent locations:

In Rome - Hotel Teatro Pace (3 star) $220/night USD
Hotel Arenula (2 star) $185/night USD

In Venice - Pensione Seguso (2 star) $195/night USD
Locanda Silva (1 star) $165/night USD

Strongly agree there is no need to stay near the train station.

The small cost and 10-15 minutes spent taking a taxi/bus/vaporetto to get you AWAY from the train stations and into nicer, more charming, and more central neighborhoods will be the best investments you'll make on this vacation.
bardo1 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2013, 07:23 AM
  #33  
 
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If at Venice you stay in the quiet parts of Cannaregio quarter (close to the railway station)in hotels like Stella Alpina, Dolomiti,Villa Rosa, you can avoid a lot of hassle with luggage transport over endless bridges with endless steps or crowded boats.
neckervd is online now  
Apr 15th, 2013, 09:24 AM
  #34  
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In euros? Anywhere from 100-150 euros. I'd prefer averaging 125 a night over the course of the trip. I'm more privy to paying more in Venice (as I know it is pricey), compared to Rome (an abundance of hotels, many of which have favorable reviews at a good budge) or Florence.

Obviously, a lower price for great value is worth mentioning, and something that is even 175 - 200 euros is worth thinking about if it's something you just would not have traded about the trip. My main thought on hotel is that I want a good location and a place that is comfortable to relax in. Not too picky on amenities, though a safe is preferred (even a small one)
BradCurry16 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2013, 10:07 AM
  #35  
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Sorry... I posted that wrong. The range is more 125 to 175 euros... Not a big difference, but is a little different for the range of hotels.
BradCurry16 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2013, 10:37 AM
  #36  
 
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In Rome - Your budget will preclude you from most hotels in the Centro Storico for your dates (there are plenty of B&B's in the €100 EUR and less range, however). Here are some that are still pretty central and in nice areas - prices (from booking.com) again for your particular dates

Hotel Locanda Carmel in (the good part of) Trastevere €115/night EUR

Hotel Fellini (near the Trevi Fountain) €130/night EUR

Hotel costs in the parts of Rome you'll want to be in are on par with those in Venice - hotels in Florence are much less, however. Also, since Florence is much smaller (it's 1/10th the population of Rome), almost all hotels are walking distance to all tourist sites.

---

In Venice -

Locanda Silva - again - (in Castello) €125/night EUR

Hotel Al Vagon (in Cannaregio) €130/night EUR
bardo1 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2013, 01:34 PM
  #37  
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Would it be bad to stay in a B&B? Or is that just personal preference for me?
BradCurry16 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 06:06 AM
  #38  
 
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No, a B&B would be perfectly fine. I find B&Bs more friendly than big, full-service hotels. bardo looked at booking.com. That's a good site; reviews only from people who actually booked and stayed at the hotel/B&B -- as opposed to the owner, his friends and family. You might cross-compare with tripadvisor.com and venere.com.

In Venice be sure you're in Venice proper, not Mestre or points west and not the Lido. Staying in Venice proper is an important part of the experience: no cars or trucks, no vespas zipping by, in fact, no roads, just canals, lapping water and assorted boats. Visiting in the (almost) high season as you are, I'd also avoid the areas around the Piazza San Marco and the Rialto. They get very crowded during the day. Fortunately Venice is small and very walkable. You can take the vaporetto, the water bus, to get back to the train station.

In Rome stay in the area around the Campo dei Fiori/Piazza Navona/Pantheon and maybe the Spanish Steps. Though, again, it gets very crowded around the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain.

To get back to the train station in Rome, you can take the bus. But watch out for pickpockets; that bus is famous for them.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 07:36 AM
  #39  
 
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Brad, since you have so little time, and you are young- your accommodations are for sleeping/showering only. In that case, it hardly matters whether you're in a B&B, hotel or apartment.

Unfortunately, your stays are too short in any city to really consider an apartment. So, hotel or B&B's are good.

Regarding your idea of heading to Florence at night... I would do that. Because you're going to be very tired after that long day in Rome. If you go home to your hotel in Rome and collapse, it will be difficult to push yourself to get up early and depart for Florence in order to make best use of the time. And though it's only 90 minutes, you can certainly nap on the train. Just make sure your hotel/B&B in Florence knows that you will be arriving late in the evening. With this plan, you will wake up in Florence and be refreshed and ready to hit the street.

Regarding Florence and a "day trip" into Tuscany. First, you should realize that there is more than enough to see/do in Florence with just 3 days. This is the birthplace of the renaissance. Home to Galileo, DaVinci, Michelangelo, the Medici. Don't miss Santa Croce, the church near city center where you can see the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Rossini, etc. Fabulous. Besides the Duomo and Baptistry (1/2 day to see both and go up to the dome), there is San Lorenzo (another fabulous church) that includes the private Medici chapel, the Central Market, shopping galore (in my opinion, some of the best shopping in Italy), the Uffizi gallery (The Birth of Venus is worth a visit all by herself), and the best- Michelangelo's "David" at the Accademia gallery. (Your hotel can make you reservations for both the Accademia and the Uffizi. HIGHLY recommended at this time of year. Just email them.)

If you still decide you must drive out into Tuscany for a day, I highly suggust you hire a private guide. Compare the cost of 3-day car rental (usually the minimum) to that of a private guide. At this late date, I don't know that you can find either. But I can recommend Luca Garrapa at www.hillsandroads.com. His rate is about E35/hour. He can pick you up in Florence for an extra E25.) You will work with him to design yoru day. Do you want to tour a winery? Do you want to see the abbey at Mount Oliveto Maggiore (INCREDIBLE) and possibly here the Monks chanting? Do you want to visit an olive oil production site? Lunch in Pienza (beautiful views of the Tuscan hills), etc. You tell him what's high on your list, and off you go. Personally, I found it well worth the money- not having to rent a car, worry about where I'm driving, etc. By not driving, YOU get to enjoy the views too. An 8-hour day would run you about $365 US, with tip about $400. Worth every penny, in my humble opinion! (Add the E25 for Florence pickup. And, if you want only 5-6 hours, then obviously it will cost less.)

I love the Hotel Casci in Florence (I'm about to have my 4th stay there). Family owned and operated. They all speak English. Hotel is located on 3rd floor of a charming building that was part of the Medici palaces. Two minutes from the Duomo (center of town). Cannot beat the price or the wonderful (included) breakfast. http://www.hotelcasci.com/ Additionally, you can pack only carry-on, as Hotel Casci has a laundry service. You drop your dirty clothes bag at the front desk in the morning- you come back to your room in the evening, and your clothes is clean, folded and placed on your bed. Not a bad price, either (it is charged by weight). This "middle of the trip" service lets you pack lighter for your trip. (You will see on these travel blogs that most of us experienced travelers can make it to Europe for 2 weeks with only a carry-on bag and a backpack. With this service, that should be doable for you and your travel partner, both!)

There are dozens of good hotels/B&B's in Venice. Look here and at TripAdvisor. But you must book ASAP. Your pickings will be slim. You will be advised to stay in Mestre (mainland) in order to save money. I say nothing can compare to being on the island of Venice 24/7. It is part of the charm of Venice.

I am glad you are skipping CT this trip- I think once you've been to the "big 3", you will realize that you made the right decision.

Buon viaggio!
sarge56 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 09:08 AM
  #40  
 
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Excellent advice from Mimar and sarge56 above. Especially about booking something ASAP.

B&Bs are a matter of personal preference. They vary in what they offer - some actually don't serve breakfast (which is no biggie to me with all the great cafes around town). Also, some are REALLY small - like 2 or 3 rooms. The smaller they are, the less likely they are to have someone on staff full-time.
bardo1 is offline  

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