14 Day Trip to Italy: Advice needed

Jan 9th, 2007, 10:40 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 56
14 Day Trip to Italy: Advice needed

My husband and I (in our late 20's) are going to take a trip to Italy in September of 07. We would definelty want to hit Venice, Rome, and Florence. I would also like to consider the Amalfi Coast or Capri. I guess as many places as we can and still be able to enjoy the trip.

We have not traveled internationally before so our experience of getting ourselves around in a foreign city isn't a lot. If we plan this ourselves, I think I would like to do some guided tours in the cities so that I know what I am seeing. Does anybody have a good itinerary? Our budget would be $4,000 + the cost of airfare for both of us.

Thanks for your help!
aloveindy is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,299
I love to take walking tours in foreign cities-it's a great way to learn about the history of a city, and generally get a handle on it. There are definitely good and bad companies, though-The Rick Steves Italy guidebook has some recommendations of great tour guides, both private (pricey) and group. Anyway, I'd do this kind of tour over the sort of bus-overview tour, where they just drive you around and you look out the window while they read from a script.

Don't worry about your lack of foreign travels. My first ever international trip was 2 months around Italy by myself and it was fantastic. You are going to places that have been frequented by tourists for hundreds of years-you will find english speaking hotel clerks, tour guides, tourist info staffers and waiters everywhere. Ther is nothing difficult about figuring out trains, etc. Again I'll recommend the Rick Steves Italy book-he is very good about coaching nervous first times toward being independent travelers, and he has very explicit details-much better than other books I've used in Italy-for figuring out trains, buses, airports, directions to your hotel, etc.

I think you already planned your 14 day itinerary! Be sure to consider whether you actually have 14 days there or if that includes your travel time. I'd split the time more or less equally between those destinations. You could probably fit in a day trip to the Tuscan countryside into the Florence bit, if you wanted.

I think your budget will be fine for this trip.
christy1 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 11:00 AM
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You'll have approx 300/day for food, lodging, guides, and transportation within Italy as I see it. If you can get an open jaws ticket, you might want to consider flying into Rome, tour around there, take the train to Florence for a few days, and then take the train to Venice. Fly home from Venice. As for hotels, we've used hotel points as often as possible. When that wasn't an option, I normally looked at Venere.com for suggestions or bought the Rick Steve's book and focused on his 'higher end' suggestions. In florence, we stayed at Hotel Accademia and were very pleased...great location, nice folks, good breakfast and had A/C. No elevator - just be advised. You'll probably be looking at 2-3* hotels which can be just fine. If you fly into rome, spend 3-4 days there (arrival day will be somewhat lost depending on where you're flying from...). We took two guided tours - one of Rome by night and one thru the Vatican Museum and St Peter's. Don't remember the company except we hooked up with them at the forum and they wore little beige bicycle caps. You'll get plenty of offers for a 'free' tour and then the pitch for additional ones for a fee. We just happened to find someone we really liked ( a young lady from Florida who was in Italy studying Italian/translation work). For a splurge restaurant, I'd recommend Mario's near the forum - small place, outstanding food, not on the well travelled path. We were in Rome about 3 years ago...summer. The florence train station is about a 5 minute walk from hotel accademia (150e/night)- we did it easily. Did not use any guided tours for that leg of our trip last August. Obviously, see the Accademia, Uffizi, Duomo. Ask your hotel to make the reservations for you for the first two places. As for food, we sort of winged it...little places on the street were fine. Also found a small-ish area a little 'north??' of the hotel that had several outdoor cafes in a square. That was very pleasant. You can do a day trip to Pisa with little difficulty on the train. Venice was magical - St Mark's square, the different churches, Accademia art museum, Doges Palace etc. We spent 4 days there as well in august 2006. We stayed on the Lido which I don't think would be as good for you...we had 2 teens in tow and needed 2 rooms everywhere we went. As a starting point, you may want to buy the Rick Steve's books, look at his itineraries, hotels, restaurants,etc. They tend to be well priced, good, fun. I'm not big on packing and repacking every couple of nights so even with 14 days (12 to actually be a tourist), I'd do three cities on the first go-round.
cmeyer54 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 11:14 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 56
Thank you so much for all of this information. Definetly think we need to invest in the Rick Steve's book and I will be heading over to his sight as well.
aloveindy is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,116
Hi A,

14 days is perfect for Venice Florence and Rome.

I would fly into Venice - 4 nights
train to Florence 5 nights with a daytrip to Siena (maybe antoher to Bologna
train to Rome 4 nights with a daytrip to Orvieto
fly home.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  

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