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18 days in Italy with NO RESERVATIONS? Am I crazy?

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Dec 10th, 2012, 06:12 PM
  #1
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18 days in Italy with NO RESERVATIONS? Am I crazy?

My wife and I (and our Shih-tzu) are planning an 18 day trip to Italy in June 2013. Done alot of research on traveling with our pet (and land travel). I've spoken to several people who have rented cars and they've all said it's not so bad, with the exception of navigating in the bigger cities. My wife would like to "jump in a car and go". We're planning on flying into Milan and then want to go to Reggio, Tuscany, Cinque Terra , Lake Como (where we spent 10 days, 8 years ago) and back to Milan to return home. Most interested in staying in countryside Inns, wineries or Villas (except Como; we're staying at the same hotel we stayed in before, in Bellagio) and taking day trips to the bigger cities (if we want to). Am I crazy to think that, at that time of year, we can just pull into a place and get a room. Our idea of a perfect vacation in Italy is seeing the countryside, rolling hills, wineries and small towns. That's the vision, but not sure if it's believable. We'd appreciate any insight, especially from anyone who has done this. Thanks
george1011 is offline  
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Dec 10th, 2012, 06:22 PM
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The thing is, small towns often don't have very many lodging options and the ones there are - are small. How much time are you willing to spend on your "carefree" driving trip looking for lodging, and pet friendly lodging?

It's up to you, but I would NOT do it in June. Maybe in the winter.


Buon viaggio!
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Dec 10th, 2012, 06:39 PM
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Yes, to answer your question.
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Dec 10th, 2012, 06:54 PM
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I'd never attempt this in June unless you like major hassles on your trip. In the winter it might work out fine, but in the busy summer months, you might spend hours looking for decent affordable accommodations, and some of those may be miles from where you'd really like to be located. Not my idea of fun.
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Dec 10th, 2012, 07:09 PM
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Yes, this is crazy.

Have you checked out how many lodgings will let you keep a dog in the room? This may not be easy even if you start well in advance - but to just wander around in June in heavily touristed areas with a dog is asking to spend time sleeping in your car - unless you have an unlimited budget. (That would make it simpler - but still perhaps not possible.)
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Dec 10th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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We loved travelling with our dog (but only here in the U.S. on road trips) but having him with us did limit our options. Finding a place each night might turn out to be a bit stressful. If your goal is to remain flexible, I would make reservations for which there will be no penalty for cancelling or changing. Then, if you find yourself someplace you'd like to linger, you'll be free to do so.
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Dec 10th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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I used to do it, but every summer, Italy seems more & more crowded.

Also, a lot of vacation time can be wasted looking for places and you may pay more for the worst ones, since better places tend to be booked during summer. At the very least, you should have a good long, long list of places, in every place you want to go, that will take the dog, and alternatives in case those are booked.

Frankly, I would not subject my pet to all the international air travel (I'm thinking you are going from the US?). I would look into all that is involved with that right away. If you decide to leave the little fur home, you have more flexibility.
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Dec 10th, 2012, 07:39 PM
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We spent June 2012 in northern Italy and most of our lodgings were full. However, nothing else seemed very crowded.
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Dec 10th, 2012, 11:46 PM
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You know, Italy is very expensive country, especially it's big cities, so you can spend a lot of money to find accomodation here without booking beforehand
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Dec 10th, 2012, 11:48 PM
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Would your wife still like to "jump in a car and go" if SHE were the one doing the driving and spending time on a site like this asking if the idea is "crazy?"

Of course it can be done and it is a bit difficult to have a mob scene on a shoreline as long as the one for Lake Como but I do not understand what the appeal is to flying somewhere that is rather popular in June and then spending a lot of time riding around trying to find a place to sleep for the night.
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Dec 11th, 2012, 01:15 AM
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A few years ago-during three weeks spanning August and September--we drove from the UK down to Positano. We only booked two nights, one in Dover and the second in Reims on the way out. The rest of the time we just stopped at hotels that we liked the look of and usually got in. This covered Geneva, Milan, Pisa, Rome and Positano.

On no occasion did we waste more than half an hour looking for a room and we always asked to see the room first. We stayed in both large and small places and loved the spontaneity of it all. The only problem will of course be the dog, but I don't think that it'll be that big a problem. If you're flying into Europe then I trust that you'll have all the paperwork for the dog?
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Dec 11th, 2012, 05:39 AM
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If it was just humans and a car and June (mid July to Mid August no) I would see no problem. If you have any fear at all then use booking.com on your smart phone while you are in breakfast to organise tonights rooms.

With the little Shih-tzu (apart from just the obvious question like why?) then I have no idea. Is there a website for hotels that love dogs?

I think you can find some much nicer places to stay in Italy than these old foggies (much as I love them) why not look at other parts of Italy?
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Dec 11th, 2012, 05:54 AM
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It sounds like your wife wants to do this but you don't want to just drive and stop some place. If this is the case, I would try it but have her take the dog and find lodging while you sight see or relax in a cafe.

Are you not bringing any information with you so you have some idea if towns even have hotels/pensions? I've found rooms on the fly but years ago and I had guide books so I had a starting place.
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Dec 11th, 2012, 06:03 AM
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Let your wife jump in the car and go.
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Dec 11th, 2012, 07:29 AM
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another thought re the dog.

What will you do with the pooch when you want to sightsee where dogs are not allowed? It will probably be too hot to leave your dog in the car. Even with the windows cracked it can get to hot for doggie VERY fast. If you leave the windows all the way open, you leave yourselves open for thievery of all sorts.
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Dec 11th, 2012, 07:45 AM
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Gotta agree with all the above comments. We too used to travel light; i.e., no reservations. That all ended the day/night we spent hunting down a room for the night and ended up in an attic room replete with bed bugs.

You are planning a trip during the height of the season. The person who encouraged you was traveling during August and September, long known as Italian vacation months when everyone clears out and goes to the beaches.

I would make reservations from home.

Carol
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Dec 11th, 2012, 09:08 AM
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We've done this, but less and less over the years, til we really don't think about it any more. Still, if I were not intending to stay in any big cities, and there were just two of us, I might think of trying it in June - except for the added element of the dog. i think you'd probably be ok in France, but i have no idea how welcome dogs are in italian hotels.

Have you thought of a motorhome?
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Dec 11th, 2012, 09:41 AM
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I agree with irishface. Not only do you have to find lodging that will accept the dog but you have to figure out what to do with the dog during the day as you sightsee. Some places will allow dogs, some not. And you can't leave it in the car! It is hot in Italy in June and hotter in a car.

I love my dog to pieces and hate to leave her when we travel. Nonetheless, I wouldn't think of dragging her along. Go without the dog and with hotel reservations. Nothing to put a damper on a vacation than having to spend your time searching for hotels.
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Dec 11th, 2012, 10:05 AM
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george1011

you are a true traveller. just go for it!
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Dec 11th, 2012, 10:21 AM
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Before you make a decision I would pick out 4 or 5 of the towns you are thinking of staying in and check which of the lodgings in those places will accept dogs. (And do realize that you can;t leave a dog in a room all day - but will have to take it with you.

At a minimum -

Check about 6 weeks out to see availability in the places you are considering

Take with you a complete list and contact info of places that will allow dogs

(I am a pet lover form the word go. But, IMHO a dog usually isn't interested in a "people" vacation. Fine if you are renting a cottage somewhere for a couple of weeks - but not trekking around cities and riding in a car all day.)
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