18 or 19 nights in Italy

Aug 23rd, 2012, 04:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Glad found the report useful. I am actually just now going through my photos of Verona and will post them soon, but there are photos of Verona from my first trip there (also Venice) - http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/image/102059658 The photos I took this summer make it look even better, I should have them posted next week I hope.

If you find a self catering for a decent price in Venice I would do as you say and spend 5 or 6 nights there. But if not then I'd spend 3 nights there and three in Verona, especially since you are considering Sirmione also. I didn't do a winery but the boat trip was very short, it's pretty large and doesn't go that fast. You can easily do Verona on your own. It's a pretty easy 15-20 minute walk from the train station to Piazza Bra which is the main square, with the arena and all the sights are easy walking distance from that. The first time I was there was on a day trip and I did get the Verona card and felt it saved me a lot. This summer I stayed in Verona for four nights and did day trips during the day and spent late afternoons and evenings (and early mornings) in Verona. It's touristy, but no where near as crowded as Venice so after Venice it will feel empty.
isabel is offline  
Aug 27th, 2012, 05:14 AM
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Thanks again for all the replies and links, which are very helpful.

I have found reasonably priced self catering in Venice, which has great reviews so think we will stay there.

I am not sure whether it would be best to fly to Rome on an evening flight or an early morning flight. If we fly at night we would not get to Venice airport until 10.40pm, so it would be quite late by the time we got to where we are staying.
The morning flight would get us to the airport at about 11.20am. I would appreciate any advice you can give me about best times to arrive in Venice.

Also what is the best way to get from the airport to Venice itself as lots of the sights I have looked at are very confusing or contradict each other.
Springermad is offline  
Aug 27th, 2012, 05:33 AM
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The best way to travel from the airport to Venice itself varies based on the location of your accommodations. Where is the apartment located?
ellenem is offline  
Aug 27th, 2012, 05:40 AM
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Take the morning flight to Venice. Arriving in Venice after dark will not allow you to experience one of the most beautiful sights - the first view of Venice from the Grand Canal.

There are several options from the airport. There is a water taxi, the Vaporetto and the Allilaguna - a water bus. I suggest the latter but it depends where you are staying.
mamcalice is offline  
Aug 27th, 2012, 05:56 AM
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So we have decided to probably fly into Venice and spend 5 or 6 nights there and do a day trip to Verona.

We will then spend 4 nights in Florence, 4 nights in Rome before getting the train to Naples and then Sorrento and spending 5 or 6 nights there.>>

hi springer - I'm from the UK too, so perhaps can help a bit with the UK-Italy-UK logistics?

but I'm a bit confused. in this post you talk about flying into Venice [yes, good move] but then you're talking about flying into Rome? - surely not both?

assuming you're using easyjet or similar [where are you flying from?] the easiest option would be to fly into Venice, out of Rome. I would also put the Rome section of the trip at the end, so as to be in the right place for flying home.

that would give you this:

Day 1 - arrive Venice. stay 4 nights.

day 5 - train to Florence. stay 4 nights

Day 9 - train to Naples - and thence to Sorrento. Stay 5 nights

Day 14 - train to Rome - stay 5 nights.

You could stay in apartments in Venice and florence, but it's a bit of a pain shopping and cleaning up for such short stays, and there isn't such a saving as there is for longer stays. it's certainly an idea in Rome if you decide to spend longer there, though eating out there is cheaper and the food is so good you might not get full value from it. your choice. i can recommend a very central 3 person apartment in Rome that we stayed in with our son a couple of years ago if you are interested.

as for getting from venice airport to the centre, there are various options - from two sorts of buses [one direct, one stopping but both cheap and reasonably fast] the alilaguna water bus [more expensive and quite slow] to a motorscafi or water taxi - very expensive.

most people get the bus to the centre of Venice [piazzale Roma - you can't go any further by land except on foot] and then a vaporetto [waterbus] to the stop nearest to their accommodation. your hotel/apartment owner should be able to tell you which it is and the options for getting there.

good luck!
annhig is online now  
Aug 27th, 2012, 10:03 AM
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Thanks once again for replies, I am not sure where we are staying yet as I have found several hotels and apartments which are in our price range and have good reviews.

Hi annhig,we are flying from Gatwick airport with BA.
We were originally going to fly into Rome and go to Florence, Venice and then stay in Verona and visit Cinque Terre and Milan.

Because of advice we got we have now decided to fly into Venice still go to Florence and Rome but then go to the Amalfi coast and fly home from Naples.
We need 5 or 6 nights in Venice because we want a day in Verona and also to visit Sirmione, weather permitting.
I think we will probably go in the morning as it will be easier to find our way in the light.

Also you are not the first person to mention how beautiful the first view of Venice from the grand canal is mamcalise. sounds like its not to be missed.
Springermad is offline  
Aug 27th, 2012, 01:59 PM
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springermad -if you are going to have 5-6 nights in Venice, then an apartment would definitely be a good idea. VRBO is a good place to start as they tend to have apartments that are in the lower price-range. if you've never rented an apartment before, things to look our for are high cleaning charges, and [if you're arriving late] extra charges for letting you into the apartment after working hours. good idea to arrive during the day if you possibly can, though most apartment managers will collect you from the vaporetto stop if they know what time you're arriving, and guide you to your apartment.

of course you don't have to cook at all, but you can save money by eating in for one meal a day, even if what you eat has been bought ready-made, or is a selection of meats and cheese from the deli. and wine, including prosecco, can be bought from the barrel - either take your own empty water bottle or they will supply.

you're lucky to be able to fly home from Naples - we usually fly from Bristol as it is our nearest main airport [not counting Exeter] and no-one goes to Naples from there.
annhig is online now  
Aug 29th, 2012, 08:19 AM
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Hi annhig, thanks for the advice re apartments we have been getting lost knowing where to look.
We wont want to cook loads but i think its nice to have the option, also we usually only eat light meals at lunchtime so a selection from the deli would suit us fine.
We are not sure whether to just stay in Venice, Florence and Rome now and do trips from these places as my husband and daughter do not want to be constantly packing and lugging heavy luggage. My husband is now saying maybe we should spend longer in Florence and hire a car and visit various places in Tuscany. I am not convinced as he is not great driving abroad and I think we will get lost and miss lots.
I want to do some guided tours but he is saying they are expensive.
Any advice on the above points would be great as I am not sure what would be best.
Springermad is offline  
Aug 29th, 2012, 09:05 AM
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springer -

my kids certainly prefer staying longer in each place rather than being on the move all the time, and I do think that you see more that way also it does cut down on the un/packing, but OTOH you may find that by the time you get to Rome, everything you have seen is just a blur!

however, you do not want or need a car if you are simply going to be staying in cities; you can do day trips by bus/train or hire a driver if you want something more bespoke. an alternative would be to spend a few days in Florence then move to the countryside and hire a car there. you can always take your GPS and use it there if you think that you are likely to get lost, though we have always managed well enough with maps.

We're not much for guided tours either, but the one place that I would definitely have one is for the Forum in Rome - it just looks like a heap of stones to me! [the tours are usually combined with the Colosseum - Context Rome are well thought of, though quite expensive, but it is money well spent, IMO]

hope that helps!
annhig is online now  
Aug 29th, 2012, 09:54 AM
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Florence does not make a good base for daytrips by car into the Tuscan countryside. In the center (which is where you want to stay) parking is difficult and expensive. And it's easy while driving in the center to happen into a ZTL, a locals-only driving zone, and get fined for it later. Better spend a couple days in Florence (more if you're huge fans of Renaissance art and architecture) and then move out of the city for your driving-in-the-Tuscan-countryside fix. You can rent a car at the Florence airport or in places like Siena or Arezzo or Chiusi. Or do daytrips by public transportation from Florence.

When in Italy we have larger lunches and smaller dinners, usually just gelato. Dinner hour in Italy starts at 8:00. This doesn't fit well with our circadian rhythms. Whereas lunch is cheaper and gives you time to rest between sightseeing forays. But don't look for lunch after 2:00. Most restaurants close their kitchen then.

When we rent apartments, we do little actual cooking, just breakfast (light for me, more substantial for my husband) and maybe the occasional small meal of oddments from a salumeria or whatever.
Mimar is offline  
Aug 29th, 2012, 09:59 AM
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if you wanted to rent a car and driver for a day [or two] in florence, this one has been highly recommended here [though i ought to say that we have never used him]


you could look at trip advisor for other recommendations.
annhig is online now  
Sep 1st, 2012, 03:03 PM
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Thanks once again for all your replies- I think we now have our final itinerary sorted- have decided to forgo Capri, having spoken to my Mum, who has been don't think I will cope with the boat crossing so better not to include it.

So we are going to fly into Venice in the early evening and although we arrive at 10.40pm at the airport have found accommodation that will accept late arrivals and it means we start fresh the next morning.

We will spend 6 nights in Venice and do a daytrip to Verona and Sirmione if the weather permits.

we will then spend 4 nights in Florence and have an itinerary that includes our must sees, relaxing time and a trip to Pisa and a local winery.

We will then go to Rome for 4 nights and do all the tourist things but leave our last day free to wander and relax.
Finally we will spend 4 nights in Sorrento and do trips to Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast and Naples, where we fly home from.

We intend to travel by train and have decided against hiring a car, the trains take between about an hour and 2 hours to get everywhere and seem to be reliable and reasonably priced.

Any thoughts or suggestions for places to stay, eat etc would be appreciated. Thanks loraine
Springermad is offline  
Sep 1st, 2012, 06:13 PM
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While in Venice - buy a multiple day pass for the water taxi - with this you can go to Murrano and Burrano and stay as long as you wish - heed from our experience we did a tour and only had 45 mins in each location --

Also in Florence we took a 1 day bus trip Best of Tuscany - that left from outside of Train Station - great trip Sienna - winery -lunch - San Gimignano - Pisa - it was a full day but really worth the trip -
We also did a day trip to cinque terre - 8 hrs - and very nice - our driver was friendly - knowledgeable - and met us to take us to the next towns.

I'm planning a trip to UK - leaving 2 weeks from today - York, Edinburgh - Liverpool - Bath - London -- any advise appreciated.
Cathy_Twilley is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 01:53 AM
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Hi Cathy, Thanks for replying advice noted I had heard that the trips to Murano and Burano did not allow people much time and was wondering about a waterbus pass, think that's a definite to get now.

Regarding your trip to the UK, where are you flying into would suggest Edinburgh, then travel to York, Liverpool, Bath and London. Or starting with London and doing the reverse.
I have never been to Edinburgh and only driven through York and Liverpool.
However my Mum lives in Bath and so we travel there often and I live about an hour and a half drive from London.
We have visited Stonehenge, worth a visit but it can be busy and expensive. We also visited Avebury, which is close by,and although smaller and less impressive, was free when we went and had fewer visitors so was easier to see, may be worth a look.
Are you intending to hire a car or use trains, although we have some high speed trains in the UK, they can be expensive unless booked in advance.

My husband used to work in York and said he Wouldn't recommend driving there, but there are good park and rides in place, so if you are hiring a car that would be a good option.

Also parking in London is very expensive we recently got caught out because parking was not shown outside and ended up paying £10.00 for an hour and would have been about £40.00 for the day.
Some hotels have parking though and you may be better leaving a car there and using the underground train to get around London.
Driving in London is very time consuming unless you are travelling in the middle of the night and rush hour is a nightmare.
If there are any specific questions you have I will try to answer them, just let me know Loraine.
Springermad is offline  

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