1st Trip to Italy - HELP Needed

Old Sep 26th, 2005, 12:17 PM
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1st Trip to Italy - HELP Needed

My husband and I are celebrating our 20th anniversary in Italy. We arrive in Rome on Wednesday 10/5 and return home on Thursday 10/20. Problem is that we are leaving in a week and all we've booked so far is our airline ticket! We would like to visit Rome, Venice and Florence/Tuscany region. We want to hit the major sites, don't mind walking or public transportation and enjoy food and wine. We appreciate hotel (mid-range), restaurant (any range), tour,... suggestions. Thanks!
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 12:30 PM
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I think you got this post mixed up with that joke thread
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 12:35 PM
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1. Here is the Italy superthread, perhaps some of the topics and links will interest you.
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34443340

2. Buy guidebooks, start narrowing down how you want to spend your time, then come back here for further sugggestions

3. Click at the top of this page on Destinations and check out the Fodors information

4. Define mid-range
At this late date, most popular hotels will be fully booked.
Try booking via venere.it as long as you verify here or at tripadvisor.com that the hotel in question gets good reviews.

5. Are you flying home from Rome, which means you have to backtrack, or are you flying home from one of the other cities? That will make a difference in suggestions for your itinerary

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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 12:42 PM
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We do have the Fodor's Italy book and are scouring that this week.

We are flying in and out of Rome.

Mid-range: We'd like to keep our hotels under $300 per night.

Thanks so much.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 12:46 PM
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Best way to cover Tuscany is to rent a car--are you going to do that?
You could pick one town, like Siena, as a base,and do a couple of Tuscany daytrips (via bus, or by car), or you could stay in a couple of different towns and,for example, drive the Chianti route. Or, you could hire a car with driver.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 01:10 PM
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For Tuscany, yes, we would consider renting a car. This would be better than bus?
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 01:14 PM
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It really depends on what you decide to do in Tuscany. If you're sticking to major towns, the bus or train may be adequate. You need to do some research to know for sure.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 01:19 PM
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How many times do you want to change hotels? Do you want a lot of 2 or 3 night stays (get to experience more places) or do you prefer to stay put for longer periods. Given that you are planning this pretty last minute, in your case I guess I would stick to the "big three" of Rome, Florence and Venice. That way you only have to find three hotels. From Florence you can easily day trip into some of the smaller Tuscan towns like Siena, Lucca, San Gimignano, etc. This way you can also do the whole thing with public transportation. Renting a car and driving around Tuscany is wonderful but I think it takes more planning time to do it right.

I usually suggest that people either look at books or web sites with photos, to see which places appeal to them. But that takes time to do leisurly browsing and you haven't got that. I think you could have a good time just grabbing a general purpose guidebook and going to those three cities and kind of winging it. Most people on this site (myself included) spend many months planning trips so doing it on the fly is not really our style. But that doesn't mean it can't work for you. Since you do have almost two weeks I would definitly include at least a few days trips to smaller towns though.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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Thanks. That is good advice, as I am finding hotels availability is indeed an issue for us. I am normally a planner as well - booked the flight in March - but circumstances did not allow this time.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 03:48 PM
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Hello suzannemeyer, if you do decide to rent a car in Italy do go to your nearest AAA office to get the required International Drivers Permit. This is required under Italian law. You probably won't need it but if you get stopped by a policeman for any reason or are in an accident you will want to have it. This permit translates your home state (assume you are in the US) license information into other languages. It will cost you $10.00 per person plus the cost of the passport type photo which will be an additional $10.00. You do not have to be a member of AAA to get this permit.

I would "drop" everything and research hotels and get those reservations made ASAP. Best wishes to you!
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 04:07 PM
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I would get those hotels booked, but not worry about the rest. Take your guidebook and read it on the plane ride over. Ask your hotel front desk and local tourist offices for tips and tours after arrival.

I never book beyond the plane ticket and hotel reservations and figure out all else after I get there. Buy your tickets point-to-point at the train station a few days before you want to move to the next place.

Personally I'd skip renting a car only because that seems much more complicated than using public transporation. No worries, relax, enjoy (but do book your hotels).
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 05:28 PM
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Hello suzannemeyer, I agree with suze for what it is worth. I personally would keep everything at this point as simple as possible. Restaurants etc. can be found without any problem. And travelling by train would be so much simplier then renting an auto, getting the IDP and so forth. Just get those hotel reservations made...and have a wonderful 20th anniversary!
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 07:21 PM
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You may want to book your hotel in Venice ASAP, if you know which date you'll be there. Oct is still high season in Venice, and I had a hard time finding hotels w/rooms for mid-October when I did my research over 2 weeks ago.
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