22 days or DIY tour

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Oct 26th, 2014, 01:33 PM
  #21
 
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"4. Train ride to Pisa, explore Pisa for a day, then directly to Florence. Stay 4 nights in Florence (=3 days to explore)."

Chances to take a train from Venice to Pisa, you will pass through Florence to reach Pisa or perhaps even have to change trains in Florence to reach Pisa. Therefore, you might decide which of your days in Florence would have the best weather for visiting Pisa and do it as a day trip from Florence.
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Oct 26th, 2014, 01:37 PM
  #22
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Aghh got it. So erase a day in Pisa and add it to Florence and I can take a train from Florence to Pisa and make it a day trip. Got it! �� thanks!
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Oct 26th, 2014, 01:39 PM
  #23
 
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Yes it is just a commute train F to P. You might prefer Lucca
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Oct 26th, 2014, 01:45 PM
  #24
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Spanks! �� thanks! I just wanted to do Pisa cuz I want to check out the famous leaning tower of Pisa. I'll do a full day Under the Tuscan Sun
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Oct 26th, 2014, 03:34 PM
  #25
 
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Mark, others are giving you good travel advice. I just want to say Bravo to you for listening, thinking and being able to accept advice and suggestions. Some posters get upset when the advice is to cut back and revise, sometimes they argue with very experienced posters. You actually want and appreciate advice, you are going to have a great trip.
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Oct 26th, 2014, 04:07 PM
  #26
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Hey, of course. You guys are the expert in this field, I'm a noob. People have done this before and I want to have a blast and take in as much as I could. I wanna experience more and maximize my time in Europe. I only see these places on the Internet, pictures, and hear about it from others. Thank god for work having accumolated lots of vacations hours. but as I say, thanks.

Now, let's start having discussion what to see each cities!��������
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Oct 26th, 2014, 04:10 PM
  #27
 
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>>>3. Overnight train to Venice (this may take up to 24hrs). Stay in Venice for 4 nights (=3 days to explore).<<<

There have been some poor reviews of this overnight train. You might want to consider flying EasyJet from Paris Orly to Venice. It may be cheaper than the train also unless you plan to share a couchette with other people. A flight can be around 50-70€ and a shared couchette will be more than that. A private cabin will run about 300€.

As Ellen pointed out, Pisa can easily be visited from Florence in an afternoon. The train ticket is under 10€ (one way)and travel time is about an hour. You can also book a tour from Florence that visits Pisa and maybe some of Tuscany. Depends on where you want to go in Tuscany.

CT is a bit more difficult as a day trip from Florence. CAF offers a full day tour, but I'm not sure it's a good idea. You wouldn't want to go if the weather was bad.

http://www.caftours.com/cinque-terre...ith-lunch.html

>>> My dad works for the hotel industry and he can get some pretty good deals on hotels, <<<

American hotel chains are not typically well located in Italy even in the major cities. You want want to waste your short time in each city on transporting from a remote hotel location. If you state how much you want to spend a night and which amenities are mandatory, people on this forum can help you find places to stay in your budget.
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Oct 26th, 2014, 04:23 PM
  #28
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KYbourbon: you are right. I just looked online the difference between flight and train: right now, if I do go in September, it's about 62 from CDG to Venice. And again, you are correct, it's about 300€ for that train ride and it's more than overnight, 16 hrs.

As far as hotel in major cites, such as Rome, Venice, Paris, and London, my dad has benefit and it's about .4 miles from city center. I've also used Airbnb.com in NYC and it was great. But if I do need hotel or arrangement, wouldn't be more than 150$/ night which is about 120 or 130€ ?
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Oct 26th, 2014, 05:16 PM
  #29
 
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How do they define city center. If .4 mikes from the absolute center it;s one thing - if .4 mies from th edge of the center it could be a truly inconvenient place. Do be sure you check specifics on transit to the places you will want to go.
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Oct 26th, 2014, 05:23 PM
  #30
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That's a great point. Seriously, I do need to learn all these lingo you guys have. I didn't see if it's the edge, but when I put Rome or Venice, it says .4 miles from city center, and I just assume that it's .4 miles away from the main city center. Thank God this trip is happening til next year. I would be crying now if it's next month or so.

Ohh and btw, any word on walkaboutflorence.com tour? My friend used them for CT. And she said use them! I saw they have Tuscany tour too, what do we say?

Again, thanks. I seriously should send everyone macadamia nuts covered chocolates for all you awesome travelers!
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Oct 27th, 2014, 12:33 AM
  #31
 
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I can understand you want to take advantage of a great deal, but part of the holiday can be the hotel. In at least one city why not try and stay in a non-international hotel? You might enjoy the lack of "bland" or dislike the "weird" but at least you've had the experience.
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Oct 27th, 2014, 12:37 AM
  #32
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True. Any suggestions on where to stay?!
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Oct 27th, 2014, 03:39 AM
  #33
 
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I think Venice offers many good opportunities, I'm a great fan of trip advisor
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Oct 27th, 2014, 07:15 AM
  #34
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Me too bilbo! Nice. Thanks
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Oct 27th, 2014, 09:11 AM
  #35
 
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If you tell us which hotels people can let you know if they are reasonably central or at the end of hell and gone and how much time and money you would need to allow for getting to where you want to be.
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Oct 27th, 2014, 10:02 AM
  #36
 
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>>>if I do go in September, it's about 62 from CDG to Venice.<<<

Look again as I was talking about Orly, not CDG. Look at departing Paris Orly airport on EasyJet instead of CDG. Orly is closer into the city than CDG.

http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/ADP/e...lic-transport/

>>>As far as hotel in major cites, such as Rome, Venice, Paris, and London, my dad has benefit and it's about .4 miles from city center.<<<

Unless you are talking about the highest end properties of these chains, you will not find them in central Rome. Even then, not all of them are central Rome. What chain is it?
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Oct 27th, 2014, 10:51 AM
  #37
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Marriott. But it they do have array of different brands like AC hotels and some autograph hotels.

Thanks for letting me know re the airport!
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Oct 30th, 2014, 08:24 AM
  #38
 
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Mark, I belong to Marriot's reward program as well as several other hotel chain programs. But I would not really use any of them in Europe generally speaking. Europe is not the USA and as bilboburgler says, the hotel is often part of the attraction.

In the USA all there really was other than the chains were mom and pop motels. That is not the case in Europe. Most hotels are in fact not part of big chains like Marriott.

For example, how would you like to stay in a 17th century French Chateau where they rent out only ONE room. Take a look at the photo here: http://www.sawdays.co.uk/france/pica...la-quincy#back
The tower on the left of the photo is where the room they rent is located. Breakfast is served in the 'Orangerie' and dinner also if you ask for it. Look at the price, 70E. That's a B&B!!!

Compare this place in Florence to a standard Marriott cookie cutter room. http://www.sawdays.co.uk/italy/tusca...ence-rome#back

Look at this hotel in Venice where prices start from 90E. Compare the history of the building to a Marriott.
http://www.lacalcina.com/history.htm

Some of the better (and more discerning) sites such as Sawdays have all kinds of places like this to choose from.
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Oct 30th, 2014, 08:29 AM
  #39
 
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Compare the photo gallery from any of these 5 Marriott offerings in Venice, to the photo gallery of the Calcina above.
http://www.marriott.com/hotel-search....italy.travel/

vs.

http://www.lacalcina.com/photogallery/

The Boscolo is lovely but look at the price difference.
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Oct 30th, 2014, 12:35 PM
  #40
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Sojourn: damn. my mindset has always been "use dad for discount." In this case, I am overly mistaken and is a fool not to do any of those places you suggested. I was looking to all the pictures and you're right, Marriott hotels are great and modern but i'll gladly take any of these awesome buildings and chateus to take in more of the place and country.
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