30th Anniversary - Italy - suggestions?

Jul 29th, 2002, 07:11 AM
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30th Anniversary - Italy - suggestions?

Planning ahead for our 30th and wondered what timeframe is best. We were thinking mid-April to late May - we want to go before air fares increase for summer. When is that?

Also, would weather be good then for touring?

We own timeshare through RCI and wondered if anyone knows of a good RCI resort we should try for. We'd like to see Rome, Naples, Venice, Florence, possibly the Lake Region -- of course not all on the same trip. Just have not decided which area to concentrate on. Any suggestions.

We'd probably go for 2 weeks, so we could do timeshare one week (if we can get it) and the other stay at hotels in various places. We want nice accommodations, but do not want to pay a fortune.

Any itinerary suggestions or hotels?

Thanks for the help in planning a memorable 30th anniversary.

Jul 29th, 2002, 08:32 AM
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Lois, Always start with the basics first and then decide itinerary:
When: May is hard to beat
How long: 2 weeks minimum
How much: set your budget range
Transport mode: that will enable itinery

Here is a start to get you thinking. It is hard to mix north and south in 2 weeks, and do not stick with the major art cites only--Italy is so much more.

* Arrive and depart from Munich--14 nites--May thru Sep.--car travel
* ITINERARY: Salzburg, Dolomites, Venice, Lake Garda, Bavaria
* Arrive Milan, depart Venice--15 nites--car & train travel--April thru Oct.
* ITINERARY: The Lakes, Ligurian coast, Tuscany, Florence, Venice
* Arrive & depart Rome--12 to 14 nites--car & train travel, all year
* ITINERARY: Florence, Tuscan & Umbrian hilltowns, Rome
* Arrive & depart Rome--12 nites--car & train travel--March thru Oct.
* ITINERARY: Amalfi coast, Tuscan/Umbrian hilltowns, Rome
* Arrive and depart Zurich--12 nites--train travel--June thru Sep.
* ITINERARY: Berner Oberland, Lugano, Lake Como, Luzern
THE VILLAGE SAMPLER: [my off-the-path personal favorites]
* Arrive Milan & depart Rome--12 to 15 nites---car travel--April thru Oct.
* Small quaint villages to include: Lake Orta, Portovenere, Montalcino,Spello, Orvieto, Sperlonga, Ravello, Castelrotto [ pick four of above]
These are merely intended to be sample itineraries to get you started thinking.
Jul 29th, 2002, 08:55 AM
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Bob -

Never having been to Europe before, I'm looking for all the help I can get. I'm Italian but do not speak the language.

Things we love: fountains, beautiful statues, romantic countryside, delicious food in local, picturesque eating places.

The thoughts of pick-pockets and theives in Italy (much written about) frightens me, which is why we have not gone before.

Normally we like warm weather, so I don't know if it would be too cold in the Dolomites. I have heard Venice is magical. Bella Italia sounds interesting - would we see enough of the statues/fountains on something like this?
Jul 29th, 2002, 08:58 AM
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Air fare question - when are the fares the lowest (besides winter). I want to be sure both segments of the trip are prior to "high season" - if spring, when does that reasonable pricing end, and if in fall, when is that timing?

We want decent weather - comfortable for sightseeing -- not too hot, but not cold either.
Jul 29th, 2002, 10:40 AM
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You could cover a lot of territory in 2 weeks. I would take the lakes out of the equation for now and stick with the major cities. As far as the timeshare, much depends on where that may be, the tuscany or Unbria regions would be nice. Not using a timeshare and assuming 13 nights, I'd say, fly to Venice, spend 3 nights, then head to FLorence for 3 nights, then to Sorrento/Naples 3 nights (visit Pompeii), and Rome 4 nights. You can easily spend a week in Romen alone, especially if you've never been. Another option, maybe a timeshare in Rome for a week and a few days each in FLorence and Sorrento/Naple. If you can get a timeshare in Tuscany/Umbria (can take day trips to Florence and other small towns), the 2nd week should be split between Rome and Sorrento (with a little more time in Rome) or just Rome. You can travel by train between any of these places.

First determine your itinary, decent, reasonable hotels can be foundin any of these places. Once you decide where you want to go, then focus on hotels. Also consider the cities you can fly in and out of. Planning is half the fun, buy a book or 2 and a map to get started. Whatever you do, don't try to cover too much in too little time. Enjoy!
Jul 29th, 2002, 10:43 AM
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we found very reasonable airfare for
travel in may; we made the reservations
in march and found tickets for $450
from pit-ny-rome round-trip. friends
of mine found tickets for $300 traveling
in april. i think that the airfare
costs go up in june and then increase
quite a bit in july and august. the
cheapest that i could find at begining
of july was $800 which we grabbed. the
weather a few weeks ago in rome was very
hot and uncomfortable for me; however,
it was wonderful in the mountains of
le marche -- hot but not uncomfortable and beautiful evenings. i traveled in
may of last year and enjoyed rome much
more in the spring than summer. i experienced no problems with pickpockets;one must simply use common
sense. there is so much beauty in italy; i spent alot of time in the villages near ascoli piceno, and many
of the towns had museums, beautiful
architecture, churches, etc.
i stay at the d. inghlterra when i am
in rome; it is centrally located a few
blocks from the spanish steps and right in the middle of great shopping area.
the hotel employees are very nice and
attentive. good luck with your plans.
Jul 29th, 2002, 10:50 AM
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One last comment, on weather... weather should be fine in April and May. It's cooler in the North, Venice and noticably warmer as you work your way south. We were there in March 2001, started out 50's in Venice, a week later in Rome/Pompeii it was 80s. That is warm for that time of year but not unusual. Another little thing, being a first time visitor to Italy, a minimum of 3 nights should be spent in any of the places you mention.
Jul 29th, 2002, 11:00 AM
Alice Twain
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Accorrding to your interests I would suggest you spending one week in Rome and one week travelling across Tuscany. Why just two destinations? Well, because it takes one week to see a little (not all of) both! you might stick in your trip more destinations, but to the only effect of not beeing able to actually see anything, you will speed through several places not having time to savour them. Besides, Rome alone has almost as many fountains as any pother five Italian cities toghether, and it has loads of Roman ruins and renaissance buildings. After you ahve had your fill of Rome, you may rent a car and move north towards Tuscany, lodge at one or two agriturisms (www.agriturismo.regione.toscana.it), farms that rent rooms and often prepare good meals, and spend a week travelling across the hills and the woods. Pick two areas in the region: you might consider Chianti, Colline metallifere, Casentino, montagna pistoiese etc. Visit Florence and other cities of tuascany on daytrips (Arezzo, Siena, Lucca, Pistoia) and devote at least half of your time to getting lost in the lovely roads that connect the cities and the villages and visiting the villages themselves.
Jul 29th, 2002, 11:12 AM
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Lois, The bella Italia trip is always a good one for a first time taste of Italia. I trust a car for part of your trip is an option. You will get a ton of art and culture in Florence and venice, but also my favorite natural beauty at the Lakes and the coast. A mix of both is the best. But, I would not do that one before 15 April and May is better. It can still be chilly at the Lakes. The airfare question is always a supply/demand equation. This year was not good for cheap airfares.Hard to predict next year. Go to a great web site at www.slowtrav.com and find my budget article--that may also help you to plan. The ideal flight scenario for that itinerary is to fly into Venice, train to Florence, get a car as you leave Florence and keep it until you depart from Milan--having seen Tuscany, the coast, and the Lakes in the interim. Five destinations in 2 weeks--it works well.
Jul 29th, 2002, 11:15 AM
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Oh yes, I am ignoring the RCI variable. My experience with that has been discouraging in the past--hard to match RCI dates with a good itinerary.
Jul 29th, 2002, 12:42 PM
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Has anyone done any of the Perillo tours off season? They sound pretty thorough, include a lot and might be good for a beginner -- any thoughts on this?
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