9 days in Italy

Old Mar 28th, 2019, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
The last fast train from Venice to Florence leaves at 7:30p. Anything later will take twice as long and involve connections.

There are lots of late trains from Florence to Rome. If you skipped Florence, the last fast train from Venice to Rome is at 7:30p.
this is very good info. Thanks!
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 07:10 PM
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Though if you took evening trains you would miss what I consider to be one of the best parts of Italy - dinner!

In terms of how you choose to spend your time, in addition to reading up on what you would want to see and do in each location, consider how you have spent your time on past vacations. Do you visit a lot of museums, or wander around people-watching in big cities, or take long country walks? Your answer will help you narrow down what to do in Italy.

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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 07:21 PM
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I think you can do your tour. It will be quick, but if you don't mind a busy trip, it could be terrific.
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 08:02 PM
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Do you have to fly home from London? It's basically costing you two days. The day you fly to London. The day you fly home.

There are two problems with taking the late trains.

1) What will you do with your luggage? If your hotel is near the train station you can leave it there but the further you are from the train station the harder that becomes. You could take it to the station earlier in the day and leave it at left luggage but that also wastes time. Or you could wander around town with your luggage.

2) The second problem is what happens in the rare instance that there is a problem. Mechanical,strike or whatever. Those late trains are going to feel the backup or even risk being canceled.

If OTOH you take an early train. You check out. Wheel yourself and your luggage to the station. Get to the next stop just about check in time and drop your luggage. Relatively hassle free.
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
Two days in Venice will give you just enough time to get hopelessly lost, unless you just hang out around San Marco, which isn't ideal. No time for the islands?

Envisioning is very different from being on the ground, but it's your trip, so do what you think will work out for you.
To see and experience Venice properly, you don't need to go to the islands.

And if you're going to get lost, I suggest that getting lost in Venice might be the best part of your experience. We once took a wrong turn near our hotel in Venice and ended up at the end of a road that dead-ended onto a completely deserted dock overlooking the Grande Canal. We returned there for sunsets over a bottle of wine every night of our stay. With all of the big sights and expensive coffees with views, etc, finding that little spot was the most endearing memory. Except for that, I had little interest in being around the Grande Canal as 'getting lost' in Venice's less trodden corners is the best part.

It's all about attitude and if you're the type that sees getting lost as 'hopeless', you might want to consider taking up another hobby besides travel.
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 01:31 AM
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Best time for me in Venice, 5:30 am when the dust-barges have been through but before anyone else gets up, magic.
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by walkinaround View Post
It's all about attitude and if you're the type that sees getting lost as 'hopeless', you might want to consider taking up another hobby besides travel.
My nominee for quote of the day!
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Traveler_Nick View Post
Do you have to fly home from London? It's basically costing you two days. The day you fly to London. The day you fly home.

There are two problems with taking the late trains.

1) What will you do with your luggage? If your hotel is near the train station you can leave it there but the further you are from the train station the harder that becomes. You could take it to the station earlier in the day and leave it at left luggage but that also wastes time. Or you could wander around town with your luggage.

2) The second problem is what happens in the rare instance that there is a problem. Mechanical,strike or whatever. Those late trains are going to feel the backup or even risk being canceled.

If OTOH you take an early train. You check out. Wheel yourself and your luggage to the station. Get to the next stop just about check in time and drop your luggage. Relatively hassle free.
Working on getting a better flight. I thought that i was going to save about 1000 bucks if i packaged it through London but it doesn't look this way anymore. We will most likely fly out of Rome on the 21st so we will gain an extra half a day in Rome. We were going to leave our luggage at the hotel and come back to get it before heading to the train station. Worst case we get stuck in Venice or Florence for an extra night.
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 12:56 PM
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Italian train strikes are usually announced in advance and certain trains are in theory at least guaranteed to run.
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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 01:41 PM
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The fast Frecciarossa trains are the least likely to be affected by a strike. Trentitalia does everything possible to keep those running. I don't know what Italo does about strikes, because all their trains are fast trains.

Trains to and from Fiumicino airport in Rome are guaranteed to run during strikes. (Venice and Florence don't have airport trains, and Milan's airport train is basically a commuter train whose final stop is the airport.) Regional trains in the vicinity of a city, mostly used by students and commuters, are guaranteed to run at morning and evening rush hours. A certain number of long-distance trains are also guaranteed to run during strikes.

Strikes never last more than 24 hours. Also, strikes almost always occur on or adjacent to a weekend. I've never seen a midweek train strike in the 20 years I've been living in Italy.
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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 03:02 PM
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Have you ever seen a guaranteed to run train not run in a strike -or is such a ticket good as gold to run?
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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 08:08 PM
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The problem is the OP wants to take the second last train. Without prebooking. Any problem will cascade. There will be people that missed an earlier train connection and end up on those later trains. There will be people who decided to not take an earlier train because their connection wasn't running.

The problem isn't just the possible strike. It's not having a ticket and the strike.
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Old Apr 1st, 2019, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Have you ever seen a guaranteed to run train not run in a strike -or is such a ticket good as gold to run?
Pal, we're talking about two different things here. The guaranteed trains are not usually Frecciarossa trains; the biggest category is InterCity trains. They're chosen on all long-distance routes to cover the national territory and guarantee some minimum service during strikes. On many routes, there are no fast trains at all. The Frecciarossa trains, on the other hand run on a limited number of routes, usually on dedicated tracks so they don't get slowed down by other trains. These are not necessarily guaranteed to run, but during a strike, Trenitalia throws all available resources to keep them running. Since strikes usually don't have 100% coverage, they usually have enough personnel to keep them running. I've read that these trains are rarely cancelled, even if they're not guaranteed.

Here is the current list of guaranteed trains:

TAB_A_Treni_garantiti_DPLH_dicembre_2018.pdf

On any given route, you have to look at the train number, not the departing or ending station. For instance, one of the trains on the list, number 8807 from Torino to Lecce, will stop at many other stations, and you could take it if you're traveling from Parma to Bologna. When you look up a schedule, you can make a note of the train number and then see if it's on this list, which is in order by train number.

Again, I've never seen a midweek strike of national trains, and strikes never last more than 24 hours. I've seen some strikes on the weekends, but even more often on Fridays. Maybe to give employees a long weekend? If you're planning to travel midweek, I wouldn't worry about a strike at all.

Here is the current list of transportation strikes, including local and regional strikes. I don't see any national train strikes between now and mid-May, although there's a general strike on May 1st, which is a national holiday. The regional strikes would usually not affect long-distance trains.

https://translate.google.it/translate?sl=it&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fscioperi.mit. gov.it%2Fmit2%2Fpublic%2Fscioperi

I've run this through Google Translate. If you want an up-to-date list, you need to go to the original Italian site:

http://scioperi.mit.gov.it/mit2/public/scioperi

When you get the updated list, you can paste the URL into https://translate.google.com to get a fairly good translation, even though some of the names of unions, etc., will still be Greek to you.

Last edited by bvlenci; Apr 1st, 2019 at 05:56 AM.
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Old Apr 1st, 2019, 12:29 PM
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If you see a strike on that list, you need to keep checking, because they often get cancelled.
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Old Apr 1st, 2019, 01:16 PM
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Thanks for all the responses so far! i just noticed that Roma is going to play with Juventus on May 12th so I am considering swapping our arrival and departure points to arrive in Rome on the 12th and leave from Venice on the 21st. I assume that game will be lots of fun to watch even though I am a PSG fan. Any downside of leaving from Venice instead of Rome to go back to the U.S.?
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Old Apr 1st, 2019, 01:35 PM
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Thanks bvlenci for taking all that time to explain it all!
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Old Apr 1st, 2019, 02:10 PM
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The only downside to leaving for home from Venice is that your departing flight could be super early.
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Old Apr 4th, 2019, 08:20 AM
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Finally booked the flights. We will be arriving in Rome on the 12th and leaving from Milan on the 21st. Now that we have firm reference points i will have to package everything in between.
- Rome - 12th afternoon, 13th, 14th, 15th full days, leave for Florence on the 16th before noon
- Florence - 16th half day, 17th full day, leave for Venice late on the 17th or first thing in the morning on the 18th
- Venice - 18th and 19th full days, leave for Milan early on the 20th
- Milan - 20th, leave for the U.S. on the 21st around 11am local time.
I am a little nervous that it will be too rushed and I am debating if we should skip Florence and leave it for the next time. Thoughts?
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Old Apr 4th, 2019, 10:00 AM
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We are doing 9 day trip as well in early fall. Although our itinerary is a little different I just wanted to let you know that you will have a BLAST regardless of how you do it! Wishing you only the best in travels!
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Old Apr 4th, 2019, 10:11 AM
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Yes, I would skip Florence. By the time you get settled and oriented, it will be time to leave.
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