Advice on Travel to Italy


Jan 17th, 2000, 01:15 PM
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Advice on Travel to Italy

My husand and I are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary in Italy end of March/early April. We are staying 3 nights in Rome (Regency Hotel), 2 nights in Florence (Plaza Lucchesi) and 2 nights in Venice (Golden Tulip Carlton). Has anyone stayed at these hotels? Also, we are doing an independent tour through Italiatour. We have 1st class train tickets but no assigned seats. Can we get seats assigned here? or doe we wait until we get there? Any suggestions on what not to miss or what we should forget would be greatly appreciated.
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Jan 17th, 2000, 02:02 PM
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My sister and I went to these cities two years ago and fell in love! Two best pieces of advice I was given for Venice were: 1)Get on the waterbus (not a water taxi)and ride down the Grand Canal, getting off and on when the spirit moves. 2)If you start at the end of the line near St. Mark's Square and the Hotel Danielli, the waterbus will cross the canal; get off at St. Gregorio (first or second stop); for a very small fee you can ride the elevator to the top of their bell tower and have an exquisit panoramic view of all of Venice, much nicer view and much easier than climbing the stairs to the top of the tower in St. Mark's square.

FLORENCE: The Franciscan monks still make leather items (and apply gold leaf to them) as they did in the Middle Ages and give demonstrations that you should look into. (The leather school behind the cathedral) When we were there, they would monogram any leather item you bought in gold leaf for no charge, while you watched.

ROME: What can I say. The church at the top of the Spanish steps (whose name I cannot recall at the moment) is one we almost did not go into, due simply to pure exhaustion, and it was one of the most breathtaking. The subway system is very easy to use, and easy-to-read maps are available at all McDonald's which, sad to say, are very prevalent. We,too, had limited time in Rome, and found that by using our Fodor's guide and the subway, we covered much more territory and saw much more than we would have been able to see on foot alone.
Have a wonderful time!
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Jan 17th, 2000, 03:26 PM
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The leather school the first poster was referring to in Florence is at the church: Santa Croce where Michaelango is buried. We found nice things and good prices there.

Book your visit to the Accadameia and Uffizi in advance on the internet. It will help you avoid the potential long lines.

Rome: Beware: Pickpockets are everywhere.

Venice: Advice on the waterbus is good. We do that on each visit. Nice shop of handmade items is Max's, not far from Harry's Bar. Most items are handmade and not what you see in all other shops.

Venice: Visit Murano if possible. Great glass and touristy, but fun to see them make it and hear their sales pitches.

Florence: Uffizi art museum. Long lines during the day, but they get short in the evening. Go then if you only want to spend a few hours. If you want to spend longer, get an advance ticket. Same for seeing the David statue.

Rome: Take a city grey line tour. Best and easiest way to see the big things, them return later to spend more time in one spot if you need it. Have fun.
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Jan 18th, 2000, 04:18 AM
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Hi Laurie
If you would like to see if my sightseeing notes on Florence and Venice would be helpful, email me and I'll send them to you.
If you are dedicated sightseers you will have to stay on the go during your trip, because after you factor in the trains,traveling, checking in, checking out, etc you will lose more time than you think. Still it sounds like a wonderful introduction to Italy. good luck
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