All Inclusive Tour of Italy?

Aug 25th, 2000, 01:09 PM
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All Inclusive Tour of Italy?

Heading to Italy for 9 or 10 days and would like to find an all inclusive tour starting in Rome and ending in Milan or something similar. Hubby would be content staying in Rome the entire stay, but I want to see as much as possible this trip (Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, etc.) and save
concentrated efforts of a particular city for another trip. Any suggestions? Would planning a similar trip on our own without the all-inclusive aspect be better, save us money, etc. Any help would be appreciated.
Aug 25th, 2000, 03:53 PM
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Most of the posters on this website are "do it yourself folks", although there certainly are some who have partaken of group tours. The advantage to planning your own trip is that you can go/see/stay exactly where you want; and certainly it can be cheaper depending upon how much you want to spend on hotels, etc.

And from the tentative itinerary you're suggesting, a self-planning is very do-able. As for your city selections, I'd drop Milan. If you need to fly in or out of Milan (airfare prices), then do so, but for a 9 or 10 day visit it's not a 'must see'.
Rome, Florence & Venice are the trio to include --- personally I prefer a bit more time in each city, or fewer stops, but again, yours is a reasonable selection. I'd suggest 4 days in Rome, 3 days in Venice & 2 days in Florence -- (plus do need to factor the travel time to get from one to the next).

I've visited Italy twice - a friend lives there - and what I truly enjoy about going on your own is that you can have a closer experience & more likely to interact with those who live there. You're either on the train going from city to city or driving yourself, as oppposed to be on the bus or coach tour which can be more insular. A big difference is restaurants/meals. With a group, you can't choose "what looks good" or hunt down that local out-of-the way spot.

Clearly the big advantage to going with a tour group is they do all the planning, arranging for reservations, etc. and you just show up. As you read through the forum, you can tell from the visitors to this site, the planning itself is part of the entire experience --- if you're like me, you find yourself researching & learning alot about your destination, thereby further whetting your appetite for the 'big trip'.

Aug 26th, 2000, 08:51 AM
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I have enjoyed tours that cater to the more independent, (I know it sounds like an oxymoronm but they're out there), but they would take longer than 9 or 10 days. A tour of Italy that emcompasses that much in a short period sounds like it could be potentially exhausting with no sense of any one place. I think you might get the "cattle call" feeling many tours are disparaged for. That said, Tauck Tours is a company my parents and their friends enjoy. It is an older crowd and more expensive than most, but as tour companies go has an outstanding reputation. Italy is a particularly popular tour for them and they might do it in the time period you say you're going. Otherwise, think about hitting some key towns between Rome and Milan on your own.You could see Rome, Siena, Florence and the Cinque Terre or Venice in that period witthout feeling too rushed. There's lots of help out there to guide you.
Aug 26th, 2000, 09:22 AM
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I just came back from a tour that is exactly like the one you're looking for. It was called "Italy at Leisure' with Globus. 11 days. Started in Rome for 3 days; then Florence for 3 days; then Venice for 2 days and the last day in Milan. It was fantastic.It was the the best of both; half the time was spent with the group and the other half was either on your own or participate in some of the optional tours. I would strongly recommend Globus.
Aug 26th, 2000, 12:45 PM
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Hi Jody, I've been to Italy 3 times, and have yet to see everything I want to see in depth. I saw alot more detail and experienced the real Italy while I was on my own then I ever did on the tours I took (I travelled 50% on a tour and 50% on my own). I recommend you do it yourself as Italy is really very travel friendly, and trains are usually simply a matter of showing up at the train station and catching the next train out, which is probably within an hour or so. The problem with a tour is that you are insulated from the culture and the people. One concern people have over doing it themselves, is that they will miss something. My suggestion is to puruse travel books and compare the sights to the advertised tours in the brochures. This will give you a list of most of the must sees as defined by the tour companies.. The all unclusive tours are very pricey, and the bare bones tours (Glubus, Trafalar lowcost, Contiki) don't include many extras. If you feel a tour is the way to go, then compare 2 or 3 tours and check what is included. If it says "perhaps enjoy" or "Why don't you.." these are extras and are usually more expensive than doing it yourself. For example on my last tour when in Rome my assigned roommate wanted to take the "Night Tour of Rome" $55 US, I told her we can do that a heck of alot cheaper than $55... it cost us about $5 US, for the subway tickets downtown and included a glass of wine at a stand up bar.. she loved it and said she will always remember it.. Italy requires lots of wandering around absorbing the atmosphere, something that tours don't allow alot of time for. I hope this helps, and ahave a glas of wine for me in Rome, would you?
Aug 26th, 2000, 01:47 PM
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As someone said, Italy is pretty travel "friendly"
That is why we are going next yr.with our two children, and planning our 19 days on our own.
BUT, since you asked about tours, look at the posting titled "Don't Kill The Messenger"
It has quite a bit on different tour groups.
I do agree that less big cities would probably be more fun and easier.
I can't imagine always moving on to another place to sleep.

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