Almost to Italy-Revised!

May 3rd, 2005, 08:13 PM
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Almost to Italy-Revised!

I think we're all set with only 10 more days to go! I've tweaked our itinerary taking into consideration the feedback received from my last itinerary post. The new one should reflect the things we really have a desire to see, but not be jam-packed with stuff.

One of the things I am most excited about is being able to stay within my self-imposed budget of roughly $150 a night for lodging! That means more money for other stuff, like a gondola ride, gelato and souvenirs for loved ones!

For those of you who are planning and still searching for "affordable" places to stay, which really depends on your personal budget, you may want to consider the following establishments:

Casa Petit - Small family run B&B
Found this thanks to a Fodorite. They have two other rooms with shared bath for under 100e. We chose the large double w/ensuite bath for 110e.

Hotel Brasile - Across from British Embassy and 10 minute walk from Termini. This is not the area most Fodorites would suggest, but for us, it works perfect.
110e (double w/ensuite bath)

Relais Cavalcanti - (small B&B w/great reviews on this and other boards)
115e (double w/ensuite bath)

Hotel Galleria - They've been great to work with so far. We opted for Casa Petit for the first leg of our trip, but when it came to booking our last night there, we remembered how easy it was to communicate with the staff. Their responses were prompt and they answered questions without hesitancy. They were booked for our last night, but offered us an apartment in San Marco just across the Accademia bridge for 120e and were kind enough to send us a picture of the place.

I'll be sure to pay special attention to the lodging portion of my trip report when we return because for me, this took up a significant portion of my research time and hopefully it will prove helpful to others in the future.

As for my itinerary, please feel free to critique any aspect of it including use of time and restaurant choices, for which I am open to suggestions.

Alright, here goes...

Day One - May 15 Venice
8: 45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Arrive at VCE – travel to Casa Petit, check in, freshen up

11:00 a.m. – until
Stroll to Rialto Market for picnic lunch
Rialto Bridge
Frari Church
Roam the streets exploring Venice
Leisurely dinner at Arcimboldo

Day Two - May 16 Venice
9:00 a.m. – until
Peggy Guggenheim Gallery (optional)
More Venice exploration
Picnic Lunch
Piazza San Marco/Basilica San Marco
Doges Palace
Campanile Bell Tower
Dinner at Trattoria Antica Bessetta
Enjoy last night before heading South

Day Three - May 17 Rome
8:44 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Train to Rome Termini, check in at Hotel Brasile, freshen up

3:00 p.m. – Until
Museo e Galleria Borghese
Roam around Rome
Spanish Steps
Trevi Fountain
Dinner at Cantina del Vecchio

Day Four - May 18 Rome
8:00 a.m. – Until
Piazza San Pietro
Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
Explore Piazza Navona/Campo de Fiori
More roaming in Rome
Enjoy last night in Rome

Day Five - May 19 Florence (My Birthday)
8:44 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Train to Florence, check in at Relais Cavalcanti, freshen up

11:00 am. – Until
Roam around Florence
Galleria dell’ Accademia
More roaming around Florence
Romantic birthday dinner

Day Six – May 20 Florence
9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Santa Croce
Uffizi (sold out uggh!)
Santa Maria Novella
Roam around Florence

6:30 p.m. – Until
Train to Venice, secure keys to S. Marco apt
Enjoy last night in Italy with late dinner and gondola ride

Day Seven – May 21 Venice
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
One last breakfast in Italy (sniff, sniff)
Travel to VCE and depart for U.S.

ChicagoDallasGirl is offline  
May 3rd, 2005, 08:34 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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A couple of suggestions in Florence:

- Visit the Farmacia Santa Maria Novella and buy LOTS of great perfumes, creams and soaps (at least an hour, but worth it, as it is one of the most beautiful shops you will ever visit)
- Walk, as I did, or (if you are short of time) take a taxi or bus to the P. Michelangelo for the most spectacular view of Florence

Enjoy your trip.

Regards Ger
OReilly is offline  
May 3rd, 2005, 08:46 PM
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How wonderful to spend your birthday in Italy! Thanks for sharing your hotels & prices. That's so helpful. I'll be on a plane to Italy in 2 days!!!

I haven't been following your other posts so bear with me if I'm making suggestions you've already dealt with.

Day 2 - where will you be having the picnic lunch? There are few places in Venice to picnic. However, there is a small park adjacent to Piazza San Marco. If you're facing the water walk to the right and you'll see it. It's behind the street vendors.

Day 3 - have you made reservations at the Borghese Museum? They're mandatory and you might not get in if you just show up. There's a limit to the number of people allowed inside the museum.

Day 4 - looks exhausing. Move the Piazza Navonna/Pantheon to the previous day. If you have energy for more "roaming in rome" (love that phrase) after the Vatican, St. Peters, Colosseum, and Forum then you have energy for anything!

Day 5 - Happy Birthday! Don't forget the Bapistery and those famous doors! Check the detail and the perspective in the carving - truly amazing. The relief is about 1/4 or 1/2 inch and yet you have a feeling of great depth.

DAy 6 - Santa Maria Novella (I'm jealous!). Go in the morning. Last time I was in Florence I went twice in the afternoon but the church didn't re-open.

Take a vaporetto ride at night and see the palazzi all lit up - gorgeous!

Have a great trip!
adrienne is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 05:20 AM
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Wow, you two offered some great suggestions!

O'Reilly - I will definitely add the Farmacia and P. Michelangelo to our Florence exploration! I love perfume and soaps and especially love a great view!

Adrienne - Thanks bunches for the day-by-day responses! That was awesome.

As for Day Two, I'm not quite sure where we'll picnic. I figured there had to be somewhere to just cop a squat near the Rialto Market or perhaps a place where we could just hang out, even if it means standing up, to eat a sandwich, fruit and have a cold drink. If this doesn't pan out a nice outdoor cafe would work. I've heard they're pricier, but considering our short stay we wouldn't expend tons of money in this way.

On Day 3 I am aware there are reservations required for the Borghese, time limit of two hours and I believe it's limited to 250-300 people or so each time slot. Have plans to book that today. Hopefully there's still time.

On Day 4 Looking at it with fresh eyes this morning I agree that it does appear busy. Pantheon was optional, but looks as though it would work better to move it to Day 3 instead.

Thanks for the Baptistrey reminder on Day 5! I had read a post about the doors a few weeks ago and forgot to add it to the list as a "must see."

Thanks again for the feedback and great suggestions!
ChicagoDallasGirl is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 05:24 AM
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Oh Adrienne, I wish you a fabulous trip to Italy! What are your plans? How long will you be there? Have a wonderful time!
ChicagoDallasGirl is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 09:47 AM
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ChicagoDallasGirl is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 09:58 AM
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Well, I haven't been there yet (going in Sept), but from my planning I have to agree with adrienne that Day 4 is a killer! I know that I personally could not do all that in one day (not to mention more roaming after all that!).

For the Borghese, since your schedule is to tight, why don't you reserve it ahead of time? It would be a shame to wait until that day to make the reservation and find out that they're full, especially since you can only do it late afternoon. You can call them at 011-39-06-32810. Have a great trip!
SusanP is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 10:05 AM
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Great Itinerary!! Say HI to Francesca at Relais Cavalcanti. ...great hotel in a great location.
CarlosSandoval is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 10:11 AM
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ChiDalGirl, Tiff here, have a wonderful time, and the happiest of birthdays! Thrilled for you, you are going to have such a lovely trip. Very pleased with all your "roaming" time!

Can't wait to read your trip report!

Best wishes, T.
Tiff is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 02:03 PM
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I'll be in Rome for a week, then down to Sorrento for 4 days (Pompeii, Herculaneum, Amalfi Coast), then to Umbria and Tuscany for 10 days going around to the small towns.
adrienne is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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Thanks everyone!

Susan, You must have skipped my reply to Adrienne. I had already posted that I would take her advice on removing Pantheon and P. Navona from Day Four. Also, I made reservations at Borghese this morning and received our confirmation. We will be there on Day Three at 4:30 for our 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. time slot.
ChicagoDallasGirl is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 02:24 PM
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Tiff-glad you approve of my roaming time

Adrienne-that sounds wonderful! I had wanted to do AC, but we'll have to save that for our next trip. Maybe I can convince DH to spend an anniversary celebration there!
ChicagoDallasGirl is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 02:50 PM
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Don't cha love it? Say "roaming" to anyone here in the States, and I am quite certain they would deduce you were discussing cell phone plans.
Roaming in Italy, now that is my kind of roaming!
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
Tiff is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 03:45 PM
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Hey cdg, I will look for you on that Tuesday at the Guggenheim! I leave for my trip on May 14 and I'm also celebrating my birthday (May 23)in Italy/Spain; so, fellow May girl, happy birthday and have a fabulous time.
annabelle2 is offline  
May 5th, 2005, 04:33 AM
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Tiff-yes, I love the thought of wandering aimlessly, my definition of roaming, to discover the real essence of a place when I travel. Though I've put together our itinerary rather intently, I wouldn't be surprised if we ended up with a lot more rrrroooaamming time then I've allotted on paper

annebelle! Happy birthday to you. Happy bithday to you. Ok, I won't singwrite the rest, but hope you have an awesome birthday celebration. Originally our goal was to travel in July because it was out least busy month at the time and we thought perhaps we could schedule something around DH's birthday (July 4), but we ended up finding the best air fare we could and it just so happened to be around my birthday instead. What a blessing! I'm the one who likes to travel, or should I say is obsessed with it, and my hubby can take it or leave it, so I guess it makes sense that it worked out that way.
ChicagoDallasGirl is offline  
May 5th, 2005, 07:24 AM
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We stayed at the Hotel Brasile(Rome) in December 2003, and found it basic but pleasant. There are restaurants within walking distance; we found a good steak restaurant about two blocks south, turn right and two more blocks on your right hand side.

Yes the area can be a little seedy looking .The same street the above restaurant is on also contained an XXX rated theatre and what looked like a topless bar which you had to go past to get to the restaurant. However, those two places did not look as if they got any custom and we never felt uncomfortable or unsafe in the area around the hotel. It does get very quiet and there is no nightlife (not counting the aforementioned spots).

We walked everywhere from the hotel, and only took the subway or a taxi a couple of times. There is an underground stop around the same block as your hotel (kitty corner, if you will).

If you are budget travelers, this hotel will meet your needs just fine, as it did ours. The shower in our room was very small. The highlight of Mr whoknew's trip was being required to put the rectangular metal piece attached to our key into the slot in the wall so you could turn the lights on in the room. His first trip to Europe and the two things he remembers the most is the traffic and having to put the key into the wall!

Have fun.
whoknew is offline  

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