Approximately 5 weeks in Europe

Apr 29th, 2008, 01:25 PM
  #21  
 
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What do you reckon your husband will do around Lecce (which in itself is quite pretty, but a week there is a bit much) while you and your daughter are doing your Italian lessons??

I personally would spend a week in London (inspite of the $/£ exchange)...I'm betting you'll love it especially if you can do day trips outside the city!!

Based on your itinerary, it seems you'll be meeting your husband in Rome and all 3 of you are training to Lecce right? After your Italian language school, are you going back to Rome?

Assuming you are, and you have ~9 more days, I would fly from Rome to Munich, do Southern Bavaria (Munich, Dachau)for 2 days, train to Salzburg, do the city and outskirts (St. Gilgen, St. Wolfgang) for another 2 days, train to Vienna, spend overnight in Vienna (see a bit of the city...really wonderful!) and then fly to Amsterdam (Note: Skyeurope airline flies direct from Vienna for as little as $106 all in per person, OW), and then stay 4 days in Amsterdam before training or flying back to London for your trip home. This way you don't back-track.

The problem when you are in Vienna is that you might be tempted to go to Prague since its so near already. Its your call!!

Good Luck with your planning!! My family & I are also spending 5 weeks in Europe this summer and then going to Germany/Austria area for Christmas!!
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Apr 29th, 2008, 03:18 PM
  #22  
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Joy what is your plan for your trip?I would love to hear it!

I like your suggestion.

Dh is easy ... he may also take the class for one week - it is really up to him. We will be in Oranto <sp> and it seems to be a lovely area. Dh is a MUCH more relaxed travler then I am. He is content to sit and read and be and relax. I am come on let's go..go..go!

I thought about having him come for a portion AFTER the school - and that might be what may end up happening. We shall see. I have not booked his tickets yet.

After the school I am planning on training through Italy. At this point I am heavily leaning towards going directly to the school and then having the time afterwards rather then breaking it up.

Arrival into Rome on the 27 - training to Lecce on the 28 and starting school on the 29.

We can do weekend trips from there as well but am not sure about that... I will play that by ear.

Departure from Lecce would be on the 18th - giving us 17 days prior to heading back.


MomDDTravel is offline  
Apr 29th, 2008, 04:21 PM
  #23  
 
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I think Rick Steves' hotels are not necessarily the best deal. This is in part due to the fact that he can't provide up to the minute hotel specials. My preference is for nice hotels at a discount, rather than consistently cheap hotels, although there is some wiggle room in there. So figure out your budget for accommodation, and then see what you can get for it.

Amsterdam will be easy and pleasant and enjoyable for you and your daughter, in my opinion, so long as you mostly stay away from the Centraal Station area and (of course) the Red Light District. The Jewish museum and the Resistance museum are also both very good.

I'm sure Barcelona would be interesting, but it would be nice to reinforce the Italian. One thing to do, in every city you visit, is go to Italian restaurants. They're usually my favorite, no matter where we are.
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Apr 29th, 2008, 04:57 PM
  #24  
 
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OK, I only read your first original post...I didn't realize you changed your itinerary by doing the language school at the beginning.

My suggestions then:

a)I would stay a few days in London - the suggestion here about the Imperial War Museum, Cabinet Rooms, 64 Baker Street are right on target for your interests.

b) In England, you can combine history with English literature...a daytrip to Shakespeare's House and/or Henry VIII's Hampton Court Palace is always interesting and educational to an 11-year old.

c)From our own experience, if you really want to practice your newly-acquired Italian language skills, go to a rural/village/very small town where the people can hardly speak English instead of a city. We were on the border of Campania & Calabria last summer and believe me, most don't understand English!!! but we also found the places to be the most authentic in terms of typical Italian villages.

d)Base on these parameters, I would allot 4 days in England, 5-6 days more in Italy, 4-5 days in Germany/Austria and 3 days in Amsterdam.

Good Luck!!


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Apr 29th, 2008, 06:38 PM
  #25  
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Willtravel - we managed to find Italian Resturants last year in Montruex It was a favorite!

JoyC - is that how you knew about Lecce? I have yet to meet anyone that has traveled down to that side - one thing that the school said is exactly what you shared, that people in their area simply do not speak English!
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Apr 29th, 2008, 07:02 PM
  #26  
 
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Mom:


While you and DD are in Lecce, hopefully you'll be able to take some time during one of the weekends to drive up to Alberobello and see the amazing "trulli" houses. DHJ and DD will enjoy that..."truly" different!
Estimate about 50 miles (80kms) of clear, easy driving on straight highways.

http://www.geocities.com/trullihouses/ (see all pages)

Stu T.
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Apr 29th, 2008, 07:10 PM
  #27  
yk
 
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Just a few comments:

1) London - I've been to both Cabinet War Rooms and Imperial War Museum. I like IWM much better. I think the consensus on this board is 50/50. Just want to make sure you don't forget about IWM (which is free). The IWM has WWI & WWII section, plus a very well done Holocaust exhibit.

2) when you mention WW II, I think of Berlin. I'm not sure if you want to try to fit that into your itinerary. But Berlin & Potsdam is well worth visiting.
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Apr 29th, 2008, 07:12 PM
  #28  
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Stu T - thank you!! There is very little in tour guides about that area of Italy -- I appreciate the tip.
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Apr 29th, 2008, 07:13 PM
  #29  
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YK - I LIKE free I am thinking of doing a few days in London on the end of the trip the way it is panning out now. I will definately do that.

Regarding Berlin, I have not ruled it out but it seems a little out of the way - but I am still working through the time in Germany. Thank you for the feedback.
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Apr 29th, 2008, 08:40 PM
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One good thing about Berlin is that it is cheap, even with a bad Euro exchange rate.
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Apr 29th, 2008, 09:02 PM
  #31  
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that is good to know WillT - btw, I meant to mention that it was good advice on the Rick Steves imo - too look for deals etc at hotel rather then "cheap" hotels period.

I am going to be trying to use points for a portion of the stay with Starwood, Hilton, and anyone that I can transfer to from Amex. I realized it might be October feast for part of the time I am in Germany so I will need to research that a little more and make sure we have availablity etc.
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Apr 30th, 2008, 12:34 AM
  #32  
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Okay - been playing with this a little and I think this MIGHT work...

sept 25 - depart LAX
september 26 - london -spend night
sept 27 - Rome (flight)
sept 28 rome to Lecce (train)
September 29 - October 18 Lecce with some weekend trips in Italy
October 18 - venice (flight)
October 19 venice
October 20 venice
October 21 venice
October 22 munich (train - I know it is a longer one)
October 23 munich
October 24 munich
October 25 munich
October 26 munich
October 27 munich - baden (train)
October 28 baden
October 29 baden - ams
October 30 ams
October 31 ams
November 1 ams
November 2 ams - London
November 3 London
November 4 LAX

I would be doing some day trips from Munich with trains/buses.?? Do you consider it too many nights in Munich and Ams and Venice? I can shave a day off in Venice and Munich and add it on? I can add it to London?
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Apr 30th, 2008, 03:31 AM
  #33  
 
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I didn't realize you had visited Rome last year. Given that, going to Venice or Florence during this year's trip to Italy makes sense. There are many day trips you can take from Venice--Padua, Vicenza, Verona--and I highly recommend visiting the lagoon island of Torcello as well as wandering around the city.

You could probably take a day off Munich and add to London. One word of caution about Dachau: I am sure you realize a visit there is a very intense experience. I have been there three times (we lived in Bavaria for several years). I never wanted to do other sight seeing after visiting Dachau so if you want to see other sights in Munich that day I would recommend visiting Dachau in the afternoon so you will have time to process that experience with your daughter.
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Apr 30th, 2008, 05:47 AM
  #34  
 
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Yes, the holocaust exhibit at the London Imperial War Museum is excellent, not quite as good as the Holocaust Museum in DC, but right up there. And IWM often has very good special exhibits. If you are flying from London to Rome, not sure why you want to spend the night in Rome, why not just get on your way to Lecce the same day (although if you stay near the train station maybe the logistics aren't that different). Finally, I have friends who enjoyed the night train between Munich and Venice.
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Apr 30th, 2008, 08:12 AM
  #35  
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vttraveler - thank you for the advice regarding Dachau - I will definately take heed.

Regarding Munich - I am planning to also go to Salzburg for a day - in a Europe by Rail book I have it appears to be a very easy day trip. That is why I added the extra night there. I will see because I definately can see the need to add another night to London.

Yes, we were in Rome for 4 or 5 nights last year - cannot remember - as well as Florence for 4 nights I believe.

I loved Florence and would like to experience the Tuscany region but think that will be saved for a future trip ALONE with my dh.

LaurieAnn - I will definately make a note to go to the London Imperial War Museum -

I think you are right - I should just go directly to Lecce. I will check with the school/apartment to make sure we can arrive on Sat. Not sure why I was going to do that. Thanks for catching that.
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Apr 30th, 2008, 08:17 AM
  #36  
 
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No need to worry about Oktoberfest, as it occurs from late September to early October.
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Apr 30th, 2008, 08:30 AM
  #37  
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Thanks WillT! I did check that last night and thought that is what I read but it was late and I was tired... was going to double check today.
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May 2nd, 2008, 09:11 AM
  #38  
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Have tweaked the travel plans a little and would love to hear feedback and I need some help in a big way.

25 - depart LAX
september 26 - london to Rome -get in late
sept 27 - Rome
sept 28 rome to Lecce school for two weeks instead of three weeks
September 29 - October 11
October 11 train from Lecce to Florence - spend night
October 12 - Chianti cooking school
October 13 - Chianti
October 14 - Chianti
October 15 - Chianti
October 16- Chianti
October 17 venice
October 18 venice
October 19 night train munich ?want a town outside munich with good rail
October 20 munich
October 21 munich
October 22 munich
October 23 munich
October 24 munich
October 25
October 26
October 27
October 27 ams
October 28 ams
October 29 ams
October 30 brugges
October 31 brugges
November 1 london
November 2 London
November 3 London
November 4 Lax

Okay..here are my major questions right now:

Would like a town outside of Munich with great rail transportation. I am not a big city girl at all and it drains on both dd and I to stay in a major city for too many nights.

We want to go to Dachau as well as castles in the area - I have read Rick Steve's book on Germany and Austria - and others but would love to hear some direct feedback for a smaller town outside of the Munich area that has good rail service so we can day trip to different places.

I have a few days open as you can see - I have thought about Baden Baden but am not sure dd will appreciate the naked people in the baths - as an 11 year old.

I also thought of Bacharach ..but am very open. I would consider doing a week someplace in Germany if we could do day trips etc from there. I do not want to move too much and know that there are a couple of two night stays thrown in.
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May 2nd, 2008, 01:51 PM
  #39  
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ttt
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May 2nd, 2008, 02:16 PM
  #40  
ira
 
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Hi Mom,

Itinerary looks good.

Suggested changes

October 17 venice
October 18 venice
October 19 venice
Oct 20 night train munich ?want a town outside munich with good rail
Continue on to Fuessen.
October 21 Fuessen (neuchwanstein)
October 22 Fuessen (Dachau)
October 23 Train to Salzburg
October 24 Salzburg
October 25 Salzburg
October 26 Train to Innsbruck
October 27 Innsbtuck
October 27 Fly to AMS
see www.whichbudget.com
October 28 ams
October 29 ams
October 30 BRUGES OR BRUGGE
October 31 brugge

Hope this helps.


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