Best Itinerary

Apr 12th, 1999, 08:19 PM
  #1  
michelle
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Best Itinerary

My husband and I will be in Italy for 2 weeks in October. This is his first trip and my 2nd (first was 27 years ago). Although we want to spend time in Venice, Florence and Rome, we plan to drive (from Munich) and tour Tuscany, maybe Umbria and/or the Lake district. We are pretty flexible and adventurous,love history and art, and would like some help on a reasonably doable itinerary, including accomodations with charm and character. Can anyone help us? Also, has anyone flown LTU Airlines from the US to Germany? Thanks for any advice you can provide
 
Apr 13th, 1999, 06:13 AM
  #2  
wes fowler
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Michelle,
I won't address your itinerary but will comment on LTU. It's an affiliate of Lufthansa and duplicates that airline's efficiency. I've flown it and found it on a par with most major airlines. I was impressed with food service on a flight about ten years ago and relatively comfortable seating. Seating arrangements in coach are 2 - 5 - 2. Flight attendants were efficient and responsive to flyers needs.
 
Apr 14th, 1999, 09:52 AM
  #3  
Paulo
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IMO, Michelle, if you're indeed spending time in Rome, Venice and Florence, there'll be not much left for making a reasonable use of your car (it's destined to spend most of the time in garages). If you spend 10 days in these cities, you'll only scratch the surface and there'll be 4 days to spare.
At least one of these days I'd surely spend in Siena (very strong bias <g>). The fast route from Munich to Venice takes some 5:30hs nonstop. The more scenic route down through Cortina and along the Piave, one hour more. If you decide taking the direct route (including maybe a 3-hour stop in Innsbruck), you may consider spending the night in Verona, and visiting Padua shortly (4 hours) on your way from Verona to Venice. You may stop in Orvieto when going from Siena to Rome. Alternatively, you may plan to spend a night in Assisi before going on to Rome. You may also use Siena as a base for some exploration of Tuscany.
Were I in your shoes, and considering I don't like switching hotels every other day or so, most probably my itinerary would look something like:
Munich - Innsbruck (visit) - Verona (night)
Verona - Padua (visit) - Venice (3 nights)
Venice - detour to Modena (visit) - Florence (3 nights)
Florence - Siena (2 nights) - one day trip in Tuscany
Siena - Orvieto (visit) - Rome (5 nights)

 
Apr 14th, 1999, 01:04 PM
  #4  
Paulo
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Thank you for very informative response. I have wondered if it would be better to take the train to Venice and after Venice rent a car. I was trying to avoid the greater expense of renting in Italy vs. Germany but that may give me more time. You're right--2-3 days in a garage in Venice is a waste.
 
Apr 14th, 1999, 04:52 PM
  #5  
John
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Michelle, another possibilty for thought concerning a car and Venice.

I found out by accident that you can use a car in Venice and it dosen't cost anything and there are a few benefits.

When we went to Venice I was driving my car and did not have a hotel reservation. Venice has an office to help tourists without hotel reservations as to what is available. Well, they found us a vacancy which was on the Lido and explained we could take our car to the large parking lots, pay a daily fee, and take our luggage and take a pedestrian water taxi or we could just take the car ferry and simply drive to the hotel. I liked the idea of not having to take our luggage from the car and dragging it around. I also liked not having to pay any parking fees. Since the car was mine and new, I also liked having it with me rather than in some monster of a parking lot.

We were able to tour the Lido by car which also had stores and restaurants and a beach. We also visited the other islands of Venice by taking the pedistrean taxis. All in all, I thought it worked out well.

Of course, I did not have a rental car so it would depend on the daily cost vs the advantages. It worked out well for us and I just mention it as another possibility.
 
Apr 14th, 1999, 05:10 PM
  #6  
Marge
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Dear Michelle,
Just returned from 3 weeks, similar itinerary except we also went to Naples area.Drove Munich to Salzburg, then 3 nights Venice, Hotel Flora;; 3 nights Florence, Hotel Pendini; Naples - Pompeii; 3 nights Rome, Hotel Duca d'Alba; 3 nights San Gimignano, Hotel L'Antico Pozzo, exploring hill towns including Lucca and Siena; 1 night unwinding in Riva del Garda, Hotel Sole; back to Munich and home.
All hotels were right in the heart of the cities, within walking distance of the major sights and sites, were small, had charm and were spotless. Watch for floor level changes about every time you go through a door. Multiple-century-old buildings are like that. Wish I had had a night light. We had another couple to share the car costs, so parking was 5% or less of room cost. We got the car in Munich for half the Rome cost, something under $700 for three weeks, unlimited mileage, mid-size, enough to hold 4 people and their luggage - which we limited. Post me separately if you wish any further details. Trip was wonderful. Marge
 
Apr 14th, 1999, 05:14 PM
  #7  
Marge
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Almost forgot, Michelle. By all means get your tickets to the Florence museums by e-mail before you go. Use those hours of time seeubg the exhibits instead of waiting in line. Marge
 
Apr 14th, 1999, 07:30 PM
  #8  
Marge
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It sounds like my kind of trip! How long did you stop in Salzburg? Can you leave Munich in the A.M., stop along the way and arrive in Venice by late afternoon? Was it a problem parking in Venice and carrying the bags? How far was your hotel from the water taxi stop? What did you like/dislike about all your hotels, etc. Thanks for all the info--it's a big help. You can post me separately if you prefer.
 
Apr 15th, 1999, 04:51 AM
  #9  
John
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Marge, how was the L'Antico Pozzo in San Gimigiano? I saw it when I was there and picked up a brochure and the rooms looked very nice and the prices were not that bad. I would be interested in your first-hand report and any tips.
 
Apr 15th, 1999, 05:26 AM
  #10  
Paulo
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Regarding your questions, Michele,

a) if you don't run into a "stau" (once it took us 4 hours to drive from Munich to Salzburg), the total driving time from Munich to Venice through Salzburg adds up to about 6 hours if you take the fast route (Spittal, Villach, Tarvisio, Udine). This means that if you leave Munich at 8am, you'll have about 4-5 hours for a glimpse at Salzburg.

b) regarding taking a train to Venice instead, if you're dealing, for instance, with Auto Europe, it wouldn't be difficult to have cost figures in both alternatives. Unless you follow John's Lido suggestion (I don't know how much it costs to ferry the car over) you should add (approx.):
Munich-Venice 2nd class train - US 55/person
Car park in Venice - US 25/day

c) there are basically 3 parking options in Venice: open lot in the Tronchetto Island, the Autorimessa Comunale and Garage San Marco; I don't like the open lot ... my first choice is the Autorimessa (to your right, as soon as you leave the long bridge) because it's cheaper. If it is full, I just go ahead and turn right at the corner into the San Marco garage. I never had problems leaving luggage in the trunk when using any of these garages. If you feel uneasy, the San Marco has a lugagge custody service (don't know how much it costs). Don't know if the Autorimessa offers the same service. The point is, you should be as light as possible as you comute over to your hotel. Discounts on parking are offered by many hotels ... mention it when asking for quotes. There's a vaporetto stop close to either, the Autorimessa and the San Marco. From there you go to the closest stop to your hotel. Depending on your hotel, this may be anything from 50 to 400 meters. Alternatively, you may take a water taxi (about US 40) which may leave you as close as possible to the hotel. Once again, this depends on the hotel. Finally, you may also hire porters in some vaporetto stops. If you leave your heavy stuff in the car, all this is academic, though. If you decide taking the train it might be an issue ... therefore it's about time you learn to travel light
Paulo
 
Apr 15th, 1999, 02:46 PM
  #11  
John
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Michele, I don't recall how much the car ferry was for the Lido, but I don't think it was that much or else I would have rememebered. I don't think it was anywhere near the $40 Paulo quoted for the water taxi. The $25 per day parking fee rings a bell. As I mentioned in my earlier post, the idea of leaving my new car was a deterrent for me and the clincher was not having to unpack my car or leave things behind. Not having to pay $25 per day for parking was also a factor.

When I read Paulo's description of the choices ... I know I made the right choice and will do it again when I return to Venice. It was so easy and convenient. Just drive onto the ferry, enjoy the ride, and drive to your hotel and park free.

I think what makes this feasible for you is because you will have a car already. And if you can avoid the $25 per day parking fee, why not just keep it? Not having to empty your car and drag your baggage around, paying less for a hotel on the Lido, driving around the Lido, having access to the beach all adds up to a pretty good deal if you ask me. And you aren't giving up anything. You still have access to the other islands via the water taxis.
 
Apr 15th, 1999, 02:54 PM
  #12  
John
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Michele, by the way, the word "stau" Paulo referred to means stall in German or ... you are going to wish you took another road ... because you are going to experience one of Germany's infamous bumper-to-bumper traffic jams that can last hours. It's always a good idea to have a good book with you that you were meaning to read if you ever got the time because a stau will give you the opportunity. Having a picnic basket is also an alternative.

Paulo, great explanation of the options in Venice.
 
Apr 15th, 1999, 07:51 PM
  #13  
michelle
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I finally figured out how this works so forgive the delay in responding properly to all of you. Thanks Paulo for the suggested itinerary and your advice on driving from Munich. John, thanks for your suggestion on the Lido but I was there many years ago and I live in Florida so the beach is not a draw. I also read some other postings on this web site on Italy that rave about the L'Antico Pozzo. Marge, I would like to hear more about your hotels, including what you liked, prices, if yoy would go back or found something better in your travels, etc. I would like to hear from everyone as well. I haven't yet found two people who agree on a hotel in Venice. Any advice? I appreciate everyone's ideas. Any suggestions for "not to miss" hotels, sites, etc.? Thanks!
 
Apr 16th, 1999, 03:22 PM
  #14  
karie
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Hi, Michelle. I had a really lovely room at the Accademia in Venice...no. 18, I believe, with tall, arched windows which open out onto a quiet, rear garden. Inlaid parquet floors...very nice bath, large room with tall ceilings and furnished with armoire, writing desk, sofa, etc. A breakfast was included and the staff was very accomodating. This hotel is across the Accademia bridge, in a quiet but very nice area, approached through a front gated garden, probably 10 minutes from San Marco square. Luciano, Venetian-born, was very helpful with restaurants, etc. If you don't get in at first try, or second, don't be surprised...reservations are in great demand. Keep trying! I very much enjoyed my stay there.
 
Apr 18th, 1999, 12:30 PM
  #15  
michelle
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Thanks, Karie. You're the second person recommending the Accademia. Is it air-conditioned. Also, do you know if thet have an e-mai address or web site/ Also, has anyone stayed at or have any info. on the Hotel Locanda Sturion in Venice on the Grand canal overlooking the Rialto Bridge? Thanks.
 
Apr 18th, 1999, 12:41 PM
  #16  
Kathy
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Hi! I will be in Florence in late June with my family, and I would like to know
if you have the web address for where to purchase museum tickets online for Florence. Thanks
 
Apr 18th, 1999, 01:13 PM
  #17  
alan
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Hi. That's quite an itinerary, doesn't leave much time for driving about. There is a company called UTELL, that books hotel reservations and they have an 800#. We used them about 4 yrs ago when we went to Venice. They found us a reasonably priced hotel in Venice with the ONLY parking lot. Right in Venice on the Canal. I can't recall the name, but we were glad we stayed there because the sight of so many people carrying luggage to the hotels or boats made it worthwhile. If you're coming from Munich, if you are able spend a night in Graz Austria, a beautiful small university city in southern Austria. It has just bee written up in a travel magazine this mointh as one of the 25 hidden places in Europe. we stayed there about 7 yrs ago. Cortina in the Dolomites in Italy is also beautiful but expensive. It was also writeen up this month, same mag. We stayed in St. Vito instead, small and less expensive. A third place to think about is Verona in Italy, within driving distance from Venice, less crowded and the piazza
Bar by the Roman collaseum is gorgeous. Enjoy your trip whatever you decide. alan
 

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