Cyn's preliminary Italy itinerary

Old Dec 10th, 2007, 06:38 PM
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Cyn's preliminary Italy itinerary

This is what Im thinking so far:

Days 1 4; 4 nights Naples: Grand Vesuvio or Parkers

Days 5 10; 6 nights Sorrento: Hotel Excelsior

Days 11 14; 4 nights Taormina: San Domenico Palace or Grand Hotel Timeo

Days 15 17; 3 nights Agrigento: Hotel Baglio della Luna Foresteria

Days 18 21; 4 nights Palermo: Hilton Villa Igiea

Days 22 31; 10 nights Rome: Hotel Raphael, Hotel Eden, St Regis or Capo dAfrica

Any input for hotel choices or number of days per location will be greatly appreciated. My hotel choices are based on needing to have a fitness center and internet available where ever possible. Im leaning towards Raphael in Rome because of the location. (BC no fitness center at your hotel )

I have to spend the night in London on my way to Italy landing at LHR, departing LGW. How does one get from Heathrow to Gatwick? (BA site is down right now.)

Im still vacillating between excitement and terror more excitement than terror, thankfully.

Trying REALLY hard to do this with only a carryon (including my laptop may not be able to pull this one off!). I cant see a need to bring a dress, as I doubt Ill be going out much at night.

Wow - leaving in just over 2 weeks? Every hotel listed seems to have availability on their websites, so that's a good thing.

Cyn
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 07:06 PM
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cyn, so jealous! I haven't stayed at any of those, but refresh my memory, is this your first time to Rome? Raphael has the best location, IMO, especially for a solo traveler. My mother *almost* booked at Capo d'Africa once, but it was her first trip there (long weekend), and I didn't think it was such a good loaction for that. However, for ten days, it might be nice. Raphael, 1st choice on location alone. I LOVE Rome and could easily spend your entire month there, so I think 10 days will be awesome.

Have an excellent adventure! I still think of the bears at your bird feeder--those photos really put a smile on my face. Can't wait to see your Italy photos.

L

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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 03:37 AM
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What a great trip!

You can transfer from Heathrow to Gatwick using the National Express busses. Check www.heathrowairport.com to get the directions from your arrival terminal.

Don't forget that flying out of London you'll have the one bag rule. Check on the airline size/weight requirements. It might thwart your carry-on only plan.

CW
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 03:56 AM
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Thanks for the input!

Leely - the location of the Raphael is what is so appealing to me too, which is why it may be the winner! This will be my 3rd trip to Italy, and both prior trips (once with DH and once with Mom) included Rome. Went to Pompeii for a day trip and just loved it, so really wanted to get back and see it without someone pushing me, and the south just looks so incredibly beautiful!

Didn't see a bear this year at all, but we're watching 7 wild turkeys and a fox who, believe it or not, visits the bird feeder quite regularly. We toss sunflower seeds on the ground for the squirrels and ground birds (hence the turkeys), and the fox come and licks up the seeds.

CW - does the one-bag rule pertain to business class too? I thought I had heard that it was being relaxed, no? Boohoo - I was really hoping to be "light" traveler this time. If I have to check a bag, I can just see it becoming larger...

Cyn
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 05:53 AM
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Hi C,

>with only a carryon (including my laptop may not be able to pull this one off!). I cant see a need to bring a dress, as I doubt Ill be going out much at night.

I suggest a dress instead of a laptop.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 07:33 AM
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Ira - lol- unfortunately, the laptop is what allows me to be gone for so long!
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 09:39 AM
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Just as a matter of curiosity - is there some special reason to spend 10 days in Sorrento/Naples in December?

I know Naples had the Museum and from Sorrento you can see Pompeii - but spending so long in off season beach resorts wouldn't be my first choice. (In Sorrento and down along the Amalfi coast many restaurants will be closed and you may easily get bad weather/rough seas preventing the ferries from running.
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 09:41 AM
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Sorry- hit post too soon.

That's why so many places have availability. Unfortunately the gardens at the Excelsior won;t look like much in January, although the views over the Bay of Naples should be nice.
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 10:24 AM
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nytraveler - I suffer terribly from jetlag - it always takes me a long time to adjust, so my first couple of days I plan on not doing much of anything other than adjusting.

Pompeii and Herculaneum are of huge interest to me - and I know I will spend at least 2 if not 3 days at Pompeii alone. I am looking forward to visiting the Amalfi coast towns as well, and it just seemed like Sorrento would be a good base for doing those things.

I don't care at all about beaches - other than for the scenic beauty.

Does this make sense, or is it really too long there?

Cyn



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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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Cyn-

I've stayed in the Timeo in Taormina and in the Baglio (Agrigento). The Timeo was OK, nothing really special although somewhat expensive as is the San Domenico. The Baglio was not luxury but nice - good patio restaurant with a night view of of the lit temples, but probably is closed this time of year.

Happy travels.
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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drbb - Which (and why) would you choose if you were going back to Taormina? And what do you think about the amount of time I have scheduled at each place?
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 10:59 AM
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This looks like a fabulous trip, but I wouldn't spend ten days in December in Naples/Sorrento. This area is really at its best in spring/summer, when you can appreciate the amazing views, and spend most of your time outside.

Many smaller establishments have reduced winter hours, or are closed for renovation. ( Have you checked the hours for Pompeii?).

I'd suggest substituting a city,depending on your preference- Florence or Venice. Then flying from there to Sicily for the bulk of your trip, and finally back to Rome.
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 11:00 AM
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I forgot to add that we stayed at The Hotel Eden a few years ago, and thought it was overpriced and too far a walk from the main sightseeing areas.
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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Hi, cynstalker -

Sounds like a great trip! I can't speak to what the Amalfi Coast will be like at this time of year, but given your interest in Pompeii and Ercolano, I would not think 4 nights in Naples too long - particularly because there are many, many things to do in Naples itself. You might even consider shifting a night from Sorrento to Naples!

Hope that helps.
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 03:09 PM
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Cyn,

Are you also thinking about a day trip to Paestum? I highly recommend it.

CW
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 03:55 PM
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Weadles - re: Florence or Venice - I've been to both, and at this time want to concentrate more on the south. You have me thinking about cutting a couple of days from the South, but I am going to need some down time when I'm there - in addition to my love of history, this trip is to give me time to be at peace. I am grateful for the info on Eden - I'm really leaning towards Raphael if I can get the "deal" that I want.

CW- Paestum is a place I truly hope to be able to incorporate. Doyou have a trip report/photos at which I can peer? I'm hoping Francesco Marrapese or his collegue will be able to help on this. Would you have any idea how long it would take to get there from Sorrento? Doable in as a day trip?

Speaking of Francesco - he is currently in the states (NJ)! He recommended Grand Vesuvio over Parkers, so I guess that decision is made!

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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 05:40 PM
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Cyn,

We went to Paestum in 2001--pre-digital for me--so no photos on-line.

We stayed in a house in Sorrento for a week. We had a car and drove down the coast, stopping in Amalfi for lunch and touring.

I think you can catch the train to Salerno and a bus to Paestum. There are detailed directions in earlier posts here. It was a good day trip but not too bad. Well worth the effort, and the small museum at Paestum is worth the time.

CW

PS. Hope someone will be at home to fill the birdfeeders!
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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Forgot to say that having a driver will make this a good and pleasant day trip. It's a wonderful site for Greek temples.
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 06:13 PM
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kja - yes, thanks that does help! I have only seen Naples from a distance, and it looked beautiful (although if memory serves, smoggy?) I'm glad to hear that someone thinks it warrants some time! Can you tell me a couple of your favorite things to do there?

CW - Yes, birdfeeders will be filled (every-other-day - we have a bumper crop of visitors this year!), and kitties will be pampered too. Wouldn't even consider leaving if I didn't have my critters cared for!

I'm starting to think maybe I really can do this!

Cyn
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 06:20 PM
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I have nothing to add but expressions of envy. I wouldn't change a thing.
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