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Deciding on plans mid-vacation (Rome and Tuscany)

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Deciding on plans mid-vacation (Rome and Tuscany)

Old Jan 19th, 2014, 09:20 PM
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Deciding on plans mid-vacation (Rome and Tuscany)

I am planning our 25th wedding anniversary later this year (September). I have certain aspects already lined up. We are flying to Paris (we live in Seattle), staying there for a few days then heading to Italy, flying into Rome. We know we will end the Italy part in Tuscany so we will be flying back to Paris from Florence for a couple more nights before the return trip home.

Anyway, we have 11 nights in Italy and these will start in Rome and end in Tuscany. I had planned to book a hotel on Rome for, say, 6 nights and then look for places in Tuscany for the remaining five (Cinque Terre is on our list for example).

It crossed my mind that it would good to be able to decide about our split between Rome and Tuscany "on the fly", namely see how we get on in Rome and then decide when we fancy travelling to Tuscany.

I am assuming the issue here is two fold - lots of places fully booked and the possibility of playing more compared to booking now. But I'd welcome thoughts on this. I don't mind booking now - but would love to keep the options open. Feasible?

Thanks.

Mark
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 05:38 AM
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That is high season---you need to book.

With 11 nites, I suggest:
Rome --5
Florence--2
Rural Tuscany--with car--4

The CT is too far for a day trip.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 06:04 AM
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It would be a lot easier and you would save time (and possibly money) if you fly home from Rome rather than returning to Paris. Your itinerary could be Paris, Tuscany, Rome.

Cinque Terre is not in Tuscany.

You don't have to book your Tuscan accommodations ahead of time but be prepared to spend a lot of time looking for places and to spend more money than you had planned for.

What would be the reason to keep your lodging options open?
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 06:12 AM
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Thank you. Bob Yes, I was guessing that would be the best approach.

Some more questions...

. We are going to be arriving in Italy around September 20th and flying back to Paris on October 1st. Is that really high season and when we'd need to pay the highest rates (for the year)?
. Your suggestion is pretty close to what I had in mind. For the "rural Tuscany" part, I do want to make sure we can find some time to get to Cinque Terre, although it's not clesr to me whether I would be better allocating two days for our visit there. I have read that driving in Cinque Terre is a bit of a no-no so I was considering choosing a Tuscany base that isn't too far from La Spezia (and drive there then get the train).

Thanks again.

Mark
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 06:29 AM
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Adrienne, thanks for the reply. We actually spent a considerable time investigating our flight options, with something like what you propose being our first plan. However, we ended up getting a very good deal on the Seattle / Paris round trip and we have no problem with returning to Paris for a day or two.

It does look like we will need to book things ahead but I just liked the idea of seeing how things went in Rome and then making the call as to when we travel to Tuscany at the time. But, based on responses, I am sure now that we will just book.

Thanks.

Mark
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 06:34 AM
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Unfortunately, most of the people traveling abroad these days in Coach are spending more than ever to get there. It seems they can afford it. But that means the best places in the best locations will be booked. September has become one of the busiest months of the year in Italy, which is why you're hearing so many complaints about mosquitoes in Venice on the internet. You may be able to find a D-list property at the last minute, but why would you want to do that?
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 06:51 AM
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If Cinque Terre is definitely on your list I would stay there a couple of days. The entire area is very pretty and there are other towns to explore such as Portofino.

You can't drive into many towns in Italy, particularly in Tuscany. There are CCTV cameras and there is the possibility of a traffic ticket up to a year or more after your trip with hefty fines. Watch for signs indicating that driving is not permitted in the historic centers.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 07:31 AM
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Thanks everyone. I am considering getting the train to Florence from Rome and staying there for a day or two. After that I was thinking of renting a car and exploring rural Tuscany but I am not sure on that part, particularly because I explicitly don't want a car in Cinque Terre.

Another option is to check into a place that is a little more central to the places we want to visit, perhaps around the Lucca area. Still thinking all this through.

By the way, Adrienne, I forgot to mention that another reason for the Paris aspect was that there are no direct flights to Italy from Seattle. The Seattle -> Paris flight has a very brief layover in Iceland which meant that the end-to-end duration was way shorter than many of the options available to us - and leaves in a city we love anyway So, it works out for us just fine.

Thanks.

Mark
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