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Desperate for Honeymoon Help -- Accommodations/Itinerary Venice, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Rome!!

Desperate for Honeymoon Help -- Accommodations/Itinerary Venice, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Rome!!

Jun 13th, 2000, 02:30 PM
  #1  
Anna
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Desperate for Honeymoon Help -- Accommodations/Itinerary Venice, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Rome!!

Heading to Italy on Oct. 15, 2000 for a 16-day honeymoon (includes air travel time) in Italy -- flying into Venice & out of Milan. We would like to visit Venice, Tuscany (not sure where to pick as a base), Cinque Terre & Rome. Can't change air itinerary. Using frequent flier miles & had a heck of a time booking a flight at all. (Originally wanted to fly into Rome & out of Venice.) Need your assistance w/ 2 things:
1) Itinerary -- We are thinking:
-- a few days in Venice
-- a week in Tuscany (using one or 2 locations as a home base)
-- a few days in Rome
-- Last few days in Cinque Terre
Can we accomplish this? Any suggestions
2) Accommodations: WE DON'T HAVE ANY! My father offered us a week of his time share. We had put in a request for an agriturismo in Tuscany (about 45 mins. from Florence). However, the time share company can't find us anything in Italy except for Sestriere. W/out knowing whether we would get time share & where that would be, we haven't been able to make other plans. I know a lot has been posted here re: those locations. But we are both swamped with wedding plans & working O/T. We are looking for comfortable (not necessarily posh) accommodations in a decent location for sightseeing, etc. in each of the areas (Venice, Tuscany, Rome, Cinque Terre). We can't afford to go top of the line & frankly would rather spend our money on wonderful meals & activities rather than a room that we just sleep in. However, we're not looking for a hostel either (private room, bed large enough for 2 w/ bath). We would prefer something w/ character in a good location rather than all the bells & whistles. That said, can you help us?
 
Jun 13th, 2000, 02:43 PM
  #2  
Anna
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Just FYI: We have basically given up on the timeshare (although they say something might come through in Sept), which is why we are at square one. We would be very, very appreciative of your recs & advice! Trying to get married has been a stressful endeavor -- and we are looking forward to enjoying some time off in Italy! We are in our early 30s & our still not at the stage in our careers where we are making tons of money (better than in our 20s though). We enjoy outdoorsy activities, so we were hoping to get some hiking & biking in (not hardcore), tour some wineries & historical landmarks and just relax & enjoy the local culture/scenery.
 
Jun 13th, 2000, 03:42 PM
  #3  
vosaki
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You may be lucky. Those looking for discounts on hotel rooms during the summer are wasting their time. However, prices may be softer in mid-October. What you should do is read what people recommend on this web site, buy some books and get a good travel agent.
The most authoritative source for hotel and restaurant recommendations is the Michelin Red Book -- Italia. The Book lists both hotels and restaurants from the best to the least best by city. The ratings cover a lot of ground, from the super deluxe to the modest. The Book also lists the rack rate (retail price) for each hotel. In high season or if you contact the hotel directly, the amount listed in the Book is what you will pay. So, if you think you're getting a discount, compare your rate with the Book.
The Book is taken very seriously in Europe. It's probably apocryphal, but stories are told of chefs who committed suicide when Michelin lowered their rating.
The problem with the Book is that it is written in French, and even the French wouldn't learn much about the "character" of a place.
Get a couple of chit chatty books like the Fodor Guide to Italy. While they are not nearly as comprehensive as the Red Book, they will give you a feel of the places they feature.
How do you get a good deal? One way is to go to:
http://www.thor24.com/hotels/hotels.html
This company sells discounted hotel rooms through independent travel agents. Their web site lists their prices by city. Their discounted prices which can be substantial are only available when the hotel thinks it will not be full. The discounts are quite substantial. You can't deal with them directly -- contact a local travel agent that subscribes to their service.
I have enjoyed substantial savings through this service. However, I tried getting their rates in various Italian cities during late June through early July last year. I guess they were excepting to be full -- not one hotel was willing to discount their rates -- October may be a diferent story.
 
Jun 13th, 2000, 07:57 PM
  #4  
Deborah
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Message: I stayed at a small hotel in the center of
Florence that I really liked; it has a roof-top garden
which overlooks the Duomo; it is probably three blocks
away from the Academia (if I remember). I've booked
rooms again for this summeró170,000 lire for two,
bathroom in room, breakfast included.

Hotel Medici
web: www.promhotels.it/home/medici

In Venice, things are more expensive; I've never stayed
here, but I've booked a hotel which was recommended
on a Rick Steves graffiti board. 250,000 lire for two,
breakfast included, near San Marco.

Hotel San Moise
web: www.sanmoise.it

I also have reservations (based on comments on Rick Steves' Graffiti Wall) for Villa Margherita in Livorno (a ten-minute train ride from Cinque Terre). E-mail: [email protected]

Rates are 150,000 for two, breakfast included.

I think these are all decent enough hotels for reasonable prices.

Good luck with your honeymoon plans!
Deborah
 
Jun 14th, 2000, 01:22 PM
  #5  
bill
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Anna: Fodor's has a budget guide; also see their hotels on intro page of this site-click on hotels and choose your city.
 
Jun 14th, 2000, 02:03 PM
  #6  
elaine
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Hi Anna
If you are interested in travel notes for Venice and/or Florence, feel free to email me. Don't wait to book hotels, the small popular places fill up very quickly. I also suggest you buy a good guidebook if you haven't already.
Here are some suggestions to help you http://goeurope.miningco.com/travel/
europe/ an excellent resource
info on Cinque Terre at
http://home.sunrise.ch/avong/
cinque_terre/
The two best places on the web that I know of for information on the
Italian rail system are:
www.itwg.com/trains/trains.asp
and
www.fs-on-line.com/
I don't know exactly what you want to spend, but the following hotels have been recommended on this forum,you can do a Search on this forum for more. If you want some hotel addresses and phone numbers or other websites, I've got those.
Florence: Hotel Brunelleschi,Hotel Giada, Hotel Marios, Hotel Medici,
Albergo Pensione Centrale,Hotel Casci,
and Pensione Bencista which is just outside of Florence in Fiesole and which had a strong recommendation from a honeymooner.
Venice recommendations from this forum:
Flora, Riva, Accademia, La Calcina,
Galleria, Pensione Seguso, Hotel Caneva, Albergo San Zulian, Albergo Doni.
good luck
 
Jun 14th, 2000, 02:33 PM
  #7  
amg
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Anna,

Here are some of the places I have stayed in the past two years in Italy.

Cinque Terre - Hotel Villa Steno - basic 3* good location - the site is for 2 hotels in the town - they were very responsive to email.
www.pasini.com

Tuscany/Umbria
Il Casale Del Cotone - San Gimignano
Tel - 0577-943236 Beautiful bed and breakfast - not to expensive - listed in the Karen Brown book - I don't have the fax # but it may be on the Karen Brown web site. www.karenbrown.com

In Umbria we stayed in an apartment inside a castle wall. The location a few minutes off the highway that circles Umbria made it great for day trips. The hotel is not close to any major city so we ate nice lunches and had small diners at the two reasturants in the town. The Apartments had small kitchens. http://www.emmeti.it/Welcome/Umbria/.../index.uk.html

Some other webs sites I used are listed below.
http://www.travel-italy.com/hotels/hotels/
http://www.initaly.com/
http://www.emmeti.it/

Best wishes on your wedding.
A
 
Jun 14th, 2000, 03:00 PM
  #8  
Mary
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Anna-
Went to Tuscany in September '98. Stayed at a wonderful old stone farmhouse in Castellini de Chianti. I can't remember the exact name but I think it is Hotel Saliviopi. They probably have a website. The absolute cheapest and best accommodations we had for our entire trip--that includes Venice, Florence, and the Cinque Terre. I would definitely save Cinque Terre for last and there is a train that you can catch right there that goes directly to Milan. No problem at all. Then you need to catch the bus to the airport. Cinque Terre is great for actually having a few days of relaxation before you have to fly home.
 
Jun 14th, 2000, 03:05 PM
  #9  
mary
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Anna-
Here's a link to Hotel Salivolpi. There is one in English--I just can't seem to find it. This will give you an idea. They are very friendly and quite helpful.

www.chianti.net/collineverdi/hotel001.htm
 
Jun 14th, 2000, 05:25 PM
  #10  
Lottie
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Hi Anna: I'd write to the folks at www.initaly.com and tell them what you want to do and ask them to help you plan it. They have a bunch of nice looking agriturismo places. I have no connection with them, but am using them now to help me with a trip and they have been wonderful. I checked them out with the ASTA (I think that stands for the American Society of Travel Agents) and with the California Better Business Bureau, and both report that they are a satisfactory business. I turned to them after putting all the little details together on my own proved to be just too stressful. The farmhouse where we will be staying through initaly is very reasonably priced. Good luck.
 
Jun 14th, 2000, 09:11 PM
  #11  
Jane
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Anna,
We just stayed at Pensione La Calcina in Venice and it was fabulous - make sure you book a room with views of the Giudecca. Our room (#3) was spare, but still charming, immaculate, and the view was an absolute joy.

Breakfast is included in the rate and it's quite good, served in a wonderful breakfast room. If it's warm enough you can also enjoy a huge floating deck in front, drenched in sunlight all day long. The neighborhood (Dorsoduro) is also a big plus: not very touristy and also very charming (less claustrophobic than some other parts of Venice, including San Marco).

The staff was very pleasant and helpful, and it's an incredible value. Our room in late May was around $130/night.

Congratulations on your wedding and have a wonderful time!

Pensione La Calcina
Tel: 041-5206466
Fax: 041-5227045
email: [email protected]
 
Jun 14th, 2000, 09:56 PM
  #12  
adina
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I ditto the recommendation of La Calcina. Our room wasn't very big but it has a/c-- although I doubt you'll need it in October-- and all the fixtures were new four years ago. The location is perfect.
 
Jun 30th, 2000, 03:11 PM
  #13  
mdaniels
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We stayed at a hotel in Venice called "Hotel Riva". It was L170.000/night, with shower. That's $Candadian130 or about $US 90. The place is marvelous, but if you search these forums you'll find a discussion about how they don't take credit cards (we ended up FedExing a set of travellers Cheques to confirm our reservation.)
It's at the end of the Canal under the bridge of sighs, about 5 min. walk from Sann Marco.
 
Jun 30th, 2000, 03:50 PM
  #14  
nick yo
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You will love Italy. My family and I spent 2 weeks there last summer. I will give you the web sites for the bed and breakfasts we stayed in in Venice, Rome, and Tuscany. Take the train from Venice to Rome, then the train to Venice, you will want a rent car for Tuscay, Our best deal was Hertz in Florence; use the location in town, only 3 blocks from train station.
Venice: lady named Helga Gross runs a bed and breakfast service. She will meet you at the Vaporetto and take you to your apartment; reasonably priced:[email protected]
Rome: www.caffelletto.it Michele Ballarti email is [email protected] They have bed and breakfasts in the heart of Rome.

Tuscany: we stayed in MonteCarlo, about 50km west of Florence. Small, old, quaint town, very quiet and beautiful. Bed and breakfast was wonderful and reasonable The hostess is Bianca Satti Tori email is [email protected]

Ciao
 
Jul 4th, 2000, 02:09 PM
  #15  
robyn
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My husband and I also picked Italy for our honeymoon and it was fantastic. We stayed in the Hotel Grand Plaza in Rome. It was a very nice room and the breakfast was well above average. We decided to splurge a little since it was our honeymoon so the hotel room was about $230 for a suite. I only got this rate off of the website. www.grandhotelplaza.com

I too was under a lot of stress before the wedding and so we opted not to make any other reservations for the hotels. We did however have what I thought were car reservations. Thank goodness I called the day before we were to pick up the car and confirm. I confirm that some lady in the states and called and cancelled the reservation. All's well that ends well. We got a upgrade and the rates at the time were about $80 dollars cheaper. www.europcar.com

After Rome, we went to Florence and stayed at a highly reccommended place called the Torre de Bellesguardo. DON'T DO THIS PLACE. If you want to know why I will elaborate but the breakfast thing or lack thereof would be a start.

We then went to Pisa and Lucca. The smaller towns have less English speakers. I think that is something to keep in mind.

Lastly, we went to Venice. (THE place I have always wanted to go on my honeymoon. It was everything I had dreamed. NO CARS. We spent four glorious nights there at the hotel giorgione. It was fantastic and the breakfast was wonderful. The people there were wonderful too. If you want to know more feel free to send me an email.
 
Jul 12th, 2000, 06:40 AM
  #16  
jeff
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check: http://www.italiareservations.com/
for availability.

Clean, well kept, private and way up the mountain roads between Tuscany and Umbria. - the small house for two sounds like something "made" for a honeymoon---we stayed in the large place next door and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our one week.

Very romantic, with great views, many restaurants in nearby towns, lots of advice in the logbook and easy access to hilltowns, etc. in Tuscany/Umbria.

Congratulations!
 
Jul 13th, 2000, 04:01 PM
  #17  
Leigh
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Anna,
I am in the same situation. I will be heading for Italy on November 12 for our honeymoon. We are starting in Rome. My father gave us a time share at the Grand Flora Marriott for a wedding gift. Have you tried that one? From there, we were planning to go to Venice. I, like others have dreamed of honeymooning in Venice. We have not booked in Venice yet, but I have found the recommendations to be terrific. Good Luck and best wishes on your wedding. I look forward to reading about your trip!
 
Jul 13th, 2000, 05:14 PM
  #18  
kam
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Not to be picky, but the Michelin red book, Italia, is written in Italian, not French. That said, I would look at Karen Brown's Italian Country Inns and Villas. Try looking at the Hotel Byron in Lerici very close to the Cinque Terre--fax 187-967-409. Don't know if they have a website, but you could search. Also the Doria Park [email protected]. It makes more sense to visit Cinque Terre from Tuscany than from Rome.
 

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