DESPERATE ITALY 1ST TIME SURPRISE

Aug 14th, 2007, 04:17 PM
  #1  
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DESPERATE ITALY 1ST TIME SURPRISE

OK I KNOW THIS IS WAY CRAZY, BUT I AM TRYING TO PLEASE MY MOM
WE HAVE 9 NIGHTS
Arrive / Depart Rome

DAY 1 Rome?
DAY 2 Rome? Vatican, Pantheon, etc
DAY 3 Drive to Panzano ( a friends home )
DAY 4 Panzano relax / cooking lesson
DAY 5 Panzano drive around
DAY 6 ?
DAY 7 Drive South VISIT PRIVERNO & MOTAGANA
(HOME TOWNS OF GRANDPARENTS )
DAY 8 POMPEII? CAPRI?
DAY 9 ROME
HOME..............
Only firm rooms are in Panzano
We are 4 people
I KNOW I AM ALL OVER THE PLACE AND REALLY NEED ASSISTANCE. I WILL START SLOWLY WITH QUESTIONS.
1. Can I rent a car in an easy to get to place in Rome, use it for driving to Tuscany and down to Naples area with a return the last day in Rome ( city )
I could use a cab to the airport
2. Is it feasable to drive from Tuscany area to Priverno or Montagana or even Naples or should we be taking a train from the Tuscany area to the Naples area?
3. As I have just found out that Bologna
is a city that mother has always wanted to see, can I get that in on the Day 6? She would be happy with a lunch there
(she is a foodie )
I do not believe I can fly from Bologna to Naples, which I am sure would be of some help

The whole purpose of the original trip was to take mother to Tuscany and the home towns.
Nice and simple and relaxing
As the other sisters became involved, Pisa and Pompeii have been requested and I am out of breath just thinking about this?

Please, any sincere help with any or all of the above would be greatly appreciated

I may not sleep, but I want a smile on mom's face
S
DISNEYGAL is offline  
Aug 14th, 2007, 05:43 PM
  #2  
 
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Posts: 10,155
First things first: Take a deep breath.

Second: Face the fact that you will not be able to please everyone in 9 days. Your stated top priority is "to please your Mom."

Third: Add an hour to how much time you think it will take you to drive from city to city--something always happens.

Fourth: Keep in mind that any time you change places/hotels it will eat up at least half a day.

Now, to your questions:

1. Can I rent a car in an easy to get to place in Rome, use it for driving to Tuscany and down to Naples area with a return the last day in Rome?
yes

2. Is it feasable to drive from Tuscany area to Priverno or Montagana or even Naples or should we be taking a train from the Tuscany area to the Naples area?
yes, and a car would be best to reach the small towns you want to visit

3. As I have just found out that Bologna is a city that mother has always wanted to see, can I get that in on the Day 6?
Possible, but a very long day--2 hours driving each way.

As the other sisters became involved, Pisa and Pompeii have been requested and I am out of breath just thinking about this?
Your sisters have joined YOUR party. You have to decide how to deal with their requests

My questions to you: Can you switch your time in Panzano to the beginning of the trip? Something like:

DAY 1 Drive to Panzano ( a friends home )
DAY 2 Panzano relax / cooking lesson
DAY 3 Bologna daytrip?
DAY 4 Panzano drive around
DAY 5 Drive South VISIT PRIVERNO & MOTAGANA (overnight Naples)
DAY 6 POMPEII? CAPRI? (overnight Naples)
DAY 7 Rome (drive or turn in car and travel to Rome by train)
DAY 8 Rome? Vatican, Pantheon, etc
DAY 9 ROME

Rearranging this way optimizes your visit to Rome and you only sleep in three different places.

I would probably skip Bologna--there are plenty of places closer to Panzano to interest a foodie.
ellenem is online now  
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:09 AM
  #3  
ira
 
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ira is offline  
Aug 15th, 2007, 07:31 AM
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Where is Motagana or Montagano? Do you mean Montagano near Campobasso or another location?

I suggest you look up driving times on a mapping site such as www.viamichelin.com
If Montagano is the correct name, then viamichelin shows Panzano to Montagano (near Campobasso) via Priverno is 545 kilometers and 6:16 minutes of driving time - too much for an enjoyable day.

Also, I would strongly disagree with Ellen M about overnights in Naples WITH A CAR. Naples is the last place you want to be driving. Pick one place near Priverno such as Terracina or Sperlonga on the coast, and another place to overnight near Montagana(o).

Changing hotels in small towns doesn't eat up that much time when you have a car. You just throw your stuff in the car as you would from a motel in the U.S. Also, if you pick small towns it's much easier to find the hotel you've reserved, and driving is a lot less stressful.

So, if visiting ancestral places is a priority, I would just visit those and the surrounds, and forget about Naples, Pompei, and Capri.
lovisa is offline  
Aug 15th, 2007, 07:38 AM
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I really like ellenem's proposal. You don't want to spend your entire vacation criss-crossing the country. I suggest making an AutoEurope car reservation to be picked up at the airport. You will save a lot of money, by the way, if you rent a stick shift instead of an automatic. Italian cars also tend to be smaller than American cars, so do what you can to encourage people to pack lightly.

If your sisters complain just tell them that the itinerary finishes in Rome - they could easily stay on a few more days to see Pisa or Pompeii if they wish.
bobludlow is offline  
Aug 15th, 2007, 08:54 AM
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I gave "Naples" as a general vicinity, for ease of dealing with the hometown visits as well as the OP's desire to fit in Pompeii. I, too, would never want to drive in Naples, but figured I'd get her thoughts on rearranging the trip and then advise on locations more specifically.

What I was really trying to get across was this:
1) Drive to Panzano and visit around there for a few days
2) Drive to the hometown areas and visit around there for a day or two
3) Drive or train to Rome and visit there

Personally I'd also skip Pompeii and Capri on so short a trip, and concentrate on Mom's interest in the hometowns for two days since the drive south will take time. I was just trying to show how all their wishes might fit.
ellenem is online now  
Aug 15th, 2007, 02:40 PM
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I don't believe there's any very good choice for a central location from which to visit Priverno and Montegana(o).

Priverno is in Lazio province, and is closer to Rome (104km) than Naples (163 km). Albergo Antico Borgo is just outside Priverno in the hills above the town:
http://www.albergoanticoborgo.it/
Aside from Terracina or Sperlonga, mentioned above, you could also look for hotels in the nearby seaside resorts of Sabaudia or San Felice Circeo.

Located near Priverno is the medieval town of Sermoneta and the gardens of Ninfa. You can google these locations to see if that's something that interests you.

If Montagano is indeed what you mean, it is in Molise province, and again quite some distance from Naples (around 150 km) or Priverno. After visiting Montagano from Priverno, I would go on to Termoli on the Adriatic coast for accommodation, and stay someplace like Hotel Mistral:
http://www.hotelmistral.net/

From Termoli you can return to Rome via autostrada by driving to Pescara and then to Rome.
lovisa is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 11:51 AM
  #8  
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WOW
My head is spinning again. So many suggestions and I think tonight is the night for my map, a large cup of coffee and digest all options listed here.
I thank all of you and will be back with more questions I am sure.
DISNEYGAL is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 02:14 PM
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If your Mom is a "foodie" I am sure she would love to pay a visit to the famous "singing butcher' in Panzano, Dario Cecchini, at his shop on Via XX Luglio. Closed Sunday and Wednesday. He has gotten so much press recently you might have to fight the crowds, but his salumi is legendary.

A well-reviewed restaurant in Panzano is Il Vescovino.
Closed Tuesdays. Moderate prices. The owners also have a wine bar in town.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 04:28 PM
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Disneygal:
Have you already purchased your tickets, and do you know arrival and departure times, or is an open-jaw ticket (say into Florence, or even Bologna or Pisa) a possibility? Do you have any flexibility to rearrange your days, and is visiting Rome a priority?
lovisa is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 04:45 PM
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As an alternative itinerary, if you were willing to forego visiting Montagano(?) you could do the following and not change any plans you have already made (the distances and times are based on www.viamichelin):

Day 1 - rent a car at Fiumicino and drive to Priverno (137 km, 1:27 hours)
Day 2 Priverno environs

Day 3 -drive to Panzano]
(Priverno to Panzano 361 km, 3:39 hours)
Day 4,5 Panzano

Days 6, 7, 8, Southern Tuscany based in area of Montalcino, Pienza, Montepulciano

Day 9 Rome or Rome Airport

You could also just go straight to Rome on day 6 in which case you would probably want to return your car in Chiusi and train to Rome. This depends on the day of the week, because on Saturday afternoon or Sunday only locations open will be airport or central Rome.

I think there is so much good food in Italy you can forego the trip to Bologna and it will be fine.
lovisa is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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Another thing about renting a car -- you will be jet-lagged and falling asleep all day that first day, which is not a time to be driving in or near Rome!! Trust me! In fact, you don't want to drive in Rome when well-rested. It's the worst place in the western world for driving, I think. Take the train to Panzano or the nearest city, and get the car the next morning.
charnees is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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Disneygal:
If you don't want to rent a car your first couple of days, and want to stay in one place to visit Priverno and Montagano, here is another alternative for days 6, 7, and 8:

Drive from Panzano to Venafro (402 km, 4:08 hours according to viamichelin) and stay at Dimora del Prete di Belmonte:
http://www.dimoradelprete.it/molise/dimora.php

According to viamichelin, Venafro is 99 km from Priverno and 92 km for Montagano. You could spend three nights, there (your first day will mostly be taken up by driving), one night touring Privano and environs, and the other touring Montagano. Near Montagano, you can google "Saepinum", a ruined Roman townsite near Campobasso.

You could return to Rome on day 9.
lovisa is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 10:12 AM
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I meant to say spend three nights in Venafro and spend one day at Privano and one day at Montagano.
lovisa is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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Dimora del Prete has 3 very positive reviews on Tripadvisor.
lovisa is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 06:24 AM
  #16  
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Thank you all for your help and I hope I can impose on you a bit more
My computer is up and running again and I can proceed.
ellenem: Have taken several deep breaths
Venafro is not an area I would have even explored, so I thank you for that The B&B is as centrally located as you can get and looks lovely http://www.dimoradelprete.it/


Iovisa: Montagano is indeed the town in Campobasso

The B&B outside of Priverno you suggested looks equally lovely http://www.albergoanticoborgo.it/

We had gotten tickets from a friend and although not ideal, I will make them work The flights are not changeable

Sept 13 Newark to Rome
sept 14 arrive 8:05am (Friday)

Sept 23 Rome - Newark 10:30am (Sunday )

bobludlow & charnees: I am sure I will not be in driving condition my first day. I am hoping just to crawl around Rome for a few days! LOL

ekscrunchy: You know my mom !! I had already heard about the singing butcher...there was an article written by an east coast USA reporter when he first opened the restaurant and I still have it. I have also just found out that along with their SUnday market day, it is also their local wine festival! I do need to leave Rome early that Sunday!!

SO:
Sept 13 Flight
Sept 14 Rome
Sept 15 Rome
( I have founfd a great apartment in Campo De Fiore )
Sept 16 Pick up car?
Sept 16/17/18 Panzano
Head south
Sept 19/20/21

Sept 22 Rome
Sept 23 depart for home ( how sad)

Now...I understand car rentals are hard to obtain on Saturdays and Sundays
and I do want to get to Panzano as early as possible on Sept 16 WIll I be able to get a car in Rome ( other then returning back to the a/p ) or should I take a train to Chiusi and attempt a car rental from there, assuming there are Sunday rentals open. Any other suggestion welcomed

Sept 19 Does it make more sense to drive down to Venafro or Priverno.......
drop of car in Chiusi and take train to Naples and pick up another car....drop car off in Chiusi and take train to Latino ( near Priverno )

I have found in my own exploration some very interesting places.
If I decide not to use the Venafro area as a base and instead use something like
the Albergoanticoborgo near Priverno for a night, a most interesting looking
in the Molise area ( will send link ) and a castle in Formia
http://www.hotelcastellomiramare.it/topmusic.htm, I could then drop the car in Naples and take the train back to Rome?


I was never really interested in Naples itself, but I thought with this, I may even be able to take my mom to Montagano and leave the two others to decide if they'd like Pompeii or take the ferri to Capri

Okay I am feeling good about this and am appreciating all your suggestions
S



DISNEYGAL is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 06:43 AM
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Disneygal,

Glad you are calmly creating a plan that will work for all of you.

No need to turn in the car only to rent one again later in the day.

Your idea to keep Capri or Pompeii in mind only as an optional add-on is a good one. chnaces are your hometown explorations will keep you entertained.
ellenem is online now  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 10:34 AM
  #18  
 
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I agree with Ellenm you do not want to drop off a car, and then pick up another one. Every time you change modes of transportation (e.g., car to train to car) it eats a lot of time.

You can rent a car on Sunday in Rome or at Fiumicino airport, I doubt very much that you'll find a smaller location that's open. I think it's a lot of effort to get back to the airport to rent a car. You could even take an express train to Florence and rent a car there to drive to Panzano, as the distance is not great.

You also need to decide where you will drop the car. If you don't want to drive back to Rome or Fiumicino airport, you may be able to drop the car in Frosinone and take the train from there. But you do need to decide where you will be dropping the car. I believe Ira recommends a drop-off near the Holiday Inn EUR which Holiday Inn has a free shuttle to the airport, but I am not sure the location or the car rental company.

The one thing I would urge you is not to even contemplate driving in Naples, to drop the car or anything else - it is a nightmare.

Almost all European rental cars have manual transmissions, so you need to specify an automatic transmission if that's what you'll need. European cars also have much smaller trunks, so for 4 of you, you will need at least an intermediate size car, and everyone will need to restrain themselves about the amount of luggage they take.

You might want to post a separate question about rental car pick-up, drop-off points, car size, etc.

The Castello Miramare looks very nice. Enjoy your trip.
lovisa is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 01:05 PM
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Thank you again
In my research today, I am finding that Sunday car rentals can be a problem
Available locations on Sundays from about 8am - 1pm are : Termini, Via Del Galoppatoio ( ? ) and Via Calabria ( ? )
I will look into the Holiday Inn option

Drops offs in the area of Formia or Latina are not possible for Sundays at all, so no train to Rome in the picture

It looks like a drive to Rome with a drop off at the station or other 2 locations. I will post again for more transportation infomation.

As the area between Naples and Sperlonga seem very pretty and interesting and all suggested b&b's
are interesting as well, is any area nicer than another? The Castelle I found looks great, but may not be in a great area. If I am going to be based in the area for 3 nights, I may as well look into the best options or even 2. I do not mind a change of hotels.
If I can narrow down those 3 night locations without killing myself driving, I think I am home free.
I am thinking my drive from Panzano should be to the closest point, near Priverno? I am awaiting a reply from the http://www.albergoanticoborgo.it/

Please jump in here if I am off track
DISNEYGAL is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 04:37 PM
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In Rome, Galappattoia, near the Borghese gardens, is easier for going north than the Termini area.

A lot of people like the area around Sperlonga. I haven't been there.

My understanding is that the Lazio coast is attractive - Saubaudia, San Felice Circeo, Terracina, Sperlonga, Gaeta, Formia, but after that in Campania the coastal drive towards Naples is not very attractive.

I realize there's a strong desire to stay in one destination only - that's why I suggested Venafro. If you base yourself on the coast only it's a lot of driving time for a day trip to Montagano. viamichelin shows 2 1/2 hours driving time each way from Formia to Montagano.

You are getting pretty close to the time you are going, so I would advise you to send a bunch of e-mails to possible lodgings because what you want may not be available.
lovisa is offline  

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