EXPLORING ITALY

Oct 27th, 2001, 10:11 AM
  #1  
Rochelle
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EXPLORING ITALY

I'm traveling to Italy in mid-March 2002 (my son will be studying abroad in Rome). Current plans include Rome (3 nights, Hotel Millenium); Florence (3 nights, Relais delle Arti); and Venice (2 nights, Hotel Ca' Pisani).

There's so much we want to see and do that we must narrow down our plans. Aside from the major tourist attractions, we are considering spending a day in the Umbria region (Orvieto and Assisi) and shopping at the Gucci/Prada Outlet stores in Tuscany.

I realize this is a bit ambitious considering the relatively short time we will be there. Any suggestions or information on the hotels selected? What about transfers upon arrival to each destination? We plan to travel between cities via train.

Thanks for your anticipated responses.
 
Oct 27th, 2001, 04:44 PM
  #2  
Anita
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I don't think you're spending enough time in any one place. Remember that you'll lose about half a day travelling between major cities. Personally, I'd leave Venice for another trip and think again about the outlet shopping in Tuscany.
 
Oct 27th, 2001, 05:42 PM
  #3  
Rex
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I think that you probably ought to cut Assisi out of you plans (maybe Venice too). Transportation to and from Assisi will quadruple the transit time from Rome to Florence (not even counting the time you spend there IN Assisi), unless you have a car. And you almost certainly do NOT want a car for Rome nor Florence (this in spite of the fact that I am a very strong advocate of having a car in Italy, and have posted more than once here about how you CAN manage WITH a car in either city if you choose to!)

It might not look like it's out of the way, but the train from Rome to Florence is very fast (much faster than driving), and the train to Assisi doesn't really get you all the way TO Assisi (a small town at the base of the hill, less than 5 km "up", by bus). It all consumes time, and unless you are overnighting, I don't know what your solution would be to where your luggage can be stored. Yes, you COULD day trip to Assis and back from either city - - but with only eight days, it's a lot of time spent getting from point A to B - - and back again.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Oct 28th, 2001, 05:31 AM
  #4  
Don and Linda
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Hi Rochelle,

It's not going to work. You want to see too much in not enough time and the result will be seeing almost nothing at all and remembering even less. You've got to focus. Do some more reading and try to get a sense of the time involved in getting from place-to-place. You might find our Italy travelogues helpful. In particular, see Italy - Winter 2001. Our site is non-commercial: http://www.thetravelzine.com
 
Oct 28th, 2001, 05:56 AM
  #5  
Rochelle
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Thank you all for your response. It's clear that my plans were more than ambitious and very unrealistic! I eliminated day trips to the Umbria region and shopping in Tuscany from my itinerary ( I do regret the latter...love to shop).

I'm still working on narrowing down the rest. Any suggestions on MUST SEE AND DO? Thank you.
 
Oct 28th, 2001, 06:03 AM
  #6  
Vita
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Rochelle, I agree with the others that this is too much. I don't know what your idea of a good time is, but I would suggest dropping Venice and either spending it in Rome or splitting it between Rome and Florence using the extra day in Florence to take a day trip into Tuscany.
 
Oct 28th, 2001, 06:19 AM
  #7  
Vita
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Rochelle, It looks like we posted at the same time. If you like to shop, there are plenty of opportunities in both Rome and Florence. Check out the area around the Spanish Steps, for all the clothing stores.

In terms of must dos, that all depends on what you like. There's a good Web site that covers the highlights for Rome: http://www.twenj.com/romesights.htm.

Personally my favorites in Rome were St. Peter's in the Vatican, Piazza Navona, and Gianicolo in Trastevere. I also just loved walking around the quieter side streets. I personally found the outside of the Colosseum extraodinary, but the inside not worth the price of admission, but if I had to do it over again, I guess I'd still go because, hey, it's the Colosseum.

In terms of Florence, Uffizi Gallerie and Accademia are the most popular museums (make reservations for both). My personal favorite sites were Boboli Gardens, San Miniato on Piazzale Michelangelo, Santa Croce, sitting and people watching in Piazza della Signorina and Piazza della Republica, walking along the Arno in the early morning and the evening.
 
Oct 28th, 2001, 06:23 AM
  #8  
Vita
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Oops sorry, two things I forgot to mention about Rome, Castello Sant'Angelo for the view of Rome and St. Peter's and walking along the Tiber at night.
 
Oct 28th, 2001, 07:59 AM
  #9  
sally
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If possible, get reservations and see the Borghese Museum in Rome; you will NOT ever regret it, as the sculptures there are incredible. I, too, would save Venice for another trip, although it is a wonderful place, even if one only has a few days to spend there. I might consider leaving in Orvieto. The Duomo is magnificent, as are the Last Judgement frescoes, and spending the day there would be nice. For a great meal, eat at the Trattoria La Grotta in Orvieto, which Plotkin recommends in his Gourmet Guide to Italy. You will have a great trip no matter what you decide to see and do! Regards, Sally
 
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