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Family of 4 + Inlaws Italy Itinerary Help Please

Family of 4 + Inlaws Italy Itinerary Help Please

Mar 3rd, 2004, 04:57 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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Family of 4 + Inlaws Italy Itinerary Help Please

Hi Everyone. This is our first trip to Italy and we are very excited!! We are a family of 4 who will be rendezvousing with my husbands parents in Rome mid April. Our plans are as follows:

Arrive Rome (husband, me and 14 & 11 year old) on Wednesday evening - Staying at Albergo Santa Chiara. We have 2 days (Thurs/Fri) in which to see highlights of Rome. We were thinking of hiring a guide for one of the days to maximize our time. I haven't hired a guide before, any suggestions? Fri evening our parents arrive for dinner. Suggestions on a nice restaurant as a welcome to Rome?

Sat we are renting a car from the Termini train station in Rome and driving to San Gimignano. We have rented a Villa just 4 kilo from the town - for 1 week.

Any suggestions from fellow travellers as to places to stop for lunch or sight see while driving from Rome to San Gim?

Also suggestions for day trips from San Gim - must sees in Tuscany. I was comtemplating a day trip to Venice, but somehow feel that would be over doing it and I sure there will be so much to do and see in Tuscany. We are in our villa a Sat-Sat.

Once our villa stay is finished we have one full Sat to drop our car off and stay in Florence. We head back home on Sunday. Can we see David and highlights in Florence in one day - or should be also take a day trip to Florence during our villa stay?

We are also looking for a hotel in Florence that is nice (our last night we would like something to remember Italy by), comfortable, with a good location. We require two rooms as we are a family of 4. I do not want to spend upwards of 600E for 2 rooms.

Thanks to all for suggestions. My trip is rapidly approaching and I feel so unprepared and overwhelmed in terms of itinerary planning (so many places to see and so little time). As it is our first trip to Italy(and my in-laws first to Europe) I want to ensure that it will be a trip full of memories, adventure and experiences that will last a life time!
debby_fish is offline  
Mar 4th, 2004, 07:29 AM
  #2  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi debby,

If you can, I suggest that you stop off in Orvieto. It's a lovely littletown on a hilltop.

The kids will like the funiculare ride.
ira is offline  
Mar 4th, 2004, 07:42 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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We didn't have much time in Rome either and hired a great guide through Vatican Tours & Beyond (they have a web site). The owner and one of the guides toured us around Rome and it was a fantastic experience. I would highly recommend them. When you are in Tuscany, one of the most scenic drives was down the S222 that runs between Florence and Siena. We really liked Greve-in-Chianti
buongiorno is offline  
Mar 4th, 2004, 04:07 PM
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How did you make reservations for Albergo Santa Chiara in Rome? I tried to call (and speak only a few words in Italian) and the front desk operator hung up on me. I have also tried through the website (about 4 times)! Do you have any other ideas!??
I also second the side trip to Orvieto. It is a beautiful hill town with a well that your children may enjoy going into. You can buy a ticket for about $5 i think and walk down and up the well like the animals used to do to retrieve water! Thanks for any help you can give... you can just post a reply here and i will check back! Thanks.
italylover2004 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2004, 11:54 PM
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Italylover2004:

You can book the Santa Chiara on http://www.venere.it or directly on the hotel website at http://www.albergosantachiara.com
LeslieC is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 06:50 AM
  #6  
 
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Oriveto would make a nice stop. If you have time, take the Orvieto underground tour. Your kids will enjoy it. I think a day trip to Venice is a bit much, if you want to see Venice, spend at least a night there. I think you can see Florence's highlights in 1 day unless you are a really lover of art and art history (than you'd need days). We only spent a quick overnight in FLorence when we last visited 3 years ago. We stopped there enroute from Venice to ROme primarily to visit a student/babysitter we knew that was spending a semester there. We walked around and saw the outdoor sites. We also visited the History of Science museum (which all of us enjoyed). The art museums just didn't fit into our schedule or my kids' interests at the time. We stayed in a quad room at Hotel Casci. It's nothing fancy but has a very warm and welcoming fee to it. We hated to leave so quickly because they made us feel so at home there. We also satyed at the Santa Chiara, stayed in a quad (2 room suite) and enjoyed our stay (I emaled them directly to make the reseravation).
MFNYC is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 07:03 AM
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Do not miss Volterra and Monteriggioni--both about :40 from San Gim.--and plan a full day in Siena.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 08:09 AM
  #8  
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Wow, I've certainly received a wealth of information already. Thanks to everyone.

I've already checked out Vatican TOurs and Beyond - great website and tours. As we have very limited time in Rome, we are going to do the Rome in a Day tour and one day on our own - or maybe a half day tour - my kids like the sound of the underground/catacomb tour - just to maximize time. I usually prefer exploring on my own, I know that we will be very short on time.

I'm taking the suggestion of stopping in Orvieto on our way to the villa.

I'm still checking on hotels in Florence. Very expensive at that time of year - given I need two rooms. I'm tossing Hotel Baglioni versus Hotel Bertellini. I really wanted Lungarno Suites but could not get it.

Regarding Albergo Santa Chiara in Rome - I faxed them my room request - fax number is 0039-06-6873144. I had them fax my confirmation back to me. I have since been corresponding through e-mail at [email protected].

I will also add Monte Riggioni (someone mentioned a great restaurant there - Il Pozzo), Volterra and Sienna. I think that will be it for my trip. Maybe one more day trip, but we also want to experience our villa.

My itinerary is shaping up as follows:

Day 1-3 Rome (1 evening/2 full days)
- one day will be a tour
Day 4 - Drive to San Gim
- stopping in Orvieto
Day 5-11 Day trips from San Gim
- to Siena, Monte Riggioni, Volterra - also explore San Gim
Day 12 Florence
Day 13 Go Home

Again thanks for the info everyone. If anyone has suggestions on restaurants, please let me know. Thanks.



debby_fish is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 12:47 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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HI Debby. Which villa are you renting near San Gim?
GodsGift is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 06:24 AM
  #10  
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We are renting Rosso Fiorentino in the hamlet of Sant'Andrea. We booked through Tuscanynow.com.
debby_fish is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 08:46 PM
  #11  
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A few additional questions regarding our itinerary:

1. Should we spend two days daytripping to Siena?

2. Or 1 daytrip to Siena and 2 in Florence?

I think we'll have to compromise on our plan a little. As we want to ensure we can relax and enjoy our surroundings in our villa just outside San Gim. As mentioned earlier we wish to daytrip to Siena, Monte Riggioni, Volterra and San Gim. My kids want to add Pisa into the mix - I just think that may be taking on too much!

Our plan is that our second last day in Tuscany, we turn our villa over to the caretaker, I'm sure we'll be out by 9:00 am. We are then returning our rental car to the Florence airport (approx an hour away from the villa in San Gim). We will then take a cab to our hotel in Florence - Hotel Berchielli very close the Uffizi Gallery. I realistically expect that we will arrive at the hotel around noon. I don't think we will have time to see "David" and Uffizi Gallery. And I wish to see both, not to mention walking and soaking in the surroundings. This was the only day I was initially planning in Florence. And it is not a full day. Our flight leaves early the next morning, so there will not be any time then.

Should I plan to spend an additional day in Florence as a daytrip from our villa? I certainly do not want to cut ourselves short on experiencing Florence and at two days we may be already selling short.

Any suggestions? I don't want to squeeze in too much that we're frantically running from place to place and not enjoying our surroundings. Thanks for all the help

debby_fish is offline  
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