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First time to Italy for 25th wedding anniversary

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Jun 16th, 2010, 02:33 PM
  #1
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First time to Italy for 25th wedding anniversary

I am surprising my husband and taking him to Italy for our 25th anniversary. I have signed him up to run the marathon in Venice, and he knows he'll be running a marathon on our trip. The marathon is Oct. 24 and we need to begin our trip with the marathon on the front end. The plan is to take roughly 12 -14 days for the trip. I'd like us to see Venice, Florance, Rome, and maybe Malta but hate the idea of hotel hopping. What advice would an experienced traveler to Italy do in my situation?
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Jun 16th, 2010, 02:44 PM
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The solution could be as follows.

First Venice due to the marathon. Then take the train down to Florence.

You can travel down to Rome and back in a day. For Malta you can fly Ryanair from Pisa at very low prices - about Euros 20 one way in October. However, since they charge huge amounts for baggage why don't you leave your main luggage at the hotel in Florence and travel to Malta and back with an overnight case.

The same could be done with Rome if you don't want to drag a lot of bags with you but would like to spend more than just a day there.
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Jun 16th, 2010, 03:05 PM
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Hi sweetjen,
For 12 days I would not try to attempt more than three locations. You have to spend a minimum of 1/2-3/4 of a day just packing, changing locations and unpacking, so please remember to take that into account.

We absolutely loved Venice and Rome last October. The weather was great.

Have fun,
Michele
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Jun 16th, 2010, 03:08 PM
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We visit Italy every year. We always give some time to Rome and add in some new side-trips -- this year it was Cremona in Lombardy and Lucca in N. Tuscany.

Venice, Florence and Rome in 12-14 days is quite enough. You won't have time for Malta.

I would do 4-4-6 or sthg along those lines (it seems like a lot of time in each place but remember the transit time is actually a lot more than just the time of the train journey.

One day in Florence I would use for a day trip -- Siena or Pisa or Lucca.

I could spend the whole time in Rome and not get bored, BTW.

I can't imagine what the marathon route would be in or near Venice. I presume some of it is in Venice and some on the terraferma.
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Jun 16th, 2010, 03:21 PM
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I'm far from being a marathoner but I would arrive in Venice a couple of days early to allow your husband to get over the jet lag. I agree with those who say with the time you have, Venice, Florence and Rome is a perfect fit. You can always day trip from Florence (Siena, Lucca, San Gimignano)and Rome (Ostia Antica).
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Jun 16th, 2010, 05:35 PM
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Thanks for the experienced input. I've heard that Rome can be very busy & crowded. Since we'll be ending the trip with Rome, how would you recommend ending on a restful/recovery note prior to returning home to 4 kids & a business?
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Jun 16th, 2010, 06:33 PM
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http://www.venicemarathon.it/page_en.php?name=course

shows a description of the Venice marathon route

I agree with the others . . . to add Malta, you will need to subtract either Florence or Rome.
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Jun 16th, 2010, 09:16 PM
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I find Rome restful. It is not an especially hectic city. Where in NA do you live? Rome is sleepy compared to NYC, bustling compared to Montana. It's a Q of what you're used to.
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Jun 17th, 2010, 02:19 AM
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It depends upon your budget but as you are talking about your 25th (congratulations) you might want to consider your final night at La Posta Vecchia - http://www.lapostavecchia.com/index-en.php - just 25 minutes from Rome Fiumicino. The hotel - formerly J. Paul Getty's residence - is magnificent and will truly end your trip on a high note!
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Jun 17th, 2010, 05:33 AM
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Rome, like any large city, can be busy and crowded. "Can be" is the key. If you don't want to be in the busy, crowded areas, one thing you can do is get a hotel a bit away from the tourist-heavy areas--something of an oasis to get away to each evening and to give you a calm start to each day.
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Jun 17th, 2010, 06:02 AM
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Oh man, I just read through the Venice marathon route. What a course! I hope you plan to tell yr husband a BIT in advance which marathon he'll be running, so he can prepare pyschologically for the course and do a bit of familiarization/ strategizing.

The 5 km of the Ponte della Liberta (causeway between terraferma and Venice) could be challenging if there's any wind. Then FOURTEEN bridges in the final few kms.

On the plus side, there must be almost zero change in elevation for the first 30 km or so.

[Hills and any form of climbing were always my bugbear as a runner. Esp. in a marathon. Like most runners (even though I was pretty fast, with a PB of 2:42:50) I was just hanging on at the end. Those bridges esp. the Accademia Bridge will be a challenge for many, so close to the finish. Speaking only for myself: I wd definitely want to have reviewed that course in some detail, before attempting it.]
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Jun 17th, 2010, 08:35 AM
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The runners won't climb the Accademia Bridge. From the description, there will be a pontoon bridge from the Punta della Dogana across the Grand Canal, I suspect to the Vallaresso landing. Still, all those bridgesat the end will take their toll.
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Jun 17th, 2010, 08:40 AM
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Thanks nochblad for the suggestion & link; I'll check that out today.
tedgale : My husband & I decided I would plan this trip & I informed him a few months ago that for our anniversary I signed him up for the Venice marathon - he was excited but wants to be surprised with the remaining details. He ran 6 marathons in the first 5 months of this year & ran the Comrade Ultra Marathon just this last May. We travel for all his marathons so we've got the routine down. We live in northern Indiana in the country, enjoy the big cities, but starting with Venice & ending with Rome I just want to make sure we end on a great note. Sounds like we should not do Malta on this trip.
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Jun 17th, 2010, 09:03 AM
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If your husband has never doe the Venice marathon before remember that the streets of Venice are frequently paved in stone so there is absolutely no give. The right running shoes are critical for this course.
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Jun 17th, 2010, 10:01 AM
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Thanks. It is an interesting course as we have both looked over it & researched it. I've been in touch with Bart Y., the cheif running officer of Runners World and this is one marathon he recommended to me, as well as a friend who participates in the 7 Continent Marathon Club.
The marathon is a small part of this trip & neither of us want it to consume the trip; we've had plenty of that already this year & are ready just to celebrate our anniversary.
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Jun 17th, 2010, 10:25 AM
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After reading several threads of trips to Italy, I get the impression that most folks do not use travel agents to book hotels & such.There is one that we have used on occasion whose owner has traveled to Italy frequently & wanted to put us in authentic Italian hotels & such.
Any thoughts or recommendations on using a travel agent?
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Jun 17th, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Another question, anything I should know about visiting Italy between Oct. 18 & Nov. 3?
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Jun 17th, 2010, 10:31 AM
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The first thing that jumps to mind is that November 1 is All Saints' Day which is a public holiday.
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Jun 17th, 2010, 10:37 AM
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nochblad, it appears you have traveled several times to Italy/Europe. How do you do that, do you live close by, do you use a travel agent?
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Jun 17th, 2010, 10:48 AM
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I have lived in Italy the last 30 years! From my other postings people will have gathered that I live in Como. For over 20 years I have spent at least 2 months of the year in Florence or rather the surrounding hills. I have travelled all over Italy but there are still many gaps. However, ask specific questions and I will do my best to answer. Use [email protected] if you prefer not sharing with others on the forum.

Ian
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