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pnardelli Apr 26th, 2008 07:08 PM

First Time Trip Italy Oct. 2008

We are excited about our upcoming trip to Italy as we have been wanting to visit Italy for many years! We are currently in the beginning stages of planning. FYI - we are a middle aged couple who love to travel. We will be traveling with another middle-aged couple who shares in our same interest.

We will be traveling to Italy in early October for 14 days. We fly into Rome and leave from Milan. We plan to take in as much as possible without overdoing it.

Our major concern is the cost/expenses of such a trip, as the Euro has outpaced the value of the Dollar. And so, we are curious to any suggestions you might have for affordable, clean, safe and conveniently located hotels in Rome, Venice, Florence, Bologna, Pisa, Tuscany and Milan.

We look forward to reading your suggestions soon!


Excited Italy travelers!

JeanneB Apr 26th, 2008 07:16 PM

Could you please narrow down what "affordable" means? Perhaps tell us the average you want to spend per room, per night for the entire trip. Then responders can help you break it out by location. It will also help to know how many nights per location.

Have you considered apartments? Two couples could save a lot going that route. Many apartments will rent for 3 nights.

pnardelli Apr 26th, 2008 07:23 PM

All (JeanneB)

Thank you for your timely reply. We hope to spend between $150.00 to $250.00 a night (on average $200.00 a night).

At this point in time we plan to spend 2-3 in each locations and haven't ruled out the possibility of staying in an apartment.

Again we are open to any/all suggestions.

Thanks again,

Excited Italian Travelers

JeanneB Apr 26th, 2008 07:37 PM

Have you already bought your plane tickets? I'm just wondering if you're going to Milan only because you leave from there. Or do you want to spend time there?

ellenem Apr 26th, 2008 07:51 PM

<<14 days . . . hotels in Rome, Venice, Florence, Bologna, Pisa, Tuscany and Milan.>>

6 hotel changes in 14 days is a lot. Changing hotels from one city to another eats up at least half a day checking in and out, traveling and such.

I suspect by "Tuscany" you mean a smaller town, since both Pisa and Florence are also in Tuscany. Probably you will visit Pisa as a daytrip from either Florence (easy to do by train) or from your location in Tuscany. This means only 5 hotel changes in 14 days, a bit better.

My favorite Venice hotel, well within your budget:

In Rome:

LoveItaly Apr 26th, 2008 08:54 PM

Hello pnardelli, the first trip to Italy is always the most exciting imo.

How many nights will you have in Italy?

willit Apr 27th, 2008 01:08 AM

I agree with others - too many hotel changes. As stated before Pisa is an easy day or half day trip from Florence (possibly combine with trip to Lucca).

Bologna could also be done from Florence as it has a direct train connection.

Everybody has different ways of travelling - Personally I think you are trying to squeeze too much into a trip, and will spend too much time changing locations, and not enough enjoying the places that you visit.
If the 14 days includes travel time, this effectively gives you 12 workable days in Italy.

What I might suggest is splitting your time equally between Rome, Florence and Venice.

Alternatively , as so many of your list are in or near Tuscany, see if you could rent an Apartment in Florence or nearby for a week - this would probably work out quite reasonably cost wise, and would give you a good base for extensive exploration of the area. I use sites like and but many have used , or the listings on .

Italy is magical. I have seen many people fall in love with the country to the extent that it becomes an obsession. I hope you have a wonderful trip and that this "enchantment effect" works for you as well. It would be such a pity if all you remembered after the trip was frantic sightseeing between the endless airplane, cars and train journeys.

Vttraveler Apr 27th, 2008 03:12 AM

I agree with other posters you should seriously consider cutting down the number of cities you visit in Italy. Pisa makes most sense as a day trip from Florence. I would cut out Bologna unless you have a particular reason for wanting to see it and concentrate on the "big three" with some day trips plus Milan at the end.

I think you will be especially frustrated if you try to visit Rome in "2 to 3" (nights or days??--either way) I would spend a minimum of five nights there especially since you will be jet lagged at the beginning of the trip. It is a much bigger city than either Florence or Venice and has so many things to see that it is overwhelming if you try to see it in only a few days.

I think you will find much better value for money if you rent an apartment in Rome. There are many threads on this forum recommending good agencies and specific apartments.
This is one with a lot of information about different neighborhoods;tid=34792021

Grcxx3 Apr 27th, 2008 04:12 AM

This past Christmas we stayed at the Albergo Cesari hotel in Rome. I think we paid 185 euros per night (double room with breakfast) - which with the exchange rate might be a little above your budget .....BUT the location is spectacular. Just a 2+ minute walk to the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain and about a 15+ minute walk to the Roman Forum/Colosseum area and (in the other direction) the Spanish Steps.

JeanneB Apr 27th, 2008 04:56 AM

Rome is expensive, Venice even more so. If you do an apartment in Rome and agriturismo in Tuscany, I think you could save enough to "splurge" a little in Venice.

For instance, here's a 2BR,2BA apartment in a good location in Rome. I offer it only as an example---we stay in 1BR units. I bookmarked this one because it's next to one of our favorite restaurants.
190eu per night works out to $143 per couple (at 1.5 exchange). There may be other charges for utilities, etc. but it shouldn't be too bad split two ways.

In the Tuscan countryside you can easily spend less than that. You didn't say whether you'll rent a car. That factors in to a "country" stay.

I asked early about your flights. If you haven't already bought tickets (and you don't have to go to Milan), consider flying into Venice/out of Rome.

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