Mar 27th, 2004, 11:01 AM
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Hi! We are leaving for a quickly planned trip to Italy, April 3. We arrive in Rome April 4 and on to Florence for 4 nights, then to Venice for 2 nights and to Rome for 5 nights and then home.
Florence, Hotel Lungarno (anyone know anything about their restaurant?) located Borgo San Jacopo; Venice, Hotel Londra very near St. Mark' Square; Rome, Hotel Raphael Piazza Navona. A friend who frequents these cities said these were all great locations and nice hotels. A little expensive for us, but we are celebrating our 40th anniversary on the 4 th and my 61st birthday on the 10th! Enjoyed Statia's report on renewing vows and maybe will do the same. We winter in St. Barths so used to that part of the world.
We would love to do this trip without renting a car at all. Bad back for my husband after a month driving in Australia and 2 months with a jeep in St. Barths. We would love ANY suggestions for side trips if time, restaurants(finds if possible)reasonable little out of the way spots; we will do some fancy but prefer casual great food.
Is the weather around 60? We know to cover up in the religious places but what about dress in restaurants?
We are not opposed to changing some of this itinerary so fire off the suggestions. Have enjoyed this site very new to it. Thanks so much. Carole Arena
Arena is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 11:15 AM
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Hi Arena,

You might find the Florence and Venice parts of my trip report helpful:

ira is online now  
Mar 27th, 2004, 11:24 AM
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I don't know about the restaurant in the Lungarno (which has received good reviews from people on this forum), but there are 2 good restaurants just steps away from the hotel on the same street - Mamma Ginas and Osteria Cinghale Bianco.

The Londra Palace is a lovely hotel. I last stayed there about 3 years ago.

Enjoy your trip!
Travel_Fan is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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I think you have planned a nice itinerary with very nice places to stay.

I see nothing wrong with using trains and not renting a car for the amount of time you have.

You won't have time for day trips from Venice, but that's no problem Venice is plenty special.

A day trip either on a tour or via the SITA bus from Florence to Siena would be my recommendation.

From Rome, I would suggest a day tour to Tivoli and the Villa D'Este.
LeslieC is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 01:15 PM
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For the restaurants I enjoyed in Rome and in Venice, see my trip reports from this month and last month:



Nikki is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 01:19 PM
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Ira, I tried the link you posted to your trip report, but I got the Helpful Information: Italy thread instead.
Nikki is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 02:36 PM
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Arena, I spent some time looking at various rooms at the Lungarno last fall, and they're lovely. If you're lucky enough to get one with a river view, even better.

We had a fabulous dinner, rather upscale but worth it, at Boccanegra in Florence. The concierge at the Continentale, the Lungarno's sister hotel just across the river, recommended it. It would be great for your "fancy" choice. Dress was what you would wear to a nice restaurant in the US.

By the way, go up to the roof garden bar of the Continentale for a drink at sunset.
shellio is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 07:37 PM
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I strongly second the recommendation for Osteria Cinghale Bianco in Florence. It was so good, we went 2 nights in a row - and you must have the "bread and tomato soup"! The restaurant is right down the street from your hotel.
jodalahh is offline  
Mar 28th, 2004, 11:52 AM
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Hi nikki,

This should be the right one.

ira is online now  
Mar 28th, 2004, 06:40 PM
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i know the street where you will stay in florence and you will like it very much...it is one street in from the river on "the other side of the river" near ponte vecchio...lots to see and do in that area....artiasn area....
i have written a very long report on our venice/florence trip earlier this month on this forum....look for Venice and Florence Soujourn in the italy section...lots of restaurants mentioned...we were there for our 60th birthdays so we have that in common...
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 06:01 AM
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Wow! You guys are great. First time doing this and I promise to report our trip when we return. We do have a river view at Lungarno and the Osteria Cinghale Bianco is obviously the restaurant of choice even back 10 years ago from friends! More on Romw would be appreciated. Also is San Giamoco(spelling) worth a stop if we go to Sienna? Thanks, Arena
Arena is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 07:15 AM
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Hi arena,

I think you meant San Gimignano.

It's gotten mixed reviews, most favorable.
ira is online now  
Mar 29th, 2004, 08:04 AM
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Hotel Raphael has a great location just NW of Piazza Navona and a beautiful lobby but I agree with you - very expensive. I've heard that their standard rooms are a real letdown given the price and it is really worthwhile to upgrade one level. As for San Gimignano - I really enjoyed visiting this unique little town with its hilltop location and towers. If you choose to visit keep wandering up-hill until you reach a peaceful little walled garden with amazing views.
bobludlow is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 08:44 AM
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The Osteria dell'Antiquario is very close to your hotel in Rome (about 6 blocks east on Via del Coronari). It faces a secluded little square with a fountain (reserve an outdoor table). The food is exquisite (as is the setting). Piazzetta di S. Simeone 26, Phone: 06.6879694 Reservations required - closed Sunday.
bardo is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 09:00 AM
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If you could squeeze in another day or two in Venice that would be nice.
Shane is offline  
Mar 31st, 2004, 12:23 PM
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Hi, running into a snag trying to book reservations to Uffizi and Academia getting only message machine. Any suggestions?
Also any input on Villa San Michele in Fiesole for our "big" night out? Is the theft as bad as my friends are saying? Are blue jeans acceptable? Nylon sweatsuits for touring around? Any thoughts? Thanks Arena leaving in 3 days!!!!!
Arena is offline  
Mar 31st, 2004, 12:29 PM
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Hi Arena,

I booked my reservations yesterday. Depending on where you are, keep in mind the time difference and their lunch hour. I tried a couple of times before I got an operator at around 3pm Italy time. Good luck!!
myps is offline  
Mar 31st, 2004, 01:42 PM
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Hi Arena,
We just went to Venice, Rome , Florence and took Eurostar in between cities... very nice http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/fa...ules/index.htm

Also when you are in Florence.. take a day trip to San Gimignano you will love it. Ultimate Tuscan Village. Catch the SITI - to Pogibonsi then tranfer to San G. Have fun

mr_magy is offline  
Mar 31st, 2004, 08:32 PM
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Hi Arena - for Florence museum reservations you can telephone for a minimal fee. But for a not much bigger fee you can order your tickets and have a written confirmation through this website. It worked perfectly for us:


As to restaurants in Rome, since you are staying near the Piazza Navona, I'd recommend Tre Scalini, and in particular, their Tartufo dessert! (restaurant review can be found on www.frommers.com. Also, a few blocks off the Piazza della Rotonda (Pantheon) is Giolitti's Gelato parlor. While gelato is available at every turn in Italy, this place is a bit upscale and at this time of year has beautiful Easter egg displays.
LeslieC is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 03:19 AM
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With a hotel like Lungarno, I would think that an e-mail to the hotel front desk staff could easily include a request that they make your reservations for Uffizi and Accademia for you. They may still add a nomial charge to your bill, not necessarily more nor less than weekendafirenze.com - - but I find it useful to see how such requests are handled. It can be a "heads up" if they fail to acknowledge and provide you details about the reservation, or set the tone (they do nice things, you say thank you) for your stay there.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  

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