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Globus trip cancelled 18 Dec. Help with DIY itinerary Italy France pl

Globus trip cancelled 18 Dec. Help with DIY itinerary Italy France pl

Dec 25th, 2004, 07:54 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 11
Globus trip cancelled 18 Dec. Help with DIY itinerary Italy France pl

This was the "Old World Classics" 18 day trip departing London start 1 Feb 05. I know Globus is within its rights but am advised via Travel Agent that it is 'normally 4-5 weeks' before I get my full refund back. I cannot change FF points travel dates or Priceline accomm in London so am now having to make the best of a bad experience and press for earlier release of funds or I will not have them for my trip.

I am taking 20 yr old age son with me. Leaving Oz 21 Jan. Have always planned on staying Vienna then Budapest for 3 & 4 nights then London prior to tour for 3 nights. Thank goodness have already found this site and been doing max research to avoid costly Tour extras. I have carefully saved latest Italy helpful advice and have great Sth of France advise from Stu Dudley.

I will sort out all the train/bus stuff from your previous advice once I settle the basic plan.

I'm now thinking to fly elcheapo London to Venice, 2 -3 nights there, then get to Assissi or nearby via bus or train; stay 1 night. Ditto to Sorrento and Pompeii stay 2 nights somewhere there (Naples sounds a bit scary).
Train to Rome; stay 3 nights; then Florence; stay 2 nights. Travel hire car(Autotour - thanks Bob) to Nice or ?; 1 night. Sth of France; 3 nights, Paris 3 nights then get back to London for flight out late evening of 18 Feb.

Big concern is driving in winter Florence towards Nice or ??? Suggestions & comments on this gratefully accepted.

We were really keen to see Pompeii and or Heculaneum plus a walled or hill town like San Gimignano, St Paul de Vence, Carcassone etc. For the major towns we have lots to work on from this site and guide books.

Thank you and my appreciation for what I have already gleaned from this site - it has stopped the absolute panic following the cancellation news.
oztravellers is offline  
Dec 26th, 2004, 09:31 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 331
Topping for the folks from Down Under.
Robdaddy is offline  
Dec 26th, 2004, 11:30 AM
  #3  
 
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I just sent you two more itineraries that I have:
1. Italy
2. Provence & Cote d'Azur.

As for your plans, I would strongly recommend that you slow things down, not travel as much, but enjoy it more. I suggest that you skip the south of France, and just stay in Italy, except for Paris. Instead of the South of France, explore Tuscany by car - it has the same "look & feel" as Provence in February. Rent a car for a few days and drive around in Tuscany to see your small perched & walled villages - including Assisi. There is an excellent driving tour in the Italy itinerary I sent you.

Here is what I would do.

1. Fly London to Venice - stay 3 days.
2. Train to Florence & stay 3 days.
3. Either pick up a car in Florence, or train to Chiusi (just east of Montepulciano) and pick up a car there. You could also train from Florence to Siena, spend 1/2 day in Siena & pick up a car in Siena. Stay in/near Pienza or San Quirico (that's my choice), and spend 5 nights/days exploring the cute villages in Tuscany.
a. San Gimignano & Volterra
b. Montalcino, Sant Antimo Abbey (chants), San Quirico, Pienza, Montepulciano, Val d'Orcia,
c. Assisi (1 1/2 hrs from Pienza), Todi, Orvieto
d. Siena,
3. Either drive to Sorrento (visiting Pompii along the way), or turn in the car in Chiusi or Orvieto & take the train. Sorrento 2 nights/days (Sorrento itself is only about a 1/4 day, so having the car & driving the Amalfi coast & visiting Positano, Amalfi, Ravello would be fun)
4. If you choose to drive to Sorrento from Tuscany, stay 1 night in Tivoli (1/2 way between Tuscany & Sorrento) & see Hadrian's Villa & Villa d'Est. Then on to Sorrento.
5. Dump car in Sorrento & take train to Rome - 4 days in Rome.
6. Fly to Paris - 6 days in Paris.

Perhaps do Tuscany, Rome, Sorrento, Paris in that order if you choose the train option, just to break up the back-to-back big cities of Rome followed by Paris.

Stu Dudley
San Mateo (San Francisco), Ca
StuDudley is offline  
Dec 26th, 2004, 12:01 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Sorry to hear about the disruption of your plan; but it shouldn't be hard to arrange something better and cheaper.

Fly from London to Venice, perhaps you could try www.flybmi.com, it is cheap too but more comfortable than other budget flights, besides it is easier/cheaper to go to Heathrow from Cnetral London.

From Venice to Assisi by train,you have to change at Florenc. From Assis to Napoli, it is easier to take bus to Rome,than train. Or to save time,you could take direct train from Venice to Napoli, then go to Assis from Rome by bus.

Besides San Gimignano, I find Siena is really worth a visit. It is easy to take bus from Assis to Siena, then bus to S.G.

If you are concerned about winter driving, perhaps you could take train from Florence to Nice (change at Milan, or Pisa and Genova), then pick up the car at Nice.
JudyC is offline  
Dec 26th, 2004, 12:20 PM
  #5  
ira
 
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Hi OZ,

Sorry about the cancellation of your tour.

May I suggest that you save France for another trip and spend your time in Italy?

Your six nights could then be split between 2 more nights in London (or a trip to Scotland or Wales), 1 more night in Florence, 2 more nights in Sorrento and one more in Assisi.

Alternatively, staying in Naples lets you visit Pompeii, Mt Vesuvius, Capri and the AC as well as Naples itself.

Enjoy your new itinerary.
ira is offline  
Dec 26th, 2004, 02:14 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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If I'm reading this right your trip will be this February. There are lots of possible combinations - but you may want to rethink spending a lot of time - or any at all - on the Amalfi Coast. These are essentially summer resorts - and in Feb will not be at their best - quite cool, probably rainy - and with a lot of places (sights, hotels, restaurants etc) either closed completely or on a reduced schedule. Your chances of getting to Capri are likelt to be limited (there are no sailings if the weather is bad/seas rough) and once there I doubt there will be much to do. Pompeii can be done in a day from Rome (with limited hours of light you can't really spend a full day anyway) or you might stay one overnight in Sorrento (although I can;t imagine there's much to do there either in Feb.)

I would reco that you focus on Venice, Florence and Rome - with either day trips to Assisi, Siena. Pompeii etc - or perhaps a mini road trip betwen Venice and Rome.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 26th, 2004, 08:45 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
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Posts: 11
Thank you everyone. Appreciate your time over Christmas to respond.

I'm going to take the benefit of your collective experience and your advice re cutting out France (except for Paris on the way into or from Italy) and refocus the trip on the Italian cities and countryside.

So it's back to the drawing board and the computer for me. Am now pretty confident I can pull it all together.

Will keep a record of expenses too just to see how costs compare with what I was going to do with Globus.

All the best for the remainder of the Festive Season.
oztravellers is offline  
Dec 27th, 2004, 05:38 AM
  #8  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,106
Hi Oz,

You might want to consider taking the Eurostar from London to Paris.

The cheapest ticket is a one-day return fare for about 60GBP. You needn't use the return ticket.

From Paris, check www.whichbudget.com for flights to Rome.

You can then train Rome-Florence-Venice and fly back to London (eithr LHR or LGW)from Venice.
ira is offline  

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