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-   -   Help! My trip to Italy. (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/help-my-trip-to-italy-69462/)

Hitomi Apr 22nd, 2000 08:43 AM

Help! My trip to Italy.
 
Hi, everyone. My husband and I will visit Italy (and Amsterdam) for 11 days in October. <BR> <BR>The following is our plan: <BR> <BR>- Arrive in Amsterdam, stay 2 nhts <BR>- Arrive in Milan at 1:10 pm, train to Florence, stay 3 nhts at Hotel Bellettini <BR>- Bus to Siena for 2 nights, stay at Chiusarelli (thanks, Paulo) <BR>- Bus back to Florence, train to Venice, <BR> Stay (I hope) at Pensione Accademia for <BR> 2 nts <BR>- Train to Milan, fly at 10:10 am to US. <BR> <BR>Q1. Is this too much of packing, in & out of cities? Alternative would be to stay in Florence for 5 nts, cutting 2 nts of Siena. But, Siena sounds too attractive to me to skip staying. <BR> <BR>Q2. We will be leaving Siena for Venice on Monday. How early does the bus leave? We want to arrive in Venice at lastest early afternoon. <BR> <BR>Q3. I'm thinking about booking at Hotel Villa Malpensa, outside Milan airport. This hotel is recommended by many, sounds really nice and reasonable (320.000L). We will be arriving at the hotel around 4:00 pm and leave at 7:30 am following morning. Is it a waste to stay in a nice hotel such a short period? Alternative is to stay in a budget hotel (around 200.000L) near central station. <BR>Thank you for your help. Any comments and suggestions on our schedule is very much appreciated.

sally Apr 22nd, 2000 10:10 AM

Siena was ok,but very touristy; we really liked the time we spent in San Gimignano, which is nearby. Stay longest in Venice; it is divine, especially in October. We didn,t stay at the Accademia because it was booked, but we walked over to see it and it has a wonderful setting; looks so romantic. Have fun--Florence was wonderful, also, be sure to see Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace, but Venice is magical.

Paulo Apr 22nd, 2000 04:42 PM

I don't think you're packing/unpacking too much. 5 times in a 10 night stay looks ok. Being a Siena lover, I would of course never stay 5 nights in Florence :-) <BR> <BR>The first direct (fast) bus should leave at 6:50am. There should be another bus at 6:55am and the next one only at 8am. You should have no problems connecting to the 8:42am Eurostar in Florence (arriving in Venice at 11:33). When catching the bus to Siena, confirm this, reserve and get the tickets to be sure. <BR> <BR>I would prefer staying close to the train station in Milan, rather than in a nice hotel outside town, specially considering that you'll still have some time left in the late afternoon and evening to enjoy some of Milan. <BR> <BR>Paulo <BR> <BR>

elaine Apr 23rd, 2000 06:56 AM

Hitomi, <BR>I don't know the exact logistics of this, but I would look into going to Siena first from Milan. It's a lot of traveling, but at least you'll get it over with on a day that is lost for sightseeing anyway. Spend 2 or 3 nights there since the first day is lost. Then go on to Florence early in the day, and train from there to Venice. For me, it seems smoother, unless Milan-Siena is inordinately difficult. <BR>By the way, as another opinion, I loved the only one day I had in Siena, wish I'd had more time, and it was <BR>San Gimignano that I thought was touristy.

Patrick Apr 23rd, 2000 07:21 AM

The debate about San Gimignano continues! I suspect that everybody who found it touristy only did a day trip there. It is a very magical town at night after the tourists leave. We stayed there three nights and loved it, leaving during the day when all the tourists came, and returning at night when it was our own magical little town. <BR>To Hitomi, I think your plan is great --not too much packing and moving and you'll get a nice variety. I agree about staying near the station in Milan, and also about going directly from Milan to Siena, then to Florence. <BR>I am not a lover of Florence --now that is my idea of a touristy place! I don't think they allow locals inside the city except to work, it is all reserved for hoardes of tourists. (Just kidding.) It does have its treasures, but the other cities and towns have so much more non touristy feel --especially at night.

Paul Apr 23rd, 2000 07:53 AM

Q1: It's only too much packing/unpacking if you think it is. <BR> <BR>Q2: Busses leave Siena for Florence as early as 6:30 AM. You can find the schedule on the web at: http://www.tiac.net/users/pendini/bus.html <BR> <BR>Q3: Malpensa is a good hour out of Milan. I don't know how often the connections run between the central station & Malpensa, but I think that others have posted information about this connection.

Hitomi Apr 25th, 2000 07:10 PM

Sally, Paulo, Elaine, Patrick, and Paul: <BR>I just wanted to say thank you for your advice. <BR> <BR>1) I'd love to see San Gimignano myself to form my own opinion. Controversial is good, don't you think? <BR> <BR>2) Again, thanks for the advice. I agree that I'd stay near the station in Milan. <BR> <BR>3) Also, thanks for the website for Siena buses. I still think I'd go to Florence, first, because flying from Amsterdam, Milan airport to downtown, taking a train to Florence, then the bus to Siena in one day sounds exaustiing to me. But I really thought about it.


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