Help on Italy Trip Planning

Old Nov 13th, 2006, 11:53 AM
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Help on Italy Trip Planning

I am now starting to plan my FIRST trip to Italy for April-May 2007 timeframe. I've got a budget of $5,000. Me and my wife are going. I know the airfare to Rome is about $1000 a person from where I live. So that leaves about $3,000 for the remainder of the trip.

I have NOOOOO clue on where to start. I know that the group tours are out of the question. These seem to be nice, but pricey, and above my budget.

I would like help on deciding how long should I plan the trip for. What kind of cost per day is commonplace. Depending upon the class of hotel and restaurant, obviously. But I don't really care for first class accommodation.

Any other help would GREATLY be appreciated.

I just ordered the Rick Steves' Italy 2007 book. That, I've ascertained, will help out too.

But I'm certain that this forum will offer great advice, based upon the other questions and answers I've seen.

Thanks in advance.

Jeff
Las Cruces, NM
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 12:04 PM
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I'll preempt the other posters and be this 1st to say: we need more details.

For instance, do you plan to visit more than one city? How many at a minumum? Which ones? Then you'd incur transportation costs. And how long would your minimum stay be?

Let's say you were just going to see Rome for a week. By my math, you'd have about $450/day for the two of you, including hotel. You could do OK. Going for two weeks? That would be tougher.

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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 12:08 PM
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Hi JC,

I can highly recommend the B&B Peterson in Florence. It's about 60E/nite dbl.

From Florence, you can visit Bologna, Siena, Lucca/Pisa, Orvieto, San Gimignano, Venice and a few other places.

How long does your $3000 have to last?

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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 12:13 PM
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How many days? Figure the major cities require a minimum of about 3 nights depending on your interests. If you are foing multi-city, you should go for an open jaw ticket so you don't have to backtrack. They generally cost about the same as roundtrip.
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 12:16 PM
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Here is a sample budget. I would plan on about $300/Day to include all, and that gives you 10 days.

Here are some assumptions for our itinerary:
• This is a 14-day [13 night] itinerary to Italy for a couple during the shoulder season months of April, May, Sept. and Oct. These are the best months for travel to Italy.
• Arrival into Milan or Venice & departure from Rome, or vice versa, with tourist class tickets [open jaw] . Airfares have increased dramatically in the past year.
• The 2-star budget assumes all rail travel. The rental cars options include insurance and mileage, and are for a eight day rental period. Car choices are compact/manual [3 star] and mid-size/auto [4 star]. Prices quoted are from Autoeurope.
• All prices assume an exchange rate of one euro=$1.22. I would add 10% to the accommodation prices if you plan to spend all of your time in the major art cities.
• This budget was calculated based on an actual client itinerary for travel in April, 2006. The destinations included Venice, Florence, Tuscany, and Lake Como.

Now that we have our parameters set let's go ahead and plan our budget. Remember, this is for planning purposes only and is really controlled by you. You may decide to blow the budget on Murano glass, Florentine leather, or Bellagio silk—it is your money !


TRAVEL EXPENSE ITEM 2 STAR 3 STAR 4 STAR
AIRFARE - 2 PEOPLE 1940 1940 1940

RAIL TICKETS - 2 PEOPLE 350 45 60
CAR RENTAL - ALL INCL. N/A 460 770
* PETROL N/A 140 180
* TOLLS N/A 50 50
TOTAL TRANSPORT $2290 $2635 $3000
HOTELS & INNS - 13 NITES 1500 2300 3350
FOOD & DRINK 1050 1400 1900
TOURISM COSTS 300 300 500
GELATO & CAPPUCCINO 150 150 200
MISC. EXTRAS 150 150 200
DAILY LIVING TOTALS $3150 $4300 $6150

TOTAL TRIP COSTS: $5440 $6935 $9150


Let me emphasize that these cost projections are merely estimates and will vary widely based on seasonal variations and desired destinations. The fact is that some couples may enjoy a great two-week adventure in Italy and spend less than $3500, while others may let an upscale tour company make the decisions for them and end up spending $10 to $12,000.





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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 12:18 PM
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Drats ! Those tabs never do line up.
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 12:19 PM
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I would like to spend at least 10 nights there (ideally 14). I'm not certain exactly how many though. That is part of the problem .. not knowing how much everything is going cost.

I would like to visit Rome, Florence (Tuscany area) and Venice at the minimum.

Thank you.

Jeff
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 01:05 PM
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I think 10 days in Italy is doable on $300 a day. DH and I spent 10 days in Florence (though we stayed with friends), and probably spent around $2000 (not including the Visa).

I think it would be tight to go to the Big 3 (I have heard that Venice is crazy expensive)...but if you are prepared to go to B&B's, maybe rent an apartment for a week in one location (and split up the time b/w the other two locations via train), you will be fine.

Florence is not that expensive, and you can find good hotel deals (tripadvisor, expedia, venere.com) will all give you a good idea of what you can get for your price range.

Be mindful with your budget there won't be a lot of "splurge" shopping going on, but you should be able to eat well and see all the sites.

I would forgo a car rental if I was you - just take the train - cheaper and you can save the money for a better room.

Let me know if you have any questions about Florence.



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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 09:14 PM
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You can do 10 days---Rome, Florence, Venice for around $5000. I haven't stayed at these hotels, but they were in my bookmarks, meaning I researched them (in the past year or so.

Flight: $2000

1.25 conversion rate)
Rome 3 nights, Hotel Italia @ 130 eu
Florence 4 nights, B&B Peterson @ 60 eu
Venice 3 nights, Ca del Brucchi @ 140 eu
$1313 for hotels


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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 09:27 PM
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Sorry, hit the wrong button.
-----------------------------------
This is for 10 nights: Rome 3, Florence 4, Venice 3.

Flight $2000 (into Rome, out of Venice)
Hotels $1313 (see above)
Trains $140
Tours, museums $400
Cabs, local transport $200
Meals $1000 (80 eu/day)
_____________
TOTAL $5,052

80 eu/day for meals assumes you'll be dining on fine pizza several nights!
Even our meals at nice restaurants, including wine, seldom cost more than 65 euros. For lunch there are lots of inexpensive options. So I think you can do it on 80 euros if you're careful.

Note that this does not include souveniers, shopping, etc.



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Old Nov 14th, 2006, 06:28 AM
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Thanks so much for the responses.

It seems like I can do this within my budget and get a reasonably nice trip out of it too.

I'd guess I better start making the reservations soon.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 06:45 PM
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Jeff- check out the venice-florence-rome package at europeandestinations.com

We are thinking of booking that package for march. Including hotel upgrades it is coming out to $1500pp for nine nights hotel and airfare, in March.

Liz
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 07:40 PM
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jcbalding- the best thing I did when I took my first trip to Italy was to buy Rick Steves Italy 2006. He tells you step by step with all the prices etc. Well worth the trouble. Don't know what I would have done without it.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 08:02 PM
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You say that your budget won't allow for a tour guide but I urge you to reconsider.

When my husband and I went five years ago, we had a great guide named Giulia. My husband and I are going back to Rome (actually, same time you are) and we plan on using her again. Her knowledge really made Rome come alive for us and we thought it was some of the best money we spent.

Below is a little info about her that she recently sent me.

Greetings! It certainly has been a long time. How are you and Mark doing? I hope all is well. I am writing to announce with pride that on May 12th I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Master's degree in Art History. I sincerely hope to be able to put my newly acquired knowledge to use for you once again. Please feel free to get in touch if you or any other family members or friends should be heading to Rome in the future. To that end, please be sure to note and pass on the changed e-mail address. I will be using this address([email protected]) from now on. I hope to see you again in the Eternal City!

A fond "ciao,"
Giulia Bernardini
Your Roman Tour Guide
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