Help plan Italy trip - Florence / Venice

Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 07:58 PM
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Help plan Italy trip - Florence / Venice

I'm departing from Houston to Amsterdam and will fly out of Paris to go home - from Italy was too expensive for us. This is my itinerary (not much of it). Please help with accomodations and car rental suggestions. I would greatly appreciate it. Please be gentle since it's my 1st post.

May 18 Arrive in Amsterdam
May 18-21 Stay with relative in Zeeland
May 22 Depart possibly RotterDam to Paris and overnite train to Milan and eventually to Florence. Once arrived in Florence, will rent a car for 3 days pick up at downtown location and drive to may be Siena or somewhere around there (please make suggestion) and stay 3 nites. Would like to use this area as a base to visit small towns & see the country side.

May 26 Drive back to Florence, drop off car and stay 2 nites in Florence - hotel suggestion please.

May 28 Take train to Venice and stay in Venice for 2 nites - hotel suggestion please

May 30 Take train from Venice to Milan and then overnite train to Paris.

May 31 Stay 1 nite in Paris so we are rested for the flight home on June 1st. We've been to Paris and have no interest in staying for longer than that.

For train pass, I'm thinking of a 5 days BeNeLux-France-Italy pass currently on sale for $199/pp via Rick Steve's website.

For car rental, AutoEurope or Avis or Hertz for an economy, automatic (ouch) - ~$240/3days.

Please suggest where to stay - our budget is ~100-120/per nite possibly more but not much more. For the 3 days with car, we like to base somewhere and drive to see the countryside.

Thanks all in advance. I've read this forum the last week or so and there is an abundance of info that overwhelmed me.

Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 08:16 PM
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Henry--a few off-the-cuff observations:
-It appears you have thought through the itinerary pretty thoroughly. If these are the places you want to go, I think you will enjoy them.
-You are wise to choose possibly to stay outside Florence or Siena; you can much more easily use a car that way. AutoEurope is a good choice; automatic is not.
-Fiesole is a good spot for your stay while visiting Florence and Siena, as well as the rest of the area. Another choice (which I like) is Montecatini Terme, which has lots of hotels and is a nice town.
-Venice will be expensive, but you can possibly find a B&B for $120 per night if you search the recommendations on this web site.
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 08:21 PM
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I agree that you are off to a good start. How many in your "we" - - this affects the decision about train ticket/pass purchase. I would personally never use an overnight train, but many people seem to think that they are fine. I will point out that flying from Brussels to Italy is dirt cheap - - and I wonder if that train pass is such a good idea if there are more than two in your "we".

Best wishes,

Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 08:46 PM
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Be sure to check the train schedule. Paris to Milan can be a little difficult. I have taken a sleeper train from Paris to Genova. We were served an adequate meal which we enjoyed with another American couple. While I can't say I really slept, I am a light sleeper, my husband had no problem. Take some ear plugs. Your 3-day rental sounds about right. I am paying $231 for a minimum 3-day rental in Sicily for a manual w/AC. Have a great trip Henry...greetings from Austin.
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 04:30 AM
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Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 07:08 AM
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Found this post searching for Sicily, and I kind of winced to see the price of a 3 day car rental. Is scooter rental an option for Sicily? anyone have any experiences using a scooter to share? traveling solo. Would hitchhiking get me from one end of Sicily to another?
Old May 17th, 2002, 01:42 PM
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You can get a pass with rail/car rental option for 2 days of car rental. I don't think we come out ahead on train travel but it makes the car more reasonably priced. We don't leave for a month so I can't tell you anymore.
Old May 17th, 2002, 02:09 PM
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Hello Henry, Good job, given your air parameters. Fly from Brussels if you can--that is along way. In Italy, here is a good start on hotels. Search and you will find:
Siena: Hotel Piccolo Oliveto
Florence: Hotel Casci or Relais Uffizi
Venice: Locanda Barbarigo

Good luck !
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