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Help w/ itinerary for first timers in Italy on 25th anniversary trip

Help w/ itinerary for first timers in Italy on 25th anniversary trip

Sep 9th, 2007, 04:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 663
Thank you to all who helped us with information. We have made our reservations for the Italy leg of our trip and it looks like this:

June 2 - Arrive Venice airport. Three nights booked at La Rosa de Vienza. This is an apartment recommended by fodorite Franco. We were somewhat apprehensive about not having a hotel desk to help us, but decided to do it. It is just a block or two from St. Marks Basilica and the cost is 160 Euros per night. It has a balcony over the canal where the gondolas pass by.

June 5 - Train in morning to Florence. In Florence we again chose an apartment - The Lepri, one of 6, I believe, of the San Lorenzo Apts (sleepinginflorence.com) for two nights. This one is right near San Lorenzo market and is 105 Euros per night. Again, we are hoping we can manage without a hotel desk staff. Most concerned about making reservations (dinner and museums, etc) on our own w/o speaking Italian. We have learned much from this forum that will help us !?!?!?

June 7 - Bus to Sienna and pick up car and go to Montepulciano for two nights. We are staying at Meuble il Riccio, which was our 4th choice. We wanted to be in Montalcino, but there is a wedding that weekend, and two hotels are already booked (Il Giglio and Hotel dei Capitani). The third we chose (B&B - Palazzina Cesira)required 3 nights to reserve in advance. We are most concerned here that our only full day w/o travel is a Sunday. I know the sant'Antimo abbey is open. But a winery day is out. We'll have to do wineries on Sat and Monday before leaving.

June 9 - Drive and tour in Tuscany area before returning car to Sienna, taking bus to Florence and catching 9:45 pm night train to Munich.

Does anyone have any feedback or suggestions? Especially for what to do in and around Montepulciano on a Sunday?

Thank you so much. Now we will be working on the Germany leg.
Cindywho is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 750
How about checking out Montalcino on your way into/out of Montepulciano? Time it where you can stop at Fattoria dei Barbi for a tour, taste and lunch?

On Sunday....check out Pienza. There are also Terme (spas/thermal springs) in the area. Grab some provisions and have a picnic.

These places come highly recommended by this board. dei Barbi is a smaller operation using old world methods.

Wineries: Avignonesi (Fattoria Le Capezzine)...make appt.

Fattoria dei Barbi (Montalcino) http://www.fattoriadeibarbi.net/eng/azi.html


adventureseeker is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 01:38 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 663
Adventure seeker - thanks for the suggestions. I was interested in Fattoria dei Barbi and it would be easy to do on the way to Montepulciano. From the link you provided it looks like the tours run only M-F, so we could do it on Monday.

You may have noticed we eliminated La Mala in Cinque Terre. It looked like a great place to stay, but we had to cut down our stops. I know you will be staying there, so let us know how you like it.

The picnic is a wonderful idea!
Cindywho is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 750
Unfortunately, we just can't do it all....all the reason to go back to Italy to see Cinque Terre!

In our initial planning we had Positano on our itinerary. But it makes so much more sense to us now to stay a bit longer in a region and savor it without feeling rushed.

How's your Germany planning coming along?

Summer 2008 will be here before you know it. Our trip is now just a month away and just yesterday it was a year away. Time sure does fly.

I'll post a report when I return which maybe you'll get some use out of...


adventureseeker is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 02:59 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 663

You have a wonderful trip in October. One day we will be able to travel during months other than the summer, when are last two girls are not at home anymore. I wish we could afford to take the kids with us, but that is not possible.

I can't remember, is this your first trip to Italy? I am feeling like this trip is a project that I am bringing to completetion. I enjoy the planning of a trip very much. Wish I could make a living from it.

Take care and I look forward to hearing your trip report.

Cindywho is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 03:20 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 68

Cogratulations on celebrating your 25th. You could not of chosen wiser! We leave next week for our third trip to Italy to toast our 41st year of marriage. After mucho research we choose to stay in Venice at the LaVilleggiatura in San Polo...wonderful reviews in NYTimes. Small six bed B&B with king sized beds and central. Instead of staying right in one of the villages of the CT we choose to stay in Lerici just south of the CT but still possible to take the ferry to all the villages. In Florence we are staying at our only real hotel...Hotel Pitti Palace and choose that for location....right at the Ponte Vecchio. I will let you know about our places if you want when we return in mid October. We are also touring Lake Iseo, San G., Montepulciano and Rome.
dedec is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 06:38 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 268
Cindywho, I'm also going to Italy for the first time for our 25th anniversary in October. I don't think I could have put together such a wonderful trip without the help of everyone on this site. I barely read any books, just kept reading and asking here and got such specific and helpful info. I'm still weeding through a few things but really feel ready and with 2 weeks left, the excitement is overwhelming. We have 3 nights in Rome, 5 in Tuscany (all over) and 2 in Venice.
ljc4creb is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 750

Thank you for your kind words.

Yup, our first trip to Europe....but I doubt our last.

I, too, love the planning part. It all reminds me of planning a wedding and then "poof", it's over and then you're armed with oodles of info/tips and hope you can help others out (and making money at it would be icing on the cake).

Have a fabulous 25th!


adventureseeker is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 37
I don't know if you have already booked for June, but I would strongly suggest La Calcina as your place to stay in Venice. We were there last September for five days, and loved every minute of it. Out of the heavy tourist area, but only 10 minutes to Piazza San Marco, the perfect location. We had a wonderful room on the Giudecca Canal, overlooking it at night was wonderful. We are returning next September for three nights. The service is great, the hotel, just charming. As for Tuscany(my favorite place), I would suggest as much time as you can allow. We were in the Cinque Terre, two years ago, and for me, I would never give up Tuscany to go back there. That being said, it has a certain charm, and if you're hikers, would probably love the walk between the towns. I have just found Tuscany to have so much more to offer. We are going back next September for two weeks(our fourth time, and we will still be just scratching the surface. We always rent an apartment, when we go. But, on a previous trip on my own, with friends, I stayed at La Locanda, which was absolutely wonderful. It overlooks Volpaia, a tiny town, with a wonderful restaurant, winery, and cooking school. We go every time we're in Tuscany. I hope this helps a bit. No matter what you decide, you're still in Italy, and that can't be bad.
MaggieT is offline  
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