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Help with firs Italy Trip July 2013, please!

Help with firs Italy Trip July 2013, please!

Old Jan 21st, 2013, 07:57 PM
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Help with firs Italy Trip July 2013, please!

July 4 at 5pm -- Arrive from Dallas into Rome - transfer to accommodation
------any suggestions on car service?
-----recommendations on 2 bedroom very centrally located apartment for 5 nights?

July 5 Our must sees will be colosseum & vatican, spanish steps & what else should we aim
July 6 for and any need pre-booked tickets, please?
July 7 restaurants you recommend?
July 8

July 9 -- train to Sorrento, 3 nights in Hotel Maison Tofani (train tips??)
July 10 -- visit to Pompeii train form Sorrento -- is it easy?)
July 11 -- possibly Capri
July 12 -- Sorrento Cars (Ugo) transfer to Naples airport & fly to Venice arrive 10:30a.m
and transfer to hotel/apartment HELP PLEASE!? WHat is best area to stay
July 13
July 14 both days Venice - what are the best sites to hit?

July 15 train to FLorence -- tips -- is it direct, do we buy at station?
July 16 Florence
July 17 possibly Pisa (kids want to see the tower!)

July 18 fly to Nantes France to visit family

THANKS FOR HELP SO FAR< ANYTHING BOOKED IS A RESULT OF FODOR HELP!!

Julie DENDLE
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 06:17 AM
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Hi Julie,

I'll help as best I can.

You are visiting Rome, the AC and Venice.
I suggest that you fly into Venice and out of Naples or vice versa. It will save you the flight from Naples to Venice.

>Our must sees will be colosseum & vatican, spanish steps & what else should we aim for and any need pre-booked tickets, please?

Have you looked up Rome under "Destinations"?

>Pompeii train from Sorrento

Take the Circumvesuviana commuter train from the Sorrento Station to Pompeii Scavi.

>... WHat is best area to stay [in Venice]

What are your requirements and what is your budget.

If you wish to see Venice and Florence, I suggest that you skip the AC.

If you wish to see the AC, I suggest that you skip either Florence or Venice. How old are the kids?

>... fly to Nantes France ....

From where?

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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 06:56 AM
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hi julie - are your flights already booked?

I'll assume that they are, otherwise you might like to think about what Ira suggests.

for apartments in Rome, Sleep in Italy is well thought of here, but you will find a wealth of agencies offering apartment rentals in Rome, and many recommendations.

you've got 4 full days so have time for most of the major sights, but keep an eye out for days on which they may be closed, and try to group sites that are close to each other together. i suggest that you get hold of a guide book or 6 and start looking at what they suggest, but really there is so much to see in Rome, there are no hard and fast rules.

more or less the same applies to Florence and Venice - there is more than enough to do for you to fill your days in both cities.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 10:47 AM
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Yes flights are booked!
From Dallas we can only fly to Rome with ease (and with FF miles!)

Children aged 101/2 and 12/12 and very experienced travelers!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 10:51 AM
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For Venice, not sure what the big sites are beyond riding in vaporetto or gondola, but we would want a nice apartment or hotel that is central to the most significant sites, please
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 11:18 AM
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Hi d,

>Yes flights are booked!<

As the French say, c'est fromage.

The rest of my suggestions still hold.

Venice is a small town.

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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 01:11 PM
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For Venice, not sure what the big sites are beyond riding in vaporetto or gondola, but we would want a nice apartment or hotel that is central to the most significant sites, please>>

mmm - do have a look at destination guides above or a good guide book. if you see some pictures of Venice, you'll probably notice the age and beauty of the buildings, the glory that is the Basilica [Cathedral] of San Marco, the imposing Doge's palace, the fascinating little calle [alleways], the beautiful bridges and piazze, the bell towers, the galleries and museums, and the total lack of motor vehicles.

As Venice is relatively compact, most hotels are pretty central to most of the things you'll probably want to see. if you use trip advisor or venere.com, they will show you the hotel you are looking at, on a map.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 02:41 PM
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dendleju, for Rome please see the following link, our Rome apartment was awesome, and it had AC which you will need in July.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-dei-fiori.cfm

We made a full trip in the southern part of Italy ~ Rome, Amalfi Coast, Paestum, southern Tuscany. If not familiar, Paestum has some of the best preserved Greek temples outside of Greece. Pompeii is a full day and breathtaking, we will go back. We drove from Ravello (Amalfi Coast) easy day trip.

We will also go back to Rome, probably next year. In addition to the Vatican (get a tour guide so you can skip the lines, many are very good with children) we loved the Colliseum, Pantheon, and Palatine Hill & The Forum (again a guide) To us the Spanish Steps were a lot of steps with a lot of people. A LOT of people. I'm sure the view was great, but I can't imagine tackling it in the heat of July.

We did another trip this year more northern ~ Venice, Florence, Chianti and a sidetrip to see friends.

My thought would be to separate northern and southern Italy. Don't think you won't go back to Italy, you will. I guarantee it!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 06:19 PM
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I would love to have split into North and South but DH so excited to finally take me to Italy after 20 years of promises he could not resist at least having me peek at Venice and Florence!

The advice on getting guides is a great plan

I do have tour books received for Xmas gifts and plan to wade in, but just need general guidance to get the best located accommodation as early as possible first.
Also a good point about checking on days sights are closed! I need to start checking on those specifics
The list from wrenwood on room is a good starting point - thanks

Good to know Venice is compact, it is impossible to tell by the guides, so much to see it is a bit overwhelming but I think a short trip will allow us to see the important sights.
THANKS, I AM GOING TO CRACK THE BOOKS!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 06:50 PM
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Its hot in July, and in Venice it can be hot and humid, so you will want to stay in places with air conditioning.

You can book in advance tickets to almost all sites, and i would recommend doing it, as soon as you decide what you will want to see. It will save you a lot of time waiting in a line in the hot sun. The only place that will no longer take credit cards is the Vatican, and I am not sure that they will even do an online reservation any more. You can try.

In Venice the two most popular sites are the Doges Palace (do a tour) and St Mark's Basilica (book tickets in advance). Other sites are not as crowded. Ride the vaporetto on the Grand Canal, if its really hot, and your kids are inclined you can take the vaporetto to the beach at the Lido.

Have our kids look at some of the guide books so they can each pick out something they want to see or do. It will be more fun if they are involved.

In Florence the Uffizi Gallery and the Academia (statute of David) are probably the two most popular sites.. again book tickets in advance if you do not want to be on a long line. Take a bus or taxi to Piazza Michaelangelo at for a terrific view of the city, especially at sunset.

Rome..has a lot to see so try to group things in the same areas.

Your guide books will give you an idea of the top sights in each city,, then look at some sites that have things especially for kids.

Plan on eating lots and lots of gelato!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 06:51 PM
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>>>Rome - transfer to accommodation
------any suggestions on car service?<<<

Taxis are s set fee of 48€. You can book a limo for a bit cheaper.

http://www.romeshuttlelimousine.com/...t-transfer.php

It will be hot. Book somewhere with AC.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 08:00 PM
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This might be fun for your kids in Venice:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-teenagers.cfm
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Old Feb 12th, 2013, 08:54 AM
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This link for he kids is great!!
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Old Feb 12th, 2013, 09:42 AM
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dendleju,

A lot of people going to Venice don't like to be in hotels around San Marco or around the Rialto Bridge because these are the areas that get most slammed by huge crowds of tourists during the day. It can be unpleasant to get caught is a huge press of tourists every time you want to get out or into your hotel.

Consider getting off the plane and going directly to the Amalfi coast. See Pompei on your way back north. Arrange the order of visiting your other cities so you can get a good flight out of Italy to France.
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 03:54 AM
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dendleju, is there a reason you're not hiring a car?

The owners of our apartment sent a car for us when we arrived, and then when we were ready to leave he took us to a car rental agency to pick up our rental. Very easy. We loved having the car (for every place but Rome. (and Florence and Venice during last years more "northern" trip)
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 01:22 PM
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As for prebooking- definitely for the Colisseum and Vatican-- can book directly from their websites or book through a site such as Walks of Italy--we used them and thought they were excellent-- group tours are limited to 12-15 people.

If you know what museums you might want to visit- Borghese in Rome requires pre booking. Prebooking not required at Uffizi or Acadamie in Florence, but to avoid standing in ticket lines I would recommend buying tickets before arrival via their websites--tickets are for a specific date and time of entry so your travel plans need to be pretty firm before committing to tickets.

Would recommend visiting and prebooking Secrets of Doges palace tour in Venice and timed entry to St Marks Basilica.

Your kids might like the Scavi tour at the Vatican--definitely prebook as entry is limited and fills up.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 09:31 AM
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just got back from a week in Rome and queues were VERY variable. We were originally going to go to the vatican museums and St. Peter's on the wednesday, but our plans were changed [thank goodness as it turned out] and we went on the monday instead. No queues for either all day but we were staying nearby and every time we went past during the rest of the week they were enormous. [NB - if you are in the Vatican museums and wish to visit St. Peter's as well, you can do so by using the little door at the back of the sistine chapel on the RIGHT, which goes down some steps and directly into St. Peter's without having to walk all the way round the wall of the vatican or to queue t get through security again. this isn't available if you are using an audio-guide, which has to be returned to the desk where you got it at the entrance].

At the Colosseum on the Tuesday the queues were as long as ever [fortunately we had pre-booked tickets as we were a group] but there was no-one at the entrance to the Forum/palatinate, which has now moved round the corner into the road opposite the Colosseum [to the left of the end of the via Sacra] though it was by then about 4pm - I don't know what the queues to buy tickets there were like earlier.

The Pantheon and Trevi fountain were very busy, [no tickets needed of course] but the Galleria Doria-Pamphilj [entrance on via del corso] was as ever virtually deserted. Why this wonderful collection of paintings including Breugel and Caravaggio isn't better known and more popular i have no idea; it certainly deserves to be both. And there was virtually no-one in the Museo di Roma on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, which I personally did not find as interesting.

hope this helps people deciding how/whether to pre-book tickets.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 01:29 PM
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<< Its hot in July, and in Venice it can be hot and humid, so you will want to stay in places with air conditioning.>>

Ditto Florence, which can be even hotter.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 04:21 PM
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AC, pre-book, car for the countryside ( NOT in Rome)
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 08:58 PM
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Lots of comments ...

Firstly - where is your flight to France FROM? your itinery finishes in Florence, so is this flight out of Florence?


I would do Sorrento first - its not as fast paced and you will be jetlagged - so is a good option to start your holiday.

Train from Rome to Napoli is easy, a transfer to Sorrento is good (and I used Sorrento Cars when I went last year, they were excellent) and they will stop by Pompei on the way if you want. Pompei is a fair walk around though, and you may find that you are a bit too tired and would prefer that first day in Sorrento just wandering.

so - arrive July 5 (maybe stay at airport or near Roma Termini for early morning transfer), July 6 transfer to Sorrento and explore the town, July 7 - Amalfi Coast drive, July 8 Pompei and Capri

July 9 back to Rome - do colosseum and vatican (I did both using Dark Rome which were excellent). Take a day for wandering around rome ... see Trevi Fountain, the spanish steps, piazza navona and wander in to all the AMAZING churches that are simply spectacular. There is a LOT to do and see in Rome, but you havent left much time to see anything else ...

so July 9, 10 and 11 for Rome

July 12 - train from Rome to Venice (is only 3hrs40mins and it will take you much longer than that to navigate the airports)
If you leave at 8.40am you arrive in Venice SL at 12.20pm so it still gives you the afternoon in Venice, and all of July 13.

July 14 - train to Florence .... I dont know anything about Florence so cant help you there.

As far as train fares - if you buy early, they are cheap. You are locked in though, so dont miss your train. We went first class as it was not much more expensive than second class if you buy early - and it was fantastic.


Its certainly moving around a lot - personally I would drop 1 of those destinations and spend more time in the 3 that are left. Each of those places are amazing and you dont get to see much in 1 or 2 days.
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