Help with travel in Italy

Old Oct 6th, 2000, 04:25 PM
  #1  
Terry
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Help with travel in Italy

Will be traveling thru Italy 2-18 Nov. Start in Naples>Sorrento>Rome>Florence>Lucca>Venice. All our travel will be by train and bus. Will we need advance tickets and reservations at this time?
Also, will we need advance reservations for the Uffizi?
Finally, can anyone direct me to a good map of Rome and Venice or tell me how to get one before we arrive? Looking for a good street map of these cities.
Thanks
 
Old Oct 6th, 2000, 04:29 PM
  #2  
ma
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One of the best street map of Rome is the one from the Streetwise series, Streetwise Rome. It is sold in major bookstores like Borders, Barnes & Noble, etc... Very convenient, plastic, foldable format. Do not leave home without it.
 
Old Oct 6th, 2000, 06:45 PM
  #3  
deborah
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I'm just answering the Uffizi question: You probably wouldn't have to wait long without reservations, but why not make them? I would rather have a determined time than stand in any line for 15 minutes. The cost is only an extra 2,000 lire per person (less than $1.00). We had reservations and walked right in at the time we wanted! (Actually, I made two sets of reservations, because I wasn't sure which day the Uffizi would work into our schedule. Since you don't pay until you pick up the ticket, it doesn't cost any extra.)

Deborah
 
Old Oct 6th, 2000, 09:07 PM
  #4  
bill
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Took the train from Milan to Rome to Florence to Venice and back to
Florence and had no problem. Did make reservations a day in advance or bought tickets from machines that were like ATM. Most of the clerks spoke english.
In Venice, there are no roads just walk and enjoy. But make sure if you give your bags to porters on the mainland negotiate a price. It was very expensive.
 
Old Oct 7th, 2000, 07:30 AM
  #5  
Betsy
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You don't need a street map for Venice. Like the other writer said, just walk and enjoy. The streets don't have easy ro find signs, instead there are directional signs for major sights like the Rialto or San Marco's Square. Pay attention to those signs and also be aware of landmarks and you'll always end up where you need to be.You probably don't need advanced tickets, but when you arrive in a town arrange for your next departure. Italy has easy to use automated ticket kiosks with english instructions. And don't forget to validate your ticket in the machines at the start of ever track before you get on board

Happy travels!
 
Old Oct 7th, 2000, 09:29 AM
  #6  
Kevin Mathews
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We were in Italy last Thanksgiving (November for any non-Americans reading this). We made no train reservations...the trains were at most 1/2 full.

Since you have a little more than two weeks, I would suggest one change in your itenerary:

From Rome, take a train to Pisa and have lunch in front of the tower. Just walk to it from the train station and pick up some bread and meat at a shop along the way.

From Pisa, continue to Cinque Terre. This is one of the most beautiful spots in Italy. Five towns that overlook the Mediteranean (or Tyrrhenain Sea or Gulf of something or other depending on what map you look at).

The weather for us in Cinque Terre was in the 60's/70's and in Pisa in the 60's.

Kevin
 
Old Oct 7th, 2000, 10:01 AM
  #7  
Bob
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I will receive many disagreements on this: Lucca ain't that great. We were there in Oct 99 and were not impressed. We then had to return in July 2000 as part of a group. Again, not impressed. Our group had similiar comments. Go if you must, but there are better places to see. The Cinque Terre area will beat Lucca or more time in Venice.

In Venice: Visit the shop Max's near Harry's Bar. Nice hand crafted items and nice people working there.

 
Old Oct 8th, 2000, 04:17 AM
  #8  
marty
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Bob: Tell me more about Max's. Is it on the street beside Harry's Bar running perpendicular to the water or on the canal? I am unofficially guiding 4 other people in November, and it sounds like somewhere good to take them. I was there in June, and don't remember seeing Max's.
 
Old Oct 8th, 2000, 05:34 AM
  #9  
sam ludu
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Iím visiting the Uffizi in two weeks, and like last year, called the museum directly for reservations (011-39-055-294883) The English-speaking receptionist takes your name, asks you how many tickets you want and when you want to enter the museum, and gives you a reservation number. Thereís no charge for the service, though there is an obvious phone charge. (Iíve heard that getting reservations online comes with a service charge almost equal to the ticket price, but you might want to check on this.) Since I pick up my tickets when the museum first opens (and actually enter then, too) I donít have problems waiting in a reservation line.
 
Old Oct 8th, 2000, 07:01 AM
  #10  
Gretchen
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I would agree that Pisa is probably a little more interestsing than Lucca. But why take a train from Rome? It's much closer to Lucca and Florence. As for Cinque Terre, we saw the 5 towns via train (and 1 2km walk). In our opinion, it was about 2 towns too many, but that's the beauty of taking the train, you don't have to get off if you don't want to. To me, the most interesting thing I learned about the area were efforts to protect the fragile sea/coastal environment. I read this on posters around the La Spezia train station. My vote for most romantic spot in Italy is Portofino--a perfect little harbor with villas on the hillsides and a nice walk up through the town to get a panoramic view. This opinon was formed after visiting Positano on the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre on this trip.
 
Old Oct 8th, 2000, 10:45 AM
  #11  
Terry
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My wife and I want to thank you for all the great advice, we will:

1. Be sure to get a copy of Streetwise Rome before we depart.

2. Have our Florence hotel. IL Bargellino make reservations for the Ufzzi a couple of days in advance.

3. Try to work in Pisa for a picnic lunch, even tho we have read postings that indicate the tower is the only thing worth seeing in Pisa.

4. Just make train reservations a day ahead while there.

5. We had thought about Cinque-Terre but thought the weather would be too cold and since it was known as a beach area.....try to do it during the summer. Now we wonder if it would'nt be better to go there and skip Lucca???? Would a one day excursion from Florence give us enuf time to see Cinque-Terre?

NOW FOR A COUPLE OTHER QUESTIONS - SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ALL ARE SO HELPFUL.
1. Is Hadrians Willa worth a 1 hr. train ride from Rome?

2. Is Sienna best seen on a Sat. or Sun.? We have not other choice due to our schedule.

3. Trains?? The schedules I find on the web seem to show only the Direct (Slow) trains. Can soneone tell me how to find the schedule and cost of the faster trains ie: Eurostar, InterCity, and Expresso?
Thanks again!

 
Old Oct 8th, 2000, 11:01 AM
  #12  
Kevin Mathews
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Terry,

A picnic lunch is Pisa is pretty cool. Yes, that is the only thing to see there. In fact, there is a road you cross just before you get to the tower that is lined with tourist crap (postcards, statues of the tower, t-shirts, etc.). However, sitting there in front of the tower is pretty magical. There is also a basillica right next to the tower which is pretty.

Cinque-Terre would be good to go to for a day. The weather won't be warm enough to go swimming, but you will be comfortable w/o a jacket (60's/70's).

You can find the cost of trains at this web site: http://www.raileurope.com/us/index.htm

You can also find more information (but no prices) at this site: http://bahn.hafas.de/bin/query.exe/en

Lastly, if you need it, here is a link w/bus times: http://150.217.9.3/ie/citybus.htm
 

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