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HEY! I won the lottery! Help me plan a trip to Italy.

HEY! I won the lottery! Help me plan a trip to Italy.

Aug 10th, 2007, 11:52 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 673
HEY! I won the lottery! Help me plan a trip to Italy.

Just kidding about the lottery, but let's say it did happen and I wanted to spend a week in Italy, preferably split between Rome and Florence.

This would be a first and probably last trip there for a reasonably fit 60-something-year-old couple who have a bit of a problem with long lines.

1. How would you divide your time and which city first, how to move between cites?
2. Help narrow it down to 3 top-tier centrally located hotels in each city to choose from.
3. What sights would be a must?
4. Would you hire a private guide and if so, what type? Driver only or driver/guide?

I know most fodorites are trifty travellers but you guys are extremely knowledgable. I'm curious as to how you would plan this trip if money were not an issue.
Linda431 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 11:55 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,473
My fee is $200/hour for planning - however need money up front. Please reply if interested.

You can get more sage advice for free from FodorFriends however (full disclosure)
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 11:57 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 933
Why plan! Spur of the moment surely -and why just a week!
carylspall is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 12:20 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 673
PQ...What a bargain! Funds being deposited in your bank account as we speak...so to speak. ;-)

Linda431 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 12:26 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,561
Linda,

I'll beat PQ's offer. Free Itinerary plan for three weeks. Tracy and I will be your chauffeur and book your hotels.

All we ask is that you pay our way.

If you don't like that deal, below is a link to our 2005 trip. It should give you great ideas. Have fun. Drink lots of wine.

http://travelswithmaitaitom.typepad.com/travels/


maitaitom is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 12:33 PM
  #6  
sjj
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
I'd see if I could fly to an airport near Florence (Pisa?) from the US or if I could fly back from there. If so, I'd fly to one city, fly back from the other, and travel between Rome and Florence by train. I can't help with hotels, other than to say that my wife and I stayed in a good hotel near the cathedral in Florence in 1993 and found it very convenient, and that Trastevere or the historic center are good choices for Rome. What sights are a must? In Florence, the art. In Rome, there are the monuments from antiquity, the art, much of it free in churches, the churches themselves, the city scapes, and just hanging out. When to go? The middle of May is good, particularly because public museums are free then. How much time to spend in each city? To my mind, two full days in Florence, the rest in Rome. Finally, my wife and I don't like using guides, but we may hire one to see things in Rome we've missed on our previous trips. I don't think you'll need a guide in Florence.
sjj is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 12:41 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,453
Book the private after-hours tour of the Vatican Museums at 250 Euro per person.
Zerlina is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 12:43 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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If money is no factor, then why only a week and why only this trip?
Dayle is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 12:44 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 888
It would be tight in one week, but wonderful if you could also squeeze in Venice.
Leburta is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 12:46 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Rome is much bigger and has more varied and time-consuming sights (Vatican for instance takes most of a day)

Florence more compact but some fabulous day trips, like to Pisa if Tower leans towards your interest or to Siena, archtypical Tuscan Hill City, etc.

4-5 days Rome (must- Colosseum and Roman Forum area - taking most of a day

Vatican City

Spanish Steps and the area - short walk to Trevi Fountain (bring coins) and Pantehon and swank shopping street Via Cavour)

possible day trip to Tivoli and Hadrian's Villa (my favorite) or Ostia Antica - both about an hour or so away by train or bus or private car

but in Rome or Florence cars are useless as most of the town centre is off-limits to cars (but taxis run unfettered)


2-3 days Florence

Museums if that's your bag - Uffizi, pitti Palace and gardens, The Accademia (David) - Duomo area - great strolling - again all off limits to cars - and of course Ponte Vecchio - covered arched bridge from medieval times.

Several various old churches.

Your bill for this: $25 - clock is running.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 12:54 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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PalenQ, I think you should consider restricting your travel consulting to budget travelers...

The swank shopping is on Via Condotti and surrounding streets. Via Cavour is a horror!
Zerlina is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 01:29 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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i had first writ Via condetti then though Cavour - thanks for correcting my lapse - but the Via Cavour is a pleasant pedestrian walkway now since they repaved it and gave cars the boot. Nice strolling now but yes Via Condetti is the swank one.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 01:39 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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They've banned cars from Via Cavour?!?

From one of the main thoroughfares of the city - from Santa Maria Maggiore to Via dei Fori Imperiali?!?
Zerlina is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 02:23 PM
  #14  
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 673
OK, about why only a week, I don't know. I just thought that would be enough time, maybe not. We can't go for longer than 2 weeks, so I was thinking a week to splurge and a week to relax in Tuscany maybe.

On why this one might be the last, I hesitate to bring this up because I don't want to "jinx" it.

We have planned 2 trips to Rome that were cancelled at the very last minute due to major disasters. The first one was right after 9/11 and the second one was Hurricane Katrina. We have decided that if we tempt fate and have another go at it, it would probably be our last try.

I'm not even sure if we could muster up the courage to actually buy another plane ticket to Italy but I still want to see Rome before I die.
Linda431 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 06:41 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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<They've banned cars from Via Cavour?!?

From one of the main thoroughfares of the city - from Santa Maria Maggiore to Via dei Fori Imperiali>

yup if what i saw in January was right - i was walking down the middle of the road and there were incredibly tiny mini-buses, ATAC buses or whatever the Roman public transport thing is called that were taking folks all the way to the forum. NO cars - a swell pedestrian thoroughfare, at least in Jan 07
PalenQ is offline  

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