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Honeymoon in Italy: Venice, Tuscany/Umbria, Rome?

Honeymoon in Italy: Venice, Tuscany/Umbria, Rome?

Aug 13th, 2012, 07:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 28
Honeymoon in Italy: Venice, Tuscany/Umbria, Rome?

Hey all!
I recently got some great advice on this forum from a bunch of people and have made modifications to booking our honeymoon in October. I'm looking for some final advice before finalizing plans and started a new thread since these are completely different questions and updated locations. Due to hotel availability/pricing/advice here, this is the plan of our trip:

Some questions below...

Our Honeymoon - October 9-21:

Arrive: Milan Linate Airport (10/9 at 11:00AM)
--high speed train straight to Venice--

Leg 1: Venice (3 nights, 10/9-10/12)
--depart Venice, train to Montepulciano area, stopping in Bologna along the way, not sure which train this would be or if it's worth exploring Bologna a bit?--
--pick up rental car in Montepulciano for next 4 days to explore? not sure what website to use or which town to pick up?--

Leg 2: Tuscany/Umbria (4 nights, 10/12-10/16)
--hotel not booked yet, looking to stay in central area for day trips, maybe Montepulciano? unsure of how overnight parking would work with our rental car in Montepulciano?--
--day trips to Siena, San Gimignano, Perugia, Assisi?--
--depart Tuscany/Umbria, drop off rental car outside Rome, then train in to avoid Rome driving?--

Leg 3: Rome (4 nights, 10/16-10/20)
--train back to Milan in afternoon for early morning flight--
Depart: 10/21 9:00AM from Milan

http://bit.ly/MYQcgH (green markers are priorities, blue markers are "nice to see",) agree with this?

Thanks so much everyone. I really appreciate all the help I've got here, you're helping me make the best possible trip for myself and my wife-to-be!

danzaman is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 08:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Is there some reason you are flying into and out of Milan? It would make a lot of sense to fly open jaw (multi-city) into Venice and out of Rome. You are using travel time of a morning from Milan to Venice, then an afternoon from Rome to Milan, basically losing a day altogether plus the cost of the train.
Sassafrass is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 08:27 PM
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unfortunately, flights were booked a long time ago and got a deal doing round-trip in and out of Milan
danzaman is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 08:54 PM
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>>>pick up rental car in Montepulciano<<<

Unlikely you will find many (any?) rental car agencies in Montepulciano. Closest train station with service would be Chiusi.
kybourbon is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 09:17 PM
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AFAIK, there is no car rental agency in Montepulciano. Chiusi is a 30-minute drive away, and the office there is closed for a few hours at lunch time. It probably reopens at 3:30 p.m.

IMO, if you're staying in Montepulciano, your day trips should be in the Val d'Orcia (southern Tuscany) area rather than central Tuscany and Umbria. Pienza, San Quirico, Montalcino, a couple of abbeys, are all within a reasonable distance, so your time would be spent more out of the car than in it.

Siena and Perugia are reasonably close to Montepulciano but pose traffic and parking challenges. You should know before you go how you're going to reach the parking lots and then get into the town centers.

San Gim and Assisi are both about 90 minutes from Montepulciano (plus time in each case to get from parking to city center). Because you'd be going on a weekend, both will be quite crowded.
Jean is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 09:19 PM
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I hope you got a good deal to compensate for time and money consumed in getting to and from your real destinations.

For train trip, look at www.trenitalia.it

For Rome-Milan trip, you will find that if you left Rome on 10/21, about the earliest can get to Milano Centrale is around 8:20. You cannot make to your 9am flight at LIN or MXP. The only other early morning arrival at Milano Centrale from Rome is 6:55am, which is till too late for your flight and requires you to leave Rome at 23:00 the night before. You will have to stay at or near Milan the night of 10/20.
A night lost here plus Rome-Milan train fare.

Milano Centrale-Venezia S. Lucia is about 2:35.

While it is too late or did not make sense for you to change flights, it would help others reading the posting if you post the process you went through comparing various flight options. For some, backtracking time and cost were worth the hassle while others did not think about the cost and time needed to do the backtracking.
greg is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 09:25 PM
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I made a very rookie mistake of looking at two "one-way flights" in and out of venice/rome and compared those prices to the "round-trip" fares I got with Milan. Milan was much cheaper due to the way I searched and assumed if I booked it far in advance I'd get the best deal.

Looking at it now, I could have booked a multi-city trip for the same cost and saved all the travel time I'm pretty sure my flights through Aer Lingus are non-refundable. I've never flown with them, nor had to cancel an international flight but I'd imagined that is the case.
danzaman is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 09:54 PM
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There are several options regarding Milan return.

1. Keep the itinerary as is. This means an afternoon plus an evening agenda lost from Rome. Spend an unproductive night in Milan.

2. Include Milan and the surrounding area in your itinerary. This would mean taking out days from Rome. For some this is a no no. But are you planning to come back to Italy? If you want to head south next time to Amalfi Coast, it is likely to you will be forced to include Rome in your itinerary. I don't cover Rome heavily on any trip. Because it is a gateway city, I tend to spend a lot of days over several trips there automatically due to flight arrangements.

3. Do some serious accounting and value judgement to compute the cost of changing the tickets (change fee plus delta between your ticket and the new tickets) and judge if it is worth recouping almost a day for your trip.
greg is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 02:02 AM
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The important thing about choosing a train out of Venice is to plan to arrive when the rental car office is open in Chiusi. You need to double check, but generally the Chiusi office will only be open Mon-Sat 9-1pm and after 3.30 pm Mon-Fri. Unless you leave Venice by 8am latest, it is almost impossible to get to the Chiusi train station during its morning opening hours. Although Chiusi is a charming small hilltown with nice restaurants and a great Etruscan museum, it has no luggage storage in the train station.

If you think you might like to stop in Bologna, the historic center is about a 20 minute walk from the train station or a 7e taxi ride. There is a safe luggage storage room in that train station. Bologna is a busy modern city, but the pedestrianized medieval center is compact and atmospheric, with beautiful red toned buildings. The main draw for most people is the extensive food market, a showcase of fresh foods and pastas. You can get food from the shops to go to take with you, or have a quick lunch of lasagne and many other treats at Tamburini in the heart of the markets. (Don't miss sampling a slice of the strudel-like "pinzi" for dessert.)

Bologna is a missable stop unless you are full of energy and motivated. If you are planning your honeymoon around the idea of an idyll, it would be simpler to just float from Venice to Tuscany on the fast train without the logistics of including Bologna.

After you pick up your rental car, it is hard to advise where to stay without knowing if you prefer to stay on a farm that serves dinner or in a small town.

Perugia is a very difficult city to approach by car and very complex to see in a single afternoon. Assisi is often mobbed with tourists during the day, as is San Gimignano.

A great deal of the enjoyment of southern Tuscany is to explore without a specific destination. The area is rich with unique farm scenery and interesting villages or towns, 90 percent of which never are mentioned in guidebooks or on message boards. So don't worry you'll be "missing" something if you just follow your own nose.

Drop off the car in Orvieto and take the train from there to Rome.

You really shouldn't grieve those plane tickets too much. The fast train from Rome to Milan is 3.5 hours! If you leave Rome after lunch you can be in Milan in time for cocktails. Very glamorous finish to your Italian honeymoon. Pick a nice restaurant, have cocktails in view of the Duomo, stroll through the neighboring Galleria, have a romantic, unpressured evening.
matera2019 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 09:11 AM
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here is my 2 lira; first , i do not know what reservations you already made and can change, and i am assuming you have your heart set on Umbria and southern Tuscana region, so i would blow of any idea Bologna, save up your time for Tuscana and Umbria

I would take train from VENEZIA -TO- ORVIETO,(about 4.5hr) why?
1. Hertz and AutoEurope has a car rental right at the train station,and the funicular terminus is right there incase you do not want to rent a car the first night, just go right up to Orvieto via that or Taxi .
2. Orvieto is not to be missed if Umbria is on your itinerary. i would stay 1 or 2 nights in Orvieto, use that as a base to visit the Umbria region. leave early on 2 or 3 day, only 1 hour to Montepulciano via car. stay in Montepulciano (if that is where u are committed to,?) . at end of your Tuscana experiance drive back to Orvieto ( 1 hour) , drop car off and take Train from ORVIETO -to- ROMA(Termini) , about 1.5 hour. get your train tixs in advance!

this is a lot to do in only 4-5 days. i have been to that area on extended stays for 8 trips, will be in Orvieto this Oct. for 2 nights

let me know if you wish me to reccomend hotels, resturants, etc.
UmoDiViaggio is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 09:34 AM
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AutoEurope does not have car rental facilities anywhere - it's a broker. Maybe you mean EuropCar.

And Orvieto, much as I love it, does not IMO make a good base for visiting Umbria, as it's too far south. I think a day or a night there is adequate. I'd concentrate on venues a bit farther north to have easy access to the main attractions of Umbria and Tuscany.
StCirq is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 10:12 AM
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stCirq: my appologies, thank you for catching that. it is Hertz only. i was looking at the pins on their map for Umbria towns, which were all about 1 to 1.5 hour away from Orvieto. that is why i say only 1 or 2 nights at most there. too much to do in only 4 nights. add an extra night in Tuscana by blowing off Bologna.
UmoDiViaggio is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 02:02 PM
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Tick-tock-tick-tock. You need to decide between Tuscany and Umbria. You don't have enough time to see both in any depth. There are several towns where you could pick up (and drop) the car, but you've got to decide where you're going first, how much time you're willing to spend driving every day (as opposed to strolling through towns), etc.

If you want to divide the time between Umbrian and Tuscan bases (not what I would do, but it's your trip), then pick up the car as you're leaving Venice. Then, you aren't stuck going only where rental offices are, forced to time your arrival to when the office is open, etc. You can return the car in Foligno or Orvieto and then catch a train to Rome.
Jean is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 03:45 PM
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good idea, Driving from Venezia to Montepulciano is going to take you around 4 hours. actually less time then train, the good is you get to leave Venezia on your schedule, i have rented in Venezia many times. no proplem. returning cars to diferent location usually does not cost much more if anything. you should be able to get a fiat500 w/collision for around $500 for 4-5 days. but you have to feel like doing a 4 hour trip on Autostrada, you'll need a GPS espesially around Bologna
UmoDiViaggio is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 06:30 PM
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Posts: 9,402

I really liked your original plan of spending time in Spello, a town I loved and would return to in a heartbeat. Especially at Palazzo Bocci. I really enjoyed my stay there.

However, my first thought is the same as Jean's. If you decied on southern Tuscany. Keep the daytrips close by. There is SO MUCH to see and enjoy within an hour's drive of Montepulciano and you could easily spend more than just 4 days.

Like Jean, I highly recommend Sant'Antimo (Gregorian Chants) just outside of Montalcino as well as Monte Olivetto for the frescos. Driving in this part of Tuscany is a joy.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  

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