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Italian tours (trafalgar?)

Old Jul 25th, 2005, 09:04 PM
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Italian tours (trafalgar?)

My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy Sept 2006. Because of the multiple cities (Rome, Florence, Venice) and sites (Sistine Chapel, Pompeii) we want to see I was considering booking a tour, maybe with Trafalgar - but no tours I've seen stay in the cities long enough or have enough leisure time included. Ideally I would want to stay in each city at least 3 days.
I am worried about the logistics of booking all the hotels/travel/museums myself. I've heard sometimes it's hard to get into the more popular attractions. Are there any really good tour experiences out there? Or is it worth it to just plan the whole thing yourself - any suggestions on books/sites that can help?
Thanks!
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Old Jul 25th, 2005, 09:22 PM
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Hello pookamani, you don't need to book a tour for this trip. You have over a year to plan this trip and I think you will enjoy doing so as you get involved with it.

There is ton of information regarding everything you want to know right here on Fodor's for a start. You might want to take a look at www.slowtravel.com also for some information.

I would go to your local library and check out some travel books on Italy. This will give you more good information whether it is historical background or beautiful photos that will give you an idea of what you really want to see.

I believe you will end of saving money also compared to paying for a tour that probably will not include everything you want to see. You will be in control of your vacation which is not the case with a tour group. And yes, having some leisure time to sit in an outdoor cafe in a beautiful piazza is part of the joy of being in Italy.

As far as getting into popular attractions many people book tours in cities for a morning or afternoon guide. And they reserve ahead of time for museums that they are interested in. Again there is lots of information here on the Fodor's Europe Board that will be so much help to you.

Best wishes.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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The web address for the slowtravel website indicated by LoveItaly is http://www.slowtrav.com.

Also, if you are really unsure of planning your own trip, I think a tour would be a good way to become acquainted with a place. My first trip to Italy was with a Trafalgar tour and we had a wonderful guide and I had a very nice time. But, while on the tour, I decided that the next time I went to Italy I would plan my own trip so I could decide how much time to spend in each city and so that I could see some of the smaller towns.

LoveItaly is correct though in saying that if you put in a some work researching over the next several months, you should be able to plan your own trip. I myself have come to enjoy the planning stage of the trip. As mentioned, you can get a lot of help here and/or at SlowTrav (and its forum site: http://www.slowtalk.com. Run your thoughts by people on these forums and you will get a lot of feedback.

Allison
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 03:24 PM
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Hi Allison, thanks for giving the correct address for SlowTravel. I do need to click the edit button more often.

pookamani, you could start doing some research and if you find you don't enjoy doing that or feel overwhelmed you can either: post questions here (but do have some specific questions in mind) or just go ahead and book with a Tour Group as you do have some time to work with. Best wishes to you.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 09:02 PM
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I think I will plan it myself - there are so many resources I've found just from browsing the postings here ... slowtrav looks like a great site - thanks for your help!
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 09:23 PM
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Have fun with your research pookamani, and it will be. It really sounded to me from your first post that you would be happier travelling independently. I have known so many people that have booked tours and have come home complaining as what they really wanted is what you expressed, leisure time when they wanted it, not staying in places long enough etc. Best wishes.
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