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Jun 26th, 2013, 01:27 PM
  #1
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Italy

I am trying to plan a trip to Italy for late March 2014 thru early April 2014. The destination spots I am looking at is Venice, Florence & Rome. Is this a good time to travel? Is it better/cheaper to booked my entire trip through a guided tour company or plan my trip independently and just add a guided tour for certain attractions? Is 10-14 days good enough? And or does anyone recommend another city to visit by train while I am there.

Prices I am seeing from guided tour companies are between $3,000-$4,000 for Mar-Apr 2014 for (8-14 days). It includes airafre, hotel, some meals, some attraction fees, may or may not include tips. Of course none of this includes spending mone.

Thanks.
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Jun 26th, 2013, 01:33 PM
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Yes, it will be cool (possible rain) check monthly climates on wiki for each city.

No idea about a combined tour (and the data provided does not help as March flight prices unknown), but to get the best you want to have hotels right in the centre which fits in well for the train. (March not the best time to see the countryside.)

Other cities (not sure you need them) but Sienna or Bologna would be good.

Look at nights, 3 nights Venice, 4 nights Florence, 4 nights Rome looks good.
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Jun 26th, 2013, 01:33 PM
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Yes, it's a good time to travel. I would do it independent. I think 10 - 14 is good but you could stay longer and not run out of things to do.
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Jun 26th, 2013, 01:44 PM
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Italy is easy to do on your own, especially to the cities you mention. They are all heavily touristed cities connected by fast trains. You won't have trouble with a language barrier in Italy - even if not everyone speaks much English, enough people do for you do to get by.

Try to fly into Italy "open jaw" - that is, into one city and out of another instead of doing a round trip, so you don't have to backtrack. And unlike flying within the US, for example, it's usually not more expensive to fly open jaw vs. a round trip. I'd try to fly into Venice and out of Rome with your itinerary. You could do the other way around, except that getting to Venice airport early in the morning can be a challenge.

Bologna mentioned above is a very easy stop between Florence and Venice - right on the train line. Even if you don't spend a night, it's nice to stop and leave your bags at the train station and spend a few hours in Bologna and have a meal there - maybe the best meal of your trip. The food in that part of Italy (Emilia-Romagna) is amazing.
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Jun 27th, 2013, 07:32 AM
  #5
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Ok thank you the suggestion. Right now flights seem to around $1250 for the trip mentioned above.
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Jun 27th, 2013, 07:37 AM
  #6
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I appreciate all the ideas. Any reasonably priced places you know of to stay at in Venice, Florence & Rome. Any hidden genms to see or visit while I am in the above mentioned cities? Thanks Andrew I like the idea of stopping in Bologna for a meal.
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Jun 27th, 2013, 07:40 AM
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We stayed here in Venice and thought it was great, very reasonably priced: http://www.aitagliapietra.com/
jamikins is online now  
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Jun 27th, 2013, 08:06 AM
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You might want to consider stopping in Bologna at least for one night. After many times in Italy I did that last year and loved the city, lots to see! I'm now eager to go back and spend more time there. Since its in the same train line its very easy for a stopover.
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Jun 27th, 2013, 08:12 AM
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It seems to me that time period is one when you can get the better deals from the tour companies.

Most people here will recommend going independent. Just be aware that it will take some homework and planning to make your trip a success. Famous last words: "I'll figure it out when I get there."
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Jun 27th, 2013, 08:19 AM
  #10
 
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Theperiod you selected is the beginning of spring,very good period to see Italy. Average temperatures should be around 20° (celsius).
If you have 2 weeks, you may try to add Naples/Pompei/Costiera Amalfitana (2-3 days), Padova - Verona (1/2 - 1 day each), 2-3 days in the Tuscany country Side.

In Italy you can easily travel on your own, and if you reserve now you will get excellent tarifs (included on high speed trains). Try to book B&B (http://www.bed-and-breakfast.it/), a room should cost less than 100€/night.
Use an agency only if you are very lazy, or in a hurry.
Tips are not "mandatory" like in the US, it's really up to you.

Have a look at my travel blog for additional travel ideas (www.delightfullyitaly.com)

Enjoy!
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Jul 1st, 2013, 10:42 AM
  #11
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Thank you to eveyone who added a comment. I really appreciate it!!!!!!
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