Italy & Greece Fall 06

Apr 16th, 2006, 07:44 AM
  #1  
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Italy & Greece Fall 06

I am in the early stages of planning a trip {although it may be late for trying to get AA frequent flyer tickets} for my husbands 60th birthday. We would like to spend some time in Rome {3 - 4 days?} then head down to Tuscany for same time period and then go to Greece. We would like to spend time in Greek Isles {3 - 4 days} and then time in Athens {3- 4 days}. We are interested in visiting ruins, musuems, countryside -- generally getting to see the sights. He has been there before, I've not. We planned to fly into Rome and leave to go home from Athens. Some questions I have are:
1. How do we best get from Rome to Florence? Take train and rent car in Florence and drive through Tuscany or get car in Rome and drive the entire way down?
2. What is the easiest way to get from Tuscany to Greece?
3. Is this a good amount of time to spend in each area? We are flexible and could stay longer.
4. Is this the best direction to travel or should we reverse it...start in Greece and end in Rome?

Any and all suggestions welcome including places to stay and/or eat. We love good meals and are looking to eating wonderful food.

Thank you in advance for you input!
Debi
DebitNM is offline  
Apr 16th, 2006, 09:06 AM
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Tuscany is north of Rome, which I think of as up, not down. You don't have to go into Florence to pick up a rental car. In fact, there's been a thread with horror stories about the difficulty of driving out of central Florence. When you decide where you want to go in Tuscany, we can advise where to pick up your rental car.

The easiest way to get to Greece from Tuscany is to fly, but you may have to leave from Milan or Rome.

All these places could use more time, but especially Rome, since you will be recovering from jet lag there. And, yes, starting in Italy, then going to Greece is better for inexperienced travelers.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 16th, 2006, 09:08 AM
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If you drive you can stop along the way if you see something you want to explore, but taking the train can be relaxing and more time-efficient. I don't think there's any 'easy' way to get from Tuscany to Greece. You'll either have to drive or take the train or a plane back to Rome or to another town with an airport that offers flights to Athens such as Venice or Milan. If you reverse your travel direction you can fly from Athens to Milan, then drive down to Florence and Rome or take the train, whichever suits you.

Aegean Airlines Alitalia and Easyjet all offer cheap flights from Athens to Milan. Easyjet's are by far the cheapest.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2006, 02:08 PM
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Sorry about the "down" to Tuscany...I meant up!
DebitNM is offline  
Apr 17th, 2006, 05:17 PM
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Bumping, trolling for answers. Thanks!
DebitNM is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 12:42 PM
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I like your plan of starting in Italy and finishing in Greece- generally I find Greece more relaxing (if you're in the islands)and prefer to end on a relaxing not before heading home. I would go to Florence/Tuscany first (fly into Florence and do it on foot, then rent your car and drive out to Tuscany), then train to Rome (turn your car in at the Rome station), then head to Greece (to take advantage of Aegean Airlines direct Rome-Athens flight).

In terms of timing, I think 4 days is a good amount of time in Rome (I know- others will say you need 10, but I think 4 is perfect for an overview). Four days in Tuscany is barely enough, and probably NOT enough if you plan to include Florence. Last summer, we spent two days in Florence and 3 in Tuscany outside Siena. This was really not enough (particularly for Florence, as one day was jet-lagged). If you really want to explore the towns, wine taste, and have any time to enjoy your hotel in Tuscany, I think you need 4 days PLUS whatever you allocate for Florence (I would say 3 days, ideally, but 2 if you're crunched for time). So far that's 6-7 days in Florence/Tuscany and 4 days in Rome. Then travel from there to Athens. Again, Aegean Airlines has a direct flight and is a great airline.

I would stay no more than 3 days in Athens. Sure- its a great city with lots to see, but it's also congested and loud and not very relaxing. After 4 days in Rome, you may not want 4 more days in a large city like Athens. 3 days would give you time to see the major sites in Athens (particularly if you enlist the help of a guide like George the famous taxi driver- you can see the big sites in a day) plus maybe a daytrip to some outlying ruins like Delphi or Corinth. Then head to the islands. Unless you only plan on visiting one island, 4 days is not enough. I would add as much time as possible to the islands (it's no secret on this forum what a big greek island fan I am). I must put a word in for Santorini, my favorite. If you only go to one, go there. Otherwise, there are lots of other options, depending on what you enjoy. Timing wise, 3 days per island is a good plan for a first visit. I would do Santorini plus Crete or another Cyclades island, so you can island hop via ferry.
europhile is offline  
Apr 24th, 2006, 05:16 PM
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Eirophile..
Thanks for your helpful insights...we are still deciding but will certainly take your info into consideration!
DebitNM is offline  
Apr 24th, 2006, 05:22 PM
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I second Europhile's recommendation for Santorini. It's spectacular and unlike any other island in the Aegean. If you can only see one, that's it!
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 07:21 PM
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Thanks all! Was not able to secure flights using FF miles, so trip is on hold. Maybe next year. But we were able to get seats to Hawaii, so that's where we are going. Again, thanks!
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