Italy & Greece Itinerary please help...

Old Mar 19th, 2003, 09:08 PM
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Italy & Greece Itinerary please help...

Hello everyone –

I have been researching the board as well as Rick Steve’s books while planning our (my husband & I) 1st trip to Italy & Greece. I believe I’m close to finalizing my itinerary. Your thoughts, advice & suggestions would be appreciated as whether to add, delete or change anything). A little background on us: we are in our late 20’s/early 30’s and love to be on the go (outdoorsy type people), we also enjoy museums, culture & especially great wine!

Rome
Staying at Residenza San Pantaleo
Arrive @ 6pm on Saturday – nothing scheduled for that evening
Sunday – Coliseum, Forum, Palatine Hill, Pantheon, Capital Hill, Night walk to include Trevi Fountain & Spanish Steps)
Monday – St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Museum & City
Tuesday – Borghese Gallery, National Museum, Baths of Diocletian

Pompeii/Florence
Staying at Hotel Aldini
Wednesday – Visit Pompeii early – leave to Florence around 6pm, arrive 11pm (we realize this will be a very long day)
Thursday – Accademia, Museum of San Marco, Medici Chapels, Duomo Museum, Baptistery, Renaissance night walk
Friday – Bargello, Dante’s House, Santa Maria, Uffizi, Oltrarno Walk
Saturday – Spend the day in Siena
Sunday – Leave early to visit Pisa – leave around 1:30 to Venice – nothing planned once we arrive in Venice (my husband really wants to see the tower)

Venice
Staying at Hotel Campiello
Monday – St. Mark’s Basilica & Square, Correr Museum, Dodge’s Place, Campanile Tower, Gondola Ride
Tuesday – Frari Church, Scuola San Rocco, Tour Ca’ Rezzonico, Explore Dorsoduro, Tour Accademia, Grand Canal Cruise in Vaporetto
Wednesday – Explore lagoon by tour boat, San Giorgio Maggiore
Thursday – Leave to Athens at 12pm – Leave to Chania, Crete at 5:00 (flying)

Greece
Chania, Crete
Renting a car
Staying at either Porto del Colombo or Porto Veneziano – we can’t decide
Friday – Hike Gorge
Saturday – Hike White Mountains
Sunday – Drive around island and visit beaches
Monday – Enjoy more of island – leave to Santorini

Oia, Santorini
Staying at Katikies Hotel
Tuesday – Visit beaches & vineyard
Wednesday – go to caldera or visit another island
Thursday – tour Santorini

Athens
Staying at Hotel Attalos
Friday – leave to Athens, see Agora
Saturday – visit Acropolis, Parthenon, and Archeological Museum
Sunday – come back home (

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are scheduled but not listed in the above. This itinerary isn’t concrete; we are extremely flexible and willing to change. The first part of the trip is definitely more hectic than the second part – we did this on purpose. I hope this makes sense. Again, we love wine, so if you can suggest vineyards in Italy, it would be appreciated.

Sorry so long!
Margie
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 03:40 AM
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If this is your first visit to Rome, I would skip Pompeii and stay one more day in Rome. You have not really given yourself enough time to enjoy exploring back streets, seeing the piazzas of Rome (to drink the wine you love) or do any shopping. If you are coming from the US/Canada, I think jet lag will slow you down on your first day out -- which looks very full. Also you need to take into consideration certain closures, like that the Pantheon is closed on Sundays after the morning masses. Also make sure none of the days you have scheduled for visiting museums are public holidays (same with Florence), when they may be closed. If you are going in the summer months, lines at St Peters and the museums will also eat into your time. If you give yourself an extra day in Rome, this will give you some flexibility.

I think Pompeii is very interesting, but I would do that on another trip when you are doing the Amalfi coast and maybe other southern parts of Italy. Especially if you will have luggage with you and are taking the train, as you will have to bring it with you to Pompeii (where you can check it), but lugging it on and off the train is not a lot of fun. If you are taking a private car, this will be solved, but it seems like a very expensive day to me to do it that way. If you really want to see ruins, you can go to Ostia Antica near the Rome airport.

I think two days in Florence is really not going to be enough either. I haven't been to Pisa in all my trips to Italy and from what most people say, I haven't missed much. It seems a shame to sacrifice Florence or Siena in favour of Pisa
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 04:13 AM
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A thoughtful analysis of your itinerary and plans takes more time and mental energy than I have to give this morning, so I will simply respond to this one statement of yours - -

<<we love wine, so if you can suggest vineyards in Italy, it would be appreciated>>

Excerpted from http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...=2&tid=1284524 (and yes, I realize that it's a two year old post, but still useful, I think)

Author: Rex
Date: 03/23/2001, 04:45 pm

Message: This - - www.kilkelly.com/Chianti.html- - might seem like just a drop in the ocean (of information on the wines, vineyards and winemakers of Tuscany), but it gives a decent overview, and it specifically lists one of the biggest sellers - - Rocca delle Macie - - at the premier Italian market** here in my hometown (Columbus, Ohio).

Note also that it recommends two enoteca choices in Castellina in Chianti, where wine is served for tasting. In my experience, this is every bit as good as going to a wine producer or vineyard. Go, sit for an hour or two, have the proprietor guide you through the tasting of three or four wines, narrowing in on what YOU like. Then buy a bottle or two - - or more. You'll have the pleasure of re-living, and seeing if it tastes like what you remember, rather than buying some bottles by label only.

...

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 11:08 AM
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Brining your question back "up to the top" since it's your first question ever here.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 02:33 PM
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Margie
Looks like a memorable trip.
Building on the reply of Ciceron ( I could have written the reply myself).If you must go to Pompeii go on your 1st Tues as a day trip from Rome.But let me say it isn't worth the effort.The time is better spent in ROME.
You should consider walking tours in Rome. We took Through Eternity tours#1-St. Peter's and Vatican Museums, #2-Rome at Twilight, take a look at their web site www.througheternity.com.
Expect lines at the Colosseum and Vatican Museums-Go Early.Have a gelato at Giolitti near the Pantheon, walking distance from your hotel.Compare Giolitti with Vivoli's in Florence

If you are driving stop in Tuscan hilltowns on your way to Florence.I like Montalcino(Vino Brunello-Sant' Antimo Abbey), Pienza(pecorino cheese),Montepulciano( Vino Nobile).

For Florence make an internet reservation for the Uffizi to avoid lost time in line. If you must go to Pisa( I know your husband wants a picture holding up the tower), combine it with Siena. It will take you longer to get to Venice than you think. But again, skip the Tower.
Athens-Consider the Sound-and-Light show at the Acropolis followed by the Dora Stratou Folk Dancers(if still performing). Forget Agora you have ODed on ruins. Instead stroll the Plaka and eat at Taverna Xinos or other taverna.A restaurant we enjoyed was Gerifinkas(The Palm)near Syntagma Square.If you like turpintine try Ozzo.
Opah!

Gary
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Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 09:24 AM
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Thank you everyone so very much for your insightful tips.

I’m very excited, as this is our 2nd trip to Europe and absolutely loved it the first time. We will be leaving on May 2nd – just six more weeks!

I will save Pompeii for a different visit. As for Pisa, it may take my husband some convincing but I agree from what I read that it does not seem necessary to visit. Although now that he read he can get a picture of himself holding up the Tower, I think he’s even more excited Thank you for the wine suggestion, I glimpsed at the link and will definitely study it more thoroughly this weekend. I will also look into a walking tour since I’ll be using that extra day in Rome. I will also start making reservations where I can now.

I truly appreciate all of you taking the time to reply.

Warmest regards,
Margie
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