Italy in 2 weeks

Sep 17th, 2005, 05:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 30
Italy in 2 weeks

Salve everyone!

Really need your expertise here. I've been tasked to plan my family's annual overseas trip for this december. While i wanted to return to Paris, my brother wanted to go Italy and my sister Magic Mountain and Disneyland in California. So, after much bickering and fist fighting, we finally settled on Italy...

I have a few questions which i hope can be answered by you guys.

1) Are the major cities of Italy expensive places? Don't really want to rip a hole in my parent's wallet.

2) If we were to spend just 2 weeks in Italy in the month of december, what would be the cities that we should visit? We'll definitely be spending time in Rome, but where else should we go? We're torn between places like Milan, Tuscany, Venice, Pompeii, etc...

3) Train travel wise, should i order the tickets online weeks before going to Italy or can i just buy it at the station about 1 or 2 days beforehand?

Hope to hear from you soon!!! Thanks a million!!!

(So much for learning french in school... Now i don't even get to practice it...)
Lucien_84 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2005, 05:45 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,717
Venice is probably the most expensive city (with the possible exception of Milan) in Italy.

If there are, as it seems, four of you, you might consider renting an apartment in Venice and in Rome.

For rental-agency and apartment reviews, go to

(Although many apartments rent only for a full week, and mostly from Saturday to Saturday, I think most would be prepared to rent for a shorter time in December -- unless you are there over the Christmas and New Year's period.)

Particularly in winter, when even the Tuscan countryside is not very appealing, the "big three" cities of Venice, Florence and Rome are what I would suggest. You can consider a day trip from Florence to Siena and from Rome to Pompeii (it's a long day, but if your heart is set on it...)

You do not need to book trains online ages in advance, but there are promotions that can be booked 60 days in advance at

if you can decide in advance on the days that you want to travel. Again, if you are travelling over Christmas/New Year's, it's probably wise to book ahead, as many Italians travel to be with family at Christmas.
Eloise is offline  
Sep 17th, 2005, 07:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,756
I would suggest the classic '3' cities for your trip. Book the plane tickets "open jaw" so you fly into Venice and out of Rome (or vice versa). Then take the train from Venice to Florence, then Florence to Rome.

I would book hotels or apartments ahead, but buy point-to-point tickets at the train station. I know you can buy ahead online but have no experience with that myself (I always did it in person a couple days before or the day of travel).

This is not to overlook say if you want to instead spend 1 week in the countryside of Tuscany, for example. Again I just don't know about renting a house, etc. there myself. If you wanted that, I'd probably pair it with 1 week in Rome and skip the rest.

Planning a family vacation, my best advise is to keep things simple, for the sake of your own sanity (i'm supposed to be planning hawaii for mine as i sit here writing this -LOL).
suze is offline  
Sep 17th, 2005, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 777
I think you'd be better off in cities in December, rather than the countryside, since you'd have more options in the event of bad weather. I agree with the "Big 3" suggestion, although you might want to consider a day trip to Pompeii from Rome, and possibly one to Siena from Florence. These are certainly do-able with a stay of two weeks.

Italy can be expensive, but with good planning you can travel affordably, without spending a fortune, especially off-season.

I have never stayed in apartments, but one thing to consider is whether you might want the support services a hotel would provide, especially if you don't speak the language.
nonnafelice is offline  
Sep 17th, 2005, 09:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 30
Thanks for all ya help! Can't wait to visit Italy!
Lucien_84 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,756
I also prefer small hotels over apartments & count on the front desk to assist me with various things. There's no reason the major cities need to be expensive. If you keep your accommodations and your meals simple, well there's no reason to go broke (air fare will most likely be your single biggest expense per person).
suze is offline  
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