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Italy Itinerary Gap to Fill - Alternate Suggestions

Italy Itinerary Gap to Fill - Alternate Suggestions

Jul 24th, 2017, 03:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 120
Italy Itinerary Gap to Fill - Alternate Suggestions

Hi there,

Currently trying to work out a gap in my itinerary after my plans fell through for Milan. Original plan: Fly into Rome 9/3, Bologna 9/7 and then Milan 9/10, return home 9/12. My intentions were to book to see the Last Supper (tickets for September just became available today, 7/24 on the official website– and despite my multiple attempts, sold out today, 7/24. I have also tried the walking tours – nothing available). Note, I’ve been checking multiple times weekly since June – and did not want to do one of the walking tours, now I will regret not doing one of those walking tours.

But I digress.

I can keep with my original plan, but it will drive me nuts to be in Milan when I had only one intention to go there in the first place and now that goal is…well, not what I intended. I know all hope is not lost.

So, I am thinking of alternatives and need some suggestions.

I have previously been to Florence (and Siena) and will be relying on public transportation. I did go to Venice two years ago, but the trip was cut short by a day due to an airline snafu. So, I can remove Bologna all together (which, I would like to see) but it’s not a huge high point for me – it was mostly to break up the time between two cities.

I can extend my trip in Rome and do day trips. Where? Suggestions? And make my trip shorter overall.

Or, I can go straight from Rome to Venice – albeit with a somewhat lengthy train ride – and see parts of Venice that go cut the first time around.

I’m open to suggestions. I am traveling solo (first time ever) and do like art, museums, beaches (any beach towns somewhat near Rome?), wouldn’t mind hill towns around Umbria, but am hoping to be close to a bigger airport for my return – which is why I am open to extending my trip in Rome.

My hotels are booked (Booking.com) and I can cancel those but do need to get on the airline booking before too long.

I'm making this trip a good one: was supposed to be going to Disneyland with my ex-fiance and decided when we broke up I wasn't going to wallow. So, I'm going to Italy instead! ;-)
Travel_Nerd is online now  
Jul 24th, 2017, 03:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,618
It sounds like you don't even have an airline ticket - so you could in effect do anything and go anywhere for about eight nights, right?

Start from scratch: what are you really interested in? You could certainly do Rome + south of there: Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, etc.

Or you could go back to Venice - did you like it enough that first brief visit that you want to back? You don't have to (I've been there four times - nothing wrong with a return). Again, depends what you are interested in

I'd pick up a guidebook, figure out what you really want to do, then figure out the logistics of airports etc. based on that.
Andrew is online now  
Jul 24th, 2017, 03:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,645
I'm very surprised you can't find a tour that will get you into the Last Supper, but I'll take your word for it that you've exhausted all the options in your research.

Were it me, I would use the 2 days to go to Ravenna to see the mosaics. They are an extraordinary sight, and while the beaches nearby are not destinaton beaches, if you want a swim and a seaside lunch, that will work.

You probably would do well to get specific about how you want to spend your time in Bologna. The town has many fascinating, unique points of interest, but they are not obvious and need some planning due to opening hours. Also, daytrips to Parma & Ferrara can be very rewarding from Bologna.
massimop is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 03:48 PM
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Andrew, I've done research - I've read the guidebook. I do know what I want, I am simply asking for suggestions given the situation. This is not my first rodeo and I am not one of these newbies expecting a miracle to be packed in with 20 cities into a two week trip.

Yes, I do enjoy Venice, very much so - I do not know if it would make sense to do a 4 hour train ride (eliminate Bologna) based upon time.

I am also taking into account airports. To fly out of Bologna - that is a huge increase in price for me, whereas out of Venice it is less so, as it was

This happened - today. And I calculated my time best I could since I first decided to take this trip back in May. I was not anticipating on this loop, especially since it is suggested that one book the Last Supper 3 months in advance via the official website. I did not anticipate that their schedule is actually more like 6-8 weeks in releasing tickets.

Massimop - any suggestions for reputable Milan tour companies, then? I personally do not want to just pick up the phone with some random person who may or may not be running a scam. And thank you for your suggestions, definitely something to consider.
Travel_Nerd is online now  
Jul 24th, 2017, 03:53 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2013
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Furthermore, why I delayed in purchasing airline tickets are many personal reasons such as hospitalization from my ex's abuse, and moving to a new city. These were things that were out of my control.

Plus, getting a ticket to the fresco was not a guarantee - why make flight arrangements if I do not even want to actually see the city save one thing...? But, I digress.
Travel_Nerd is online now  
Jul 24th, 2017, 03:59 PM
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If you register your Last Supper request with Ticketitaly.com, they will alert you when tickets for your date are available. They are currently selling tickets for dates through August 2017.


It sounds like you have 8 days in Italy not impacted by arriving and departing flights. For me, that's 3 destinations at most, and I wouldn't stay in Rome twice if an open-jaw itinerary doesn't work out. (Fares for multi-city tickets have been going up.) So, if I was flying in and out of Rome, I'd head to the first destination immediately on arrival. Which destination is your call. I'm not a huge fan of Bologna and loved Umbria, so I might go to Spoleto and see another town or two using public trans. The order of destinations would depend on whether I was able to snag the Last Supper ticket.
Jean is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 05:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2017
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Sorry it costs so much more to fly out of Bologna.

I've never used this tour to see the Last Supper but I think they are reliable. You can probably find reviews on TripAdvsor. But right now I don't think they are selling tickets for September. But you could e-mail them and ask.


You could position yourself to fly out of Milan, in case your Last Supper ticket request comes through, but if it doesn't, spend the time in Verona, or Bergamo, or Torino, or at the lakes. Any of those places would get you back to Milan quite easily for a flight out. In fact, even if you see the Last Supper, you could day trip to Bergamo or a lake. Depending on what time your appointment to see the Last Supper turns out to be, you could stay in Stresa (on Lago Maggiore) and take the train into MIlan to see the Last Supper, and then spend the night in Stresa and take a bus to Malpensa airport from there. (50 minutes, but your hotel needs to make the bus reservation for you a day in advance).
massimop is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 05:18 PM
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I should clarify my post: The alternate towns I mention are all close enough to Milan to make it a short trip back to Milan. But if you have an early morning flight, you should spend the night in Milan itself and go to the airport from Milan the next morning. (Or stay at the airport). The only exception is Stresa, which is close enough to Malpensa airport by bus that youy can stay there your final night.
massimop is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2017
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I have one more idea for you:

How about extending your days in Rome so you can see Orvieto in Umbria as a day trip, but then, instead of Bologna, going to Verona? Being there would position you nicely to fly out of either Milan or Venice, and also to see the last supper if you get a ticket, or visit Venice for a day to see what you couldn't before. You can even take a day trip to Bologna from Verona (or stop by, en route from Rome to Verona, stowing your luggage in the Bologna train station).

You'd probably need relocate your last night to your departure city or an airport hotel. But Verona has a nice mix of sights -- Roman, Renaissance, medieval -- and a variety of easy day trips to Lago di Garda or pretty Trento in the mountains, or a town like Padova.
massimop is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 06:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2017
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Rome has a beaches. Venice has a beach. The question is what sort of beach do you want? Neither option will be a wild natural beach. If you want an organized beach you could consider either.

On flight costs. Factor in the cost to get to the airport. Depending on which airport this can almost be more then a low cost flight.

Have you been to Pisa? The classic Rome to Florence to Pisa could cover your interests. Flying home from Pisa.

What kind of museum? Turin could be a choice but the train ride is the longest of the suggestions so far.
Traveler_Nick is online now  
Jul 25th, 2017, 03:59 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,605
The beach at Ostia Lido is actually within the Rome city limits. Other beaches near Rome, and easily reached by train, are Anzio, Nettuno, and Santa Marinella.
bvlenci is online now  

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