Italy Itinerary - Round Two

Old Dec 29th, 2015, 06:10 AM
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Yes, makes perfect sense to me.
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Old Dec 29th, 2015, 10:28 AM
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Good Judy - once you have the dates and cities set it will be easier to look into the details.

The ferries usually start running after April 1, weather permitting.
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Old Dec 29th, 2015, 02:44 PM
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Thank you!

So excited about this trip.

This will be very special for all of us -- my first to Europe with my son since he was a little boy, the GF's first trip to Europe, and a first journey to Rome for all of us.

So even if we only see Rome and maybe do a few day trips, it is still going to be amazing!
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Old Dec 29th, 2015, 03:38 PM
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ekc,

Just for my own enlightenment:

Isn't there a ferry to Capri year-round that departs from Naples? Is that the only ferry off season?

I think I watched that ferry leave Naples and go to Capri when I was staying in the upper part of Naples in January, with a clear view of the sea. Windy day, and I was sooooooo glad I wasn't on that boat. (It wasn't a hydrofoil.) Even miles away, I could see the spray of the waves as the front of the boat slammed down into the water.

Was also on the Amalfi drive during April one year, and traffic was light to non-existent. Downside was that, because there were no traffic jams, the bus I was on was able to zip right along the cliff drive at full speed, taking all the curves at a clip, and I got totally nauseous (never take a bus trip right after lunch on the Amalfi drive).
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Old Dec 31st, 2015, 12:17 PM
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The fog is starting to lift and plans are being formulated.

Huge snag in the flight plan is that a direct flight to Rome costs so many FF miles (65K miles one way EACH!), that we're going to fly direct in and out of Venice.

Florence has so many connections on the 20K FF mile option (one way) that it would take 36 hours to either fly there or fly home from there. So....Florence is OFF the table.

We can still fly in to Rome on 20K FF mile (one way), however, there's a connection in London and total fly time is close to 14 hours. Philly to Venice non-stop is 9 hours. So, I think we're going with the Venice option (direct flights, round trip are only 40K each).

And, now (also because of limited award flight availability), we're flying on Saturday 3/26 and DS/GF are returning Friday 4/1....they will only have 5 days on the ground, while DH and I will stay a few days longer.

Pisa is OFF the itinerary.

Here's my new question(s):

What is the most efficient plan once we arrive in Venice?

I'm thinking we can take the fast train from Venice to Rome in 3 hours' time (we arrive on Sunday, Easter Sunday....sigh).

Spend Sunday through late Wednesday in Rome, then take the train back to Venice late Wednesday. Spend full day Thursday in Venice. DS and GF fly home Friday at noon from Venice.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan?

Once they fly home, DH and I are thinking of spending a few extra days in and around Venice. We plan to fly back home the Tuesday after my kids leave.

Can we spend 4 or 5 days in the Venice area? Are there enough things to see and do or is 5 days overkill? Can we do day trips to other nearby towns of interest?

I've always wanted to visit Venice, but not sure how to fill up 5 days. I know....that sounds ridiculous even to my own ears, but I need ideas!

I'm aiming for a return that Tuesday (April 5) because there is a direct flight from Venice to Philly.

I know there's a great itinerary out there just waiting for me to find it....I just don't see it yet!!
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Old Dec 31st, 2015, 12:34 PM
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Have you got a list of specific things to see in Rome? Because if you do, Easter Monday is a national holiday, and you need to check whether anythng on your list might be closed both Sunday and Monday, and whether you will have time to fit in everything you want to see on Tuesday and Wednesday. Because you could do this the other way: Land in Venice, stay in Venice, zip down to Rome Monday night, sightsee Tues, Weds, Thurs, then kids go back to Venice and you do whatever you want until you need to go back to Venice.

You will not get any resolution on this forum about whether spending 5 days in Venice is "overkill." There are several people here who spend weeks and even months at a time there. There are equal numbers of people (and several dozen more actually) who will tell you 5 days is just right, or 4 is too many, or 3 is fine or that they think 2 is plenty. Some people wiill be outraged that you even asked such a question, because they find Venice endlessly fascinating.

If you are the kind of person who likes day trips, then it almost doesn't matter how many nights you stay in Venice because if you find it doesn't engage you much, you can easily visit Verona or Treviso or Ferrara or Padova or Vicenza if you are staying in Venice. If you like museums and historic palaces and churches, Venice is crammed full.

But if you have a low tolerance for tourist crowds and tourist ambience (souvenir shops, tourist come-ons, etc) you might find yourself itiching to be someplace else.

First though, if the son + GF are saying that their priority is Rome, you don't have to go there first but you do need to make sure that what you/they want to see in Rome is open during the days you are there.
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Old Dec 31st, 2015, 12:52 PM
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PS: Wasn't your original itinerary a week in Rome in an apartment?

You could fly to Venice, stay there until Tuesday night, go to an apartment in Rome, and after your son + GF leave Thursday evening, you stay in Rome until Monday. You could either go back to Venice for your final night or go to Padova (there is a bus from Padova to the Venice airport).

This is a nice 2 bedroom apartment with 2 bathrooms available for 300e per night.

http://www.romeloft.com/19160-rome-luxury-rental/
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Old Dec 31st, 2015, 01:03 PM
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This one is even cheaper and in a more atmospheric part of Rome:

http://www.romeloft.com/12323-regine...ant-apartment/

Anyway, just a thought!
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Old Dec 31st, 2015, 01:21 PM
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Yes the priority is Rome, for all 4 of us.

I love your idea of staying in Venice first! But probably only one night (Sunday) and then travel on Monday. Since it's a national holiday it might make sense for that to be our travel day.

1/2 day Monday through Thursday in Rome, kids can train or fly back to Venice for the flight home Friday and then DH and I can travel the coast for a few days before heading home.

I think there's a direct flight home from Rome April 4 or 5....
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Old Dec 31st, 2015, 01:27 PM
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Here's the website for the civic museums in Rome:

http://en.museiincomuneroma.it/infor...ri_e_indirizzi

the vast majority appear to be open not just on Easter Monday but Easter Sunday too.

here's the site for the colosseum:

http://www.coopculture.it/en/

it appears to be open as well [that was our experience several years ago] The tours of the basement and upper tiers have had very good reviews here but need to be reserved in advance.
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Old Dec 31st, 2015, 01:53 PM
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Thank you for the info, will check it out!

I do like the idea of spending a day in Venice at the start of the trip, gives us a day and a morning to acclimate without having to travel right away to Rome. That would make for a very long and exhausting day.

It's good to know the museums and monuments appear to be open on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

Hopefully AA will add more awards flights to the Italy itinerary.
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Old Dec 31st, 2015, 01:54 PM
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you can also buy tickets for the Vatican museums on line:

http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/...sita=29&step=1

I suggest NOT Tuesday as that's the day the museums re-open after the Easter holidays and they are likely to be really busy; they may become less so towards the end of the week but they are likely to remain crowded to a greater or lesser extent for the rest of the week.

There are many other lovely places to see rather than the Vatican museums - for example the Galleria Doria-Pamphilij [entrance on the Corso] has many wonderful paintings, a great audio guide to the family's apartments, and very few visitors.

http://www.doriapamphilj.it/roma/en/
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Old Dec 31st, 2015, 02:44 PM
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I am planning on booking a Vatican tour. Colloseum tour also. Since we are limited for time I feel that this is a good option for us.
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Old Jan 1st, 2016, 08:05 AM
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The Doria Pamphilij palace offers a special guided tour on Saturday mornings, led by an art historian, with a baroque quartet and a singer performing period music in one room after another, as the guide explains how each room was used (for balls, receptions, etc.) and the kind of music which would be played. The tour accepts only a small number of people each week. You can book your tickets online. We went, it's a special experience if you like that kind of thing.
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Old Jan 1st, 2016, 08:22 AM
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good plan, Judy.

EYW&BTV - I've been to the DP 2-3 times and to the website far more often than that but never twigged that they did the tours you mention - they seem to be described a "Music at the Palace" - is that it? i would certainly enjoy that, I think.
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Old Jan 1st, 2016, 09:48 AM
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Since we will only have 3.5 days in Rome I think we need to stick with the major monuments and museums.
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Old Jan 1st, 2016, 09:58 AM
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Judy: yes, understand. But just for the record, Annhig, you click on the "Music at the Palace" link and you come to ...

http://www.doriapamphilj.it/roma/en/...di-caravaggio/
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Old Jan 1st, 2016, 10:40 AM
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The Vatican Museums are closed both on Easter and on Easter Monday. I don't know of anything else that's closed except the places that are closed every Sunday or every Monday. Often museums that are closed on Mondays have special openings for Easter Monday; it's too early to know about these special openings.

I know most people want to see the "major sights" when they visit Rome,but the two major sights, the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum have become horrendously crowded, making the experience miserable. The week after Easter is rather a busy time, and I myself would prefer to stick to the second-tier sights if visiting at that time. This past June, one of my cousins and family, a group of five, had paid for guided tours of the Vatican Museums. When they got inside and saw the mob scene, they turned around and left without even trying to find their guide. (I had warned them, but they said it was a "must-see" for them.)

Here is a photo I took at the Vatican Museums several years ago in March, well before Easter:

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

I've decided that I'll never return there except on a midweek day in late January.

The good news is that there are some fantastic second-tier sights in Rome. The Doria Pamphilj Gallery has been mentioned. Some others, but only a sampling, are the Barberini Gallery, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, the Baths of Caracalla, the Villa Farnesina, the Corsini Gallery, and Ostia Antica.
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Old Jan 1st, 2016, 10:45 AM
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If that link doesn't work, try this:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-V...Ic42/_0292.JPG
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Old Jan 1st, 2016, 10:50 AM
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Way back in this thread, someone said that Amalfi Coast ferries began running in April, and Sandra asked about ferries between Naples and Capri. Those ferries always run, weather permitting. People live on Capri, and rely on ferries for contact to the outside world.
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