italy logistics

Apr 29th, 2002, 08:18 PM
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italy logistics

My husband and I have a trip planned to Italy, arriving evening of Friday Aug 29,2002. We plan to fly into Rome and do a very quick and intense 3 days (30th, 31st, 1st) in Rome as I have already been twice and want to see other parts of Italy. We then plan to go to Florence and the Tuscany region for ?5 or so days, then to the Italian Lakes area for ?4 days. We fly out of Milan on Sep 12. I am trying to figure out method of travel that is most economical and the best use of time. Is it best to take the train from Rome to Florence and then rent a car to do the Tuscany region? Then, should we drive to Italian Lakes area and return car there, or keep and return in Milan? I'm nervous about teh whole car rental thing. I've always traveled by train before. Does this time frame seem appropriate? I read on one thread that August is the worst time to go. We'll only be there in Aug for 3 days, but in Rome those days. Is that going to be awful? Should we reverse the order? We thought we might want to start out more fast paced (Rome) and then by end of trip may want to relax more in Italian Lakes area. Any chance we could squeeze some of Switzerland into the 2 weeks? Maybe just couple of days of hiking. I thought it was the most spectacular scenery I had even seen when there few years ago.

Also, any recommendations for these areas would be greatly appreciated. I think I can figure out hotels and dining on this site. Recommendations of where to go (cities/ villages) in Tuscany would be especially be helpful. Are there any escorted tours of wineries in this area to recommend? Looks like Bellagio and Como get good reviews on this site for the Lakes region. We are in our late 20's and this is probably the last big trip before "family planning," so we want to do it right and make the memories last until we can return at retirement! Thanks in advance!
Apr 29th, 2002, 11:08 PM
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The first thing I want to say is that driving in Italy is not so difficult. The roads are excellent and well-marked, and they drive on the same side of the street that we do. There are some crazy Italian drivers who go too fast, but we have them here in Texas, too! Also, I went with three women friends -- all of us in our 60's-- and we rented a car in Milan and drove to Portofino, Tuscany, Umbria, and then we turned the car in in Florence. You definitely need a car if you have any intention of exploring in Tuscany and going to all the little hill towns, etc. A car is also useful in the Lake district. A hotel you might consider there is the Grand Hotel Tremezzo Palace. It is a 10-minute boat ride across the lake to Bellagio, but it is another world. You will really feel as though you are on vacation! You can drive back to Malpensa from there, or you can plan to spend your last night in the Villa Malpensa, a fabulous moderately priced hotel with a great restaurant only 5 minutes from the airport. They have a free shuttle, so you could turn the car in the night before, and not have to deal with it in the morning. Have a good time.
Apr 30th, 2002, 08:20 AM
Carol M.
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Emily: I 2nd the car rental idea - it's the only way to go - you're on your time - go when you want, stop when you want. My husband thought driving in Italy was a blast - where else can you go 100mph and get away with it. Have a wonderful trip. Carol
Apr 30th, 2002, 08:24 AM
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Hi Athena. Thanks for the information on the car necessity and the hotel recommendation. I will definitely investigate. Can you tell me if you all rented a car once you arrived in Italy, or if you did it ahead of time from US? Also, any places definitely not to miss in Tuscany and Lake district?

Any other input from anyone regarding my initial post would be wonderful!!
Apr 30th, 2002, 08:26 AM
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Thanks too Carol. My husband is game for doing all the driving, so that makes it easier! Any thoughts about renting a car or taking train from Rome to Florence? My thought is to wait until Florence to rent the car...
Apr 30th, 2002, 08:33 AM
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The train is so quick & easy between Rome-Florence that I'd suggest you take the Eurostar to Florence & then pick up your rent car there --- or once you're ready to leave Florence for further explorations in Tuscany region. Keep the car until you're ready to depart from Milan.

Car Rental? Check
If you do a search on this forum using either "car rental" or "" as key words, you'll pull up alot discussion around topic.
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