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Italy - questions on Lucca, Bologna & Fiesole

Italy - questions on Lucca, Bologna & Fiesole

Jan 30th, 2005, 05:33 PM
  #1  
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Italy - questions on Lucca, Bologna & Fiesole

I had this posted in a sample itinerary, but the questions didn't generate much response... any thoughts?

Questions I have...
1. It seems 'possible' to daytrip from Lucca to Pisa, Volterra, and San G in one day... but is it PRACTICAL with public transportation? If no, could we hire a driver (suggestions?)? If NO, then should we do Florence/Fiesole first and rent a car the last day in Lucca and explore San G and Volterra on the way to Pienza?

2. Can we go BUDGET in Fiesole and still have public places to take in the views/scenery? I know Ira has mentioned a great bar to have a drink/enjoy the view - are there also picnic spots? Can we enjoy Fiesole on the bare basics for hotel? (I would like to splurge in Pienza and Venice, so would like to be cheap/bare bones in Lucca & Fiesole)

For background, we want to stay in Fiesole, b/c DH and I were in Florence (he refers to it as Flowtown, lol) in 2002 and he found it overwhelming/unenjoyable as a place to stay, but since it has enjoyable things to do, we'd just like to escape it for peace and quiet at night.

3. Can we really stop and see Bologna in an afternoon? Now, I know we can't see all the highlights, but can we park, explore for a few hours and have a nice lunch? Enough to leave us wishing we had stayed for a two nights and hoping to come back? Or is it a city too hard to navigate and we shouldn't bother if we only have the afternoon?

Also, I JUST found out my travel partners would like to trade their RCI week (in FL)for Italy, there are no recent posts on RCI trades, but on the older ones, it seems this is fairly hard to do - anyone have input?

Grazie mille!
travelphile is offline  
Jan 30th, 2005, 06:32 PM
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I can respond to your Bologna question. Yes, it is definitely possible to spend a worthwhile afternoon in Bologna. The central area is easy to navigate. And, I'll guarantee you that it will leave you want more time...yes, you will want to come back. Bologna is definitely one of Italy's underrated gems.
HowardR is offline  
Jan 30th, 2005, 06:35 PM
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PS: To get you Italian experience off on the right foot, it's "Mille grazie," not "Grazie mille"!
HowardR is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 03:51 AM
  #4  
ira
 
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Hi t,

1a. I recommend against it. Lucca nad Pisa are in one direction and the other two are in the other direction from Florence.

1b. Better plan.

2. Have I mentioned the B&B Peterson in Florence? 60E dbl rm w/AC. Less than 10 min from the train station. You can take the no. 7 bus to Fiesole (20 min).

3. In only an afternoon, you can walk from the train station to the Neptune Fountain and back without trouble.

Can you stay for dinner. Bologna is lovely at night.



ira is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 08:57 AM
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Thanks H & I...

Ira - I had B&B Peterson marked for THE place to stay in Florence, but we wanted the atmosphere of Fiesole. Its definitely choice #2 if we can't find what we want in Fiesole.

The information I have seen on here about Bologna has me intrigued. We were planning on stopping on our way to Venice, so perhaps we can find a bit more time, but still not an overnight. We should be going to Bologna from Pienza - but this whole RCI vacation rental might change that.

Any thoughts on if we could drop off the rental car in Bologna and take the train to Venice? That way we could have luggage storage while we spent the afternoon wandering. Would that be convenient? I know luggage storage at train stations is now iffy.



And Howard, I'll have to take that up with my Italian teacher this evening, we leared Grazie mille on week 1!
travelphile is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 09:02 AM
  #6  
ira
 
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>Any thoughts on if we could drop off the rental car in Bologna and take the train to Venice? <

2 cl on the IC will be 12E pp. It might be cheaper to drive.

I think that there is reasonably secure parking at the train station.


ira is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 09:22 AM
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HowardR: It is "grazie mille" BTW

I would concur with Ira's posting, Lucca and Pisa are in one direction and easier to do at one time. San Gimignano is further east and maybe you could piggy-back that with a visit to Siena (if you haven't seen Siena yet). Volterra is SW of Lucca and a bit harder to get to. Likewise, you can take the train to San G (then bus up hill). Fiesole is a lovely base above the clamor of Florence. The air is noticeably fresher up there, the ambiance is indeed relaxing - good choice. You can access Fiesole by bus as well, and absolutely, you can do budget in Fiesole!

Volterra is more tricky to access with public transportation: I took a train down to Cecina station, then a local bus up the hill for the 40 min drive to Volterra. If you choose a taxi from the Cecina train station, plan on paying 50 euros one-way.
Huitres is online now  
Jan 31st, 2005, 09:50 AM
  #8  
cat
 
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We managed to start in Sinalunga, drive to and explore Monteriggioni, Volterra, San Gim. and arrive in Fiesole for dinner, all in one day. My thoughts: 1) You will definitely need a rental car and a good map to do this, 2) our itinerary that day was hectic, but doable and I would do it again. However, Lucca and Pisa in the same day definitely would not work (unless all you want to do is drive by and wave, 3)we could have used a few extra hours in San Gim.

Also, we stayed at Villa San Michele in Fiesole which was one of the most memorable (and expensive) experiences of my life. We had intended to go into Florence during the two days we were there, but loved it so much, we never left the hotel (had both seen FL before, so, no regrets). I know you are looking for a budget property in Fiesole, but if you choose to splurge here instead of elsewhere, consider San Michele. You won't regret it. No matter where you stay in Fiesole, I'm sure you'll love the expansive, peaceful views of the cityand laid back atmosphere. It's breathtaking! Good luck.

cat is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 01:31 PM
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You mean that all my friends in Italy have been doing saying it wrong?????????
HowardR is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 01:44 PM
  #10  
KT
 
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Ummm...guess what? It can be either "grazie mille" or "mille grazie."

(Perhaps the Fodors Italian Language Poice are a little over-zealous.)
KT is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 01:45 PM
  #11  
KT
 
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Poice? Poice? I kind of like that, especially when pronounced with an Italian accent. Poy-chay!
KT is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 05:25 PM
  #12  
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I didn't even think to ask in class... but I'm glad we got clarification!

On another point. The goal is to stay in Lucca for 2 or 3 nights. That way, we'll do a day trip from there to Pisa, San G, and Volterra - I don't think I made that clear.

? - done that way would it be an ok daytrip?

OR we'll pick up the car the day we are finished with Lucca (will have already seen Pisa) and will see San G and Volterra on the way to Pienza. I suppose that does sound the most reasonable. Then we'll keep the car through 5 days in Pienza, stop in Bologna, and drop it off at Marco Polo airport. Someone else had mentioned that car to Venice was wasteful and train would be better... but, I LOVED arriving at the airport in Venice last time, the ride in makes it all that much more majestic!

Now, if I could only find a good deal on flights so I can start booking hotels!!!
travelphile is offline  

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