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Italy recommendations needed

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Jun 15th, 2014, 12:51 PM
  #1
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Italy recommendations needed

I am planning our our trip and Before I book would appreciate anyone's advice, recommendations or suggestions that has been to Italy please . I just picked hotels based on four star ratings, location and pictures...

Monday arrive 6pm Venice Aqua Palace, Tuesday R&R and Anniversary Dinner
Wednesday travel 2hrs train to Villa La Vedetta 3 nights Florence. Thursday Uffizi museum 3hrs, Friday Academia museum 3 hrs.
Saturday travel 1.5 hrs train to Hotel Residenza 3 nights Rome, Sunday Coliseum, Monday Vatican and Sistine Chapel
Tuesday travel 1hr train to Naples and hydrofoil to Sorrento 25mins? Villa Oriana 2 nights, Wednesday Capri day cruise (8hrs)
Thursday travel to Naples with stop in Pompeii. Holiday Inn Airport Naples 1 night
Friday airport shuttle for flight out at 6:30am

Too much? Should I pay the $650 for travel insurance? Booking museum tickets, transfers, rail on Select Italy website? Thank you!
tlbrenn is offline  
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Jun 15th, 2014, 01:31 PM
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It is better to stay in Naples and take a taxi to the airport (the flat rate is 35 euros or so) than to stay at the airport hotel The hotels by the airport are not nice, and they are not necessarily within walking distance of the airport. The shuttles may not run early enough (if they exist) and you will end up needing a taxi. You will also have a much nicer dinner in Naples. The only area to avoid when it comes to hotels in Naples is right around the train station.

You should read reviews of the hotels you have picked. You should be able to find them on booking.com and TripAdvisor.

Your trip will be busy and you will need to be organized to make all your connections. You should buy your train tickets in advance if possible. It is easiest to to take a taxi from the Naples train station to the hydrofoil docks.

I recommend travel insurance, but those prices are high. Have you done any comparison shopping? Try the website called Insure My Trip.
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Jun 15th, 2014, 02:00 PM
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If you haven't booked those hotels yet, you need to reconsider. Stars just mean which amenities a hotel has (restaurant, elevator, etc.), not quality (although 4-5 star tend to be better, it's not always the case). Your hotel in Florence is not really central. I would stay somewhere closer to the historic center. The hotel in Rome is not a bad location, but with such a short time, perhaps something closer to the pedestrian area. Ditto for Villa Oriana which I don't think you can easily reach on foot/

>>>Booking museum tickets, transfers, rail on Select Italy website? <<<

No. Book them with the actual venues/sites so you aren't paying marked up prices. Select Italy is a reseller. Booking the Uffizi directly will be 6.50€ (entrance fee) + 4€ (booking fee).

For both your Florence museums:
http://uffizi.firenze.it/en/index.php

The Colosseum (12€ + 2€ booking fee):

http://www.coopculture.it/

Vatican (entry only tickets or tours also):

http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/MV_Home.html

Trains (except between Naples/Sorrento):

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...005817f90aRCRD

Buy Pompeii tickets at the entrance.
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Jun 15th, 2014, 02:09 PM
  #4
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Thank you both so much. It is really hard to decide on hotels, there are so many to check on. I appreciate the advice on Naples and also the ticketing links. Also the website for travel insurance. Shall I also taxi from airport to hotel in Venice? Thanks
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Jun 15th, 2014, 02:27 PM
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Are apartments better downtown Florence than Hotels?
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Jun 15th, 2014, 02:35 PM
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The hotel in Florence is absolutely not central; being on a side of Piazzale Michelangelo, you need a taxi run or a bus to get anywhere. You can walk down, walking up is a bit long.
On the other side, the hotel it is a luxury gem and I always heard only good things about it. If you can afford it, you can probably afford taxi runs as well and experience a top level accomodation.
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Jun 15th, 2014, 02:54 PM
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Hope it was clear to you that star rating in Italy relates only to amenities, not to quality. A luxury hotel with no parking or full service restaurant will be rated lower than a poor hotel that has those things.
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Jun 15th, 2014, 02:59 PM
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The Venice one looks nice. You can actually get a water taxi from the airport (which is a Chris Craft type boat) to a dock near your hotel. Not cheap however. A really good hotel in Rome is Albergo del Senato - it overlooks the Pantheon - I mean right next to it. Did I say right next to it? There is a nice suite on the 4th floor which was beautiful and had an awesome view.
We had a private guide recommended by Rick Steves in Pompeii and he was excellent.
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Jun 15th, 2014, 03:47 PM
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Thank you all for your advice, just so confusing...too many choices. I wanted to see Sorrento because of the ocean (Not a hiker though so decided against Cinque Terre). If you were me, would you do 2 days Venice, 3 Florence, 3 Rome and then 3 Naples (with day trips to the beach?).
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Jun 15th, 2014, 03:53 PM
  #10
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Thanks Sassafeass. I picked 4 star hotels for amenities and then I also sorted by customer ranking on Venere. Then I looked at the price, vicinity and pictures.
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Jun 15th, 2014, 04:14 PM
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>>>Tuesday travel 1hr train to Naples and hydrofoil to Sorrento 25mins? <<<

This doesn't make sense and is too many connections. The hotel (perhaps you will change it though) is not really in Sorrento. You would have to take the train from Rome to Naples, get from the train station to the docks to get a ferry/hyrdofoil (they don't run all that often so you may have to hang out at the docks a bit). Once you arrived Sorrento, you would have to get from the port up to Sorrento train station, catch the train to Sant'Agnello (where that hotel actually is) and then to your hotel. Or you would get a taxi from the port. It would make tons more sense to simply take the train to Naples, go downstairs in the train station and catch the local train to Sorrento (Sant'Agnello is one stop before).

Try these for Sorrento:

http://www.hotelantichemura.com/it/

http://www.bellevue.it/

http://www.hoteltramontano.com/en/
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Jun 15th, 2014, 04:21 PM
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You have 2 nights in Venice but only one day. If you have never visited before it may not be enough. Relocating cities and hotels every few days eats into time on the ground to enjoy a place.
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Jun 15th, 2014, 05:12 PM
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That's on purpose Scootoir, there is not much I want to see in Venice but it would be a nice anniversary dinner and place to get over jet lag. My interests are mostly the museums and coast.
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Jun 16th, 2014, 05:41 AM
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I really enjoy Napoli, but not everybody does, so you should read up on it and see if it attracts you. It has two absolutely spectacular museums -- the Capodimonte and the archeological museum with many treasures from Pompei and ancient Rome -- plus many other smaller sights of great artistic and historic worth AND -- there is really nothing quite like Napoli in all of Europe and it has some of the very best food in Italy. From Napoli, you could consider a day trip to Sorrento. Capri might have too many climbs and crowds to be enjoyable, but maybe Procida would appeal for a seaside lunch.

http://www.amoitaly.com/naples_island/procida.html

Anyway, the bay of Naples itself is quite dramatic, with Vesuvius in view, so if you are merely wishing to view the Mediterranean, you can certainly do that from Napoli.
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Aug 24th, 2014, 12:32 PM
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tlbrenn:
you say: ". . .just so confusing...too many choices. I wanted to see Sorrento because of the ocean . . ." And then later, "there is not much I want to see in Venice but it would be a nice anniversary dinner and place to get over jet lag."
To borrow a phrase from kybourbon, this doesn't make sense. You're having trouble because of so many choices??
You're flying into Venice because it'd be a nice place for an anniversary dinner and to get over your jet lag?!!

Well, if I were you, I'd simplify the plan. Eliminate the number of baffling options and tailor it to include what you say are your real interests, apparently museums and then the coast. Suggestion: Skip your "jet lag stop" in Venice, have your anniversary dinner instead in Florence (believe me, that'll be fine) and then take in the museums there, allow more time in Rome (there's so much!) - and finally, give yourself a practical visit to the coast. As sandralist notes, "if you are merely wishing to view the Mediterranean, you can certainly do that from Napoli."
Connecting with and visiting "just" these three cities will still make for a rushed trip, but at least you'll have freed up a little more time in each place. Remember: you want to enjoy your time in Italy.

For accommodations, I myself have found Venere rather useful for Europe - though you should always try to compare the reviews of the properties with what you'll find on other websites. The recommendations you see here are usually pretty reliable as well, especially if there's an accurate idea of your budget and what you're seeking. Examples of your tentative choices, as you've shown above, provide a good starting point for that.
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Aug 24th, 2014, 02:08 PM
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Addressing a few issues:

Museums In Florence. It's better to book via the international phone service than the website. No service charge and you don't pay until you show up, meaning there's no monetary commitment.

Trip insurance: depends. Which nonrefundable costs are you on the hook for?

The one day in Venice really doesn't seem to make much sense, if you have no interest in Venice.
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