italy travel

Feb 11th, 2006, 07:24 AM
  #1  
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italy travel

Hi: I am travelling to Italy (1st time) with another woman and we are trying to figure out if we should go to Rome first then down to venice or vice versa. We will be flying out of Toronto Canada. I have found some websites that offer flight,hotel and train service in their packages. Does anyone know how good these are..or maybe some suggestions on how to package this trip.Thanks all!!!
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Feb 11th, 2006, 07:38 AM
  #2  
Doble_Vergasser
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When we went our order was Venice first and Rome at the end. That worked very well for us. Venice is not too hectic, whereas Rome is hectic.

90% of the people who frequent this bulletin board are not package tour people. The advice that you will get here tends to be 'research the options yourself and make the arrangements yourself'. One the places where the internet has been a big improvement is in individual travel.

How many days are you thinking about?
What month?
Do you have a budget?
What do you think you like to see or do in Italy (does your cotraveler agree)?
 
Feb 11th, 2006, 07:43 AM
  #3  
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I was thinking of 15 days...we are pretty much on a budget and therefore will be taking the train. I can fly to Venice but I don't know where to stay and the same goes with Florence and Rome. I want to do alot of sightseeing and my travel partner agrees we both want to do alot of walking. I don't know any of the areas so I don't know where to start as in "hotel accomodations'...location wise I mean.
suddenlysingle is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 08:08 AM
  #4  
 
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Hi Suddenly,

It's easy to do your trip independently, especially with all the great advice here from the very experienced Fodorites. I've planned 4 trips to Europe with help from this board and they have all been wonderful!

I would fly in to Venice. Stay in an area away from Piazza San Marco so you get the true flavor of this beautiful city.

Train to Florence. The sights in Florence are very compact, so where to stay is not a big question. Make sure your hotel has double-paned sound proof windows or ask for a room that doesn't face the street! Make sure to get your Uffizi and Accademia (David) tickets in advance!

Take a day tour to somewhere in Tuscany (wine tasting in Chianti) or the bus to Siena to see what the hilltowns are like.

Train to Rome. Important to stay in the Centro Storico so you can walk to most of the sights.

Don't worry about getting in "a lot of walking". You'll be doing LOTS of walking everywhere. Be sure you have comfortable, well broken in shoes with very supportive soles.

Use this board for lodging ideas, along with guide books and the web sites like venere.com. Do searches here by typing in the key word in the search box, i.e., "Rome hotels", "wine tours".

Assuming you have 15 days minus 2 for travel, you can do a very nice first trip of the "big 3" in 13 days.

I would do:

Venice 4 nights
Florence 4 nights (with 1 or 2 daytrips)
Rome 5 nights (with 1 day trip if you feel you want to get out of the city and see something different, maybe Orvieto, Tivoli, Ostia Antica) you could see Orvieto on the way between Florence & Rome too.

Another option would be to stay in Florence 2 nights and go to Cinque Terre or Santa Margherita Ligure (easy by train) for 2 nights - a nice change of pace form the big cities!

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 08:40 AM
  #5  
Doble_Vergasser
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For resonably priced accomodations in Venice, the Pensione Acadamie (sp?) near the Acadamie bridge seems popular on this forum. We stayed at the Hotel Messner in the Dossduro. You might put up a new thread, asking for recommendations in each city in your itinerary.

If you want a real value, then the Catholic Church has accomodations all over Italy. (yes central Rome, in Florence, etc.)
 
Feb 11th, 2006, 08:50 AM
  #6  
 
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The answers you have gotten so far are right on! Might I also suggest you book an "open jaw" flight? That means you would, for example, fly into Venice, and bchk home out of Rome. Saves you back-tracking on the train, and usually costs little or no more.

Have a wonderful trip!

nukesafe is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 08:55 AM
  #7  
MaureenB
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Doble, how does one find out about the accomodations through the Catholic Church? Hey, I'm Catholic and headed to Italy, maybe it would work for me. Thanks!

Suddenlysingle, you're in the right place for some great advice. Do your research and ask specific questions on this forum. You'll get to Italy on your own, and with a custom-tailored itinerary. Have fun planning!
 
Feb 11th, 2006, 12:27 PM
  #8  
 
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From Toronto to Venice, you would have to change either in Rome or Frankfurt, fly open jaw would cost a bit more. For cheaper alternative, You could buy London return (usually the cheapest to Europe), then cheap one way: London to Venice, Rome to London.

For convent accommadations in Italy, you could find "Bed and Blessing" from Chapters for the details.

For train tickest, it is much cheaper to buy it locally.
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Feb 11th, 2006, 03:01 PM
  #9  
MaureenB
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"For convent accommadations in Italy, you could find "Bed and Blessing" from Chapters for the details." Now I'm really confused. JudyC, what's Chapters??

 
Feb 11th, 2006, 03:57 PM
  #10  
 
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I prefer to begin in Rome and end in Venice,as for me,Rome is more "stimulating" and Venice more "relaxing," but I always go off-season and I don't know how relaxing Venice is when it's full!

Re: open jaw flights-I've never paid more for them than a traditional roundtrip. You can go to Orbitz or Expedia and click on the expanded options tab to search for them.
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Feb 14th, 2006, 04:51 AM
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Hi: Does anyone have any suggestions on a place to stay in Rome...I don't want to stay in the tourist traps..and I am on a budget. I am flying in from Toronto and I feel that since Rome is a little more hectic I would like to stay there first and then train to Florence..stay there (where I have no clue) and then train to Venice (again no clue where to stay). I will then be flying out of Venice. Any suggestions would really be appreciated.
suddenlysingle is offline  
Feb 14th, 2006, 04:55 AM
  #12  
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Date: 02/12/2006, 12:25 pm
Wow..first thank you to all who replied to my questions regarding Italy. I think I may take the advice and go to Venice first...however I can get a direct flight to Rome from Toronto??? What is the best way for me to book a room for when I get to my destination? Should I book through Expedia.ca or just book flight. I know when I get to my destination I will be bagged and want to get some rest first. I am going to be booking a flight into one place and flying out of another so I am not too concerned about that but I am worried about the fact that I don't know the areas and where I should be staying? I have tried to look at maps but that doesn't really help...I am a little geographically challenged...lol..so God help me on this trip!!! Since I want to stay away from the tourist traps in all my ventures...I would love some advice on where to stay in Venice, Florence and Rome. I appreciate the advice on where to stay away from but where should I go? Thanks again folks...greatly appreciated
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Feb 14th, 2006, 06:35 AM
  #13  
 
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MaureenB - www.santasusanna.org has listings for convents. Most convents have curfews, some as early as 10 pm.
http://www.santasusanna.org/comingToRome/convents.html
kybourbon is offline  
Feb 14th, 2006, 06:47 AM
  #14  
 
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Some good Rome Hotels i found planning my trip:

http://www.residenzamadripie.it/English/Default.htm
http://www.hotelsonya.it/en/description.htm
www.bed-and-breakfast-rome.com

Florence:
www.hotelportafaenza.it

and i think there is one "hotel firenze" that books quickly, but is very cheap. i can't remember the name because it was full when i inquired.

I would seriously consider going to barnes and nobles, sitting down, and reading through Rick Steve's, Rough Guide to Italy, Let's Go Italy, Frommers....etc etc. These guide books offer a lot of very good suggestions for both Florence and Rome. I'm sure for Venice also. I'll check out Rick Steve's tonight for Venice.

Also ricksteves.com has a message board where people post some tips. could be helpful.
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Feb 14th, 2006, 07:21 AM
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suddenly,

You seem to have a great conern for "tourist trap" hotels. Sorry to say, but hotels are full of tourists. I'd usually think of restaurants or specific sights as being "tourist traps"--something of low quality for the price but easily accessible.

However, reading into your concerns, I think you're hoping for recommended areas to stay in each city. And you original question about packages is a valid one. There are some independent packages that might offer ease and value to a first-time traveler. I think the packages are worth a look. The key ingredient to them is the hotel choice--is the hotel central? Are the cheapest options too far away from the action?

Whether you choose a package or make your own arrangements, research the hotels carefully. You can find many hotels offered in packages at venere.com or at their own websites. Check a tourist map of each city you will visit to pinpoint locations of important sights--then compare the location of the hotels. Some travelers might like to be far away from big sights for a quieter, more neighborhoody location. Others want to walk out the door and have it all.

For Venice, the city is small, so no place is really that far away. Florence's historic center is similarly small. Rome is larger and I think the location choice will be most important here. There are many inexpensive options that are a long distance (not walkable for most) that show up in packages. For all three cities, many would prefer not to stay right next to the main train station. I think this is more of an issue with Rome than with Venice or Florence.
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Feb 14th, 2006, 08:48 AM
  #16  
MaureenB
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Kybourbon, thanks for the link. 10:00 p.m. is pretty early, though! I'll check it out.
 
Feb 14th, 2006, 09:07 AM
  #17  
 
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A great inexpensive convent choice in Rome is Istituto Santa Giuliana Falconieri, Via San Giuseppe Calasanzio, 1. Fabulous location just a couple minutes walk from Piazza Navona, three bus stops within less than a block, elevator. They only have one double room with ensuite bath, the rest are shared, but it's still a private room that you lock and have to yourself. I never would have considered staying somewhere with a shared bath, but the price for that location with an elevator was too good to pass up. Single room is 45 Euro, I believe doubles are 75 Euro.

Curfew is midnight, but they now have a guard on duty. When I knew I would be late coming back from the Opera, I told them ahead of time and it wasn't a problem. You can email them at [email protected].
Have a great trip!
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Feb 15th, 2006, 06:07 AM
  #18  
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Hi again: Once again I would like to say thanks for the info and I guess someone was right when they said I was too concerned about tourist traps. Basically I need a place to stay for the first couple of nights in Rome that are near the sites and at the same time budget minded hotels. I really don't want a shared bath so I will take the advice of all you people and research the links you sent me which I appreciate.Hopefully I will get some incite into that. When I take the train to Florence I will probably just look around for a place and ditto for Venice. I am more concerned about Rome when I first arrive there. Any more input would be great.
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Feb 19th, 2006, 03:39 PM
  #19  
Doble_Vergasser
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Let me chime in for Istituto Santa Giuliana Falconieri, Via San Giuseppe Calasanzio. Its 75 feet to Piazza Navona and blacks to the Pantheon. We spent four nights there. [An idea for you - stay there there, use the money you save to take a tour of Rome with the Context Rome folks.]
 
Mar 27th, 2006, 03:38 PM
  #20  
 
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I am researching similar options. I have found no difference inprice for flying into one city and out of the other (in our case we are going into venice and out of rome). Best price I got (from chicago area) was on the phone with swiss air. For venice, try world in a bag website then compare with trip advisor and this forum.
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