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Italy trip planning progress but still could use some tips

Italy trip planning progress but still could use some tips

Dec 3rd, 2003, 02:05 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2003
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Italy trip planning progress but still could use some tips

Hi all,

After hours of hotel, apartment and bed and breakfast research, I have completed the accomodations portion of our trip. I will be traveling with my parents to Rome, Florence and Venice from 9/25/04 through 10/9/04. Here is what I've planned so far:

Rome 4 nights at Albergo del Senato (triple room for 284 Euros)

Florence 5 night at the San Lorenzo Apartments (Lepri apartment for 95 Euros a night) What a deal! Thanks Statia for the recommendation .

Venice 4 nights at Hotel Ala (triple room for 225 Euros a night)

Rome tours - considering a tour with Enjoy Rome.

Florence:
1 day will train to Pisa and Lucca
1 day will visit Siena
1 day will take the evening tour with The Accidental tourist
Take bus *#7 to Fiesole to watch the sunset while sipping drinks somewhere - Ira suggested a place but I can't remember.
Any other tour suggestions for Florence?

Venice - any tours to suggest? I've read over and over that it's fairly small and very walkable. However, is there an overview tour you all can suggest.

WIll not be renting a car but training or bussing everywhere.

Thanks,
Linda
Livette is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2003, 02:24 PM
  #2  
 
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Hi,
Looks like you are just using Florence as a place to take day trips from. Too bad you wont have time to enjoy this fabulous city.

Try and stay put in Rome and Venice to savor them.
JandaO is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2003, 02:34 PM
  #3  
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I will have two entire days to explore Florence. I wouldn't dream of missing it.
Livette is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2003, 02:41 PM
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David, The Duomo and the Bargello are MUST see's. They are fabulous.

Venice is heaven.

Rome is so fun with so many sites to see. You will love Italy.
JandaO is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2003, 04:34 PM
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Looks like a well planned trip to me. You will have a great time !
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 4th, 2003, 04:18 AM
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Livette, I hope the Lepri apartment works out as well for you as it did for us.

I agree with JandaO that you should ensure seeing David, the Duomo and the Bargello in Florence. We also really enjoyed strolling the Ponte Vecchio, seeing the Uffizi, Boboli Gardens, Pitti Palace, the Church of San Lorenzo, and the Duomo Museum. Glad to hear you are including Fiesole. Piazzelle Michaelangelo is also another great place to watch the sunset.


In Venice, be sure not to miss Piazza San Marco and all it has to offer, as well as the Accademia Museum, Santa Maria della Salute, the Peggy Guggenhiem, the Correr Museum, Doges Palace, and the Campanile (gorgeous views from the top), just to name a few.

Don't forget to leave plenty of time to just wander and get lost in all the quaint alleyways of this magical city. An evening cruise on vaporetto #1 is dreamy, and a gondola ride in the smaller canals is even dreamier.

Have a wonderful trip and be sure to let us know how everything goes!
Statia is offline  
Dec 4th, 2003, 04:28 AM
  #7  
ira
 
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Hi Livette,

Nice trip.

Have drinks at the Blu Bar in Fiesole. It is right at the bus stop. There are also some nice places for dinner on the town square.

Have dinner at Il Ritrovo, 4 via dei Pucci, opens at 7:30.

In case I didn't do it before, here is a link to my trip report, including Florence:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34451044

I don't think that you will need a tour of, or in, Venice.

Take the Vapretto up (or down) the Grand Canal. This is lovely both early morning and late evening.

Sign up (required) for the Secret Itineraries Tour of the Doge's Palace. The number for reservations more than one day ahead is 011 39 041-520-9070.

You can spend a very nice day walking North from your hotel to the Ghetto and taking the vaporetto back to the hotel.

On the way up, you will pass the Rialto Bridge, cross over that and wander through San Paolo for another lovely day. Stop in at Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, which has two important works by Titian, and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, famous for a series of more than 50 paintings by Tintoretto; it is to Venice what the Sistine Chapel is to Rome. (Open 9:00 - 5:00) 3054, San Polo.

Have a great trip, and don't pay for a tour of a glass factory. They will do that for free.
ira is offline  
Dec 4th, 2003, 01:37 PM
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Hi,

Thanks you all for the tips. I have copied and added your comments to my Italy file.

Statia, Gianna from San Lorenzo apartments has been a pleasure to work with. She is so courteous and helpful. I'm anxious to meet her. We have gone back and forth on e-mail quite a bit.

Ira, okay the Blu Bar it is . Thanks for the thread on your report. I'm going to review it in a few and add it to my file. I really appreciate all the information and am very excited about the Accidental Tourist which you recommended as well.

I e-mailed Through Eterniy tours to book the evenening Rome twilight tour the night of the day we arrive. They have a few others that look promising.

You guys are fantastic!!!

Linda
Livette is offline  
Dec 5th, 2003, 06:28 AM
  #9  
ira
 
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Glad to help, Linda.
ira is offline  
Dec 5th, 2003, 08:20 AM
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Here's my favorite tip about visiting Venice: Don't be afraid to go to the top of the Campanile...there's an elevator! No one told me that on my first visit, and I missed out on one of the greatest views in the world. Fortunately, there was a second visit.
mr_go is offline  
Dec 5th, 2003, 10:38 AM
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Hi Livette,
Trips sounds great. I just returned from Florence and Tuscany this Thanksgiving, and wanted to pass on some suggestions that were helpful to us. We used Florence as our base, and visited Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca and Pisa. This is our order of preference: San Gimignano-absolutely beautiful hilltop town and quiet this time of year. The views of and from the city were glorious, and strolling through the tiny streets was great. Siena was lovely, with more action and things to do. Lucca, although nice, was a disappointment after seeing San Gimignano. Plus Lucca felt very similar to Florence. We only visited Pisa since we had a flight from there early the next morning. Saw the leaning tower of Pisa and it was a "Yep there it is moment". Pisa is very industrial and touristy. I would suggest forgoing Pisa for San Gimignano-it is the perfect Tuscan town and was more than I ever expected. It is located between Florence and Siena. The bus station was located across the street from SMN train station. It is the easiest and most scenic way to get from Florence to Siena and San Gimignano.
A resturant suggestion in florence. We ate this osteria 4 or 5 times on this visited and twice 2 years ago-Food is still fantastic. No tourist menu which is a good sign-you don't need it. The food is quite authentic and very reasonably priced-a real value. Occasionally other Americans would walk in then out because they didn't think it was authentic (They were eating on American Time) and were too early to see the place fill up with locals. It is the Osteria Dell Agnolo on Borgo San Lorenzo. The Ribolitta there is the best I have ever had.
Enjoy you trip.

SandyD1 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2003, 10:42 AM
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Livette,
The osteria is on Borgo San Lorenzo 24r between the San Lorenzo flea market and the Duomo
SandyD1 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2003, 08:46 PM
  #13  
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Thanks mr_go and SandyD1 for the additional tips. One question for Sandy - What's the price range of that restaurant in Florence?

Thanks,
Linda
Livette is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 03:02 AM
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I second Osteria Del Agnolo. We ate there, as well as enjoyed their wine selection, on numerous occassions. Valentine knows how to pick a great wine, and the food is wonderful.

It's located practically across the street from the apartment, so it's also really convenient.
Statia is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 08:19 AM
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Hi Linda,
Lunch at this osteria ran about 24 euros for two which included a small bottle or 1/2 liter of wine. Typically we would each lunch on a pizza or pasta dish and would split an appetizer or salad. We "splurged" on a 3 hour multi-couse dinner here which included veal, a local-cheese plate, calamari, bruscetta, lovely pasta dish, ribolitta, tiramisu, and a liter of wine and water and the bill was about $50. euros.
Wood-oven pizza's run from 3.50 to 7 euros, first courses and pastas from 5-8 euros, and second meat course from 6-10 euros. Another reason I would recommend this restuarant is the portion size. The portions of a single item (pizza or pasta) is enough to sustain an afternoon of sightseeing. Many other resturants we tried really required ordering at least 2 or 3 courses to feel satistfied. Thus you end up paying twice the amount for a similar sized meal, but but we were hard pressed to find a better tasting, traditionally-local menu anywhere in florence. We made the mistake the first time we ate here of ordering two courses at lunch and then being somewhat embarrassed when we saw the size of the courses which is unusually large compared to most. Splitting an appetizer, and then each having another course with wine was a perfect lunch. Let me know if I can offer other suggestions
SandyD1 is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 01:55 PM
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Ok, we will absolutely dine there! More so knowing it's right near the apartment.

SandyD1, thanks for the detailed info on the menu and prices. I can't wait to try it

Linda
Livette is offline  

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