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Itinerary advice-Venice-Orvieto-San Gimigiano-Florence-Vienna

Itinerary advice-Venice-Orvieto-San Gimigiano-Florence-Vienna

Jul 24th, 2001, 03:19 PM
Sally O'Neil
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Itinerary advice-Venice-Orvieto-San Gimigiano-Florence-Vienna

We are going on a 14 day plus 2 travel days trip- I am thinking of 3 or 4 nights in Venice( a day for jet lag), train to Orvieto,2 nights there, rent a car,drive to Civita then on through Tuscany to San Gimigiano for two nights, one night in Florence( we've been there four or five times and really enjoy small towns and countryside), train to either Bassano del Grappa or Bolzano or somewhere in Austria not too far from Hallstatt, spend a night, then rent a car and drive to close to Vienna, turn in the car and then spend three nights in Vienna before flying home.
We have been to Italy a lot, but never to Austria, and I am having trouble figuring out if we are planning too much and also what is the best way to go from Florence to Vienna- a combination of train and car? We like to drive in the countryside, but I don't think we will have time for a very leisurely drive through Austria. We would like to see Hall or Hallstatt. We wouldn't normally combine Italy and Vienna on the same trip, but my sister in law is going with us and really wants to show us Vienna. My husband wants to show her our favorite parts of Italy( hard choices!).
Also, I am trying to find a villa outside San Gimigiano that also serves dinner for one night. I have not been able to get the search function on Fodor's to work for the past week??
Thanks for your advice about whether this itinerary is feasible and for suggestions about a combination of train and car from Florence to Vienna. We want to see some of the countryside and stay in a small town or two on the way, but we don't want to drive the whole distance.My husband prefers to rent a car in a small town( although he doesn't mind Florence) and then would like to return it to a town close to Vienna and then go the rest of the way by train. Is it hard to return a car in Vienna or perhaps at the Vienna airport? I am looking for a way that is not too complicated.

Thanks for your help!
Jul 24th, 2001, 06:27 PM
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Any good suggestions?
Jul 24th, 2001, 07:12 PM
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Something about this message header just sounds exhausting - - as does this trip - - until you really stop and give it some thought. I think that you have a good shot at an enjoyable trip (especially since you are already experienced and familiar with some of the place you are going).

And perhaps, collectively - - and in pieces, you can get some constructive suggestions here.

My first thought is - - why make this loop south - - why not just start in the south in the first place? You could fly into Milan, Florence, Pisa, Verona, Bergamo, Brescia, et cetera - - even Rome - - and spend that first night somewhere a lot less expensive than Venice. I like to avoid expensive cities the first night in Europe whenever possible. Why pay a lot to stay there when you are so tired you just want to sleep that first night?

But now I wonder if you might not do well to consider starting in Graz or Innsbruck or Salzburg; they all have airports. Then if you're going to do this loop south, you could begin with an Austrian car, and keep it the whole trip (admittedly of questionable utilty in Florence, and none in Venice).

Having said that, I have never started a rental in Austria, and I can't advise you on returning a car in Vienna either, obviously.

As to the bigger question of whether this is "too much", I suspect that if you think it is, it is. But you have to be the judge of what its "too much" for you. Experienced travelers - - or even not so experienced ones, if they know for a fact that they like to drive and simply see the countryside - - can make a very pleasant trip out of what would be misery to someone else.

I urge you to break up your question(s) in to pieces, and various contributors will offer you pieces of advice and information that you will have to synthesize yourself.

When do you plan to do this? THIS year? How urgently do you need to get these plans finalized?

I'll be glad to add more advice (if I can) as your various "issues" unfold.

Best wishes,

Jul 24th, 2001, 08:51 PM
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Thanks a lot, Rex! Your answer is very helpful to me. I like your idea of starting further south than Venice, and my original idea was to fly into Vienna and out of Florence. However,my sister in law wants to stay a week longer than we can, so she can go to Prague and maybe Budapest, so we agreed to end our trip in Vienna. The reason for flying into Venice is because it is a direct flight from New York. My husband loves Venice and finds it very relaxing. He really doesn't like having to change planes at CDG or London, etc., so we thought we'd try the direct flight. We also stay at a small inexpensive hotel off the beaten path in Venice.

I will think about this some more and ask about separate travel issues instead of all at once.

What I especially need help with are scenic routes to travel from Florence to Vienna, maybe the first part by train and then rent a car so we can stop in small towns. Two that I have heard about are Hall and Hallstatt.

I am finding it more difficult to plan this trip because I have to consider a third person( my sister in law) instead of just going where we want to go. Ordinarily we would not try to combine Italy and Austria in the same trip.
Jul 24th, 2001, 09:01 PM
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Rex,we are leaving in a little over two months!! So I really need to make fial plans fairly soon.
Good luck with college hunting for your daughter.When our youngest son started college a few years ago, we really enjoyed our increased freedom to travel when we wanted to.
Jul 25th, 2001, 06:19 AM
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Hi Sally! I have to agree with Rex onm flying somewhere more south than Venice and work your way North. It makes more sense. I have taken the nonstop flight to Venice from NYC and it is pretty neat to fly into Venice, but you will find many more non-stop flights from NYC to Rome. Orvieto is only 1 hour North of Rome, so you can work your way up:
- Rome-Orvieto (Train)
- Orvieto-Tuscany area (Car)
- Tuscany area (car)
- Tuscany - Venice (ideally train, but you can just take the car and maybe drop it off in Venice)
- Venice
- Venice - Bassano or Bolzano (I recommend Trento over Bolzano) - train if going to Bolzano, car if going to Bassano.
- Bolzano - Austria - You can go by train, but driving would allow you more flexibility to stop at castles on the Dolomites on your way to Austria. You can basically keep the car the whole time, except for Venice.

I know I have seen your posts on Italy before, so I know that you have visited many areas in Northern Italy. That is why I'm not suggesting different towns than what you have already decided on - I assume that you have already visited Verona, Lago di garda, the Dolomites (Ortisei, Castelrotto, Cortina), Ferrara, etc., which are closer to Venice and Austria than Orvieto and Tuscany. Good luck and let us know what you decide!
Jul 26th, 2001, 07:11 AM
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Rex, Bob, and Mariarosa,

Thanks for your very helpful suggestions which have helped me rethink our plans. Now I plan 4 nights - Venice
train to Florence-1 night
rent car- San Gimigiano 2 nights(1 in villa)
1 night in maybe Asolo or maybe Castelrotto
1 night in Hall
2 nights in the Danube valley- maybe Melk oe Krems
boat ride to Vienna or drive to Vienna airport to turn in car
3 nights in Vienna
leave for home

We will be going in late September and early October, flying into Venice and out of Vienna.

Thanks a lot for your suggestions. It is hard to decide with so many tempting alternatives. How do these plans sound?
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