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MRand May 31st, 2005 05:23 PM

June Trip to Italy
My schedule has suddenly cleared for the last two weeks in June and I would like to take my family (2 parents, 3 teenagers) to Italy. This weekend we were (surprisingly) able to make reservations for the five of us to/from Italy using FF miles (with circuitous routing) arriving in Milan and returning from Venice. I assume it will be very difficult at this point to find accomodations in the places we would like to visit if possible---Cinque Terre, Florence/Tuscany, Rome, Amalfi, and/or Venice. Any suggested strategies for putting together such a trip/finding hotel rooms or apartments at the last minute? It's daunting, but my family rarely has the opportunity to do this so I want to take advantage while we can.

Thanks for your suggestions.

elaine May 31st, 2005 05:40 PM

browse for hotels at
and at
For two weeks, you'll have 12 or 13 actual Italy days?
I think 5 areas is at least one too many. I thnk you'll have to decide on either Amalfi Coast or CT, but not both. If you really want to see the cities you mention, then you might want to concentrate just on the big three. From Florence you can daytrip into Tuscany (or, daytrip into Florence from somewhere in Tuscany if that's what you prefer). You could also daytrip from Rome to Orvieto or Pisa or Pompeii.

Vetty May 31st, 2005 06:07 PM

Someone here once recommended the Parker Company for villas. They have amazing villas. There are also websites like There may still be some available at the last minute and you may find it cheaper than you think. There are wonderful areas to stay in where you can do day trips to all the great hill towns. We did this for the last three years and loved it. Umbria and Tuscany are beautiful.

bobthenavigator May 31st, 2005 06:36 PM

Wow--you will be a busy boy. It will be tough to merely see 4 destinations in that time and with that brood. What time do you land at MXP? Do you plan to drive from there to CT? If so, I hope you can sleep on the plane. And, you will need a van for 5 plus luggage. That means a stick shift--I hope that is OK. Good luck--you will need some help here to get this one put together. I would split 13 nites in Italy this way:
CT-3 [ day one is tough]
Rome-4 [drop car]
Venice-3[ 5 hour train ride]
That is all you should try, and that will be tough enough.

Dayle May 31st, 2005 06:39 PM

Hi M,

How fun for your family to have such a wonderful, spur of the moment trip. I'm jealous.

Arrive in Milan
See the Duomo, Galleria, & the Last Supper - spend first night

Train to Cinque Terre - 2 nights

Train to Florence with a stop off in Pisa

If your family is really into art, stay in Florence 3 nights with maybe a day trip to Siena or one of the other very scenic towns. If not into art, stay in a hilltown and do a day trip into Florence for the highlights.

Train to Rome, stopping in Orvieto for the day. 3 nights Rome

Train to Venice 3 nights Venice.

We all know Roma takes and deserves much more than 3 days. You will probably return. You don't have time for the Amalfi Coast on this trip. If you would like more time in your other cities, maybe save Rome and Amalfi for the next trip and spend more time in Tuscany.

Buon viaggio!

Grinisa May 31st, 2005 07:16 PM

Where you end up going is going to depend on where you can find two available hotel rooms (a double and a triple)at this late date. The fewer the destinations the better. Consider renting a villa in Tuscany if you can find one available and possibly taking daytrips to the Cinque Terre and even Rome from there.

LoveItaly Jun 1st, 2005 12:47 AM

Hi MRand, With just a few weeks to go before you leave for Italy I would go along with Grisina's thought about trying to rent a villa. But you will no doubt need 3 bedrooms.

I would personally follow through with the websites that elaine has given you here ASAP (like yesterday).

Let us know how the trip was. Sometimes last minute trips can be the most fun. Best wishes.

MRand Jun 1st, 2005 07:28 AM

Thanks to each of you for your great advice and suggestions. The thought of trying to do this before the Internet boggles the mind. I've pared down the itinerary and have already found accomodations in CT, Rome, and Venice. I'm still looking for villas in Tuscany. Do they ever rent for less than a full week? Do you think staying in or near Florence and traveling out to the countryside from there, or staying in the countryside and traveling to Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, etc. makes more sense? With the kids along, I'm thinking anywhere in Tuscany with a swimming pool to cool off after a long day out may be a good idea.

kmh7 Jun 1st, 2005 08:12 AM

M, I don't know if this helps but we are renting from I am also going to be there with three teens and my mom. Our villa is in Panzano. It is about 33km from Florence and the same distance from Siena. I do not know if they rent for less than a week. Karin Dietz is the lady who has been helping me and she is great. For what we are paying I would consider just paying for the week and only staying maybe 5 nights. We will be there June 25-July 2. If you see a rowdy group from California it might be us. Most of the villas have pools, I also thought the kids needed that for unwind time. In Rome we rented an apartment by the night thru Hope this helps Buon Viaggio!

Intrepid1 Jun 1st, 2005 08:29 AM

It would be a lot easier if <b> you </b> made the decision about what kind of accommodations you want to stay in and then look at Elaine's recommended for hotels; you can also look at although with a service such as Venere you don't have to pay the whole thing up front.

Just don't allow anyone else to decide the pace at which you wish to travel; you can decide if it was &quot;too fast&quot; or &quot;too much&quot; after you've done it yourself.

Statia Jun 1st, 2005 08:55 AM

As if you don't already have enough suggestions, MRand, here are a couple of apartment websites. We've used both of these services and were very happy with everything.



Good luck with your plans.

Henry Jun 1st, 2005 10:54 AM

La Crociona near Montalcino (southern Tuscany) has a pool and rents for less than a week

Vetty Jun 1st, 2005 04:30 PM

I don't know if any will rent for part of week. You may have to just rent for a week and use for only part of it. It still may be the same price as 2 decent hotel rooms. Many villas have pools.

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