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skisoc Jul 14th, 2007 06:37 AM

Just back 2 wonderful weeks in Italy
Just returned from 2 great weeks. Started in Rome then Tuscany Florence and finished in Venice. People were friendly and very helpful everywhere we went.
In Rome stayed at Hotel Barocco which was very nice and a good location. Used Angel tours for Vatican and colisuem and a walking tour and they were great. We did a day trip hiring a driver to pompei, amalfi and postiano and it was great. picked us up in rome at 8 am and dropped back in rome at 11 pm. Took the train to Florence picked up our car rental and drove to Greve in Chianti and stayed at Villa Vignamaggio which was beautiful. We drove around Tuscany for 4 days seeing Pisa Lucca Siena San Gimigiagino,
Volterra and many other beautiful little towns.
We spent one night in florence after returning the car then took the train to venice and stayed at the corte grimani which was a great place. Venice was very interesting city and fun to explore.
Dress everywhere is very casual and shorts and sneakers and nice short sleeve tee shirt was fine in every restaurant we went to. it was my first trip to Italy and it was truly fantastic. Gelato counters are everywhere i think i averaged 2 a day. shopping is plentiful and picked up some nice leather goods. The Churches are magnificent my favorite was the Duomo in Siena.
If anyone has any questions i would be glad to attempt to answer you as i know i was helped in planning my trip by the numerous posts on this site.

BazzaK Jul 14th, 2007 07:40 AM

What were the train trips like between Rome and Florence and between Florence and Venice? How long were thr trips and was there much in the way of scenery on each trip? Also, did you travel first or second class and which would you recommend?

skisoc Jul 14th, 2007 10:00 AM

Train was an 1 hour thirty minutes from Rome to Florence and 2 hours 30 minutes from Florence to Venice. There was some scenery but nothing great we read and napped on the train. I took first class both trips as it was easier to store the luggage and gave us a more comfortable seat.

BazzaK Jul 14th, 2007 10:27 AM

How does the luggage work on the train? Do you keep your luggage with you at your seats or is it stored somewhere in each carriage?

skisoc Jul 14th, 2007 11:41 AM

in first class you can either put your bags in an overhead rack or each car has a small area when you first enter the car where there is a large luggage rack like you see on the car rental buses at the airport for all to use. we used the large luggage rack and it was fine.

dawnnoelm Jul 14th, 2007 12:24 PM

we trained from Paris to Montruex, Montruex to Florence - day trip to Pisa, Florence to Rome.

The baggage situation is fine, we traveled first class and had a LOT of bags - my dh's bag was large and a little bit of an issue on the train.

I would do first class with a reservation of a seat. I did buy my tickets here in the states through Rail Europe. (I think that was the name? really jet lagged - got home to Cal. late last night from Rome)

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