Just back from 3 wks in Italy - Part 2

Jul 11th, 2000, 06:46 AM
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Just back from 3 wks in Italy - Part 2

I tried to post in two parts, it doesn't work. I'll try three parts.
Bellagio - 2 nights. -- To get to Bellagio - long trip after flying into Milan, taking bus at airport to Milano Centrale (RR station), taking local train to Lake Como. Here, we should have taken a cab to the Hydrafoil to Bellagio. Took a bus instead -small with a narrow aisle now filled with our luggage – which picked up and dropped off school children for an hour or so trip to Bellagio.
TAKE THE HYDRAFOIL -- faster and more comfortable. Better than this, stay in Milan for a night, then head to Bellagio.

Bellagio is just beautiful and by far the nicest and more interesting of the two other villages, Mennagio and Varenna. I would skip visiting there.
Hotel - the Hotel Florence, clean room and bath, staff very helpful, breakfasts were great, had a terrific restaurant overlooking the lake, a nice bar/lounge to relax in. Disappointment, no air conditioning, but we liked the hotel and, we were lucky, the nights were cool.

Venice – 2 nights -- Before you leave the U.S. - Do ask your hotel what the closest boat stop is, I didn't. Also, if your hotel is not on the main canal DO hire one of the porters at the boat stop to wheel your luggage. They were charging $20 per person - my friend and I had one large, wheeled, suitcase each, and one carry-on each. We thought they were overcharging us. Boy, were we sorry. We had to walk several blocks, & up and down two bridges, to get to our hotel - big mistake.
Hotel – Al Gambero – Got raves everywhere. It must be good. But by the time we got there……walked in the door to see a narrow, winding, staircase. I went upstairs to the reception area and found out they had no elevator to our room either. We just couldn’t do it. I spoke to the owner on the phone and he agreed not to charge us (I’ll have to wait for my Visa). I walked about two blocks and found another hotel.
Hotel Boston – We were lucky to find a room, but I don’t recommend this hotel. The room was small with practically no light in the room. A very dim ceiling bulb. The air was on very low and the coffee was so bad we couldn’t drink it. It was about $80-85 a night.
Da Ivo - great food, cozy place with good service. Reservations A MUST.
Restaurant in back of Bonvecchiate Hotel - Sorry I don’t remember name. Expensive, but good.
Side Trip - Murano - prices and goods are the same as you'll find in any of the stores around St. Mark's - nothing different. I don't recommend it.

Jul 11th, 2000, 08:09 AM
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Your post just reinforces everything everybody says on this forum about packing light & bringing as little luggage as possible. Did you wish you'd packed lighter?
Jul 11th, 2000, 09:08 AM
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I thought I did pack light considering the fact that we were traveling for 21 days.
I bought a new garment bag. I packed 6 pair of light weight slacks, 2 long skirts, 2 long dresses, 13 sleeveless and short sleeved cotton jersey tops, twelve pair underwear, 4 bras, 2 nightgowns. I purposely purchased lighter weight slacks (seersucker and light cotton),light weight shoes, a skirt and dress. Even though I didn't need more slacks or shoes than I had. Of course, the bag itself wasn't light. I wanted a sturdy, well made bag.
Used the carry-on for toiletries, etc.
Jul 11th, 2000, 10:18 AM
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Hi Madeline,
I just couldn't stop laughing when I read the amount of clothes you packed. I don't mean to be rude, but I am assuming that you were joking.
I was away (Italy and Uk)for 32 days and packed about a third of what you said. I did buy a coat and shoes along the way, but not because I needed them. I think there's nothing worse than having to battle with too much luggage. I only made that mistake once, never again.
Thanks for all the info, I can't wait to go back to italy, I just loved it.
Jul 11th, 2000, 10:58 AM
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I assume the point of taking so much clothes was so that you wouldn't have to do laundry? I would rather "waste" two or so hours and do laundry than lug around all that weight.

For a 21 day or a 49 day trip or whatever i would bring the same amount of clothes as i would for a 7 day and do laundry on a day where i felt i just needed to sit and relax a bit maybe catch up on my journal, or postcards.

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