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Loving Italy: our trip to Rome, San Gimigniano and Venice

Loving Italy: our trip to Rome, San Gimigniano and Venice

Sep 12th, 2014, 08:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 396
Loving Italy: our trip to Rome, San Gimigniano and Venice

Hi everyone,

I realized I hadn't posted my trip report "blog" here from our recent trip to Rome, San Gimigniano and Venice. We went in May 2014 and had a blast. I just love Italy! We dream of living there one day...



Boring stuff first:
Who: me, hubby and brother-in-law.
When: 17-28 May. Flying into Rome and out of Venice.
Where: Rome, San Gimigniano,Venice. It's our fourth time to Italy; last time was 2007.
Why: To celebrate brother-in-law's 0/5 birthday.

18, 19, 20 May--Rome at Arco del Lauro B&B
Sights on the agenda: Capitoline Hill Museums, Gesu Church, Pantheon, Galleria Doria Pamphili, San Clemente, San Paolo fuori muori, San Callisto catacombs, Appian Way, Vatican Museum, St. Peter's Basilica, Castel Sant'Angelo.

21, 22 May: San Gimigniano at Villa Baciolo B&B
Things on the agenda: explore hill towns: Civita Bagnoregio, Montepulciano, Volterra, Siena.

23, 24, 25, 26, 27 May: Venice in an apartment in Dorsoduro
Sights on the agenda: Ca'Razzonico, Santa Maria della Salute, San Giorgio Maggiore, Doge's Palace, Correr Museum, St. Mark's Basilica, Suola San Rocco, Frari Church, Ca' Pesaro, Islands in the Lagoom (Burano, Torcello), Row Venice, Cicchetti Tour, Opera at La Fenice.

We did a lot of what we planned. Everything went very smoothly. I mean, we were barely lost at all in Venice (thanks to the Streetwise Venice map and brother-in-law's excellent map reading skillz!).

I love researching and planning our trips. I enjoy keeping the experience alive by writing about it upon our return.

nola77382 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 07:05 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 226
Sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing, really like the photos. Makes me want to go back!
wayfinder45 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2014, 04:04 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,856
Excellent blog trip review! I usually find these blog reviews boring, but you had the right mix of text and photos.

Your trip also had a good mix of "must-sees" and "hidden gems". I think it's a mistake to try to crowd all the "must-sees" into a single trip, even if it is your first trip. It means you spend all your time shuffling along in a crowd. You should always assume you'll be back. If there are some important things you missed, it's a bigger incentive to return!

I agree that Trastevere is a great place to visit, but I wouldn't stay there on a trip to Rome. We did so once, and found, as you did, that the trekking in and out got a little tedious. The next time you're there, try to visit the Villa Farnesina, which is a Renaissance villa in Trastevere. The villa has some great frescoes by Raphael, and the garden is very nice. Just across the street, the Corsini Gallery is a very small museum, but packed with great master paintings. It's also very cheap, I think €5. You can get a combination ticket for the Corsini Gallery and the Barberini Gallery (near Trevi Fountain) for (if I remember correctly) €9, which is one of the best bargains in Rome. I think you'd enjoy both.

If you want to spend a year in Italy, you'd need some kind of special visa. Maybe if you both go to serious schools, you could get student visas. Without special visas, you can stay in the Schengen area only 90 days out of 180.

Regarding the Papal Basilicas in Rome, you have St. Paul's twice. San Paolo fuori le Mura and St. Paul's Basilica are the same church. I'm sure you meant to include St. Peter's Basilica.
bvlenci is offline  
Sep 13th, 2014, 07:48 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,781
>>>One big gripe: the only toilets are outside the security check so if you have to go, you must exit, wait in line for the facilities (half the women's toilets were closed), then wait in the long security line to get back into the Basilica. Terribly inconvenient. We really wanted to climb the tower but that's hard to do even without full bladders! After a stop in the gift shop, we left, used the facilities and walked around looking for a snack.<<<

If you had climbed or taken the elevator, you would have discovered restrooms at the roof level (at the base of the dome). I believe there are also some near where you rent audioguides for St. Peter's.
kybourbon is online now  
Sep 13th, 2014, 07:53 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,055
Great blog and pictures. Thanks for sharing!
msteacher is offline  
Sep 16th, 2014, 08:41 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 396
Thanks for reading, y'all!

bvlenci, thanks for the tip about the Villa Farnesina and the Corsini Gallery. I don't remember reading about them previously but did have the Barberini Gallery on my list. We just didn't have enough time in Rome but next time, we'll definitely visit these sights! Thanks for catching my error about St. Paul's/St. Peter's; I need to correct my "blog."

In order for us to spend a year in Italy, we need to win the lottery or be retired. Neither of those is going to happen real soon (probably and unfortuntately). But it is a dream...

kybourbon, I didn't know there were restroms at the top of the dome: I might have attempted it! This situation reminded me of a song about Mardi Gras in New Orleans: "ain't no place to pee on Mardi Gras Day!" lol.
nola77382 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2014, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,090
Thanks so much for posting. Great pics on your blog!
Margaretlb is offline  
Oct 31st, 2014, 12:38 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 532
Just finished reading the Venice part as I have just finished planning our Venice itinerary. Great pictures. Thanks so much for sharing!
chris45ny is offline  
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