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My 50th Birthday Present - 22 Days in Italy Need Suggetions for in between the Big Three

My 50th Birthday Present - 22 Days in Italy Need Suggetions for in between the Big Three

Old May 22nd, 2005, 07:46 AM
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My 50th Birthday Present - 22 Days in Italy Need Suggetions for in between the Big Three

I received a great 50th birthday present from my spouse. We've never been to Italy so while he booked the flight I am looking for suggestions for places to visit, eat, stay in between Venice (4 nights), Florence (4 nights) and Rome (5 nights). I've allowed 2-4 days in between each of the cities so we are not rushing from one to another. We fly into Venice and leave from Rome so we don't have to backtrack. Our budget is budget hotels, B& B's or apartments around 100 Euros (We're Canadian so the exchange really hurts). I've booked hotels in Venice, Florence and Rome and from suggestions on this site have train tickets, car rentals, tour operators, noted. I've heard Ravenna, Orvieto, CT, and Amalfi are nice. We can visit any of these just need suggestions.
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 07:51 AM
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Congratulations! What a great present!
I don't have an answer for you, but I just topped the Italy superthread with LOTS of references in case you want to read more!
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 07:52 AM
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Forgot to mention that we love small towns, are good walkers, love food all types, and are travelling August 26 to September 17.
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 08:16 AM
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To get more specific advice and a better range of options, you might layout when you leave Venice and have to be in Florence and when you leave Florence and have to be in Rome.
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 08:21 AM
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Nice Bday present! Congrats.
Great small places to see Lucca ;-)
Don't miss seeing Pisa
Yes Amalfi coast is beautiful.. would suggest Sorrento ( it's got fabulous shopping and a fun town just to be in).
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 08:22 AM
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Hi degas:

We have two nights in between Venice and Florence and six nights before we get to Rome.
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 09:09 AM
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Hi Denise,

Lovely present.

You could do 2 nights in Siena, or add them to Florence and visit Siena and Bologna as daytrips from Florence.

Your six nights could be spent in Praiano on the AC.

See my trip report for further details:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34451044





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Old May 22nd, 2005, 09:35 AM
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Hi Denise

Sure sounds like a wonderful present from a special kind of guy!

Amalfi Coast is a keeper. You might also spend two nights on LAGO DI GARDA after Venice.

Have fun
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 10:04 AM
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My wife & I are lucky enough to spend 2-3 months in Europe each year - about 75% in France and 20% in Italy. One of our very favorite areas is Southern Tuscany - around Pienza. Small villages galore!!! The countryside is breathtaking.

A good plan would be to rent a car in Florence, drive through Chianti on the route specified in the Green Michelin Guide for Tuscany, and spend the night in San Gimignano. Next day, visit Volterra, and then head south to the Pienza area (it's called the Val d'Orcia), Stay four night there & visit the Sant Antimo Abbey in a very pictureque setting with cypress trees dancing up hills, & listen to the Gregorian chants inside tha Abbey. Have a picnic lunch outside the abbey on the lawn. Then tour Montalcino, San Quirico, Pienza, Montepulciamo, and about a dozen other very picturesque villages in that area. Drive along the small dirt roads, take a few hikes, and admire the beautiful countryside.

Siena is only about 1 hr away.

I have a 20+ page itinerary about Italy, with a heavy dose of Tuscany. E-mail me at [email protected] if you want a copy - but do so soon because we're leaving for 5 weeks in France on Saturday.

Stu Dudley
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 12:21 PM
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If you are flying in to venice airport take a water taxi into venice. Only way to travel and will be a romantic and exhilherating start to your holiday. My advice .... chill ... don't rush around too much ... soak up the ambience. Venice is a good place to walk around.
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 01:45 PM
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Ditto Stu Dudley's post......he has some great ideas for Tuscany...Pienza is lovely and of course Siena is a special place...so interesting! Having a car in this area would be a real asset.

Sorrento area is great, Almalfi coast, etc etc etc....it's all wonderful and the dates you have should be a little less crowded than in the middle of summer.
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 03:30 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Its great to get feedback from fellow foodorites.
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 04:51 PM
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If this were my vacation, here's what I would do.

1. Stay 4 nights in Venice, as you have already planned
2. Take the 6:32 train from Venice to Monterosso, which arrives at 1:00
3. Stay 2 nights on the CT
4. Take the train to Florence - 3:45 arrives at 6:30, or 5:00 arrives at 7:30.
5. Stay 4 nights in Florence, as planned. Crowds will be BIG - see the major sites first thing in the morning & make reservations.
6. Rent a car, & take the Chianti drive I mentioned earlier. Arrive in San Gimignano after 6:00PM, see San G, & stay overnight.
7. Visit San G. some more in the morning. Leave at 9:30 & drive to Volterra for a visit. Drive to Pienza & stay in that area for 4 nights.
8. Drive to either Siena or Orvieto, turn in the car, & stay overnight there.
9. Take the train from Siena or Orvieto to Rome for 5 nights as planned.

This does not get you to the Amalfi coast. IMO, trying to see Tuscany & the Amalfi coast in 6 overnights (which you have allowed between Florence & Rome) is just not enough time to do Tuscany & the Amalfi coast justice. I think almost 2 1/4 days on the CT is just fine, but if you try to see the Amalfi coast instead, the travel logistics are more complicated and time consuming. I'm not a fan of Sorrento - too many big tour groups stay there and it's NOT on the Amalfi coast. I would stay in Positano (which I've done 4 times) to get the most out of this beautiful section of Italy.

BTW, I've spent time in Verona, Lucca, & Ravenna. I think the CT would be a better place to throw something "different" into your planned Venice, Florence, Tuscany countryside & small villages, and Rome itinerary - especially if you're on a tight budget & like hiking.

Stu Dudley
Have you e-mailed me for my Italy itinerary yet - 4 people have done so today, but I don't think any of them have been you. It includes some very scenic drives in the Val d'Orcia.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 05:35 AM
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Thanks Stu:

Someone forwarded your trip report to me sounds like a great itinerary.

Denise
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