Need HELP for Mom's DREAM TRIP...

Feb 10th, 2009, 08:09 AM
  #1  
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Need HELP for Mom's DREAM TRIP...

Hi,
we are planning a mother/daughter (in their 30's) trip to Italy. It is not my first time, but it is for my Mom and sister. We are flying into Rome the Friday before Easter and will be there until 4/19.

I am thinking Rome, 3 nights and leave on Monday after Easter. We also would like to see Venice, Florence, and Naples, possibly Capri. Is this feasible in this time period? Is it too much? The last time I went, I was young and with a friend from college, so we had a lot of energy and saw EVERYTHING!!

My question is this, what do you consider a MUST SEE for a first-timer Mom in her early 60's? This will probably be her only shot here. She has been wanting to do this trip her whole life!! I am confused as to the trip route with our stops, how do we decide which is easier to do and in what order???

Can you offer any help as far as transportation to and from?
We also thought about a side trip to Greece, but I told them I think it is just too much!!

Would you recommend a tour group---Perillo? or Perillo's new Independent company? Trafalgar? Globus? to make it easier...
We are not really into the herd of cattle get on the bus and off in each place. We want guidance, but not a fully guided tour!!

Please help!!
travel_italy2009 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 08:13 AM
  #2  
 
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Hello - how many days will you be in Italy? I suspect you have too many stops planned so it would help us if you said which ones were more important than others. Of course Rome is essential!
rosetravels is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 08:17 AM
  #3  
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We have NINE full days, the other two will be for travel back and forth!! I know it's not enough...

I know ROME is essential, Venice is essential for my Mom--just for ONE night. Florence is optional, as is Naples.

What else would you consider essential??? Tuscany? Santorini, Greece? I know...wishful thinking, right???
travel_italy2009 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 08:18 AM
  #4  
 
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Travel_italy2009, to better help you with your decisions we will need to know how much energy your DM has, does she have health problems or problems walking long distances? Is she interested in shopping, historical sites, museums ect..

Also, where will you be flying out of for your return trip back home?

If this is her only time going to Rome I would not suggest only doing three days in Rome, there is SO much to see in this wonderful city. I spent 8 days there in December 2007 and will be going back to Rome for 2 weeks this coming December just because there were so many things I have yet to see!

I would say do 5 days in Rome at the very least then move from Rome to Florence for a few days maybe spending 2 days in Venice.
heartofthesouth is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 08:20 AM
  #5  
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FYI---The stop to Naples is only because that's where my family is from...so kind of emotional to my Mom!! (I think!!)
travel_italy2009 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 08:21 AM
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You are flying into Rom on Aapril 10 and out from Rome on the 19th?

You had best limit your time to Rome, Florence, and Venice. Naples and Capri are in the opposite direction, and if you try to include even Naples you will spending too much of your time traveling and not enough time enjoying.

You don't need a tour group. People here are very kind and will help you with suggestions on where to stay (hotels) and what to do in each city. You can travel between by train.

I would start with a suggestion for 3 nights in Rome, 2 in Florence, and 3 in Venice. That will leave you time to return to Rome on the 18th (spending another night there) so you have plenty of time to catch your flight out on the 19th.

If you can change your lfight to an "open jaws" flight into rome and out of Venice that would make for a more leisurely visit.
enzian is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 08:21 AM
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If you stay 5 days in Rome you could always use one of those days to do a day trip by train down to Naples.
heartofthesouth is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 08:23 AM
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Sorry for the typos. I meant "Rome" and "april".

Does your mom have family in Naples that she would like to visit? Is it really that important to her?

I guess you could make it work, but then I suggest you drop Florence. Three cities is plenty to visit in that amount of time.
enzian is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 08:37 AM
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I agree w/ Enzian, that 3 cities is your max. And yes, you can do it yourself w/ no tour group. I think you'll enjoy it so much more and it's completely doable.

Unless your mom really loves art you might consider Rome (side trip to Naples) and Venice, bypassing Florence. Or if it were me, I'd visit Rome, a hill town in Tuscany or Umbria and Venice. That gives you more a mix of experiences.

Have you bought your plane tickets? If not consider flying into Rome and out of Venice. On a site like kayak.com you click on the multi-city flight at the top and plug those in.
rosetravels is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 08:40 AM
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I'd vote for Rome, day trip to Naples and Pompeii, and Venice if it's absolutely your mom's dream. Try and book in advance for some of the museums, and I wouldn't miss the Scavi tour of the Vatican - it is an underground tour of the tombs under the Vatican - I think you can book in advance on line but we never got a response so we went to the Vatican directly.

I found Rick Steve's website helpful to read about the train situations. We did Rome, Florence and Naples / Pompeii and researched the trains on line because I found Italian train stations a bit difficult to navigate.
kak113 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 08:54 AM
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And another thought, for a less stressful and compact trip, would be Rome, Naples/Pompeii, and the lovely Amalfi coast.

I have never been to Naples, but it doesn't get glowing reviews as a "destination". Most people view it as a place to go "through" (on their way to Pompeii, Sorrento, Positano, etc.), rather than a place to go "to".

But if it is part of your mom's "dream" trip, then perhaps you should see it, however briefly.
enzian is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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Last year my parents met us (me, husband and kids) in Italy and we visited Venice, Pisa, Florence, and the northern Tuscany area. My parents both say their favorite city was Venice.

My husband, kids and I have also been to Italy 2 other times and we all loved Rome.

We didn't really enjoy Naples much but if that is family history and you are definitely going, then make sure you visit the archeological museum while you are there. Most of the original mosaics and other finds from Pompeii are in the museum in Naples. so that is nice to see even if you can't make it down to Pompeii.

I would agree with those saying to skip Florence if you don't have enough time.
see_the_world7 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 09:24 AM
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I forgot to add...I absolutely agree that you should try to fly into Venice and out of Rome (or vice versa). It usually is not that much more expensive and saves loads of time.
see_the_world7 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 09:40 AM
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So what exactly is your mom's "dream" or idea of Italy, other than th e"roots" trip to Naples? It would help people make suggestions appropriate to her interests.

Would she love the art of Florence? The history, art and archeology of Rome? The magical feeling of Venice? Would she enjoy sitting at sidewalk cafes and relaxing, or is she one who would like to pack in as many museums, churches, and other sights as possible? Does she enjoy good food and wine? Maybe a cooking class somewhere? Or a hotel with a beachfront balcony on the Amalfi coast?

It is hard to make anything other than general suggestions without knowing more about her interests.

Personally, I could happily spend all 9 days in Venice, one of my favorite places in the world. And I don't care all that much for Florence. But that's just me. for her first trip, the 3-city "sampler" approach is probably best----the question is, which 2 in addition to Rome?
enzian is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 11:37 AM
  #15  
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My Mom is looking for a relaxing trip, while still seeing the major sites. She doesn't want to run around the whole trip! Basically, she wants to see the Vatican, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, etc. She isn't really into the museums, looking for really good food and breathtaking experiences. (which won't be too difficult to find for a first timer!!)

We have thought about spending some down time, either in Capri or the Amalfi coast--just to even out the sightseeing.

My plan, thus far: (thanks for the tips, already---you guys are very helpful!!)

Rome 3 nights
Florence 1 night
Venice 1-2 nights
Amalfi Coast or Isle of Capri 2-3 nights
Rome 1 final night before departure

I guess we will skip Naples, it doesn't seem like there is that much to see there. Any suggestions--Capri or Amalfi Coast?? If Amalfi coast---where to???

THANKS!!
travel_italy2009 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 12:10 PM
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If you decide to spend one or two nights in Venice and then go to Amalfi Coast/Capri, I think it's likely that you'll spend a full day getting from Venice to your southern destination. When you have a limited number of days to work with, my approach would be "less is more." In other words, Amalfi Coast/Capri OR Venice (and I'm not even too sure about Florence), but not both.

Sam
knoxvillecouple is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 12:11 PM
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To tell you the truth, if you are going to try to move at that much of a gallop, I'm going to make the heretical (for Fodor's) suggestion of looking for a tour that doesn't include meals.

I've never used a tour group, but I've heard terrible things about Perillo. Some people like things like "UnTours".

You don't have a lot of time before your departure date. Right now, with the itinerary you posted, you are looking at spending a huge amount of time in transit - from hotel rooms, to train stations, on trains, waiting for ferries or buses, on buses -- and precious little time actually seeing anything.

If this has been your mom's "lifelong dream" surely she has some idea of her priorities. There is a huge difference between going to Naples and seeing the street where your relatives emigrated from and spending a night on Capri.

By the way, most people who post on this board are not far from your mother's age. She's not old. Italy is first world country. You can all sit down and have a drink if you're pooped. And she might go again when she's 75, Just find out why she's dreamed all her life of going to Italy and go to those places. Forget the "must sees" of other people.

zeppole is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 12:14 PM
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By the way, there is an absolutely astonishing amount to see in Naples. Most of the people commening in this thread have either never been there, or didn't want to go in the first place, or follow Rick Steves around (he'd rather park himself in touristy Sorrento)

If your mother wants a 'relaxing trip" she probably doesn't want to go to Napoli. However, if her family is from there, she might find it amazing to see it - and see why they left and what they lost when they did.
zeppole is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 12:32 PM
  #19  
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If you really do think this is a once in a lifetime event, then personally I would make it Rome/Florence/Venice. Each of those cities is unique and each is so different from the other that I would be hard-pressed to miss one.

My daughter (then 17) and I took my Mum to Italy for her first and only time for her 83rd birthday. We had 12 days in total and didn't want to move too fast due to mum's age. We went to Rome and Florence with a few days spent at my daughter's school in Lanciano, a small town on the Adriatic coast of the Abruzzo.

My Mum adored Rome, especially shopping with 'her girls' and we had a ball in Florence seeing all the art we knew only from books.

Later when DH and I went on our own to Venice, I was REALLY sorry that we didn't get there with my Mum: it is like nothing else on earth.
LJ is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 12:56 PM
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Is she is looking for some relaxation, with your limited time frame,I would fly to Venice, spend a few days there,
then take the train to Rome,spend time there,and finish up with the Amalfi coast. It is just too overwhelming to do Rome, Venice and Florence in such a short time.

I think she will get such a thrill out of the beauty of the Amalfi coast and that will remain with her far longer than traipsing through the Ufizzi. Or even seeing the David.

The easiest way to do the trip I outlined is to fly into Venice and home from Naples. If you cannot manage that, then do Rome last and go home from there.
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