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Need help with a last minute six week trip to Italy

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Need help with a last minute six week trip to Italy

Old Apr 6th, 2011, 12:25 PM
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Need help with a last minute six week trip to Italy

My young 74 yr old mother and I are planning to head to Italy in the beginning of May. She would like to spend a week (perhaps 2?) in Florence, a week in Venice, and then hill town(s) in Umbria or Tuscany or ????. We are hoping for apartment rentals max 600 E per week. My mom is very into Art, myself- not as much. I enjoy getting off the touristed path and living like a temporary local .We are wanting to minimize the number of accommodation changes, and will likely travel by bus and train . We are looking for a very relaxed travel pace, where one really can get a feel for a place. My mom has been to Italy before (30 yrs ago), and this is my first time (but this trip is about mom). Looking for recommendations and suggestions for town(s) to stay in ..perhaps for two or three weeks. Is two weeks two long for Florence? Not long enough? Ditto for Venice? We are hoping to not spend the whole trip amongst crowds of other tourists. Any ideas are greatly appreciated!
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 01:05 PM
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mmmm - if you want to get off the touristy path and live like locals then Florence will probably not be for you. somewhere nearby with a good train service into the city might be a better bet - perhaps someone here can come up with a suggestion. Ditto Venice, though there is nothing like living in the city itself, if only for a week or two.

also your budget is pretty low, especially if you want a bedroom each, but it will go further in the countryside.

and are you planning on driving?
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 01:15 PM
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I agree that Florence may not be your best choice for a long stay. I would look at Lucca if you want to live like a local.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 01:51 PM
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Look into other cities too like Bologna and Perugia.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 01:58 PM
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Hello-

I don't know if this place will be open for you, but he had good rates. I also like quaintness (if that's a word),

La Rosa di Venezia

Robert the owner has been wonderful! He does require payment prior to arrival.

Have a wonderful trip
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 02:57 PM
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In Venice we had a wonderful experience renting through http://www.oikosvenice.com so easy to deal with. And we were 'tucked' away and certainly 'pretended' we were locals for a week, such fun.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 04:24 PM
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Well, if the OP's mother is an art lover, Florence is a must -- for several days at least if not a week or 2. To see the Tuscan/Umbrian countryside without a car, stay in a town with a train station and/or bus connections. Siena is good, Arezzo a possibility. Lucca is kind of atypical, not a hilltown, in flat, not so interesting countryside. But with well-preserved walls and a train station. Spello, Trevi and Spoleto in Umbria have train stations. Don't know much about buses there.

Actually there's quite a bit you can see from Florence as a base. Lucca, Pisa, Pistoia, and Prato by train, Fiesole and Siena and points beyond by bus.

And look into places on the train line between Venice and Florence: Bassano del Grappa (well, that's kind of a detour), Vicenza, Verona, Desenzano del Garda on Lake Garda, Bologna.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 04:33 PM
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Two weeks in Florence sounds like paradise to me. It is a wonderful small city with an amazing amount to see and do. The surrounding area is scenic and the food is great. There is also easy access by bus or train to so many towns in the Tuscan countryside. It sounds fabulous. There aren't many places I would want to linger for two weeks but (after Paris), Florence is difinitely the one.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 02:18 PM
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Thanks for all of the ideas and sugestions. As for the budget, we are happy to share a room. Mom's #1 city to visit is Florence so 1-2 weeks is a given. Still working on accommodations, and which town to stay in (other than Venice and Florence). Is there a particular town in Tuscany and or Umbria that would be good to stay in for quintessential Tuscan/Umbrian experience?
Again, thanks for the advice!
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 03:16 PM
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bobthenavigator said it. Lucca.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 03:18 PM
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Hi,

Two weeks in Florence is marvelous, especially for someone fascinated by art who wants to go at a leisurely pace. Since you have 6 weeks, you needn't worry you won't have time to get away from other tourists, even if you spend another week in Venice.

For having great food, great wine, great art, great beauty, and a great time in towns where locals outnumber tourists, Umbria fits the bill better than Tuscany. It is also easier to get to towns in Umbria using public transportation, but you consider renting a car for at least some of the time.

I suggest you start another thread asking specifically about Umbrian towns, and describe more of your own interests in addition to your mother'. If you really like music or chocolate, or wine or olive oil, or truffles, or ceramics or lakes or farms, you can get some guidance about positioning yourself.

You might also ask over on Slow Travel, because I think there are some Umbrian residents who post on that message board. Also, for such a long stay, consider renting someplace you have a kitchen or access to a kitchen. Often apartments are cheaper, and it saves money to cook some meals yourself.
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