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Planning Honeymoon: Rome, Tuscany, Cinque Terre

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Jan 18th, 2006, 04:16 PM
  #1
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Planning Honeymoon: Rome, Tuscany, Cinque Terre

My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon for mid June 2006. After much thought, we narrowed down our destinations to 3 main stops so as to spend more time in each place. We don't want to feel like we are packing up our bag every 2 days to get on a train.

I wanted to see what people think about our rough itinerary and ask a few questions about logistics.

Day
1: Fly San Francisco to Rome
2: Land in Rome in AM, Check in to Hotel
3: Rome
4: Rome
5: Rent car and drive to Tuscany (Stay in agroturismo relatively near to a major hill town -- any recommendations for one that is not too far of a drive from a town?)
6: Tuscany
7: Tuscany
8: Tuscany
9: Tuscany
10: Return rental car and Train to Cinque Terre (stay in Vernazza)
11: Cinque Terre
12: Cinque Terre
13: Train to either Rome or Milan depending on how we book flight, stay in hotel in city
14: Fly to San Francisco

May add a day each in Rome and Tuscany

My questions are:
-Do we rent the car in Rome, or in Tuscany to avoid having to drive in the city?
-Is renting in one area and returning in another area going to be a problem for a rental company? Is it going to be drastically pricier to drop off in a different location?
-Still trying to price out which is cheaper, flying into/out of Rome, or in to Rome and out of Milan. Any thoughts?

Would love to hear people's critiques.

Thanks for taking the time to read,
Sean
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Jan 18th, 2006, 04:30 PM
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This sounds like a great honeymoon. I like the idea of adding a day to Rome, and maybe if you have a possible 2 extra days, you could add them both to Rome. I think you would enjoy your time there, and you could spend the first day relaxing and acclimating. I also like the idea of only 3 hotels.

I recently read on Fodor's about someone who rented a car at a rental place near the Vatican, and they said they had a very easy time getting out of Rome. I have never had an easy time getting in or out of Rome, using the places near the via Veneto. Maybe do a search here for Vatican car rental locations. Try a couple of combinations of those words... maybe.

We rent from Autoeurope.com and there never seems to be a huge price difference in renting in one place and returning to another.

I wish I could tell you about open jaws tickets, but living as we do in a horrible airline market, we seem to never be able to get an open jaws ticket for anything near the prices we pay for regular round trip. Others here have reported much better luck.

If you can book in and out of another city, Pisa is much closer than Milan. To the CT, that is...
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Jan 18th, 2006, 04:33 PM
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I always have more thoughts after I post a message:

We once left Rome and drove all the way to Liguria, a little further up the coast from the CT. This was a pleasant day. If you did this, you could do Rome > Vernazza > Tuscany and then be much to closer for a possible return flight from Rome. You might even get a flight late enough in the day (out of Rome) that you could drive right to the airport. It's an idea...
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Jan 18th, 2006, 06:19 PM
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Get your car in Chiusi or Orvieto.
You can drop anywhere in Italy for same price.
Open jaw flights are often not more expensive. Milan is easier for you.
Nice trip !
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Jan 19th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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Good advice from Bob.

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Jan 19th, 2006, 08:33 AM
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Congrats! We spent our June honeymoon in Italy in 2003 and it was just amazing. We did the Northern cities v. Rome and Tuscany was our favorite part.
Rent a car b4 you go, cheaper that way. Pick up on your way out of Rome and turn in in Pisa (then train into Cinque Terra and back to Rome).
I'd stay 4 nights in S Tuscany near Montalcino and 1 night in San Gimignango (rec. www.sangiapartments.com). also see tuscany.net for cool places with daily (v. weekly) rentals. I'm jealous!

One warning, be aware on the trains. After 4 relaxing days in Tuscany I let my guard down on the train from Pisa to CT and almost got pickpocketed.

Enjoy the wine, food, sunflowers, people, wine, food, culture, atmosphere, and did I mention wine and food?
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Jan 19th, 2006, 08:37 AM
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thanks to all of you who responded.
good suggestions.

the open jaws ticket would be much more convenient but from what i am seeing, it will cost us each about $300 more to fly out of milan.

thanks again,
sean
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Jan 19th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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seanandjill,
If flying in and out of Rome, Go directly to Florence or your Tuscany base. This will cut out one day travel and packing/unpacking. All your Rome dates are now at the end.
For southern tuscany I like La Crociona http://lacrociona.com/index.htm about 3 kilometers from Montalcino. E-mail me if you want daytrip suggestions in southern tuscany.
Bob is right on the rental car, Chiusi is about an hour and a half train ride from Rome, Orvieto is about an hour and fifteen from rome.
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Feb 1st, 2006, 06:00 PM
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Seanandjill:

If you haven't booked yet, you might consider a little different tack.

It's significantly cheaper to rent outside of Italy. We're doing an open-jaw into Nice, France and returning from Rome. So you can fly to Nice, do a couple of days around Nice, Monte Carlo, etc. and then drive the Ligurian Coast to the Cinque Terre (it's only about 4 hours). Spend a nite or two in or around Monterossa. Then the on to the agriturismo of your choice via Portofino, etc. ("Maitaitom" found a great little place just a few miles east of Siena. Check his post on Fodor's).

Spend your few days doing the hilltowns of Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino, S. Gimignano, etc. slopping up all the wine, cheese and olive-oil you can consume, end up with a few days in Rome and drop your car there.

Note: If you're renting for a minimum of 17 days, you can get in on the Lease/Buy-back program offered by Peugeot which gets you a brand new vehicle at a lower cost than a rental even in France, and much less than in Italy. That's mainly because of the mandatory insurance which is not required in any surrounding country. Your Amex or other credit card coverage is fine in France.

You'll have a wonderful trip no matter how you do it. Italy is truly a vacationer's paradise and perfect for newlyweds. Congrats & buon viaggio.
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 11:47 AM
  #10
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So we've re-thought the order of places to see and booked our flights.
Flying into Milan, train to Cinque Terre, CT for 3 nights, then train to Tuscany (area TBD), pick up rental car and check in to an agriturismo for a week, then drop car and train to Rome for 5 nights. Flying out of Rome.
American Airlines flights from San Fran we got for $1080 pp including taxes/fees.
All of your advice has been great. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to post
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