Planning on a trip to Italy

May 19th, 2010, 03:08 PM
  #1  
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Planning on a trip to Italy

While browsing this site, I keep seeing these tantalizing ads for 6-night trips to Italy (I'm thinking of the Rome, Florence, Venice one, in particular). They seem very reasonably priced (almost too reasonably priced). Have any other Fodor members tried one of these vacations? Are they as economical and stress-free as they claim? I would love to cease the hair-pulling attention to detail and go with one of these trips, but one should never blindly trust an ad.
ChrisMoore is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 03:33 PM
  #2  
 
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Are you talking about a package that is air fare, trains and hotels? Six nights is not enough for three cities and you didn't mention if it included travel days from the US. Most of those prices are from an east coast gateway city (usually NYC) and there are several hundred dollars added on to fly from other cities. If you really think about the logistics of a 6 night 3 city trip, you will see it only gives you one day in each city.
kybourbon is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 03:53 PM
  #3  
J62
 
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My browser blocks pop up ads, so I can't say I've ever seen one here on Fodors. My observation is that most people who frequent this Europe forum are do-it-yourselfers (including myself).

Friends who have taken organized tours (Perillo, for example) say they liked not having to worry about details - how to get places, setting up tours of sites, etc, but also say they wish they'd had more free time, and didn't like keeping to a fixed schedule.

Tours are for everyone, but for many people they can relieve the anxiety that comes with traveling to unfamiliar places.

Having traveled to foreign countries many times I don't find the thought of going to any country intimidating, but I can understand a certain level of comfort being on a tour affords.

I don't think they offer any savings over the do-it-yourselfer.
J62 is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 03:53 PM
  #4  
J62
 
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that would be "tours are NOT for everyone..."
J62 is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 05:23 PM
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I took a tour last year. It was my first time travelling aone for many years and I only had 16 days. I wanted to be as relaxed as possible and it turned out - I was. It was a great experience. It is a bit rushed but I think it depends on the tour. If you want a stress free trip this is the way to go. Next time I go to Italy, I would do it alone - I feel comfortable and have a better sense of the coutry. Either way it depends on your circumstances and time restraints.
But I agree with the response above...one day in each city is certainly not enough...
minkie is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 07:59 PM
  #6  
 
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Chris, I wouldn't consider six nights and three cities, especially Rome, Florence and Venice that are spread apart from each other for a second.

If you have the desire to go to Italy and only have six nights may I suggest that you go to your local library and check out some travel guide books to determin what cities or area in Italy appeals to you. If you only have six nights you could stay in the city of your choice and take a few day trips. Or you could stay say three nights in one city and three nights in another. If you decided to do that I would suggest that you check out multi-city flights which is where you fly into one airport and depart from another so that you will not do any backtracking.

If you find your main interest is Rome there are some interesting day trips you could do from there, the same with Florence and also Venice. With six nights if you stayed in the same location you would not lose time checking out of a hotel, going to the next location, checking into the hotel there etc.

You will find most Fodorites prefer to travel on their own. And if and when you narrow down the city or area you are interested in and post back I know you will receive a wealth of information.
LoveItaly is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 08:27 PM
  #7  
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Sorry I wasn't more specific. It's actually listed under "Deals" here at Fodor's.
http://www.shermanstravel.com/travel...go-today-italy
I was just hoping someone could tell me what they think of it.
ChrisMoore is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 08:48 PM
  #8  
 
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Here is the actual itinerary from go-today.com

http://www.go-today.com/promo/st_gt_...dium=e05102010

These are the types of packages that look reasonable until you look at the details. Always check hotel locations carefully. The cheapest package includes hotels that are far from the center (EUR in Rome, Mestre on the mainland near Venice). Upgrading to the next level puts you on the Venice island and in central Rome, but still not in the best locations considering the short amount of time. Very quickly the price will rise when you opt for central hotels or add in go-today's high-priced optional transfers.

Hotels aside, the real key here is that you want to fit these three places into 6 days. Keep in mind that you will lose half a day traveling from Rome to Florence and then from Florence to Venice by the time you check out of your hotel travel between your hotel and the train stations, wait for the train, ride the train, travel to the next hotel, and check in to the hotel. For those three places, I would suggest no less than 10 days.
ellenem is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 09:13 PM
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I went to the site you suggested. Sometimes, they give you the 6 day package, sometimes, they give you the 8 day package. Of course, the price varies. What is odd is that sometimes the 8 day package is cheaper. Also, if you depart from the East Coast, the total cost will be cheaper. (I played around with departure date/site and that is what it seems like.)

IMHO, if you have a very limited vacation period, need to watch your budget, and have a strong urge to see Italy at its finest, I would recommend this package. (Assuming this tour is legitimate, which unfortunate I do not know.) Anyone participated with this group before?
hobbitthefoodlover is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 09:17 PM
  #10  
 
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Go-Today were the packages I was talking about when I posted earlier. The hotels included will not be where you want to stay unless you pay to upgrade to better hotels. You will also have several hundred $'s in gateway add-ons outside NYC.

One good thing about a Go-Today package is they let you extend your return date at no extra charge without having to extend your hotels. So you can stay an extra 3 days if you want and go where you want for a few days (or however many you choose).
kybourbon is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 03:47 AM
  #11  
 
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My husband took several tours with go-today before we met and was pleased overall.

I do agree with ellenem that it is not a way I would care to see Italy. I want to be in the center where I can go out and walk and discover on my own schedule and I am not of the "If it's Tuesday it must be Belgium" mindset.

I would pick one spot if I had six nights and for me it would be either Florence or Rome. Both wonderful in their own right and also as a base for day trips.
kfusto is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 04:50 AM
  #12  
 
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"I went to the site you suggested. Sometimes, they give you the 6 day package, sometimes, they give you the 8 day package."

Actually, I think go-today.com is giving a 6 NIGHT package which includes 8 DAYS when you factor in overnight travel from the U.S. and the last morning to fly home.
ellenem is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 05:47 AM
  #13  
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Thank you all for your help. It is much appreciated, as I am still a novice when it comes to big travel.
Score one for the friendliness of this site.
ChrisMoore is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 06:33 AM
  #14  
 
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One thing I noticed when looking at brochures is that they count "to and from" travel days as days.

Also, when they transport you around, you go at the pace of the slowest person.

It's also interesting that a place about midway between the departure city and arrival city (for example Florence & Rome) become a historical place of interest for a stop of a couple of hours (to stretch legs and potty stop).

On the other hand, stress is something people go on vacation to avoid. And they carry your luggage.
Myer is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 12:42 PM
  #15  
 
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Chris, another way to ease the stress is to go with Untours. They rent you an apartment in a place for a week or so, help you get to your apartment when you arrive, have an orientation to the area, and a group dinner with local folks, (as I recall). Some friends did this in Hungary or Poland and liked it, as the language there was so foreign to them. (French and German are the languages they can manage in.)
charnees is offline  

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