Please critique italy itinerary

Old Aug 17th, 2005, 11:18 AM
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Please critique italy itinerary

This 21 day itinerary in the making is scheduled for May 2006 .

Arrival Nice- Pick up car lease and drive to Levanto
Levanto 3 nights
Lucca 3 nights- train to Pisa as sidetrip
Pienza- 5 nights meeting family for celebration of anniversary
Venice- 3 nights
Lake Garda 3 nights -probably Malcesine
Barolo- 1 night
Villefranche sur mer- 3 nights

Leaving from Nice

We've previously visited Rome and Florence so are leaving those out this time.

TIA
grimmy is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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If you are looking to add a day to one of those locations and take away another, I would say you can easily do Venice in 2 nights. There aren't a lot of "attractions" it's just kind of a place to wander around, shop, relax. I love it, but just a suggestion if you are looking for more time somewhere else!
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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<I would say you can easily do Venice in 2 nights. There aren't a lot of "attractions">

Where's RufusTFirefly when you need him to blow this idea out of the water?
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 12:25 PM
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Hi G,

>..you can easily do Venice in 2 nights. There aren't a lot of "attractions".<

Pish tosh.

As Truman Capote once said, "Venice is a box of bon-bons'.

You can lose yourself in Venice for weeks. My Lady Wife and I have been there 8 times - total 27 days.

If anything, you have one too many nights in Lucca. Add it to Venice.

ira is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2005, 01:03 PM
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<...would say you can easily do Venice in 2 nights. There aren't a lot of "attractions">

sorry but i too gotta jump all over that statement. i have been to Venice only twice, and would return in a heart beat. i spent 5 days there each visit and would have loved to have even a few days longer.
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 01:29 PM
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I have only been to Venice once, and that was for 4 nights. I agree with Ira and Suze - Venice is the most unique place you can imagine. Add some time there.
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 01:32 PM
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You mention leasing a car, but say you're taking a train to Pisa. Why?
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 01:35 PM
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Ooops. I meant why the train? -- not why go to Pisa?

After years of up to five months at a time in Europe hitting most of the cities we wanted to see, there are few places we feel compelled to go back to again and again. Paris and London are now musts each time. Last year we returned to Venice for a full week (have been there three times before for 2 to 3 nights at a time). Next summer we are returning there for a week again. There aren't many cities I'm really anxious to return to for a full week. Venice is one of them.
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 02:25 AM
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Patrick, we're taking the train to Pisa because from what I've read driving and parking in Pisa is a hassle. We thought it might be more relaxing.
Are you saying this is not the case?

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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 05:02 AM
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grimmy, do keep in mind that once you train into Pisa you will have to catch a bus to get to the Leaning Tower and the Baptistry. My husband and I did not know this (Pisa was a very unexpected side trip for us). We trained into Pisa and walked around and could not find the Tower anywhere! We finally gave up and caught the train back to Florence. I found out later that the Tower and Baptistry are outside of town. Obviously, had I been more prepared I would have known how to get to the there, but I just thought I would share.

Good luck!
Tracy
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 06:13 AM
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The tower is not outside of Pisa, though I believe you do have to cross the river. It is a relatively easy 20-minute walk from the train station to the tower. We followed a map in our travel guide and had no problem.
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 06:22 AM
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Thanks for the clarification, ellenem. We got to the bridge and decided to turn around (didn't want to get too lost as we didn't have a good map). A friend of mine who went a few months after me said that the sights were outside of town and that they took the bus, so I made the assumption that it was farther outside of town.

Tracy
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 07:05 AM
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Too bad, Tracy, since once you cross the river you're half way there. The river flows through the center of Pisa. We just used our Michelin green guide map. . .
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 09:20 AM
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I know! What a bummer! I really regret that we didn't get to see the sights.

Our ending up in Pisa is actually kind of a funny and odd story. We took an overnight train from Vienna to Florence that arrived in Florence at about 6:00 a.m. We didn't get much sleep on the train and arrived in Florence absolutely exhausted. We dropped our luggage off at the hotel and decided to catch the first train from Florence to Pisa just so we could get an extra hour or so of sleep! I knew that there were numerous trains back and forth between the two, so I thought going to Pisa would be the perfect opportunity for us to get a little nap in. So we arrived in Pisa with basically no map. We just decided to stroll around the town, which is pleasant enough. After an hour or so we headed back to the train station and arrived back in Florence around 10:00 a.m. refreshed and ready to sightsee. Had we known we were going to end up in Pisa, we would have definitely been prepared (I'm one of those overplanners who usually comes prepared with about 10 different maps!). Oh well...just gives me yet another reason to return!

Tracy
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 09:39 AM
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Tracy-
Had to laugh that you traveled to Pisa and couldn't find the tower.... reminds me of a day trip my husband and I took to Baden Baden from Basel one year...walked around Baden Baden all day (from teh train station) and only saw residential areas... Didn't think we needed to take the bus to the touristy areas that was leaving from the train station!
cindy
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 01:25 PM
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LOL Cindy! I know what you mean. I just assumed that even if the tower wasn't right in town, I would find some kind of sign that would point me in the right direction! Its kind of a running joke with my husband and I that he loves to tell people. We went all the way to Pisa and couldn't find the tower!

I guess now we both have excuses to return to these towns!

Tracy
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