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Please critique transportation arrangements, leaving in a week!

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Jun 20th, 2013, 11:39 AM
  #1
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Please critique transportation arrangements, leaving in a week!

Hi kind Fodorites , I leave next week for my 26 day family odyssey . Wish me luck with 9 people , 4 kids (10,11,12,14) and a Mom who isn't quite as mobile as she used to be. At least she has been there before. My sisters and families have not.....
Anyway here is where we are going and how we are getting from point A to point B. if you think of anything that would make it easier on me feel free to chime in.
Thank you again in advance,

Day 1 June 28: arrive Napoli via overnight flight from west coast
Cab to hotel for one night
Recover from jet lag see archiological museum, eat pizza!

Day 2 June 29: depart Napoli for villa rental on coat, near S.Agata s due Golfi
Hydrofoil to Sorrento, car pick up from port
While on Amalfi coast we plan to,
Visit Pompei , bus to train guide will meet us there.
Private boat rental to Capri on July 4th
Hike the path of the gods
Bus/ ferry rides to various towns

Day 9 July 6: depart coast for Rome
Driver will take us to train, fast train to Roma
We have rented apt in the Trastevere area, for 6 others in hotel nearby.
I have never stayed in this area and am looking forward to it.

-One question, thoughts on the Roma pass? We will be hopping on tram to get to sights. It may be a good value! We are here for 5 nights

Scavi tour,coliseum and Forum tours booked. Vatican museum and Borghese gallery booked

-Favorite places to eat?

Day 14 depart Rome for Lucca
Cab to airport p/u 2 cars to drive to Lucca
Stop Orvieto maybe Pisa?
Day 15 driving day, wherever we are feeling, return cars at end of day or next am
- suggestions?
Day 16/17 train to Florence probably am and back afternoon to just wander in Lucca.
Only thing I have booked so far for Florence is fresco workshop for 4 of us (we are artist want to be's)
- suggestions for things kids would like? I am thinking of course Duomo, maybe Boboli gardens and Pitti palace? Science museum? Skipping David this time.

Day 18 :leave Lucca via 2 rental cars again
They want to see Lake/s hike see Dolomite area.
I had originally booked us in Lake Como but now have changed that to Lago d' Iseo. Smaller easier to drive, less expensive and I haven't been there. Been to Como twice

We will keep the cars for 2 days to explore.
-suggestions?

Day 20 :we split up here for 1 night
Boys (4, 2 adults,2 kids) going to Modena area to test drive Ferrari and do car museums
They will keep one car
Girls will drop car off in Bergamo and take train to Verona , opera night

Day 21: depart Verona/Modena for Venice via train
Staying in wonderful apt, 4 nights
Nothing special booked here just the usual, outer islands,gondola etc.
It is festival that weekend so should be much going on!

That's it home day 26! I'm tired just thinking about it!
Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated and I promise to keep detailed notes for anyone else who might be traveling with such a big group.

Thanks again in advance, Kim
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Jun 20th, 2013, 11:49 AM
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looks good but tiring, Lucca and Pisa are on the flat so Mom has a chance. Lucca has 1800s walls so you can ride a bike around them but you cannot drive inside the walls (mainly) but good parking outside.
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Jun 20th, 2013, 12:28 PM
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Which opera are they seeing at the arena? I'll be there for several performances next month myself.
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Jun 20th, 2013, 01:52 PM
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I'm not sure I would hydrofoil from Naples to Sorrento. You end up in the port at the bottom of the cliff, and the car rental offices are in the town on top of the cliff. But 9 people with luggage on the commuter train from Naples to Sorrento doesn't sound great either.

How/where are you returning the cars after Sant'Agata?

Don't underestimate how hard it will be to move a group of 9 people around, esp. with such a wide range of physical conditions. The kids could be charging ahead while grandma lags behind, or perhaps the kids will be hard to get organized to leave in the morning. If you stick together for meals, it will probably take longer to be seated and served.

Don't underestimate the size of cars you'll need. Nine people plus luggage in two cars will be tight. Needless to say... pack light!

The drive from the Rome airport to Orvieto and then to Lucca will take about 4 hours. If you spend 2-3 hours in Orvieto, you've used up the day, so I wouldn't consider a stop in Pisa on the way to Lucca. Besides, Pisa has a ZTL, and it would be easier to take the train between Lucca and Pisa. If you want to climb the Tower, you need timed reservations. The kids are all above the age restriction.
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Jun 20th, 2013, 08:56 PM
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Thank you for the responses. Good to know about driving inside Lucca. I will contact hotel for suggestions.
Dukey we unfortunately are seeing I believe it's called Gala Verdi, a collection of acts from different operas. It was the only thing available and we so want to see the amphitheater . We are not opera buffs but are hoping to be inspired
Jean, thanks for words of wisdom. I know moving this many people could resemble hearding cats! I have told them all " pack your patience and not much else!" We are not driving on Amalfi coast but have a driver getting us. Seemed more logical that way. When we pick up cars in Rome we have 1 minivan and 1 sedan, hoping that works with luggage. Thanks for tip on the tower, I will look into reserving that now.
Any thoughts on Roma passes anyone ? Worth the investment ?
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Jun 20th, 2013, 10:12 PM
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>>>Hydrofoil to Sorrento, car pick up from port<<<

I agree with Jean. I don't think there are rental car offices at the port.

>>>Any thoughts on Roma passes anyone ? Worth the investment ?<<<

It would be worth it if you hadn't already purchased the Colosseum (entrance ticket is 12€) and the Borghese (about 10€)and were using your free entrances for them. If you think you will be taking enough transport in Rome, get a transport pass.

I wouldn't pick up cars at the Rome airport. Seems like too much hassle and backtracking. Why not pick them up at Orvieto?
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Jun 21st, 2013, 07:16 AM
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Ky, that is a good idea to pick up cars in Orvieto . Is the car rental agency close to train station? We will have our luggage so how would that be best accomplished? Train,then rent cars pack our stuff in them then go see town? Or is their luggage storage at train station? I had researched that and thought I read that there is not one? Thanks again for your help. I must admit I am questioning my sanity for agreeing to take this planning on! I love it when it is just my DH and I but moving this crew around is going to be interesting ......
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Jun 21st, 2013, 07:53 AM
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with mobiles and GPS how lost can they get??
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Jun 21st, 2013, 08:54 AM
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Yes car rental office(s) are in Orvieto, about a block from the train station. Be advised that they are closed during the long lunch hours, so if your train arrives around lunchtime, you may be stuck with luggage waiting in the lower part of town (not scenic or particularly interesting) for them to re-open. DO check times(!) It possibly could work out better to pick up the rentals at the airport. Then it is a quick drive to Orvieto, and the parking (located right around the train station BTW) is safe. You can take the funicular up to town and check it out for lunch and a gelato (on the square across from the gorgeous duomo.) Then take off for Lucca.

Sounds like a terrific trip. There are enough adults so that you can split up the kids from time to time, but the kids also are a good age for a trip like this. Yeah, there may be some whining, but if they all know each other well, that can be self-policing and entertaining to some extent!

Lucca is a great little town. I'd give Pisa a pass.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 09:13 AM
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OTOH, the car rental offices at the airport are open all hours and will have a good supply of cars of all sizes. A small office in Orvieto might not have a van. Even if you reserved it.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 09:26 AM
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Agree. The largest inventory of cars, and you need two for 10 people, will be at FCO. I don't think you can expect Hertz in Orvieto to guarantee this, plus you will be buying 10 train tickets to Orvieto.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 10:17 AM
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Another idea. If you have a car/driver picking you up in Sant'Agata to take you to Naples to catch a train, you could instead be dropped at the Naples Airport and pick up the cars there. If you got a very early start from Sant'Agata, you could reach Orvieto in time for lunch. But this is going to be a very loonngg day.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 10:18 AM
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Transporting 10 people to FCO is not simple or free either. Train to Orvieto is 7€. Train to the airport is 14€. If you don't want to pick up in Orvieto, you can pick up at Villa Borghese in Rome instead of going all the way to the airport. I think all the major car rental agencies have facilities there and it's just outside the ZTL.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 10:57 AM
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Would the driving be tough from there? That might make more sense than hauling us all anywhere. I am not opposed to the Orvieto thought just concerned they have 2 cars of the appropriate size.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 11:57 AM
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Orvieto is a pretty "big" hub for car rentals. Actually the idea of leaving from the Villa Borghese location is a good one. It isn't hard to get to the A1 from there and lets you get on the road sooner. That could be your best bet.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 11:59 AM
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DO make your car reservations before you leave. We've almost always used AutoEurope and have never had an issue.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 12:35 PM
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For what it's worth, we love Orvieto, hate Lucca.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 01:15 PM
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Friends on first trip to Italy last month picked up the car at Villa Borghese, said it was not at all bad driving to Tuscany from there. You really need to make the car reservation before you leave: it's summer with lots of travelers, you need 2 cars of a certain size,etc.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 02:25 PM
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I will book from villa Borghese thank you for the suggestion, doing it now.
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Jun 22nd, 2013, 11:02 AM
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How about this for picking up a rental car in Rome: Pick it up at Termini, Tiburtina, or Ostiense train stations? Ostiense would only be a few minutes' taxi ride from Trastevere. All 3 stations are accessible by rail from Trastevere as well. Termini and Tiburtina stations are near the A-24, which would lead directly to the GRA and the A-1 to get to Orvieto.

A quick check of autoeurope.com shows that there is a Hertz in/near Stazione Ostiense and you could drop it off in Pisa. A one-way rental for a mid-size SUV wasn't cheap at $250-$300 for 24 hours, but it's another alternative.
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