please help_1st time to Europe

Nov 10th, 2006, 05:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
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please help_1st time to Europe

Need help with planning a trip to Italy. 10 to 14 days - interested in Rome, Tuscany and other suggestions. Usually travel to the Caribbean and book my own air, hotel, etc. Since I've never been to Europe would love advice for a first timer. Recommendations to websites, books, etc. Thinking of traveling Sept 07. Thanks in advance!
carol3 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 06:13 PM
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Well, you're allowing yourself enough time to plan and there are certainly enough Italy experts around here to help out (I'm not one of them, though I'm planning a short week for Rome and Venice in Sept also...). The board gets a little slower over the weekend, so hang in and raise your post on Monday by replying to yourself... ciao!
Travelnut is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 04:34 AM
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Have you tried using the "search this forum" function on this forum? If not, type in Rome, Tuscany, etc and you'll get a lot of food for thought.

Get a good map - the Michelin spiral bound Italy Motoring Atlas is my fav. The Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide series for Rome would be a good starter.

Also - re-post this with a more specific and focused title and you'll get more feedback.

TuckH is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 04:59 AM
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I took my daughter to Italy last year for the first time. I thought the Rick Steves Italy 2006 was a must see book or travel guide. We went to most of the areas he recommended with a two to three day in each for a 15 day trip. Many recommend staying in one area for longer but I wouldn't have done it any other way. Ya, there were times we wished we could stay longer in some areas but the next adventure (city) was just as good as the last.
lbruns01 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 05:19 AM
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This post reminds me of the 1st. time we went to Italy. We started off thinking we would take a tour but none of them stayed in Venice for more that 2 days and my husband wanted to stay longer. We ended up flying into Milan, driving around the Northern section of the country for 2 weeks with just an idea of where we wanted to go. We had no hotel reservations and it worked out fine.
With the use of this forum, we would decide the night before where we wanted to go and when we got there, we never had trouble finding a hotel room. Doing it this way it gives you the option to go at your own pace - ie. stay an extra day where you are or move on.
We've now taken 6 trips to Europe doing them all the same way and it works for us. Of all the tour books, I like Rick Steve's because it's written very simply. I also think Sept. is the best month to travel in.
You will fall in love with Italy - enjoy!
carmar is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 08:25 AM
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Well you have already found the best travel website on the internet, imo, here at Fodor's.

But to get the information you want you'll need to ask more specific questions. So my suggesstion is to get a couple guidebooks from the library, a bookstore, or order from Once you get a general plan mapped out, then come here and post to get input on the details.

My most general suggestions would be to include Venice in your trip, and travel around on the trains.
suze is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 08:47 AM
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First off, 14 days is better than 10!

Give us more information and you'll get plenty of help. What are your interests? Art? Architecture? Countryside? Shopping? Museums?

Off the top of my head, for a first timer with 13 nights in Italy, I'd do 4 nights Venice, 4 nights Florence with two daytrips to Tuscan towns, and 5 nights Rome. If you want to drive, then do 4 nights Venice, 2 nights Florence, 3 nights in a Tuscan town and 4 nights Rome. Or 4 nights Venice, 4 nights Tuscan town with a daytrip to Florence and 5 nights Rome. You get the idea...there are dozens of itineraries possible. And that's not even getting into Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast. Of course, you can't do it all in two weeks.

How much do want to spend per night for hotel? Come back with more details, and do some searches here.
SusanP is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 08:57 AM
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Carol...yes, 14 days are better than 10...but stretch it to 16 days to provide travel time, thereby giving you two SOLID weeks..both Italy and you deserve this! Enjoy!

As you continue your preliminary planning I'll try to chime in with some suggestions.

Stu T.
tower is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 09:38 AM
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Also check out the SlowTrav website for great Italy information.
BlueSwimmer is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 12:09 AM
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My wife and I went to Rome for the first time last summer. I have posted a trip report with some pictures and links on my homepage . Maybe you can find some useful info there

Gard - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 02:25 AM
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For our first trip, we started with the Rick Steves Guide to Italy. Many trips later that guide would still be the resource we would use to start planning. It is excellent for itinerary. We also use the Michelin Green Guide as well as their maps.

For lodging, this board, Fodors, and Karen Brown will be helpful. There are updated issues available each year around this time and all can be found on Amazon. Watch the publication, or release, date so that you have the latest edition.
GBC is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 04:09 AM
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the kind of data we need is age interests size of group, budget maybe. For me i love Puglia (the heal bit) and staying in the little hill top village b+bs drinking the great wine and eating the food with long walks in the countryside. For this Sept would be perfct but if you want to see religous buildings forget it

Good luck. I would recommend the rough guide
bilboburgler is online now  
Nov 12th, 2006, 04:16 AM
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I would go to a bookstore and look through several guides before I bought one (or more). You'll soon realize, if you haven't already, that different guids seem to cater to different types of travelers.

I would make a note of the things and places that interest YOU; don;t be misled by folks who tell you that anything is a "must-see" or a "must-do" unless it sounds interesting to you.

Timeframes: everyone has different interests and travels at different paces. People telling you that you absolutely HAVE to spend so many days here or there are obviously basing that assessment on their OWN interests and paces; yours could be faster or slower.

Please do not "ask for permission" as in, "Is it OK to do this or that?" since I assume you now vote, make your own decisions, and got out of school a while ago.

As to September nexty year. When you have decided where you want to go and possibly where you want to stay it is not too early to book accommodations. Be aware that once you've made this "decision" and you keep planning there may be second thoughts and that can drive you crazy.

I think you'll get a lot more feedback if you could be a little more forthcoming than just asking for "other suggestions." I could tell you to go to Lake Como, for example, but if it turns out you hate looking at bodies of water which don't do much that won't help.

Have a great trip and enjoy the planning.
Dukey is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 08:14 AM
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Hi C,

This might help:
Helpful Information: Italy 2

ira is offline  

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