Please review Italy itinerary :)

Feb 1st, 2007, 04:09 PM
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frugal-- We are Badgers too! Both of us! LOL! We see UW sweatshirts on every trip-- even in NZ and Fiji. I will keep an eye out for you at the fish market

Yes, we will walk by Castle St. Angelo at least. (Of course we've read Dan Brown's Angels and Demons so Tim is intrigued).

Is Trastevere a place to wander around, or should we have a specific destination in mind?

We're crossing our fingers for good weather-- hope you have a great trip!

Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Feb 1st, 2007, 04:10 PM
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Oh and tuscan, I hope that your friends are able to book a tour with Helen. The few reports I've read make the experience sound truly amazing.

We will definitely make some stops at your favorite Florence locations Thanks for your help.

Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Feb 1st, 2007, 04:58 PM
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T & L:
regarding the weather, my motto is : a rainy vacation day is better than a sunny work day !! Trastevere is a neighborhood on the western bank of the Tiber, it has an artsy feel about it and has the authentic old Roman air about it. There is Piazza Santa Maria that I plan on checking out, and several restaurants ( Ivo a Trastevere, Pizzeria San Cosimoto, Ai Marmi, Dar Poeta ).. I am re-reading Angels and Demons now, I had read it right after my last trip to Italy and would have appreciated it before my trip. Have you read the book " Italy for Dummies" ? it is excellant for information...
So you are former Badgers, that is great !. My husband is an alumni and my middle daughter will be attending the UW Madison this fall ! I will keep my eyes open at the fish market and my nose closed if its stinky ! hehehehe
frugaltraveler is offline  
Feb 1st, 2007, 05:09 PM
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Tim & Liz

Sounds like a nice trip.

Rome: We missed getting our gnocchi on a Thursday night in Rome because our restaurant (a little trattoria next to our hotel that we adopted as 'ours')was already out by the time we got there. I don't even like gnocchi that much, but one friend was disappointed. They scraped a few up for us, but I would recommend -- wherever you go for that meal, go a little earlier!

If you don't feel you need a guided tour at the Forum, I loved the hand-held audio guides for rent there. I had been before & really just wanted to wander at my pace; the audio guides let me backtrack or listen to segments again and skip things I didn't want details about.

Make sure to wander Rome at night for the lit-up fountains & monuments.

I really liked the church of San Clemente, with its lovely mosaics (esp the tree of life above the altar) and the lower levels, down to a pre-Christian place of worship (to the god Mithra, I think?) Very interesting!

Venice: Agree with some of the above posters; don't need to see Murano/Burano this trip. Please don't overplan Venice; so great to just wander and savor the streets, colors, water-reflections, sounds, people (can you tell I love Venice!).

Florence: I really enjoyed the Science Museum in Florence as a contrast to all the amazing art museums. Besides the Galileo finger/instruments, there are wonderful globes and a few rooms of weird medical stuff...

Oh, back to Rome -- Since you've read Bruneschelli's Dome, you will enjoy looking for the missing 'chunk' out of the Pantheon in Rome (the piece he used in his studies for the Duomo).

Pisa: If you want to see the Leaning Tower, of course you should, and I agree, the Duomo (and lovely green lawn) are beautiful. I visited just once years ago, but am so glad I have the memory, & the ridiculous photo of my brother & myself 'holding' up the tower.
annabelle2 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 03:32 PM
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I am so happy for your daughter. She will have the time of her life One of my cousins will also be starting this fall, and I couldn't be more excited for her. They don't even know how much fun they'll have (and of course, get a great education to boot!)

annabelle2- Thank you for your post! We will definitely think about renting the audioguides at the forum.

Enjoy your Saturday night, all! (d)
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 04:02 PM
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I presume you have already booked your flights out of Minneapolis.

If not, it might be easier to fly to Detroit and take a direct flight to Rome. This way you avoid the layover in Amsterdam.

eurogals is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 06:13 AM
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T & L..
Good luck on your Italy trip.. hope the weather is great, too.
I will look for you at the fish market at the Rialto Bridge on March 15th..We are doing the same trip in reverse, Venice 3 nights, Florence 3 nights, and Rome 4 trip to Pisa and Lucca from Florence, and a day trip from Rome to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast . I haven't left yet and I wish the trip was a few days longer .
Your trip is coming up fast.. hope you find your liquor in Amsterdam. I am thinking spring of 2008 going to Greece and Eqypt..have you been there and if so - any tips ?
frugaltraveler is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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I was wondering if you could tell me more about the cooking class in chianit?? I will be going to Florence in April and was trying to do a wine tour one day, but a cooking class seems interesting as well?? Thanks!
wintergirl is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 06:04 AM
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Sorry it's taken me a few days to reply. We escaped the MPLS weather for a few days in Florida.

wintergirl-- the cooking class is through
There have been some postitive reports posted on this board. It looks great!

frugaltraveler- I hope you have a great time in Italy as well. I know what you mean about more days-- no matter how long a trip is, I always feel "If I had just ONE more day, I could do....!"

Of Greece and Egypt, I've only been to Corfu, Greece. We hope to get to both of those places in the next few years!

I emailed the AMS airport about Safari liqueur, and they do have it! They said I can find it at any liquor store there. Grandma will be happy.

Thanks again everyone! Under a month to go!

Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 06:26 AM
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On Thursday, I'd eliminate your St. Peter's sightseeing and instead do something in central Rome. One possibility is to hang out in the Piazza Navona and the Campo di Fiori, another is to see the Campidoglio and the adjacent museums and then to walk through the Foro Romano to the Colosseum. On Friday you can combine St. Peter's and the Sistine Chapel.
sjj is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 06:59 AM
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Hi Liz,

Is it possible to arrive in Pisa earlier than 9:30am?? I may be in the minority, but I consider the Campo dei Miracoli really stunning. I have been three times and will likely go again, but, the trick is to be there very early...before the tour buses arrive, before the vendors open their stalls....just you and a few other early birds and the architecture. If the tower isn't open yet, you could walk up to the Piazza dei Cavalieri and see another part of the area, then come back for your climb and leave immediately after that.
Traviata is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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I see you didn't bring back enough sunshine to melt our tundra landscape !
I will be looking for you at the fish market... I will have on a bucky badger red visor...It would be nice to hear about your adventures !
frugaltraveler is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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one highlight of our trip to Rome last year was wandering around trastevere where we came upon St. Cecilia's. In a very quiet courtyard, the church itself is nothing vrey special ,but pay your 3E to go down into the crypt, go past the archeological worknigs, and you wil find the most perfect mosaic chapel - it is quite exquisit, and rarely visited.

It would provide a good venue for your thursday am, IMO.

Good luck, Ann
annhig is online now  
Feb 17th, 2007, 09:04 AM
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First of all, I realized I incorrectly spelled a book title. It is clearly not "Bruneschelli's Dome" but it is "Brunelleschi's Dome." Sorry about that.

sjj- Thank you for the additional recommendations. This is my last free weekend until our trip, so I am getting the details set!

traviata- I have taken your suggestion into account (please see below)

frugal-- I will look for you! We are typically midwestern looking, I will shout "frugal?" at anyone wearing a UW visor at the fish market!

annhig- thank you for the St. Cecilia's rec. I do not remember reading about it before, so I will do so today.

We have booked the 11am-1pm Borghese tickets for March 8th.

Now I need help with Pisa again, please!

We would like to see the tower earlier, before the crowds arrive, as traviata suggested.

Does anyone know what time the left luggage storage opens at SMN station in Florence? Through google, I found, but I cannot find the hours. Perhaps the site is not mac compatible.

If the left luggage opens early enough, I am thinking of taking the 7:57 train, which arrives at Pisa S. Rossore station (close to the tower, correct?) at 9:15am. Should we then book the 9:30am climb or the 10:00am climb? I assume the latter.


should we book either the 6:57-8:06 or 7:27-8:31 train to Pisa Centrale and get ourselves to the tower for either the 9:00am or 9:30am climb?


Thanks again!
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 10:22 AM
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T & L:

I can't comment on the luggage dilemmna..I guess you may have to wing it or email your Florence hotel and ask them if they have any information. Maybe the hotel has other options too, would you feel comfortable leaving the luggage with the hotel for a fee ? We travelers leave our precious travel cargo with them all day when we are out and about anyways. Just a thought...

If I don't answer to Frugal - try mind may be in travel overload !..

I would vote for the earlier the better at Pisa.. if not, just to have the place to yourselves. But then again, you may miss the crazy mayhem that comes with crowds ! And the copy cat purse hawkers, and the junky souvenir shops !...

Have you checked for your forecast ? And do you take a currency converter cheatsheet along for your purchases ? I always do, I like to know what things cost in my currency to decide if they are worth it.

anyways, hope your trip is wonderful !
How can it not be !..

frugaltraveler is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 12:55 AM
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Tim and Liz,
My wife and I just left Florence and we're in Rome right now. In Florence, we came across a great place for traditional Florentine steak, called Ristorante Toto. It's on BORGO SS APOSTOLI 6/R. I have forgotten the main street already but if you are heading to the Ponte Vecchio, it's one street, before you hit the P.V. The street will be on your right.

In Rome, we just went to Osteria del Sostegna. If I can remember, I will post the address. It's on a small street. It is by far the best pasta we've had in Italy.

Have fun and just keep in mind, you will probably need back up restaurants. I tried to go to specific restaurants and they were closed or no longer existed.
gotta_luv_the_foie is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 03:51 AM
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julieann is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 04:24 AM
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Liz - regarding your left luggage question, I suggest simply calling the SMN train station. It's always best to get informations first hand, isn't it? +39-055 2351.
franco is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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Franco- Thank you for the number-- you are correct that first-hand information is the most reliable and valid!

Monica- Hope to meet you in Venice! I haven't been checking the weather but am hoping for the high 50's. Maybe even low 60's but I don't want to be greedy

We don't take a currency cheat sheet as we are both in science/statistics and do math in our heads all day long. But I am going to use 1.3 $ per Euro for my "mental math." I do think the cheat sheet makes it easier for non-number nerds

GLTF- Thanks for the restaurant note and I hope you are enjoying your vacation. I will not be too upset if a restaurant is gone or closed-- though I am a dedicated planner, I do go with the flow when we are on vacation. I just like to have a good "game plan" when we get there. Enjoy the rest of your time in Italy!

Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 02:16 PM
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Tim and Liz..
How was your Italy vacation ??
Ours was wonderful !! And I was at the fish market about 10:30 with my WI Badger visor on but the market was crazy crowded, so its no wonder we didn't get to hook up. I hope to hear all the highlights of your trip.
frugaltraveler is offline  

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