Notices

Rome and Venice

Reply

Jan 13th, 2016, 10:19 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 10
Rome and Venice

I am staying in Montecatini from 2/9-2/13 or 2/14. I will take day trips to Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Siena, etc... From there on 2/13 or 14) I want to go to Rome and Venice, possibly see Amalfi Coast for a day. I leave back to the USA on 2/20 from Milan. I am getting so overwhelmed in planning this trip. I have traveled a lot and have been to Europe, although not Italy, so I am familiar. I usually travel with friends. This time I am traveling alone with my 15 year old daughter. Being the only responsible one is making me a bit nervous. Does anyone have suggestions for me, any tour groups you can suggest, things to see and not see, hotels to stay at in Rome and Venice, help with trains, etc....
Any advice anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated.
ashults is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 13th, 2016, 11:29 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,080
You are leaving a month or less from now and have no hotels, no plans? Not the end of the world, for sure - February isn't exactly high season - but you do need to get on this asap!

No one can suggest hotels until you name a price, in euros, you're willing to pay.

Trenitalia is the Italian national railway.

Things to see and not see...what have you gleaned from reading guidebooks and surfing the net that appeals to you? No one can make these kinds of suggestions without having a clue what interests you and what doesn't.

The 15-year-old is plenty old enough to go through a bunch of guidebooks and make some decisions of her own. Make sure she does it and take note of what appeals to her.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 13th, 2016, 11:38 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 87,120
Pensione La Calcina (hotel in Venice).
http://www.lacalcina.com/

I most definitely agree about the suggestion to get your daughter involved in the trip planning. Having her buy-in will make things go more smoothly.

That said, Venice is small and fairly easy to figure out. I've been twice without any specific plans and have lovely visits both times.
suze is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 13th, 2016, 11:40 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,586
Definitely involve your daughter.
1. it will be fun
2. it will give her a say in the trip
3. it will help you

Get yourselves some paperguides, buy a map
Select what looks appealing to you and your daughter.
Pinpoint the places you want to see, guesstimate the time needed to see it - make an itinerary.

Allow for some mishaps.

Enjoy planning - it is (should) be a nice part of the trip, not an obligation to be dealt with at the last moment.
Whathello is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 13th, 2016, 01:17 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,634
help with trains, etc....>

Regional trains like from Montecatini-Terme to all those places are dirt-cheap and have a flat fare - NO need to buy in advance - just buy at station as you go - buy a round-trip ticket of course and do not forget to validate that ticket yourself by sticking it in some validating machine on the platforms - that cancels it so that it cannot be used again as not all trains will have conductors checking tickets but use spot checks to catch miscreants.

Now for inter-city high-speed trains advance booking can yield deep discounted tickets - go to www.trenitalia.com for fares and self-booking - note that such discounted tickets are not changeable I think nor refundable - you can IMe always buy full-fare tickets as you go along but that would cost much more money usually - for lots of great info on Italian trains check www.seat61.com- great info on discounted tickets and www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com. First-class ducats also are discounted and at times may not cost much more than the lowest available discounted 2nd class ticket so if the difference ain't much go first class, IME always a more relaxed ride and easier to stow luggage as fewer people travel in the same size train car as in 2nd class.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 13th, 2016, 05:30 PM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 10
Wow, this is all great information. Thank you. I have my hotel in Montecatini. I do not have one in Venice or Rome yet. I would like to keep it at $100 or less a night. This seems very possible for Rome and a little less likely in Venice. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

As far as things to do, my daughter is very into art and history. In Venice, it seems like the best thing to do is to just get lost. Rome we will go to the Coliseum, Vatican, Spanish Steps, forum, etc. Florence, we will go to Accedemia and Uffizi. Anyone have any other suggestions, any other little towns that are must sees in those areas?
ashults is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 13th, 2016, 06:04 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,644
Sorry - seeing both Rome and Venice in the days you have left and then getting back to Milan for a flight is really pushing it - you don't have time to add in a lot of other places.

To see the basics of Rome you need 3 full days (4 nights) one for ancient Rome, one for the Vatican and all the bits an one for everything else (Borghese Gallery, many piazza and fountains) and don;t forget that the days will be fairly short - no sightseeing until 8 pm as in summer.

Sorry can't reco places to stay since this is not our price point but I suggest you do your best to stay as cloes to the center as possible.

This would give you only 2 days in Venice - just scratching the surface - and time to get to Milan the night before the flight.
nytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 13th, 2016, 06:34 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 5,554
My eldest sister lived in Venice most of her life and I have visited many times and I find it super annoying to get lost in the city.

I would invest in a good map of Venice or you will waste a lot of time backtracking.

Inexpensive hotel in Cannaregio: Hotel Bernardi Semenzato

For cheap Rome hotel, you could try Hotel Kennedy near Termini.

You can take a bus or the Red Line A Metro from Termini to the Vatican (Ottaviano).

Thin
Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 14th, 2016, 03:08 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
It's a pity that the scolding voices have descended upon you. Plenty of people do not go to Rome or Venice or Italy or Europe with a rigid idea of "must-dos" to tick off that take a fixed amount of days, they are not in a bad mood and have fun exploring, and they are able to find nice places to stay in February with a month's notice without having a lot of anxiety about it. I can understand that with so many choices you are feeling overwhelmed, but my first piece of advice is to relax. There is art and history everywhere you turn in Italy, and Italy is a very safe and welcoming place for a teenager and you (it's not France or New York City or Miami!). Even if you had been planning for six months and had six weeks, you wouldn't be able to see it all. I doubt you will be bored any step of the way in Italy, whatever you see.

But it's great to get organized. If you haven't got a Rick Steves guidebook, get one from your local bookstore or Amazon because it is filled with up-to-date practical information about when museums are open and closed and how to use the trains.

Use booking.com to find hotels in your price range for your dates. Read reviews.

If you and your daughter plan to see some of the most famous sights in Florence, Rome, Venice and Milan it is worthwhile to make reservations at these places to avoid waiting on line. After you have booked your hotels, turn your attention to making reservations at these.

If you want to go to the Amalfi coast for a day from Rome, you will need to book a tour. I would not book one in advance, because you only want to go if it is sunny on the Amalfi coast.

There is so much art and history everywhere you go in Italy that if decide to skip Rome or Venice, you will still find plenty to see in places closer to Milan like Verona or Padova or Parma. If you make hotel reservations that you can cancel, you can adjust the trip later on if you and your daughter decide you would prefer to spend more time in, say, Venice than Rome or visit Parma instead Venice.

Have a great adventure!
sandralist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 14th, 2016, 06:57 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,046
You do not need organized tours for Rome and Venice. In fact, I assume your daughter may find the endless narrations boring.

Both cities are very easy to visit, because most of it is walkable. If your hotel is centrally located 80% of the attractions are in walking distance. And for the rest you may take a bus or the underground train.

In Venice, it is much fun taking the vaporetti boats. In Venice, public transport means scenic boat trips. And also, you will explore Venice by walking.

Do not overplan you trips to Rome and Venice. Use guidebooks or websites to identify the main attractions (according to your interests) and use city maps to make yourself familiar with the neighbourhoods of each city and the locations of the attractions. Then, for each half day or your stay, select one neighbourhood and the attractions there and start walking and see what you do.

For hotel search, use search engines like booking.com, hrs.com or tripadvisor.com which is a meta-search engine with reviews and candid traveller photos. Or use hotwire.com for great deals.
traveller1959 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 14th, 2016, 07:00 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,046
I forgot Amalfi Coast. Frankly, I would skip it in February. It is a three-hour trip from Rome and in February, odds are high to catch bad weather, even rain or fog, and you might see nothing of the dramatic coastline.
traveller1959 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 14th, 2016, 07:02 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,080
Chiara, it's about time to stop advertising for zestrips. It's not allowed here.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 14th, 2016, 08:15 AM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 10
This planning is so last minute, I know. I have two parents who have had some pretty serious health issues lately. This, on top of being a single mom and working two jobs, has put me way behind in my trip planning.

That being said, I really appreciate all of your advice. Thank you so very much. All of your suggestions and websites are really helping me a great deal. I am not a planner, but I usually do have more done than I do at this point.

Keep the suggestions coming, I welcome them all.
ashults is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 14th, 2016, 01:01 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,634
Florence, we will go to Accedemia and Uffizi. Anyone have any other suggestions, any other little towns that are must sees in those areas?>

In Florence take the bus up to Fiesole and - a nice small town with some stellar Roman ruins (or Etruscan?) and a bird's eye view of Florence far below - also the Piazza Michelangelo is a belvedere overlooking from a closer view all of Florence (as well as its often sad smog!)

I liked the old market in the center of Florence - for fruits and veg and meats - also some cheap little restaurants tucked away in there.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 14th, 2016, 01:16 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,526
So you are going to be in Venice on around February 17-19, is this correct? (I would suggest to you, to stay in Milan the night before your flight home.)

Consider staying at La Palazzina Veneziana - its a very nice hotel, run by really pleasant people that you can walk to from the train station. I just looked at their rates for that time frame and they are within your budget. Usually this hotel is a lot more expensive, but you are traveling in low season.

http://www.lapalazzinaveneziana.it/

You can drop your bags and hit the ground running.
rialtogrl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 15th, 2016, 11:16 AM
  #16
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 10
This all is fantastic. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I will be there from Feb 13-16. I was going to go to Verona on 2/15 for the day, but am open to other suggestions...stay in Venice for another day instead, go somewhere else, head to Rome and spend an additional day there, etc...any ideas?

PalenQ, that is a great suggestion. I will look into that for sure

rialtogri, I was looking at that hotel. It looks fantastic and the location looks perfect. I am glad to know that you recommend it. I will be in Montecatini from Feb 9-13, Venice from Feb 13-16, Rome from Feb 16-19 and Milan from Feb 19-20.

Anyone have ideas of good wine tours? I was looking at one that goes into Vinci. The company is comeandseeitaly. It is 49e and departs from Montecatini on Feb 11. It goes ffrom 2:30-7.
ashults is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 15th, 2016, 01:37 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 88
With time so tight, here are a couple of tips:
* In Venice I recommend the Accademia, and also the Frari church - the dramatic scale of the frescos there must be seen in person.
* definitely make advance reservation at Uffizi to save time on line
* though I respect PalenQ a lot, I would not go to Fiesole or Pza Michelangelo with so little time.
* In Florence I recommend the Bargello, open only in mornings as I recall. Just see the main room for sculpture, which is amazing, and skip all the endless ceramics etc.
* in Rome, skip the Coloseum and be sure to visit the sculpture wing of the Capitoline Museum. It is incredible. Skip the painting wing.
* In Rome, the Borghese Gallery is great though a bit out of the way. If Uber works in Rome that might be a solution.
* In Rome, the Piazza del Popolo is nice, has a great church for art and is near a good shopping district. The Corso is sort of the spine of Rome in some ways, and it's at the northern end.
* Allow some time to just walk around in Rome, in the center. Walking to get to the Pantheon, Piazza Navona etc. is wonderful in and of itself.
* My own preference is to plan ahead, so that when I am actually in the destination I can relax and not frantically improvise. But that's up to you and your daughter.

Sounds like fun!

Daniel
danlev is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 15th, 2016, 02:38 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 521
Congratulations on your trip with your daughter. What a great way to spend time together.
We really enjoyed The Borghese in Rome. In fact I believe it was one of my favorites. Please book in advance. Entry times sell out days in advance. We also enjoyed the underground tour (?) of the Colosseum . Try to get to Trevi fountain very early in the morning. We were there in October and mid day it was uncomfortably crowded, but the morning we left at 7 am there was nary a person in sight. So peaceful.

I honestly don't know when you would make time for Florence. Why not save that for another trip? It gives you a great reason to come back.

There is so much to see and do in Rome. I suggest just exploring Rome. Drink coffee . Eat good food. We really enjoyed Armando al Pantheon,but you must make a reservation. Talk to other tourists and those that live and work there. Just be there. Oh. We also really liked the tour company Walks in Italy. We did a terrific food tasting tour that ended with making your own pizza. I think your daughter might like that.
Enjoy!
Cjar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 15th, 2016, 08:38 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 5,554
>Bargello, open only in mornings as I recall. Just see the main room for sculpture, which is amazing, and skip all the endless ceramics etc.<

Skip the della Robbia's? Are you daft?

What turnip truck did you fall off of?

Why would anyone go to Rome and skip the Colosseum?

Some very bad advice here.


Thin
Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 16th, 2016, 01:04 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,634
* though I respect PalenQ a lot, I would not go to Fiesole or Pza Michelangelo with so little time.>

Well I agree - on a day trip for sure - too much around the Duomo area - I forgot they were only doing a day trip - I hope they come to stay in Florence a couple of days - so much neat stuff such as those viewpoints - seeing the sienna-hued roofs of Florence spread out far below to me is so so mesmerizing but not on a day trip for sure.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:55 PM.