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Rome, Orvieto, and Florence with Eight Women

Rome, Orvieto, and Florence with Eight Women

Jul 3rd, 2013, 02:56 PM
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Rome, Orvieto, and Florence with Eight Women

I planned this trip for many months. Eight women traveling to Italy-- Rome, Orvieto, and Florence-- for a total of 10 days (including travel days) May 9-19, 2013.

I spent hours on the internet pouring over hundreds (thousands?) of reviews for accommodations that would meet all of my requirements; 1) location, 2)free breakfast, 3)free wifi, 4)inexpensive, 5)all twin beds, 6)triple rooms available, 7)ensuite bathrooms. First I read the negative reviews, then I read the positive reviews, then I started sending inquiries into availability and rates.

Here were my selections:

Rome-La Papessa
Florence- Hotel Europa
Rome-Tre Moschettieri (for those flying back out of Rome)

The plan was to fly to JFK on Delta, connecting with Alitalia to Rome. I had everyone’s confirmation numbers, and had carefully selected the overseas seats based on their preferences. But you know what they say, “We plan, God laughs”.
anneeby is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2013, 02:59 PM
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I can't wait to read this one!
willowjane is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2013, 03:28 PM
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thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2013, 03:29 PM
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Looking forward to tagging along!
msteacher is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2013, 04:13 PM
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We loved our stays at Casa Selita in Orvieto and at Hotel Europa in Florence!! Hope you all had a nice stay
TexasAggie is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2013, 05:28 PM
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Oh, this is gonna be good! 8 women traveling together???
joannyc is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2013, 06:12 PM
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waiting.... waiting....
surfmom is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2013, 08:19 PM
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Oh boy, haven't read one of these in ages, can't wait for the next installment.
socaltraveler is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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Due to the Air Traffic control problems with the government, our flight was very late getting into JFK, so we missed our Alitalia flight. And since it was the “fault” of ATC, Delta informed us that they were not responsible for us. No hotel vouchers, no food. We were on our own. They rebooked us to fly out the next day. We found the Hilton Garden Inn in Queens(it was nice, by the way). I spent many hours contacting our hotel in Rome, our airport transportation, and making changes to our Vatican and Scavi tours that I had set up months in advance.

We flew out on Alitalia the next day. I had never flown Alitalia, and I will avoid flying it ever again. The gate people were not customer oriented. They required us to weigh our carry on luggage. The food was horrible. The on flight entertainment was not up to par with Air France or the Delta flights I have taken in the past. The flight attendants were less than friendly.

We arrived in Rome and our driver was not there in the waiting area. I used the pay phone and my onesuite.com account (a Godsend, by the way) to call Rome Shuttle Limo (www.romeshuttlelimousine.com)and they told me the driver was parking and would be there any minute. Thank goodness.

We arrived at La Papessa B&B, which is on Via del Corso right in the middle of the old section of Rome. The location is ideal, a short walk to Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon. It’s my favorite area to stay in Rome. Via del Corso is easy to find so I knew we would be able to explore Rome and find our way back to the B&B.

La Papessa is on the 4th floor of an old building. The elevator is so small it’s not worth taking, so we dragged our luggage (carry on only for everyone!) up the marble stairs. The B&B was a bit of a disappointment. I had read many great reviews and frequently stay in wonderful two star B&B’s. This was more like a one star. The beds were cots, the rooms were very tiny, and it was rather gloomy. But the location was great, and we could get wifi in the breakfast room. The breakfast offered good coffee, bread, yogurt, and hard boiled eggs, which was nice.
anneeby is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 09:24 PM
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Looking forward to reading more!
travelmamana is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 09:41 PM
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Can't wait for more, why does the name Barb immediately spring to my lips?

schnauzer is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 05:16 AM
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Looking forward to this trip, which already seems to have had its ups and downs (pun intended, I guess)
taconictraveler is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 05:43 AM
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I had made reservations with LivItaly Tours (livitaly.com) and asked that the owner, Angelo, be our guide. He was wonderful, extremely knowledgeable, and even sent a driver to pick us up at the hotel when our new flight arrangements made it challenging to make the tour on time. Angelo was my Vatican guide in 2009 when he was just starting the company. His company now offers many great tours of the area and even a cooking class in Rome. I highly recommend LivItaly Tours.

The Vatican was extremely crowded. It was Saturday in May, probably to worst time to visit. Angelo had suggested a special tour before the Vatican opens, when there would be no crowds. Although tempting, I knew it would be impossible to gather my group together before coffee and breakfast. As it was, with our flight delay we barely made the tour at 10am.

After a very informative tour of the Vatican and St. Peter’s, Angelo dropped us off at the entrance to the Scavi Tour. I had read that this was a “must see” in Rome. I was very excited that I was able to get us all reservations.

I think it was a combination of jet lag and a very difficult to understand tour guide, but the Scavi Tour was one of the most boring tours I’ve ever experienced. I couldn’t wait to get out of that dank, humid place! If you are interested you can read up on it on your own, but to me, there are so many other far more interesting things to see and do in Rome.

Like….eating granita! My favorite place in Rome is right next to the Pantheon, Tazzo D’Oro. You may think it’s just a coffee shop, and it does have the BEST coffee, but you have to try the caffe granite con panna. It’s like a coffee slushy with whipped cream. I love it even more than gelato and I LOVE gelato!

Since we lost a day in Rome, we only had time to explore a few areas. We went to all of the “attractions” close to our hotel, and ate at an unmemorable restaurant that caters to tourists on the street near the Pantheon. My advice, do your research for a good family run bistro and map it beforehand so that when you are tired and hungry you know where to go.

Next….the train to Orvieto.
anneeby is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 05:53 AM
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I have at least 8 women friends I would travel with but never at the same time.

So far, no major issues with group dynamics. I do feel bad for you about the snafus, although clearly out of your control, if you're like me you take it on your shoulders.

Looking forward (?) to reading on!
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 06:00 AM
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Hi, anneeby and thanks for doing a TR. When I read '8 women' in the title, I had to think of a long one by Barbara (?) where a group wasn't the best.

Too bad about the plane delays and lack of customer service.
TDudette is online now  
Jul 5th, 2013, 06:50 AM
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marking my place.
johnnyomalley is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 08:02 AM
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I'm following along!
bniemand is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 08:46 AM
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Finally, another person who was not in love with the Scavi tour! We felt the same way, even well rested. I'm enjoying your repport.
Marija is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 08:50 AM
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bardo1 is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 08:55 AM
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>>>Due to the Air Traffic control problems with the government, our flight was very late getting into JFK, so we missed our Alitalia flight. And since it was the “fault” of ATC, Delta informed us that they were not responsible for us.<<<

I assume this was all on one ticket? How long did you have between flights?
kybourbon is online now  

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