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Semi-detailed, "final" Italian itinerary - tweaks/suggestions?

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Apr 5th, 2011, 01:27 PM
  #1
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Semi-detailed, "final" Italian itinerary - tweaks/suggestions?

Our big trip to Italy is coming up SOON! I wanted to post our itinerary one more time to make sure I didn't miss anything major. The main questions I still have are whether to buy transit passes in Rome and Venice, or just pay by the trip (we're great walkers and plan to do a lot of that, but I'm sure we'll take public transport at some point). Otherwise, I think the main things are taken care of, but of course suggestions are welcome! I've been concentrating on getting the big things booked, so have neglected some of the finer details of my research, but we still have a little bit of time.

Rome

Sunday: Fly into FCO around 8:30; booked Rome Cabs to take us to our apartment near Piazza Navona (on Piazza del Fico). Probably see Pantheon, piazzas, general wandering this day depending on the weather and jet lag.

Monday: Scavi tour booked at 10:45. Plan to see St. Peter's and Vatican Museums this afternoon. I will probably prebook a tour of the Vatican Museums at 1:30, to give us time to see St. Peter's after the Scavi tour. (If I can get myself out of bed in my jet lagged state, hope to visit Campo dei Fiori for the market before our tour.)

Tuesday: Colosseum underground/upper level tour booked at 9:40am. Also see Forum, Palatine Hill this day.

Wednesday: Cooking class at La Fate, 10-3. Walk around Trastevere after (need to research more what to see in this area).

Thursday: Probably Galleria Borghese (still need to prebook). Catching up on whatever we've missed. Need to make a list of "great to see but not top priority" places.

Venice

Friday: Check out of Rome apartment, get to Termini, train to Venice at 10:45 (Mini fare tickets already bought on Trenitalia). Arrive around 2:30, find b&b (Ai Tagliapietria), wander.

Saturday/Sunday: Some combination of St Mark's, Torcello, wandering, whatever else we find to do.

Varenna

Monday: Train to Varenna, check into b&b (Orange House), walk around town.

Tuesday/Wednesday (depending on weather): walk to Castello di Vezio above Varenna, day trip to Bellagio/Menaggio.

Thursday: Earlyish train to Milan; check into Hotel Berna, see Duomo and walk around. (We tried to get Last Supper tickets, but even though I checked at 7:30 the day they went on sale, they were still all gone!)

Any suggestions for a good place under 25E per person for dinner in Milan for our last night?

Friday: Train from Milano Centrale to MXP, fly home.
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Apr 5th, 2011, 02:06 PM
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We got a vaporetto pass for only 24 hours to go to Murano and then, when we came back, to go to the islands which had no bridge connection. It was a 24 hour pass, which we planned to use for our departure, but the vaporetto never came and we walked to the train station.
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Apr 6th, 2011, 07:13 AM
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Thanks, Michael! I was thinking about that, though our b&b owner says the best way to get there is via the vaporetto and of course we would need it to get to Torcello if we go. I'll have to price out two "day" passes vs. a 72-hour pass, I think.
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Apr 6th, 2011, 07:59 AM
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full price for a 72 hour pass is 33 euro. They can be had at www.veniceconnected.com for as little as 24.75 euro for the best discount.

the 48 hour is 28 euro full / 21 euro best discount.

A single fare is currently 6.50 euro
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Apr 6th, 2011, 10:10 AM
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Thanks, notbob! I have Venice Connected in my notes but was planning to look that up later tonight. I appreciate the prices. We probably need to talk about whether we want to go to Torcello or just spend our 2.5 days in Venice proper. Then we'll have a better idea of whether to buy a pass. I've been to Venice just as a day trip, and we walked all over with no problem.
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Apr 6th, 2011, 01:35 PM
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We like to walk, too. We've been to Venice about 5 times, and have never bought of vaporetto pass. We generally only take the vaporetto to get from our hotel to the train station (we splurge on arrival and take a water taxi into the city). If you're big walkers anyway, you may not end up needing a vaporetto pass.

(P.S., we've also never made it to Torcello. I'd love to see it, but I'm never willing to give up the time to get there and back vs. seeing all the places in Venice that I've either never seen, or "need" to visit again. Someday!)
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Apr 6th, 2011, 01:57 PM
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I've been to Venice 4 times and always had a vaporetto pass. I find that it enables me to see more, not less. you can walk further, knowing that you can get the boat back [or any combinations of boats] without worrying about the cost, you can do the expensive trips out to the islands, and if you fancy a late night gawp at the palazzi along the grand canal, you can just do it.

Lex - in missing Torcello you've missed a treat. the trip across the lagoon is lovely and the Basilica is stunning.
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Apr 6th, 2011, 02:24 PM
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if you fancy a late night gawp at the palazzi along the grand canal, you can just do it.

annhig, you may have just convinced me! Didn't even think about that. This is definitely one of those things where if it wouldn't benefit us to get the pass, we don't want to spend the money, but at the same time it's not a budget-buster for us.
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Apr 7th, 2011, 09:06 AM
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annhig - I know, I know. Especially as I love mosaics - we structured our last trip to Italy to make our second visit to Ravenna, just to revisit all of those mosaics. But like I said, there's always been enough that I haven't seen in Venice proper; and on our last trip to Venice, it was our daughter's first trip, so there were things that she really wanted to see that we didn't have a big-enough window to devote to the other islands.
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Apr 7th, 2011, 01:32 PM
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Lex - it's got to be a 6th time in Venice then! on our last visit we went out to the islands twice - the first time on a lovely sunny day to Burano when we ate lunch outside, and the 2nd time to see Torcello when it started off wet and miserable, but cheered up later. neither of our kids [then 17 & 20 and their first time there] seemed to think that they were wasting their time - the lagoon is lovely whether it's sunny or wet. We did have the luxury of a week though, which I agree makes a huge difference in what you can do.

jent - if you get the 48 hour pass at the cheapest rate, you're paying the equivalent of the cost of a lunch for the whole of your transport costs - for the equivalent of three vaporetto trips. i think that's a bargain.
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