Simple Italy: First Timer

Apr 22nd, 2015, 11:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 34
Simple Italy: First Timer

Although I am a traveller, my companion is not and wants things as simple as possible. He wants to see Rome, and I want to see Venice. I am thinking that a river cruise, or perhaps an organized tour might work, if we can find one that:

- is reasonable value for the cost
- gives one the advantage of expert guidance
- includes excursions
- does not rush one from place to place in a frenzied hurry

Any ideas?

bex1956 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2015, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,489

Italy is so easy to visit that there is no reason to do a tour. A river cruise is not possible as there are no major rivers possible of cruising between Venice and Rome.

If those major cities are your only desired destinations you can just take a train between. Use a tour guide for an in-depth tour of your choice in each city. I highly recommend Context tours. They are excellent and have many tours focused on special interests

When is your trip and how long do you have?

There are canal boats and excursions between Venice and Padua if you are into architecture.
Dayle is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2015, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17,338
I guess you could do a tour of Rome and a tour of Venice taking a train in between. The only tricky bits to do are aircraft to Train and hotels to and from train.
bilboburgler is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2015, 11:46 AM
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For someone who wants the trip to be as simple as possible, I don't see many advantages of an organized tour other than not having to spend any time on planning before you show up. Tour itineraries are very specific and usually carefully timed. No sleeping in, no lingering at something interesting, sometimes no choice in restaurants. Lots of travel by bus (which would drive me nuts).

If you do decide to take a tour, read the fine print carefully. Descriptions can be cleverly written to make you think you're going to enter/see something when you're actually just going to drive/walk past it. Not all excursions are included in the overall price.
Jean is online now  
Apr 22nd, 2015, 12:14 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,760
You don't need an organized tour. Plan to fly into one city, out the other. Take a train in between. Do some research, sign up with some guides for day tours of places you want to visit in each city. And then just wander around. You could probably get a good guide to spend several days with you in each city. The you set your pace, go where and when you want. Good luck with the planning.
socaltraveler is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2015, 02:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,205
There are tours that have what you want however they are extremely expensive - one tour operator charges $5000 USD for eight nights on the 'Amalfi Coast' - when they're actually based in Sorrento and you have to find your own places for dinner most nights. Other tour operators such as Trafalgar or Globus have over 50 people on a bus - I'm guessing not what you want.

As others have said - it is easy to DIY Italy - most places anyway. Some you would need to rent a car, for example Puglia, Tuscany, Abruzzo or Le Marche. Trains are reliable and the high speed trains will get you to your destination in rapid time - for example Rome to Venice takes just over four hours.
Blueeyedcod is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2015, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
A tour is the antithesis of what you are looking for - moving every night or two, visiting several cities besides Rome and Venice - and restricting your time in terms of early am starts, long days on a bus and limited time at sights.

There are companies that sell packages - like Gate One - that you pick which cities and the number of nights in each and can select from a list of hotel options (but this will cost more than doing it yourself). They will also sell you transfers, city tours and transit between cities.

But honestly, 2 cities in Italy is as easy as falling off a log - and if you provide more info here - number of days, budget, etc - people can help you organize.
nytraveler is offline  
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