Switzerland Italy trip

Nov 5th, 2012, 07:15 AM
  #21  
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Thanks cold!huggy and mocha too!
girlonthego is offline  
Nov 5th, 2012, 08:17 AM
  #22  
 
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We did a similar trip a few years ago starting in Florence and took train to Zermatt. The Matterhorn was on our must see list and it was a bit out of the way but did not disappoint. The scenery coming up from Italy into southern Switzerland was spectacular. Zermatt was a one night stop and we spent a week in Wengen (late May and the weather was great). We flew out of Zurich (one night stay there) and found that Priceline is the way to go in pricey Zurich. In fact, we have stayed three times at the Renaissance near the airport for $80 per night. Airport is five minutes by tram and getting in to the city by tram in front of the hotel was quick. The hotel is, of course, a business type but comfortable enough and has a nice pool. And it would be impossible to beat the price IMO.
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Nov 5th, 2012, 09:32 AM
  #23  
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Thanks nini, I will check the Ren. I have some marriott points.

I booked the first three nights in Lugano!
girlonthego is offline  
Nov 5th, 2012, 06:44 PM
  #24  
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Have another idea:
Lugano 3 nights (this is booked)
Rome 5 nights
Florence 3 nights
Venice 2 nights
Zurich 1 night

Rome, would rent an apartment and am looking at one in the Piazza Navona area through Sleep in Italy. I know people on here have recommended this before.

Okay, so too many places?

I can go back to the idea of Lugano 3 nights, Florence 3 nights, Rome 5 nights, 2 nights? 1 night Zurich. Can spend all three in Zurich, but not sure if that would be the best place? Lake Como looks beautiful, but we are going to Lugano first...
Would love opinions! DH is full of energy and does not need much downtime, but the rest of us do not like rushing through it all.
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Nov 5th, 2012, 07:04 PM
  #25  
 
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We rented a place in the Piazza Navona area for five nights. Really a great time. Then we skipped Florence. I think that is against the law here.
colduphere is offline  
Nov 5th, 2012, 07:11 PM
  #26  
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Cold, Did you like your apartment? Can you send me a link to it? The one I have is from Sleep in Italy and people seem to like the rental company. Not sure about the apartment but it has 2 beds, 2 baths which is nice for the four of us, and it looks pretty nice in the pics.
girlonthego is offline  
Nov 5th, 2012, 07:27 PM
  #27  
 
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GOTG from memory it was Roman Reference 124. I would send the link but I have trouble doing that on my iPhone. I think some people would not like the step ladders to the lofts. In fact i am certain that eliminates a lot of travellers. But we had kids so the lofts were neat.

The location was just fantastic.
colduphere is offline  
Nov 5th, 2012, 08:28 PM
  #28  
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Thanks Cold! It looks nice.

Just saw that Hilton has a luxury hotel by Rome, but not in the center of things, although they shuttle you... I have hilton points so we could stay there...
Anyone stay at the Hilton waldorf cavaleri? It looks beautiful!

Also, the train schedules sometimes only have 10 minutes between trains. Is this doable or is that a diseaster waiting to happen?
girlonthego is offline  
Nov 5th, 2012, 09:10 PM
  #29  
 
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>>>Anyone stay at the Hilton waldorf cavaleri?<<<

It's out in the burbs. I would stay in the historic center unless you can only afford to use points. I think Venice has a Hilton that is closer to everything than Rome's Hilton if you want to use some points. I imagine Zurich has some Hilton choices also.
kybourbon is offline  
Nov 5th, 2012, 09:14 PM
  #30  
 
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Where is the train change? If it is in Switzerland, they mean it, and they really give you exactly that much time to change the train. If it is in Italy, don't do this to catch the last train of the day. If you miss your connection, enjoy another cup of coffee or gelato. You are in Italy.
greg is offline  
Nov 5th, 2012, 09:23 PM
  #31  
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kybourbon, I was thinking the same thing about it being out there...thanks.

greg, 10 min change in Milan coming from Switzerland heading to Rome.
girlonthego is offline  
Nov 5th, 2012, 10:51 PM
  #32  
 
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We enjoyed our apartment in the Piazza Navona area as well. The 2nd BR was also a loft though. Other Rome tips and photos here:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...log-photos.cfm
indy_dad is offline  
Nov 17th, 2012, 11:17 AM
  #33  
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Update:
Lugano-3nights
Florence-3nights
Rome-6nights
Zurich-2nights

This is officially what we are doing! I have booked the hotels in each city.

We did not do the apartment in Rome because we were able to use the points at the Cavaleri Hilton in Rome. Although it sits just on the city's edge, it is a beautiful hotel and they shuttle you in and out. It is a great use of points and will give us more spending money on the trip for hotels, food, and excursions. I let the family choose between being in the middle of it all in an apartment or luxury hotel by shuttle. The luxury hotel won hands down. So, I guess we like our nice hotels in this family...

How far in advance should I book the train tickets? Difference between first class and second class?
Also, I noticed there are two different train names in Italy. Is one better than the other for being on time or less issues? Thanks.

Looking into different things to do now on the trips. I have booked a cooking class in Florence.
I am looking at riding bikes in Rome (bicycle tour).
Will do a vatican tour. How far in advance should you book the Vatican do you think?
I have read about vespa tours in Rome. I believe you are a passenger only. Has anyone done this type of thing?

Recommendations for activities would be appreciated.

We plan to see the major attractions and some churches, but not too many.
girlonthego is offline  
Nov 17th, 2012, 07:59 PM
  #34  
 
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>>>How far in advance should I book the train tickets?<<<

For Italy, you can book 120 days in advance on Trenitalia. For trains between Switzerland/Italy, it might only be 90 days. What exactly is your itinerary? Zurich/Lugano? Lugano/Florence?

>>>Difference between first class and second class?<<<

It depends on type of train.

2nd class on the faster trains in Italy:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ssainterno.jpg

1st class:
http://www.railgallery.info/photo_sh...+copy.jpg.html

>>>Also, I noticed there are two different train names in Italy.<<<

Trenitalia is the Italian national line. There is a new private company called Italo, but times are more limited and they use some of the lesser stations (not always, but in Rome they use Tiburtina instead of Termini where most of Trenitalia's fast trains depart).

>>>I am looking at riding bikes in Rome (bicycle tour).<<<

Only if you have a death wish. This is not a good idea for Rome. Drivers in Italy make NYC look tame (traffic laws are mere suggestions). Would you ride a bike on the streets of NYC?

>>>I have read about vespa tours in Rome. I believe you are a passenger only. Has anyone done this type of thing?<<<

See above. I suggest you wait until you get to Italy and then decide if you want the risk.

>>>Will do a vatican tour. How far in advance should you book the Vatican do you think?<<<

If you are booking a tour directly with the Vatican, they only book about two months in advance.

Borghese Galleria (reservations mandatory).
Scavi tour (if you can get it)
Colosseum Underground tour

Since you will have 6 days in Rome, you might consider a day trip to a nearby hill town (Orvieto is an hour or so by train - 7€ one way) or perhaps Tivoli.
kybourbon is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 07:07 AM
  #35  
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Thanks kybourbon!

Yes, we are zurich to lugano, lugano to florence, florence to rome, rome to zurich.

First and second class look pretty much the same.

I had a feeling the vespa thing would be dangerous...we did a bicycle tour in Paris and that was fine, but from what you say, Rome is crazy. I have read this elsewhere as well..

Will check on your recommendations. Thank you!
girlonthego is offline  
Nov 25th, 2012, 04:21 PM
  #36  
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kybourbon, did you do the scavi tour? It looks very interesting, but my 18 year old gets claustrophobic. She hated the caves in Bermuda and had to leave. Everything I am reading about the scavi tour lends me to believe it is a very closed in space?
The colessum tour looks good because the underground part is only part of the tour and I am guessing not a long period of time underground?
Thanks
girlonthego is offline  
Nov 25th, 2012, 09:23 PM
  #37  
 
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>>>kybourbon, did you do the scavi tour?<<<

Several times. It's more room like than cave. Originally, it was the above ground cemetery so there are streets (narrow) and rooms (mauseleums). You can see some of it on the Vatican website. It's interactive, but not all that user friendly.

http://www.vatican.va/various/basili...i_english.html

There aren't many pictures of the Scavi as you aren't allowed to take pictures. You can click on the various tombs on this link and see how big they are. You'll be able to go in several, but not all.
http://saintpetersbasilica.org/Necropolis/Scavi-map.htm
kybourbon is offline  
Nov 26th, 2012, 11:38 AM
  #38  
 
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Re: Your luggage/food question from the other thread. There are plenty of places to get food in Termini (sandwiches,burgers,pizza) if you think you will want something during your Rome/Milan leg. There's also a supermarket in Termini (lots of ready made sandwiches, salads, etc.). Click on the various choices to see what they have and where they are located in the station.

Rome Termini

http://www.grandistazioni.it/cms/v/i...003f16f90aRCRD

http://www.grandistazioni.it/cms/v/i...003f16f90aRCRD

Milan

http://www.grandistazioni.it/cms/v/i...003f16f90aRCRD

http://www.grandistazioni.it/cms/v/i...003f16f90aRCRD
kybourbon is offline  
Nov 26th, 2012, 08:53 PM
  #39  
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Thanks for all of your great information kybourbon!I appreciate it all!!
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