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Take a Tour or Travel on our Own to Italy???? Help

Take a Tour or Travel on our Own to Italy???? Help

Sep 14th, 2010, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 790
Definitely, do it yourself. You got lots of good advice already. I will just add one more thing that I appreciate about doing it yourself. One of our favorite things to do is take our time to seat in cafes, have a drink, and watch people around. You will have the freedom to break sighseeing whenever and wherever you want, relax at your own pace and be spontaneous.
Gina_07 is offline  
Sep 14th, 2010, 06:21 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,735
ooops. You asked where we stayed. Sorry.

In Venice, the first time, at a fabulous place I would stay again any time. It is a B&B in the San Polo district. Owned by American mom/daughter. Fabulous place. Spacious, clean, beautiful. Corte1321 B&B: http://www.corte1321.com/en/index.htm

The second trip, we rented an apartment through VRBO. It was great. One bedroom + living area with pull-out bed. Two bathrooms, one shower. Great little kitchen. Right on the Misericordia Canal in the Cannareggio district. If you want the specifics, email me at paulam910 at hot mail.

In Florence, we stayed at the same hotel both times. Would not consider staying anywhere else. Hotel Casci (you can see dozens of A+ reviews for them on Tripadvisor.com, also.) http://www.hotelcasci.com/

In Rome, the first time, a hotel. Cannot even remember the name. It was o.k. but not one I would highly recommend. This last trip, we rented an apt through SleepInItaly. Loved it. Five minutes walk to the Castel Sant'Angelo, 20 to the Pantheon. Right on several major bus lines. Ten minutes to Vatican. Again, if you'd like specifics, please email me.
sarge56 is offline  
Sep 14th, 2010, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 238
grandmother and anderson:
if I'm not mistaken, you are both recent "members" @ Fodor's (you could have been lurking before joining ...)

do yourselves a huge favor - search the boards.

It's really easy: top of the page, right hand side, where it says "search forums", type in the name of the town, hotel, restaurant, whatever you want info about, hit "enter" and be amazed at the results (almost all the time) ;-)

Fodorites who readily share their knowledge and experiences are invaluable resources. I know I have benefitted from their input ... happy travels!
screen_name_taken is offline  
Sep 14th, 2010, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 238
oh! search Trip Reports - amazing!
screen_name_taken is offline  
Sep 17th, 2010, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 7
Sarge56-I will send you an e-mail for more details, and again Thanks for all the information...keep em coming.

Screen-I did lurk before joining, which is why I did and Yes, I have done some searches.

Within the next year, I'm more than sure Fodorites will have me on a trip I'll never forget.
andersondayday is offline  
Sep 17th, 2010, 08:34 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 238
anderson, [which btw is my own married name ] DH decided that a package deal offered by Alitaly was too good to pass up, so he booked us on a trip to Rome and Florence. The hotels they offered were really out of the way. OK hotels, but far from any "attractions", which meant we walked much more that we should have, had we stayed closer to the historic center of both cities (and I think the historic centers are the first priority on a first trip to either city).

You mentioned Italy and Venice (?), which part of Italy, other than Venice, are you interested in?
screen_name_taken is offline  
Sep 18th, 2010, 09:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 7
I'm sorry, Italy is the country..dahh. Rome & Venice are my desired destinations, with a possible "daytrip" into Florence, any advice? Yes, I agree city centers are almost a "must" for us first timers, which might be a little more difficult in Rome seeing they have many "must sees" and a much larger city than Venice, but mass transit seems to be the least of my worries. It's so many options and they all seem to fit our needs. Your opinions are greatly appreciated!
andersondayday is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5,830
Has anyone noticed that grandmother has never responded to the posting on this thread or the other pen she started? Or any other thread? I think she never came back.
charnees is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,735
charnees, I know from personal experience that sometimes you can't get back for weeks. (family emergency, work, etc)

Hopefully, she will come back and/or is lurking. At any rate, it seems anderson is getting something useful from this thread.
sarge56 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2010, 07:56 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 7
Yep, still lurking and still haven't finalized anything yet. I have found a wonderful travel agent who's doing everything she can to meet my needs. Thank you sarge for your expertise. I really like both the apts you recommended.
andersondayday is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2010, 08:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 238
suggestion anderson - start your own thread. You'll be amazed at the amount of info people offer ...
screen_name_taken is offline  
Oct 4th, 2010, 03:37 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,918
Yes -- it is important that you start a thread of your own. Otherwise 1) your questions may be overlooked since folks will be replying to the OP, and/or 2) you end up hijacking grandmotheroffour's thread and her questions/issues get ignored.

Adding on to a thread is absolutely fine -- but when asking about one's own trip it works best for everyone to have a dedicated thread.
janisj is offline  
Oct 4th, 2010, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 149
grandmotheroffour, it depends totally on your comfort level.

I tend to agree with Corayesq, that it might be good to do a tour for your first time. That's what I did back in 2000 when I was a young newlywed with zero travel experience outside the US. Knowing I wouldn't want each and every minute of my day scheduled, I found a tour that was a mix of touring and had some free days/time built-in. We even flew to Rome a day early just to be sure we fit in the extra things we wanted to see.

It was only after my tour experience that I realized that I could do it on my own. The tour gave me the basic experience, but even more so it gave me confidence to explore on my own. I've been to many countries since; travel changed my life!
Narnya is offline  

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