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Traveling from Germany to Italy--Advice Needed!

Traveling from Germany to Italy--Advice Needed!

Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 09:55 AM
  #1  
Tracy
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Traveling from Germany to Italy--Advice Needed!

I will be traveling from Munich to Italy and back mid-July. My family (spouse & 4 children) have 7 days to visit Italy. I rented a car ($290 for the week, an "Opel Zafira") and planned to drive to Rome and possible Florence, Venice, Pompeii. Is driving recommended, or do you recommend that we take the train? Or, should we combine driving & the train? We are very budget-conscious, but are nervous about driving. We also would like to see as much as we can, as it is our first time to Italy. Please help! A recommended itinerary would be great. It would be fine to cut out one of the locations if necessary. Thanks!
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 11:19 AM
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topping
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topping
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 11:37 AM
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Lexma90
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Tracy - You are trying to squeeze FAR too much out of 7 days! You'll have to drop several of your destinations, IMO.<BR><BR>Parking is difficult in all the cities you mentioned, so for that reason, travel by train is advisable. However, the train fare for 6 people may be more than $290 + gas + autostrada tolls + parking fees, so once you do the math using whatever Eurorail tickets/passes you can get, you may be "stuck" with driving.<BR><BR>As for driving, while the Italians are agressive drivers, I don't find it much different from driving in American cities. And the signage, I feel, is much better than in the U.S. for similar locations.<BR><BR>If you do end up travelling by train, you might be able to book some night trains, which would save you some days on your itinerary.<BR><BR>Re the itinerary, there's all sorts of possibilities: i.e., drive from Munich to Venice (let's say that takes most of a day). Stay 2 days more. Drive to Florence. Stay 3 days, including your travelling day. Drive back to Munich (let's say that takes most of a day). That's 7 days.<BR><BR>Or drive to Rome (takes one day). Stay there 3 days. Drive to Florence/Venice (takes 1/2 day), staying 2 days more. Drive back to Munich (1 day). That's 7 days.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 11:52 AM
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Daniel
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Drive from Munich to Rome and back takes two days. Night train takes zero days, but two nights.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 11:58 AM
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Wayne
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I'll always rent a car and drive in preference to taking a train, and I think it might be better in your case too. The great thing is that you can see so much more, and make those unscheduled stops at interesting places, if you are driving. But you are too ambitious in wanting to see all the places you named. I would recommend you drive to Venice but not all in one day, especially having just arrived in Munich after an overnight trip (I assume). I would suggest you drive from Munich south past Innsbruck to the mountain village of Merano, one of the nicest Italian towns you will ever see. Stay overnight in Merano, then drive on to Venice the next day by taking the route through the dramatic Dolomites. Park your car at the parking garage in Piazzale Roma at Venice, and take the water bus (vaporetto) into Venice for 2 nights. You shouldn't miss the art, history, and architecture of Venice. That's 3 nights so far.<BR><BR>From Venice, drive west past Padova and stop for lunch and a couple of hours' stroll in Verona, then head north to the north end of Lake Garda--magnificent scenery all the way along the lake. Stay overnight in the village of Torbole on the north end of Lake Garda, where prices for hotels are reasonable. Visit the high-priced Riva del Garda only a couple of miles away to get a taste of the rich and famous. That's the fourth night, or you could even stay for 2 nights.<BR><BR>Next day, drive either all the way back to Munich (not a bad drive)or, if one more day permits, stop just south of Munich at the village of Rottach-Egern on the Tegernsee, a lovely place where you could spend the last night befor your departure from Munich. Or you could drive into Munich for your last night there.<BR><BR>Don't know if I've added up the nights to correspond with the days you'll spend. I always plan my travel according to how many nights I will spend, and where I'll spend them. I can guarantee you, though, that if you follow this itinerary you will see a lot of Italy, and a lot of different things. Unfortunately, you won't see Rome or Florence.<BR><BR>As another poster probably advised, an alternative is to drive like hell to Rome, stopping halfway between Munich and Rome for your first night. Then your could stay in Rome for 3 nights, drive to Venice (takes almost a day) and stay one or two nights there, or drive as far as Florence and spend a couple of nights there. Then drive hard again to get back to Munich. I like my suggested itinerary much better, but you have to decide whether seeing Rome, Florence and Venice is the most important, or which of these might be omitted. In order of importance to me, I list Venice number one, Rome number two. If you skip anything, skip Florence, especially with 4 children.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 02:18 PM
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Tracy
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Thank you for the advice. I think that you are right--we are trying to do too much. We will probably cut out Florence, based on your suggestions. Any others?
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 03:21 PM
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Tracy
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Rex, anyone else--any thoughts?<BR><BR>Thanks!
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 03:33 PM
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Elke
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I must agree with taking the train to the destinations. You can stop as frequently as you desire to explore cities along the way and you can even find family Bahn passes for cheaper rates. Also, you will not need to worry for parking areas and gas terminals. Try http://www.europass.com/ and see what they may have for discounts. I hope you enjoy your trip and I hope too that you take your time in each place rather than trying to see too many cities.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 11:00 AM
  #9  
Tracy
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What are family Bahn passes? How do you obtain them?
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 01:01 PM
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Judy
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Do not take the night train between Venice and Munich!!! It was a "train ride from Hell" when my daughter and I took it several years ago. There are bandits who board the train while you're sleeping, the train was filthy and unserviced, it was hot--it was frightful. The train from Munich to Venice might be better, since it's in daylight. The scenery is beautiful, but be careful about which train you take and when.<BR><BR>Also, while other European trains are dependably on time, Italian trains seem to have a mind of their own. If you take the train, expect to have delays, mixed up reservations, computer lines down, etc. I love Italy, but technology is not one of the country's strong points.
 
Old Jun 5th, 2002, 06:29 AM
  #11  
cap
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I did some similar research this summer, for our family of four. We are starting in Germany and ending up in Italy -- even with an ENORMOUS drop-off penalty, the car is much much less than the train. More so with a family of six. <BR><BR>The long distance parts will be fine, like interstate driving. The Italian toll booths even print your toll on electric signs so you don't have to worry about understanding the operator. (Just don't go through the TelePass lane and you'll be fine). The highway-side eateries tend to have nice sandwiches and even groceries. <BR><BR>The tense-making part is trying to get into a city and find your way around in fast traffic. Sometimes we just drive straight to the train station (they always have good direction signs and a big parking lot) and then walk around some to get our bearings. This works well in small towns, anyway. <BR><BR>Of course in Venice, you just follow the only road there is, right into the giant parking lot (or garage.) You can't get lost. <BR><BR>I agree the Pompeii and Rome are too far away. Consider Bolzano and the mountain lakes areas.
 
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