Updated Italy itinerary outline

Old Oct 5th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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Updated Italy itinerary outline

I posted this on a thread about train travel so I'm reposting it under it's own title. Sorry for the repeat.

I'm making progress on my new possible itinerary and would love some opinions.

Leaving June 9 for 15 days 2 adults two boys 9 & 15. The best flight for us is direct to Milan. Unless there is a compelling reason to take the longer flight on to Venice (which is the same flight that stops in Milan on its way to Venice). I would prefer the shorter flight and to recover from jet lag in Bellagio (3 nights). It looks as though there is a train from Verenna to Venice which takes 4 1/2 hours arriving in Venice at 3pm. Perhaps in June it runs more frequently? After 2 or 3 nights in Venice we could rent a car and drive through the country in the direction of Rome, stopping for one or two nights on the way somewhere in Umbria (open for suggestion....would love to try the food in Bologna); drop the car in Orvieto; take the train into Rome for 3 or 4 nights; take the train to the Sorrento; ferry to Positano for 3 or 4 nights; depart from Naples. Too ambitious? Say no!
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 10:01 AM
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Hi Marcia,

Oh, 15 days is so much better!

So you have:
3 nts Bellagio
3 nts Venice
2 nts ? Bologna?
4 nts Rome
3 nts Positano

I read your other post about train travel, but I'm not sure I would care to rent a car when you are really doing cities. Train travel is more relaxing in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big proponent of driving, but mainly for seeing small towns in the countryside.

I think your sons would really enjoy the underground cave tour of Orvieto. Maybe stay there 1 night and add a night to Rome? That is, if you decide not to do Bologna.

I do think the train from Bellagio to Venice will take 4 1/2 hours because there is probably a stop or change involved. Either in Como or Milan.

Just a couple of things to consider.

Sounds like a great trip!
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 10:56 AM
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Thanks Dayle, the weather will be better in June, too. We will just have to deal with the unfortunate consequence of greater crowds. The reason I thought it would be nice to drive from Venice to Orvieto is so that we can catch a glimpse of the countryside along the way. Based on everyone's advice, it sounds as though there isn't much to see from the train. I am am certainly not wed to Bologna if there is a pretty town or country inn along the way. What is your favorite place in between the two?
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 11:08 AM
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Favorite place - everywhere I've been (except Florence)!

Take your pick:

Umbria: Assisi, Spello, Montefalco, Todi, Orvieto, Civita di Bagnoreggio

Chianti (Tuscany): San Gimignano, Volterra, Greve, Castellina

Siena, Pisa

Tuscany - southern: Montalcino, Pienza, Montepulciano, Monte Oliveto, Sant'Antimo

Out of all these towns, I think your sons might most like Orvieto (and Civita if you are driving), second might be Assisi if they enjoy art at all. I think these towns have the most in the way of sight seeing. Unless kids have a place with a pool/activities, the usual Tuscany activities of food, wine and relaxation get boring, but you know your kids best!
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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PS - SG and Volterra are not in Chianti. I was thinking about them as day trips from our base in Chianti!
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 12:15 PM
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Hi MarciaMarciaMarcia,

Although Venice wouldn't be my first choice of places to recover from jet lag, it might be faster to get there than to Bellagio, which is about a two hour or so drive from Malpensa, depending on time of day and traffic.
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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Thanks to the great information and kind advice offered on Fodor's I am making good progress with our itinerary.
I nearly levitated out of my chair when I received an e-mail from the Hotel Marconi in Venice confirming that the 2 canal side balcony rooms are available for the nights we will be in Venice. I have booked that. I do have a couple of last minute questions before I nail down Lake Como and Positano.

As it stands now, we arrive in Malepensa early in the morning, Sunday June 10. We are leaning toward staying in Bellagio, possibly the Hotel Florence for 3 nights. I'll get back to my question about that later.
We'll drive or take the train to Venice on the 13th and stay at the Hotel Marconi for 3 nights. We will then rent a car and drive toward Rome spending the night somewhere in the Tuscan countryside. Next morning we'll continue south dropping the car in Orvieto, then into Rome by train. I am waiting for confirmation from del Senato that the room that we have requested is available for those dates.
On the 20th we will take the train to Sorrento and ferry to Positano for 4 nights, departing on the 24th from the Naples airport.

Questions:
I would like to stay at The Hotel Poseidon in Positano. If anyone has experience with this hotel, I would be interested in a recommendation on which room/rooms to request. Do they have adjoining rooms or is there a suite that sleeps four? View is a priority. Some of the rooms look like they have terraces, while others appear to have small balconies. We tend to go to bed early and get up early so perhaps some rooms are quieter than others.

Lake Como. It feels positively absurd to even make this comment considering the spectacular natural beauty of the place but it seems that the hotel choices that I am finding in Bellagio are a little bit, I'm not sure how to say this, lacking in the charm factor? In looking at the photos and websites and reading reviews here and on Trip Advisor I just haven't found "the one". I'm looking for old world charm, not stuffy but sumptuous with richly colored fabrics and lots of stone and dark wood, beautiful bathrooms and winding garden paths with breathtaking views, tumbling flowers and no attitude. Please advise...or get the net....she's crazy.
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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Hi Marcia. We took are two kids, 8 and 11, to Italy with a similar itineray for 15 days this past June. Flew into Milan, then had our Bellagio hotel (Metropole) hire a driver to take us to the town for 3 nights. It worked out beautifully. I know what you mean about the hotel options. We loved our huge, terrace room hanging over the lake, in the center of town. It did have antiques, floor to ceiling curtains in front of the two sets of french doors, etc., but it was defintely aged/faded. (Very clean, and fabulous front desk service!) I looked at a few of the other hotels that we passed by, since I'd inquired about them beforehand, and found that the Hotel Florence looked very nice, and probably what you're looking for. They did not have a quad room, which is what we needed, however. It is on the main street across from the lake, and also has a great bar and restaurant along the lake. The other hotel that probably fits your description is the Belvedere; however, it sits up above the town...I think about a 20+ minute walk into town. Stayed there many years ago and loved it, but didn't want to stay outside the town center with kids this time. (If your kids are Star Wars fans, and you want to see one of the many villas open to the public, you may enjoy taking the ferry to Lenno where Villa Balbionella is...they filmed Attack of the Clones there, which my kids got a kick out of seeing. You can also swim at the Lido there...the Bellagio one was closed for repairs, but may be open by the time you arrive.)

We also stayed in Tuscany, Rome, Venice and Bologna, and we all thoroughly enjoyed these destinations. It is just extremely hot and crowded, which makes any sightseeing at one of the more famous sights uncomfortable (Accademia/David, Vatican, Doges Palace, etc.) We loved the towns of Radda in Chianti and Pienza, as they were quite small and charming. (My son and daughter recognized the church and well in the piazza of Pienza where the sword duel took place from Zeferelli's Romeo & Juliet!)

Good luck with your planning...you'll enjoy any of those places!
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 09:35 AM
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Thanks Guanciale. I'm going to take another look at The Metropole. My boys will definitely get a kick out of seeing the beautiful baclony where Anakin and Padme stood.
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