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We Leave For Italy In 6 Days!!

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Sep 29th, 2011, 09:44 PM
  #1
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We Leave For Italy In 6 Days!!

A year in the planning, and it is finally happening. I have so many mixed emotions right now; apprehension, excitement, nervousness, elation, peace, joy and outright terror that I am not only leaving my home town but my country as well!! I checked out the KLM website and there are a ton of movies and shows to watch on the way over, (we are flying out of LAX, into Amsterdam and then onto Milan.) I have heard good things about KLM as well as Air France, that is our return flight out of Rome.
So, this weekend will be all about packing, carrying the backpacks around town to see if they are too heavy, seeing the in-laws and making sure my daughters studies are all caught up.
I really don't have any questions, just needed to air out my nerves a bit. Do other people get this way before a big trip or am I just neurotic?
Also, I wanted to thank everyone who helped me over the past year in planning this trip. St.Cirq, Zoecat, BobtheNavigator and so many others really helped me put together what I hope to be a wonderful family memory.
Here is the final itinerary, just in case you missed the first bazillion posts!
October 6th arrive in Milan, a car will be waiting to take us to Lake Como, I am sure we will be exhausted!
October 7th no plans,
October 8th Train from Como to Lucerne Switzerland for the day, have to go there since we are so close!
October 9th Train to Venice
October 10th-11th soak up Venice
October 12th Train to Florence
October 13th-14th Florence
October 15th Train to Siena, pick up car and drive to San Gimigiano, (get to stay at a farmhouse that bobthenavigatior recommended, complete with cooking classes, how lucky am I )
October 16th-17th Visit Volterra at some point during this time
October 18th Drive to Orvieto, check out the Monster Garden on our way as well as the town that Twilight was filmed in.
October 19th Drive to Sorrento, drop off car
October 20th Day trip to Pompeii, the hotel in Sorrento is driving us to Pompeii and giving us a tour.
October 21st Hotel is taking us to Rome in morning, that night we have a night tour of the Vatican, someone on these boards mentioned that the night tour was amazing so we re-worked our schedule to fit it in, really looking forward to this night!!
October 22-26 Rome, we have a couple of tours booked during this time, but nothing too big, I just want to soak up Rome, eat gelato and enjoy!!
Thanks again for all the help, and for letting me get out some of my nervous energy....now I am off to pack!!!
Gypsygurl
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Sep 29th, 2011, 10:57 PM
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What a wonderful plan. Can't wait for that trip report when you get home. Be sure to make notes because you will forget little things you might want to share, like your favorite gelato place.
Sassafrass is online now  
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Sep 30th, 2011, 12:12 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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The jitters will be gone soon enough. It will be a fabulous journey.
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Sep 30th, 2011, 03:56 AM
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I get the same way before a trip--a weekend or a month!

Buon viaggio!!!!
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Sep 30th, 2011, 04:04 AM
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eurocheapo.com/venice

eurocheapo.com/milan

eurocheapo.com/com

great guides for tours food free stuff for u to review.

insuremytrip.com always wise Patriot for me total cover from

$1-2 per day has saved me A LOT in the past.

Italy/Greece have LOTS of financial issues right now

markets are collaping/strikes unrest possible in some areas...

Happy Journey!
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Sep 30th, 2011, 04:05 AM
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onebag.com GREAT packing tips for me also...

Have fun!
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Sep 30th, 2011, 04:12 AM
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Lugano lots closer than Luzern for day trip from Como

might have a look at a map and train schedules pretty long

slog from personal experience...
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Sep 30th, 2011, 04:16 AM
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>>>>we are flying out of LAX, into Amsterdam and then onto Milan.<<<

I did this last year and scheduled a 12 hour layover in Amsterdam as my cousin had never been. We trained into the city for the day and flew onto Milan that night.

>>October 15th Train to Siena, pick up car<<<

Where are you picking up your car?

>>>October 18th Drive to Orvieto, check out the Monster Garden on our way as well as the town that Twilight was filmed in.<<<

That garden isn't on your way to Orvieto.
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Sep 30th, 2011, 05:48 AM
  #9
 
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Gypsygurl. I leave tomorrow for Venice. Believe me, I understand the pre travel jitters.

Your itinerary sounds exciting. I've never been to Italy before either, but I'm betting that you will have some incredible experiences.

One thing that helps me some with the nervousness is Bach's Rescue Remedy. I use the little lozenges, but it also comes in a liquid form. It's a flower based solution, supposed to help calm you naturally. I don't know how it works, or if it's just a placebo, but one of these seems to help me when I stress too much worrying about details.

Have a wonderful trip. Make lots of memories for you and your family.

CindyP.
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Sep 30th, 2011, 06:05 AM
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The Monster Garden isn't on the way to Orvieto, but it is on the way to Sorrento, so see it the next day.
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Sep 30th, 2011, 05:03 PM
  #11
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Thanks Cindy for the tip and zeppole, that is actually the plan, thanks for posting!
Kybourbon, we are picking up the car at a Hertz rental place in Siena, it will be nice to have a car to tour around the countryside for a bit!
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Sep 30th, 2011, 07:20 PM
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Don't forget to notify your bank that you will be using your C.C. in Europe !! Enjoy
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Sep 30th, 2011, 07:34 PM
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Have a great trip! I get nervous before every foreign trip and my husband tells me that I'm crazy.
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Sep 30th, 2011, 07:40 PM
  #14
 
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GypsyGurl-

A couple last-minute hints:

1) Pick up some postcards at the first inexpensive souvenir shop you see. Take one every night and write a brief summary of what you did that day. You can save them all and take them home, or mail them to yourself. Just make sure you have enough postage on them. It is VERY expensive to mail even postcards from Italy. (and several never made it to my house this last trip). So, better option might be to keep them.

2) If you are staying at a hotel, make sure you take a couple of business cards from the front desk upon checkin. This way, if you need to taxi home from someplace, you can just hand the driver one of these cards.

3) Also, if walking and you think you are starting to make a lot of turns and might not remember how to "get back", you can either take pictures of the corner with your cell phone or take a piece of sidewalk chalk with you and just put a small x on the corner of the building or street where you need to turn.)

I'm jealous! Have a wonderful time!
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Oct 2nd, 2011, 11:44 PM
  #15
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Thanks Sarge!! I love the idea of chalking my way back to our hotel, so much better than bread crumbs! I am going to pack some tonight. Also will use the idea of the business cards, that is a very good idea, especially after too much wine.
I packed up everything this weekend and had to un-pack and re-pack because my backpack weighed waaaaay too much. So, I packed less and started thinking like a packrat, how to stuff as much as I can in a teeeny tiny space. I am still a bit apprehensive about leaving all my stuff here and just living out of a backpack for three weeks but I guess getting out of my comfort zone will be good for me. The one thing I had to pack was my kermit the frog t-shirt and my blue sweatshirt. They are super comfy, and they just had to be packed.
My daughter had a impromptu party tonight to get all her friends addresses so she could send them postcards while we are away, I am hoping the postcards make it!
Thanks again for the last minute hints,
Gypsygurl
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Oct 3rd, 2011, 05:01 AM
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>>>It is VERY expensive to mail even postcards from Italy.<<<

Last year it was €.85 and this year it's €1.60.
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Oct 3rd, 2011, 11:44 PM
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kyb- thanks. I should have mentioned that I knew it was E1.60, which at the current rate of exchange (1.33) is $2.13 for each postcard!
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Oct 4th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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If you get time in St Gim get lost in the back streets, take pictures of old doors and keep an eye out for stone work above eyeline.
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Oct 4th, 2011, 10:23 AM
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the plan to "soak up Venice" is a good one. We left there yesterday... and had so many wonderful serendipitous "stumbles," where we encountered wonderful experiences without any planning.... It is the most difficult place to figure out though. You can locate exactly where you are on a map, head off to where you want to go, and in two seconds, find yourself not where you thought you were

The picture idea is a good one, except.... we reached a corner, and I said, "Oh, that's the same picture I can see from our room" except nothing else looked familiar! So, it wasn't our hotel.... But we found it eventually!
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Oct 4th, 2011, 10:24 AM
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also, when you are in Lucerne, I hope you will take a boat ride around the lake. We stayed a few nights in Vitznau and I thought it was one of the most beautiful places I'd ever been! I laughed out loud swimming in the lake; I just couldn't believe I was swimming in that setting!
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