Where do we begin?

Old Jan 19th, 2005, 08:00 PM
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Where do we begin?

My new husband and I are planning a distant trip to Italy. Never having traveled abroad...cuz we know Canada doesn't count!...where do I begin to learn about where to stay, how to get around, etc.? Does anyone know a good web site that answers sort of dumb questions?
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Old Jan 19th, 2005, 08:21 PM
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Briehon, you're on a great website right now to get your questions answered. There are no dumb questions...well, maybe a few. Everyone who's been to Italy went for the first time. Suggestion: Go to your library or to a bookstore and sit and browse a good guidebook for a while. Rick Steves is a good author for beginners in Italy. Establish the parameters of your trip: when, where, how long, etc. Then come back here and ask specific questions. I can promise you'll get a variety of opinions and some priceless advice.

Another good website for Italophiles is www.slowtrav.com. Click on Italy and plan to spend a lot of time there.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 03:31 AM
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Hi brienhon,
I'm embarrassed to say, but many years ago my husband bought me a copy of "Under the Tuscan Sun" and I was hooked on Italy. I found that I borrowed a lot of library books like the above to give me a authors view....I then borrowed reference books and learnt about each area.....
I then got on the internet and searched. Lots and lots of research.
My first trip to Italy was in 2001. I planned it and we did go all over the place and on reflection could have done it better but it was fun. Last year I took my son, and this September I'm going for 2 weeks and basing ourselves near Volterra.
Try not to fit too much in, it is too tiring. How long are you planning on travelling for?
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 06:27 AM
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Me too, Kimerley. Lots and lots of research. I spend more time researching than actually travelling on the trip. It's part of the fun.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 06:29 AM
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ira
 
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Hi brie,

Where do you want to go?
When do you want to go?
Wht's your budget?

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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 06:34 AM
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Ira has the right questions.
Start there, and once decided, go to slowtrav.com and spend 2 hours.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 06:37 AM
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LOL, Bob. While you were posting I was busily searching for your five itineraries in the archives. Here they are, Briehon. Words of gold.

BOB the NAVIGATORSí FIVE FAVORITE ITINERARIES
________________________________________

MAGICAL FAIRYLANDS:
* Arrive and depart from Munich--14 nites--May thru Sep.--car travel
* ITINERARY: Salzburg, Dolomites, Venice, Lake Garda, Bavaria
============================================
BELLA ITALIA:
* Arrive Milan, depart Venice--15 nites--car & train travel--April thru Oct.
* ITINERARY: The Lakes, Ligurian coast, Tuscany, Florence, Venice
============================================
CLASSIC ITALIA:
* Arrive & depart Rome--12 to 14 nites--car & train travel, all year
* ITINERARY: Florence, Tuscan & Umbrian hilltowns, Rome
============================================
LA DOLCE VITA:
* Arrive & depart Rome--12 nites--car & train travel--March thru Oct.
* ITINERARY: Amalfi coast, Tuscany hilltowns, Rome
============================================
OF ALPS & LAKES:

* Arrive and depart Zurich--12 nites--train travel--June thru Sep.
* ITINERARY: Berner Oberland, Lugano, Lake Como, Luzern
============================================
These are merely intended to be sample itineraries. Every TRIP PLAN is unique
and is designed to meet your personal travel style, budget, and preferences.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 11:50 AM
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Topping for briehon, who's new to the site and may not know how to find her posts.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 07:58 PM
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We would like to go for our anniversary in November, near Thanksgiving...not an Italian holiday. Also, budget is limitless. Want to have a nice, relaxing time...see SOME sights, stay in a NICE hotel, eat GOOD food. That would be it. Probably to be in Italy for say, 5 days. I would also like to make a side trip to Paris. Is this possible? What city in Italy is most rec'd for first timers looking for the described holiday?
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 08:08 PM
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Do you mean 5 days in Italy plus a trip to Paris, or do you mean 5 days total for Italy and Paris?
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 08:08 PM
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Briehon,

For just five days, I suggest picking only one of the major cities.

Rome: Antiquity, classic, art and architecture, good food, good shopping.

Florence; Great great art, wonderful architecture, good food, fabulous shopping.

Venice: ditto on the art and architecture, the fabulousness that only Venice has to offer, and the food, well, there are really nice canals...

Seriously, if budget is no problem, you can eat well enough in Venice. I think you can eat wonderfully well in Rome with very little research. Wonderfully well in Florence with a little more research, and pretty well in Venice with a lot of research. Also, shopping in Venice is different: not so much gorgeous fashion as F. and R.

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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 08:22 PM
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Briehon, you lucky woman, if your budget is limitless you will doubtless be fortunate enough to return to Italy.

I am green with envy!

My all-time fave is Rome, Rome, Rome, Rome, Rome. My goodness, it's the Eternal City. But what do you like? Tuscanlifeedit has broken it down very nicely. Please tell us more about yourself and your husband. And ask those dumb questions.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 09:05 PM
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Actually we found that we could eat quite well in Venice, and for not much more than in Rome. Just had to overcome laziness and be willing to walk away from the areas next to the Grand Canal, and especially tourist centers like P. San Marco and the Rialto area.

We'd just start walking around 7:30 or 8 pm, pretty much at random except away from the Grand Canal. We have had some very nice meals using that strategy.

Actually, we did the same thing in Rome--walking through residential neighborhoods and finding small, local places.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 04:30 AM
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Hi brie,

>Also, budget is limitless.

I herewith offer you the following itinerary with my service as guide. I shall not charge you for my service. You need only pay my expenses.

I shall stay in the same hotel, eat at the same restaurants, take the same transportation.

First-Class flight from the city of your choice to Venice, where a water taxi will take you to one of the 4* hotels with a view of the Grand Canal for 3 days. I shall guide you through the best that the city has to offer.

Meals will be at the best of Venice's restaurants. Bellinis at Harry's bar a must.

Water taxi to the airport where a private jet will fly you to Paris.

Limo service to the Plaza Athenee. In two days and one night in the City of Lights you will be indulged and delighted as I guide you through the Best of Paris.

Lunch at Taillevent, Dinner at Alain Ducas, Lunch at the Tour d'Argent.

Limo to CDG for your first-class flight home.

If you will provide me with your credit card information, and authorize a non-refundable deposit of $25,000, I shall prepare your visit for you.




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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 06:01 AM
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Ira, Can I tag along?
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 08:57 AM
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My suggestion for briehon since it sounds like were talking about a relatively short trip (5 days was mentioned?).

Fly into Venice, spend 5 days, take an overnight train in the best private sleeper cabin to Paris. Spend 5 days in Paris and fly home from there.

This makes a lovely trip first trip, is not overwhelming in travel logistics, give a taste of two gems of cities, is relatively easy to plan and most importantly would be a WONDERFUL time!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 09:05 AM
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Oops I made a 10 day trip and in rereading sounds like the entire trip is only to be 5 days? For our new poster, IMO that's awful short to go all the way to Europe, that said...

WOW I'd follow Ira's suggestions!!! Absolutely perfect. You need look no further!
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