Travel to Italy

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Angelskates, May 30, 2012.

  1. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    Planning a trip in Italy for me is “taking a breath” from my regular work pace :lol:

    Sure, you can take a breath too as long as you will not need a respirator when landing in hot and crowded Italy in 18 days without all final arrengments. :D

    Would you like me to call you bank and politely inform them that “this is just a beginning”? :D. By the end of your trip, you’ll spend close to $ 7,000 (min $ 5,000) usd, not counting the airline tickets.

    20 nights @ hotels @ $ 150 - $ 200 USD (+ local taxes).. ~ $ 4,000.00
    5 segments on trains/boats @ $ 100 per segment …………..~ $ 500.00
    5 organized group tours/day trips/Vatican ( $45 to $ 150) ~ $ 500.00
    Tickets to museums, local transport, miscl ………………..….. ~ $ 500.00
    20 days meals/water/juice @ min $ 50 USD/day…………... ~ $ 1,000.00

    If you are concerned about the cost, and rightfully so, I can rework hotel choices and find accommodations between $ 100 to $ 150 USD.

    Let me know if you want different hotel choices. That’s perfectly OK by me, it will not take much time. Frugal is good even if one has money.

    You have a VERY valid point about “lugging your luggage too much”. You have many segments, and will be lugging luggage a lot. Cutting out at least one such necessity is a good idea.

    Then plan to stay all 4 nights in Sorrento, and take a day-trip to Capri. I’ll gladly make my suggestions about “best of Capri” you can see in one visit.

    In that case, when you arrive Naples Central Train Station, you will simply walk over to the section where Circumvisuviana trains depart, and take one directly to Sorrento. Then on the day trip to Capri you can enjoy the boat or hydrofoil ride.

    However, on the subject of how much time to spend in Capri when times allow, I strongly disagree with IceAlica about a day trip being enough, but I’ll address her directly.

    Let me work with TrenItalia site, and I’ll let you tomorrow morning if I can find answers to all your train questions.

    I noticed the TrenItalia site has changed (at least since the last 6 months) and became more customer friendly (compared to before). I see there is an option to “buy as visiting customer” without having to register.
     
  2. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    The hostel I recommended was 90 euros for ALL SIX NIGHTS, not 90 euros a night :D
     
  3. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I love hot and am used to crowded, so it doesn't bother me at all. I need to get away!

    That would be great. Actually, my bank was just informing me of "unusual activity" because I almost never use my credit card except for small things like iTunes!

    This sounds like the best option I think.

    Thanks! :)

    ;) Yes, but the reviews were really mixed, too. I think it looked okay, but the negative reviews, about the owner being both nosey and racist (and staff sleeping in the kitchen!) were as consistent as the positive reviews. I would rather pay a little more for my first hotel, because location one is going to be the biggest "winding down" location for me.
     
  4. pingu

    pingu Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure you can buy more tickets at once. I mean, you can buy tickets for goin to and leaving a city, but that's it.
    6 means 6am. 6pm is 18.
    Mini and Base are different prices. I am not sure about the english version, but on the italian one if you click on "mini" or "base" you can read the explanation. Base is the normal price. Mini is a special offer you can find on almost every train, and it's a lower price for the ticket. IIRC it's available until the day before the departure. If you can choose that option when you buy the ticket, it means that there are still seats available for that price.
    You can also not register as a customer, IIRC you can click on "I want to continue buying without registration", it's more simple.
     
  5. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    It’s best to call “Security/Fraud Prevention Admin. Department” at your bank or credit provider and let them know: a) your card will have charges between June 2 and 20 from various hospitality providers in Italy and Europe, b) You will be traveling from June 20 to July 12, in Italy, Europe, and “insert the country where you change flights”. Or your card will be blocked every few days “for security purposes” and you will have to call and unblock it, which is no fun when you sitting in a café or in a shop buying something, or paying at check out in a hotel (trying to make your train connection).

    Great. I’ll list Sorrento hotels only (100-150 USD range, which is limiting but possible).
    Info re Capri attractions later.

    I will also send 100-150 USD range hotel list in the next post.


    RE TRAINS – FARES – TRENITALIA WEBSITE

    PINGU pretty much covered it. Thank you, PINGU!. Here is some additional info

    MINI & BASE - On the first Home “English Language” page, in the centre, you will see a green and red rectangle which states all MINI fares on major connections: Travel in Italy, RED square MINI, and route description. That tells you about the MINI fares.

    Base Fare – is a full fare, you can exchange it, return it, transfer to later journey, etc.

    In a nut-shell, MINI fare is a discounted “restricted fare” with various conditions, sometimes non-refundable if one misses the exact departure, in some cases refundable but with tougher refund and date/time change policy.

    There are time restrictions on when and how you can exchange or return your ticket, but in best case scenario, there are penalties for changes, and at least 50% fare loss on a refund. If one changes departure time/date, it must be for a later time/date, not earlier than the original ticket.

    MINI (Discount) tickets are offered for each journey, but in limited quantities and once sold out for that specific journey there are no more. So if one holds a Mini Fare ticket for a journey at 9 am, misses departure, and wants to go on the next 11 am journey same day, if the 11 am journey does not have any “mini fare space allocations”, one can not take that journey using MINI fare ticket. It will say “SOLD OUT” if no more MINI fare tickets left.

    There are MINI fares for 1st and 2nd class. On the website there is a “pull-down menu” which allows one to switch between classes, once you switch, you will see if MINI fare is available for your selected class.

    MINI fare discounts (from BASE fares) decrease as it gets closer to the departure date. For example 4 months before departure date the MINI/discounted fare can be as much as 60% lower than BASE fare, but 2 weeks before departure (if any MINI fare tickets left for sale) the discount maybe as little as 10%.

    MINI fare also applies to “less desirable” departure times, less popular routes, and slower/less luxurious trains.

    Basically, if you are sure that you can make THAT SPECIFIC reserved train/departure, then MINI fare maybe a good option. If there is any reason to foresee a possibility that you can miss that train, then buy regular tickets/BASE fare.

    In your case, I am pretty sure you can SAFELY make the following departures:

    - Rome to Naples, Florence to Venice.

    I would NOT buy MINI fare “Naples to Florence”, as you will have to take from train or boat from Sorrento to Naples Train Station, and that introduces another variable.

    To be safe, I would also think 2X about buying “Venice to Milan” MINI fare ticket, since in all probability you will have to take a “water bus/boat” from your hotel in Venice to the train station, and “water-bus” is another variable. Unless, you want to plan your time to arrive at the train stations 1 hour or more in advance and leave hotel very early and wait at the stations (or put your luggage in storage and walk around the station to kill time, which is NOT a bad idea, Venice is Venice even next to the train station).


    SELECTING DEPARTURE TIME,
    After you input your journey criteria (date, departure time, route, number of pax), the site will give you 11 line items per page, 11 possible departures. If any of the suite you, especially time-wise, proceed to purchase.

    If you want to see later departure times, there are TWO highlighted options at the bottom of the 11 listings:

    “View All Solutions” – will give you a long page with times for ALL the departures on that date/route in order of departure time. You may have 30 line-items – all trains leaving that day to your destination from 6 am to 12 midnight (24:00 o’clock).

    “View Next Solution” – will give you next 11 line items, in order of departure time.

    BUYING MULTIPLE TICKETS in “one basket” as one transaction.
    - does not look like it is possible. You can buy more than 1 ticket for 1 journey, but not several tickets for various dates/journeys.

    REGISTRATION
    - as mentioned, there is now an option at the bottom of the “proceed to purchase” pages, which states “proceed to purchase without registration”. Mark that options with X, and go on.
    - That choice will bring you to “buyers data” and “credit card info” screen. It looks very straight forward (but I can’t proceed to check this site without buying a ticket, and I do not need a ticket..:D…).
     
  6. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    !!!!! QUESTION RE MILAN AND LAKE REGION:
    Angel, will you be staying with some of your friends in Milan?
    If not, do you need hotel recommendations in Milan?

    If you decide to go to Lake Region/Como and Maggiore, and spend the night/s there, will your friends be making hotel arrangements? Or do you need hotel recommendations in Como/Bellagio/Varenna and Stresa/Lesa/other Maggiore town?

    For now:

    Here is a list of Hotels in Sorrento, Florence, Venice for the specified dates, in the price range “Up to 150 USD”.

    Please keep in mind that there is local and state tax. A hotel room listed @ $ 135 USD, with tax will come to $ 155 to $ 160 USD, and so on. So when you reserve a room @ $ 130 USD base rate, you total with tax will be about @ $ 150 USD. So if you want to pay NO MORE than $ 150 USD per night, and decide to take an upgrade on the basic room at basic rate, do not go over $ 130-$135 USD per room before taxes.

    I recommend to book directly with the hotel, more often than none you get better rates directly. But if you’re getting rates HIGHER then the amounts I am listing by more than 10% - let me know, I’ll give you hotel booking sites for each hotel which will honor those rates.


    HOTELS IN SORRENTO (hotels available for any of the dates between June 25th and 30th) under 150 USD/ min single rooms. Rooms with View – higher for the stated “base rates”.

    Closer to town centre and Transportation.

    Hotel Rivage Sorrento - $ 95 usd/70 Euro – single basic room.
    Good location and views. Reasonable walking distance to centre.
    http://www.hotelrivage.com/


    Higher up on the hill, longer walk/shuttle from centre, BETTER views and more luxurious accommodations.

    Grand Hotel Vesuvio Sorrento – $ 124 usd/100 Euro – single basic room.
    Fantastic views from many common areas, decks, verandas, restaurant.
    http://www.vesuviosorrento.com/en/

    Johanna Park Sorrento – $ 105 usd/85 Euro – single basic room.
    2X Fantastic views from many common areas, decks, verandas, restaurant.
    http://www.johannapark.it/

    There is one more, Bed & Breakfast Degli Aranci @ $ 120-130 USD
    www.beb-degliaranci.com
    nothing special about this hotel, and it is located on the main driving road, in the Business/Admin sector of Sorrento (which is actually full of old buildings, rather than concrete and glass offices). It’s noisy and dusty..

    All other hotels are further away from town centre, between 1 and 2 km away, or even higher up on the hills.

    ======================
    SEGMENT - HOTELS IN FLORENCE

    In the price range up to $ 150 USD the selection is slightly more limited Florence for the dates of your stay (in June 30, out July 5th – 5 nights). You want hotels close to Arno River (with a “view”) or as a 2nd choice (IMHO) close to the Old Centre/Duomo

    1) Along Arno River (with in 1-2 from river banks, close to Ponte Del Vecchio and walking distance to Uffizi Gallery, Duomo and other attractions). People walk around that area for 24 hours, and you’ll be safe to walk around at any time.

    Residenza D'Epoca San Jacopo - $ 95 - $ 110 USD per night/few blocks from Ponte Del Vecchio, on the Altro Arno bank of the river.
    http://www.residenzadepocasanjacopo.com/en/

    Hotel Scoti - $ 125 - $ 130 USD per night/2 blocks from Arno River/Ponte Del Vecchio – on the side of Old City Centre
    http://www.hotelscoti.com/

    Franz House - $ 90 - $ 125 USD per night/2 blocks from Arno River/Ponte Del Vecchio – on the side of Old City Centre. Excellent location! But very basic rooms
    www.franzhouse.com (if this site does not work from your server) V
    http://www.eng.franzhouse.it/template.php?pag=58520

    or
    http://www.booking.com/hotel/it/fra...gn=us&aid=315281&label=abGzNpNGP6qjRwQM_vve8g


    B&B La Gradiva - $ 95 - $ 110 USD per night/next to Pitti Palace, across the bridge of Ponte Del Vecchio, on the Altro Arno bank of the river. Hotel does not take bookings directly.
    http://www.booking.com/hotel/it/la-gradiva.en.html
    or
    http://www.bedandbreakfast.eu/bed-and-breakfast/florence/bb-la-gradiva/63749

    2) Further away from Arno River/Ponte Del Vecchio, but deeper into “Old Centre” and geographically (but not logistically, as far as car accessible roads) to the Central Train Station. In pedestrian zones. On small streets, facing other buildings, pretty much. Or on a driving street (easy to reach by Taxi, from Station - Via Della Vigna Nuova). All following are close to Duomo.

    Relais Cavalcanti - $ 110 - $ 125 (my choice 1 in this category)
    http://www.relaiscavalcanti.com/?lang=en

    Albergotto Hotel - $ 120 - $ 130 (my choice 2 in this category)
    http://www.albergotto.com/

    One World Apartments - $ 95 - $ 110 (hotel does not take direct bookings)
    http://www.expedia.com/Florence-Hotels-One-World-Apartments.h1596065.Hotel-Information

    ========================

    NEXT SEGMENT – HOTELS IN VENICE

    In the price range up to $ 150 USD the selection is slightly more limited Florence for the dates of your stay (in June 30, out July 5th – 5 nights). (in July 5th, out July 8th – 3 nights). I’ll repeat that 60% of hotel locations in Venice are good and convenient, it’s a matter of what you prefer, a view of Grand Canal, view of the Bay, view of Old Narrow Canal or Street..

    The best locations, IMHO – either in Dorsoduro section, or any hotel with Canal or Bay view, but Canal view is going to be tough to get @ base room rate under $ 130 USD, even on a small dingy canal.

    In DORSODURO
    Choice 1 – Pensione Accademia Villa Maravege DORSODURO– 3***, rooms start @ $ 124 USD, some have balconies. Close the bridge to San Marco, Accademia Museum, and wonderful area for walking and eating out (with 2 veggie restaurants!!!). Charming courtyard, well decorated rooms, “home feel”.

    Do ask which rooms they have and check fotos – all rooms are different, it was a private house, and still feels like a “small palazzo”. You want a room with en-suit bathroom and balcony/patio. But make sure you don’t go over 125-130 USD per night if you want to be under $ 150 USD room total.

    http://www.pensioneaccademia.it/
    fotos: http://www.pensioneaccademia.it/gallery.htm

    If you like this hotel, and can get what you require – TAKE IT AND LOOK NO FURTHER. YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY.

    Choice 2 – Ca’ (Casa) Di Sara – 2** - $ 115 USD and up– another private Venetian villa/house turned into bed and breakfast – same area as “Accademia” in Dorsoduro.
    Do ask which rooms they have and check fotos – all rooms are different, it was a private house, and still feels like a “small palazzo”. You want a room with en-suit bathroom and balcony/patio but under $ 130 USD base room rate.
    http://www.casadisara.com/index gb.html

    Choice 3 – Ca’ (Casa) Centopietre - 2** - $ 140 USD to $ 210 USD – another private Venetian villa/house turned into bed and breakfast – same area as “Accademia” in Dorsoduro.

    Do ask which rooms they have and check fotos – all rooms are different, it was a private house, and still feels like a “small palazzo”.
    http://www.centopietre.net/

    ON THE CANAL (in order of preference).

    Al Palazzo Lion Morosini - $ 100 to $ 120 – a real Venetian Palazzo with courtyard. (the one in Cannaregio, not further up north).
    Very central, next to the Grand Canal, 3 blocks up from Rialto Bridge, closer to Train Station.
    Cannaregio 5700 - 30131 Venezia (VE) - ITALY - (P) +39 041 2411138 - (F) +39 041 2417337
    (W) www.lionmorosinipalace.com - (E) info@lionmorosinipalace.com

    Palazzo Rosa - $ 115 to $ 120 – Very central, next to the Grand Canal, 3 blocks up from Rialto Bridge, closer to Train Station.
    http://www.palazzorosa.com/en/

    De L’Alboro - $ 120 to $ 140 – Very central 1 block from Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge
    http://www.alborohotel.it/


    ===========

    - Let me know if you like any of these hotels but having problems with sites, variations in prices, etc.
    - Once the Hotels and Trains are booked, please let me know. We’ll proceed to tickets, tours, and other miscl issues in each location.

    Cheers! Tinami (I'll check for your answers and/or questions end of the day).
     
  7. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    In Milan, yes. Lake region, I don't know!! alhrayth??

    Tinami - am I correct in that I should only be booking two trains now, RomaTermini to Naploli Centrale around 8 to 9 a.m. on June 25, and then Florence to Venice??

    I just booked the Rome to Naples train! :cheer2:

    Train: Frecciarossa 9603 date 25/06/2012
    Departure: Roma Termini (time: 09:10); Arrival: Napoli Centrale (time: 10:20)
    Carriage: 10; Place: 13D (Mandatory reservation) ; Service : 2° Standard;
    Fare: MINI: 2ª STANDARD; 1 Adults;

    I chose 9:10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. since it was the same price for leather seats over fabric seats :lol:

    Which Firenze and Venezia stations, TA? Firenze Santa Maria Novella and Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia, right? It's the morning of July 5?

    The Firenze S. M. Novella 10:00 Venezia S. Lucia 12:03 is only 29 Euro (the rest are 39). Is that too late??

    How do I do the Euro sign on my Mac??
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  8. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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  9. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    €€€€€ ;)

    According to my German colleague (who has an Italian housemate), there is for within city public transport, and trains within Europe (country to country) but not cities within Italy.
     
  10. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    See my edit. :)
     
  11. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    At about €340, I don't know if it would turn out cheaper? Most of the tickets I want are max €39, which gives me 8.7 train trips...the international transaction charge hasn't come on my credit card yet, but I'll see how much it is and then see if I think it's worth it :) Thanks!

    Oh, I was looking at the "family"

    ETA: I think, it might not be cheaper for me after all! After getting from Rome to Naples (I already bought that one) I think I only need - city to city - Naples to Florence, Florence to Venice and then Venice to Milan, right? So I'd choose the 3 days one? That's around €177, but if I were buying the tickets separately at €39, it'd only be €117...

    Urgh, PL, you have to pay for shipping (I thought it would be emailed!) - I don't trust it would ever make it here, even with the extra theft etc. charge...
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  12. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    I forgot about the shipping to China part. That would suck.
     
  13. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it would.

    Tinami, I'm just confirming this for hotels/trains:

    June 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 - Rome (5 nights - booked)

    June 25, train from Rome to Naples (booked), train from Naples to Sorrento (not booked)

    June 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 - Sorrento (5 nights - not yet booked) (visit Pompeii/Amalfi/Capri)

    June 30 (morning) take train back to Naples (not booked) and from Naples to Florence (not booked)

    June 30, July 1, 2, 3, 4 – Florence (5 nights - not yet booked) (1 day – Siena, 1 day – St. Gimignano and/or Volterra)

    July 5 (morning) take the train from Florence to Venice (not booked)

    July 5, 6, 7 - Venice (3 nights - not yet booked)

    July 8 (morning) take the train from Venice to Milan (not booked)

    July 8 - Milan (1 night, accommodation with alhrayth and her cats :cat: - booked :p)

    July 9, 10 - Lake regions (waiting on alhrayth ;))

    July 10 (late?) back to Milan for the night (?) and then July 11 - back to Beijing
     
  14. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    Great! you got the Rome-Naples segment! Good departure time, you will still have enough time in the afternoon to explore Sorrento.

    You can go ahead and buy tickets for ALL segments, since you have finalized days/locations in Sorrento/Amalfi Coast region, and will NOT be adding or subtracting days from Florence/Tuscany regions.

    This is what is left, I believe 3 segments:

    - Naples Centrale to Florence Central (St. Maria Nouvela
    Book train ex Naples on June 30th, after 12 noon (so that you have time in AM to get from Sorrento to Naples train station).

    - Florence SMN to Venice - Venezia S. Lucia (Venice has only 1 station). yes. Book train for July 5th. Your choice is perfect: Firenze S. M. Novella 10:00
    Venezia S. Lucia 12:03


    - Venice to Milan (Milano Centrale) - July 8th, try to get a train out of Venice between 9:00 in the morning and 12 noon, not later.

    I am not familiar with MAC set up and fonts. What I do, when I do not have a EURO sign handy, I search for an article on the web which has Euro sign, and copy that sign into "text/word file", and save for future use.

    Here: copy this one and save

    € euro sign
     
  15. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    Great. To avoid many quotes, I will keep your questions in black and my answers in another color (dark blue)


    June 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 - Rome (5 nights - booked)
    Great!

    June 25, train from Rome to Naples (booked), train from Naples to Sorrento (not booked)
    -Train from Naples to Sorrento, Circumvisuviana Service, does not really requires booking it is a local train, which works like a "shuttle", a "tram", to connect all cities on the Bay of Naples.
    - It runs from Naples to Sorrento, stopping at several major towns on the way, and has 2 lines off up the hills of Vesuvious region.
    - You can just buy your ticket at the ticket office, like you would for a bus or a tram.
    - When you arrive Naples Centrale from Rome, go over to the "Circumvisuviana Section", and buy ticket for next departure.


    June 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 - Sorrento (5 nights - not yet booked) (visit Pompeii/Amalfi/Capri)
    - Yes, correct! Go ahead and book. I listed few hotels (2nd set of choices) under $ 150 USDin the previouse post.

    June 30 (morning) take train back to Naples (not booked) and from Naples to Florence (not booked)
    - Yes, go ahead and book. I wrote more info in the previous post.

    June 30, July 1, 2, 3, 4 – Florence (5 nights - not yet booked) (1 day – Siena, 1 day – St. Gimignano and/or Volterra)
    July 5 (morning) take the train from Florence to Venice (not booked)
    July 5, 6, 7 - Venice (3 nights - not yet booked)

    - Yes, correct! Go ahead and book, hotel and train. I listed few hotels (2nd set of choices) under $ 150 USD.in the previous post

    July 8 (morning) take the train from Venice to Milan (not booked)
    - Yes, correct! Go ahead and train departure between 9 AM and 12 noon.


    July 8 - Milan (1 night, accommodation with alhrayth and her cats :cat: - booked :p)
    - Bring cats a "cat snack" or a toy, but not "made in china"!:cat::rofl:

    July 9, 10 - Lake regions (waiting on alhrayth ;))
    I seriously dobut Alhrayth needs help with hotel suggestions on the Lakes, but if she is tied up with time, let me know.

    July 10 (late?) back to Milan for the night (?) and then July 11 - back to Beijing

    If you will be staying at Lake Maggiore on evening of July 10th, there is a direct morning bus from town of Stresa to Milan Airport/Malpensa which you can take early morning on July 11th. But it will take some planing.

    You see, you'd be waisting your time to return to Milan on the 10th from the lake region. It takes about 1.5-2 hours (realistically) to get back to the city.

    Then you will need at least 1.5 hours on the 11th to go ex Milan to Airport Malpensa, which is sort of "back towards the lakes".

    If at all possible, I would end my travels on Lake Maggiore, in the town of Stresa, and early on the morning of July 11th, (as in 6 or 7 in the morning) would take public transportation/bus directly to Malpensa Airport (50 minutes ride).

    I've posted this info few posts earlier. You and Alhrayth can make a choice, and check the direct bus schedule ex Stresa to Malpensa, if there is one in time for your flight.

    Also, that means you two will have to stay in a hotel the night of July 10th, vs. at Alhrayth's appartment.

    Check with Alhrayth, what she thinks is best.
     
  16. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    alhrayth has a car :cheer2: and she can drive it :cheer2: :p
     
  17. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    My updates are in purple!

    June 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 - Rome (5 nights - booked)

    June 25, train from Rome to Naples (booked), train from Naples to Sorrento (not booked, doesn't need booking)

    June 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 - Sorrento (5 nights - booked, Grand Hotel Vesuvio, double with balcony :)) (visit Pompeii/Amalfi/Capri)

    June 30 (morning) take train back to Naples (not booked this doesn't need booking does it?) and from Naples to Florence (booked!!)

    June 30, July 1, 2, 3, 4 – Florence (5 nights - booked at Relais Cavalcanti) (1 day – Siena, 1 day – St. Gimignano and/or Volterra)

    July 5 (morning) take the train from Florence to Venice (booked!!)

    July 5, 6, 7 - Venice (3 nights - booked single with shower, canal view at Pensione Accademia, everything else there was full!)

    July 8 (morning) take the train from Venice to Milan (booked!!)

    July 8 - Milan (1 night, accommodation with alhrayth and her cats :cat: - booked :p)

    July 9, 10 - Lake regions (waiting on alhrayth ;))

    July 10 (late?) back to Milan for the night (?) and then July 11 - back to Beijing

    I'll wait on alhrayth :)

    I'm done. Well, for now, anyway!:)

    Back to the grindstone of report writing...
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  18. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    Perrrrfect! I am glad you found availability at the hotels you've listed as "booked", they are "high choices" on my list.
    Just for the record, all hotels on my lists were available this morning (our morning) and I am learning from you that in 14 hours most were booked up.... ha! avalability is worst than I thought...

    Great news about Miss A having a car! you will be able to see so much more, if she can drive with you.

    So... next step (after you don't with report), we'll work on local tours, tickets and transportation.

    QUESTION: Where you able to buy the regular RomaPass (i remember the the premium one was not available)?

    Also re: Vatican admission. Where you able to look at any websites, and find a way to either buy tickets in advance, or joint a tour?

    I will leave Rome issues along for now, and will give you refs to other regions/locations.
     
  19. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Messages:
    12,791
    I did buy a Roma Pass, but I couldn't get the Archaeological (Museum?) one. I have a good friend in Rome who may be able to help me on that side. She just got married yesterday though, so I don't think she'll be replying to my email for a few days ;) (She does know that I'm visiting though!)

    Thanks so much for all your help! I'm now on the side of freaking out about all of the work I have to before I actually leave :blah:
     
  20. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    9,607
    You've done the main part, hotels and trains.

    next critical: tickets to main museums in Florence. I'll have that info tomorrow.

    All the rest can be done at a more leisurly pace.

    We'll talk about tix to Vatican tomorrow as well.
     
  21. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
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    12,791
    Grazie mille! :encore:
     
  22. alhrayth

    alhrayth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2001
    Messages:
    2,652
    °_° OMG. I have been away one day (doing make up & baby sitting on a frankly terrifying number of tiny dancers from a friend's dance school - 4years old & up - I'm still exhausted!) and how many things have already been fixed!!!
    :) Now I know which day you'll be arriving... let me drink a BIG cup of coffee and I'll do my part of planning what we'll do on those days! ;)
     
  23. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    9,607
    Angel,
    Let me know when you'll be ready to receive info on local tickets, transport and organized tours (Rome, Sorrento, Capri, Florence/Tuscany, Venice).

    I have Rome and Sorrento/Amalfi/Pompei/Capri ready. So anytime you have a window from work....
     
  24. Nan

    Nan Just me

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,781
    Tinami, you are amazing. :)
     
  25. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Messages:
    12,791
    Hi Tinami,

    We had our end of term excursion yesterday (thank God that's over!) and it's all still busy from here on out - I work on the day I leave as well!

    My friend in Rome had a travel agent send me a .pdf of things for each place (tours), but I don't have time to put them into here yet. Some of them involve cooking lessons though :cheer2:

    Here's a basic list:
    • Tour“1 “AM – IN THE HEART OF ROME– (Morning, 3 hrs approx)
      St. Peter’s Square ( visit inside), Navona Square, Pantheon ( inside visit ), Trevi Fountain
    • Tour “1 Bis” AM – ST. PETER’S BASILICA, TREVI FOUNTAIN & SQUARES OF ROME–
      Walking tour (Morning, 2.30 hrs approx ) St. Peter’s Basilica ( inside visit – except on Sunday ), Navona
      Square, Pantheon ( inside visit ), Trevi Fountain
    • Tour “2” PM – ANCIENT ROME - (Afternoon 3 hrs approx)
      Colosseum ( visit inside), Roman Forum ( inside visit ), Palatine Hill ( inside visit )
    • Tour“2 B”PM – COLOSSEUM AND THE ETERNAL ROME – Walking tour (Afternoon, 2,30/3 hrs approx )
      Colosseum (inside visit ), Palatin Hill (inside visit ), Roman Forum (inside visit )
    • Tour “3” AM - VATICAN MUSEUMS, SISTINE CHAPEL & ST. PETER’S BASILICA – (Morning, 4h00 hrs approx)
      Vatican Museums (visit inside), Sistine Chapel(visit inside), St. Peter’s Basilica (visit inside)
    • Tour “3 B” PM - VATICAN MUSEUM & SISTINE CHAPEL - (Afternoon, 3 hrs approx)
      Vatican Museums (visit inside), Sistine Chapel (visit inside)
    • Tour “3C” AM – VATICAN MUSEUMS SISTINE CHAPEL & ST.PETER’S BASILICA –
      Walking tour (Morning, 3 hrs approx )
      Vatican Museum (visit inside), Sistine Chapel ( visit inside), San Peter’s Basilica ( visit inside – except on
      Wednesday )
    • Tour “3C” PM – VATICAN MUSEUMS & SISTINE CHAPEL - Walking tour (Afternoon, 3 hrs approx )
      Vatican Museum (inside), Sistine Chapel (inside)
    • Tour “4” – CHRISTIAN ROME & CATACOMBS (Afternoon, 3 hrs approx)
      Basilica of St John in Lateran (visit inside), Holy Stairs, Catacombs (visit inside) St Mary the Major Basilica (visit
      inside)
    • Tour “5”AM - TIVOLI AND IT’S VILLAS (Morning , 4 hours approx)
      Villa Adriana, Villa D’Este ( visit inside )
    • Tour “6”PM - WINE TASTING & ROMAN COUNTRYSIDE ( CASTELLI ROMANI ) (Afternoon , 3 hours approx)
      Panoramic visit of Castelli Romani area, visit of a vineyard, wine and olive oil
    • Tour “8” - ROME BY NIGHT PANORAMIC TOUR (Afternoon 2 hours, approx )
      Illuminated Rome by night tour with stop at Trevi Fountain ( walking ),
      Capitol Hill, Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Janiculum Hill, Castle St. Angelo, St. Peter’s Basilica, Trastevere
    • Tour “9” - ROME BY NIGHT with dinner in ‘TRASTEVERE’
      Panoramic tour by bus & dinner in a typical Italian restaurant located in a traditional popular area.
      Stop at Trevi Fountain ( walking ), Capitol, Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Viale Trastevere, Janiculum Hill, Castle St.
      Angelo, St. Peter’s Basilica, Trastevere
    • Tour “10 “ - PAPAL BLESSING IN CASTEL GANDOLFO - (Morning tour, 3,30 hrs approx)
      According to the Pope’ summer stay in Castel Gandolfo
    • Tour “11 “ - PAPAL AUDIENCE - (Morning tour, 4 hrs approx)
      Public Audience of the Holy Father
      At the Pontificial State’s discretion, the audience might be celebrated in St. Peter’s Square or in the Nervi Hall.
    • MBINED FULL DAY TOUR in Rome with entrance tickets, pick up and drop off, local guide, lunch included
      “1” HEART OF ROME + “2” ANCIENT ROME Operated every days – except on Wednesday
      NET RATES: € 96,00 per person, net to us Rack rate € 109,00 per person
      “1” HEART OF ROME + “4” CHRISTIAN ROME AND OLD APPIAN LINE
      Operated every days – except on Wednesday
      NET RATES: € 90,00 per person net to us Rack rate € 102,00 per person
      “3” VATICAN MUSEUMS AND ST.PETER + “2” ANCIENT ROME
      Operated every days - except on Sundays and Religious holidays
      NET RATES: € 120,00 per person net to us Rack rate € 137,00 per person
      “3” VATICAN MUSEUMS AND ST.PETER + “4” CHRISTIAN ROME AND OLD APPIAN LINE
      Operated every days – except on Sunday and Religious Holidays
      NET RATES: € 110,00 per person net to us Rack rate € 128,00 per person
      “1” HEART OF ROME + “3BIS” VATICAN MUSEUMS
      Operated every days – except on Sunday and Religious Holidays
      NET RATES: € 97,00 per person net to us Rack rate € 110,00 per person
    • Tour “12 “ - CAPRI ISLAND ( 1 day ) – with lunch
    • Tour “13 “ - NAPLES & POMPEII ( 1 day ) – with lunch
      Panoramic tour of Naples city centre & visit of excavations in Pompeii
    • 8
      Tour “15“ - ASSISI – PERUGIA or ORVIETO ( 1 day )
      Discover the charming, Medieval Assisi, Perugia or Orvieto
      Once on the bus, the majority of participants will decide if stop in Perugia or Orvieto.
    • Tour “16 “ - NAPLES, POMPEII, SORRENTO, CAPRI (2 days / 1 night )
      Visit of the centre of Naples, the ruins of Pompeii, Capri. 2 days, 1 night in Sorrento HB
    • Tour “17 “ - NAPLES, POMPEII, SORRENTO, CAPRI ( 3 days / 2 nights )
      Visit of the centre of Naples, the ruins of Pompeii, Capri. 3 days, 2 nights in Sorrento HB
    • Tour “19 A“ - FLORENCE ( 1 day ) with lunch
      Accademia Gallery – St. Maria del Fiore – Piazza della Signoria – Piazza Santa Croce
    • TOUR “M 4” GOURMET & ART EXPERIENCE (Morning, 4 hrs approx)
      Navona Square, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, cooking lesson with chef - Lunch included.
      Learn how o make three different kind of home made pasta, main couse.
    • EXCLUSIVE COOKING LESSON & GROCERY TOUR (Morning, 4 hrs approx)
      Half day activity in Rome City, visit to the typical local merchants; cooking lesson with chef: preparing Italian
      pasta: meal and wines included; in a fine location into he heart of Rome
     
  26. acraven

    acraven Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    994
    Angelskates, I know you'll be busy working between now and the time you leave, but if you have time for checking out another website, this one seems to have lots of information on Italy, much of it from folks who travel there frequently and/or spend extended periods in rented apartments and get to know their destinations in way that most tourists don't. I've found it very interesting to browse there even though I have no immediate plans to go to Italy (which I last visited over 15 years ago).

    http://www.slowtrav.com/
     
  27. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Messages:
    7,570
    I know this is very generic, but I HIGHLY recommend any tour that is Rome at night. Everything is stunning, especially the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain. :swoon: My absolute favorite picture from my trip was taken in front of the Colosseum at night (thank you, random guy with a DSLR).

    Again, I found the Vatican museum tres boring and I would've been happy with St. Peter's and the Sistine Chapel.
     
  28. 4rkidz

    4rkidz GPF Barcelona here I come

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2001
    Messages:
    9,453
    we spent two fabulous weeks in Italy last two weeks in July last year and it was AMAZING.. we stayed in agri tourism places - our villa was so reasonable - less than a cottage here and it was a working winery and little animals too.. just ten mins in the hills from the train station just outside of Florence in Tuscany.. 50 acres of heaven.. a pool, horseback riding.. free internet up at the cafe/bar on site.. restaurant.. fresh bread each day.. The villa/farm.. very reasonable and close to Florence - you can catch the train in locally.. also great places to go for day trips in Tuscany - my brother stayed the year before us too last year and loved it.. rustic (not luxurious, but really authentic).. although close to the trains.. you would need a taxi or ride to the villa - (we had a car).. we took lots of day trips from there (manyof places mentioned on other posts)

    http://www.castiglionchio.it/default_eng.asp


    2. Cinque Terra - this is the place that is now a unesco heritage sight, it had terrible landslides here after we left but now is back on track and train goes here too.. the water taxi's between the villages are so much fun..

    http://www.cinqueterreonline.com/villages.htm


    3. Rome Hotels - Artemede Hotel & Hotel Diocleziano - both good safe locations and really nice and they fill up your mini bar each day!! More money than the villa but great hotels..

    http://www.hotelartemide.it/en/home.html
    http://www.hoteldiocleziano.it/index.html

    Next year my daughter and I are backpacking through Europe for a month using the trains.. and then the year after my hubby and I are going to do Sicily and southern Italy... can't wait!!
     
  29. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    9,607
    Hallo Angel,
    My big "sorry" for not replying. I will be back in my office this evening and will send the info (it's on my desk computer vs. lap-top). Cheers!/TA
     
  30. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Messages:
    12,791
    Thanks, I'll take a look at it!

    It's on my list, for sure!

    My hotels are all booked ;) Agri-tourism would have been a great option, I'm hugely into the Slow Food movement, which originated in Italy, but agri-tourism in Italy is not really within my budget.

    No problem, TA, you've already done so much! I just finished my 100+ pages of reports today (only about 15 pages to go) so I'll be set pretty soon and just preparing for summer camps, which should be easier...and then I should have more time...hopefully...