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Thread: Travel to Italy

  1. #61

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    Take a breath Tinami, because I have to!!
    Planning a trip in Italy for me is “taking a breath” from my regular work pace

    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.

    I already have a message from my bank saying I spent too much (or more than usual) money yesterday!!
    Would you like me to call you bank and politely inform them that “this is just a beginning”? . 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.

    I have no idea about Capri, I mean I really don't! What do people suggest? I would rather not lug my luggage around too much...
    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.

    TA - is it possible to book all the trains at once, or do I have to book one by one? Every time I make a transaction on my credit card that is not in Australian dollars, I get charged extra, but I can't find a "multiple book" thing on the site.
    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. #62
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    The hostel I recommended was 90 euros for ALL SIX NIGHTS, not 90 euros a night

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    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.
    I love hot and am used to crowded, so it doesn't bother me at all. I need to get away!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    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.
    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!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    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.
    This sounds like the best option I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    Let me work with TrenItalia site, and I’ll let you tomorrow morning if I can find answers to all your train questions.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by vesperholly View Post
    The hostel I recommended was 90 euros for ALL SIX NIGHTS, not 90 euros a night
    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. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    TA - is it possible to book all the trains at once, or do I have to book one by one? Every time I make a transaction on my credit card that is not in Australian dollars, I get charged extra, but I can't find a "multiple book" thing on the site.

    I think I have worked out the train site - I was trying to go from the main page. I am assuming now that when I put in "6" it means 6 a.m. I'm not sure where you saw "EuroStar" though Tinami - I can't see what anyway.

    For the train to Naples, I found:

    Roma Termini 09:00 Napoli Centrale 10:10 Duration 01:10 FRECCIAROSSA 9501 Details 2ª CLASSE MINI 39.00 € BASE45.00 €

    What do Mini and Base mean?

    When I go to register as a customer, it asks for user ID - do I leave it blank or put in something like my passport number? (I don't want to click enter and see, in case it accepts and then is wrong!)

    ETAA: I tried and it said, "User-id should consist of 6 or more digits (characters allowed: A-Z a-z 0-9 _ -)."
    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.
    A grumpy Canadian will always be nicer than a polite Milanese

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    Actually, my bank was just informing me of "unusual activity" because I almost never use my credit card except for small things like iTunes!
    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).

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    This sounds like the best option I think (staying in Sorrento, not Capri) !
    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..…).

  6. #66

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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/fran...P6qjRwQM_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-an...-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-Hote...el-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%20gb.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. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    !!!!! QUESTION RE MILAN AND LAKE REGION:
    Angel, will you be staying with some of your friends in Milan?
    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!

    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

    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 by Angelskates; 06-03-2012 at 01:16 AM.

  8. #68

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    Is there some sort of Italian equivalent of Eurail? Then angel would only have to buy one ticket and not worry about additional charges.

    Eta: there is! http://www.eurail.com/eurail-passes/...try-pass/italy

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    Is there some sort of Italian equivalent of Eurail? Then angel would only have to buy one ticket and not worry about additional charges.
    €€€€€

    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. #70

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    See my edit.

  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    See my edit.
    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 by Angelskates; 06-03-2012 at 01:35 AM.

  12. #72

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

  13. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    I forgot about the shipping to China part. That would suck.
    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 - booked )

    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. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    [COLOR="Black"]
    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??
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post

    How do I do the Euro sign on my Mac??
    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. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    Yes, it would.

    Tinami, I'm just confirming this for hotels/trains
    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 - booked )
    - Bring cats a "cat snack" or a toy, but not "made in china"!

    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. #76

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    alhrayth has a car and she can drive it

  17. #77

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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 - booked )

    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 by Angelskates; 06-03-2012 at 05:36 AM.

  18. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    I'm done. Well, for now, anyway!
    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. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    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.
    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

  20. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    I'm now on the side of freaking out about all of the work I have to before I actually leave
    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.

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