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Old 23rd March 2016, 12:55   #16
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Default Re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

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Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post

1. How to plan a trip after landing in Venice? I have to fly out of the same city.
2. How to make the best of the 8 full days I have there? Where to go, what to see ?
3. Staying options in Italy ?
4. Travel options in Italy ?
5. Food?
6. Budgeting? Approx how much Euros per day, etc..?
7. Weather and packing advice?
8. Any and every advice about the place?

Jay
Cool. A holiday in Italy can fit any tastes- some who like the art, some the wines, some the landscape while some the driving. there is something for everybody. what is yours?

I have had 3 summer holidays in Italy and may have a bunch of suggestions depending on what your take is.
one of my trip was only automotive - read, Modena, Monza, Stelvio pass etc
another, wine and the landscape - Tuscany, Terme di Saturnia, Cinque Terre types.
first was the tourist - art and history.

I can tell you this, I have not seen Italy fully even after a combined 40 days of holidaying there. now, if you can specify in what theme you fall, I can make some suggestions.

Last edited by 14000rpm : 23rd March 2016 at 12:57.
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Old 23rd March 2016, 13:20   #17
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Default Re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
I have the exact same query!

I will be traveling to Italy for about 9 days towards April-end; will be flying in/from Rome.
I suggest spending 4 nights in Rome and 5 nights in Florence.

Rome: I'd say vatican museum with sistine chapel is a must. There is so much to see in Rome alone and if you include a day trip like Amalfi coast etc, you will find yourself really pushing it in these 4 days.

Rome to florence connectivity is really good with the FRECCIAROSSA trains.
Visit trenitalia.com

Florence is arguably the best place to visit in Italy. Again like others mentioned, you'll need to find out what suites you better. You can easily spend 3 days in florence exploring the city. A lot of day trips on viator to explore the tuscany region (check out the tuscany in a day tour). Places around florence like sienna and san gemiginano are amazing!

Book all tickets online in advance. The queues are crazy at certain places.
Stay at Airbnb apartments. Its amazing value for money!
Have fun!
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Old 24th May 2016, 13:23   #18
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Default Re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

First off, thanks for all the suggestions! They really helped plan and execute the trip.

Secondly, man, is Italy beautiful or what! There's so much culture and history at literally every corner for you to soak in.

The weather across Italy when we were there was mostly cloudy with brief spells of rain and sunshine. Overall, it hovered between 7 and 15 deg C.

Here's how we went about it:

Day 1: landed in Rome at about 8am. Stepped out of the airport and looked for the bus to Termini but there was such a rush that the bus we could get on was two hours later. Decided to spend 14 euro on the train, instead of the 4 for the bus, to get to Termini. Our B&B was about a 10min walk from Termini so strolled over.

Freshened up and walked towards Colosseum. Spent the entire day just loitering around that area.

Walked across Circus Maximus and then visited the Capital Museum and City Hall.

Day 2: we had a tour booked for the Vatican City at 10am. The tour covered the Museum, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica. The amount of art and history in the Museum is mind-boggling and the Basilica is so damn huge that you lose every sense of scale!

We then got onto a separate line for the Dome of the Basilica. This is a must visit although it is quite an exercise. There are about 551 steps if you walk all the way (entry is some 5 euro) or you can take the elevator upto 320steps (for 7 euro). The view of the Basilica from within the Dome and of the Vatican city and Rome from outside the Dome amazing!

We then visited the Pantheon (this place is where renaissance painter Raphael is buried), Trevi fountain (one of the most crowded places in Rome) and the Spanish steps (under renovation when we visited).

Day 3: roamed around downtown Rome till our Colosseum tour at 5pm. The Colosseum is just breathtaking. The architecture and the gruesome nature of its purpose make it a fascinating sight.

Day 4: We took a Freciarossa to Florence. Florence has tons of Chapels and Piazzas (squares in front of Chapel/Cathedrals). Florence was the hot bed for the cultural renaissance so Florence has a lot of cultural/literary significance.

Day 5: visited the leaning tower of Pisa and roamed around Florence. We had booked a tour that covered Sienna, Pisa and lunch in a village somewhere in Tuscany but couldn't join. Ciaoflorence has good tours that you can consider.

Day 6: we traveled to Naples; during the journey, you notice a drastic change in topography and geography with a lot of mountainous terrain.

Naples is famous for the pizza; we visited the supposed first pizzeria, the pizza you find there is actually different, the base is very different and is quite pleasant to eat.

Day 7: traveled to Pompeii, about a 45min train ride from Naples. The town was buried under the volanic ash from Mt. Vesuvius in 79AD and discovered in the 1800s. Archaeologists have managed to unearth a significant amount of the town, which has a very advanced system of housing, drainage and water supply.

This is quite an interesting lesson in history but can be boring if you aren't inclined.

Got back to Naples and strolled around the city. Naples has a bunch of castles but we didn't visit any since we'd been walking around all week.

Some observations:

1) Italy in general is fairly expensive; an average meal for two will cost 40-50 euros (if you have a drink or two). Average accommodation in the city area will be 100+ euros/day
2) City public transport (bus/train) has a good network and works out much cheaper if you get a pass (be it a day pass or a tour that gives you entrance to places of interest and free travel on public transport). Trains (Frecciarossa are a good way of traveling around Italy and tickets follow the model of air travel: tickets get more expensive closer to the day of travel. So, book in advance.
* Be sure to validate your ticket when you use public transport (basically, any ticket that doesn't mention a dedicated seat no.). If you don't, the fine can range from 10 to 60 euros
3) There's so much history and most places do a good job of explaining in English but you'd enjoy more if you had a guide
4) I downloaded offline maps for all the cities we visited and that made life SO much easier as we navigated through places of interest on foot
5) Almost every place (restaurant, coffee shop, shop) has free wifi so you are generally connected
6) Since we stayed near the city center in all the towns we visited, we felt generally safe
7) Most places accept cards so you can carry minimal cash

Last edited by libranof1987 : 24th May 2016 at 13:30.
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Old 25th May 2016, 11:40   #19
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Default Re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the capuccinos in Italy. Be it a chain or a cafe anywhere in the city, the drink is absolutely divine. Be sure to have one before 11am and stand by the bar(sitting to have a coffee will cost you and extra €3-€5 depending on the place as tax!) sip and keep exploring.

Water is expensive at restaurants. carry a water bottle in hand, Rome has many fountains all over the city with drinking water.
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Old 25th May 2016, 17:51   #20
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Default Re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

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Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the capuccinos in Italy. Be it a chain or a cafe anywhere in the city, the drink is absolutely divine. Be sure to have one before 11am and stand by the bar(sitting to have a coffee will cost you and extra €3-€5 depending on the place as tax!) sip and keep exploring.

Water is expensive at restaurants. carry a water bottle in hand, Rome has many fountains all over the city with drinking water.
Yep Outstanding..So are the Gelatos which are cheap too. However be prepared for "Al Dente" when it comes to Pasta.
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