Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues > Route / Travel Queries


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 5th June 2010, 12:12   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
jaysmokesleaves's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mostly Mumbai
Posts: 1,649
Thanked: 807 Times
Default Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

Friends, this is as insane as insane can get for me!

I decided to go on a holiday using all my accumulated airmiles. For what airmiles I have on Emirates, they take me to Italy. So with 10 days in hand I have booked tickets for Italy. I could only get bookings for Venice, so I arrive in Venice on 11th July and depart from Venice back to Bombay on 20th July.

So KOOL i thought... ! Then began the real thinking.
1. Ive Never been to Europe.
2. I have no clue about Italy... always wanted to go to Italy though.. for God knows what.
3.The only international language I speak is English... Wow!!

PREPARATION;
Ive picked up a Lonely Planet guide - EUROPE ON A SHOESTRING.
Crazily surfing the www for information... I havent got any decent leads yet.

SOMEBODY HELP ME... PLEEZZZEEEE!!

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?

9. Note: I havent got the visa yet. I will apply for it in the last week of June, which is when i return to Bombay. Any good travel agents who can help with the visa process?

Friends.. please share all your inputs. I am travelling alone.

Thanks in advance to all.

Jay

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 5th June 2010 at 12:14.
jaysmokesleaves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2010, 12:37   #2
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,547
Thanked: 5,803 Times
Default

Hi Jay,
Explore Italy. Trains and buses are good. You can look at visiting Rome, Pisa, Florence and Venice.

Rome you'll take around 2 days - All the ruins and Vatican. Since the days are long you can just hang out in all the beautiful places for long.


Mostly till 8Pm all attractions are open except for Vatican - go there in the morning and do a half day there and rest for Rome. Don't know if visiting the vatican museum needs to be booked in advance.

Pisa - keep a day, visit the place and go to the next destination

Florence - is beutiful 1.5 days.

Venice 2 days

If you are flyiong in/out from Milan - spend some time here, though it offers less compared to the other places. In Milan visit the mueseum with last supper painting - needs to be booked in advance I guess.


Regarding some data - stay options are available from 50Euros and above. I've got a decent place for 120 during a christmas time. So I guess in 50-125 you must find a decent one

Trains must be good.

July is normally pleasant - a sweater would do in case it rains and chills a bit.

Food - pizzas....

Per day cost per person excluding travel should be around 25Euros, if you dont splurge..


May be I can put a log about my italy visit for you

Last edited by laluks : 5th June 2010 at 12:52.
laluks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2010, 12:50   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
anekho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: .
Posts: 1,997
Thanked: 656 Times
Default

Jay,

Never been to Venice but check out this link:

Venice travel guide - Wikitravel

Covers several doubts you have!
anekho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2010, 12:53   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,045
Thanked: 64 Times
Default

It really depends on what you want to see in Italy. Venice isn't a great place if you are alone .

I traveled with my family to Italy in 2005. Our itinerary looked like this
- 1.5 days in Venice. Just walk around the city and see some local stuff.
- Took the Eurorail from Venice to Florence.
- 1/2 day in Florence, checked out the museum and 'David'
- Day trip from Florence to Maranello to see Ferrari factory. If you love cars, you just can't miss this. You don't see the factory per se but every Ferrari car every made (including F1), is there in the "Galleria Ferrari" and that is what we wanted to see.
- Day trip from Florence to Pisa
- Eurorail to Rome
- We stayed in Rome for 5 days. We planned to see monuments in rome, ruins, vatican etc in 3 days and visit Pompeii in one day and Azzuro Grotto on another. However my wife wasn't well so we spent 5 days in Rome itself soaking in sights.

I would love to go to Italy again and spend lot more time around Rome and Amalfi coast. Lots of folks prefer going to wine country around Florence and spend some time there.

I recommend that you check out online travel forums in Italy and figure out what you want to see. Also, it would have been better to buy Lonely Planet - Italy. If you can buy/borrow it from someone, I would recommend that.

Italy is expensive. We managed in about 220 Euros per night for stay and Breakfast (for a family of 3). We used buses/subway in Rome to travel (it is pretty easy). Beware of pick pockets in Rome, especially in Subway.

You can do all the train bookings online from here or when you get to Italy, if you want to keep your schedule flexible. Language is a problem, especially if you visit smaller places (like Modena to Maranello for Ferrari factory).

I relied on tripadvisor reviews to book my stay and it worked out for me.
hondadude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd March 2016, 11:58   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 3,191
Thanked: 1,748 Times
Default re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

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.

The plan as of now is to spend a few days in Rome, a couple in Naples and a day/two in Tuscany (including Pisa). We'll visit Venice depending on how we feel about these three places; we're okay to skip it.

I'd appreciate any recommendations/suggestions and help on these queries:

- How is the current visa process? I read somewhere that fingerprinting for first-time visitors is mandatory. So, since I'm based in Pune, do I have to visit the Consulate in Mumbai/Delhi. Also, is it advisable to hire an agent? Does it help in any way that I have a valid US visa?

- Places to visit that aren't very "touristy" or common but absolutely worth the trip

- Hotel/lodging recommendations

- Is it fine to depend on public transportation (except Rome-Venice if it happens) or would we need a rental for out-of-city trips?
libranof1987 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd March 2016, 12:54   #6
BHPian
 
DWind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Singara Chennai
Posts: 754
Thanked: 153 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

I had been in Italy for a week 9 years back but then I was single and did most of the travel by backpacking

1.staying in Youth hostels. They are good if you are on budget and just need a place to sleep. Also helps in meeting people from different backgrounds.
2. Travelling strictly public transport. Must say that it is well organized and well connected there, unless you are going way out of the regular tourist places (eg in Tuscany region or Sicily)
3. Food: Used to try budget local restaurants. Do not search for Indian food. You would love it if you like Mediterranean cuisine.
4. Venice: For Venice I stayed over in Mainland Trieste area which works out to be cheaper than staying in the Lagoon area.
5. If you are going to be in Milan, please try to see if you can make arrangements for viewing the Last Supper mural by da Vinci. It is not open to public (not regularly). I had visited then there was a huge craze due to Dan Brown's novel.

Last edited by DWind : 22nd March 2016 at 12:59.
DWind is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 22nd March 2016, 14:09   #7
BHPian
 
Fillmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 253
Thanked: 76 Times
Default re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

Quote:
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'd appreciate any recommendations/suggestions and help on these queries:
I had been there for 10 days last month (However mine was an official work trip)

Visa
I think you will have to go to Mumbai for the fingerprinting.
Include a photocopy of your US visa, if it is not on the same passport
You need to furnish your air tickets + hotel reservation
(not very sure of the tourist visa recomendations since I went on work via the company)
Give 1-2 weeks from the date you submit your documents for the Visa.

General Tips
- 80% of the cabs don't accept card
- Get a Matrix card in advance with data roaming
(most of the tourist palces are walkable and the best is to use Google Maps)
(Also carry 1 or 2 power banks for your phone)
- If you need a cab install this App. On booking, cabs will reach you in 10 - 15 min @ your GPS location.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...icrotek.ITTaxi
- Driving is not a good idea because
City roads are cramped and very difficult to get parking
Inter-City does not make sense as the Trains are super fast and convenient

Inter City Trains
- Book on the fast trains where around 270 km will be covered in 1.5 hrs
- If you book early you get good prices.
- You can book your ticket online, and show the e-Ticket on your phone, nothing else needed.
Ref : http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en

Places
I can only speak for Rome and Florence (My workspot was in Florence and visited Rome)

Florence (Firenze)
(I just listed the places, you can google them independently)
- Piazzale Michelangelo - Kind of a park/garden
- Fiesole ( another garden, didnt go here though)
- Boboli Gardens (kind of a park)

From here everything is walkable and linked in the same order
- Palazzo Pitti - old palace (Start here..and walk to the rest of the places..)
- Ponte Vecchio (Bridge across the Arno river)
- Loggia del Mercato Nuovo (small market square)
- Porcellino (a pig sculpture in the market square)
- Piazza della Signoria (another square worth a visit)
- Piazza del Duomo (Florence Cathedral , amazing bld)
You can climb up to the top if you have the energy
- The Uffizi Gallery (Art Museum - needs 1/2 a day to cover)
- Galleria dell'Accademia (Another Art museum)
If you are not much into paintings and sculptures then I would suggest skip Uffizi and visit the Galleria dell'Accademia
The Uffizi is much bigger but its like this
once you have seen 20% of it, the rest of the 80% is similar
Galleria dell'Accademia is better in the sense it has the world famous huge Statue of David.

Eating
- Dont forget to have the Gelato at Venchi (pronounced as Venky)
- They even have assorted chocolates that you can buy.
- Trattoria ZaZa (Good restaurant for Italian food)
- Central Market (Its adjacent to ZaZa , you can go to the 1st floor where there is a huge food court with diff options)
- Leather Market Just before the Central market. (you get even fake stuff here so watch it)
- B/fast just walk into one of the Coffee bar's
grab a Crossaint and a coffee and you should be good.

Rome (Roma)

Just listed out the main places,You can google them out and decide what to visit.
Many of them can be done on foot via Google maps
Otherwise there is a Hop-on Hop-off bus that runs and stops at all these spots.
(Do not buy the ticket in advance, once you are there you can hop on and buy the ticket on the bus, the price is the same)

- Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
- Colosseo (Must see)
- Circus Maximus ( The chariot races .. but no structure is present )
- Vittoriano
- Trevi Fountain
- Piazza di Spagna
- Pantheon
- The Vatican Museum
- The Vatican / Gardens

Tip: To enjoy the places even more, read Dan Browns Angels and Deamons
Then you will relate to them in a better way ;-)


Pisa I would say can be covered in 1/2 a day, other than the leaning tower there is not much there.
You can keep 1.5 days for Florence if you have the time.
Every place is walkable and that is the best way to explore around..

Last edited by Fillmore : 22nd March 2016 at 14:14.
Fillmore is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 22nd March 2016, 14:56   #8
BHPian
 
sj_koova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 501
Thanked: 41 Times
Default re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

8 days are short, but I am still surprised nobody mentioned Assisi.
If ever I go back to Italy, Assisi is one place I wish to visit again.
Small, pristine hill top town, has a charm of its own.

People skip Assisi because it is not on the main rail line. And you need one day to cover Assisi from Rome. But to me, I thought it was worth.

My recommendation is,

Venice (2 days) -> Florence+Pisa (2 days) -> Rome (4 days- cover Assisi from Rome).

In Rome, Colosseum, Vatican Museum, Pantheon and St Peter's Basilica are worth.
I would suggest skipping Tervi Fountain and do Forum along with Colosseum.

You have to stand on long queue to buy tickets and at entry of most of these places. There will be rigorous security check at places like St Peters that slows you down. So if you are going to Rome, consider 2-3 days in Rome itself. You cannot cover so much in a day unless you buy tickets in advance, which is usually much more expensive than buying at spot.

For traveling within Rome, buying a day pass is best. You can board train, bus and tram with this pass.

I have not been to Venice, so can't give any details. Venice is reserved for my next trip.

Italy is more like India. You will see all kind of people and face all kind of situations you face in India. So be safe.
sj_koova is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 22nd March 2016, 15:33   #9
BHPian
 
razorBlades's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Chennai
Posts: 163
Thanked: 70 Times
Default re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

Try and book hostels if you are on a budget, there are plenty of websites and perday with breakfast you could get it in 15 Euros approx. This will be a dorm and mostly clean sheets and clean bathrooms. You also get to interact with other travellers (fellow dorm mates) and they could suggest a wild itinerary too.

Venice : 2 days (museums, Murano glass museum, take the water taxis, etc)
Florence: 1.5 days (Beautiful place, the entire tourist attraction is in a single road, night walks are too good)
Pisa : .5 day (only the pisa tower)
Rome: 2 days (lots and lots of museums, try the local cusine)
Milan: 1.5 days (The dumo is the best, try the local food)
razorBlades is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 22nd March 2016, 16:56   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 3,191
Thanked: 1,748 Times
Default re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

Thanks for the inputs, guys!

Any hotel recommendations?

Is it better staying in the city than slightly away? I'd be okay looking at airbnb but in the interest of safety/convenience/assurance, I think I'd prefer hotels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillmore View Post
General Tips
- 80% of the cabs don't accept card
- Get a Matrix card in advance with data roaming
(most of the tourist palces are walkable and the best is to use Google Maps)
(Also carry 1 or 2 power banks for your phone)
- If you need a cab install this App. On booking, cabs will reach you in 10 - 15 min @ your GPS location.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...icrotek.ITTaxi
I'll plan on downloading an offline version of Maps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sj_koova View Post
8 days are short, but I am still surprised nobody mentioned Assisi.
If ever I go back to Italy, Assisi is one place I wish to visit again.
Small, pristine hill top town, has a charm of its own.

People skip Assisi because it is not on the main rail line. And you need one day to cover Assisi from Rome. But to me, I thought it was worth.

My recommendation is,

Venice (2 days) -> Florence+Pisa (2 days) -> Rome (4 days- cover Assisi from Rome).
Thanks!

I think Venice doesn't look very possible. Something like Rome (4/5 days), Assisi + Naples (2 days), Tuscany (2/3 days) will do more justice to each place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sj_koova View Post
You cannot cover so much in a day unless you buy tickets in advance, which is usually much more expensive than buying at spot.

For traveling within Rome, buying a day pass is best. You can board train, bus and tram with this pass.
Are there bus/train + PoI entry pass kind of packages wherein it covers tickets for a hop on/off bus/train and entry passes for places of interests.

Or, an advance pass for places within Rome. I'd prefer paying in advance than wasting time standing in the queue.
libranof1987 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd March 2016, 17:08   #11
BHPian
 
batterylow's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Driver seat!
Posts: 543
Thanked: 573 Times
Default re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Thanks for the inputs, guys!

Any hotel recommendations?

Is it better staying in the city than slightly away? I'd be okay looking at airbnb but in the interest of safety/convenience/assurance, I think I'd prefer hotels.

Airbnb is a nifty thing if you exercise due diligence. Have extensively used it over Europe and I have consistently gotten cheaper accommodation compared to even hostels. Some owners are very knowledgeable of the locality and can tell you places that you won't find on a travel guide. Plus you have a chance to cook your own meals since most places have a kitchen. Recommend that you check reviews of the places on airbnb and give it a shot. Have a great time.
batterylow is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 22nd March 2016, 17:42   #12
Distinguished - BHPian
 
shankar.balan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: BLR
Posts: 7,593
Thanked: 4,507 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by batterylow View Post
Airbnb is a nifty thing if you exercise due diligence. Have extensively used it over Europe and I have consistently gotten cheaper accommodation compared to even hostels. Some owners are very knowledgeable of the locality and can tell you places that you won't find on a travel guide. Plus you have a chance to cook your own meals since most places have a kitchen. Recommend that you check reviews of the places on airbnb and give it a shot. Have a great time.

Yes indeed, Airbnb is a great option when on a budget. And you get to meet some really nice people too.
shankar.balan is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 22nd March 2016, 20:14   #13
BHPian
 
sj_koova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 501
Thanked: 41 Times
Default re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

You can use only public transport with the day pass. But that is more like hop-on-hopoff. You can get in and get down anywhere, switch between train / bus / tram as you wish and as many times during the day. Day pass is from 6am - 11pm if I remember correctly. You have to punch the ticket in the bus or train station the first time you use, thats it. Public transport in Rome is very good. Don't think about cab. They are expensive and very rude.

Also for long distance travel with in Italy, bus is cheaper than train. Train is more convenient and faster though. Buying train tickets in advance (~2 months) has price benefits.

I did research on buying the tickets in advance, but ended up buying everything on spot as I could not stick to a plan. Also I had someone in Italy to help at that point. My accommodation was also arranged through this contact. It was a bed a breakfast place at 50Euros a night.

If you don't hear from anyone about the ticket purchase in a day, send a PM, and I can dig the information for you.
sj_koova is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 22nd March 2016, 20:28   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 3,191
Thanked: 1,748 Times
Default re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

I spoke with the VFS rep earlier today; they do accept applications at the Pune centre (Sohrab hall) and the fingerprinting is done there itself. Interview in the Consulate is only if they deem necessary.

I'm targeting early next week for the visa appointment so need to get my hotel bookings done on priority. Ideally, I'd have preferred to have a reservation only for the first few days so there's flexibility on how the tour shapes up but this requirement of having confirmed hotel stay reservations for the visa application means I need to have them for the entire 9 days. Will look at reserving some place with a refundable rate for now.
libranof1987 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd March 2016, 12:07   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: pune
Posts: 992
Thanked: 286 Times
Default Re: Vacation in Italy : Suggestions!

Reference Italy travelogue (Travelogue : Lake Como, Maranello, Milan) by another Pune BHPian.
sukiwa is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Planning for an overseas vacation - Need suggestions and help aravind84 Route / Travel Queries 12 21st November 2011 17:35
Vacation in a Vacation : Discovering Kerala - A Photologue v&v Travelogues 61 29th June 2010 22:51
Fiat Italy is having a ball,Ratan Tata on Fiat Board ,what about India? khamsinmerak The Indian Car Scene 15 16th August 2006 11:18
Italy vs Europe!!! Sam Kapasi Shifting gears 4 11th July 2006 13:05
The Auto Museum in Turin, Italy. salil_kulkarni The International Automotive Scene 10 13th November 2005 23:46


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 23:33.

Copyright 2000 - 2016, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks