Author Topic: Anyone been to Italy?  (Read 33493 times)

Offline delalluvia

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Anyone been to Italy?
« on: March 26, 2011, 04:14:45 pm »
I'm starting to plan our trip to Italy.

We want to do a guided tour because there is so much in Italy we want to see, that doing it on our own when we don't speak much Italian I think would be more trouble than it's worth.

We obviously can't afford a top notch tour because the price is restricting, but we want to see both north and south Italy

Places we definitely don't want to miss:

Venice
Florence
Pisa (is optional)
Tuscany region
Rome
Pompeii
(Naples is optional)

Does anyone have any experience with tour groups?  Any advice would be welcome.

Offline CellarDweller

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 07:30:05 pm »
*waves*

I went to Italy in September of last year.  I went alone, but met a friend there and she was my personal tour guide, so I really can't give any experiences regarding places to go or stay, as she took care of everything for me, and I stayed with her.

I was only there 4 days, and stayed right in Rome, it was fantastic.  You are going to love it.


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Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 11:39:05 pm »
I was there in 1999 on a bus tour. I would suggest Rome, defiantly, several days.

Pompeii should be a whole day but skip Naples. South of there Sorrento was nice and you can take the boat over to Capri, which is touristy but the Blue Grotto is worth it.

Venice you must see, but it is horribly expensive. You can stay on the mainland and go over for the day/evening.

You HAVE to see Florence, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Words just cannot describe.

Pisa is a tourist trap. I called it the Gatlinburg of Italy.

I would also endorse visiting Assisi. The architecture is amazing, which it is all over the country. I wish I had had more time to spend in Tuscany, it was truly beautiful.

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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2011, 10:36:45 am »
I've been to Italy twice. It's wonderful.

I didn't go on a guided tour, but I have a friend who speaks a little Italian and likes planning trips. She planned both itineraries, with a lot of help from travel guru Rick Steves.

The first time, we stayed in Rome, Florence, Siena, the Cinque Terre, Venice and Milan. The second time, we stayed in Montepulciano, Florence, Rome and the Amalfi Coast.

My favorite places were Rome, Florence and Positano on the Amalfi Coast.

Pisa seemed skippable. We went past it on the train.

I'd also recommend getting some Italian CDs and listening to them in your car for a while before you go. Not essential, since many Italians speak English, but helpful.


Offline Kelda

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2011, 10:45:38 am »
You could so Pisa in a couple of hours. Thats what I did when on my way to Florence from Venice or Bologna (I can't remember which) when doing my Eurorailing back in 2002.We did it with no italian language skills and not much money - its definitely doable if you plan!

Busabout may be an option for you? http://www.busabout.com/.

Not sure if you would be willing to hostel it? (Lots of hostels do twin rooms these days btw and then attached to the hostels is always afforable day trip tours)

If you don't fancy busabout it will at least give you and idea of do-able and afforable routes. (See the south Loop)

I am also a huge fan of Florence.

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Offline Kelda

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2011, 10:52:37 am »
Also perhaps invest in An italy Lonely palnet book or borrow it from the Library. That will give suggested itiinareies /routes within your price range.

Here's a direct link for a Busabout Italy specific package - only a three day one though.

http://www.busabout.com/Italy/3Day
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Offline delalluvia

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2011, 03:12:19 pm »
Also perhaps invest in An italy Lonely palnet book or borrow it from the Library. That will give suggested itiinareies /routes within your price range.

Here's a direct link for a Busabout Italy specific package - only a three day one though.

http://www.busabout.com/Italy/3Day

Thanks guys.  And thanks for the link.  Let me see if my sister is willing to hostel and I'll go from there. 

Offline Lynne

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2011, 03:23:06 pm »
I was there in 1999 on a bus tour. I would suggest Rome, defiantly, several days.

Pompeii should be a whole day but skip Naples. South of there Sorrento was nice and you can take the boat over to Capri, which is touristy but the Blue Grotto is worth it.

Venice you must see, but it is horribly expensive. You can stay on the mainland and go over for the day/evening.

You HAVE to see Florence, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Words just cannot describe.

Pisa is a tourist trap. I called it the Gatlinburg of Italy.

I would also endorse visiting Assisi. The architecture is amazing, which it is all over the country. I wish I had had more time to spend in Tuscany, it was truly beautiful.

That must have been pretty bad, then, Truman.   ::)  Because Gatlinburg is tacky, tacky, tacky...

I don't know anything about Italy, but I've also had great experiences with hosteling - it's a wonderful way to have more $ to spend on seeing things and trying wonderful food and I never spend any time in the hotel anyhow if I can help it.

I also think you would like to learn a little Italian - just listen to the basic tapes or disks from the library.  I feel much better/more comfy about being in Germany because I know a few basic phrases and can figure out signs without much trouble.

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Offline delalluvia

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2011, 04:00:44 pm »
That must have been pretty bad, then, Truman.   ::)  Because Gatlinburg is tacky, tacky, tacky...

I don't know anything about Italy, but I've also had great experiences with hosteling - it's a wonderful way to have more $ to spend on seeing things and trying wonderful food and I never spend any time in the hotel anyhow if I can help it.

I also think you would like to learn a little Italian - just listen to the basic tapes or disks from the library.  I feel much better/more comfy about being in Germany because I know a few basic phrases and can figure out signs without much trouble.

Happy Trails!

The only problem I would have with hostels is leaving bags there and of course, bedding.  What with the bedbug infestation that's going around these days.

Heh, as I said in my threads on my trip to Paris, the trouble with learning some basic phrases, is that if you ask in the local language, they answer you in the same.   :laugh:  I didn't find that helpful.   However, since I know Spanish fairly well, it usually impresses the locals into thinking I'm just not another American tourist who only knows English and thus are more inclined to help me.

Offline Lynne

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2011, 04:04:16 pm »
The only problem I would have with hostels is leaving bags there and of course, bedding.  What with the bedbug infestation that's going around these days.

Heh, as I said in my threads on my trip to Paris, the trouble with learning some basic phrases, is that if you ask in the local language, they answer you in the same.   :laugh:  I didn't find that helpful.   However, since I know Spanish fairly well, it usually impresses the locals into thinking I'm just not another American tourist who only knows English and thus are more inclined to help me.

Of course, I'm only just getting started here in GER - no bedbugs at Chrissi's or the Bochum hotel.  The hostels' policies seem to vary between providing your own sheets or renting theirs for an extra 2-3 Euros.  At the hostel in Bonn on my first night, the sheets I 'rented' were bleached within an inch of their life...
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