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first time travellers to italy

auckland
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first time travellers to italy

Travelling to Italy for the first time-in fact first time in Europe-very exciting but scary for two middle-aged kiwis!We hope to come in to Italy from France for about 7-10 days in Sept/Oct,with 3 days in Rome before flying home from there.We would like to visit Venice, but also keen to maybe base around siena and have alook around there and across to Chinque Terre for a night or two.We know that more time/less travelling would be ideal, but trying to balance thst and the fact that its such a long way from NZ!Ideas?Advice?all gratefully received-thanks.

Kamloops, BC...
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1. Re: first time travellers to italy

Hi --

First off, get a good map of Italy and plan your route. Don't be doubling back and forth from the Adriatic to the Med. It wastes too much time and money.

I'd spend at least one more day in Rome, two if one is going to be lost arriving and/or departing. Shave a day from Venice. It's lovely and interesting, but most folks spend more time than necessary there on their first trip. It's the second trip when you need a little more time, because you understand the city and better know where you really should have gone before.

Stop in Pisa if you want to see the tower, but don't stay overnight. It's completely unnecessary, although on a more leisurely trip, you could spend a couple of days or more there looking at some interesting architecture. But that's true, of course, about almost any place you go in Italy.

Anyway, start out from wherever on an early train, make your stop, walk down the hill following the signs, sign up for the climb up the tower if you would like to do that, buy some of the cobalt blue "leaning" coffee mugs for souvenirs and gifts for folks back at home (they were big hit when I brought them back), walk back up the hill to the station stopping for lunch along the way, and catch another train.

Florence is a city that can occupy you exactly the way Rome can. I'd spend only a couple of days there. Stay longer there, as well, on your next trip, for exactly the same reasons (and fyi, there is always a next trip).

Make your reservations for the Accademia and the Uffizzi (did I spell either of them correctly?), well in advance. September and the beginning of October still is a very busy time in Italy, and without reservations, you could end up behind a 5 or 6 bus group, which will be fine for them, but a major waste of time for you. Not all bus tours organize the tickets and reservations in advance, make sure you do, so you can make the most of your time there.

Two nights is probably about right for the Cinque Terra, as long as that will give you most of two days.

I hope that helps refine the trip a little. I know little of the hill towns, so the only contribution I can make is to say you probably should rent a car - that you never take inside the walls of any of the cities you visit in order to avoid trespassing into the ZTL - the traffic free zone.

There is no way you'll avoid the zone. It's too difficult to look at the beauty of the city and see the traffic sign, and also avoid traffic accidents, especially when you're accustomed to driving on the other side of the road and you're making your way along the panic-generating, narrow, narrow, medieval streets.

So -- park the car outside the walls, and take a taxi to your hotel, as much to make a big todo about getting all your luggage out of the car, as to avoid having to drag your luggage over the cobblestones at the end of the day, which is no picnic.

If you stay in one place and day trip (which I think is a great idea), make sure you loudly check the trunk/sorry the boot every night, by opening it and getting any little bits of shopping out of it and calling back and forth things like - "Did you get everything out of the car", "Yes, I did", "Are you sure" and so on, so nobody will be tempted to break a window for access.

The damage isn't so terrible, it can often be fixed the day you discover it, but the paperwork is monstrous. So, do the little one act plays that ensure that the guys hanging around the parking area get the message that there isn't anything to be had from your car.

I'm sure you'll get lots of posts about the hill towns. Assisi is on my list, but I've not yet been there as I've been saving these places for a time when my husband can travel with me, since he also is very interested in them. I've been waiting so long that I'm reaching the point where he has about ten minutes to get it together, I swear.

Several of our posters have traveled this area many times, and can answer any questions about scheduling, etc., that your guide book doesn't make clear.

If you don't get any specific information about the hill towns, post about them and see what you get.

Buon fortuna, caio.

Kamloops, BC...
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2. Re: first time travellers to italy

Sorry, I left the a off Buona - I guess it's time to quit for the night - I'm entering the outskirts of typo town.

Any way, Buona fortuna, ciao.

auckland
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3. Re: first time travellers to italy

Thank you for all your very practical advice.

4. Re: first time travellers to italy

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