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Planning a trip to Italy WITHOUT "planning" it.

Minneapolis...
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Planning a trip to Italy WITHOUT "planning" it.

Hi all,

The husband and I are coming to Italy in June. Ideally, we'd like a two week trip where we go where the wind takes us, with a few limitations. We know we'd like to spend time in Rome, Venice, and Tuscany. I've read time and time again on the Italy forums here how important it is to not try to overplan and cram things in...

What I would like, is to plan our first few days (so we know where we're flying into/staying/etc) and then just moving on when we're ready. So, for example, we stay 4 days in Rome, and then decide, hey, we're ready to move on, and we go get train tickets and move on.

My only concerns is, are we going to be able to do this and be able to walk into a hotel in Florence and Venice and get a room, with very little notice (we'd know the night before if we were moving on, so we could go on the internet) without paying through the nose? Is it crowded enough in June that we're risking not being able to find somewhere reasonably priced?

Any advice is welcome.

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Planning a trip to Italy WITHOUT "planning" it.

It is high season so, yup, risk is greater you will be trudging around trying to find a decent hotel/B&B within your budget. The internet has (sadly) changed those long lost days of doing what you would like to do - at least without it being a huge hassle. I sure wouldn't want to waste time these days trying to scout around for a room for hours

A few years ago, I had an accident in Positano and needed to leave and go to Rome last minute. It was the day before I needed to leave and I needed a room (it was the very first day or two of October - still very busy). I contacted the hotel I usually stay at via my netbook and they were booked but referred me to a nearby hotel and I was able to snag a room at a very good rate compared to what was on offer on their website (about 40 euros less a night) because it was last minute.

It may be that you could try - if you are determined to do your trip this way - to take a laptop (or use an internet cafe) and try to secure a last minute available room at your next stop. Try that a few days before you plan to get there and you may luck out. Hotels do get cancelations and they may have last minute vacancy.

Overall though these days, especially for high season and now even middle season in some cases, the nice places within your own budget will be long booked even as we speak right now.

San Jose, California
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2. Re: Planning a trip to Italy WITHOUT "planning" it.

I certainly wouldn't try that in Venice. My girlfriend decided to visit me in June last minute, but I had already made plans to go to Venice. I had booked my rooms for Venice months earlier. With only two week before, we searched and searched for something for her and finally found something but it was certainly less than desirable and very far from where I was staying.

we spent many many hours on the internet searching for something suitable (and at a reasonable cost). I don't think that is how you want to spend your vacation.

I would also hate to arrive in Venice, luggage in tow and wander from place to place (over bridges, up stairs, down stairs, etc).

Minneapolis...
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3. Re: Planning a trip to Italy WITHOUT "planning" it.

Good advice, all. Bummer, but good advice. :)

I'm sure we can find a balance. Get an idea of when we want to be where, book our rooms, and then be open to where the winds take us. And hey, if we decide we want to go off-plan, we understand that maybe that night's hotel room that we've already booked but don't need is the cost of spontaneity

Thank you!.

Saint Marys, Ohio
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4. Re: Planning a trip to Italy WITHOUT "planning" it.

You will be able to find a room, but it probably won't be the hotel you want, in the location you want, or for the price you want. If you book rooms in advance and decide you don't want to go there, be very aware of the cancellation policies. It could cost you quite a bit.

Besides all that, do you really want to spend you time in Italy looking for lodging or enjoying the sights???

Minneapolis...
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5. Re: Planning a trip to Italy WITHOUT "planning" it.

If it's a matter of spending "all my time" looking for lodgings, of course not. That's a silly question. :)

However, if it's a matter of taking on a little inconvenience to be able to stay as long as we want in any given place, to be open to be more fluid in our plans rather than saying "Oh it's Wednesday, we have reservations, we have to leave" whether we're ready to or not, well, I wouldn't mind that flexibility.

I'm gathering that in high season, we won't have that flexibility. Which is fine. But if I return when things aren't as busy, then of course I want to spend my time in Italy experiencing it at my leisure instead of sticking to some agenda that was made before I knew what we'd really enjoy doing.

Thanks for the feedback!

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Planning a trip to Italy WITHOUT "planning" it.

I don't think I would be doing that on a first trip. Better perhaps to come back saying "Wish we had more time in Rome" than "Wish we could have found somewhere to sleep in Venice".

We probably take things a bit too far in the planning department, but at least we know that we have somewhere nice at a price we can afford in an area we want. Then we have a list of things we want to do. We won't get them all done and don't even try, but we are never in the situation of "What is there to see around here?" either.

But hey, we are old fogies and set in our ways, and it really would bother me that the only available place was up 5 flights of stairs and cost twice as much as i wanted to pay.

Whatever you decide, have a fantastic trip.

Oh, and try to fly into one city, preferably Venice, and out of another such as Rome. At least you avoid backtracking. And maybe if you have those two anchor points set, you can wing the time spent in Tuscany.

7. Re: Planning a trip to Italy WITHOUT "planning" it.

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