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Advice for beginning to plan an Italy vacation

nj
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Advice for beginning to plan an Italy vacation

I am starting to plan a 2 week Italy vacation for 2. I would appreciate your recommendations on researching how to pick the best dates, selecting what to see and where to stay. Was there a particular site or book that you found most useful?

St Paul, MN
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1. Re: Advice for beginning to plan an Italy vacation

Italy is a big place. First of all figrue out what you are interested in and for 2 weeks jsut go to 3 plaes so that all your time is not eaten up traveling from one place to another. Most people default to the Big 3: Rome, Florence and Venice.

Unless you have a child in school or one of you teaches in a school, avoid June-Aug. This is when the prices are the highest for airfares and lodging. Lodging and airfares are the cheapest Nov-March, but not everyone wants to go then. Italy winters compared with much of North America are mild, but not tropical.

When I started visitng Italy, I already had a good idea of what I wanted to see: Ruins, Ancient art and sites. my fist trip, I spent 10 days in Rome in Feb (during my kid's spring break). Some people on the sites are going to shiver about this, but I found Rick Steves books immensely helpful on How-to. then I read what I could find online.

nj
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2. Re: Advice for beginning to plan an Italy vacation

Thanks for your response. I am looking to combine a mix of touring history and relaxation on the coast. We are thinking of maybe going to Italy in June or September, October . Any additional recommendations are appreciated.

pittsburgh
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for Rome
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3. Re: Advice for beginning to plan an Italy vacation

All of those times are high season and you'll find lots of crowds. For historic sites you may want to spend some time in Rome and for the coast Amalfi might suit you.

donna

Philadelphia...
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4. Re: Advice for beginning to plan an Italy vacation

"All of those times are high season and you'll find lots of crowds"

That depends on where you go. I spent early September relaxing at the coast this last year with barely any crowds.

north carolina
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5. Re: Advice for beginning to plan an Italy vacation

There are many good guide books, and they have some variation of what they emphasize and how they show things. I suggest that you review several at a book store and buy at least two. You inquire about how to plan. I suggest these starting ideas:

1. decide on how long, and how many nights on the ground you will have, assuming a night flight over and a day flight back; Try to find a way to add a few days to the trip - 2 weeks is border-line rushed.

2. try to minimize the amount of changing accommodations, try for at least 4 nights on each stop;

3. make up your minds that you can not see and do everything, or even 10% of everything; Italy rewards relaxation, not rushing about.

4. use your guide books to decide 3 or 4 places that you will stay.

5. use a map and mark the places, then draw a route, showing which part by car and which by train. Keep in mind that train service in Italy is far better than what we normally expect in USA, more comfortable, more dependable, faster, cheaper. Driving in Italy is pleasant if you stay out of the major cities.

6. use your map of places and route lines to pick out the airport(s) to use - you can generally fly into one and out of another with no extra charge.

7. use tripadvisor reviews to choose accomodations, or Venere.com. Generally, I have always found the Italian web sites presentations of their places to be fair and accurate.

8. assume that restaurants will be wonderful, with the possible exceptions of Venice and Rome, where it is more common to find places that obviously expect to never see or hear from you again.

9. come back to us with more pointed questions after you rough out the schedule.

6. Re: Advice for beginning to plan an Italy vacation

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