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Trip planning help - Italy April 2014

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Trip planning help - Italy April 2014

Hello Helpful Tripadvisors!

Hi, I just booked a 7 day trip to Italy for our family (myself, wife and a 5 yr old and 1 yr old).This is our first trip to Italy and we want it to be not too hectic but also visit a few places. We fly into Milan on Apr 2nd. Right now I am thinking of 3 days in Rome, 1 in Florence and 2 in Venice. Would that be recommended? I was wondering if I can get any advice on places to visit, things to do and hotels to book with a young family.

Thanks

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1. Re: Trip planning help - Italy April 2014

This will be hectic; I don't think you have accounted for the travel times involved (including checking in and out of hotels, getting to and from train stations, etc) And, jet lag on the first day can be a doozy so do account for that as well especially with little ones.

What I would do, is stay in Rome 4 nights and go to Florence as a day trip from there so you, at least, eliminate one hotel change. It only takes 1.5 hours on the fast train.

It's too bad ticket is booked - is it a round trip to and from Milan or did you do an open jaw by flying into Milan and then home from Rome? - If flying home from Milan, what time is your flight?

That all has to do with how best to order your days if it is a round trip -

Is that actually 7 nights/7 full days or are you including travel days?

I would imagine you have some idea of what you want to visit - but, you do need a guidebook (and a map) to prioritize because each of these places have so much to see, you won't get more than just a taste with such brief time in each so prioritizing is a good idea so you don't miss what you most want to see.

For lodgings - check www.venere.com and www.booking.com - you can sort by budget, room needs, etc Even though the little one is just 1 years old, she will count as a person when you are asked when booking as to how many people - be sure to say 4 - (It is different than in the states in this regard)

I think like a lot of first timers to Italy, distances between places and travel time involved is severely underestimated. With this itinerary, I would stay in just two places and do Florence as a day trip from Rome -

Wait - this April?? Wow - booking very late - definitely need to get sorted soon - especially for a place in Venice.

Edited: 10 March 2014, 16:37
Bergenfield, New...
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2. Re: Trip planning help - Italy April 2014

Thanks MomCat. The day trip to Florence is good idea. We reach MXP, Milan at 12:00 pm on Apr. 2nd and I was thinking of taking the train from their to Rome the same day. So we will have Apr 3,4,5,6 in Rome/Florence. We will then go to Venice and spend Apr 7 and Apr 8th there. The flight back is at 4:00 pm, Apr 9th from Milan so I am keeping that day for travel from Venice to Milan. Does that sound reasonable?

Yes it was a a last minute booking so I know we will pay higher hotel prices. Any recommendations on hotels in $200 / night range in Rome that are close to major attractions? any advice on hotels in Venice?

Your help is much appreciated.

Thanks

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3. Re: Trip planning help - Italy April 2014

If you go to Rome the first day (which is not a bad idea, I've done it and it was a fine way to get over jet lag) - it's a long day but I like to get where I most want to go right away; then I would stay in Rome - leave Rome early as possible after my visit there and take the fast train (1.5 hours) to Florence, check my bags with left luggage at the train station in Florence, spend the day, leave late(ish) and then go to Venice - still only need those two hotels.

I know there is plenty of time to get from Venice to Milan on day of departure but even then I never do that - too much possible risk with train delays, unexpected strikes that get announced after you have made this booking, etc -

You do need to be at Malpensa 3 hours pre-departure time - sometimes you won't need the full three hours, many times I have needed every minute of it.

I guess what I would do - given my risk averse tendency for something so expensive as an international flight - is bite the bullet (I don't like Milan at all) and take a late train the night before to Milan from Venice, stay at a hotel near Milano Centrale - visit the Duomo and a few other things early the next day and then head for the airport so I don't worry about the unexpected.

If you look in the thread today about traveling to and from Sorrento, one of the posters mentions getting delayed due to an unexpected five hour strike (a local train); while train strikes are announced in advance in Italy (other than for such a local one), it could be just on the day that messes you up to get to your flight in Milan.

Just something to consider; obviously, do whatever makes you comfortable and doesn't cause stress.

4. Re: Trip planning help - Italy April 2014

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