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A few questions about my trip to Italy in May

New York City, New...
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A few questions about my trip to Italy in May

I plan to visit 3 cities late April or early May, Venice Florence and Rome. I'll be there 10 days. I will probably stop over quickly at Pisa as well just to see what else the leaning tower of Pisa:-) Anyway I plan to stay in Rome for 5 days Venice 2 days and Florence 3 more or less.

Question #1

I haven't decided if I'll be arriving and departing from Rome or Venice is there any advantage in arriving and departing from one city to another?

Question #2

The last day of the trip I 'd like to return as fast as possible by train from Rome to Venice or Venice to Rome for my departing flight back to NY is there a train that I can catch from one city to another non stop without changing trains and how long does it take?

Question#3

What's the deal with storing luggage at a train/bus station I notice a lot of people do this is it safe and why would I want to leave it at the station? (sorry for the dumb question it just seems old to me that people would leave their personal belonging at a bus/train station in a locker)

Question#4

Can I expect to pay under $120 a night for room and how long in advance should I book a room? I would like to be near the main sites without having to take the train or bus if possible. The only thing I need in my room is a clean bed in a quiet safe neighborhood and private bathroom without having to share with someone else. Is $120 enough per night in all 3 cities?

Question#5

I know the answer to this question but I just want to make sure Americans don't need a Visa right?

thanks any input, advice recommendation will be appreciated.

Edited: 24 February 2013, 02:16
Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: A few questions about my trip to Italy in May

1. Get an open jaw ticket, flying into Venice and out of Rome. It costs about the same as a return ticket to/from the same place.

2. If you follow the suggestion above, you will not need to do this. There are fast direct trains but all of them make some stops along the way. See www.trenitalia.com looking for trains between Venezia S Lucia and Roma Termini.

3. There are no luggage lockers at any train station in Italy, for security reasons. Some of the larger train stations have staffed luggage storage which is, of course, entirely safe.

4. $120US is about €90. You should be able to find accommodation. Book now. Look on www.venere.com where you can sort by area and price. The centres of Venice, Florence and Rome are entirely safe so safety is not an issue. There is nowhere in Rome that is convenient walking distance to all the sights.

5. People travelling on a US passport can enter the Schengen Treaty area (most of Europe) without a visa for tourist visits of not more than 90 days.

NYC
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2. Re: A few questions about my trip to Italy in May

thanks sydney, could you please explain #1 what is a open jaw ticket are you saying flying by plane is a little more expensive than by train and do I buy the ticket when I get to Italy or in advance here in the states? How much time from Rome to Venice by train? thanks again.

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3. Re: A few questions about my trip to Italy in May

An "open jaws" ticket is when you fly from NY into Venice, then from Rome back to NY. On most air travel web sites, you can book this as a "multi-city journey" and it costs about the same as flying NY-Venice-NY or NY-Rome-NY.

For the best prices on train travel, book direct with the train operator as far ahead as possible. Tickets usually go on sale 4 months before travel, and the cheapest tickets often sell out quickly. Prices keep going up as the travel date gets closer. Train times after 8 June have not yet been released.

You can get train times and costs as described in my (2) above. You can look them up as easily as I could.

Missouri
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4. Re: A few questions about my trip to Italy in May

"Open jaw", as Nick said, is the way to go. We flew into Venice and out of Rome, mainly because we were familiar with the Rome airport and had never been to the airport in Venice. We took a Frecciargento train from Venice to Rome (they run roughly every hour); it took about 3 hours and 40 minutes. It stopped in Bologna and Florence only. Very fast train.

You could fly into Venice, spend a couple-three days, then train to Florence, stay a couple of days, then train to Rome. You can even book your train tickets prior to arriving in Italy, online. Easy peasy.

Kitchener, Canada
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5. Re: A few questions about my trip to Italy in May

Hi Kadshah,

I'm thinking of doing a very similar trip at the beginning of May. Rome, Florence and Venice, and maybe a day stop in Pisa and a night or two in Cinque Terre.

I have decided to start in Rome and end in Venice. I figured that for me, Rome and Florence will be the busiest places that require the most energy and lack of sleep. I think Venice will be more leisurely for me, so if I run out of steam by Venice I won't feel bad for doing more reading, wine drinking and shopping.

I haven't decided if I will do a round trip out of Toronto to Rome, or fly out of Venice. If I do train back to Rome from Venice I may add in a night in a smaller town along the way back. Get one last bit of real, less touristy Italy in.

I know in the UK the train ticket prices are insane if you buy the day of, but are fine if you prebook. Does anyone know if Italy has more consistent ticket prices?

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6. Re: A few questions about my trip to Italy in May

For the best prices on train travel, book direct with the train operator as far ahead as possible. Trenitalia tickets usually go on sale 4 months before travel, ItaloTreno rather less predictably, and the cheapest tickets often sell out quickly. Prices keep going up as the travel date gets closer.

However, at present Trenitalia has not posted train information beyond 8 June. It is not known when these trains will be posted.

NYC
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7. Re: A few questions about my trip to Italy in May

I just booked a multi destination flight arriving in Venice and departing from Rome which is great cause I saved a little money and time thanks Sydney for the tip. Now to book my train ticket and hotel. How do I booked my train ticket online before arriving in Italy what's the website? My guess is I could also travel by bus but it seems that most people prefer to travel by train probably because it's faster and more comfortable.

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: A few questions about my trip to Italy in May

There are no bus or coach services Venice-Florence-Rome.

To book a train, use the web site I referenced in point (2) of reply #1.

NYC
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9. Re: A few questions about my trip to Italy in May

sorry missed seeing the link thanks again.

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10. Re: A few questions about my trip to Italy in May

Just for the record, there IS bus service available, but it is slower (as in more than double the time), less comfortable and (if you buy well in advance) not significantly cheaper. So the fast train, bought in advance, is the way to go. The trenitalia website is easy to navigate and you print out the e-ticket and don't have to go to a window or machine.