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Italy Tours

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North Cape May, Nj
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Italy Tours

My family would like to take a trip to Italy in 2015. Possibly 8 - 12 days. Wish to visit Rome, Florence Naples (Amalfi Coast) and Venice. I am aware of several tour companies. eg; Perillo, Trafalgar and a couple of others. Is there one company that offers good value that would include guided tours, some meals and decent hotels that stands out in your opinion. I will check each recommendation for details. Thanks.

Chorley, United...
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1. Re: Italy Tours

I think in a short visit of 8 - 12 days trying to fit in Naples (+Amalfi coast), Rome, Florence and Venice is a bit too much. I would cut at least one out as even at your maximum of 12 days you would only have 3 days for each city less a lot of travelling time. Rome, Florence and Venice in particular all have a lot to offer and I suggest 4 days in each would fill your maximum time allocation effectively.

Do you need to spend money on a tour company? transport between these cities by train is simple - see www.trenitalia.it and www.italotrena.it for the two train companies and their timetables and fares. Booking early often gives you discounted fares.

For Hotels just click on the city hotel button on the left of the Tripadvisor page for each city and scroll through to find a Hotel at the price you wish to pay and the facilities you feel you need. Read the user comments carefully and remember they are someone elses personal opinions so not necessary the same as yours.

North Cape May, Nj
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2. Re: Italy Tours

Thank you Robert. I appreciate your advice. The trip is a long way off, so valuable input such as yours will be saved for helping to make a good decision. I definitely want to include Amalfi, so Venice may have to wait. We'll see.

Edited: 11 January 2014, 23:38
Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Italy Tours

Most people who post here are independent travellers including myself. I have only done one guided tour in Europe (Insight tour of Spain) a long time ago. Insight and Trafalgar are part of the same company and Insight is the slightly more upmarket arm. From my limited experience plus research I have found that with tours you get what you pay for. The lower the up front price of a tour, the less central the hotels and the more likely that you have to pay for the extra optional tours to actually see some of the more worthwhile sights. In the case of the tour of Spain that I did, we did Toledo as an optional tour, meaning we had to pay extra. The hotels were pretty central though, which I imagine they would not have been on the Trafalgar tour.

Venice
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4. Re: Italy Tours

Odysseys Unlimited do a italy tour as well including the amalfi coast and ending up in. Venice.

Los Angeles...
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for Venice, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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5. Re: Italy Tours

I have friends who traveled with Perillo and Trafalgar, and Tauck tours, the latter quite upscale. I have never heard bad reports about any of them other then mild annoyances of having to be downstairs at their hotels at 7:00 a.m., spending lots of time on a bus each day, and returning to the hotel late at night.

I understand that the less expensive tours tend to make up profits by nickel and diming people for extras, e.g., evening City tours, optional excursions, meals, etc. A more upscale tour is more expensive but lots more perks are included. Think Carnival Cruise vs. Silversea. In other words, one gets what one pays for.

A bus tour would not have a problem in getting you to all of your desired destinations in the span of 8-12 days, which basically means that you will not be lingering in any given place for very long. You may very well see Naples through a bus window and be gone to the next stop. But, again, friends were happy with their holidays.

You can travel to Italy independently, which would probably cost you less. However, you would need to do some research and planning, and extend your stay if you want to experience all on your list.

North Cape May, Nj
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6. Re: Italy Tours

I don't speak the language, so I am hesitant to travel without a guide. Would inability to converse in Italian be a major obstacle? How about getting from city to city? Sorry, but I have only travelled to destinations where English is widely spoken.

pittsburgh
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7. Re: Italy Tours

English is widely spoken in Italy and especially in all the cities you mention. You don't need to be with a tour group in order to have a wonderful Italian vacation. Getting from city to city is very easy with public transportation so I would start looking into planning a trip on your own. I think you will find it easier than you thought.

Donna

Los Angeles...
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8. Re: Italy Tours

<< Would inability to converse in Italian be a major obstacle?>>

No, certainly not in large Cities. Lots of people speak some English and will try and help. Do learn how to ask first whether a person speaks English rather then assuming he/she does. You can pick up some basics, e.g., hello, good bye, thank you and where is the restroom. I suggest that you learn names of foods so that you do not order a horse at a restaurant. :)

Husband and I travel at least once a year to Italy and/or France, and I essentially speak the above in Italian, and husband a bit better in French. You could not pay me to get on a bus with 40 others and do as I am told for my hard-earned holiday money, but that is me..

<<How about getting from city to city? >>

Trains! Are truly a wonderful mode of transportation in Italy. For your Amalfi Coast leg of a journey, it would be better if you hire a driver from Napoli to Positano. I cannot tell you how much it is (researching it myself right now), but I do not think it is offensive. You could also take public transport but I do not know what/how.

First of all, and even if you decide to join 40 of your "closest friends" on a tour bus :) , stroll over to your neighborhood book shop or surf onto Amazon.com and buy a Fodor's Guide for Italy, or Michelin Green Guide or whatever looks good to you, and do some preliminary reading. Take notes and return with specifics.

Trust me - it can be done! You need more time though!

Edited: 12 January 2014, 21:11
North Cape May, Nj
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9. Re: Italy Tours

Thanks. There will probably be eight of us on this trip and I have been elected to be the coordinator. Since I have plenty of time, I will do some research and continue to ask questions on this forum. If only they wanted to go to Aruba or Las Vegas, then I would be a lot more confident. LOL.

Venice
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10. Re: Italy Tours

AnnaRoz try aptours they have a good name ..( naples / amalfi coast transfers)..... Tony keep the questions coming !!!!