Suggestions for Italy Travel

Discussion in 'G8orbill's GatorTail Pub' started by whiskeygator, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. whiskeygator
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    whiskeygator All American

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    I am traveling to the Almalfi Coast this May. Probably enter via Rome or Naples and exit via Venice. I would appreciate any suggestions on travel in Italy. I am thinking travel by rail would be better than renting a car. Do rail tickets need to be purchased in advance or can I purchase on that day? Are first class rail tickets worth it?

    I have heard mixed reviews on Naples. Trip to Pompeii? Places to stay in Venice?
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  2. hockeygator
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    I just moved back to the states from Sicily. Rail up north would be fine but once you get below Rome it's terrible.
  3. gatorjd95
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    Did a Rome and Florence trip with family last year. Rome has a ton of things to do: ancient ruins, Vatican, piazzas, museums, etc. If you have means and time, book an individual tour of the ancient city. You'll learn a lot and see more than just wandering around. Did a day trip down to Pompeii that was tremendous. Rented a car and drove up to Florence. Once outside of Rome, the driving was very pleasant. Florence was spectacular. I'd spend a month in that area. Just as much history and sites to see, but much more laid back and picturesque. Great food everywhere we went even the Chinese restaurant we ate at in Florence (after several days of pasta, we needed a break) - just avoid the tourist joints. Train back to Rome was clean and inexpensive.
  4. ajoseph
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    Great trip!! My family went to Rome, Florence and Venice over the summer. Definitely go to Pompeii. It is really cool. I would strongly recommend Florence over Venice if you had to choose, and of course both are better. Florence is such a cool place to be. Food (La Giostra is a must go to restaurant), great art, great people, amazing in every way. Venice is also unique, and if you’re there go to the Doge’s Palace, which in my opinion was more impressive than Versailles.

    Rome was a blast, and the to-do’s are pretty well known and published. It’s a big city.

    As far as hotels, start with a search like Hotels.com, figure out where you want to stay and the quality of the hotel, and “shop”. But depending on the time of year it can get pricey.

    We traveled from city-to-City by rail. We booked first class, because the price was not that much different. You get a little more room, but nothing special. Very easy to navigate though.
  5. ArtVandelay
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    I took the train down from Munich for my Rome/Florence trip.

    Highly recommend a day trip to San Gimignano, Siena, Chianti from Florence
  6. ajoseph
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    ajoseph Premium Member

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    We did the day trip to Pisa, because my kids wanted “the picture.” I really wanted to go to Siena. Turns out, we should have gone to Siena as Pisa is exact
    what you think it is, no more and no less.
  7. ArtVandelay
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    ArtVandelay GC Legend

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    Siena and San Gimignano are a perfect break from the big city and see some really cool sites. I liken it to Bruge as a day trip from Brussels.
  8. WhattaGator
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    Man, If you had the chance to head south, then Calabria would be a SUPER visit!

    The "Toe" of the "boot" has the absolute base of Italian food... seafood, mountain grown vegetables, olive oil, etc. PLUS beautiful scenery and history (not quite Roma, Venezia, Fiorenza, Napoli, etc.)... BUT absolutely fantastic in its own right!

    My Grandparents and other relatives came from there, and I've been through Italy a few times, but Calabria is my choice.
  9. fastsix
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    We found a Ramen place in Florence. I was so happy to get something besides Italian food - it does get old.

    I think we may have eaten at a Chinese restaurant there too. I seem to remember there was a pretty visible place near the train station, but it was awhile ago so I could be getting it mixed up with someplace else.

    [​IMG]
  10. deathroll
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    LOVED THE CINQUE TERRE. Loved Venice. Liked San Gimignano. Thought Florence was just OK.
  11. gatorev12
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    Lake Como up in the north is something I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned...but one of the most beautiful places on earth. Highly recommended if you can make it.
  12. JBKGator
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    I used InItaly.com to set up a great 10 day trip trip a few years ago. You give them some info about what you like to do, your budget, and they create a great itinerary for you that you can tweak a bit. Highly recommend.

    Very helpful and their lodging selections were awesome.
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  13. WhattaGator
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    If you REALLY had the opportunity ....

    Make a trip to Malta!

    Nat Geo rates it one of the top 30 places in the WORLD to visit.
  14. gtr2x
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    Wouldn't even think of driving down the Amalfi coast, which was my favorite part of italy.. We booked a private tour and were glad we did. Not a lot to do, but beautiful drives/vistas. Great photo ops. We skipped Nap!es, but did Pompeii. Capri, if you have time for a quick day trip.

    You can spend forever in rome, but if time is an issue, again private tour is very efficient. We went to the front of the line at the Vatican, coliseum,etc. The coliseum was our favorite part of Rome. Traffic is terrible.

    Florence is much less traffic, pretty city, esp if viewed from the hill across the river. A lot to do if you're into museums but if not, there is Gelato on every corner.

    Venice is pretty easy to get in and out of. Not even sure what you would do with a car. I couldn't live there, but well worth seeing, unique place. Wouldnt want to be there when the high tides hit tho. Liked it much better than florence. We stayed a couple of blocks off st marks square and all was an easy walk. Note that most places have narrow staircases, often with no or a tiny elevator. Try not to be there on the weekend when all the cruise ships are in port. St Marks and the museums are packed. Also, if it rains ur going to get wet getting to the vaporettos, no curb service.:)

    Damn, this makes me want to plan a vacation.:cool::cool:
  15. vaxcardinal
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    would never consider going to Italy and eating Ramen...might was well order Dominos pizza while you're there
  16. AlfaGator
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  17. deathroll
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    Oh yeah, a nice little tip for Venice. Stand there staring at the gondolas. Find another couple staring at the gondolas. Ask that couple if they'd like to share a ride/split the cost. Trade cameras; they take pictures of you, on your camera, you take pictures of them on theirs.
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  18. whiskeygator
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    whiskeygator All American

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    Thank you for all of your travel tips. Here is a new twist we are working on to finish our trip . We would exit Italy via Venice, fly to Budapest and then take a River Cruise to Vienna. Has anyone traveled to Budapest?
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  19. shelbygt350
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    Been there. One trip to Lake Como resulted in a hilarious experience. Rented a big Alpha Romeo in Milan, drove up to Lake Como. Screwed up the car good. Knocked off one rear view mirror in a tight street. Banged up the back fender another day hitting a parking meter. Threw away every parking ticket.

    So I return the rental car in Milan expecting a fight over the cost to repair....cost is zero. Guys says "Everybody brings them back damaged." Months later I get a huge bill for the parking tickets, which we paid since we got off the damaged car. Never did get a bill for running any toll booths.
  20. GatorNorth
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    http://www.premiumboatcharter.com/

    Charter a boat and a captain from here for the day. If you think the sea is pretty from the land, you’ll be shocked to see how beautiful the coastline is from the sea. And you’ll be able to stop and swim anywhere you want.

    Don’t rent a car in Amalfi, you’ll regret it. Get a car service.

    Have lunch in the coastal village of Nerano, walk the steps in Positano and eat as much festival as you can stomach.

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