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Must dos in Italy - fall trip

Discussion in 'European Timesharing' started by Ianneyan, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Ianneyan

    Ianneyan TUG Member

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    The hubby and I are going to Italy in late September, early October. We have our flights and accommodations set. 3 nights/2 days in Venice, 2 days in Cinque Terre, 5 days in Tuscany (in Hilton timeshare - using as base for Florence, Siena, Lucca) and 3 days in Rome. In your opinion, what are your must dos/see/eat? Anything I need to book in advance, like now?!? We are not ones to plan our trips by the minute, but I want to ensure that we book any reservations in advance that are necessary.
     
  2. buzglyd

    buzglyd TUG Member

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    In Venice, get the Vaparetto pass. It's the water bus and makes stops in different places. You'll get around quicker and it's great being on the canals. Gotta have squid ink pasta in Venice. Delicious.
     
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  3. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Get advance (timed) entrance tix for the Uffizzi Gallery in Florence. The lines can be killers. Shouldn't be as bad in your time frame but you never know. Same way with Vatican Museum. A guided tour of each will get you to important pieces. You just cant spend time at each exhibit.

    At coffee shops (espresso) stand. It costs more to sit.

    Lots of great wines and cheeses and olive oil to taste in Tuscany. You will have lots of reasons to go back. In Milan, get advance fix to see Michaelangelo's Last Supper up close.
    And then, there's South Italy, with Naples, Sorrento, Pompeii, the islands, Capri, Sicily. THAT'S where to taste Limoncello!

    You'll wonder what took you so long.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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  4. x3 skier

    x3 skier TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Try a Limoncello in Cinque Terra.

    Cheers
     
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  5. Glynda

    Glynda TUG Member

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    Try the regional dishes each area is known for. There was a pasta in Liguria (Cinque Terra) with potatoes and green beans that sounded awful but turned out great.

    We used Luisella Romeo in Venice for half a day walking tour of the Dodges' Palace and beyond and wish we had booked her for every day! She's fabulous! http://www.seevenice.it/en/about-me/. I would also recommend booking a private guide for the Vatican. Our's was booked though our driver/guide with Rome in Limo, another great company we worked when on our first cruise trip to Italy for day trip guides. https://www.romeinlimo.com The Vatican guide walked us in right ahead of the line, knew what to skip and what to view, and it was a great experience. With Rome in Limo, we saw far more than those of the ship's large bus tours, as they have licenses to drive right into the piazza's (squares) of most cities to drop us and pick us up. It was an amazing experience and so informative. Not cheap but worth ever penny!

    Jim is right on coffee bars in Italy. The locals stand to order and drink their expresso. It costs more to sit. When you ask for a coffee in Italy (un cafe) you will receive a small strong expresso. You don't have to ask for an expresso. If you ask for a latte, you will get cold milk. Ask for "un cafe, " un cafe Americano" or if you want milk in it, ask for "un cafe con latte." A "cafe macchiato" is expresso with just a splash of milk. You'll get more with a "un cappuccino" or "un cafe con latte" than with "un cafe macchiato". BTW, Italians don't think one should drink dairy products after breakfast so the fancy coffees with milk after breakfast may not be available.

    Just walk, soak it all in and have a great trip!
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
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  6. Rjbeach2003

    Rjbeach2003 TUG Member

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    Don't think people read where you are going. Not Venice, not Milan, not southern italy.

    Yes get the Firenze Pass for Florence. The jump the line, it will save you hours of wait time. Is the Hilton timeshare in or close to Florence? Are you two days or two nights in Cinque Terre. Will you be taking train to Florence or driving?

    If driving you will be able to see more of the Tuscany landscapes that you see in pictures. We liked Lucca and Pienza. My wife and will be in Italy in early to mid October and are staying in Siena, Pienza and Praiano on the Amalfi Coast and skipping the big cities.
     
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  7. Ianneyan

    Ianneyan TUG Member

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    The Hilton timeshare is a couple hours outside of Florence I believe... in “Borgo”. We are doing 2 nights in Cinque. I am still trying to figure out transportation, but I think we’ll be renting a car in/near Cinque to drive to Borgo/Tuscany.
     
  8. jme

    jme TUG Member

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    Wherever you go, you'll have a blast. October is ideal, couldn't have picked a better time. We were there last October
    traveling with another couple,
    first 10 days of October, and we had only 30 minutes of rain one afternoon in Rome, and otherwise 68 degrees daytime
    and cool at night....just clear, pristine, sunny skies.
    I'd say "under the Tuscan Sun" as it was meant to be, but that sounds too corny so I won't say it, lol.

    We stayed in Rome 3 nights, Monterosso 2 nights, and Florence 4 nights.
    We used our Airbnb 2BR apartment in Florence as our base for Tuscany.
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/23580792?source_impression_id=p3_1565698391_MKDmG0iJ4LbK4/+6

    I'll tell you, Florence is our favorite city without question.
    The history is fascinating, and the people wonderful....not to mention the awesome restaurants.....the finer ones and
    the small mom & pop ones too, which are just as amazing.

    We did a guided day tour of Tuscany to Sienna, Monteriggione, & San Gimignano.....and that was extremely relaxing and enjoyable,
    and having the guide certainly made it better for us.
    Did a winery/farm, which was also much better having the guide.
    Walking around Florence was like heaven.....we absolutely loved it, and we'll definitely go back.
    Enjoyed our own private terrace in Florence at the Airbnb every afternoon.... could easily live there.

    BTW, Monterosso is awesome too...by far the best of the 5 Cinque Terre towns...
    lots of great restaurants even though someone said they didn't know of any.....that's silly, there are several great ones!
    Love Monterosso.

    Have a great time, and definitely report back to us about your trip.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  9. cp73

    cp73 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    In Florence make reservations to see Michelango at the Accademia Gallery. You dont need to do a tour but this will let you pick your time slot you can enter the gallery to see it. Also if you want to climb to the top of the Duomo in Florence (nice view) you can also make a reservation for that directly.

    In Cinque Terra we spent one day just riding the water taxi from town to town. It gives you the best views of the town from the water and its easy and quick. Better than taking the train from town to town IMO.

    All these items were some of our favorites.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
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  10. Glynda

    Glynda TUG Member

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    Our plan was to take the train down and ride the boat back up. Except it was late October and they had cut back on the number of boats running. So it was get off the train and walk down the cliffs into each village, walk around and look, hike back up, take the train to the next, back down....and so it went. Even in late Oct the trains and streets were packed with tourists. Glad we saw it...probably won’t do it again.
     
  11. tlwmkw

    tlwmkw Guest

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    FYI- the boats are often cancelled in the Cinque Terre due to the tides so you may not be able to use them.
     
  12. Quilter

    Quilter Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I made the mistake twice of catching the slow boat in Venice. It’s sooooooo slow. I would suggest treating yourself to one of the private fast boats.

    We rode bikes in Lucca.

    Find Rick Steves videos. He’s great to prepare you for the area.
     
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  13. tlwmkw

    tlwmkw Guest

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    Rick Steves also has a free App with tours that you can download onto your phone. Some are walking tours of the areas in cities and some are museum tours. We found them very useful. There are maps of various places too. You can listen to the audio or just follow the transcript of the tour.
     
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  14. cp73

    cp73 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We went in 2017 in mid-October and there were plenty of taxi boats. I dont think we ever had to wait more than 20 minutes at most. It wasn't that crowded either. But I did notice come 4pm most all the tourist are gone. Its amazing how many people just come for the day. After 4pm you have it all to yourself (kind of).
     
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  15. LisaH

    LisaH TUG Lifetime Member

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    That’s very true in Venice. If you are there only for a day (as most people on a cruise), you are missing the best of Venice. It’s truly magical after 4 pm when the crowds are gone.
     
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