Dear Fellow travelers,
I'm doing the RS best of Italy trip in 15 nights by eliminating Milan, Civita, Assisi, Sienna and one night in Sorrento. While I'm still alive my "musts" are: Dolomite Road, Arrow in the sky and 2 other cable cars. Lake Como. Cinque Terre. Naples (as suggested by RS. Amalfi Coast. For the long hauls I allowed 4 hours to drive from Bolzano to either Vernazza or Bellagio; and about 4 hours from Lake Como to Portofino and I know the other travel times and distances. With "paid-for" help with transfers, paid-for tickets, paid-for hotels, have others handle check-in time and reduce otherwise time consuming elements, I'm guessing I could do it in 6 ot 7 nights. That leaves 8 or 9 night nights for Venice, Florence and Rome, however it fits, taking fast trains, all transfers and maximum reduced time consuming elements, which I figure will cost a little over $3,000 for each of the ten of us, beyond hotel costs. If I did this alone, I likely would have done it just like you. Howard
Dear Fellow travelers,
Is there a purpose that we are missing here since you have posted this rambling description of your proposed trip several times? Just don't understand what you are trying to achieve.
I'm not sure if there's a question in here... Are you looking for confirmation of your driving estimates in Northern Italy? Is all of your "paid-for" help arranged yet? If so, you'll know your parameters to work around. Are you renting 2 or 3 cars, or have you arranged for a minibus? Be sure that all who are driving have International Driving Permits! Also, be sure all of your passengers, plus their luggage, will fit in those vehicles. Also, if you've been using Via Michelin for your driving estimates, generally people add up to 50% to the driving estimates given. I thought you were flying into Venice...and that's the problem with having several scattered threads out there, each with some of the info for your trip - I can't remember all of the details. I can't remember where you're flying home from, nor when your trip is (although I'm thinking Sept 2013?).
Thanks for the many responses from my fellow travelers to help me find out if they actually did what I want to do, how much time to allow and so forth. I know it's going to cost more than it would an economically oriented traveler. This will be a tour specifically designed for 10 adults utilizing every possible time efficient means, fast trains where it fits, sufficiently large buses, no waiting in museum lines, hotels located in the most interesting areas, arranged hotel check-ins, every night relaxed, all transfers, luggage handling and so forth. Thanks for helping me put the puzzle together.
So... You have NO question?
If you are looking for information, Post a question so we can try to answer it.
I too don't know what you want from this website. But there's only one thing for you to do if there's 10 travelers. Contact RoninRome.com and see if Ron's still at home in Atlanta or if he's back in Rome. Your entourage is exactly what his travel services are for. I'm sure he'd be glad to meet with you.
You can see by his website that his information on Rome and Italy in general is the best there is.
I too am confused by the non-question. But I will chip in - just to say that I see several references to saving time, reducing time time consuming elements, etc. The whole party will move at the speed of the slowest member, who may change from time to time. When one needs the toilet, everybody waits. When one is slow out of bed, everybody waits. When one turns their heel, everybody walks slow. I'd build in a bit of "fudge factor".
Nigel makes a good point - moving 10 people around will require more time that you'd expect. Your plan has 8 destinations (Dolomites, Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Naples, Portofino, Venice, Florence, and Rome?) for 15 nights. I'd get with your group to find out what the main priorities are. For a trip like this, I'd recommend picking 4 or 5 locations that make sense logistically either by van, rail, or discount airline from north to south or vice versa. Another option is to chose just one region - north or south. It's not clear what the $3000 estimate is for - just transportation inside the country? Does it include airfare to and from Italy? Have you decided what city you'll fly into and home from? Open jaw would be easiest - into Venice and home from Rome or some other combo that fits your final itinerary.
I don't have any questions for anyone. I read Rick Steves books, admire his level of credibilty and insight. You saw his Best of Italy in 22 days. I want to do it. I assumed it was possible and he had the competence to do it. Of his Best of Italy, primary to me was Cortina, cable cars, Dolomite Road and the Amalfi Coast. Secondarily was Vernazza, Cinque Terre; and Lake Como. Since RS claims he could so it in 22 days and my group of 10 adults had only 15 nights, I eliminated Milan, 2 nights in Sienna, Asissi, Civita, one less day Sorrento, which will then give me about 6 or 7 nights in the places I want to be. We allowed 3.5/hrs from Bolzano to Bellagio (not Varenna which eliminate 4/hrs of ferry to get to Bellagio), allow a 3/hr drive from Bellagio to Vernazza with stops at Portofino and Santa Margheritta. That leaves 8 or 9 nights in Venice, Florence, Sorrento and Rome, however it reasonably fits. We'll fly into Venice because of its promimity to Cortina and depart from Rome. I know that to facilitate this trip you'd have to be Rick Steves or hire someone to do more than what Rick Steves would have done, such as escorted tours, all possible transfers, advance purchase of museum tickets to eliminate lines, fast trains and anything to reduce time consuming elements, reserve 3-Star hotels located where we could walk out, stroll, relax and dine in the areas we want to be in, so as to avoid taxis or public transportation to get to where we want to be. Whereas this is going to cost, since we're 10 adults, that may reduce the cost. Whereas others may disagree with what I eliminated in this Best of Italy or what is most important to me, I respect that. I considered but dismissed the input of the naysayers. I am thankful for the input of sincere fellow travelers and I even contacted some of your references to do the Best of Italy in 15 nights. Thanks
This is suppose to be a give and take site. People ask question and some try to provide answers that will help shape their travel experience. Since you are not asking, I assume you are just trying to brag about what you are doing. Doesn't make a lot sense. Seems to me if I was responsible for ten people, I would have more definite plans and recognize that there is a huge difference between shepherding a couple family members and a group of ten. From the earlier comments and reading between the lines - I know, always dangerous - you appear not to have a lot of experience with travel and just assume anyone can do the 22 days without a lot of prior planning and arrangements. But, good luck. I am sure it will be an interesting learning experience.
In response to my posts and as a result of sincere input from fellow travelers on this sight, I am communicating with tour professionals to help me pull it off. The purpose of this sight was fulfilled.