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Finalized Trip Itinerary

I wanted to post my finalized trip Itinerary to make sure I didn't miss anything or if there is anything else I should do! I have been researching and reading this forum for over a year now and I think I did well and have finished all my major purchases prior to departure. We are flying into Venice and out of Rome. We have a total on 14 nights on the ground. We will be arriving in late June.

Venice: 3 nights
- Gondola
- Bell Tower

Florence: 5 nights
- Galleria dell'Accademia
- Vespa Wine Tour
- Cooking Class with visit to Market

Rome: 6 nights
- Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon
- Vatican City (museums)
- Day Trip to Santa Marinella Beach

Flight, Train Tickets, and AirBnBs are already booked. We basically left every other day open so we can explore and get lost. Everything above has been purchased already (except beach day trip). We have our time slots either super early in the morning or late in the afternoon. We are packing light and only bringing a carry on. I have RS guidebook downloaded on my kindle and his audiobooks downloaded for all our site visits. I have offline maps downloaded and Google Translate on my phone. I have been practicing Italian as well. We are getting a CapitalOne Checking account to get cash at the ATM once there but plan on using CC as much as possible. We will be walking or using bus if needed. I already confirmed for Vespa we only need our US license and do not need IDP. Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Posted by
23983 posts

Which bell tower? San Giorgio or San Marco?

Posted by
91 posts

Relax and have fun! The things I enjoyed the most were the places, sights and sounds that were not scheduled. Happy that you left days open!

Posted by
542 posts

You certainly did your homework.
Enjoy and you will be back for sure.

Posted by
1667 posts

Great job planning your trip! You'll have a great time.

Some our most memorable experiences were the unplanned ones. Your plan to use credit cards is good. We rarely used cash, about like how we spend at home.

You luggage plans are spot on. My wife and I went to London and Paris for 9 days (business trip for her) and we took a Rick Steves classic backpack bag and one small carryon. It worked out great.

One of the most valuable things you can take is a few basic Italian phrases and a warm smile. Almost everyone speaks English. We did eat in a small restaurant off the beaten trail in Tuscany. The proprietor spoke about as much English as we speak Italian. With a few words, sign language and a lot of humor we had a wonderful meal and made a new friend!

Posted by
37 posts

Thanks everyone. This is my first international trip! It will just be my sister and I. We are in our 20's and haven't traveled much! I wanted to make sure we had as much done beforehand so we can just enjoy ourselves there.

Posted by
59 posts

You have such a nice trip planned - I love (and am a little jealous) of the pace! May I just suggest that you have some "clusters" sketched out for your unplanned days? Sorry, I can't think of a better word. What I mean is, if you decide you want to see the Knights of Malta keyhole, you know what other sites of interest are nearby. I just went to Iceland with a group of 10 family members. Every night we had a "family meeting" to discuss what we wanted to do the following day. If someone said they wanted to go to the Reynisfjara Beach, my sister, who had done most of the research, was able to say what other places made sense to visit while we were there, what time we should leave in the morning, and what to expect as far as travel time. I was so impressed that my sister did all the research and resisted the temptation to over plan! I am traveling to Rome with my husband, sons, and in-laws in June. My original itinerary had me herding everyone around at a break-neck speed. Now I just have a notebook of "clusters" like "San Pietro en Vincoli and Monti", "Aventine and Testaccio", "Sights to see between Vatican and Campo de'Fiori", etc.

Posted by
841 posts

In Venice, you are almost certain to use vaporettos to get around, water buses.
The iphone app chebateo (which boat) is handy and accurate.

Posted by
37 posts

I actually have not thought about that. Our plan was to just walk around and get lost but that's a great idea. I will definitely do that!!! Thank you

Posted by
441 posts

Looks like a really nice 2 weeks! I may suggest a day trip into Tuscan countryside since you have so much time in Florence. Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca maybe? Enjoy-Italy is wonderful!

Posted by
23983 posts

Do consider the bell tower at S Giorgio for the incredible views across the water to S Marco and the views of the boats - and it is cheaper and no (or very little) line. And it is original - S Marco is a rebuild.

Posted by
20 posts

Can you please share info on the Vespa wine tour (Website?) Sounds amazing!

Posted by
2066 posts

Looks like an awesome trip. I agree with Nigel's tower choice. Have fun!

Posted by
1051 posts

Looks great.

It appears that you enjoy wine and food. So while in Venice you may want to take part in Alessandro’s cicchetti tours. I’ve never been but it seems many folks on the forum really enjoy them.

I think this is the website.

http://www.schezzini.it

Please do consider a vaporetto ride up the grand canal as it’s quite the view. Late night tends to be less crowded, or do both a day and night ride. A vaporetto pass let’s you hop on and off as you like. Just make sure you know the rules. I think you have to validate each time you ride.

Have a great trip.

Posted by
71 posts

My husband and I visited in April, we did meet with Alessandro for the Pub Crawl Tour. It was fun and he gives you a lot of insight on Venice, you must email him with the dates that interest you so that he can set it up. In Venice we walked and used the Vaporetto only to get from the train station to our hotel and also when we visited Murano and Burano and back to the train station in which we got a day pass. We stayed in Dorsoduro and enjoyed walking. We did the Gondola and we wish we didn't, with the money you spend you might as well get a taxi from the train station to the hotel and you see the Grand Canal. The gondola takes you through the canals that you see while you are walking so no biggie. Unless it's a must I would save the money and spend it elsewhere.

You will love it! Enjoy.

Posted by
508 posts

I’m leaving Venice this morning after three nights here. A few suggestions…

Skip the gondola. Unless you’re on a romantic journey it is much ado about nothing. You get 30 minutes for 80 euros for the gondola (total $100 but you can share) and you can get a lot more for your money elsewhere. Speaking of money, you can get all you need at an ATM. Save your credit cards for large purchases and pay cash whenever possible. Vendors like cash and will negotiate.

You didn’t say where you’re staying but I hope it is on the island where you can walk anywhere and catch the vaporetto when you need it. Consider buying the 72 hour vaporetto pass which gives you unlimited rides over that time. One ride costs 7.50 euro and the pass cost 40 euro. A real no brainer, and that includes rides to the islands in the lagoon and spontaneous ones at night when the Grand Canal is all lit up. Be sure to go to the church of the Friari, page 80 I think in the guide book. Never seen anything like it, and the most beautiful art in Venice.

I went to both the Doges Palace and St. Marks Basilica at 4 PM and had a 10 minute wait to get in. Otherwise there are long lines.

I was sorry to see that you did not include Milan in your travels. I started this solo trip by flying into Milan and staying two nights, seeing the cathedral which is magnificent and DaVinci’s Last Supper, even more so.

I’m headed to Florence today and on to Rome in four days, so I I can help please let me know.

Jim

Posted by
37 posts

Thanks everyone!!! I will look into San Giorgio and vaporetto. We were hoping to just walk in Venice but will get tickets if needed. Gondola is a must and if it's a bust, we'll know for next time. I'm hoping it's not a major let down though.

Jim--what are your plans for florence? Recently, became interested in Galileo's museum. My sister is a software engineer and I heard it's pretty interactive.

Posted by
444 posts

go on a Chichetti crawl! It is amazing. a great way to meet locals.

Posted by
5 posts

Hello Voisine Gals,

Its my first solo international trip as well. 13 days trip to Spain and Italy.

Good work gals .. I am booking my hostels and planning itinerary for Italy end of June. and I am surely taking tips from you. I have total of 6 days in Italy and I want to do Colosseum, Vatican City in Rome and Wine tour of Tuscany for sure.
I am planning to take Flight from Barcelona to Florence and stay for 2 days, 1 day can be day trip to wine tour. Then I take a train to Rome for 3 days and go for 1 day tour to Naples and then 2 days in Rome.
Does this sound good?

My dates are 27th June onwards. Would love to connect with you gals during trip.

Krits

Posted by
1731 posts

I am traveling to Rome with my husband, sons, and in-laws in June. My
original itinerary had me herding everyone around at a break-neck
speed. Now I just have a notebook of "clusters" like "San Pietro en
Vincoli and Monti", "Aventine and Testaccio", "Sights to see between
Vatican and Campo de'Fiori", etc.

Lynnp, that's actually a very good strategy. The pressure of being on a tight, anal-retentive schedule running around like chickens with your heads cut off is definitely not conducive to enjoyment. In Italy, you tend to get sidetracked by...well, almost anything!

What your sister has figured out is that the advance research, mostly on the logistic end of it (where stuff is in relation to other stuff), can be done weeks or months ahead, so you don't have to waste a second figuring that out in real time.

Couple things on your trip, not to hijack the thread. First, St. Peter-in-Chains is magnificent, and if you see a food truck serving gelato at the bottom of the steps there, indulge. It was some of the best I've had in the whole country--go figure.

Second, they've gone out of business (I think) but if you can find a RS-recommended 'Streetwise Rome' laminated street map somewhere on Amazon or wherever, it's well worth your while to snag one. Has really helped in Roma, and I've got one for Paris too!

Enjoy your planning !

Posted by
59 posts

Thanks for the tips Jay. I really appreciate it. A streetwise map is a great idea. Hard to find but I'll continue to look. I moved to NYC after college for work in the 90s and I still have my Manhattan streetwise map. It was such a great resource. Thanks again.

Posted by
81 posts

Another vote for Alessandro's cicchetti tour. My husband and I did it in June 2014, and it was a highlight of our time in Venice. Lovely ending the tour at sunset on the Grand Canal with a glass of prosecco in hand and new friends to share the fun!

Posted by
9 posts

In Venice we are skipping a gondola and going for gondola lessons. https://rowvenice.org/venetian-rowing-lesson/
All the reviews and suggestions sound like this is the way to go! I wanted to do the night lessons but was out voted so we are doing it in the morning!! We too are in Venice in June!!Have fun!! Ciao!