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Italy Trip 2020

Hi! Piacere!
I just love your travel site and all the advise you give - you are a blessing to all who love to travel!

So this being our (Four of us) first trip to Italy we are thinking of:
a 14 day trip 06/25 thru 07/09.
I want to know if it is do able and we are not biting off more than we can chew...
Flying in and out of Rome
Rome 2 days
Renting a car and driving to Cinque Terre staying 3 days
Florence 2 days
sienna 1 day
Following the Rick Steve's itineraries...
here is where we go rouge: our friend and his wife have ancestry in Abrutzzi and they want to see it:
Traveling to Abrutzzi and staying 4 days
Back to Rome and flying home next day
that is a lot of distance....
we seem to have everything figured out except Abrutzzi.

Can you offer us any advise?

Thank you,
Gigi

Posted by
6794 posts

Do you arrive in Rome on the 25th, or is that the day you depart home (US?) and then arrive on the 26th.?

A rental car for/in/at Cinque Terre and Florence is about as useful as a ton of lead to a drowning man

A rental car to get to Abruzzo makes sense

Following the Rick Steve's itineraries...

Does this mean the itinerary published for the tours RS sells? If so, that kind of pace works because the tour uses a dedicated bus for virtual door to door service., something you cannot replicate on your own, even with a car.

On first glance your trip appears overly ambitious and does not fully account for the travel logistics you have to negotiate.

I suggest you reexamine the entire schedule and figure out just how long it takes to get from A to B on each segment of the trip.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks for getting back so quickly.

LOL!! I like what you said about driving to C.T.!

ok we will rethink that.
We will rethink the logistics of the whole trip. This is very over whelming...
I have bought every book on Italy trips that Mr. Rick Steve's sells....I hope to mimic his trips to suit our plans.
We bought our tickets already... and if I am getting your hint the train or bus are the best options for travel from Rome to C.T. and then to Florence?

From Florence rent a care to Abruzzo? any advise for sights there - not much to say on his sight. We are beach/wine and food/history people.
I'm excited about the trip; but I do want to see some sights that are not on the beaten path; and I am nervous about pick pockets and how crowded the trains will be. Mr. Steve's talks about that a lot.
Never having been in Italy I can not wrap my head around distances and best way to travel from one sight to the other timely.

thank you for your input,
Gigi

Posted by
13 posts

oh and yes we are leaving Phila., PA on 06/25 and land in Rome on 06/26 in AM - leaving Rome 07/09 for home.

Posted by
1538 posts

Hello Gigi-

You’ll need to do some homework.
You have 13 nights and want 5 locations. That’s 1-2 too many.
A 2 night stay translates to just a day and a half. Avoid 1 night stays.
You’ll spend so much time getting to, checking in, getting oriented, checking out, catching trains. Slow down a bit. Piano, piano!
RS tours and itineraries are very fast paced, too fast paced for most of us here.
Use a car rental very strategically. You do not want to pick up a car and drive from Rome on arrival. Recipe for disaster. With 4 people and luggage you’ll need a larger car. Make sure all of your lodgings have parking for that car. You’ll need to read up on driving in Italy and all drivers must have IDP. Do some searches right here on this forum, the info is all here.
We always use AutoEurope.com for our european rentals.

I like rome2rio.com to check out transportation options/distances.
Train travel is easy, inexpensive and the way to go as much as you can in Italy.
www.trenitalia.com

Since your flights are booked- RT Rome-- best advice is to put all your Rome nights at end of trip. Rome needs 4 nights.

On arrival- train to Florence is easy, quick. (Getting to CT from Rome is longer, more complicated, not something I’d want to tackle on first entry to Italy)
Florence needs 3 nights - day trip to Siena by bus- 1 less hotel change.
Not sure CT needs or deserves 3 nights (I have not been there)

Abruzzo is the outlier, but priority. You want 4 nights there. You’ll probably want a car there.
You’ll need to figure where to pick up and where can you drop off. Do you need an automatic? You will need a larger car.

You only have 13 nights.
Arrive Rome- train to Florence
Florence 3 nights- day trip Siena by bus
CT- 2 nights
Abruzzo- 4 nights- pick up car here if you really need
Rome 4 nights

Play around on Google maps or rome2rio.

You will also want to get going with accommodations, especially in CT.
booking.com is great- filter and search, read reviews- you will want AC!, check the hotel website then book wherever best deal

Posted by
13 posts

Grazie!
That was very helpful! ...going back to the drawling board and slowing down.
Gigi

Posted by
11845 posts

Hi there, Gigi!

I have bought every book on Italy trips that Mr. Rick Steve's
sells....I hope to mimic his trips to suit our plans.

Arg. As Joe said, not a great idea as the tour schedules are almost impossible to replicate on one's own, what with none of the transport, guided services and some other arrangements handled for you. Even his suggested schedules for independent tourists are entirely too rushed for many of us. You've gotten very good advance regarding a less ambitious itinerary and I hope your traveling companions can see the light as well as you are wisely beginning to! :O)

Christine has provided a very workable itinerary so yep, I'd go with it.

Also good advice about the car: as useful as a bicycle to a fish in the CT, Florence and Rome. Yes, trains are the way to go between Rome, Florence and the CT, and bus or train between Florence and Siena. Can't help much with Abruzzo but if a car might be an asset anywhere on this trip, that's probably the place. It would be helpful if your friends had some idea of what/where in Abruzzo they're wanting to visit?

Yes, point-to-point train tickets are also the way to go. You can get some nice price breaks on "fast" long-distance trains if willing to commit in advance but looking at Christine's itinerary, I'm not seeing many legs where you're likely to be taking those other than a particular train from Florence to La Spezia (gateway to the CT; regionale trains from there to whichever village you'll be staying in) that we can talk about later, and Rome> Florence. Regarding the latter, most of us would not advise buying in advance for a "fast" train journey on arrival day. Should your plane be delayed or cancelled, the bargain-priced tickets usually non-refundable and non-changeable.

It's possible that you might be taking a "fast" train into Abruzzo somewhere, renting a car at that point, and dropping it off before taking another "fast" train into Rome. I'm sure some RS posters who are knowledgable about that region will have some good advice.

The Cinque Terre: due to the intense popularity of this destination, you're going to want to put the giddyup on booking accommodations, OK?

I am nervous about pick pockets

No need to be. There are any number of successful methods for foiling light fingers that have been discussed nearly to exhaustion on this site. Some posters wouldn't leave home without their money belts; others of us use antitheft bags (we have one of those), neck wallets, internal safety pockets, etc. You just don't want to walk around with anything you can't afford to lose in an unsecured bag, purse or exterior pocket. That said, the VAST majority of us have never had anything lifted, and that might be because we took some sort of effective precaution. Anyway, relax and just skim through some of the many (!!!!!) prior threads on the subject including this one:

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tourist-scams/reasons-locals-don-t-use-monetbelts

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you!
Kathy, Charlotte, Christine & Joe! you all are such a great help!
We are talking all your knowledge into consideration. Wow! I can't tell you how you have decompressed my anxiety! LOL!!! ...and no fishing with a bicycle in C.T.!!! Ha!

;) Gigi

Posted by
1538 posts

I like your attitude Gigi!

Do come back and ask any questions- there are so many helpful knowledgeable people here. Hopefully someone will come along with some advice/experience for the Abruzzo segment of your trip.
You might want to check your library for other Italy guide books for info on that area of Italy. RS guides do not cover everything in every country.

Here are some links to get you started:
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/abruzzo/top-things-to-do/a/poi/359847
https://www.abruzzo-villas.com/top-things-to-know-about-abruzzo-italy/
https://www.italiasweetitalia.com/what-to-see-in-abruzzo-list-of-best-places/

Posted by
13 posts

Hi!

My girlfriend and I are sitting here trying to hash out our Itinerary! :) We need help....LOL!!!!

This is our plan:
Fly out of Phila. PA 06/25 @ 6:30pm
Sleep, drink, take a benadryl and sleep on the plan...She doesn't think she can.
Day #1 - Land in Rome, Italy 06/26 @ 09:10am - how long does it take to get through customs??? Sleep Rome
*orient ourselves, find Hotel, talk with our hotel peeps and get the poop-scoop:)
Day#2 - sight see Rome - Sleep Rome
*Do the "Caesar Shuffle" - HAHA
Day#3 - 06/28 - We go to church and have a quiet day
Leave via train to Cinque Tarre maybe around 1-2pm??? Sleep C.T.
Day #4 -06/29- Monday?? Beach Day/Sight See/Hike C.T. Sleep C.T.
Day#5 -06/30 - More C.T.

leave around 2pm or later for Florence Sleep Florence
We want to use Florence as a hub and just bus /rent a car (aware of driving restrictions) back and forth to places(can that work?)
Day#6 07/01 - sight seeing Florence Sleep Florence
Day#7 - 07/02 - Heart of Tuscany Drive (Rent a car), Sleep Florence
Day #8 - 07/03 - leave via the FAST TRAIN to Abruzzo (or Rent the car??) sleep Abruzzo
Day #9 - 07/04 - touring Abruzzo Beaches/wine/Food sleep Abruzzo
Day #10- 07/05 - touring Abruzzo Beaches/picnic/hike sleeping in Abruzzo
Day #11 - 07/06 - touring Abruzzo Sleeping Abruzzo
Day #12 - 07/07 - FAST TRAIN to ROME Sleep Rome
Day #13 - 07/08 - See what we missed in Rome Sleep Rome
Day #14 - 07/09 - leave for home

Posted by
32 posts

Hi! I am going at exactly the same time for the same amount of days. Flying in and out of Rome as well. I contacted Perillo tours and tried to work with them, but the price was way too high for independent travel. I'd be happy to share the itinerary with you! It makes it so much easier. We are going to 3 locations - First, Florence, then Sorrento/Amalfi last Rome. 5 days in Florence, 4 in Sorrento, 4 in Rome. We are 2 adults and 2 older kids. I feel like I don't have enough time in each location with 3 places...so I don't know how you could possibly do more!

Posted by
11845 posts

garrahyd, there is a reason the OP and her companions are going to Abruzzo so it needs to stay on the itinerary.

Will think about it overnight but Gigi, I hate to see you split your days in Rome. It just flows better to put all your Rome days at the end of the trip. If anything, I'd drop the CT piece as it isn't exactly known for beaches - although Monterosso has a pebbly stretch they call one - and use those nights for a drive around Tuscany and heading off to Abruzzo.

Posted by
6794 posts

I will reiterate Kathy's suggestion to do all your Rome days at the end. With a 930AM arrival in Rome you have plenty of time to go to your farthest north destination that day and then work your way back and end in Rome. It will save you at least one hotel in/out cycle

Abruzzo is a region ( "state") that is over 4000 sq miles in area ( a bit smaller than Connecticut) Have you decided where it is you will be? (some basic info here--- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abruzzo)

Posted by
1538 posts

Do try to put all Rome nights at end. We're going to keep talking you in to that.
Train to Florence on arrival will be very easy. Florence is a lovely place to get used to Italy and get over jet lag. I think you’ll enjoy Rome more at end of your trip, not split up.

I would not rent a car while staying in Florence for a day trip. Getting in/out of city is a pain and a risk. You will need a designated driver. Use the bus, train or do a guided day tour- Walks of Italy is one, there are others. It will be worth the cost.
https://www.walksofitaly.com/florence-tours/tuscany-day-trips-from-florence/

There is no fast train to "Abruzzo" Abruzzo is a region. It looks like you take train to Pescara. Play around with rome2rio.com to see what your options really are.
Check trenitalia.com- you will need to use Italian station names
Firenze, Pescara Centrale, Roma Termini…

In which Abruzzo town do you actually want to stay? Do you really need 4 nights there? You only have 13 total
https://www.lifeinabruzzo.com/how-travel-abruzzo-plane-train-bus-car/

Just a quick check on autoeurope.com looks like car rentals in Pescara are at airport not train station, although those are closeby
Also remember you will need a car that fits 4 people with luggage (hidden, if at all possible, pack light). Not all locations will have automatics available if that is something you need.

Alternative is to get car as you leave CT (La Spezia I believe is where you’d pick up car)— it's a rather long drive- 6 hours
Or take train from La Spezia to Pescara- also long journey 7 hours.
CT really is the outlier in your itinerary. Just because RS goes there, doesn’t mean you have to.

Still some transpo logistics to work out but you are getting there!

First thing I would do is make a decision on which nights you are in CT- book lodgings ASAP. If you can book with free cancellation, do that…just in case. (CT can be done as a day trip from Florence)

Posted by
3487 posts

Christine and Kathy have it right. KEEP all Rome days at the End!!

Try this...

June 26. Arrive Rome. Allow 2-3 hours for immigration passport control. With 4 of you a taxi 48-50 € is your best bet to reach Roma Termini. From there train to Florence (Firenze SMN). 90 minutes.

June 27. Florence. For reservation to museums
http://www.b-ticket.com. Do a food tour in the evening.

June 28. Florence. Church @ the Duomo or other church. Kathy can recommend many.
Afternoon trip to the wineries.

June 29. Florence afternoon train to La Spezia. Then Cinque Terre Express to village of choice. 3 hours max. Rent an apartment w/balcony or terrace. Great spot to have vino and watch the world go by.

June 30. Cinque Terre. Ferry to villages, train on return.

July 1. Cinque Terre

July 2. Train La Spezia- Pescara. 6H52min.
Car will take about 6-6 1/2 hours. Pack a picnic, snacks and wine you should find many options at the station. Pick up rental car on arrival in Pescara. I use either Hertz or Europecar.

July 3. Abruzzo area. Some nice beaches, hilltowns and fishing villages along the coast.

July 4. Abruzzo region. Possible heritage search.

July 5. Drive Pescara-Roma Tiburtina 2H15m
Taxi to lodging. 10-15 min to central Rome.

July 6 Rome

July 7. Rome. Church?

July 8. Rome.

July 9. Taxi to Fco. Allow 2 1/2-3 hours pre flight
Unless you have an intereuropean then 2 hours should be enough.

Posted by
13 posts

Wow that is great information!
I hear ya!
I am trying to talk everyone out of C. T. and putting Rome at the end. We want to stay near Pascare and Chieti in Abruzzo after doing some VBRO research. I rented a car in Chieti Downtown from Rentalcars.com---was that a little presumptuous?? Should I cancel?

:)
Gigi

Posted by
1538 posts

Never used rental cars.com as we always book with AutoEurope.com (RS recommend and many here use)
Do give them a look or call their toll free number -they are extremely helpful and knowledgeable
They are a US based consolidator that specializes in car rentals in Europe
They can help you with any issues/problems you may have before, during and after your rental
Don’t know if you’d get the same level of service from rental cars.com

How will you get to Chieti to pick up your car?
Be sure to check opening/closing times. Most offices will close mid-day, half day Sat and closed on Sun

Posted by
11845 posts

A nice itinerary sample from Gerri too. :O)

But if you can drop the CT then you could just add those nights to Florence and day-trip from there. Longer stays in one place, when possible, cuts down on time spent packing, unpacking, checking in and out of hotels and whatnot. Longer stays also allow you to flex a bit with weather. Rain? Stay in Florence and cruise the churches, museums and historic sites. Sunny and dry? Hop a train or a bus for an adventure day further afield.

Florence is such a good base for a number of trips by train, such as Lucca and Pisa, or bus, such as Siena and Fiesole. As suggested, you could also book an organized tour around the countryside. Anyway, I'll echo Christine that you don't want to deal with a car in Florence.

LOL, if you need help talking your companions out of putting all Rome days at the end, show 'em this thread and get 'em to ask their own questions here! We've got your back!

Editing to add, it looks like Chieti has train service (2 stations).

Posted by
1538 posts

Since you mentioned possibly dropping CT I’m going to throw this out there.
You didn’t mention Venice in your original post/plan but it might fit better than CT, strictly for transportation logistics. Can’t ever go wrong with the big 3.

You’d only need a rental car for 3 days

6/26 Day 1- Arrive FCO- train to Florence- 4 nights
6/27 Day 2 Florence
6/28 Day 3 day trip Siena by bus (or guided tour of Tuscany)
6/29 Day 4 day trip Lucca/Pisa (or CT if you must see)
6/30 Day 5 Morning train to Venice (2 hr)- 2 nights
7/1 Day 6 Venice
7/2 Day 7 (Thurs) Morning train to Pescara- 5 hr- looks like no changes
Pick up car and head to wherever you are staying in the region-3 nights.
7/3, 7/4 Day 8, Day 9 Sightsee Abruzzo region
7/5 Day 10-Drop car in Pescara and take train to Rome (3.5 hr) Rome 4 nights
7/6, 7/7, 7/8 Day 11, 12, 13 Rome, Rome Rome
7/9 Day 14 Fly home

ETA- Since 7/5 is a Sunday I guess you’d have to drive to Rome to drop off car. Check hours at Tiburtina station, FCO will be open. This is the kind of thing that AutoEurope can help you with.

Posted by
1538 posts

Also make sure you get the correct spelling for towns- Pescara-not Pascare- important when you look for trains and rental cars ;)

If you drop CT and decide to just stay in Florence, it's even easier.
Train from Florence to Pescara is 4.5 hr- change in Bologna

Editing to add, it looks like Chieti has train service (2 stations).

Ahh that's good!

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks Gerri Christine!

Spell check! Got it!

We did not think Venice would be an option just because of the recent flooding....we would probably like to spend more time in Florence or Abruzzo area.

Do I understand you to be saying the trains do not run on Sundays or you can not buy tickets on Sundays?

I will def check out the AutoEuro site...yeah -how will we get to Chieti to pick up the car??? Rolling my eyes. Canceling that care rental...

Posted by
13 posts

Kathy - great insight - we are meeting again this evening and whooping up the New year with Italy Itinerary plans!

Posted by
1538 posts

Trains will run on Sunday
The car rental offices will be closed in smaller locations. Not sure about hours for car drop off at Tiburtina but FCO locations will definitely be open Sunday.

No hurry to book that car til you have everything figured out

Posted by
5455 posts

If your companions are set on the CT, ask them "why?" Did they see pictures, watch a RS video ?? There are many worthwhile things to see/do in Italy -- the key is considering what you are trading off by seeing one place over another. In three trips to Italy, one a month long, we have not seen CT because other places tempted us more and/or were logistically easier.

Posted by
3487 posts

Pescara- Chieti... train 12m. Bus 20m.

To decide on the Cinque Terre, check the cruise ship schedules for the days your planning.

Have been 3 times...2004 stunning no crowds.
2008 busy but manageable, some areas hard to navigate. 2012. Horrible, I'll not go back. Wall to wall hoards.

Posted by
13 posts

I showed our group your suggestions...and here is the new plan: LOL!!! please let me know your thoughts...

06/26 -Day#1 -Friday- arrive FCO-train to Florence - sleep Florence - I am looking for VBRO for maybe 4-6 nights
06/27-Day#2 - Saturday -Florence sight seeing - Sleep Florence
06/28-Day#3 - Sunday - Church - Renaissance Walk/Picnic - Sleep Florence
06/29-Day#4 - Monday - (Maybe)Day trip to Lucca/Pisa/C.T.(rolling my eyes) - sleep Florence

Plan is to maybe rent a car or use the bus system back and forth here....
06/30-Day#5 - Tuesday - Day Trip Tuscany/Siena/Orvieto/Civita - Sleep Florence or a Tuscany town??? Something is going on in Siena having to do with some kind of horse race on 07/02....so not sure about staying near there????
07/01-Day#6 - Wednesday - Repeat Tuscany - Sleep Florence or Tuscany Town???

07/02-Day#7 - Thursday - Morning train to Pescara. Pick up Car head to our VBRO near Teramo - 4 nights
07/03-Day#8 - Friday - investigate Abruzzo Region and ancestry
07/04-Day#9 - Saturday - More of Abruzzo
07/05 - Day#10 - Sunday - Church/beach/picnic

07/06- Day#11 - Monday - Drop off Car & take Morning train to Rome - 3 nights

07/07 - Day#12 - Tuesday - Rome
07/08 -Day#13 - Wednesday - Rome

07/09 - Day#14 - Thursday - Flight home @ 11:50hrs - plan getting to airport @ 0800hrs

Ok :0) - I look forward to your wisdom!
Gigi

Posted by
1538 posts

Oh Wow The Palio! is in Siena then. Well that would be an amazing experience but also a mob scene you probably don’t want to deal with. If you can get to Siena for a day trip before 7/2 that might work but it's still going to be rather hectic there.

OK- some comments, some suggestions on your new plan.
Hate see you only have 3 nights in Rome but will leave that for now- it does solve the car rental drop off problem

Just rent a car once, not twice. I’ll show you how below.

Florence- I really encourage you to stay in a hotel for your first 3 nights. As first timers to Italy/first stay you will find having a 24/7 desk, bkft included, etc invaluable. Renting an apartment for just 3 days and on your jet lagged arrival day is not usually the most efficient thing to do.

It is going to be hotter than Dutch love, so I think you might want to get out of the city/away from crowds after 3 nights in Florence

Orvieto- maybe on your way to Abruzzo, otherwise too far for a day trip. Civita not necessary.

OK- here is my suggested itinerary, just a few changes to yours:

06/26 -Day#1 -Friday- arrive FCO-train to Florence
sleep Florence - 3 nights, look for hotel near center/train station. Keep it simple. Florence is compact, you can walk everywhere

06/27-Day#2 - Saturday -Florence sight seeing - Sleep Florence
06/28-Day#3 - Sunday - Church - Renaissance Walk/Picnic - Sleep Florence
***If you do want to visit Lucca/Pisa then I would stay 4 nights in Florence, 2 at agriturismo. Take train to Lucca/Pisa.

06/29-Day#4 - Monday - Agriturismo stay 3 nights (or night #4 in Florence- day trip to Lucca here, or Siena if you are brave!)
http://en.agriturismo.com/farmhouses/tuscany
Make sure the place you pick is not far from highway, easy access, parking.

Pick up car as you leave Florence. (We picked up at Hertz Sansovino location- outside ZTL, easy drive down Chianti, there is another Hertz just as easy that Roberto mentions. Look for those posts)
Choose a hill town maybe 2 hours south of Florence- we loved Montepulciano, Pienza is also very nice. Find an agriturismo in that area- a pool would be welcome. You can day trip to multiple towns, Montalcino, San Quirico, Pienza, Montepulciano, Bagno Vignoni was fun, etc.
Tuscany is quite easy to drive around, get used to driving on these 3 days- you will be driving from here to Teramo.
06/30-Day#5 - Tuscany
07/01-Day#6 - Tuscany
07/02-Day#7 - Thursday - Drive to your lodgings in Teramo - should be pretty straightforward- 4 hours?
(get a good Michelin map- amazon.com is your friend)
07/03-Day#8 - Friday - investigate Abruzzo Region and ancestry
07/04-Day#9 - Saturday - More of Abruzzo
07/05 - Day#10 - Sunday - Church/beach/picnic
07/06- Day#11 - Monday - Drop off Car & take Morning train to Rome - 3 nights- stay central- will save you time/touring.
( if you feel comfortable just driving to Rome to drop off car that would save a good bit of time getting you to Rome much earlier in day. You've only got 2 full days there now!)
07/07 - Day#12 - Tuesday - Rome
07/08 -Day#13 - Wednesday - Rome
07/09 - Day#14 - Thursday - Flight home @ 11:50hrs - plan getting to airport @ 0800hrs. Taxi from center is fixed 48€

Posted by
3561 posts

Wow, if you have a chance to go to the Siena Palio, don’t miss it! Lots of rival history from the neighborhoods represented. Read about it and watch some YouTube videos to get an idea of the magnitude of importance this horse race is to the Siena town.

I went to the Jousting Festival at Arezzo (neighborhood rivals) two years ago. It was a special, memorable day!

Posted by
3487 posts

I'm envisioning the four of you really whooping it up tonight.

Christine has given you a great itinerary. I do
disagree with dropping the car in Abruzzo.
The drive is relatively short and Roma Tiburtina is basicly a close suburb of Rome. Then taxi to your lodging in central Rome, 10-15 minutes around 12€.
Here are your choices.

https://www.rome2rio.com/map/Teramo/Roma-Autostazione-Tiburtina

Click on drive, at the bottom of the page you'll see "use the app" x that out and click on the map which can be expanded. Use for quick reference only.

The Via Michelin maps are the "most" accurate but you'll find all are off 10-15%.
time wise.

Posted by
794 posts

A couple of tips for Abruzzo. As mentioned upthread, there is no fast train from Rome to Pescara, just a slow bumbling one. The best way to get between those two places is by coach bus. There are 3 coach companies that do the run all day long. ProntoBus is one, Flixbus and DiCarlo are the others. Very comfortable and much faster than the train.

There IS a fast train Bologna to Pescara, so if you head to Abruzzo from the north, such as Florence, train is the way to go. There are multiple car rental places right at Pescara train station, so it’s easy to pick up your car there.

I spent the month of September 2019 in Abruzzo, so if you’re looking for any sightseeing ideas, I might be able to suggest some. But if the trip is about ancestry, you probably know where you want to go already.

Have a great trip, and I agree to drop CT so you can focus on Abruzzo. It’s beautiful and less crowded than CT. And the beaches are sandy not rocky like CT’s beaches.

Posted by
2321 posts

Gigi,
How fortunate to receive such great advice for your proposed trip. Makes me want to revisit Tuscany sooner than later! Kudos to Christine, Kathy & Gerri for their excellent itinerary ideas. I would also consider Jean's suggestion to go to Siena Palio. We were there in Sept. 2006 and unfortunately missed it. We were only able to imagine the magnitude of this horse race. I think any opportunity to see an historic event in your travels is well worth the lasting memories. ;)

Posted by
13 posts

You all are awesome and I would love to write you all wonderful recommendations for all the worthy advise and good times/laughs I have had reading your posts and learning from your advise! our plans are locked down and we all feel comfortable - CT is out! and Rome is getting a solid 2 and 3/4 days now...i know -still not enough time there...Nelly I would love your offer of sights to go to in Abruzzo - please share! Christine, Gerrie, Kathy,Charlotte and Joe - I can not thank you enough! I will post when we get back and let you all know how we did!

Accommodations are our big deal now - taking the hotel advise for Florence.
Contacting them directly is a snag...timing. will keep emailing and hoping they get back to me. I feel like I want to talk to them and not just email back and forth.

Car is a go - My husband will be driving and he is working on the IDP - just going through our local DMV

Thank you all again!

Posted by
1538 posts

Your DMV is not where you get IDP

Go to your local AAA it’s about $20
You will need 2 passport photos
you can bring your passport photos or they will do for you for a small charge

Posted by
11845 posts

Contacting them directly is a snag...timing. will keep emailing and
hoping they get back to me. I feel like I want to talk to them and not
just email back and forth.

Gigi, I've used booking.com a lot for reserving our accommodations and never had an issue but I've also never felt I've had much to ask about in advance. Not much different, really, than booking hotels in the U.S. For hotels I've booked through their own websites, any communication we've had has been via email and that hasn't been an issue either. In fact, that allows us to communicate as our individual time zones conveniently allow. Don't overthink it, OK?

Oh, and sometimes having conversations in writing can be useful if a problem arises later.

Posted by
1538 posts

I use booking.com for almost all bookings or if the actual hotel website gives me a better deal I book directly with them
Never had a problem
Email communication is pretty standard worldwide now

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3487 posts

Gigi, no need to send hubby to the DMV. He can only get the IDP thru AAA either in person or online.

For lodging try these two villages. Buonconvento or San Quirico d'Orcia. Use VRBO or Booking.com with booking set your filters for the amenities you may want. You may also need to put in 6 persons if you want a real 2 bedroom 2 bath rather than a sofa in the living area.

You could also try this agriturismo but it's not located in town.

http://www.borgorapale.it (apt Pietro)

From wherever you end up, drive to your lodging in Abruzzo. Then driving on your way to Rome you could stop in Orvieto.