planning 1st trip to Germany and Italy in August 2013...Help Please

Hi, We need some assistance in planning a trip to Germany and Florence in late August 2013. We have five adults in our group and need a 2 room suite in both locations. We plan to stay 3 days in Frankfurt then take a train to Florence Italy, stay there for 9 days, then return to the USA. The dates are: August 22 thru 24th in Frankfurt Germany. August 25 thru September 3rd in Florence Italy... September 3rd take the train back to Frankfurt and return to the USA. Can you help us find good accomadations for our trip? Marcus Youngblood Bigstang100@Yahoo.com

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

Marcus, Your best bet to find "good accommodations" would be to have a look at both the Rick Steves Germany and Italy Guidebooks. You should be able to find copies of both at your local Library or larger bookstores in your area. A "two room suite" is likely going to be expensive,, and may be difficult to find. Two double rooms might be more cost effective. Travel by train from Frankfurt to Florence is going to be a LONG trip, about 10 hours each way. If you stayed in Munich instead of Frankfurt, the trip would be about 7.5 hours each way. Another option would be to use a budget flight from Frankfurt to Florence, but I haven't checked on what flights are available. Good luck with your planning!

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4871 posts

Have you considered flying into Frankfurt and flying home from Florence or Pisa, rather than backtracking to Frankfurt. Even if you flew home from Rome or Milan it would be easier than returning to Frankfurt. You might want to remove your email address.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3342 posts

I'm from Florence and like you live in the SF Bay Area. Since SFO is a United hub with three daily flights to Frankfurt with either UA or their prtner Lufthansa, I nearly always go to my frequent trips to Florence via Frankfurt. Frankfurt is the hub best connected to Florence with Lufthansa with 6 daily pairs of flights. You should therefore take one of the 3 non stops from SFO to FRA. Stop in Frankfurt for those 3 days. Then you should proceed on Lufthansa from FRA to FLR. When you are done with your Florence and Tuscany you should fly back from Florence to SFO. The first LH flight leaves FLR at 0630 in the morning and after a very short 90 min flight you'll be in FRA where you can catch the huge Airbus 380 with Lufthansa back to SFO. You'll land at SFO at 1220pm on the same day. Or alternatively you can take one of the two United flights which depart later from FRA. Bologna is another city well connected with FRA with LH. However it's an extra 50 euro r/t via train to Florence therefore use BLQ only if at least 70 euro cheaper. Forget the train. The LH/UA option is the way to go. Get on the phone with Lufthansa and make reservations.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

Roberto: You're right on the money about their transportation. I'd say stay in Florence center city for 3-4 days and then rent a car and move out to the agriturismos north of Sienna doing day trips to the hill towns like Volterra. Virtually every farm in the area has apartments for rent; there are hundreds and hundreds of places to stay. Do you know any places in and out of the city that'd be good accommodations?

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3342 posts

While in Florence and Tuscany, the accommodations should be dependent on whether you have a car. If you have a car you have the option of staying in a farmhouse (Agriturismo). Websites below: Agriturismo. Net or .it or .com If you don't have a car stay in Florence in the city center within the city walls. Websites for apartments: Homelidays.com (vrbo.com affiliate for Europe)
Homeaway.com For hotels: bandb.com, booking.com, venere.com

Posted by Charlie
Honolulu/Seattle, HI/WA, USA
1841 posts

I go to Europe every summer for a month for over 10 years now. Only once did we have a 0630 flight to start going home to Seattle. Getting up in the middle of the night to be at an airport too early was something we never have done since. Lately, we have been unable to fly directly from where our month ends (usually at the end of a RS tour - 10 so far) so that we have been flying mid-day from where we end up back to the town where we will be flying direct to US and then spending the night there so that we can get up at a reasonably hour for a mid-day flight home. With your plans, I would fly over into Germany and then home from Italy (open-jaws). You have planned too much time in trains. Happy travels

Posted by Rik
Vicenza, Italy
702 posts

Keep in mind that August is vacation month and not exactly the best time to come to Italy if you cqn help it. You'll find a lot of stuff closed anywhere from two weeks to the entire month so accomodations might be more difficult to find than normal.