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A fall month in Italy - costs & arrangements

Our month in Italy - 16 Oct to 17 Nov 2019 Costs & arrangements
Background : 3 week trip to Rome, Florence, Venice & Verona in Spring 1996. Desired to see some new places with only some overlap. We are an active & moderately fit mid-70s couple with extensive travel experience. Very low budget & local many years ago. Now better budget with farther & longer possibilities. Mostly retired for 20 years. RS Turkey & RoadScholar Costa Rica only tours we have taken. We started planning this trip over a year ago. Developed a working itinerary & booked air travel & rooms last Jan to Mar; trains in summer. This forum was a help with info. We try to get flight to arrive in AM; depart late AM. Location was most important room criteria; other factors used to finalize choice. Apartments (1 bedroom & kitchen) & hotels with breakfast are desired to avoid eating out early. We prefer to stay in one spot as often as possible but this trip was to include future trip possibilities, so moved more. Decision to go mid- Oct was a gamble to pit crowds vs weather - we lost. We encountered lots of both. Fortunately, because of 44 years in Alaska, rain & cold do not intimidate us.

Rooming cost: € 2,455 total or €82/night avg. Ground transportation: about €365. Food, museums & misc costs: about €48/day.

Milano: Airport bus to Centrale, metro to Cadorna sta. 3 nights in HomeAway apt with view of Castel Sforza for €312 incl taxes.

Metro to Centrale. Intercity from Centrale to Monterosso.

Vernazza: Regionale from Monterosso. 4 nights in HomeAway apt near Piazza Marconi but up serious stairs - €476 total.

Day trips via Regionale to Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia & Monterosso. Regionale to La Spezia Centrale.

Firenze: Intercity from La Spezia to Pisa, missed next train & took later & slower (3+ hrs) to Firenze SMN. 6 nights in HomeAway apt in Oltrarno near Ponte Vecchio for €400 total. Uffizi, Pitti Palazzo, Boboli Gardens advance ticket. Day trip to Pisa on Regionale from SMN - took correct train back. 131 Rapide bus from station near SMN to Siena.

Siena: bus stops in old town on hill top. Walked to HomeAway apt near Santa Caterina - 3 nights for €215 total.
Cab down to train station. Regionale to Orvieto.

Orvieto: station in new town below hill, so funicular & bus to old town atop hill. Short walk to La Magnolia BnB - 2 nights for €130. Bus & funicular down to station. Intercity to Napoli Centrale

Sorrento: from Napoli took Circumvesuviana to Sorrento. Short walk to Palazzo Tasso hotel in old town - 2 nights for €117.

SITA bus at station to Positano.

Positano: bus stop at top of town, not close to hotel. 2 nights at Positano Art Hotel Pasitea for €238. Maps showed route down a million stairs - wrong! Walk down narrow road or take local shuttle bus which stops in front of hotel. SITA bus stop is back up the hill or a long shuttle bus ride. Bus to Amalfi.

Amalfi: bus stop in harbor. Short walk into town to L'Antico Convitto hotel with nice elevator. 2 nights for €172.
SITA bus to Salerno Centrale.

Roma: FrecciaBianca from Salerno thru Naples to Roma Termini. 20 min walk from Termini to HomeAway apt near via Genova & via Nazionale - 6 nights for €395 total. Bus (never again) to Vatican for tour; metro back. Borghese advance tickets for a free Wednesday. Night bus to Termini; Leonardo to FCO for flight.

Posted by
3028 posts

A very numeric report! It's very helpful for those working on planning a budget for a trip to Italy. I sense you were an accountant before you retired?

What did you enjoy about your trip?

Posted by
21721 posts

This one I am going to bookmark. This is a frequent question and numbers are good.

Posted by
2329 posts

Larry42, you certainly accomplished an economical trip, €82 per night average for 2 people, including several higher cost spots like Rome, Florence, Positano, etc. is very good, I think.
How did you like the La Magnolia B & B in Orvieto? I have a reservation there for late April?
What were your favorite and least favorite stops?
Other Larry

Posted by
2097 posts

Hi Larry,
You mentioned the Best of Turkey Tour in 2018–well, I was on that tour too! Your Italian adventure sounds like fun. What was your favorite place, activity or experience? Say hello to your wife for me. Where next in 2020?

Posted by
136 posts

I am trying to satisfy the various, and often conflicting, preferences for info in trip reports (as discussed in recent posts on the subject) by splitting reports into separate topics. As we have benefited from forum reports, we would like to provide some of our trip experiences for others. Will be posting info on our activities, likes and problems.
Dave: not an accountant. As I contractor, I had to keep time & $ records to avoid disaster.

Carmel Larry: we book 6 to 9 months ahead. In fall 2016, we booked a nice apartment on Rue Cler, Paris for 3 weeks. Met a couple that booked one week at a 2 star Rue Cler area hotel near their trip time and paid more than we did for the 3 weeks. And I did say that we had a "better budget" - not a big one. La Magnolia BnB in Orvieto is excellent, located maybe 100 m from Duomo. Our place was 1 bedroom with a kitchenette. The cafe downstairs is part of the BnB and where breakfast is served. We could have easily spent more time in Orvieto. The Trattoria del Moro Aronne is recommended by RS & us - get reservations!
Judy B: still traveling? Enjoyed the Turkey tour guide and group. Found Turkey interesting and helpful in understanding history. Despite the comments on how well Erdogan ran Istanbul, had our doubts about his plans for Turkey. Events have not dispelled those doubts.
Thanks for the comments. More to come.