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Planning a trip to Italy - help!

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Israel
posts: 10
Planning a trip to Italy - help!

hi,

My bf & I are going to Italy from the 27.12 until the 03.01.13 (8 days, with a rental car, Rimini airport).

We thought of going 2 days to Venice, 2 days to Firenze and another 4 days to Rome.

What do you think? Is it worth driving all the way to Venice? Because I heard that there isn't much to do there in the winter.. Should we go to Verone instead?

Thank you very much! (:

NY
posts: 3,279
reviews: 72
1. Re: Planning a trip to Italy - help!

A car will be worse than useless in Venice, Rome and Florence, make sure you park it outside ZTLs to avoid fines.

You would see countryside along the routes, but in some cases it is boring.

and you will spend considerable time on the road, but OK if you want a road trip.

If you are not staying at some place other than in these cities, you might want to consider traveling by train, or rent a car for part of the time.

It is worth it going to Venice even in winter if this is your only chance, there is no other place like Venice but it is a lot to fit in 8 days.

Verona is also a great place, but would be better in warmer weather.

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
posts: 75,312
2. Re: Planning a trip to Italy - help!

Cancel the car hire and take the train for all these cities - Trains are convenient and connect city centres to city centres.

Vagabonda

Israel
posts: 10
3. Re: Planning a trip to Italy - help!

We checked the train's site, and it seems that the trains are very expencive & in a bad hours (the cheap trains are very late).. Aso, renting a car in Rimini and returning it in a different place costs X2 than to hire it for 8 days..

I read that it is dangerous to be in Venice in the winter (when it's raining).. Is it true?

I guess that we will go to Italy in the future, but we want to do as much as posible now- with enough time at each place, of course. You think that we should not go to Venice, and stay around Rome-Firenze instead?

NY
posts: 3,279
reviews: 72
4. Re: Planning a trip to Italy - help!

I think that via train will be a lot less expensive than renting a car for this whole time, and if you should fall into a ZTL it could cost 150 Euro fine each time.

For example, from Rimini to Venice using fast trains you can do it for around 25 Euros in second class, which is fine. Most connections will be via Bologna, but the whole trip should be less than 4 hours or less.

Not sure where you see the trains are at a bad time, there are many many - be sure to put in a starting time like 08 to see the times for the whole day

It is probably true that the really cheap economy and super economy fares are gone by now, but still 2nd class is reasonable.

Venice is not dangerous, but sometimes there is high water for a few hours due to weather and tides.

San Antonio, Texas
posts: 885
reviews: 18
5. Re: Planning a trip to Italy - help!

Do two cities not three, not enough time. Travel, checking into and out of hotels will eat up a lot of time.

Use the trains not a car for travel between these cities. Parking is limited and can be expensive, traffic in Rome looked brutal and those ZTL zones (limited traffic zones) can cost you a ton of money in fines unless you are not careful. Picking up and dropping off the rental can be time consuming as well and you don' have much time.

IMO you are better off seeing and enjoying either Venice or Florence than glossing over both and not seeing much in either.

But of the two issues- car or itinerary, the car is the bigger deal.

NY
posts: 3,279
reviews: 72
6. Re: Planning a trip to Italy - help!

As a PS, for the train it can be worthwhile to look as soon as possible for your options since in fact there may be some low fare economy or super economy fares still available as least for some part of a journey - these need to be booked on line in advance and cannot be easily changed, but can save a lot.

For example for Rome back to Rimini you might do it for around 40 Euros or less and about 3-4 hours

San Antonio, Texas
posts: 885
reviews: 18
7. Re: Planning a trip to Italy - help!

The destinations you have selected are among Italy's most popular and there should be quite a number of departure times each day. As someone else mentioned you may not be using the search function correctly to pull up the train schedule. If you choose Rome and Florence you can see more than just these two cities by doing a few day trips. From Rome you can visit Orvieto and from Florence, Siena. There are many other day trip options.

Second class train fares are cheap, car rentals are expensive.

Israel
posts: 10
8. Re: Planning a trip to Italy - help!

I checked the trains in this site- http://www.fsitaliane.it/frecciarossa.html

Traveling from Rimini to Venice in the hours that we need will cost around 40 euros each. From Venice to Firenze it's 45 euros. From Firenze to Rome costs 30-40 euros... From the other hand, a car costs 160 euros + fuel. Plus, traveling by car is more comfortable... We will think about giving up the car, but it doesn't seem much cheaper.

Which city is the best- Venice or Florence? Or maybe a 3rd city? we are looking for some place beautiful, interesting and fun...

Thank you so much for your help!

San Antonio, Texas
posts: 885
reviews: 18
9. Re: Planning a trip to Italy - help!

There appear to be at least two dozen departure times for Florence to Rome. The cheaper fares on the fast trains have sold out. The regional trains are cheaper but slower and I think you have to wait until 7 days before departure to check on the fares.

You may want to add in the cost of parking. Car will end up being more expensive and likely more of a problem than the train.

Israel
posts: 10
10. Re: Planning a trip to Italy - help!

We thought of this plan-

27/12 - San Marino, after sunset driving to Venice

28/12 - Venice

29/12 - Venice or Firenze (any way- sleeping in Firenze)

30/12 - Firenze, after sunset driving to Rome

31/12 - Vatican

01/01 - The streets of Rome (and not forgeting that everything is closed)

02/01 - Rome

03/01 - places around Rome (as Siena) , driving back to Rimini

- What do you think?