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Old 07-02-2010, 02:31 PM
 
Location: NJ
2,111 posts, read 7,659,855 times
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We are thinking of taking a trip to Italy in October. I basically want to go to Venice, Florence and Rome. I understand the spring and fall are best for the weather. It seems the best way to go, first time is on a tour. I already got some info from Perillo, Trafalgar, Central Holidays and CIE Tours. Perillo is way to expensive. I seem to like Central Holidays with air included. If you've been on a tour and to Italy please tell me about it. I have an Italian background and understand some words but don't speak it fluently.
I have one concern and that is I have an injured shoulder but I can still use it, if this would be a problem traveling with luggage etc. I also want a leisurely tour, nothing hectic.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:34 PM
 
274 posts, read 816,065 times
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I did my 1st trip to Italy, the same cities your going to. I used a tour company called Go Ahead Tours and found them to be excellent. If you pm me I will give you all the details plus I have a ton of websites for you to view. Yes, Perillo is very expensive.

You'll have a great time and your going at a very good time. I went the fist week of November. Feel free to pm me if you like.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:19 PM
 
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My husband and I went without a tour and were able to plan a fabulous trip. If you're sticking to the big cities (and it sounds like you are) 99.9% of people will speak English (but always appreciate any effort to speak Italian).

Have you looked into a Rick Steves tour? I found his travel guides to be very useful in planning our trip.
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Maryland
401 posts, read 452,673 times
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You might consider Globus escorted tours. I've done 7 tours with them and, I've been very pleased with them. If you want to save money, you could check out their cheaper brand Cosmos.
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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Traveling on a tour you always have to compromise to accommodate other people's needs. The beauty of traveling on your own is that you make your schedule, eat, make stops, visit places, stay longer or shorter times, do everything at your pace and as you like - this is absolutely priceless.

There will be places you will want to stay longer, maybe you will change your mind, but the tour has a schedule and you have to follow it. My advice is, go on your own. This is just my opinion though...

I have seen countless groups of people in tours; some were annoyed bc they thought the tour guide was taking too long, others were annoyed bc they wanted to stay longer and the schedule was already prearranged so they had to leave.

Just bc it is your first trip it does not mean you need to go on a tour at all. Most people in these cities speak English, even if it is not perfect sometimes. Linger in some places, look around you, in Italy many places take a while to be truly appreciated as they are incredibly beautiful...

Search train schedules on the internet and buy tickets at the stations, they have multilingual machines, you don't even have to speak to an employee.

Stay at smaller neighboring cities, a short train trip will save you a lot. Especially in Rome and Venice, hotels are quite expensive. Some hotels in Rome are in rough areas, choose wisely.

There are many beautiful small cities around Rome, Venice and Florence, some would deserve a trip of their own.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:36 AM
 
Location: in the southwest
13,394 posts, read 43,143,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taurus430 View Post
I have one concern and that is I have an injured shoulder but I can still use it, if this would be a problem traveling with luggage etc. I also want a leisurely tour, nothing hectic.
How much time do you have? Since you're looking at tours and want to be leisurely, I'm going to assume you have about ten days/two weeks.
I know you probably will stick with a tour, but I just wanted to show you that your own itinerary would be much cheaper, totally workable, and give you complete autonomy.

Pack one small wheeled bag lightly, carry a smaller bag if necessary.

3-4 days in Rome, with one day trip (maybe Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli)
OR 3 days Rome + 2 days in the spectacular Amalfi coast with visit to Pompeii

3 days in Florence, with one day trip (Siena/San Gimignano would be perfect)

2 days in Venice
If you have more time you could add it to the Amalfi, up north in the Cinque Terre, or to Tuscany. The Maremma is a fascinating part of Italy.

I liked Venice but if it were my trip I'd probably skip it and spend more time among the small hill towns in Tuscany.
The thing I always notice about people on tours is that they are always nervously saying "we have to be back at the bus in half an hour."
That doesn't sound leisurely to me.
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:50 AM
 
28,762 posts, read 44,550,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWillowPlate View Post
The thing I always notice about people on tours is that they are always nervously saying "we have to be back at the bus in half an hour."
That doesn't sound leisurely to me.
My biggest complaint about bus tours. I have others (Who designed the seats? Someone 5 foot 2 who never asked a tall person to sit in one and give their opinion?), but that one bugs the heck out of me. I'd rather drive.
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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I have never done a coach tour and swore I wouldn't do it until I was really elderly. But last month we decided on a trip to Italy (me, dh and my sister). I started to research going on our own because we mainly wanted to see the Vatican and Pompeii. Wasn't cheap even with the cheap flights from the UK.

I hope we don't regret it but we decided to be lazy and are doing a coach tour. The coach picks us up near our home, takes us to Newcastle, overnight ferry, etc. Going for 11 days. Since we waited so late to start booking many of the coach tour companies were already full. So we are going with PHOENIX HOLIDAYS UK. Anyone used them? We've already booked and paid. Going in September.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:26 PM
 
Location: EPWV
15,866 posts, read 7,914,655 times
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It is a 'rush, rush' to get here and there, esp if the tour ran late in one area.
My inlaws booked a tour in S. Italy several years back, so that we could meet for a couple days. At the time, we lived a few hours north of where they were staying. When we met up, we were told that instead of being able to visit for a couple days it was more like less than a day because their tour somehow overbooked and they got a later start than originally stated in their itinery.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:46 PM
 
Location: NJ
2,111 posts, read 7,659,855 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilkester2010 View Post
You might consider Globus escorted tours. I've done 7 tours with them and, I've been very pleased with them. If you want to save money, you could check out their cheaper brand Cosmos.
I just received the tour book from Globus today.

As far as going on my own, if I were younger and being adventurous, I would probably do it. I do have a fear of getting lost though. Maybe on a second trip after being there it might be fun. Thanks all for your replys, I enjoy them.
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