Saturday, October 2, 2010

Italy Planning 2

We turned over the calendar yesterday to our new month, and I had a day of panic. Now I can see the days that we're on holiday. I'm scrambling to accomplish some more planning, before we wind up boarding the plane!

When I last blogged about Italy, we had only our Rome accommodation booked. In case anybody wants to copy what we're planning to do, here's our plan, and some resources.

We plan to travel from Rome to Venice by train, and then get on a boat and head to Venice. I've still been using VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) and found our Venetian rental on this site. (Again, very efficient email replies, smooth booking process.) I don't know what happens between train, getting onto a boat and discovering Venice. Still need to figure that out.

In Venice, we have decided to stay in an area called Castello. If I've read the travel books and website correctly, it is a little off the beaten tourist path, sound familiar? It has some green space/parks, which are both rare on Venice, and hopefully a space in which we can turn Scarlett loose. We're close to the vaporetto-it sounds so exciting-and markets, but still close enough to the tourist sites that we should be fine on foot. I'm looking forward to hanging out our laundry on the line to dry.

Venice sounds dark and moody, and I've read that it is best to discover in the middle of the night. We will wait and see how the sleeping habits and naps go, and perhaps we will be roaming and lost in Venice at 3 am.

Next my travel plans turn a little foggy. I've booked Como at the end of our trip-entirely work related-but now we have 5 days left between Venice and Como, and about 2 weeks worth of things we want to see. I want to go to Verona and urged on by everyone who's been to Italy, we decide to include Tuscany. Plus Pisa, Florence, Cinque Terre... I've picked Lucca to act as a base in Tuscany, and that's where my frustrations begin. No replies to emails. I'm scared to pick up the phone because my Italian will rely entirely on body language. So there's been a lot of reading and internet searching. And I must embrace La Dolce Vita, si?

I have found the site, which has been very useful, especially for B&B type places. And I'm back to contacting places recommended in my preferred travel book (Italy spend less see more) and shockingly, it's working.

I just booked 2 nights in Verona at a small B&B and all that's left is the last 3 days in Lucca. Or somewhere else if it doesn't work. I am a budget traveller and I hope that means when I sit in my room, I know I'm in Italy. Or that I'm staying with some friendly Italians in their 3 room hotel... I also hope that my budget accommodations still come with a private bath, and enough quiet that Scarlett can sleep in the middle of the day. I shall report later on how it all turns out!

As for now, the siesta has ended and the sun is inviting us outside. Italy planning will have to wait for now.

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