Sunday, October 10, 2010

Planning Italy-Trains, Cars, and Museums

Happy Thanksgiving and 10-10-10 day. We are in between company and still squeezing in as much holiday planning as we can. Tomorrow will be our thanksgiving!

In case I haven't lost you with my planning, I thought I'd share some great sites. We've finished booking our accommodations and have moved onto transportation and excursions...

We booked a train from Rome to Venice and look forward to seeing the countryside at 250km/hr! The main website to book trains is:

With some really useful tips on:

We had no problem booking with my credit card, although the seat 61 site makes reference to many problems with different cards. Just no Amex, and it did keep switching me from English to Italian. It is worth booking ahead, as we just saved 30% by booking at least 15 days in advance. (or you can save 15% by booking 7 days in advance). The train system in Italy sounds pretty self-serve, from buying tickets to validating them, to finding your own seat. We have assigned seats and hope it all goes smoothly.

Our trip will be half car-less, and half with car. Scott's gearing up for some crazy driving. Train travel is highly recommended in Italy, but we have too many pieces to connect, and have opted for a car for the second half.

For tours/excursions, we're trying to keep our days relatively unscheduled since we have a toddler and are unsure how the travels will go. However, we have booked some essential tours and booked them directly through the sites:

We decided that we must tour the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peters. We are going with a guided tour, booked at Rumor has it, booking in advance may help to save some time waiting in lines.

We also booked our museum tickets for when we day trip to Florence. The site let us book tickets for both the Uffizi and Accademia. If you've been to Florence, you may think it's a shame that this is all we will be seeing, but we've decided to limit Florence to a day. I originally thought the lines would be too much to endure, and now I'm thinking that these 2 sites will be more than enough. Plus, a nice walk through town of course.

That's all we've planned to do so far! We've checked out expedia, and tours available through our travel agent, and may find some last minutes ones to do when we are there. Otherwise, we expect to spend our days relatively self directed.

Since a good chunk of our positive experience of our trip will be the anticipation of it, I'll try to squeeze as much anticipation as possible into the days leading up to our departure!

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