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Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
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Old 11-22-2005, 11:19 PM   #1
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I have 7 days/6 nights in mid March to see what I can of Italy. Realizing this is not nearly enough time I need your help.

Day #1: Arrive in Rome/ Sight see
Day #2: Sight see
Day #3: Sight see
Day #4: Leave early morning for Florence
Arrive Florence/ Sightsee
Day #5: Sightsee
Late train to Venice
Day #6: Sightsee
Day #7: Leave for USA

Questions: How long is the train from Rome to Florence?Cost?
How long is the train from Florence to Venice? Cost?
Am I better off not going to Florence at all?
What is there to see and do in Venice/Florence?
How is Venice set up? Where is the airport? Seems to be
broken up into smaller sections when I looked at hostels?
Whats it like getting around in these cities?

Anything I forgot? Thanks for any help. YOu guys were killer on my trip this summer. thanks for that too.

Fat Jay
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Old 11-23-2005, 02:51 AM   #2
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I only know some answers. I don't remember time or cost, and I'm sure the cost changes and I know the times depend on which train you get. Florence is awesome. I recommend going. Venice is not so awesome, but I'm sure other people will strongly disagree with me here. I thought it was silly and overrated. I was surprised to learn that there is hardly anyone left who actually lives there. It's a total tourist town in the purest sense. Here is what you should really know
Cinque Terra
Cinque Terra
Cinque Terra
Cinque Terra
Did I mention Cinque Terra?
Cinque Terra is part of the Italian Riviera and it is one of the two greatest places in the world that I've ever been (Prague being the other). It is amazing to say the least. It would be a shame to go to Italy and not check it out
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Old 11-23-2005, 04:17 AM   #3
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rome to florence is about an hour and half...according to raileurope.com the cost is 51 dollars US for 2nd class.

florence to venice is about 3hrs and 41 dollars US for 2nd class.


What is there to see and do in Venice?

walk around, take a water vaparetti, drink some wine, see some live opera on the street, check out st. mark's, soak it up! with only one day you'll find plenty to see...my only bit of advice is if youre trying to eat on the cheap bring some food with you. venice is expensive.

How is Venice set up? Where is the airport? Seems to be
broken up into smaller sections when I looked at hostels?
Whats it like getting around in these cities?

the airport is on the mainland. whats it like getting around....you walk. a lot. lots of steps, lots of bridges. venice isn't exactly my favorite city but it's definitely worth a day just to see it.

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Old 11-23-2005, 01:26 PM   #4
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Ok, now that you had me fall in love with Cinque Terra I cant miss it. Here is my new itinerary, it always me to check out Pisa as well:

Day #1: Arrive Rome at noon/Sightsee
Day #2: Sightsee Rome
Overnight train to Florence
Day #3: Sightsee Florence
Overnight train to Pisa
Day #4: Sightsee Pisa
Mid day train to Cinqueterra
Arrive Cinqueterra(I'm thinking Vernazza)
Day #5: Sightsee Cinqueterra
Overnight train to Parma, connect to Bologna, then to Venice
Arrive Venice early morning
Day #6: Sightsee Venice
Day #7: Get noon flight back to USA

This schedule is far more rushed and will likely be harder to plan, but I only have a litttle amount of money and time. the whole trip has to run about 2000$. I have a plane ticket for under 600$.

New Questions: Does my plan for overnight trains work? Anyone know if they run in Italy overnight? Is there some sort of a rail pass that will allow me to buy tickets for all these ahead of time for a bargain price. Any suggestions where to buy?

thanks so much guys!!!!
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Old 11-23-2005, 01:58 PM   #5
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Over night trains rule. They allow you to save time and money. There is a link somewhere on this site that will allow you to buy a rail pass. The rail pass site is good and it will help you pick the best one. With a rail pass, you can pay an extra little bit, like 10-20 euro, and get a sleeper with between 3 and 5 other random people. It's not as sketchy as it sounds. I loved it because I met a lot of people that way and like I said, it's cheaper than most hostels and saves you tons of time.

Here you go
eurorail info and passes
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Old 11-24-2005, 02:58 AM   #6
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As Mo said, there will be others who disagree on Venice...! Seriously, I think it is the most beautiful city in the world. If at all possible, stay overnight in Venice. After the day tripper crowds have gone, Venice is much more relaxed (especially in March -- should be lower season than summer). And yes, I feel Venice is more of an "experience" city, as opposed to Rome, which is a "Laundry List city" (gotta see the Coliseum...check! See the Vatican...check! You get the picture).

Anyway, your revised itinerary sounds a tad rushed. I'd honestly cut out one of the destinations. I vote for it NOT to be Venice. Pisa would be my choice to snip from the list, but then again, you may have chosen it as a waystop towards Cinque Terre...not sure.

Either way, have a blast!

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Old 11-24-2005, 03:32 AM   #7
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I'd cut Florence and Pisa out.
1.5 days for Rome isn't nearly enough.
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Old 11-24-2005, 03:32 AM   #8
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Old 11-24-2005, 01:45 PM   #9
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I DEFINITELY agree with d_fresh....especially since you really cant go to Rome and not see the vatican & that's a day in itself right there. Florence is really overrated anyways...Venice is great...for a day. I was there from 7am till 10 at night and by the end of the day, I was most definitely ready to leave. It's really just a 'vibe' city. I loved the vibe and its a really relaxing place to be, but I could see how, as a sight seer w/ a limited timeframe/schedule you wouldn't need to have too much time there either. Rome is amazing though. It was my favourite big city by far...well ok....Lisbon was pretty great too.

edited to take out my obnoxious over-use of the word 'definitely'
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:30 PM   #10
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Ok so the whole trip has changed and I managed to get an extra day for the same price which is great. Two last questions at least until the next one:

The trains run directly from LA Spieza into the five villages of Cinqueterra? What railway is this? Is it in the same train station as the train from Pisa to La Spieza?Can I buy tickets in advance? How often did you find they run?

If I buy a trentalia(sp?) train pass do I still have to reserve a seat on each train I take?

Thanks again you guys made this trip for me.
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Old 11-29-2005, 10:16 PM   #11
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The train line to La Spezia is the same line that takes you to the 5 villages. Im pretty sure there is just one train station in La Spezia so you can probably just go straight from Pisa to Cinque Terre. The trains run every hour during the day and they wont be too crowded during March so I wouldnt worry about reserving any of this ahead of time. Monterosso is the biggest town with the best beach, but the one starting with V is the only town with a hostel, so keep that in mind.
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Old 11-30-2005, 10:55 AM   #12
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If you're feeling adventurous, you can go into any little shop in any of the towns and ask someone if they know of anywhere to stay. 9 out of 10 will call a buddy who will rent you a room in their apartment.
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:26 AM   #13
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If you are passing through Bologna, you may want to spend a bit of time. It is a nice little city with great windy streets with lots of porticos and still maintains a bit of that medeival charm. Lots of great reastaurants, Pizzerias and Geletarias. Piazza Maggiore has a great old Cathedral and is quite nice. Also, Bologna is home to Ducati (the motorcycle company) if that is your thing. The tour of their factory and the museum is pretty cool.

I am actually in Bologna right now for work (I come here at least once per year). It's nice and not very touristy (which is VERY nice). I wouldn't take time away from a lot of the other sites around Italy to come here special, but if you wind up with a few hours to kill betwen trains or whatever, its a geat place to just wander around and soak in the Italian ambience, drink some espresso and wine, eat some pasta. It's cold and rainy now, however...but at least there are a lot of gorgeous women wandering around the pubs and cafe's!
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