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How would you do a short, budget tour of Italy?

Travel Forums Europe How would you do a short, budget tour of Italy?

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1. Posted by tuatara (Budding Member 12 posts) 10y

My mother is flying all the way from NZ for her first trip to Europe to visit me in Munich.

She is only going to be here for just over 20 days in July but she would love to see a couple of the main Italian cities during her stay.
The problem is she is on a bit of a budget (crappy NZ $) and can't spend too long seeing Italy as we don't have much time to together as it is (I can't afford to travel Italy with her).

So - if she was leaving from Munich and returning here in the month of July.. how and what can she see in Italy and how long should she devote to it? I'm getting a bit bogged down working out travel times and cheap ways to travel. Flights to Venice are cheap from here at the moment but from there on I'm stuck.

Ideally she would want to visit Venice, Florence, Siena.. and perhaps Rome? Any suggestions about best ways to travel, how long in each place, cheap accomodation?

Any advice appreciated! I've spent the last few months sifting through travel info and flights to get her to Munich so I'm a bit overwhelmed trying to work this all out. It would be fantastic if she could realistically see some Italy highlights in say, less than a week.. but I'm not sure that's possible.

Thanks!!

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3. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

Some tips:

  • if the two of you travel together, consider swapping houses with some-one in, say, Florence for a week, and make day trips from there. It saves you the cost of a hotel. There's several websites offering this service
  • try to find out about cheap train tickets in italy. www.trenitalia.com offers decent information
  • the cities you mention unfortunately are among the most expensive ones in italy. Consider going to cheaper "b-rating cities", such as padova, mantova, perugia, orvieto... splendid, and hotels etc. are about 20% cheaper
  • rome is a good choice, but look for lodging away from the city center
  • depending on how youthful your mom is, you could always consider sleeping in budget hostels. My mom would :-)

good luck, Niels (Amsterdam)

4. Posted by tuatara (Budding Member 12 posts) 10y

Thanks for the reply!
OK we've narrowed it down to a few places. Not sure how long to spend in each yet, but what I want to find out now is how to get from place to place on the train.

The spots she wants to visit are;
Venice, Cinque Terre, Lucca, Florence, San Gimignano and Siena. (The order of these is flexible depending on trains.)

I'm trying to find out prices for individual train tickets between each and hopefully how long each journey will take. The Trenitalia web site seems only to have info about rail passes. Any one have any help or links of where I can check out which trains, what times and prices for each journey?

5. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

Connections between those cities will not be a problem. Trenitalia should offer detailed information, only not too far in advance. With each trip, there is a tab called 'offers' or ' offerte' where you can find price information. Else try a local Munich travel agent; they too should be able to help you out.

Niels

[ Edit: Edited at Jun 8, 2006 1:30 AM by bentivogli ]

6. Posted by tuatara (Budding Member 12 posts) 10y

Thank you!
Actually just after I posted the reply I found how to see the train connections between the towns. Would it be advisable to book each ticket in advance? How do they board the trains if they have purchased the tickets on line?

For my next trick I need to find a way to get them from Italy back to Munich in the middle of July. The trains seem to be all booked out, or maybe you just can't buy these tickets on line.

Any recommendations for where to fly/train to get to Munich would be appreciated. I thought Florence would have a lot of connections but there doesn't seem to be much available.

Thanks so much!

7. Posted by LuisaMiao (Budding Member 33 posts) 10y

Hi

if you want to travel in July, it's better to book the tickets. Otherwise, you won't find any places, because it's period of vacations here.
you can buy tickets online (sorry, i'm not sure how the English site of trenitalia.com is working...): in this case you cna print the confirmation emails and use them as tickets :-)

About flying back to Munich, maybe check Verona, Brescia or Orio al Serio (3° Milan airport).

Hope to be helpful!!

8. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

train connections from Milan to Munich are excellent, and I cannot imagine that they are fully booked already. Try a travel agent; you might even be able to still get APEX fare, which is nice and cheap.

9. Posted by tuatara (Budding Member 12 posts) 10y

Great!
Thanks so much for your advice!

10. Posted by LuisaMiao (Budding Member 33 posts) 10y

Quoting bentivogli

train connections from Milan to Munich are excellent, and I cannot imagine that they are fully booked already. Try a travel agent; you might even be able to still get APEX fare, which is nice and cheap.

chack also from Verona.
it's possible they are totally full... I think it's still a good period to travel to germany for FIFA World Champions :-)