Newbie- Trip to Italy

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by BumbleBob, Dec 13, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. BumbleBob

    BumbleBob Member

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    I'm excited to join Inside Flyer! I'm taking a trip next April to Rome, Florence, and a 24 hour stopover in Munich. I have a few questions and would love feedback and opinions.
    1. We're flying economy on Lufthansa to Munich for a 3 hr layover. Is there anything we should do during our wait at the Munich airport?
    2. We land in Rome, but will need to travel to Florence right away. Can anyone recommend a quick way to travel to Florence from Rome's airport?
    3. Any non-tourist recommendations for stores or restaurants in Rome and Florence?
    4. Favorite things people like to do in Munich for 24 hours?

    Thanks so much for your help!
     
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  2. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    Did you already buy the tickets? It should have been possible to book Munich-Florence or Munich-Pisa for the same cost. Otherwise, often there is no upcharge to add a Rome-Florence segment on the ticket. Otherwise you need to take the express train into the city and transfer to the trenitalia train to Florence. Separate train lines, separate tickets. Don't taxi into the city, it takes longer and costs much more.

    3 hours isn't that long, relax, sit at a coffee shop or restaurant and people watch.

    I'm partial to San Lorenzo market in Florence, along with the adjacent food market. If you see a stand with lots of hats, ask if the owner is Roberto. He's an old friend of mine, good guy, can give you lots of advice.
     
  3. BumbleBob

    BumbleBob Member

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    Excellent advice! I booked an award flight that I can still change. I had looked at flying to Florence, but there were no non-stop flights from Munich. However, there are non-stop flights to Pisa that will work out perfectly!! It will give us a chance to see the tower and reduce our commute time!
     
  4. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    Pisa is a much better airport than Florence. It's large and efficient, not prone to the fog delays that FLR has many mornings. And it's only an hour from Florence. There are regular shuttle buses direct from the airport to the center of Florence, or you can take the train.

    To get into Pisa, when you exit baggage claim, turn right. There is a booth at the end wall where you can buy Pisa Express tickets for €1.30. That's a "navette" (a small shuttle bus) that runs every 10 minutes and takes 5 minutes to get to the main Pisa train station (Pisa Centrale). You can also buy your train tickets at the same booth (but remember, you HAVE to "validate" your ticket before boarding the train. Look for yellow boxes on the wall in the train station, put the ticket in and stamp it before boarding. Very important.)

    From Pisa Centrale you can either grab a bus to the tower, or get a train to Florence.
     
  5. BumbleBob

    BumbleBob Member

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    Flight has been changed to arrive in Pisa!
    Any thoughts on trying to get to Hadrian's Villa from Rome? Looks like I have train and bus options. Is booking a tour a smarter option, though?
     
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  6. freebird

    freebird Silver Member

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    First watch the movie, Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hapburn. Then, try to visit all the movie locations. I know there are guided tours, but we decided to do it with help of GPS, and we are somewhat familiar with Rome. My wife and I had a wonderful time.
    That was our third visit to Rome.

    Avoid any restaurants in touristy area and menu written in English is a big no no, in my opinion. We didn't have any problem going to any local restaurants. There is at least one bilingual wait staff.

    Friend's wedding reception near the Basilica of Saint Sabina in Rome. Next to the Basilica, there is a large court yard where you can see most of the famous landmark in Rome.
    ImageUploadedByInsideFlyer1450573584.791320.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
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  7. profpeabody

    profpeabody Silver Member

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    We used Context Rome for a tour of Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este last June. They did a great job. Pricey but the groups are small and the docents are generally excellent. We had visited on a prior trip without a guide and this was a much better experience so I would definitely go with a tour. It does take pretty much the full day so if time is at a premium, bear that in mind. April should be artichoke season in Rome and Piperno's restaurant is a great place to try them. Take a stroll around the Jewish Quarter and end up at Piperno's for lunch or dinner.
    Katie Parla writes frequently about Italy for the NYTimes and has a very good blog with advice on tipping, restaurants, etc. She also does tours if you are interested. Here is a link to her blog and a piece on eating seasonally. http://www.parlafood.com/when-in-rome-respect-the-seasons/
    One thing we like to do is hop on the electric trams and just take in the sites to get oriented. Not sure where you are staying or if you have been to Rome before but look up the 116, etc and sit back to view a good deal of the Centro Storico. A little bit if research on restaurants will help enormously. What area will you be staying in? That will help with recommendations.
    If you are a early riser, I highly recommend heading over to the Campidoglio to watch the sunrise over the Forum. A good book with some interesting walks is The Rome Guide: Step by Step Through History's Greatest City by Mauro Lucentini. Lots of quirky and interesting insights.
    TMI? sorry, we love Rome and never tire of just wandering.
     
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  8. Dariankolev

    Dariankolev Member

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    Visit Giuseppe's in Florence, as a local it's pretty famous. Hope you enjoy your stay
     
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  9. profpeabody

    profpeabody Silver Member

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    There is a delightful PBS series called "I'll Have What Phil's Having" and in one of the more memorable episodes he visits Italy and specifically Florence. I absolutely loved the show. Here is a url to locate the Italy episode: http://www.pbs.org/video/2365573446/
    Phil is the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond and a fun, lovely guy.
     
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  10. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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    My favorite Italian travel show and great guys.

     
  11. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    When you're in Florence, do a day trip or overnight to Tuscany. There are so many 'cute' hill towns in the region. You can also take a bus to Sienna.
     
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  12. Upgrademe2

    Upgrademe2 New Member

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    If staying a few days in Roma I highly recommend you stay near Piazza Navona which is walking distance to most any of the historical sites you will want to visit. My favorite return trip to Roma was to venture off to the South of Italy. Watch Only You with Robert Downey Jr and you will be hooked. We did his entire trip from Roma to Sorrento, the Amalfie Coast, Capri, Naples etc. You will fall in love for this is truly the way we all imagine Italy should be. Enjoy whatever you decide to do for this trip and maybe consider my suggestion for a return trip. La Dolce Vita!!
     
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  13. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Just off Piazza Navona down a small alley you'll find a restaurant called Cul de Sac. Wonderful wine list, dozens of cheeses and smoked meats to choose from. We've been visiting for 10 years every time we go.
     
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  14. BumbleBob

    BumbleBob Member

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    It's already on my list to visit!
     

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