Sunday, March 20, 2011

Italy trip update

Our trip is beginning to feel more real now that we have the rest of our accomodations booked - hooray!!

 We'll spend our first six nights in Rome.  We have booked an apartment beside Castel Sant'Angelo.  It looks marvelous!!  Bright and (relatively) spacious, with a beautiful view of those soaring umbrella pines that we love.  It has A/C, dishwasher, washing machine, internet, little balcony, two double beds, kitchen, etc.  And I read good comments from previous renters (I checked it out on a couple different websites), so feel pretty confident about booking it.  I also like that only have to pay 20% upfront, and the rest on arrival.  The owner has arranged for a private car to pick us up from the airport and take us to the apartment - same price as a taxi, but is more welcoming to have someone holding a sign with our names on it.

We are really delighted to have found this apartment.  Seems like it will be a fantastic location for us.  I checked on google maps and it seems to be only a 15-20 minute walk to the Pantheon and Piazza Navonna area, and to the Vatican Museums.  And only 40 minute walk to places like the Borghese Museum and the Colosseum.  Of course, we can always hop on a bus, or ride the metro - the Lepanto and Ottaviano stations each look to be about a 10 minute walk away at most.

At the end of our first week, we will say goodbye to Rome and head on to Cetona, Tuscany for two weeks - as mentioned in my last entry, Mom and I have booked this cool looking house for our base - and then the final leg of our journey will be spent in Ferrara and Milan.  We've booked a room in the Touring Hotel (and got a 25% discount for booking more than 40 days in advance!)  The place has good reviews on Venere and Tripadvisor, and is just a block from Castello Estense and a couple blocks from the Cathedral San Giorgio.  We're spending 4 nights in Ferrara.  We plan two daytrips, one to Padua to see the Giotto frescos in the Scrovegni Chapel (finally!!) and another to Ravenna to see some of those stunning 5th-6th century mosaics for which the city is famous.  Of course we are looking forward to exploring Ferrara for a couple days as well.

We'll wrap up our trip with 2 nights in Milan, as we fly home from Linate airport.  When I first looked at hotels on Venere, I narrowed it down to the "centro storico" area...and began to see rooms in the 300+ euro per night range - a few of them were over 500 euro a night.  (Sidebar - who stays in a room that costs 594 euro PER NIGHT???  The big spenders of the fashion industry, I suppose.  Is beyond my comprehension, have to say.)  Anyway, I thought to myself: guess we're not staying in the historic centre.  But wait, what is this?  The Canada Hotel - what a neat coincidence for two Canadian travellers!  They have lovely looking rooms for only 100 euro per night, and are within a 10-15 minute walk to the Duomo.

So we are all set, except for one night between Rome and Cetona (due to the fact that the car rental agency in Chiusi is not open on Sunday but picking up the car in Rome is out of the question since I refuse to tackle that city as a newbie driver in Italy!  So we are going to Chiusi on Saturday, picking up our car, spending the night in an as yet to be determined location, then we can settle into our Cetona house on Sunday.

All I have left to say right now it July YET???????


Trekcapri said...

Hi Anne, looks like you found some great places to stay in. I love that house you'll be staying in. Sounds like you have a wonderful trip ahead of you. July will be here before you know it. Time tends to fly by these days.

Have a great day.

Annie said...

How exciting! July will be here before you know it; this year is flying by, it seems. It all sounds wonderful and I'm so glad you will finally get to see the Giottos in Padua...truly one of my all-time favorite art experiences!

sandrac said...

This looks like a wonderful plan, Anne, with lots of time so that you and your Mom won't have to rush anywhere.

And it's wonderful that you'll have a chance to visit Padua -- don't forget the doubleturn tickets (that give you twice as much time with the frescos) I think you'd really enjoy that.

BTW, I think Girasoli recently reserved at the Hotel Canada for her stay in Milan -- great minds think a like!

girasoli said...

My brain has been mush lately. Can't remember if I have commented yet or not. Very cool that we are both staying at Hotel Canada in Milan! I will definitely let you know what I think of the hotel after I stay there. It sounds like a great hotel. Hope so! I am very excited that you are returning to Italy also this summer! Will this be your first time to Ferrara? I love it there! I hope you will be there during the nights under the stars concerts. Can't wait to hear more about your trip! :)

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