Italy - good and reasonably priced hotels

School terms keep kids in school and parents sane. Holidays can be boring to kids if they are left alone. Discuss vacation ideas and how to make good use of the free time for both children and adults.

Italy - good and reasonably priced hotels

Postby bb_ mom » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:05 pm

Hello!

Looking at free and easy holiday to Milan-Florence-Rome at year end. I know it's early but need to prepare budget for approval. Any recommendations of where to stay? We don't plan to drive so must be within walking distance from bus stops or train stations.

TIA!

bb_ mom
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Re: Italy - good and reasonably priced hotels

Postby jetsetter » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:56 am

bb-mo: u posted in the wrong thread:)

since ur profile shows your kids are in upp pr, u needn't stay within the city centre right at the doorstep of the attractions like I did with my preschooler, cos those will be in the region of $300-400 per night.

If u would just google the map of those 3 cities, zoom in to the respective rail stations, you'll see all the hotels within the vicinity marked by red pins. Read the corresponding reviews and check prices to see if within ur budget. To be safe, cross check Tripadvisor.com and generate results by vicinity Train Station.

Do note the no. of Metro stations from your hotels to those attractions. E.g. Milan Centrale station is 4 metro stops from Duomo. Luckily, Florence Santa Maria Novella station is pretty near to the Galleries and sights, but u still need to walk and walk.

One more thing, is Milan the first port of embarkation and Rome the disembarkation? Then you can take the airport express to Centrale Milan station from Malpensa. Do the same for Rome from Roma Termini station to Fiumicino Airport, if u aren't cabbing. Actually, it's always more worthwhile to take cab for family of four with luggage.

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Re: Italy - good and reasonably priced hotels

Postby slmkhoo » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:05 am

When we went to Italy in 2012, I found that venere.com had the most Italian hotels listed. We booked through that site and had no problems. They have maps etc so you can get quite a lot of info from the website. We chose to stay near train stations as we were travelling by train. Even if we got to the city before check-in time, the hotels were willing to let us dump our luggage first and come back later. Similarly if our train was after checkout time. The hotels near train stations are generally either very posh or very budget - we stayed in the budget ones.

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Re: Italy - good and reasonably priced hotels

Postby lexis » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:24 pm

I am also planning a 13day trip to Italy in December, my plan is to do Rome (4N) - Florence (4N)- Venice (2N) - Milan (3N). mine's an open jaw ticket, flying in via Rome and flying back to SG from Milan.

I am really overwhelmed by the choices of accommodation there are in Italy, but have more or less decided that I will rent a holiday apartment as it will have 2 bedrooms and kitchen. The prices are also quite a bit lower than hotels.

Is public transport in the above cities easy to use/navigate? My kids willbe almost 11 and 13 when we go so a bit of walking (5 mins to train station) should be fine for them.

Also has anyone rented from Airbnb, vbro or homeaway online before? I intend to only go for apartments with good reviews, but can't risk being stranded in chilly Italy!

Thanks!

lexis
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Re: Italy - good and reasonably priced hotels

Postby slmkhoo » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:35 pm

lexis wrote:I am also planning a 13day trip to Italy in December, my plan is to do Rome (4N) - Florence (4N)- Venice (2N) - Milan (3N). mine's an open jaw ticket, flying in via Rome and flying back to SG from Milan.
...
Is public transport in the above cities easy to use/navigate? My kids willbe almost 11 and 13 when we go so a bit of walking (5 mins to train station) should be fine for them.

By Singapore standards, I don't think you will find public transport very convenient. Navigation wasn't a problem as far as I recall. Be prepared to do quite a bit of walking. My kids were 13 and 15 when we went, and they are used to taking public transport and walking quite a bit, but even so, we all felt that we had walked a lot! I didn't go to Milan, so I can't comment about that city.

In Rome and Florence, there are very few stops in the main historic and sightseeing centres (probably because they couldn't tear anything down or go underneath!). Although the main sights are 5-10 mins from the nearest subway station, it gets tiring as the day progresses. You also have to allow for wandering off the beaten track, getting lost etc. For Venice, other than water buses and water taxis which are not very cheap and also not very convenient, you have to walk everywhere. We chose hotels near train stations or subway stations to save some walking. There are usually more supermarkets, laundrettes and food places in those areas too. Just avoid the more 'red light' parts.

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Re: Italy - good and reasonably priced hotels

Postby lexis » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:49 pm

Thanks.

yes, I've come to realise that when Americans or NZ-ers say that it's a "short walk" or a "hop and a skip" to somewhere.. it's not the same idea I have in mind!

could you let me know which cities your children enjoyed in Italy? I am still in 2 minds about including Venice in my itinerary as I can only afford 2 nights there, and it's a detour from Florence to Milan. Not sure if I'd be better off having an extra night in Rome and Florence.

Then again, i don't know when I'll be back in Italy, so perhaps I should just go for 2 nights?

any views would be appreciated. Thank you!

lexis
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Re: Italy - good and reasonably priced hotels

Postby bb_ mom » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:50 pm

Hi Lexis

What serviced apartments have you zoomed in on? My kids are also 11 and 13 at time of visit but they're more into sports. So still looking at what to hold their interest.

I'm planning Milan-Florence-Rome. As I only have 10 days, I'm thinking of skipping Milan and spend more time in Florence to do very relaxed trip. Not doing open jaw so still need to train back to original port of disembarkation. May i know how much is the open jaw ticket you're getting?

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Re: Italy - good and reasonably priced hotels

Postby lexis » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:08 pm

hi bb_mom

I haven't zoomed in on any yet, cos still trying to decide which area to stay in, esp for Rome. From what i've gathered, you can stay near the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Piazza Navona or Travastere area. Each offers different things. Some also suggest staying near the Termini (Rome train station). You might want to try the apartment rental websites I'm using - homeaway.com, Airbnb, and vrbo. You can filter by price, number of rooms, kitchen, area etc. There are literally THOUSANDS of apartments up for rent in these cities, and it's so mind-boggling!

We are going in Winter so must be prepared for rain on some days. Not sure if there is anything 'outdoorsy' to do, but I read that in winter, Rome has an outdoor iceskating rink! We might check that out.

Our tickets are redemption tickets, but on SQ, the price of an open jaw ticket and a return ticket to/from the same destination in Italy is the same. Most people tell me there's nothing much to do in Milan but I do want to go there and window shop! :) I think it's more city-like , compared to Rome/Florence. There's loads to do in Rome and Florence - i've been recommended a visit/stay at the Tuscany area, paired with a trip to Cinque Terre, but I'm skipping it for now as we won't be driving.

btw, I've been told my shopaholic friends that the best shopping is actually in Florence, not Milan.

lexis
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Re: Italy - good and reasonably priced hotels

Postby bb_ mom » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:21 pm

It was after googling that I realised how little there is to do in Milan. So thought of just doing Florence and Rome. Getting older so not keen on rushing from point to point. Would like to just get lost and spend time in cafe.

Was thinking of going outlet shopping in Florence. But reviews are mixed.

Yes, thousands of hotels available. But I'm looking to stay near train station so that it's convenient to move between the 2 cities. And those hotels I've been looking at are supposedly within walking distance to attractions. Check out dark Rome website. Their tours look so good.

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Re: Italy - good and reasonably priced hotels

Postby lexis » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:42 pm

Would you mind sharing the hotels you've short listed for Rome?

For Milan, I plan to do the Duomo and castelle sforzesca (?). That's about it really... Planned to do lake como too but not sure if it's worth it in winter.

I looked at the dark Rome website too! Am definitely going for one of the night tours :)

lexis
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