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Italian Espresso advice

27 Aug 2007 ToeKnee said

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Hi All,

I have recently returned from the Italian Espresso trip and looking back on my trip and experience I thought it was only right that I posted a message to all travelling on this tour (especially because I relied on the forums so much too) I guess i'll go day by day for you.

Day 1: This shouldn't count as a day but it does, as day one you are departing for Rome...for us most of this day was spent at home as we didn't fly out until the evening.

Day 2: This is the day you check into your hotel (Hotel Roma Cassai on Romano Barbano) and meet with the group and tour guide...afterwards you have dinner in the hotel lobby (Bland, not ethentic) though i guess it gave us a chance to meet our other group members and chit chat. That's it for Day 2 really, unless you're like us and you round up some friends and take a cab into town for some drinks at bar in a piazza which i would defo suggest...

Day 3: Well, you're up early and packed, you check out of the hotel and have a hotel breakfast which i hated the most, it was scrambled eggs...ham and some sort of bread...you're onto Coach quite early and off to Venice... this is the longest drive of the trip as you'e in the coach for approx 8 hours. You do stop for lunch at a gas station and a few other gas stops along the way but that's about it for you. You will arrive in Venice around 4pm...and if you're like me, you will be rearing to go. So check in fast, skip the dinner at the hotel and take the train into the city, go for a real dinner and enjoy the night.

Day 4: you wake up and head to venice for the day bright and early...a lot of free time and you're ok staying with the group today...

Day 5: You're up early and off to Florence a long drive but not as bad as the first one.. you get to florence and check in to the world's nastiest hotel ever! drop your stuff and go sight seeign shopping here is the cheapest of all the places so enjoy! You get a great tour of everything too and you go out for an awesome dinner.. .bring your camera too and have a laugh..i heard the night club was good too but that the italian guys and girls are a little aggressive...stay in groups with friends!

Day 6: you're still in Florence and today you can shop...you have to leave by noon so make the most of it... then onto the bus and you're going to Rome...straight into the city centre... you tour around for the afternon/evening and then you can go back to check in to the hotel at night or stay and enjoy yourself in Rome... We stayed and it was awesome!

Day 7: Get the camera's ready cause you're going to Vatican city and then to the collisseum and palentine hills too... it's a fun day but busy and in the evening you're going to a great last dinner and show

Day 8: wake up, check out, go to airport... gone!

this is a fast paced trip, with little downtime. You're on the go a lot and of the 8 days 4 of them you're in commute....4 days of sight seeing. If i could do it again i would have brought an umbrella, i would have showed up a day early and stayed a day or two later...be careful at the palentine hills too... pick pockets everywhere and they don't look obvious...

it's a great taste test of Italy and it will leave you wanting more... but for an intial experience it is exactly what you want. HOpefully they fix up the hotel situation at Florence, though i have to admit the location is great. Too bad you eat at those Autogrill's alot but be prepared.

Oh yeah you can't buy things off the guys in the street either! Huge fines for tourists who do... and they are watching... trust me they are watching! You're going to eat a lot and the Gelato's are addicting and pizza is to die for, but don't worry you more than walk it off...

enjoy the trip and please respond with any questions...
  • 31 Aug 2007 Cat_Gurney said

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    haha agreed, that florence hotel is pretty, well plain!

    but in all honesty, that night was the biggest night of our tour and the whole group basically just used the beds to pass out on at the end of the night.

    i definately recommend this trip. yes the breakfasts are horrid and the bus trip is long but it makes humourous conversation and is a great chance to get to meet your new mates.

    have a ball!!

  • 8 Oct 2007 Mandy said

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    It is really refreshing to hear what the two of you have to say. I signed up for the trip because the timing and money was right, and then read awful reviews on the message board. Thank you for your input and honesty. Regardless I know I will have a great time and am looking forward to the trip.

    I depart December 1, 2008!

  • 30 Sep 2008 Explorer1084970 said

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    Hi, I’m doing the Italian Espresso Tour that leaves next fri the 10th. You really can’t buy anything off the street? Is that just in Italy or Europe in general and is it everywhere in Italy or just certain citys. I’m from NY so very used to vendors on the Streets and i would never have thought you couldn’t buy from them.

    Thanks!

  • 3 Oct 2008 James said

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    Keep in mind that the contiki hotels often change. (often because of the complaints the contiki crowd generates from other guests).

    When I stayed in Florence it was the best hotel on our entire trip. So just saying, dont expect the same hotels

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