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Old 11-21-2013, 12:34 AM   #1
onesaintsfan OP
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Rome & Misano for MotoGP

Hope this is the right forum. Looking for tips and pointers from the world travelers here.

I am Catholic and Love MotoGP ( That's the top motorcycle racing series in the world). I know this trip is about 1 1/2 years away but since I have never traveled out of the country, and have only flown 3 times in my life I figure I better get started early. This trip will occur about 3 months after I retire. I want to travel to Rome and Misano Italy. This would be in the month of September. Now the main things I want to see in Rome is the Vatican and St. Peters. I want to spend about 10 days to 2 weeks on this vacation. I want to then travel to Misano for the MotoGP race that will be Fri-Sunday. I thought about then going on to Venice for a few days then fly back. Again I am a total newbie to travel but need advice on them most cost effective way to do this trip. The MOST IMPROTANT thing about this trip is that I don't want to be shuffled around like cattle on this trip trying take in everything. If I could I would love to see the Vatican and St. Peters, but then just meander around the countryside discovering all the mom and pop places and see the REAL Italy and meet real people. A loose plan would be to fly into Rome and spend 3-4 days there. Then take 2-3 days to slow and easy travel to Misano for 3 days at the MotoGP race. Then take 2-3 days to slow and easy travel to Venice. Then fly back to New Orleans from there. Venice is not a deal killer so if I need to go back to Rome and fly out of there then that's ok. I would love to rent a motorcycle and travel, but want the wife to enjoy the trip too so that's out. Don't really care to have to drive, so travel by train would be ok. This race is run in September most of the time so that is the month I want to go. It will be 2 adults. My budget for the whole trip is $13000.00 max. Again the most important thing is that I don't want a cattle call tourist trip. I want a leisurely take in the sights and sounds trip. Putting together this trip seems pretty overwhelming to a guy like me so give me a checklist and tips on how to get this trip started.
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:10 PM   #2
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What you've already outlined is good. One failing in a trip is to try to do too much.

I'd recommend that you get your hands on some good travel books. I like Rick Steves for really practical information and Eyewitness Travel books for a bit of upscale and incredible details. The internet is a massive help nowadays. When I first went to Europe in the 70s, a Eurail pass was the best way to get around and it still exists. My travel book was Frommer's $10-a- Day budget and it worked. (sigh...)

Car versus train? Car allows you to set the timetable and freedom to wander, train is good for point to point and less stress for noob travelers. In Rome, the buses are frequent but for my money, I'd walk as much as I could and taxi otherwise. The underground train has a limited network.

For flights, go to a travel agent and let them search for routes. Often, you can get an 'open jaw' trip where you start from New Orleans to Rome but return to N.O. from Venice, for example. The agent can also help with hotels, etc., according to your budget and TripAdvisor is a gold mine of info, maybe too much sometimes.

It's said that the planning for a trip is a much fun as doing it. Just take it easy and get as much info as you can.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:47 PM   #3
onesaintsfan OP
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Thanks, got this from another forum

What do you think?



Sounds like you have an awesome trip planned. I agree with Svens advice...go get your passport now. You can also start to plan your trip now. The web is going to be your friend. You can use multiple websites to find and book hotel rooms in the major locations. Taking a quick look at Google maps (another invaluable tool in your planning) it looks like Misano is near Milan. Keep Milan in mind as a arrival or departure point.

AIRFARE
For airfare, you can look at costs today for travel next September to get ideas on cost. Use this info while checking out multi-cities with arrivals into Milan, Rome and Venice. This will give you an idea on what routes will be the cheapest for airfare. Based on your budget, age, and experience you may be more interested in convenience and ease as far as transfers etc. You will have to decide if saving $200 or $300 on airfare is worth the hassle.

HOTELS:
There are multiple websites you can use to help with hotels. Depending on your mode of transport once you get to Italy, you may want to book all your nights or just the major cities. If you are traveling by train it makes more sense to book all your nights since you will be at the schedule of the train. If you end up renting a car, the nights between cities can be done "on the fly"
For the large cities I recommend the following website:
http://www.a-italy.com/world-hotels

You can use this site to see hotels on a map of the city. This is extremely helpful in the large major cities like Rome to ensure you are in the area you want to be. In many cases you should use the site to find the hotel you want then search separately on other sites to see about getting a good deal on the room. (in most cases try finding the direct site for a hotel on the web for the best price)

Again based on your budget I will recommend the best hotel I have ever stayed at in Rome. Hotel Columbus.
http://www.columbushotelrome.com
You can not beat it for location. It is literally about 200 yards from the edge of St Peters square! Cost is anywhere from $150-$250 a night but compare that to the cost of a hotel in downtown Manhattan and you see its a good price.

TRAVEL IN COUNTRY:
Based on your requirements, I would STRONGLY recommend renting a car. Maybe not the whole trip, but if you want to see the "real country" you need to rent a car. The best way to see the countryside is via car. Looking at possible routes, maybe a train from Rome to Florence then rent a car to drive to Misano.
Again the web is your friend for checking prices etc on trains vs car. I would stay away from the big 2 US rentals (Hertz, Enterprise) due to the higher costs I see when booking for Europe. Try Europe By Car or some of the sites Clark recommends.

SITE SEEING:
This part is very personal, so these are just basic tips and hints from someone who has done European travel and has some experience. Your estimate for Rome is pretty good. The wife and I did a whirlwind tour in 1.5 days (with JETLAG!) so 2-3 days should get you EVERYTHING you should want. For the Vatican and St Peters, buy your museum tour online. On the day we were there, we walked past a 3 block line to the will call window and entered in. Do the museum first. This is the way to get to the Cistene (sp) chapel. Depending on how long you want to look at sculpture and art, this part can take 1-4 hours. Normally if you do the unguided tour, you are dumped out into St Peters square and you then have to line up to get into the cathedral. The line can be as long as 2-3 hours to get into St Peters from there. Instead you can try the trick my wife and I used .....As you move through the Cistine Chapel you will see the door marked EXIT (this is the very end of the "museum") to your left. You will notice that the guided tours all go through a door on the right. That is because the guided tours skip the line into the cathedral and go directly into the crypt then up to the main cathedral. If you are calm, you can "blend" into a guided tour and sneak in that way. In our case we stupidly "blended" with a Japanese tour, but even then we managed to pull it off! :)

Venice is a walking city so be prepared. You didnt list any health issues, but be aware its about 3-4 miles to see the sites walking. You can do the outside sites in one full day, so 2 days is plenty. If you want to go into a lot of the museums and churches and palaces you will need to add a full second day or more. Really the only one worth touring in my opinion is the Dodges (sp) palace tour. Again check online for prices and booking. There are a couple of different tours available that may or may not appeal.

I would also recommend FLorence and Piza.

EXAMPLE TOUR.
Arrive Rome in the AM.
Spend day touring and recover from jetlag. Having not traveled overseas before, your best bet is to do as much as you can the first morning (figure you will crash around 2 or 3pm) Take a nap and have a late dinner around 7 or 8
MAKE SURE YOU GET UP EARLY (8ish) the next morning!!! This will go a long way to getting you acclimated and will also give you time to see more sites.
Spend next 2 days in Rome.
Rent car from Rome and drive up coast to Piza. This is a 4 hour drive, so with stops in small towns etc its a full day including seeing Piza. Again depending on your pace and what you want to see, either see Piza that day or the next morning.
Florence is only an hour away, and it will eat up almost a full day to see the museums and fountains!
You can then stay the night in Florence or out in the countryside to get some local "flavor"
Misano is a 3-4 hour drive from Florence so another day of easy driving and site seeing.
You do the race and other stuff in Misano
Venice is only a 2 hour drive so you get up, drive to Venice and see the city. Depending on cost of airfare, Rome is only a 5 hour drive so you could even do this as a Rome round trip, or just turn in the car and fly out of Venice.


I just did that sample using google maps in about 10 min. Again the web is your friend.

Good luck, and if you have any more specific questions feel free to post.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by onesaintsfan View Post
I would also recommend FLorence and Piza.
I think he means Pisa, with the tilted tower...

For me, Florence and Siena would also be a great combo. And if you go by car, the whole countryside of Tuscany is very beautiful in that region. Avoid motorways and go by nicer backroads.

(--- And BTW: Mugello is right next to Florence, and that is one truly magnificent track in the hills the MotoGP race, however, has usually been held from early June to mid-July, so it might not fit your timing as well as Misano).
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by onesaintsfan View Post
What do you think?
Some very good points. As you start to develop your plan, those will make more sense. The only thing I might question is the travel times he mentions, for example, Rome to Pisa via the coast route. Four hours rolling, yes, on the autostrada (freeway, but not 'free') but up the coast would be twice that.

If you decide to go to Venice by car, do NOT take the coast route. It isn't really a coast route and it's two lane and thousands of big trucks. Go by the autostrada. Something you'll have to check out is dropping a rental car at another town. Sometimes it isn't allowed and if allowed the drop charge would be high.

I've used this site for hotels for several years with no problems. http://www.booking.com/index.html?ai...FaTnwgodCx4Avg
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