Italy - recommendations on places to stay

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My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy in May. If anyone has any tips on places to stay in Rome, Florence or Venice or any wonderful cities not to miss - B&B, quaint hotel, apt, all reasonable price that are clean, prefer centrally located to sites. Would like an excellent guide who speaks understandable English for tour of historical sites. Any advice on trip itinerary, sites, Rental car or taking the train. Linda

It sounds like you need someone to plan your trip.

Some suggestions.

1. Talk to travel agent.

2. Get a travel book on Italy.

3. Talk to Rick Steves they can assist

Untours ( has a nice Rome-Florence-Venice package that includes an apartment in each city for a week and transportation in between cities. The link is:

Check out In Italy Online I have used them for years. Excellent company and great web site. We usually rent our car through Auto-Europe Trains are easy to use. Just give yourself time to read the board and find the correct platform.

My advise for visits to large cities is to enjoy them fully by staying at least 4 or 5 days, preferably within the city. Try Venere You will find many hotels. Best is to stay near the train station. You do not need a car as you can walk or take the metro. Besides, unless the hotel has parking, you will find it difficult and expensive to park the car.

If you are only going to visit Rome, Florence and Venice, take the train (Eurostar Italia-Rapido) from one city to the next as your time and itinerary allow. If you want to explore the myriad of delightful towns, then driving, stopping, chatting (with hands if necessary), picnicking, trattoria (restaurant), Saturday market is the way to go.

Italy is full of cities/towns not to be missed. The smaller, the better. Drive through any town and stop for lunch at a Trattoria, Osteria or Pizzeria. Walk through the piazza, go into the stores. Make your own experiences.

If you find your way to Pescia, just east of Lucca, stay at a restored paper mill Villaggio Albergo S. Lorenzo e S.ta Caterina We stay here often. It is where my grandfather lived and worked back in the late 1800s before it became a hotel.

Have fun and enjoy every moment.

Pick a spot midway on Lake Garda - Desenzano and the Hotel Piroscafo - great restaurants in this town, low key hotel on a quiet harbor, close to local busses and a 20 minute walk to the main train station that takes you to Verona, Venice, Bergamo and Milan and almost anywhere else you want to make with connections. Easy day trip to Venice from Desenzano- save major money by staying in this little town.

Get the Slow Food guide book "Osterie et Locande d'Italia" for some great off the beaten track places and travel routes - all food oriented. Any other reason to be in Italy? Oh yes, the art, the architecture, the history, the scenery ...... that too!