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Old 08-28-2011, 09:06 AM   #1
mapsd
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Extend Viva Italia before or after?

For those of you who've done Italy:
We want to stay a few days longer and are debating what to do. We are debating arriving early and spending a few days in Sorrento to see Pompeii/Capri or staying after the tour to see Verona/Lake Garda (possibly venture into Switzerland?)

Did you feel ready to head for home at the end of the tour or wishing to stay longer?

Kids are more interested in the Sorrento option, but we think we'll be more at ease going it on our own after spending a week with guides/acclimating to the culture. Comments?
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:14 AM   #2
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Hi mapsd,

it sounds like you're looking into the same sorts of things as we are. I called ABD yesterday about the ABD pre- and post-stays. The pre-stay is in Rome, and the 2011 cost for a double room was $522. We'd need two double rooms for the four of us. The post-stays are in Venice, and the cost in high season (June) for a double room was $573, and in July (low season) was about $518.

These are the only options for which you'd get the ABD airport transfers.

We went on the Knights and Lights adventure a few years back, and I would definitely recommend at least a pre-stay just to get used to the time change and rest up a bit before the tour.

We are interested in a few days after the tour to "relax". I would think that I'd feel more comfortable after the tour, due to the reasons you mention. I need to look into what kind of transportation we'd be able to get on our own, maybe rent a car at the Venice airport, or hop on a train to somewhere more laid back and kid friendly (ie, with a pool!).

I'm still very early in my research, so I don't have any options yet, but it would be nice to compare notes as we go along.

I also got some "tentative" dates on my call yesterday, pm me if you'd like to hear them. I can't imagine they're going to change by tomorrow.

Last edited by jlou; 08-28-2011 at 01:02 PM. Reason: they're, their, there
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:18 PM   #3
mapsd
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[QUOTE=jlou;42419750]..We are interested in a few days after the tour to "relax". I would think that I'd feel more comfortable after the tour, due to the reasons you mention. I need to look into what kind of transportation we'd be able to get on our own, maybe rent a car at the Venice airport, or hop on a train to somewhere more laid back and kid friendly (ie, with a pool!).../QUOTE]We're thinking the same. Since the tour is go-go-go, we decided to base out of one spot that we can kick back (definitely a pool) at and just do day trips from. Even a VRBO apt would be nice, but they often want 1 week stays.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:38 PM   #4
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We went on this trip in May 2010 and wish so bad that we would have booked an extra day or two in Venice. It would have been nice to get to Rome early, but we were fine that first day even without any sleep for 36 hours. Most people were totally exhausted (and drunk on the first night of our adult only trip), it wasn't a big deal to us not arriving a day or two early. I still regret not booking an extra day. In fact, we weren't sure if our flight was going to take off because of the volcanic activity in Iceland and we were kind of hoping they would ground the planes for a couple of days so that we could stay longer.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:03 AM   #5
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We have gone on several Disney trips. No matter what you decide it is always best to get in a least one day early to adjust to the time zone change. Adding a few days after is fun although it is a bit of a mental let down when you depart and no longer have your ABD traveling companions. We did the Bella Italian (central Italy) a couple of years ago and went 5 days early to do Rome on our own. After the ABD portion we took the train to Venice and spent three days there on our own before going home. Looking back on it, though we loved Venice, we enjoyed the Rome portion the best. We were excited about the upcoming ABD portion and we had plenty of time to overcome jet lag. I also think we were just mentally ready to go home after we said good-bye to ABD friends.
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:21 PM   #6
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We did 2 pre nights in Rome when we did Viva Italia. The first day we saw the Borghese Gallery, walked in the park and had a nice dinner. The second day we took the train to Naples and rented a car service to take us to Pompeii and all over the coast. It was great!
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatriciaH View Post
We did 2 pre nights in Rome when we did Viva Italia. The first day we saw the Borghese Gallery, walked in the park and had a nice dinner. The second day we took the train to Naples and rented a car service to take us to Pompeii and all over the coast. It was great!
Did it make for a long day to be based out of Rome?
Do you think it would be easy to stay in Sorrento or Naples for a couple nights to take in all of that area?
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:37 PM   #8
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We did ViVa Italia in '09. When I went to book our flights, I found a deal with Continental that turned out to be cheaper to fly to Paris than ro Rome. Even adding the flight from Paris to Rome, we were still ahead. So, I convinced my DH that by using Marriott points for a hotel we could go to Paris for free We stayed in Paris 4 or 5 days and even with lots of sightseeing, we were refreshed and adjusted to the time zone. Last year, we did London after Germany, and I didn't like traveling more after our ABD trip. So, we are booked for Greece and I am looking at 3 or 4 days in Barcelona before the tour. So, all that said, before is better, and you might want to consider seeing a city in another country. My kids love mixing up the countries.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by abdalums View Post
We did ViVa Italia in '09. When I went to book our flights, I found a deal with Continental that turned out to be cheaper to fly to Paris than ro Rome. Even adding the flight from Paris to Rome, we were still ahead. So, I convinced my DH that by using Marriott points for a hotel we could go to Paris for free We stayed in Paris 4 or 5 days and even with lots of sightseeing, we were refreshed and adjusted to the time zone. Last year, we did London after Germany, and I didn't like traveling more after our ABD trip. So, we are booked for Greece and I am looking at 3 or 4 days in Barcelona before the tour. So, all that said, before is better, and you might want to consider seeing a city in another country. My kids love mixing up the countries.
Wow, how neat! I'll have to check out my various rewards programs and see if I can convince my husband of a "free" vacation.

Thanks to everyone for all the ideas so far. So much to consider!
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by abdalums View Post
We did ViVa Italia in '09. When I went to book our flights, I found a deal with Continental that turned out to be cheaper to fly to Paris than ro Rome. Even adding the flight from Paris to Rome, we were still ahead. So, I convinced my DH that by using Marriott points for a hotel we could go to Paris for free We stayed in Paris 4 or 5 days and even with lots of sightseeing, we were refreshed and adjusted to the time zone. Last year, we did London after Germany, and I didn't like traveling more after our ABD trip. So, we are booked for Greece and I am looking at 3 or 4 days in Barcelona before the tour. So, all that said, before is better, and you might want to consider seeing a city in another country. My kids love mixing up the countries.
This is what we're leaning towards. We have enough Hilton points for 3 nights at the Sorrrento Palace (used by ABD Central Italy tour), see Pompeii/Capri and then trek back to Rome to meet up with the Viva Italia group on 6/28 or 7/1

Would love to do a layover in London or Paris, but the flights would be impossible to schedule.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapsd View Post
Did it make for a long day to be based out of Rome?
Do you think it would be easy to stay in Sorrento or Naples for a couple nights to take in all of that area?
It took 1 hour and 20 minutes by train to get to Naples so it was not bad. I would love to stay on the coast for a few days but I would pick Positino.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:22 PM   #12
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Did you feel ready to head for home at the end of the tour or wishing to stay longer?
We did Viva Italia June 08 and added a day before AND a day after. Disney handled both days' transfers for us because we booked through ABD.

No, we were definitely not ready to head home. Venice is tantalizing and we could have easily stayed forever! We enjoyed every single moment in that wonderful city; in fact, the entire tour was the trip of a lifetime. Hard to say which was the best part, Rome, Tuscany or Venice. It was all incredible.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:28 PM   #13
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We did Viva Italia June 08 and added a day before AND a day after. Disney handled both days' transfers for us because we booked through ABD.

No, we were definitely not ready to head home. Venice is tantalizing and we could have easily stayed forever! We enjoyed every single moment in that wonderful city; in fact, the entire tour was the trip of a lifetime. Hard to say which was the best part, Rome, Tuscany or Venice. It was all incredible.
Do you have children that you had on your trip? I'm wondering about how my kids will like Venice, to stay an extra day.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:11 PM   #14
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We did Viva Italia in 09. We flew into Rome and then took the Airport Train to the Rome "Termini" and then caught a train to Naples. From that we took the Circumvesviana to Sorrento (end of the line - about 1 hr) and spent 2 nights there. Pompeii is exactly halfway between naples and sorrento. We loved it. Spent the morning/early afternoon at Pompeii and took the train in the PM to get dinner in Naples (saw a place Micelas i think on a bunch of travel shows and it was great!). Overall Pompeii was one of the things we really wanted to see and we were glad we did it. The first day was really long but we were adjusted to the time change by the time ABD started.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:20 PM   #15
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We did Viva Italia in 09. We flew into Rome and then took the Airport Train to the Rome "Termini" and then caught a train to Naples. From that we took the Circumvesviana to Sorrento (end of the line - about 1 hr) and spent 2 nights there. Pompeii is exactly halfway between naples and sorrento. We loved it. Spent the morning/early afternoon at Pompeii and took the train in the PM to get dinner in Naples (saw a place Micelas i think on a bunch of travel shows and it was great!). Overall Pompeii was one of the things we really wanted to see and we were glad we did it. The first day was really long but we were adjusted to the time change by the time ABD started.
Exactly what we have in mind. We're hoping to stash our luggage at the Rome hotel or pay to store in at Rome Termini so we can travel lighter to Sorrento.

Anything else you did there that you'd recommend. We're debating on trying to visit Capri or some of the Amalfi Coast as well.
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