I'd like to take my family to Tuscany--Florence, Sienna, ultimately Venice--either in mid-March or in early June. Any recommendations for good hotels at somewhat reasonable rates would be
greatly appreciated. Any trip recommendations appreciated. Thanks much.
Hi H! I am not an expert on Italy however, I might suggest considering pensiones or apts for your trip. With 4 (not sure adults or small children), a hotel room (or two) might be more difficult to find or very costly (unless money is no object.) An apt would give you more space and the option to make some meals in if you wanted. Mid-March would also be less expensive (and less crowded) than June. Have fun!
I spent a month in Italy several years ago and I just have a few words of advice for you who shops on a budget:
Italian cities are beautiful and full of life...end of story. Don't worry too much if you don't hit all the tourist spots. Each major city you'll come across is as culturally vibrant as the next. As an American it's really fantastic to see what a truly OLD city looks like.
If traveling to all the cities on your agenda is cost prohibitive, keep in mind that in my month in Udine, Italy I never had time to get bored even once. I'm not saying that there aren't worthwhile attractions across the country, just don't get discouraged if fares are keeping you from visiting ALL the locations you seek to visit. You'll have a great time.
I also recommend looking for an apartment or even a homestay, especially to maximize your visit should you decide to stay in one city for a while (not to mention cheaper). Some families will open their doors to you for a share of their rent and if there's one thing an English speaker needs in Italy it's an Italian speaking conduit. As an English speaker it's hard to get around (without having signs designed with tourists in mind) unless you have these homestay friends to guide you.
Think about it counter-culturally, if an Italian, knowing nothing of America, came to you and asked if you'd show them the best of your city. You'd probably do a better job than any "Guide to American Vacations" book written in Italian could do.
From this link you can choose your region and see the apartments available where and when you want to rent. If you rent in Florence, you can easily take daytrips to Sienna via bus or train. I also found another link for apartments in Venice. I find apartments at times nicer than hotels, especially with a family of 4, because you can take care of your own meals which brings down the cost considerably. Eating out for 4 can get quite costly. Here is the link for Venice: http://www.viewsonvenice.com/special...e%20apartments
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Home > Italy Vacation Rentals Villa and Apartment Rentals in Italy
Drawbridge To Europe, Inc. offers vacation rentals in Italy. Choose from a wide selection of vacation holiday rentals including rental houses, apartment rental, villas, and castles. From apartments in Florence, Tuscany villas, Chianti house rentals to villas on the Amalfi Coast, here you can find a comfortable and charming home base to help you more fully experience the romance of Italy.