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Thread: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

  1. #36
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    It sounds great.
    Agreed on regular train tickets rather than Eurail pass.
    All the places you want to see are wonderful. I know Paris pretty well (I’ll be there on Saturday ). Sure, there’s plenty of other tourists there. Pick a few thing you really want to see and endure the crowds (go early or late) but then go see other parts of the city. There are gems that aren’t on the bus tour route: Cluny Museum, Musée Marmottan Monet, rue Montorgueil and the nearby Bourse de Commerce museum, Père Lachaise cemetery, even Sainte Chapelle is often uncrowded. The best part of Paris or any other big city is just walking around, enjoying a cafe, talking to people.
    Learn at least a few essential phrases in countries you visit, and try to pronounce them like natives. People are nicer to you if you make an effort, and will almost always switch to English once the niceties are concluded.
    Enjoy!

  2. #37
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    We liked Amsterdam a lot when we were there. Stayed in an AirBnB houseboat on a canal. You MUST see the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and MUST go see the Maruitshouse museum so you can stand in front of Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring and weep.

    August is hell in Europe. Everybody is on vacation, and everywhere is jammed. And it's hot. But enjoy! Try to avoid Covid.
    Last edited by Gerarddm; 07-18-2022 at 01:45 PM.
    Gerard>
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  3. #38
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Tuscany trip booked August 15 -31
    fly into Bologna stay from the 16 to 19
    19-31 in Firenze ( Florence ) with Day trips to Siena, Montepulciano, etc. Maybe a day trip to Rome

    Any recommendations are welcome.

    Screen Shot 2022-07-17 at 5.30.12 PM.jpg

    First couple of days in Bologna here





    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5001023...3-547aa43732b6

    Then this will be our home base in Florence



    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1125873...e-47d6c9feb772

    With a couple of days in this cool artist loft.





    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/29357077?check_in=2022-08-16&check_out=2022-08-18&guests=1&adults=2&s=67&unique_share_id=7db5186 7-ace0-4009-a0e7-02bf5e734257
    Last edited by Joe (SoCal); 07-17-2022 at 07:44 PM.
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  4. #39
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Like those Air BnBs.

    When in Firenze, the three must sees are David, the Opera by the Duomo, and of course the Uffizzi gallery. Taking a walk across the Arno up to the Piazza di Michaelangelo is worth it for the stunning overall Firenze view. The gold and jewelry shops on the Ponte Vecchio are tourist traps, of course, but across the Arno is a warren of really good artisan shops. Leather in particular.
    Gerard>
    Albuquerque, NM

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  5. #40
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    For me Florence and the outskirts is good for 2 days. I would rather do Rome, Cinque Terre, Lake Garda and Venice with an overnight in Florence. A bicycle rental in Florence is great. August will be a scorcher so there will lots of gelato.

    Joe - book the Vespa tour for Rome. You ride with a guide - worth it. Also get a guide for Florence too. If you want to see David and the museum - buy your tickets in advance as they are a few weeks out and are not usually possible to buy when you arrive.
    Without friends none of this is possible.

  6. #41
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    For me Florence and the outskirts is good for 2 days. I would rather do Rome, Cinque Terre, Lake Garda and Venice with an overnight in Florence. A bicycle rental in Florence is great. August will be a scorcher so there will lots of gelato.

    Joe - book the Vespa tour for Rome. You ride with a guide - worth it. Also get a guide for Florence too. If you want to see David and the museum - buy your tickets in advance as they are a few weeks out and are not usually possible to buy when you arrive.
    We are just using Florence as a home base because of its train hub so we can take trips to, Siena, Arezzo, San Gimignano, Montepulciano and also Rome. Our only concern with outskirt towns out of major cities in mid August is not the ideal time to visit little villages in the country since most Italians close shop and go on holiday in August.

    Renting Vespa's, Vespa Tour , Vespa anything is high on our list for sure
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  7. #42
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Bologna isn't something you need 4 days to see, I recommend day trips to Ravenna and San Marino.

  8. #43
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumars View Post
    Bologna isn't something you need 4 days to see, I recommend day trips to Ravenna and San Marino.
    We are really only gonna be there late on the 16th one day the 17th and then head down to Florence on then morning of the 19th. Hey but I can never have enough Totolini, vino and gelato
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  9. #44
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    I still recommend Ravenna at least, the byzantin legacy is different from what you'll see in the rest of Italy.

  10. #45
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Best wishes for your trip! I hope you enjoy it and you get what you hope to find!
    However, as I have lived in Italy for about 21 years (Venice and Chioggia) and still have an active design business there, I have to observe that you are slightly missing the spirit of it and badly falling into US-American stereotypes about this country. While there is nothing wrong regarding your stays, well, that‘s not Italy but a californicated, over-gentrified array of places and situations. Italy, despite its riches, is still the place where the small people, the plain folks, have the real fun. If you want to know it, go rubbing elbows with them during Ferragosto (as George. observed, an awful mess, but a lovely one) at campsites, low key resorts, county fairs, religious festivities and beach parties. My best Ferragosto was at the Goro sandbank lighthouse, having a heavily intoxicated reggae party with a bunch of drunken clammers.
    Of course, I am very biased: Being Greek, I am rather at home at the Adria and appreciate the connections of this part of Italy to the East. I also devotedly follow the old saying: if you are crossing Italy, it is easy to know where you are. Just ask for a drink: in Tuscany, they will give you nothing, in the Emilia, you‘ll get water and in the Romagna, on the Adriatic coast they will offer you wine…. BTW, Ravenna is the capital of Romagna and an absolute must see. Tuscany is as you know it from the pictures. If you like hills, it is pretty nice. Cultural spots abound. It is gentrified and can be dull if you are not with the right people. Pontedera, ( an ugly town) is home to the Vespa. After nearly 27 years of involvement with Piaggio, I would rather not commend on the topic. Much better Livorno, a gritty, hearty port town. Liguria and the Cinque Terre offer the Drama that Tuscany lacks. Napoli is tough but it is a great lesson in humanity, Pizza aside. Rome is a must, of course, but you need some time there to get the feeling. Milan is very un-idyllic, but you get your styles there. Opportunity and creativity live there. Venice, no comment. If I were there at that time, I would ask you to come and show you around. There is nothing like life in the Lagoon and nothing like Venice….
    All this is to be taken with a grain of salt. It is a beautiful country and an incredible concentrate of life and humanity. While living there, I did not travelled much around, as the exploration of the micro - cosmos around Venice demanded lots of time and energy.
    You will have to cut your slice of it and enjoy it as much as you can. Traveling requires time. I have spent mor than 14 months traveling around the US and still feel like having seen nothing!
    I perfectly agree with everything posted regarding Amsterdam. A stunning place.
    I will probably be in Northern Germany at that time.
    Best wishes for your trip to you and your wife.
    Attached is a pic from Chioggia.436F1FD0-3852-477C-8EDA-629B8A876EDD.jpg

  11. #46
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    P.S.: Italy consists of 16 distinct regions and includes 3 different language families. Which means, that a Sicilian and a Friulian can perfectly escape communication, in case they insist to speak their native languages, instead of the conventional Italian one. In the US, the Italian Influx is mostly southern, due to the origin of a big part of the immigrants. That’s why pizza and tomato sauce instead of risotto di go’ and broeto gradese.
    A prominent (and lovely) exception is shrimp scampi: Italian and Croatian immigrants came to Louisiana to work the shrimp fisheries. They adapted their beloved scampi alla busara dish to the use of shrimp, instead of scampi. When asked, what’s that, they said, shrimp scampi, the name stuck ;-))3D0A0988-9F14-41C3-A6CB-207B90665A68.jpg

  12. #47
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    OK so exactly one week from today we fly from John Wayne, to San Francisco, to Munich, to Bologna.
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  13. #48
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe (SoCal) View Post
    OK so exactly one week from today we fly from John Wayne, to San Francisco, to Munich, to Bologna.
    I can get the time off. What is your flight number departing SFO and I will look into tickets. Sadly - I was counting on the Amsterdam part first....
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 08-08-2022 at 04:54 PM.
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  14. #49
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    Default European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    We leave about a week
    After you guys.
    But headed to
    Scotland. Italy and Amsterdam are on our bucket list.


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  15. #50
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    OK, Joe, so you are going in August. That's now a given. All that remains is to try and mitigate.

    Tip 1: when you go to the Uffizi (you are going to the Uffizi, of course), the line will be slow and phenomenally long, and the courtyard where the line is will be hot even early in the morning. Look for the young people working the line, offering to become a "member" of some kind of "friends of the Uffizi" association. Here is how it works: you pay like $10 to become a member for the year, and a benefit of membership is that you get to cut the line. All perfectly legit, though you might think it is a scam.

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