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May Trip to Italy

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Crayzee1, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Crayzee1

    Crayzee1 F1 Veteran

    May 19, 2013
    9,823
    Greenville, NC
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    Shawn
    Hello everyone! I'm planning a 8 day or so trip to Italy in late May. 3 must see attractions, the Colosseum, ancient aqueducts in the countryside, and of course the Ferrari Museum and Factory. Ok 4 things.
    I plan on staying in Rome for 2-3 days then making my way up to Maranello and Modena for 2-3 days.
    We'll take a train or maybe rent a car to travel to Maranello. Any suggestions on where to where to visit between the two places for? Anything in between that a person must see if they were on going to make one trip to Italy? Finally places to stay, hotels in Rome and Maranello. Budget $200-$225 a night. My purpose is to not be in the hotel room, so I can go lower, my gf might get sketched out if it is gets to low. Hahaha.

    My understanding is there are two Museums and the Factory. Is the factory tour worth it? Or is it like a bus ride through Hollywood?

    Thanks for any input!
     
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  3. Gran Drewismo

    Gran Drewismo F1 Rookie

    Jan 24, 2005
    3,662
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    Andrew
    Yep, two museums and the factory. Can't comment on the factory tour because I am not an owner and thus wasn't able to go.

    If you can swing it, Lamborghini and Pagani tours are excellent.

    I stayed at the Hotel Real Fini in Modena and would stay there again.
     
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  4. Nospinzone

    Nospinzone F1 Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
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    If you are going to the Colosseum you MUST book the Underground Tour. I had been to the Colosseum several times in years before this tour became available. A couple years ago I did the Underground Tour the first year it became available. I cannot express in words how much more dramatic and impactful this tour is over just walking around the ground level. You go down to the lower level and the perspective from there is just amazing. Then the tour guide (we had an archeologist and she was fantastic, so knowledgeable) takes you to a higher level not open to general admission, and the perspective from there is just as amazing.

    I repeat, if you are going to the Colosseum you MUST book the Underground Tour. Now the problem is this tour books faster than a Bruce Springsteen concert. Typically they only book a month or two in advance so you won't be able to book for May yet, but start checking the website regularly. This is the official site -

    http://ecm.coopculture.it/index.php?option=com_snapp&view=event&id=28410C15-602F-4539-A210-CE0B6183CEFB&catalogid=6D4FC07C-1720-64C8-4237-015D7A469554&lang=en

    If you rent a car to drive up to Maranello from Rome, I'd recommend a stop at Civita d'Bagnoregio. It's pretty unique, search for a picture of it.
     
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  5. Crayzee1

    Crayzee1 F1 Veteran

    May 19, 2013
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    Shawn


    Thanks! Exactly the what I was looking for. I'm bookmarking everything now. My girlfriend is going to be like how do you always find the good places?

    FYI- The February tours are almost all sold out. WOW.
     
  6. Santiago Montenegro

    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 14, 2009
    1,478
    Caracas
    Plan at least a day trip to Florence. You ain't seen Italy until you've been to Tuscany.
     
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  8. calder1

    calder1 Formula 3
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  9. arizonaitalian

    arizonaitalian F1 World Champ
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    Oct 29, 2010
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    #7 arizonaitalian, Feb 18, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
    OP - are you an owner?

    Asking because if you are, the Factory tour (for owners) is the main reason to go to Maranello.

    If wanting the owner's tour, you will need to talk to your dealer asap to get that scheduled.

    If not an owner, I guess you are talking about some sort of available-to-the-public tour? IIRC they go on some bus ride on the track? Anyways, I'd be shocked if it included visiting inside the factory. So I have no idea what it includes.

    Regardless of that, I do recommend using the search function on here because a trip to the factory (and area) has been discussed and many firsthand recommendations have been made for what to do, where to stay and where to eat (and how to get to and from). Both museums are musts. Lambo visit falls below that (unless you aren't a Ferrari owner, and then I'd say do the Lambo factory tour). You can stay in Modena or out in Maranello (its all pretty close). Food in Maranello is good (see the threads in "general" and use search for all the reviews and debates in that regard).

    As for someplace to stop "in between", Florence is right in-between (and most trains go via Florence when going from Rome to Modena area). Florence is amazing (and amazingly crowded). But if you decide to fit it in, let us know and we can give you some recommendations for that city.

    Re hotels: For Rome (and most of Europe) I find the Best Western chain is pretty good in your price range. I've stayed in a couple in Rome. Perfectly serviceable. Check their website. Ask if you want specific hotel recs (I don't know where you want to stay).

    Rome is amazing, I try to go every year (mostly to eat now that I've seen most of the sites a few times). So, wrt food, make a reservation for Da Enzo in Rome. Like everything in the world, its been discovered by the interweb travel crowd, so its a scene, but the food is simply amazing. Put on your "easy going, nothing bothers me" attitude (takes some searching for me) and then just enjoy.

    I will add that one of the most moving/impactful museums I've ever been to is the Borghese in Rome (must book in advance). I never gave a damn about sculpture before going, but its a goosebump fest with some of the most mind-blowing works that even a non-connoisseur like me loved.

    I imagine I'll be in Rome in May most likely (depends on some other trips being planned). Its a great time to be there.

    Ok...so 8 days. How many days in country (vs. arrival and departure days)? A way too fast visit to Rome can be ~3 days, Florence way to fast is ~2 days and Maranello area is max 2 days. So all three "are possible" if you are one that likes to keep moving and jam in the sites/experiences in a trip.

    EDIT: Just noticed the "one trip to Italy" comment in your post...if that's the case (hopefully not!), then I would fit Florence in. The history of Florence is as interesting for its heyday as is Rome's from its heyday. 3 days in Rome, 2 days in Florence, 2 days in Maranello. Travel to/from Rome/Florence is fast and easy with loads of fast trains (iirc less than 90 minutes!), so it doesn't have to kill a day. You can rent a car or train to go from Florence to Maranello (its ~2 hours drive, and you want a car when there anyways to go between Ferrari, museums and Lambo).
     
  10. ARMBARBI48

    ARMBARBI48 Karting

    Jan 29, 2013
    67
    Modena Italy
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    Armido Barbieri
    If you have time go to Righini private museum in Panzano,little place near Modena,it is located into a old castle(Little but nice!) you can see the first Ferrari everbuilt,the "AutoAvioCostruzioni",and the Alfa of Nuvolari and other fantastic cars!!!and near the entrance,there is a very pretty typical restaurant, hope you have a nice time in Italy....
     
  11. Crayzee1

    Crayzee1 F1 Veteran

    May 19, 2013
    9,823
    Greenville, NC
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    Shawn






    No I am not an owner... yet. I was a few days away from buying one 2014, but I thought really hard about my current job, and what I wanted to do for the next half of my life. I took my Ferrari money to invest it in a computer science degree and bought 4 rental houses. Damn adulthood and doing the responsible thing!
    I've been back in the workforce for 6 months, and have started to put the Ferrari money back into the bank. Hahaha. It's nice to see savings going back up and not down....

    I apologize for the late replies to everyone, I locked myself out of my account and the reset password email was going into the abyss. Did I mention I write software and web apps for a living? ....couldn't log in to my own account....

    This trip, there will be more, is from May 11th-May 20th. We'll go back next spring. There was so much to do in Rome, we decided to keep it simple and book one place in Rome. The airline or booking site offered me a crappy rental car for $200-$300 extra, for the week. I couldn't pass that up, have a little bit of freedom to drive around is worth it.

    We'll make a trip up to Tuscany. I have to. I sent a link to my gf of some tours and naturally she has to see the wineries there. Little bit of a drive, but It will make for a nice drive, do a tour or two, find a restaurant bar and meet so people. Crash there and drive back to Rome the next morning.

    This trip is a present to my Gf because she's been working and going to nursing school for the last three years. She's not done until December but no summer classes this time. After she gets her first nursing job, I'll 'let' her pay for the next trip. Seems fair?


    I've written down the names of the places. I've put in a few holds for tours already too. I really appreciate the ideas and suggestions. Our trip to Maranello area will be it's own special trip. ArizonaItalian, if you do happen to be in Rome during those times, we would love to meet up for lunch or dinner! Of course, that offer extends to anyone that maybe nearby.
     
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  13. arizonaitalian

    arizonaitalian F1 World Champ
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    Oct 29, 2010
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    A week in Rome (excluding Travel days) is great, and also allows a day or two to get outside of Rome.

    I have to say, you are a far, far (far!) braver man than me renting a car in Rome. I wouldn't even consider it. Parking at your hotel may be expensive too. And I've yet to drive in Italy and not get a nice little ticket in the mail later on for going on a street or into a zone that I'm not supposed to (and having zero idea I was breaking the law)...

    The Metro is Rome is great. The taxi situation is poor and Uber hardly helps. So, plan ahead and leave 2-3x the amount of time you think it will take to get to dinners, tours, etc.

    Renting a car for "a day" to tour Tuscany is an okay idea. The Train to Florence is really quick and easy though, and getting a car there is an option. So is a "town car with driver" (I've done that 2x to tour Tuscany wineries with a stop in Sienna for lunch). I can't recall what it cost, but I don't recall it being exorbitant.

    The Borghese requires tickets purchased in advance, so I hope that is one of the tours you booked already.

    Same with Vatican museum, book in advance.

    Do NOT miss the Sistine Chappel. Its likely the most crowded room you will ever see, but it also might be the most goose-bump inspiring. Do get the audio guide, its not the same without the story and explanations.

    Do all the touristy things in Rome (well, skipping the Spanish Steps is a perfectly reasonable thing to do). Many of them are crowded with good reason...

    Call Da Enzo and get a reservation. Trust me on that. I'd also consider eating at Roma Sparita and Giggetto (yeah, its all touristy these days, but doesn't mean the food isn't excellent).

    Another "day trip" would be to down to Amalfi. Its stunning. Its about 3 hours drive or train. But - again - I would not drive (the road from Salerno to Positano is absurd). If you choose to overnight, stay in Amalfi itself or on the hillside nearby (vs. Salerno, you don't get the "amalfi coast" experience in Salerno at all imo). It would be a longish day, but taking the train down to Salerno, a 5-min walk to the Ferry and a stunning and fun Ferry ride to Amalfi and/or Positano and return to Rome would be an amazing day. Have lunch at Chez Black in Positano or Marina Grande in Amalfi. Or, walk/taxi to Santa Caterina just outside of Amalfi town for an amazing lunch or cocktail. Getting to see Amalfi in person would change your entire perspective on Italy in conjunction with Rome imo.

    If we go to Italy, it would be between May 14-28. Unfortunately my gf is awaiting scheduling of an interview somewhere in there, so we have not been able to book anything yet. Will reach out to you if we end up in Rome at the same time.

    Enjoy your trip and don't hesitate to ask if you have any more questions.
     
  14. Nospinzone

    Nospinzone F1 Veteran

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  15. Steelton Keith

    Steelton Keith F1 Rookie
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    Aug 19, 2009
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    Shawn. send me an email or give me a call. There is a lot of good advice above. Take the train to Florence, or Sienna, or Lucca. Driving and parking in those towns is prohibited for the most part. The drive to Tuscany from Rome is not that pleasant. I would not have a car in Rome if someone gave me a Veyron and $ 1,000 for the gas and fines. Make sure you book all of your tickets on line in advance. Roma is for walking and the weather will not be too hot.
     
  16. Nospinzone

    Nospinzone F1 Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
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    Shawn, reading your last post, and then the advice from AZItalian and Keith, I think you are trying to squeeze too much into one week. You and your gf can really keep yourselves occupied the whole time in Rome. My wife and I love to walk and when we stay in Rome we walk everywhere. I know Rome consists of 7 hills, but frankly you're not walking anything like the real Italian hill towns, its fairly level. Only once we took a cab because it was a dressy Christmas concert and my wife's shoes were not fit for walking!

    As far as your "crappy rental car for $200-$300 extra" I hope you read the whole contract. With many of these rentals even if you take the extended CDW you can still have a deductible of at least 800 euros (much more if its an expensive car). Also, check your credit card coverage. Many cards do not cover rentals in Italy, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

    If you skip the rental car, but still want to appease the gf with a winery tour, look for a guided tour from Rome. Trust me, it will be much more relaxing than you trying to drive, and find, wineries out in the country.

    BTW, if you choose to ignore our advice (which is OK, I've ignored a lot of advice myself) and rent a car, do not think for one minute you can follow route numbers. Italian roads, other than the autostrada, rarely have route number signs posted. The only signs you will see are signs for the towns you will head towards if you take a certain road. So what you have to do when you plan a trip not using the autostrada is to list the towns you will go through to get to your destination.

    The more I think of it as I type, this vacation shouldn't be work, and if you rent a car, you will be working, and stressed! ;)
     
  17. arizonaitalian

    arizonaitalian F1 World Champ
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    Oct 29, 2010
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    Piling on...seeing more posters agree with the no car advice...its making me think about it more...and, its making me pile on again...I just cannot imagine keeping a car in Rome for a week at a hotel. Parking? Driving into permit zones? And of course surviving the actual driving. Its even less appealing than keeping a car at a Manhattan hotel for a week.
     
  18. Mimmo Blue

    Mimmo Blue Formula Junior

    Apr 17, 2018
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    I was in Italy last October, my first time since I was 9 years old. Stayed with my cousins who live in a small town about 20 minutes from Maranello. I also have a cousin who lives in Maranello. The last time my parents were in Italy back in he mid 80's they toured the Ferrari factory with my cousin's friend who was a plant manager at the time. I had no such luck this time but did see both Ferrari museums plus the Lamborghini museum and factory.
    The town I stayed in was about 10 minutes from St. Agata so there were often Lamborghinis under wraps driven around the town by engineers who drive the cars home for testing. One day I was walking and heard a distinctive sound and turned around to see a 68 Shelby Mustang. There is grest interest in the area for American muscle and several groups of enthusiasts. I have been into American classic cars, but i am also hoping for a Ferrari next, so I talked cars with my cousins husband who is a retired mechanic.
    My last day before leaving he asked me if I wanted to go for a ride to a friend's place to see some old cars he has. He told me he helps him out once in a while working on his old cars.
    I said sure, thinking I would be looking at a couple of old fiats.
    I picked him up in Castelfranco and was driving when I come around a corner and see this ancient castle in front of me. He says pull over in front of the big door. He then gets out knocks on the door and Righinis daughter opened the door and invited us in. I still had no idea what I was about to see.
    My cousins friend who works for Righini gave us a private grand tour.
    It' been 6 months now and my head is still spinning from what I saw that day.
    The Ferrari Museum was great but to see all these historic vehicles in a private collection just blew me away. I had never heard of Righini collection before that day, and I thought I was going to see a couple of old Fiat 500s lol.
     
  19. Whisky

    Whisky F1 World Champ
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    The original Fernando
    Lots of good advice here, I am also looking to book a trip such as this,
    but I want to fly into somewhere like Prague or Geneva and take a train thru the countryside
    and eventually end up in Genoa or someplace like that. End goal is Cinque Terre and Amalfi,
    but now I am thinking of adding Capri into this...
     
  20. Smiles

    Smiles Moderator
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    It may be a little more than your budget, but the Inn at the Spanish Steps is outstanding, and has complimentary breakfast. A great location, too. It can save on transportation costs.

    Matt
     

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