My balcony view from Laconda della Maria Bed & Breakfast Hotel
My balcony view from Laconda della Maria Bed & Breakfast Hotel
 As per my previous 3 blogs, I and two long time friends are excited about our planned trip to Italy, where we plan to tour for one month starting in May, 2015. I have previously shared travel tips, information on the preplanning for this adventure, how to arrange for train travel and a detailed itinerary for the initial five days. We are looking forward to beautiful blue coastal waters; mesmerizing scenery; museums and architecture tracing back centuries; café watching; nightly strolls and eating delicious foods.
For review, when we arrive at the  Milan airport on the first day, we have planned to be picked up  by a driver with a car to drive us to Lake Como which will cost us about $45.00 per person. We will be luxuriating at a lovely Bed & Breakfast Hotel, Locanda della Maria,  located at  Via Ludovico Loreti 5, 22021, +39 03 1414 7448,  Bellagio, Lake Como for 3 nights. The room is classified as  a  Superior Triple Room with a sea view balcony. I have footnoted below a link for the NY Times suggestions for a 3 day stay in Lake Como. The cost estimate is about $60 per night, per person.
On the 4th day,  we will order a car and driver to take us from Lake Como to Milan where we will overnight at Hotel Berna, Via Napo Torriani, 18, 20124 Milano, +39 02 9475 5704, which is conveniently located near the train station.  The cost for this one night stay In Milan is about $110.00 per person, per night.
We have already purchased the Milan Expo (World’s Fair) tickets on line for about $25.00 per person so that we can take advantage of this huge event while visiting Milan. On the 5th day, we will take a morning tour of Milan, leaving us with the afternoon to peruse at our leisure. In the evening we will take a fast train from Milan to Venice, where we will stay for 3 nights at the Venice Hilton Garden Inn, Via Orlando 1, 30173 Mestre, Venice, phone 39-041-545-5901. On the 6th day, we will have the hotel arrange for a tour of Venice for the three of us. The remaining time in Venice will be spent shopping, eating and just enjoying the sights. (We were able to use miles to reserve a suite. I have foot noted below a 3 day Venice itinerary by the NY Times Travel Section. The above reservations were booked via
Reflections of Venice
Reflections of Venice
During the early evening of the 8th day on our trip, we will take the train from the Venice Mestre station ;which will take us about 2 hours to reach Florence for an 11 night stay. Because we ladies decided to tour Florence for over a week, we went on the internet to reserve an apartment. We reviewed an ad which detailed the following: “Bright and Spacious apartment for rent just steps away from the Ponte Vecchio. This beautifully furnished 3 bedroom apartment is located on the 5th floor of an elegant building with elevator designed by noted Florentine architect Michelucci who designed the central station of Florence in the 1930’s. Situated on Via Guicciardini, a primly located street that leads from the Ponte Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti. A wonderful starting point for exploring the landmarks of the historic centre. This charming district of the city boosts some of Florence’s most renowned restaurants, cafes and boutiques. The apartment can accommodate up to 6 people with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and laundry facilities. This apartment is titled as the Carolina Apartment Via Dè Guicciardini, 22, 50125 Firenze, Italia, 39 39 3981 2058. We were able to reserve this apartment with a deposit through the web site, Other contact information is:  001 646 8080765; 0039 055 2479309. Our budget is calculated to be about $62.00 per night, per person. This cost is less than the advertised rate because we had decided on another place which became unavailable and so we were upgraded at no extra cost.
We prefer to do most of the sight seeing by ourselves. However, we will want to take side trips to Tuscany, Sienna, Cinque Terre and other popular sites. Any side excursions will be booked through Walks of Italy: Italy Tours & Activities This touring company has earned rave reviews by all travel critics. To phone this touring company from the U.S. call 1-888-683-8670 and within Italy, call 39-069-480-4888.

Then we agreed that we wanted to tour the enchanting Amalfi coast. So, on the 20th day, we are reserving a train ride from a Florence train station to Naples. The Hotel host can arrange for a car to pick us up at the Naples train station to drive us to the Amalfi coast Hotel Onda Verde at Via Terramare, 3, 84010 Praiano, Salerno, Italy +39 089 874125. I booked this hotel online for 3 nights at a cost of $99 per night, per person, for a Superior Triple Room with sea view balcony,  based on the following ad: “A cozy nest on the cliff, halfway between Amalfi and Positano, Hotel Onda Verde is the place from which you can view one of the most fascinating natural shows Italy has to offer. Such view is accessible from all the 25 rooms, with tasteful antique furnishings, private bathrooms decorated with classic pottery typical of this areas and all the services you need including air-conditioning, hairdryer, satellite TV, wireless Internet access. Choosing the Hotel Onda Verde is to be few steps away from our precious beaches having within reach the magnificent island of Capri with ships entering the dock nearby. You will benefit from easy connections with the pearls of the Amalfi Coast: Positano, Amalfi and the picturesque Ravello being only 7 kilometers away, the romantic Sorrento and all the other fabulous towns of the Sorrento Coast. Come and visit us for an unforgettable vacation where you can enjoy great food, amazing view and relax with friends and family in a delightful atmosphere.” The hotel employees can assist us with side tours to Capri, the famous “Blue Grotto,” and Pompeii in Naples.

 Finally, on the 24th day of our trip, we ladies are on our last trek of our travels. We will plan for a ride from the Amalfi Coast hotel to the Naples train station where we will be transported from Naples to the Rome station and then we will take a cab to our Rome apartment for a week.
Again , we booked an apartment on line through The contact # is 39-32-9218-9713. This is the ad for the Battista apartment at  via degli scialoja 18, roma which caught our attention:

“A relaxed, and nicely appointed apartment, in a grand, refurbished building, in central Rome, only 300 mts. from Piazza del Popolo and within walking distance to all the famous landmarks in the eternal city. The apartment has every amenity to make your trip to Rome easy and comfortable, with lasting memories.”


“Meticulously maintained by it’s caring owner, there is parquetry flooring throughout, a large combined living and dining room with a table and dining chairs, a sofa and plasma Satellite TV.”

“Off the hall there are two bedrooms, both with wardrobes. The first master bedroom, has a comfortable double bed, with a high quality mattress for your ultimate comfort and there is an en suite bathroom with a bathtub and shower, washbasin and wc. The second bedroom has two single beds, which on request can be joined to make a double bed. The second bathroom has a shower, washbasin and wc. Equipped with HD TV 32 “with International Sky. The air-conditioning has both heating and cooling is equipped with individual remote control and services the entire apartment. The apartment is equipped with high speed 20 meg Internet access with wireless signal so you can access Internet from all rooms with your laptop or smartphone. This area has many wonderful outdoor cafes, restaurants, bars, supermarkets and with a short stroll, you are at the Spanish Steps and Via Condotti, where you will find some of the best fashion shopping in the world, with every designer label boutique you can imagine.” The estimated cost per person, per night is $82.00.Colosseum_in_Rome,_Italy_-_April_2007 COLOSSEUM IN ROME

 As is our pattern, we will do most of the sightseeing on our own while depending on public transportation. If we arrange for any side trips outside of Rome it will be through my favorite touring company, Walks of Italy: Italy Tours & Activities

On our last day, we will say, “Arrivederci Roma,” as we take a cab from our Spanish Steps apartment to the airport for our return trip back to Florida.

NOTE: Hotels in Italy have strict rules as to how many people are permitted for a particular size room. When you make a reservation, it is crucial to advise the hotel if more than 2 people will be in the room.

To dial from a U.S. phone to Italy, you first dial 011 and then the phone number.


Venice Travel Coverage – The New York Times…/venice/overview Find articles and photos about traveling to Venice. … On this island in the Venice Lagoon, glassmaking has been revered by doges and tourists alike.

36 Hours in Florence, Italy –…/things-to-do-in-36-hours-in-florenceSep 24, 2014 –

36 Hours: Lake Como, Italy –…/36hourslakecomo-italy.html Aug 7, 2014 – In the foothills of the Alps in northern Italy, Lake Como

Venice Travel Coverage – The New York Times…/venice/overview Find articles and photos about traveling to Venice. … On this island in the Venice Lagoon, glassmaking has been revered by doges and tourists alike.

Book These Italian Museums and Attractions Before You Go › … › Things to Do in Italy › Museums in Italy –How to make reservations and buy tickets ahead for museums and tourist attractions in Italy.

Walks of Italy: Italy Tours & Activities walking tours, small group and private, with central meeting points around Italy. Sightseeing walks feature major or off-the-beaten-path itineraries.

Buy your ticket – Tickets | Expo Milano 2015 Expo Milan 2015, tickets for the exposition. … available at a reduced price: click on Learn More for further details and for information on how to buy your ticket.

Italy Rail Passes and Train Tips from Rick Steves  ……/trains/italyrail-passe…Most train travelers in Italy spend each railtravel day taking relatively short rides on the Milan–Venice–Florence–Rome circuit.

36 Hours in Florence, Italy –…/things-to-do-in-36-hours-in-florenceSep 24, 2014

What to Do in Rome –…/what-to-do-in-36-hours-in-rome The New York Times Mar 4, 2015 –


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