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Motogp Trip To Italy Mugello vs Misano

#1 User is offline   jonnybarcs Icon

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:53 AM

Heading to Europe next year with the wife and we are planning on attending a MotoGP race at either Mugello or Misano. The 2018 Prelim MotoGP schedule was just released today and we are flexible in our travel dates, Mugello is at the beinnging of summer and Misano at the end. Both tracks are huge VR#46 fan base tracks so hopefully he's back in full form next season and we can rock our bright yellow to fit in.

Questions are:

Has anybody been to either of these events?

What did you like/not like?

Things to make sure we don't miss?

Are the premium packages worth while?

Recommendations on things to do, see, eat, etc. in Italy....spare the obvious, drink lots of wine.
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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:57 PM

People I know that have been to Mugello love it.
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#3 User is offline   antimatter Icon

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:31 PM

There's lots of stuff to do and see in Italy. The Ducati factory in Bologna is really cool. They have a museum full of neat race bikes and historical stuff attached that is really neat, too. Florence is nearby - the Uffizi is full of art with lots of stuff you'll recognize from popular culture. And it's in the middle of Tuscany, which is as beautiful as everyone says. Northward is Lake Como and all kinds of cool passes up into Switzerland and Austria, while to the south is Rome (which you could take a month and not see all of), as well as the Amalfi Coast.

One word of warning - if you rent a car you will get dinged for some traffic violations. Italy is rife with traffic and speed cameras, and they'll get you on something; 1 or 2 km over the speed limit, being in a bus lane (no markings), etc. The car rentals are cheap, but the tickets make up for it. Google 'traffic ticket in Italy' to read all about it.
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#4 User is offline   mike4king Icon

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 02:16 PM

An excerpt from my trip to Ireland/Scotland/Italy in June 2016 with my wife (Italy was Venice -> Cinque Terre -> Florence -> Rome, with stops in a few other small towns)

Didn't do anything motorcycle-related other than a full day scooter rental in Rome unfortunately, but hope to return someday (although I actually preferred Scotland to Italy for my own interests)

Also, for the "driving in Italy" thing, we put about 150 miles on a Fiat 500 through Tuscany and I followed speed limits (for the most part), although I did end up getting mailed a ticket for driving in a public transit lane when arriving in Florence to return the car. I think it was like $100 that I had to pay for it.

Quote

Day 9:
We didn't wake up as early today since it wasn't going to be as eventful of a day. After packing to leave Scotland, we walked through town and Laura stopped at a Starbucks while Mike went to find the Scottish Fire Service Headquarters for Edinburgh. He was able to get a tour from one of the firefighters there, and found it to be very similar to how his own station operates (although their fire trucks look silly). After about 30 minutes there talking to them, we walked to the bus station to head to the airport. We hung out at the airport for a bit and then finally boarded our plane, although they delayed us for an hour after we were already on the plane. We sat in a corner of the runway while they were waiting for air traffic to clear around Venice. The flight to Venice was uneventful. After arriving and making it through customs, we found the Alilaguna boat ferry to get from the airport to the main island. We zig-zagged up and down a few sidewalks and eventually arrived at Santa Maria Formosa church, which is where we met the host of the BnB that we were staying at. She walked us to the BnB and gave us the rundown of where things where. We set all of our stuff down and walked back into the square that Santa Maria Formosa is and found a restaurant to eat at. Neither of us were all that happy with our meals (spaghetti and ravioli), although Mike finished his. The service was horrible as well, with a very rude server that disappeared and never came back until we asked a passing server to get our bill for us. After leaving the restaurant, we walked to St Marks Square, where there is a large open area next to a basilica and a bell tower. The coolest part about the square, which apparently only happens rarely and typically only in the winter, is that the high tide caused the entire flood to square. The water was mid-shin deep in some places, and tons of people had taken their shoes off (or covered them with plastic bags) and were walking around in the water in the square. Especially with all of the lights reflecting off of it at night, it was a VERY cool sight to see. After hanging out there for a while, we headed back to the BnB and crashed.

Day 10:
We were hoping to get an earlier start, but we didn't get out of the apartment until around 9:30. We started the day with a small breakfast and then walked down to the Rialto Bridge. Like everything else in Europe, the bridge was under construction/renovation and we couldn't see much. However, there were tons of vendors lining the streets in both directions, so we took the time to explore their shops and buy a few things. After a while in the sun, we got some pizza for lunch and stopped at a supermarket to pick up some food for the apartment, and then went back to the apartment to drop it off. We then walked back over by the Rialto bridge and got onto one of the big water taxi boats. They took us down the grand canal and dropped us off over by St. Mark's Square again. All of the water from the night before was gone. We walked around for a short while and contemplated hiking up the bell tower but didn't. We explored some of the shops along the canal, but ultimately decided that it was too crowded out, so we decided to go back to the apartment and cool down/take a nap. We commonly heard in our planning phase that Venice is best explored in the mornings and evenings since afternoon is prime tourist time and the city is overflowing with tourists. After a short break, we decided to walk to see the "Vigili del Fuoco", which is Italian for Firewatchers. We found a station and hit the buzzer, and one of the firefighters greeted us and gave us a short tour. He showed us where the fire boats are kept, and talked a little bit about how they fight fires and about Italy's national fire service and how they all initially train in Rome. After leaving there, we continued walking and coincidentally, ~10 minutes later while walking over a bridge that went over the grand canal, we actually saw one of the fire boats speeding through the canal with their sirens going. We continued our walk and eventually found a small place to have dinner (spaghetti and fettucine alfredo). Again, it was mediocre food although the service was better here. After that we found some gelato and walked back out to St. Mark's Square to see if it was flooding again. It was, although there was significantly less water than the night before. On our way back to the apartment after that, we found a Gondola and decided to go for a short ride. It was 100 Euro for 35 minutes, which was a hefty price to pay but it's not every day that you get a private Gondola ride through the canals of Venice! The ride was amazing, as we zig zagged through dark and quiet canals to the sound of the water slowly swirling around us. Unfortunately, we didn't get one of the Gondola pilots (or whatever they're called) that sang while paddling, although ours did briefly answer his phone. :( Since it was around 11pm by that point, we went back to the apartment to relax and pack some of our stuff up to leave Venice the next morning!

Day 11:
On our last day in Venice, we woke up early for our long walk to the Venice train station. Unlike the airports, there is not a significant amount of stuff that you have to do to get into a train station and onto a train. It would be easy to walk into the train station 10 minutes before your train departs (as long as it's on schedule). Unfortunately, we were not aware and arrived to the train station pretty early, so we ended up sitting around, grabbing some breakfast, reading, and people watching. Our first train from Venice to Florence was fairly empty so we had room to relax. Upon arriving in Florence, we had an extremely short transfer time and had to run to catch our next train. That was a smaller regional train that took us to La Spezia, where we had a 40 minute wait and then an even smaller/older regional train into Cinque Terre. Upon arriving to Vernazza (the 4th of the 5 small towns), Mike called our AirBnB host who met us promptly just outside of the train station. From there, it only took a couple minutes to walk to the apartment that we were staying at. This one was the smallest out of the BnBs that we stayed at, but it was nice and cozy. After dropping some stuff off and getting some more info from the host, we walked down to the water (only took 5 minutes from our apartment). We grabbed some food right away since we didn't have time to eat lunch in between train transfers, and then we walked along the water for a little bit. After dinner, we just had a relaxing night (the theme of Cinque Terre) and sat by the small beach and did a little more wandering.

Day 12:
This was a pretty fun day! We woke up fairly early and quickly got ready for some hiking. Since Cinque Terre is 5 small towns built into the side of hills/mountains/vineyards, the only easy way to get between the towns are the regional hiking trails or the regional train. We hiked from Vernazza (town #4) to Monterosso (town #5). This was the most strenuous portion of the hiking between the towns, as there are tons of steps/rocks and a lot of elevation changes. The views were amazing though, as we were able to see both towns from higher up (not at the same time, but at various points along the trail). The views of the sea and the rolling vineyards were also beautiful. This portion of the hike took us around 2 hours. As we were getting into Monterosso, we were deciding how far back to take the train (stopping somewhere between towns #1-#3 and then hiking back to ours, #4). However, after seeing the beautiful beaches in Monterosso and feeling the heat, we decided to only take the train back to #3 so that we'd have time to go swimming. Monterosso had a very strong "resort" feel to it, and had big flashy (and very inviting) beaches. Town #3 is Corniglia, which we remember best by the 350+ steps to get from the train station into the town center. We didn't spend much time in town and decided to keep hiking. Although this portion of the hike also took about two hours, the scenery was not as enjoyable as the previous portion of the hike that we did. There were still some scenic points along it but not as many. As we were getting back into Vernazza, we stopped at a small restaurant that was built into the side of the mountain and on top of a cliff. We decided it was lunch time and it was a perfect spot to enjoy it so that we could look out onto the water and the cliffs (from which we could see the entire town that we stayed in). After eating, we finished the last 10 minutes into town, stopped at the apartment to change, and then walked down to the water to swim. The water was pretty cold, so Laura mostly sat on a rock while Mike hopped around the rocks and in the water. Both of them were hesitant to swim out too far, mostly because of the waves and the few jellyfish that they had seen around the area. It was very refreshing though! After swimming for a while, they went back to shower and change and then took the train over to Manarola (town #2) to meet some friends that were also in Cinque Terre. We hung out with Brittany and Merry for a couple hours, talking about our vacations over dinner and drinks. Pretty quickly, we realized that it was about 11pm and that the regional train stopped running around 11:30, so we all went back to the train station. Brittany and Merry took the train back to Riomaggiore (town #1) while we took the train in the other direction back to our town. Side note: all of the booths at the train station were closed by then, so you could only buy train tickets using the automated machine and a credit card. However, the emergency credit card that we had with us after the fiasco while in scotland didn't have a pin on it or a chip in it (which was required) so it kept getting declined. Luckily, we weren't questioned on the train since it's a couple hundred Euros in fines if you get caught on the train without a ticket. We didn't have way to get back to our town though since it was ~2 hours of hiking in the dark and there were no cars/taxis in that area.

Day 13:
Our last morning in Cinque Terre, we didn't sleep in too late. We packed up our stuff and jumped back onto the regional train into La Spezia (the first bigger city out of Cinque Terre). We walked from the train station there to the Hertz rental place where we had reserved a rental car. However, although we showed up exactly on time at 10am, they didn't have a car ready for us and asked us to come back in a half hour. We stopped at a small café for breakfast, and despite poor service when arriving back to the Hertz office, we eventually got our car. It was a very tiny, nearly brand new Fiat 500. Mike was almost a foot and a half taller than the car, so it was a little obnoxious to squeeze into. We got out of town easily and slowly made our way through the mountains until we stopped in Lucca (pronounced Lookah). It took a while for us to figure out what we were doing in this town, since it's built like a fortress and has a wall all the way around the entire town. We parked outside, and had to find more change for parking but eventually figured all of that out. The novelty thing-to-do in Lucca is renting bicycles and riding all the way around the town on top of the fortress walls. This was very cool to do, although it's a small town so it only took us about 40 minutes to get all of the way around at a light pace. Instead of keeping the bikes for in town, we returned them and decided to see the inside of the city on foot. We found a nice little outdoor restaurant for lunch. After that, we kept walking up and down various streets, popping into random stores and just enjoying the beautiful day. After picking up a few souvenirs (and some gelato of course), we made our way back to the car and kept driving. Around 6pm, we arrived at the farm that we were staying at, Fattoria Lischeto (Lischeto Farm). The drive to get into the farm was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL, driving through the rolling hills of Tuscany, especially as we came up the driveway that was about a mile long. They were there to greet us as soon as we pulled in and showed us the room that we were staying in (full studio apartment style with kitchen and bathroom). After dropping our bags, we walked around the farm for a little bit, enjoying the views, checking out the pool, and saying hi to the farm mascot (Horatio the donkey). We then ate dinner there, which was a homemade full three course Italian meal. We had no say in the menu, which made for an interesting time with us two picky eaters, but there were various parts of it that we each enjoyed quite a bit. The cook didn't speak English, so it was an experience to communicate with her about the different things that we were eating, but we were very glad to have had the opportunity to experience a very authentic meal on such a beautiful farm. After dinner, Mike decided to teach Laura how to drive a manual car in the little Fiat. They zipped up and down the super long driveway a few times (and Laura didn't burn out any clutches, although she stalled it a number of times!) and then when the bugs were starting to get bad, they enjoyed the rest of the night in the room relaxing and reading.

Day 14:
After waking, showering, and packing, we spoke with the owners of the farm about a flyer that was in our room for horseback rides nearby. They called the farm that was doing them and made an appointment for us, so we jumped in the car and drove to that farm. It was a smaller private farm run by a small family. It appeared to be a brother and sister taking care of the horses and they got us all set up. The brother was our guide and we jumped on a few horses and went down the road a little ways. We eventually turned into the fields and spent around 90 minutes cruising along and enjoying the beautiful Tuscan rolling hills and vineyards. Mike's horse (Camila) got spooked a few times by critters rustling in the grass near us and took off like a bullet for a short distance. Laura's horse was probably the slowest horse in the history of horses, and kept falling behind. After the ride, we got back into the car and drove into the nearby hilltop town of Volterra. Volterra did not feel at all like a "tourist" town. It had a very authentic small town feel to it and was very cool to wander around. Since it was a hilltop town, it had some cool scenic overlook points, including one that overlooked the Roman forum ruins. In addition to seeing some of the churches there, we also checked out a few shops. Volterra is known for alabaster, a white calcium stone that can be carved into many shapes. Volterra has a long history of very intricate alabaster carving. After spending a while in town, we got back in the car and drove the rest of the way to Florence (while Laura slept). We dropped off the car at the Hertz office in downtown Florence and walked about a mile to Trattoria da Garibardi, a restaurant that our AirBnB host worked at. She wasn't working at the time (and we were there earlier than planned), so we sat down for dinner. Laura tried a cheese and spinach ravioli and Mike had roasted lemon chicken, roasted potatoes, and spaghetti. Around the time that we were finishing that, a co-worker of our host showed us to where the apartment was. It was right in the center of town by Mercato di San Lorenzo (San Lorenzo's Market), a large outdoor shopping area and an indoor market. After dropping our packs and changing, we decided to walk out to Piazza Michelangelo, a large plaza with a scenic view over Florence. We relaxed there for a while, as we were a little earlier than planned and were told to hang out there for the sunset. In the center of the plaza was a large bronze statue of David, one of Michelangelo's works (which apparently was brought up to the plaza by 18 oxen in the 1870s). The sunset over the city of Florence and the canal was absolutely beautiful and worth the wait, although we weren't the only ones that knew it was coming. There were TONS of people on the plaza, and it was a struggle to get close to the plaza walls for a good picture. On our way back through town towards our apartment, we saw lots of cool street artists (including a guy that spent almost the entire day making a couple giant chalk murals, including one of the Mona Lisa, roughly 6X10 feet). We stopped for a late night snack of some pizza by the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral on the Piazza del Duomo, which was definitely cool to see at night.

Day 15:
This morning, we first dropped our bags at the train station since we had to check out of our apartment and didn't want to carry them around all day. This was a pretty easy (although kind of expensive at €20) service. After that, we grabbed a walking breakfast and headed back over by the Duomo Plaza. The first thing that we did was climb to the top of the Giotto's Campanile (Italian for bell tower). It was 415 steps to the top, but was an awesome view (especially of the dome on the top of the cathedral, which was ~10 meters higher than the bell tower). After that, we stood in line for a short time to get into the cathedral but were kicked out of line because women aren't allowed to wear shorts inside. Instead, we decided to check out the Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery). The octagonal mini basilica was cool, especially with the intricately-designed "Gates To Paradise" (bronze doors on the east side). There is a giant mosaic covering the ceiling. After that, we walked to a small museum dedicated to the works of Da Vinci, which was a highlight of Florence for Mike. The museum is filled with different inventions and stories about Leonardi di Vinci, who was a ridiculously intelligent inventor and artist. He invented all types of things, including attempts at human flight, weapons and vehicles for war, tools for making life's work easier, and various other things. A lot of the pieces at the museum are not original but they are interactive which made it easier to understand his intentions and how he created some of the things he did. After the museum, we walked to one of the two fire departments in Florence. There was a very large (closed) set of doors blocking the entrance, but we were able to stop someone as they were going in and they convinced one of the rookies to give us a tour. His english wasn't great but he gave us a full tour of all of their trucks, including a very cool truck that was custom built to drive over to railroad tracks and set down special wheels so they can drive on the tracks. They primarily used that truck for fighting fires in rail tunnels, which would definitely be a unique and difficult scenario. After that, we walked back over to San Lorenzo's Market for a late lunch (Laura liked her penne pasta, but Mike absolutely hated his Lasagna). After that, we spent some more time walking through the market and looking for some fun stuff to buy. We also got some more gelato, although we got kicked out of the outside patio of the gelateria since we had asked for our gelato to be "take-out". After that, we picked up our bags at the train station and sat there waiting for our train to come in. The train ride was uneventful and we got into Rome right around 9pm. We walked to our BnB and met a friend of our host to get checked in. We dropped our bags and found some uneventful dinner at a little diner.

Day 16:
This day was a pretty busy one! We woke up and walked down the main drag by our apartment until we arrived at Bici & Baci, a scooter rental place. We picked up a small 125cc 2-seat scooter for about €50 for the day (plus a large deposit). Despite some credit card problems (still recurring from the fiasco earlier in the trip), we got out of there before 9. Our first stop was at the Capuchin Crypt, the creepiest place in Rome. There is a small museum (~40 minutes to walk through) under the Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini church in Rome. The museum documents the lives of the Capuchin friars and their lives in/around Rome. At the end of the museum tour is a small hallway with 6 rooms, which includes 5 crypts and 1 chapel. The story of the crypts is that there are around 3,700 friars buried in the area, but the bones were dug up and used to decorate 5 crypts, each with a different theme. Not only are there tons of bones organized in a decorative manner in each crypt, each of them also have full skeletons (including some with monk's clothing on) that are propped up in specific ways depending on the theme of that crypt. There was no photography allowed in the crypts, and you are required to walk under/near bones that are attached to walls or hanging from the ceilings, which was creepy to say the least. The objective of the crypts is not to be disturbing/creepy, but to recognize/celebrate our short (and temporary) stay on earth and remind us of our final destination. After leaving the crypts, we grabbed some crepes for breakfast and then rode around on the scooter some more, taking in the sights of Rome. After getting a little more used to the crazy lane-splitting scooter culture of Rome, we made the trek out to the Vatican. We parked the scooter and started walking in, and were pretty quickly approached by a salesman for one of the tour companies. Since we never intended on seeing the Vatican in an un-guided, uneducated manner, we took them up on their offer. We were in a tour group of around 20 people, including headsets so that we could all hear the guide and didn't have to stand right next to her. Her accent was a little tough to understand (Austrian?) but we made it just fine. We walked through a few different areas of the Vatican (covering roughly 2km out of the 5km of museums, according to our guide), and saw tons of statues, paintings, and other artwork. After walking through a plaza and a few halls, we reached the Sistine Chapel. Although it was very cool to see, it was not what either of us were expecting. We're glad that we did the Vatican tour, but neither of us plan on going back in the foreseeable future. After exiting the guided tour, we were still able to stop in St. Peters Basilica and look around. We spent a short time exploring the basilica and the gift shops right outside of it, then went back to the scooter. After riding back over to our side of town, we found a little place for dinner and hung out there for a while. After dinner, we kept riding and visited the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. They were both closed by that point but we were still able to explore outside a little bit. We also stopped at one of the Rome Fire Stations, although we just took a few pictures from outside of the gate since it was in the middle of their shift change. We then returned the scooter and went back to the apartment so that we could pack up and get ready to leave. After we finished packing, we walked to the Trevi Fountain. In Mike's opinion, this would be best to visit very late at night (midnight or later). We went around 10pm and there were tons of people crowded around it still, which made it a little difficult to enjoy the beauty of it (although it was still worth seeing). After that, we were both exhausted so we went back to the apartment and relaxed!

Day 17:
This day wasn't too exciting. We woke up and went to the train station. We waited for our train for ~30 minutes and then rode the half hour train to the airport. Security was a breeze, although they tried to throw a hissy fit about our bags. We had a short first flight to Frankfurt International. It took a while to get through that airport to find our new gate because that airport is HUGE, and not only did we only make it with 15 minutes to spare, we had to get on a bus to get out to our plane. Our 10 hour flight on Condor wasn't too bad though, as there were TVs in all of the headrests with free movies and they gave us two meals and a pillow and blanket! Aside from it being the most turbulent landing that either of us have ever experienced, we made it home safe and sound!


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#5 User is offline   Torchsport Icon

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:46 PM

I asked this same question awhile back. Mugello was the leading recommendation by a long shot.

Damn Mike...I need some cliffs notes on all That! :twofinger:
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#6 User is offline   mike4king Icon

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 05:41 AM

View PostTorchsport, on 13 September 2017 - 11:46 PM, said:

Damn Mike...I need some cliffs notes on all That! :twofinger:


Haha I never said you had to read it :) Venice is dirty/rude/overpriced, Cinque Terre was awesome for hiking/exploring, renting a car to drive through Tuscany was A++, Florence was kind of cool, and we should have stayed in Rome much longer (especially with the rented scooter to zip around)
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#7 User is offline   millamak Icon

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 08:04 AM

I worked Misano into my trip last summer. It was cool. One thing that I didn't like about my experience there is that they cordoned me off to only one small section of the track. I had grand stand seats on turn 12 or something so I could see 6 corners so that was awesome, but they weren't "grandstand" seats. It was rock with no back rest. It was still friggin awesome though. It's a small town right there and everyone is there for the race. We stayed close enough I was able to walk to the track. We were also a block from the Adriatic coast. I am sure this is a win win either way. Enjoy. We did the Ferrari museum in Maranello on our way from Misano to Rapallo. That was pretty cool. Rome is definitely a lot to see, but very cool. I didn't have any ticket issues myself so maybe I lucked out as I did plenty of driving till we got to Rome.
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Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:20 AM

Wow! A lot of great info here, guys! A lot to digest. Cinque Terre is pretty high on our "must do" list and the wife is pretty high on going to the Ferrari factory as well. As far as Rome - I know there is lot to see, but would you consider Rome a "must see" stop? Obviously the Colosseum would be really cool and I'd probably kick myself later if I didn't go, but with limited time we were batting around the idea of perhaps skipping Rome. I know it's a personal opinion, but what are your thoughts? For me, I get bored after seeing too many churches/cathedrals...everything starts to look the same. The crypts sound pretty cool though. Regardless, scooter rentals will definitely be included in our plans.

Thanks again for the great info.
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Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:57 AM

I wonder if the lights work at the ducati factory when its raining.....
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Posted 15 September 2017 - 11:41 AM

I will be touring the smaller MV Agusta factory.

http://www.motorcycl...a-factory-tour/

https://www.youtube....h?v=DnwYT-DY154
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Posted 15 September 2017 - 11:44 AM

View Postjonnybarcs, on 15 September 2017 - 10:20 AM, said:

Wow! A lot of great info here, guys! A lot to digest. Cinque Terre is pretty high on our "must do" list and the wife is pretty high on going to the Ferrari factory as well. As far as Rome - I know there is lot to see, but would you consider Rome a "must see" stop? Obviously the Colosseum would be really cool and I'd probably kick myself later if I didn't go, but with limited time we were batting around the idea of perhaps skipping Rome. I know it's a personal opinion, but what are your thoughts? For me, I get bored after seeing too many churches/cathedrals...everything starts to look the same. The crypts sound pretty cool though. Regardless, scooter rentals will definitely be included in our plans.

Thanks again for the great info.


We skipped Rome the first time in Italy. We had one afternoon there, with our flight leaving the next morning. At one of the B&B's we stayed at, we ran into some New Zealanders who recommended the Hop On-Hop Off bus tour. You buy a ticket, and you can get on the bus at any of the stops and get off. My wife really wanted to see the Pantheon, so we took the train into Rome from the airport (we were staying at the airport Hilton), got on the bus at the train station, rode to the Pantheon, explored and did lunch, then rode back to the train station and went back out to the airport. The bus goes by all the 'big' tourist stops, so we go to see them. Buses went by every 20 minutes or so, so there was never a long wait. That was a great way to kill an afternoon in Rome, see the Pantheon and get back to the hotel.
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