Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Benvenuto in Italia! Welcome to Italy! Such an exciting greeting! It's one I've missed for the past two years. We have taken a break from what was becoming a yearly pilgrimage to Italy. Having  sold our home and bought another, our time has been taken up moving and making improvements. Also, our English Setter, Sandie, dislocated her hip which has required a long rehabilitation. We haven't been comfortable leaving her at the kennel.

Of course, I still receive all of the email alerts with plane fares from Boston to Florence or Milan. At first glance, the prices this year seem to be the lowest in the last four years! That seems to be at odds with the stories of higher fares across the board. A closer look tells us that choosing our own seats now comes at a price. On Swiss and Lufthansa it's $35 each both directions ($140). Say the alert or advertised price is $550 RT, we'll have to add $140 to that so two of us can sit together. Still, the total ticket price of $690 each is not bad. We like travelling to Italy in the "shoulder" period of late October-November because airfare and lodging are much less expensive. We have paid as much as $1400 RT (2014) each travelling in September, and $1252 (2011) in June/July, but when we went to Italy in November 2015 & 2016 we paid about $650 RT each. All of these flights took place before airlines starting to charge for the "privilege" of picking your seats.

Debbie and I are talking a bit about a shorter 8 or 9 day trip to Italy in the future, but we are still worried about our dog, so it's not on the front burner yet. Still, it's good to keep the dream alive. We're looking at visiting a few places we have yet to see and maybe a return to the Sorrento/Amalfi Coast area which we liked. Puglia might be another region for us to see. And, I have yet to visit the town where my grandparents emigrated from - Pedavena which is north of Venice. And, the area where Debbie's grandparents were from down near Naples.

Planning is half the fun, so even if you're not ready to go this year, take a few minutes every day to do some research. Familiarize yourself with the Trenitalia train site, TripAdvisor forums, and any other helpful site you can find. It's all within your grasp. And, it's fairly easy to do.

Be sure to check out all of my posts here for tips on trains, apartments, city buses, museums, taxis and more. Just the photos are worth a look. Have fun! Thanks for looking.