Last minute advice before I book Italy?

SingingMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 4, 2001
I'm about to call ABD to book October 2020 Adult Exclusive Italy. Will be me, Dh, and DD 25. Our 6th ABD, 3rd "adult exclusive". We will plan on flying into Rome the day before. I feel calmer starting Adventures after a good night's sleep! Do you suggest a post night in Venice, also?

Any MUST SEE - DO NOT MISS spots/activities on this tour? I try to go with guides suggestions, but if there is something we shouldn't miss, I like to see if I can fit it in. (IE: Seeing the original "Infant of Prague" statue in the little church in Prague, with an exhibit of all the handmade vestments given as gifts from around the world. Amazing!)

How crowded will the accommodations be for 3 adults? (One hotel in Central Europe - the tour doesn't use it anymore! - the roll away wasn't even a cot size. Good thing DD is petite. Her feet hung over the edge big time!)

Are there spots to sit for a second during the walking tours? I have found my back needs just a minute to rest if I'm on my feet long. (my favorite word in Spain was "banco". LOL)

Thank you for any words of wisdom you can share before I make my call!!!
 

Grifdog22

Barking Mad!
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
We did the adults only October 2018 trip and you will enjoy this trip.

We came in two days early to tour the Vatican and other areas. ABD in 2018 would only take us to their hotel for the transfer, which we used, and then took a taxi to our own hotel. It did save us a little money but wasted a lot of time. Starting in 2018 Diisney had changed hotels. The Gran Melina declined to hold our bags and said they would only accept these while we were actually checked into the hotel. (See some of the other reports where people would drop bags up to 24 hours before check in at the hotel and then take off and come back. This hotel was the least accommodating of any place we've ever stayed, including a motel 6 in Knoxville TN). We even tried to leave a message for the ABD guides and they refused to accept it. Please tell us your views. The bathrooms put you on "display" to the rest of the room with solid glass walls - even when showering...it is not a "family" style hotel...so we did not stay here for any pre-days. During the ABD it was also (consistently) the worst food we had on any ABD.

Anyway, we stayed before the trip at a fantastic hotel across from the train station in central Rome - Marriott Palazzo Naiadi, The Dedica Anthology, Piazza delta Repubblica 47 (all on Marriott points) and we took the Dark Rome small group tour to Pompeii and Sorrento tour for the day, which left from the train station on the high speed rail. (and yes this hotel had no problem with us dropping bags here). It was terrific as a pre-day activity. We also arranged for the Scavi tour at the Vatican down to St. Peter's tomb (This took months to arrange but was amazing to be "behind the scenes" in the non public sections of St. Peters.) We also had tickets to attend the Pope's presentation in St. Peter's square - an amazing event. If you do nothing else, wander St. Peters OYO at your own pace. ABD does not give nearly enough time here.

We were very satisfied with the programs as presented in Rome and did not find a great deal of OYO time. The extra days helped immensely.

Post trip we stayed at the ABD hotel - at the Hotel Molino Stucky. This is an excellent hotel. Do not miss the rooftop pool. The bar at lunch is empty and they offered multiple free tastings of many things including their own homemade lemonchello. MMMMmmm. We enjoyed Venice the most - early mornings before the cruise ships disgorged people and late evenings. Don't miss the last boat back to the hotel though! We wanted to try true Italian opera and on our extra day did so. This is what we visited:
Musica a Palazzo is a cultural association and therefore admission to performances is allowed to members only. It is necessary to fill in an application form (one per person). It is possible to become a member of the association just before a performance, by printing the application form attached to this message, filling it in with your personal data and handing it in at the front desk. Please DO NOT send the forms by email. In case you don't have access to a printer, you will be provided with empty forms at the front desk upon your arrival. There are no additional charges or tickets.

However, you must make a reservation to do so. The program is presented in an old Doge's Palace. It is limited to about 30 people. Each scene is in a different room in the palace and there is no stage-the opera takes place in front of and around you. I was not an opera fan. Okay, this is one of those times when my DW was 100% right. I was blown away. Not what I was expecting. To wander the back streets of Venice at night is magical. It is an amazing city!

We found all of the Italian cities bursting at the seams with tourists at all times and we felt the ABD group was too large for what we did on this trip. We never got to know all the other people and it is the only ABD where we did not establish close ties with people. We felt that was the group size, mixed with crowded venues. Find what you want and do it. I believe this is one of ABD's most popular trips, and the venues all speak for themselves. Enjoy!
 

2-pointdoe

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 22, 2015
We went as a family of 3 June 2018.

Our extra day in rome we used a private tour company (livitaly) to pick us up at the hotel and drive us to pompeii and vesuvius and arrange for our tours. Highly recommend this. We were able to sleep in the car on the way there and the way back. The Gran Melia was a little tight for 3 but was okay and the bed was a twin. The glass walls in the bathroom have screens that can be lowered to block them so don't be worried about it not being family friendly, it really was no issue. We found the hotel and staff to be very accommodating but the hotel restaurant while tasty was very overpriced in my opinion and we found much better options out and about. The front desk was great about areas to go explore.

I would definitely suggest an extra day in Venice, we did not and really regretted it. We found the Hotel Stucky to be the worse one on the trip. We had unfriendly staff, buggy rooms and food and you have to take a water taxi to get to the main island of venice. The roof top pool was very cool but with the slightet sprinkle they would shut it down.

In Tuscany, our daughter had her own loft suite as part of our room. Very cool and the best hotel of the bunch.
 

Donalyn

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
We were just on the trip last month, but as a family of 4 with two rooms.

I agree that the Tuscany hotel would be the best for 3 people in one room, but it was not the best hotel of the bunch in our opinion. I thought it was charming. The rest of my family did not like it.
I liked the Venice hotel and the Rome hotel (even with the shower situation, which we called the circular shower of death since it didn't have any handles anywhere).
 

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