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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Because Someday I Dream of Seeing Italy by Rail

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Italy has topped many Carolinians’ bucket lists for years — including mine. Rome’s history, Florence’s artistry and Venice’s romance have long intrigued me. Naples, Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, Milan and the Lake District — there are so many places to explore! 

When you only have a set number of days to experience Italy, prioritizing your “to see” list is key. For my visit to Italy, I wanted the freedom of traveling independently, but needed guidance on where to stay, what to see and how to get to each spot. Opting for an Alexander + Roberts “Italy by Rail” tour was the ideal solution.

My first step was deciding on my must-see cities. Our AAA Travel Agent secured us an amazing sale on airfare, so we booked a roundtrip flight from Charlotte to Rome. With that in mind, we chose to spend three nights in Rome, then spend three nights in Florence, two nights in Venice and then transfer back to Rome for one additional night prior to our return flight home. 

My next step was choosing a hotel. We were able to choose from first class, superior or deluxe. The hotels chosen by Alexander + Roberts were more than satisfactory and met our one requirement of being more boutique and authentic to the destination. Hotels like the Veneto Hotel in Rome, Hotel Alba in Florence and Hotel L’Orologio Venezia offer lovely and spacious accommodations with friendly and welcoming service in ideal city locations.  

The final step was customizing my stay in each city with one of the included group sightseeing tours Alexander + Roberts offers. When choosing diversions based on our interests, we learned from our AAA Travel Agent that most everything we wanted to do was available, but we could also customize any part of our itinerary to our specific interests. For example, rather than choosing between visiting ancient Rome (including the Forum and Colosseum) and the Vatican Museums (which includes the Sistine Chapel), we upgraded from the included group option to a full day private tour where we could include all those incredible experiences.  

Because Florence is such an intimate walkable city, we chose to join the group “Pisa Excursion” rather than other options. Also, in Venice we easily agreed on an iconic “Gondola Ride,” which included a brief “Discover Venice” walking tour.  

Once our choices were made, our AAA Travel Agent and Alexander + Roberts put it all together by adding swift first-class Italo rail tickets. These ensured carefree travel between the cities. It also enhanced our overall journey by delivering a relaxing way to enjoy the picturesque Italian landscapes.

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