|Subject: Re: Italian Recommendations Wanted|
Your itinerary generally looks good to me. Of course, one trip to Italy will never do it.
Let me recommend a 2 star hotel that we always stay in when we go to Florence (regulars will no doubt find this a rather predictable response from us for anyone who asks about the subject). This is the Hotel Nizza, which is near the corner of Via Panzani and Via Giglio. Via Panzani is to your left as you stand with the train station to your back, and via Giglio is the first intersection (though we usually go the back way through Piazza S. Maria Novella). I recommend it for the wonderful owners, Piero and Roberto. Among the four of us, we have probably stayed there 10 times. There is also a superb restaurant, the Giglio Rosso downstairs, though not connected with the hotel. The other side of the intersection of Giglio and Panzani takes you to the San Lorenzo market and you are also near the Duomo. The hotel has a Web site (http://www.hoteligea.it/) and you can email them at hotelnizza@i... If you do go there, say hello from all of us (wife + two daughters)
Let me also recommend a couple of day trips from Venice. We love Padua--in fact, we stay there instead of Venice, and enjoyed Verona but, especially, Bassano del Grappa--a marvelous little town.
As you get further along, I will be happy to volunteer our familial $.02--we just returned from our 7th trip, and we aren't even remotely Italian!
Ira H. Bernstein UT-Arlington