Subject: Re: First time overseas will visit Italy and England
Hello Cynthia:

Congratuations on your first trip abroad, and Italy is the best place to get a feel for travel in Europe. The Italians are a friendly and forgiving people who make you feel at home. I always try to start or end a trip to Europe in Italy.

I would recommend not renting a car. The train system in Italy is terrific and it takes the edge off of travel. Driving abroad is always a challenge and the Autostrada can be high tension the first time. Parking is aways a problem in the big cities and you may have to park far from your hotel. You can drive around for what seems like hours just finding the hotel. The parking area for Venice is some distance from San Marcos Square where I recommend you stay for your first time in Venice. There are scores of hotel deals slightly

in from the Square. If you have mad money for one splurge, do it in Venice.

Take the water bus(Vaporetto) from the train station and sail into Venice slowly taking in the city - a inexpensive ticket that will give you a memory for a life time. Pack light, there are no or few porters in Venice. Pay extra and get a room close to a Vaporetto stop.

Take the fast train from Rome to Florence and then on to Venice. A taxi will drop you in front of your hotel in Florence. There are tour buses that can take you to the country or you might just rent a car for the day. The insurance requirements are different in Italy and I always try to buy the extra coverage because breakins are possible. Never leave anything in your car.

Trust me, you'll want to return to Italy over and over and then try the car.

Have a great time, PeterJohn