A few weeks ago, I posted here about my plans for a September trip to Italy, beginning in the Veneto and ending with a week in Bologna. I was pretty pleased with the hotels I had booked, places with good reviews by Slow Travellers.
But of course, me being me, no sooner had I finalized at least that much of my trip when I began to have second thoughts about my itinerary. Bologna? No question. I have never been, and I've heard so many good things about the city. As well, I think it'll be a great base for seeing other cities I'm interested in, especially Ravenna and Parma. I'm even beginning to look for apartment reviews for Bologna, although I haven't found any as yet. But it's good to have booked 7 nights in a decent hotel, the Hotel Porta San Mamolo, as my fall back.
But the Venice part of the trip has been bothering me. Venice is very beautiful, and although I've been twice before, I fully realize that I've barely scratched the surface of wonderful sites to see. Yet I'm beginning to doubt whether I really want to go back again, just now.
I'll admit that the expense is a big part of my doubts. Venice is so pricey. I spent time today paying bills from last month's trip to Rome, and working on my tax return (!) so I'm hyper-aware of finances just now.
In Venice, I have booked a single room at the popular Pensione Accademia, which has already billed two nights at 145 euro per night to my credit card, and the sudden appearance of a $500 bill on my Visa statement was a bit of a blow just now.
Hmmmmmmm. I'm thinking back: what made me wish to visit Venice this fall, anyway? Some things were set: I knew I would have 2 weeks for this trip, and that Bologna would take at least a week. That left one week open. I've wanted to see Padua and Verona. So, if I was in the Veneto anyway, wouldn't it make sense to spend 5 nights in Venice?
That was my rationale. Now, it's sounding a bit flimsy. When I first devised my plan for this trip, I had thought I could return to La Calcina, a great small hotel where a single is about 100 euro. But they are full, as are many other recommended smaller, less expensive B+Bs and hotels. I've been looking at Venice apartments, but even studios look quite pricey.
Meanwhile, I've been thinking a lot about Florence. I really love Florence, and I miss it a lot! I've visited there 3 times, twice for a week each time. But the last time I visited Florence, two years ago, I had taken my elderly Mom. She became ill on our second day in Florence, so we didn't really get to see or do very much, unfortunately.
One of the greatest reasons I love Italy is the art -- I'm wild about visiting churches and art galleries, with Florence has in great abundance. (As does Venice, of course!)
Budget-wise, it would be less expensive. I know of at least two very nice apartments, popular with Slow Travellers, that I could rent for less than 100 euro per night. This is making Florence very appealing, because of the lower price AND because I actually enjoying the holiday apartment life as opposed to hotels. (Although deciding between the San Lorenzo flat and the little Residenza Il Carmine apartment in the Oltr'arno would be a tough decision!)
And I also miss Umbria -- I really loved Perugia last June and only saw a few other hilltowns. I would return there in a flash!
Yikes! What to do? Stick with my existing plan for 3 nights in Verona, 5 in Venice and 7 or 8 in Bologna? Or maybe spend 7 or 8 nights in Florence and 7or 8 in Bologna? Or, return to Perugia for a week, then Bologna?
I need list the pros and cons for each of the various plans....HELP!