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  #26  
Old 03-08-2018, 10:58 AM
pawarrant pawarrant is offline
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Originally Posted by dkreidel View Post
As others have said, don't drive into Firenze! We always stay in Artimino and take the train into town. This hotel is highly recommended, as it's high zoot and low cost. Great location for day trips to Pisa, Sienna, Tuscan countryside, Firenze, etc.

http://www.artimino.com/en/hospitali...ggeria-medicea
Wow it is a UNESCO Heritage Site! When I travel I try to check as many of those off as I can. I will definitely look at staging here to hit Florence, Siena and San Gimignano. I will then be able to easily stop by Luca and Pisa on the way to Cinque Terre.
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  #27  
Old 03-13-2018, 10:42 AM
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I think I may heed many of your suggestions and just do a day in Florence to hit the main museums and check it off the list. What about a day in Siena instead of the extra day in Florence? On the way from Siena to Cinque Terre a lunch stop in San Gimignano and a photo stop in Pisa?
Don't. Cut a day in Venice (or two days) instead. I know this will raise a lot of protests, but to me Venice doesn't do much. If you do not have insider tourist guide, all you are visiting is a real version of Disneyland. Real Venetians are just like the workers in Disneyland - you cannot see them. Nor where they shop or where they eat. You can still eat with Florentines if you just ask couple of questions. I must second a great advice above - MUST get tickets now if you want even a chance to get to see Galleria Degli Uffizi in October.

You can stay in awe in Tuscany for weeks and never get bored. Venice (to me) gets aggravating after 4-5 hours. Or less, depends on weather and crowds. Finally, there are a ton of people who come to Pisa for photo op. Be advised that, unless you are an Italian, parking there (photo op place) is going to be near impossible. It can easily turn into hours long frustration. Not saying do not do it, but plan accordingly. Simple advice : do not even think about doing it Sat or Sun afternoon.

Good luck with your 3rd ED!

EDIT: sorry, forgot, full disclosure. I lived in Italy for 10 years. 7 years in Tuscany, about 40 miles west of Florence and 3 years near Vicenza (50 miles west of Venice). I still land at Venice airport 3-4 (or more) times a year and have zero will/desire to take a bus leaving 50 feet from Marriott airport entrance and go into Venice on the day before return flight. I will visit Tuscany any chance I get, especially Florence. Without the car, of course.
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Last edited by Mark K; 03-13-2018 at 10:49 AM.
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  #28  
Old 03-13-2018, 11:47 AM
pawarrant pawarrant is offline
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Originally Posted by Mark K View Post
...full disclosure. I lived in Italy for 10 years. 7 years in Tuscany, about 40 miles west of Florence and 3 years near Vicenza (50 miles west of Venice). I still land at Venice airport 3-4 (or more) times a year and have zero will/desire to take a bus leaving 50 feet from Marriott airport entrance and go into Venice on the day before return flight. I will visit Tuscany any chance I get, especially Florence. Without the car, of course.
Thanks for your information from an "insider"! Where do you get the tickets? Also, what is your thoughts on basing out of Artimino Tenuta to explore the whole area including Florence?
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  #29  
Old 03-13-2018, 12:33 PM
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Gluhwein Gluhwein is offline
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Don't. Cut a day in Venice (or two days) instead. I know this will raise a lot of protests, but to me Venice doesn't do much. If you do not have insider tourist guide, all you are visiting is a real version of Disneyland. Real Venetians are just like the workers in Disneyland - you cannot see them. Nor where they shop or where they eat.
So comforting to hear someone with the same view on Venice. It doesn't help that every year I go in the heat of summer with student groups, but once you've seen the main sights the rest is underwhelming. It should be visited once, but once is enough in my book too. Love the comparison to Disney.

I also agree that Tuscany is infinitely more rewarding. There are just so many fascinating little towns, great homegrown produce, unique wines, friendlier locals and centuries of history. In fact, I'm planning to take a group of friends over there next year and rent a villa for a week or two. That way we can slow down from the rushed tourist approach and savor the local ambience. Just through the limited research I've done so far, it appears that nearly every town has its own culinary specialty, churches worth visiting, historic hikes, and quaint old town. I get the impression you can find plenty to do no matter where you decide to make a stop.
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  #30  
Old 03-13-2018, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Gluhwein View Post
So comforting to hear someone with the same view on Venice. It doesn't help that every year I go in the heat of summer with student groups, but once you've seen the main sights the rest is underwhelming. It should be visited once, but once is enough in my book too. Love the comparison to Disney.

I also agree that Tuscany is infinitely more rewarding. There are just so many fascinating little towns, great homegrown produce, unique wines, friendlier locals and centuries of history. In fact, I'm planning to take a group of friends over there next year and rent a villa for a week or two. That way we can slow down from the rushed tourist approach and savor the local ambience. Just through the limited research I've done so far, it appears that nearly every town has its own culinary specialty, churches worth visiting, historic hikes, and quaint old town. I get the impression you can find plenty to do no matter where you decide to make a stop.
Interesting! Wife and I have absolutely the same vision of travel to Venice.
Florence + Tuscany ->
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  #31  
Old 03-14-2018, 12:03 PM
Mark K Mark K is offline
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Originally Posted by pawarrant View Post
Thanks for your information from an "insider"! Where do you get the tickets? Also, what is your thoughts on basing out of Artimino Tenuta to explore the whole area including Florence?
No problem. So ... I am biased, but I generally prefer area south of FI-PI-LI (or SGC Firenze-Pisa-Livorno) which is a highway connecting Florence with Pisa on the north side and Livorno on the south side. Nothing wrong with your choice, train station at Signa is the second last one before regional trains get into Firenze SMN (main train station). It will probably take you 10 minutes to get there once you board the train. Nothing wrong with your choice.

As for the tickets ... alas, when I was young, lived there and used to go to Florence regularly, you could buy them on-site in the off-season. Maybe 30 min wait. But that was 20 years ago. Now? Basically impossible from what I hear. I would try here

https://www.florence-museum.com/uffi...yAAEgLURvD_BwE

You could also very nicely ask, when booking a hotel by the phone, if they could facilitate and get tickets for you which you will pay fully, of course.

Generally speaking, stay away from towns and places in the Arno river valley, because this is where most of the industry is located - unless a local sends you to a very specific place (like a restaurant, for example). Whether you move north or south from Arno, you will quickly get into a beautiful countryside and hilltop hamlets of which there are many dozens to choose from.

One more thing to give northern Italy its dues. Venice is what it is. You would be extremely aggravated as well if a horde of tourists would pass your front yard incessantly between 8 AM and midnight. And run away from them. And hide from them. When interacting with them, you would be rude. You really can't blame Venetians for this - last I heard, they asked for protection from tourism but no terms on how exactly they plan to do this were publicly revealed

https://www.forbes.com/sites/cecilia.../#6dcc84ba1e50

If you have a day or half-day left after shortening your Venice stay, I can strongly suggest to sleep one night in Verona. Or add that day to your stay somewhere in Tuscany.
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  #32  
Old 03-14-2018, 01:54 PM
CTSoxFan CTSoxFan is offline
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I went to Venice on my last ED, and I was glad I did. I think it is something to see, once. I spent 3 days there and that was one too many. If I had it to do again, I would still go but cut it to two days.
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  #33  
Old 03-14-2018, 11:46 PM
Daryll Daryll is offline
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Pawarrant's third ED thread

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Originally Posted by CTSoxFan View Post
I went to Venice on my last ED, and I was glad I did. I think it is something to see, once. I spent 3 days there and that was one too many. If I had it to do again, I would still go but cut it to two days.


Agreed - Venice is a very unique place and worth a visit, but one day or two at the most is plenty. Take a water taxi if you can. Expensive but gives a fun and fast boat ride with great views of the city. Also warning - Venice can be a little bit stinky at times...


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  #34  
Old 06-11-2018, 08:45 PM
pawarrant pawarrant is offline
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Well I have some interesting news. I will be moving to central London in September for one year work opportunity. Obviously there is no need for a car there, so I am postponing my 3rd ED for a year. Since my current lease is up in September, I have contacted BMW FS and let them know of my situation. They will honor my customer loyalty credit when I place the order for delivery a month or so before I return to the US. I hope to plan the ED and drop-off so my car will return to the US at about the same time as I do.
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  #35  
Old 06-11-2018, 09:54 PM
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Pawarrant's third ED thread

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Originally Posted by pawarrant View Post
Well I have some interesting news. I will be moving to central London in September for one year work opportunity. Obviously there is no need for a car there, so I am postponing my 3rd ED for a year. Since my current lease is up in September, I have contacted BMW FS and let them know of my situation. They will honor my customer loyalty credit when I place the order for delivery a month or so before I return to the US. I hope to plan the ED and drop-off so my car will return to the US at about the same time as I do.


What happened to your order placed on April 1st, as that was suppose to have occurred 11 weeks ago as per your original post? Hopefully your Center will be able to easily sell it, as I assume you had a production number and ED date?
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  #36  
Old 06-11-2018, 10:21 PM
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What happened to your order placed on April 1st, as that was suppose to have occurred 11 weeks ago as per your original post? Hopefully your Center will be able to easily sell it, as I assume you had a production number and ED date?
Luckily I was given enough heads up about the possible opportunity to go to London and advised my CA to delay my order and if I didn't end up going to London I would just have to take my chances getting the delivery date I wanted. When it was confirmed I was definitely going to London, I just told the CA not order it and we will pick up where we left off next year with a new model year order.
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