When you’ve got a travel quandary, we’ve got someone who can help: our Travel Advocate, Wendy Perrin. Just click on “Ask Wendy” (at right). Here’s a glimpse of what’s in Wendy’s mailbag:
Q: “We’ll be in Italy in September and are taking the train from Rome to Venice to Florence. Should we hire a driver/guide for the trip from Florence back to Rome so we can visit sites along the way? We then go from Rome to Sorrento, on the Amalfi Coast. Should we take the train from Rome to Naples to Sorrento, or should we hire a driver for that too? –Barry L.
A: Barry, hiring a driver is probably the best way to travel from Florence to Rome. If you make it a day trip, you can explore the hill towns of Tuscany, including Siena, and the grand Umbrian town of Orvieto. As for Rome to Sorrento, the most important stop between the two is Pompeii. Your most economical strategy is probably to take the train to Naples and arrange for a driver/guide to meet you at the Naples train station, take you to Pompeii, then drop you in Sorrento. Here’s an ideal Italy itinerary to give you even more ideas for maximizing your time and enjoyment . To find a driver/guide for any city via TripAdvisor, just punch “TripAdvisor [city] [country] driver guide” into your search engine.
Q: “We need to travel from the port in Athens to the AVA Hotel. What is the best way of getting there? –Peter R., Australia
A: The port of Athens is actually in the city of Piraeus, a 30- to 45-minute drive from the heart of Athens where your hotel is. Peter, I presume you’re arriving by cruise ship and will have luggage with you? If so, it will be easiest to take a taxi (for about 30 euros). The Metro is less expensive (1.40 euros) but Piraeus is a huge port and, depending on where your ship docks, you could be a 20- to 30-minute walk from the Piraeus Metro stop; you’ll need to change Metro lines in Athens; and when you ascend from the Metro, you’ll have a three-minute walk to your hotel. If you decide to take the Metro anyway, leave at least an hour for it and check your hotel’s Web site for which lines to take. And, the next time you want to figure out your best transportation options from point A to point B anywhere in the world, take a look at Rome2Rio.
Q: “I’m booked for Cyprus in October. Is the weather generally good at this time, and should I be concerned about the situation in the Middle East? Cheers, Craig, Stoke, United Kingdom”
A: Craig, you can find out the weather in any country in any month via TripAdvisor. Punch “TripAdvisor Cyprus” into your search engine, pull up the Cyprus page, and scroll down to “Weather and When To Go.” Like most Mediterranean islands, Cyprus is lovely in October, even though the water is starting to cool. Islands as far south as Cyprus or nearly so—think Malta and Crete—can even remain balmy through early December. And once you’re there enjoying the sun and sand, I promise you’ll feel very far removed from the Middle East. Since you live in the U.K., here’s the U.K. government’s advice for travelers to Cyprus. You’ll see that there’s little risk of the situation in the Middle East affecting your vacation.