Italy/England 2016 Trip Report

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Italy/England 2016 Trip Report

The Sistine Chapel is BANANAS! WOW!

Viator Tour of Vatican - 37 of 40
sistine chapel

How I started

The idea for the Italy/England 2016 Trip originated when British Airways had an incredible fare sale last fall. We’re talking insanely discounted business class tickets from all over the U.S. to several cities in Europe:

Here’s one of the deals from Miles to Memories – I Just Paid $408 in Cash Roundtrip for Business Class from Las Vegas to London – This Won’t Last!

I meeeeeeeeeaaaannnnnnnn that is just ridics

My parents have wanted to go to Italy for a long time and this presented the perfect opportunity for doing just that! I ended up finding them tickets in/out of Chicago – their hub city of choice – that provided them with 17 days in Italy. We randomly chose dates that would facilitate their schedule and also provide a great deal. They used the One Way Car Rental trick to get in and out of their hub city

They flew roundtrip IN BIZ for $800 a piece.

In addition to this, I signed them up for a Platinum Challenge because their EQM for the flight was over the needed 12,500 EQM in 90 days. If you aren’t familiar with a Platinum Challenge it allows you to earn Platinum status if you hit certain requirements and pay a fee. They also earned over 40k RDM ( redeemable miles ): AA has been running a promotion for paid transatlantic business class tickets that gives 25,000 bonus miles and they were able to take advantage of this. I’d say that they nearly earned back the value of their tickets just in AA miles. They also have AA platinum which they will use as leverage to status match to another airline at the end of the year.

We set out a loose itinerary

It literally changed a gigilion times. They had 17 days. As an actor my schedule isn’t really ever that set. Without being on a tv show full time, it’s really difficult to block time. SO we planned the trip for them and maaaaaaybe Miles and I could join. They ultimately decided to do a train trip through Switzerland. While they loved the scenery, it was a very fast paced trip. This left them with about 8 days to see Italy.

We had everything set with them staying in Rome for 5 nights at the Intercontinental Hotel de Ville. THEN IT CLOSED. It was unbelievably annoying. When we booked the Intercontinental we had the choice of it or the Boscolo ( which we ended up in ) for just point rates. When we got the email that the Intercontinental was canceling our reservation the Boscolo only had premium rooms available. UGH! I thought as the dates neared that something would open up, but they never did. In the end, the rooms we stayed in were amazing and we still got a huge discount over the cash rate, but would have preferred to stay in rooms just for points. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.

We knew we wanted to see Rome, Amalfi, Florence, Pisa, and Venice.

We contacted Elisabetta at Rome Magic Tours and asked for assistance on planning some excursion trips. She did a very good job assisting us with transportation all over the country. We individually booked hotels and our tour of the Vatican through Viator.

We spent 2 days touring Rome

England/Italy Trip Report
rome coliseum
England/Italy Trip Report
rome, trevi fountain
England/Italy Trip Report
rome, spanish steps

A day down the Amalfi Coast

England/Italy Trip Report
England/Italy Trip Report

3 days through Pisa, Florence, and Assisi

England/Italy Trip Report
England/Italy Trip Report
florence, david
England/Italy Trip Report
assissi sunset

Ultimately we had to cancel Venice.

My mom came down with a bad case of bronchitis and we called an audible and holed up at the Rome Park Marriott. The did a wonderful job assisting us with medicine and catering to whatever language barriers we may have faced. I found an app called medinaction that is specifically designed for english speaking travelers abroad. Andrea is in association with the U.S. embassy and a great doctor. He came to the hotel, prescribed meds, and if need be would have the ability to admit to a hospital and navigate the system for us. It was a blessing in disguise.

I ended up making the trip

When we first booked this trip we had no idea if we could make it or not. But, as luck would have it, we needed to be in England the following week. The trips coincided perfectly and we were able to make it. We also got to fly on American’s 777-300ER in business class which we hadn’t done before and LOVED IT! We also got to surprise my mom. HEH HEH HEH. This may have been my favorite part of the trip lol.

Italy/England 2016 Trip Report


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