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Old 06-29-2014, 11:46 PM   #1
mare1203
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Andiamo Adventurer's: A 2014 Viva Italia Trip Report - Update 7/31: Afternoon in Rome

Buongiorno e Benvenuto! My sister, Kathy (kanadar), and I have just returned from the Adventures by Disney Viva Italia trip and are excited to begin our trip report. It is our first time doing a full trip report of any kind, though we have contributed to the Disney Dining Live Thread before.

While we saw there was just a trip report done for Viva Italia, we did experience a few differences from the previous poster and we had been planning on doing our own report for a while. I’m sure you won’t mind another one! Most notably was the change in hotel in Venice and a very different last night activity, so we hope you find it enjoyable to read. I believe that most adventure groups will begin doing our Venice experience in the coming weeks.

This was our first Adventures by Disney trip and we had an amazing time. We were in Italy from June 18-27 (we added a pre-day in Rome).

First, let’s have some introductions:

My name is Mary. I am 29 and I live in Arizona. I am a fan of Disney culture and tradition, though I am quite bad at Disney music and movie trivia. Before moving to Arizona I worked as a cast member in Disney’s Animal Kingdom where I was a paleontologist at the Dino Institute, so Disney is in my blood. I also did a college program. Although I loved my time at Disney, I decided to move on and now work in higher education. I have always wanted to go to Italy and love to travel. I most looked forward to seeing all the history and sampling the wonderful food and drink.

Part two of this tag-team is Kathy. She is 26 and lives in central Illinois. Kathy has just finished her studies to teach English as a Second Language and is looking for a teaching position. She also just got engaged to her Prince Charming, Jeff. So, after completing this trip she will dive head first into planning a Disney Fairytale Wedding (yep, we aren’t loyal to the brand at all…). Kathy loves ice cream, so I know she looked forward to gelato and seeing the sights.

The main man and person for whom the trip is for is Bob. Bob also lives in central Illinois, about 45 minutes from Kathy, and he owns a meat distribution company. He will also be turning 60 in a few weeks. He started us on the Disney vacation love in 1994 and his favorites are resorting at the Polynesian and visiting during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. Our family enjoys indulging in food & wine, so that was something we were very much looking forward to during the trip. He was most excited for the entire trip, spending time with his girls (he is a Dad, after all), and enjoying Italy.

So, benvenuto and andiamo adventurer’s as we explore all that Rome, Tuscany, Florence, and Venice have to offer, and maybe get a few surprises along the way!

Last edited by mare1203; Yesterday at 11:22 PM.
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:59 PM   #2
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Looking forward to your report, Mary! We can never have too many Trip Reports! Each report gives us a unique perspective on the trips. You find there are as many experiences as there are Adventurers!

My only thing is, I already can't tell you and Kathy apart! You definitely look like sisters! I guess there will be a lot of confusion there going forward!

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Old 06-30-2014, 12:18 PM   #3
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I am very excited to read your trip report!!! Please include any delicious dining you found for your on your own time.

Laurie
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:14 PM   #4
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Yes the more trip reports the better in my opinion!! Everyone experiences things differently and has a different eye. I'm hopefully going to be doing a report for my upcoming Ireland trip. First time for me so I gotta remember to journal every day. heheh
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
Looking forward to your report, Mary! We can never have too many Trip Reports! Each report gives us a unique perspective on the trips. You find there are as many experiences as there are Adventurers!

My only thing is, I already can't tell you and Kathy apart! You definitely look like sisters! I guess there will be a lot of confusion there going forward!

Sayhello
I agree! I love reading the trip reports! And I figure there are about a gazillion for WDW, so the more the merrier! Don't worry, I will do my best to keep it clear who is who! Thanks for joining in.

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Originally Posted by Sarabi's Cubs View Post
I am very excited to read your trip report!!! Please include any delicious dining you found for your on your own time.

Laurie
Glad to have you on board! I will definitely be reporting on all the delicious dining we did, both included and on our own. I think we made some pretty good decisions (though I'm not sure we would have known otherwise!)

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Yes the more trip reports the better in my opinion!! Everyone experiences things differently and has a different eye. I'm hopefully going to be doing a report for my upcoming Ireland trip. First time for me so I gotta remember to journal every day. heheh
I agree! I would love to read your Ireland one; I hear it's a great trip!! Good luck on the journal-ling, I tried my best to journal and didn't get very far. I'm still working on completing mine and then transferring it here.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:29 PM   #6
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Excellent! Looking forward to following your trip report. Did you eat out on your own in Venice? Any recommendations? How was the weather? We'll be there next week.
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:14 PM   #7
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I, too, am very excited to read your report. I'm was thinking about doing Italy in 2016, but now seriously contemplating 2015 so looking forward to reading about all go your adventures! Thanks for taking the time to write a report and sharing your experiences with us
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:05 PM   #8
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Table of Contents

Okay Adventurer's here is our table of contents. I will link to the page(s) once I've completed the entry for easy viewing later on and edit as I am sure some of these will end up as multiple posts.

Pre-Trip:
Introductions
Our Viva Italia Backstory
The Surprise Reveal

Rome:
Travel Day and Arrival, Part 1
Travel Day and Arrival, Part 2
Wait, I think the map says this way, Part 1
Wait, I think the map says this way, Part 2
The Adventure begins
Rome is like a lasagna, part 1
Rome is like a lasagna, part 2
They pillaged the marble...Recycling!, Part 1
They pillaged the marble...Recycling! Part 2
A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum
A Roman Dinner

Vatican City
Who are those guys in the funny looking outfits? Part 1
Who are those guys in the funny looking outfits? Part 2
A view from the top...of the Castel Sant'Angel
Maybe we should try a different gelato shop...nah!
It's just us and the guards

Tuscany/Florence:
We lost Chris!; Is that the parade again?
Under the Tuscan Sun; Marco, is that your girlfriend?
Thank goodness Troy was there to catch us ladies

Venice:
Are they laughing at us riding in these gondolas?
Maybe they can save my mask with the glitter magic
Did we just stop to let on a DJ??
Arrivederci

Last edited by mare1203; Yesterday at 11:21 PM.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cousin Orville View Post
Excellent! Looking forward to following your trip report. Did you eat out on your own in Venice? Any recommendations? How was the weather? We'll be there next week.
Welcome! We did eat out on our own in Venice. Ate at a little place about a 7 minute walk from Piazza San Marco called Ai Barbacani. It was one of our favorites of the trip, wonderful seafood and pasta dishes. We just had pizza for lunch the next day, but it wasn't anything special.

When we arrived it was rainy, but the evening and next day were gorgeous. A little warm, high 80's I would say. Enjoy your cruise!

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I, too, am very excited to read your report. I'm was thinking about doing Italy in 2016, but now seriously contemplating 2015 so looking forward to reading about all go your adventures! Thanks for taking the time to write a report and sharing your experiences with us
Glad to have you! I would highly recommend the trip. We found it a wonderful way to be introduced to Italy!
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:42 PM   #10
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A table of contents? That's awesome! So organized.

Thanks for the recommendation on Ai Barbacani. I'm going to map that out tonight.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Cousin Orville View Post
Excellent! Looking forward to following your trip report. Did you eat out on your own in Venice? Any recommendations? How was the weather? We'll be there next week.
Our Italy guide made us the reservations at Ai Barbacani, we ended up eating with 3 of our fellow Adventurers! It was a very small place so reservations might be a good idea, plus when your seated you get a small glass of Prosecco!!
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:28 PM   #12
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Our Viva Italia Backstory

In just a few weeks our dad will turn 60. We have always been close as a family, going on vacations and especially enjoying yearly trips to Disney. In 2003 we lost our mom to cancer and have been even closer ever since. We have done lots of different things with Disney throughout the years, but whenever my Dad saw an ad for the Adventures by Disney he casually mentioned it might be fun. This always stuck in my head. He also mentioned a number of times that he’d really like to see Italy. We have traveled all over the U.S., but only been abroad once, to London & Paris while Kathy was studying abroad in 2009. I knew I wanted to do something special for his 60th birthday and decided to see if Adventures by Disney might be an option. I began to look into the trips they offered and doing some initial research. The price tag was definitely a bit of a shock, as I think it is for everyone, but the reviews were also stellar. I ordered the viewbook and patiently waited for it to arrive. In October of 2012 I told Kathy about my idea while she was nursing me back to health after I got my wisdom teeth out (I’m not sure she believed me at first...would you, haha?!).


I distinctly remember running Princess Half Marathon in 2013, not only because it was our first half marathon and you cannot forget that pain and excitement, but also because it was the weekend that we made the decision to take the plunge and book a trip to Italy with ABD.

From late March on, Kathy and I got very excited about Italy. We knew the 2014 dates wouldn’t come out for another couple of months, so we had some waiting to do. In 2013, Viva Italia was still split between the 2 trips; initially we were deciding between the regular and the signature trips. When the 2014 dates came out we were actually on a family vacation in Hawaii, so it was hard to not get super excited and blow the surprise.


Thanks to Adventure Insiders we learned that in 2014 there would only be one Italy option, so it made our decision pretty easy. Kathy and I decided we were going to tell him for his 59th birthday while I was in town for a wedding over the 4th of July. Time to begin our plan about how to tell him. This was half the fun! And all I'm going to give you for now...until next time adventurers
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:11 PM   #13
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How did you become Adventure Insiders before you took your first ABD?
Look forward to reading more in your trip report!
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanadar View Post
Our Italy guide made us the reservations at Ai Barbacani, we ended up eating with 3 of our fellow Adventurers! It was a very small place so reservations might be a good idea, plus when your seated you get a small glass of Prosecco!!
Love Prosecco. Sounds like this is a place to check out
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Old 07-01-2014, 04:11 PM   #15
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What an incredible trip, one of the best trips I have been on and such a surprise from my girls, I'm sure the posts ahead will be great and we will be going on more ABD trips in the future, the best way to tour countries especially with a language barrier. Want to thank my girls for the great surprise.
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