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Travel Questions Frequently Asked Karen

TRAVEL QUESTIONS FOR KAREN:

Dear Travelers,

I hope you will understand that because of the overwhelming number of questions received each day it is impossible for me to answer every one. I will select questions to answer based on what I believe will benefit and interest the greatest number of travelers. Also, please make your questions as specific as possible and know that I do not have the luxury of time to plan or detail personalized travel itineraries.

If your question is not selected, I sincerely apologize, as given the time, I would answer them all. If your question is selected you will be informed that it is published on our website as well as receive the answer by email.

Kindest regards,
Karen

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Category: Italy

Question:
We noticed Zicasso on your page and wondered if they are reliable. This is our first time traveling abroad and are feeling quite overwhelmed. We will take all the help we can. We plan on spending a month or more in Italy and we are planning the trip that suits us. Anyway we contacted Zicasso a a person in the Rome office wrote back. We just want to make sure that whomever we use will be the most able. I will look forward to hearing from you.l
Asked by Marisa And Jim Stewart [Nov 11, 2011]


Answer:

Dear Marisa,

For personalized trip planning assistance in Italy we highly recommend Marie Notot of Elegant Europe. (marie@elegant-europe.com) She is very knowledgeable, professional, conscientious, reliable and as a research associate for our guides is very familiar with Karen Brown recommended properties.  We no longer recommend Hidden Treasures as published in earlier editions of our guides.  I am not familiar with Zicasso. It is not a company we personally recommend.  Perhaps you saw it published as a google ad on one of our pages?  

Kindest regards,

Karen

 

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Category: General

Question:
We plan to use your Costa Brava and Beyond itinerary Dec. 16-29 this year. HOWEVER, we are worried that the roads might be snowy or icy. It's hard to tell what elevation/climate we will encounter. Could you please advise about the typical road conditions at that time of year? Thank you so much!
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Oct 11, 2011]


Answer:

I apologize not to respond sooner - I was on the road researching.  In terms of roads and conditions for eastern coast of Spain, in a normal year you should be fine!  That being said, one never knows!  However, I can share with you the most wonderful experiences are when I have been detained because of weather. People are very understanding when situations arise that are out of your control and if you are forced to stay in one place the benefit is that you will befriend both innkeepers and other guests "trapped" in the same situation. But, based on normal weather patterns you should be fine on the Mediterranean Coast in December.

Thank you for using our guides and recommendations,

Karen

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Category: General

Question:
There were a few hotels recommended in your book which are not listed on your website. One was not up to scratch (Ca'Nigra in Venice) but the other two were excellent (Bonham, Edinborough and Villa Belvedere in Argegno - Lake Como) and I would have liked to have left feedback. Your book is the first we use for accommodation wherever we go. Well done.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Oct 7, 2011]


Answer:

Unfortunately, not all properties we recommend in our books choose to participate on our website for which we have a nominal administrative fee.  There is no charge to be featured in our book or to be a Karen Brown Recommended Property as we want nothing to influence our editorial or selection. It is just a shame that the properties who do not feature on our website are missing our largest and fastest growing audience.

I just read and posted all the reviews you so kindly submitted for other properties where you stayed - THANK YOU!  We so very much appreciate and value feedback based on personal experience as it is not possible for us to get back to every property we recommend every year.  I would welcome your comments on the other properties both for other travelers as well as for our own review and consideration.  I have just updated your membership level in our database to First Class which will afford you access to every property we recommend regardless of whether they participate on the website.  You will need to login so our website recognizes your level of access.  Please accept this membership level with my thanks for using our guides (first!!) and for taking the time to provide such incredible feedback!

Wishing you continued safe and wonderful travels,

Karen

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Category: General

Question:
Thank you Karen for such a lovely holiday! We are from Australia, and have returned from 5 weeks in Europe where we leased a car, linked several Karen Brown itineraries together and travelled through Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy, staying at Karen Brown recommended accommodation along the way. We had an incredible time, saw and did all the things we had planned to do, and I'd like to thank you for such a wonderful holiday. I'll post reviews for the hotels shortly.
Asked by Ann Hodge [Sep 30, 2011]


Answer:

Dear Ann,

Thank you so very much for your kind note!  I don't think you can quite appreciate how much it means to get positive feedback from the people who use our guides!  Thank you for using our recommendations and I know the properties appreciated your stay!  If I can ever be of assistance, don't hesitate to contact me....just remind me of this lovely, kind note that has made my month!

Kindest regards,

Karen

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Category: Italy

Question:
What is the best way to travel from Venice to Bellaggio Italy? What is the driving travel time? How many days would you recommend staying in the Lakes region??
Asked by Susan Kirsch [Sep 21, 2011]


Answer:

If you are going to simply settle in Bellagio, I would recommend traveling from Venice to Bellagio by train since you would not need a car in Bellagio. 

If you travel by train you will need to travel Venice to Venice to Milano Centrale and then Milano to Varenna Esino.  Once in Varenna, walk down the hill from the station to the dock and ferry to Bellagio. It is an approximate 10 minute walk from the station to the ferry dock and about a 15 minute ferry ride to Bellagio.

Below is a link for train schedules:

http://www.bahn.de/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml

If you want to explore the Lake Region I would recommend a car for flexibility and you could simply rent a car once you are ready to leave Venice.  The distance between Venice and Bellagio is only 153 miles so it is feasible to cover in day. How much time to allow for exploring the region is dependent on how many lakes you want to visit and time of year (height of season the roads are very congested and driving is very slow).  Assuming you have the luxury of time, we recommend three nights for exploring each lake to take advantage of the lake excursions and visiting the little towns and islands. Bellagio is on Lake Como but, other beautiful lakes are Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta (smaller so two nights would be sufficient.) If you have limited time, I would limit the number of lakes so you can explore them leisurely rather than trying to see them all in just a few days. Information about each lake can be found in guides to Italy; on our website, and featured on our itinerary, "Mountain & Lake Adventures".

Enjoy your time in Italy!

Regards, Karen

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Category: General

Question:
Looking for an affordable place to go for a mom and two 20-something daughters over Christmas that would be warm enough to swim
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Sep 21, 2011]


Answer:

If you definitely want to count on beach/pool time I would recommend Mexico or travel to the southern hemisphere (South America, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti!) Hawaii is a popular winter destination although, December is honestly not their best climate.

Regardless of where you decide to go, it is important to remember that many people travel over the holidays and so making reservations as far in advance as possible is recommended for availability and selection.

Enjoy your vacation with your girls!

Best, Karen

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Category: France

Question:
I will be staying at Chateau Talaud in Provence, on your suggestion. Which Michelin map should I use for driving to the villages of Provence from my location near Carpentras? Thank you.
Asked by Barbara Mcshane [Sep 14, 2011]


Answer:

I would recommend Michelin Map #527 for traveling the heart and hilltowns of Provence.  It is one of their Orange "500-series" maps and is useful for close navigation within a specific region. (Scale: 1" = 6.3mi / 1cm = 4km).

Enjoy your travels and hope you love the Chateau Talaud as much as we do!

Please give them our hellos and best!

Kindest regards,

Karen

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Category: General

Question:
We are travelling to Rome in October. We would like to hire a driver to take us for a one day excursion to the Amalfi coast? Can you recommend such a person? Thank you....Vera Dowd
Asked by Vera Dowd [Sep 14, 2011]


Answer:

Dear Vera,

I would suggest you contact Nicole Franchini who is a contributing author to our Italy guides who also assists people with their travel arrangements. She lives outside Rome and would be best suited to find someone to meet your needs and budget.

Her direct email is: franchini.nicole@gmail.com

Thank you for using our recommendations!

Kindest regards,

Karen

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Category: General

Question:
Do you run tours? Thank you. Vera Dowd
Asked by Vera Dowd [Sep 13, 2011]


Answer:

Dear Vera,

I hosted two tours many years ago - and it something we are considering - but, sadly not in the near future.  Thank you for asking!  Karen

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Category: Italy

Question:
We are traveling to Rome the first week of May 2012 for 4-5 nights with 2 children ages 8 and 10. I would like to venture outside of Rome for a few nights before completing our trip. I love Mogsinore della Cassa for it's beauty, for the setting, and what it has to offer. Is there a Louis vuitton replica resort/spa that maybe closer to Rome and easier to get to and from Rome "like" Mogsignore della Casa that you could recommend? I am not tied to a Region. Thank you.http://www.karenbrown.com/B_and_B_Guide/Italy/Lazio/Casperia/La_Torretta/2415.php Designer replica handbags Fendi handbags Chloe handbags Louis vuitton handbags Burberry handbags
Asked by Jennifer Kulicki [Aug 30, 2011]


Answer:
You might want to consider Villa Clementina which is located on Lake Bracianno; only about a half hour NW from Rome and reachable by train.  They have a pool, tennis courts and restaurant.  Readers have also confirmed our opinion of the property with rave reviews! The link to their page on our website is: http://www.karenbrown.com/Hotel_Guide/Italy/Lazio/Bracciano/Hotel_Villa_Clementina/1991.php  and or Casa Plazzi, from our Bed & Breakfast guide, also located on the lake with a pool:http://www.karenbrown.com/B_and_B_Guide/Italy/Lazio/Trevignano/Casa_Plazzi/748.php NW from Rome is another lovely bed & breakfast, La Torretta:http://www.karenbrown.com/B_and_B_Guide/Italy/Lazio/Casperia/La_Torretta/2415.php In truth, there are so many wonderful places to recommend!  I would suggest you use our website; start with Rome and then zoom in and out to find properties in the outlying areas.  There are many hotels and Bed & Breakfasts to choose from.  I have selected a few that have pools, a pretty setting and even an apartment should you want to consider a longer stay in a self-catering unit.Hope the above recommendations serve to inspire your own research.  You, better than I will know what appeals and addresses your family needs and preferences.  Have a wonderful trip and thank you for using our recommendations!Kindest regards, Karen Breitling replica watches IWC replica watches Lv handbags

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