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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:
My family of five is planning a 10 trip to Italy this spring. We would like to see Venice, Florence Rome and take a day trip to Pompeii. I have searched itineraries but have yet to find one that suits us. Where would you recommend we go and how long should we stay in each city. Also, should we fly into and out of Rome or make plans according to our starting and stopping points? We are planning to travel the third week in March unless you recommend waiting until June.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Aug 19, 2011]


Answer:

What a wonderful trip for your family!  In terms of itineraries, our itinerary, Italian Highlights by Train & Boat or Car begins in Milan and includes the lake district before continuing on to Venice, then Florence, then Rome and on to Naples and Pompeii.  It highlights sightseeing, attractions and does recommend pacing although, you might want to adjust based on your own preference and travel allowance. The itinerary is available in our two published guides: Italy Hotels or Italy Bed & Breakfasts ($19.95 each) with all our itineraries (some of which also include additional information on the cities) and the places we recommend to stay OR as an individual downloadable PDF itinerary ($8.50) - through our website store. 

Have a wonderful trip!  Karen

 

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Category: Italy

Question:
We would like to rent a villa or house in Italy. do you have information on that?
Asked by Wesley Steen [Aug 12, 2011]


Answer:

A number of the Bed & Breakfasts in our guide offer long term vacation rentals-sometimes an apartment, a cottage or even a separate villa.  We simply reference whether or not they do under the information details.  A number of those properties are now submitting information specific to their long term vacation rentals with photos and more information.  You can find the current listings for Italy at:

http://www.karenbrown.com/List_All_Long_Term_Vacation_Rentals/Italy/8/name/page_1.php

Another recommendation would be to contact a woman who lives in Italy and researches for our guides, Nicole Franchini. She also assists with trip planning and is personally familiar with many vacation rentals. She can be reached via email at: nicole@karenbrown.com.

Regards,

Karen

 

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Category: Mexico

Question:
Is Casa Vieja in Mexico City still on your preferred list? We didn't see it on your website. We are planning a December visit for 3 days. Thanks
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Aug 7, 2011]


Answer:

Yes, the Casa Vieja is definitely a hotel we still proudly recommend. They are featured in our guide but have chosen not to participate on our website.  We do NOT have a fee to be included in our guide as we want nothing to influence our selection or editorial, but we do have a fee to cover our website administrative costs. Sadly, for the Casa Vieja they are missing out on our ever-growing Karen Brown Internet audience as well as the confusion caused for the many travelers who cross reference our guide with our website and will assume when they don't see a property that they are no longer a Karen Brown Recommendation. I am glad you contacted us to find out!  Enjoy your travels.

Kindest regards, Karen

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Category: Website

Question:
How do I review a place that is new to your website?
Asked by Marian Sumner [Jul 26, 2011]


Answer:

As soon as a property is live on our website, you can post a review. There is a "bar" on each hotel/B&B/attraction/city page of our website that allows you to post Reviews or photos.  You need to be logged in (or create a login account) since our system needs to recognize you to give you credit for the reviews/postings as well as let the hotel / B&B know the reviewee.  You can post reviews annonymously, it is just that we feel it only fair (if it is negative) to let the property know the guest so they can reference the stay; and if it is complimentary the property definitely wants to know the reviewee!

Let me know if you need additional guidance!

Thank you for sharing in the Karen Brown Community!

Karen

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Category: France

Question:
Hi Karen- I love your books that I got in 2009. We are going to Paris at the beginning of Sept. Do you still recommend Le Relais du Louvre and Minerve Hotel? We will have 2 full days in Paris and are not at all familiar with the city. We would like to walk as much as possible to get to places. Hope all is well!
Asked by Kelly Bocanegra [Jul 20, 2011]


Answer:
Dear Kelly,Great to hear from you and how wonderful to learn that you are heading to Paris! Truly one of my favorite cities and I was just there in April and resaw all the properties.  I would personnally recommend (based on hotels of comparable price to the two you mentioned):Le Relais du Louvre - great location for exploring both banks - wonderful small hotel. Ask Sophie if one of the rooms that overlooks the gargoyles or Saint Chapelle are available...the higher the floor the better the views. link: http://www.karenbrown.com/Hotel_Guide/France/%C3%8Ele_de_France/Paris/Le_Relais_du_Louvre/2593.phpLe Relais Saint Honore, right on the Rue Saint Honore - again, a great location.  All double rooms are the same price, and I would ask Marie for one of the front rooms, two windows and overlooks the shopping street which makes for great people watching.link: http://www.karenbrown.com/Hotel_Guide/France/%C3%8Ele_de_France/Paris/Le_Relais_Saint_Honor%C3%A9/2595.phpSt Germain Left Bank Hotel - at the heart of the left bank, nice rooms and a great value with breakfast included in the price. Fanny is the manager here and she is lovely.Link: http://www.karenbrown.com/Hotel_Guide/France/%C3%8Ele_de_France/Paris/Saint_Germain_Left_Bank_H%C3%B4tel/3410.phpAll three are featured on our website. I have provided direct links for ease of reference.Have fun in Paris!  Best, Karen Louis vuitton handbags Replica breitling Replica cartier Replica omega Replica rolex

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Category: Portugal

Question:
I have planned a tentative itinerary for a trip to Portugal in December. Given we spent time in Lisbon and saw a number of attractions on the Medieval Monument route last year, we wanted to spend a few days in the Douro Valley and area around Ponte de Lima. We only have a few days, so wanted to ask whether the proposed itinerary I've made will require too much driving or do you think we will be okay? Tasting at a couple of Quintas and seeing the quaint area around PDL seems a must! Any recommendations on optimizing the time? Thanks, Erin
Asked by Erin Wermuth [Jul 9, 2011]


Answer:

Dear Erin,

Portugal is a relatively small country and so you can cover alot in a few days. 

I would definitely recommend beginning in Porto, stay at Guest House Douro (http://www.karenbrown.com/Hotel_Guide/Portugal/Costa_Verde/Porto/Guest_House_Douro/7305.php) The owners are fantastic and can also help you with tours and suggestions of wineries both in Porto as well as in the wine region.

I would then continue on and use  Casal de Loivos (http://www.karenbrown.com/Hotel_Guide/Portugal/Montanhas/Casal_de_Loivos/Casa_de_Casal_de_Loivos/708.php) as a place to stay at the heart of the region and then end at Ponte de lima (lots of places to choose from) as a conclusion for your trip.

Thank you for using our recommendations!
Best, Karen

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Category: General

Question:
Do you cover any information on Nova Scotia?
Asked by Julie Pinnell [Jul 9, 2011]


Answer:

Unfortunately, we have not yet researched Nova Scotia but hope our readers will soon contribute recommendations from their own travels! 

Thank you for your interest in our recommendations - I wish we had some for you!

We do recommend any properties that are members of Select Registry. Although, it is a paid membership, the hotels have to be invited in to join the group and they are regularly inspected.  The link to their website is:

http://www.selectregistry.com/index.asp

Hope you have a wonderful trip!  Karen

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Category: Italy

Question:
We are traveling to Rome the first week of May 2012. The second week of the trip we would like to go to the country side. I have seen and love what the Borgo San Lorenzo,area has to offer. Is it worth to go the distance or would a visit to Perugia be an easier stop . I love the activities the Monsignor della Casa has to offer including the nearby race track. If it is worth to go the distance how would you recommend we travel from Rome to Borgo San Lorenzo? Thanks!!
Asked by Jennifer Kulicki [Jul 9, 2011]


Answer:
Yes, we agree, Monsignor della Casa resort is one of our favorites as well and offers so much in one location!  So, if you are more comfortable with a "sure thing" that you know you like, why not return?  If you don't think you need a car while there, (which is preferable for viewing the area and can be rented in Rome. Driving time: 3.5 hrs)), the best bet is the Freccia Rossa hi.speed train to Florence (1hr 50min) and then there are buses from the station to Swiss replica watches Borgo San Lorenzo, if you do not choose to hire a car for the 1.5 hr ride. Otherwise at a closer distance with similar services, you might enjoy the Borgo Il Melone in Cortona.Best wishes,

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Category: France

Question:
Hi Karen, I've used your itineraries, etc. for years and love your books and recommendations. I want to go to Corsica next spring (in between going to France and Sardinia/Italy). Do you have an itinerary or any recommendations for Corsica? I didn't see any on the site. Many thanks and best wishes! Julie
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jul 6, 2011]


Answer:

Dear Julie,

Thank you!  It is so nice to know there are Karen Brown Travelers out there who enjoy and appreciate our books and website.  Thank you!

Unfortunately, we have yet to research Corsica for our guides, however, Marie Notot (who is a contributing author to our French guides), lives in the south of France and does know Corsica.  She has her own business, Elegant Europe and assists travelers with recommendations and travel arrangements.  She does an incredible job and everyone who has used her services RAVES!  To reach Marie, her website is: http://www.elegant-europe.com

her email is: marie@elegant-europe.com

I do hope once you travel to Corsica you might consider sharing your travels and own discoveries with other Karen Brown Travelers.  Our Reader Discoveries have proven to be very popular on our website! 

Kindest regards,

Karen

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Category: Italy

Question:
Can you help me with traveling to Acquasanta Italy and possible help in finding relatives there? thanks
Asked by William Camilli [Jul 1, 2011]


Answer:

The only property we currently recommend in Aquasante is the Castel di Lido Website link: http://www.karenbrown.com/Hotel_Guide/Italy/Marches/Acquasanta_Terme/Castel_di_Luco/12.php

HOWEVER, there are lots of other properties in the vicinity. If you go to the website page for the Castel di Lido and zoom in and out you will see many more properties that we recommend to consider. 

Also, you might want to reference our itinerary, The Haunting Beauty of Umbria for suggestions of what to see and do in the area. The itinerary is available in our published guides to Italy (Italy Hotels and Italy Bed & Breakfasts) as well as available as a downloadable PDF file on our website. Website link: http://www.karenbrown.com/Travel_Planning_Itinerary/Italy/Haunting_Beauty_of_Umbria/43.php

In terms of finding relatives, the Marches Tourist office has set up a website page with recommendations as to how to trace your roots.  The website page is:  http://www.marcheworldwide.org/html/how.asp?lingua=en

Good luck and happy travels!

Karen

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