Saturday, September 8, 2012

Retirement Planning: The Trip to Guardia Sanframondi

We did it! The planning is done, reservations made, and even with months to go, the nervous excitement is building. So what does a trip from Philadelphia to Guardia Sanframondi look like?
  • Day 1 Monday: Overnight flight Philadelphia to Fiumicino Airport
  • Day 2 Tuesday: Overnight stay at the Airport Hilton
  • Day 3 Wednesday: Pick up rental car and drive to Guardia Sanframondi (about 2.5 hours)
  • Day 3-7 (Wed - Sun): Explore Guardia Sanframondi and check out the houses
  • Day 7 Sunday: Return to Fiumicino and drop off car, shuttle to Termini, check into Hotel Sonya
  • Day 7-11 (Sunday - Thursday): Enjoy Rome
  • Day 12 (Friday) - Return flight to Philadelphia
Day 2 - While we will get to Fiumicino in plenty of time to drive to Guardia Sanframondi we know that we'll be tired and cranky from the flight. So we're going to invest in our comfort and sanity and just camp out overnight at the Airport Hilton. It's very likely we'll head into the city for lunch at least. There are plenty of transportation options including the Hilton's free shuttle bus, Terravision and SIT busses (€4.00/ €8.00) and a couple different trains.

Day 3 - The Drive. Most of the drive is on the A1 autostrada so this doesn't look too tricky. We've got both a printed map and a GPS loaded with a map of Italy (and Greece) so we shouldn't have any trouble. We've also got a Europe enabled cell phone lined up so we'll be able to call for help or advice if we need it.

Day 3-7 - Guardia Sanframondi. Of course we're staying at Arthouse Guardia. Our goal is to get a feel for the town and the available housing. If you're planning a trip, and want to stay at the Arthouse book it ASAP - it looks like the calendar is filling up rather quickly.

Day 7-11 - Rome. After we return the car at the aiport we'll take the train in to Termini. We're staying at Hotel Sonya, favorite of  Rick Steves and his followers and only a few blocks from the train station. It's advantage this trip is that it's a relatively inexpensive place in an area where we want to spend some time. Some of my most popular blog posts have been on under appreciated but historically important areas like the Forum Boarium. I'm going to be gathering material for a few more posts like that (you'd be amazed at all the stuff over by Termini). 

In terms of "must see" things, Beth hasn't been to Galleria Borghese - that's the only event that must be scheduled for this trip. We're going to try to visit as many underground sites as we can. Most are below churches and are either free or cost just a couple euro to visit.

Day 12 - Return flight to Philadelphia.


  1. Hi...we are going to Clare's also and are so excited!! Our list didn't show any 10,000e homes, (did yours?) however, Clare assured that there were plenty. “Buona fortuna” and happy house hunting! Maybe we'll be

    1. We haven't seen the list yet - we booked with AirBnB just before I made the post. Clare did mention in her confirmation she'd passed our email to the architect. I suppose he'll get it out the first of next week.

    2. The list arrived this morning - yep no 10K houses. They probably want to get some of the nicer places "out front". There's probably some degree of "connections" involved too. ;-)

      I suspect that it's turning out to be a little tricky finding all the owners of some of the cheap places and then convincing them to participate. Add in the need to ensure that anyplace damaged years ago in the earthquake is properly inspected and meets 2012 standards and you've got quite a pile of work.

  2. Thanks for responding regarding the list! It makes me feel better as I wondered if I had, perhaps, received an incomplete list. Yes, I think you are right, it seems the introductions and connections are the 'key'.

    1. I'm very interested in planning a trip to look at properties in the spring. Can you recommend a website or have a contact for these property listings?

    2. Is there a group trip being planned?

    3. As far as I know the right now the key contact is the municipal architect. Clare Galloway has been forwarding the email addresses of interested parties who are staying at her B&B to him. Her website has a FAQ that answers all the basic questions:

      No group trips as far as I know. We're thinking about the possibility of maybe coordinating an informal group trip for the mid-September sagre in the area but that's a long way off.

      If you like, PM me your email address and I'll send you the short list we got in September.

  3. When Are you leaving? We just got back last weeK.

    1. We're going in late January. How did it go for you?

    2. We closed on our house Yesterday. via di groce 8 in GUARDIA.



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