1st time to Italy

Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 11:48 AM
  #1  
Ann
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1st time to Italy

I am planning a trip to Italy for the Spring/Summer and need advice on what cities to visit on my 10 day stay. I am open to suggestions. I would love to spend a day relaxing on the beach and need to know where to stay.
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 12:17 PM
  #2  
Rex
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Plan your trip to start or end (or both) in Nice. The best Mediterranean beaches which are both near Italy and affordable to get to are in the south of France (even though not IN Nice itself). Even if you insist on an Italian beach (for example, Ventimiglia or the Riviera dei Fiori, Nice is an excellent access point.

Tuscany and Venice will stretch this into a nice triangle.

And if you want to travel by car, rental in France can be substantially cheaper than rental in Italy. On the other hand, you don't need the car in Venice, so it may or may not be worth renting in France (with the goal of bringing it back to France), because that will inherently add rental days you could have avoided.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 01:03 PM
  #3  
Ann
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Thanks for your input. I have read on this forum that many people recommend going to Rome, Florence and Venice for first time visits. What do you think? I know very little about Italy so I could use any other suggestions. Can you recommend any hotels in any of the locations I mentioned? Thanks.
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 01:41 PM
  #4  
Rex
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You will want (and you will get) many other opinions, but you seem to have directed your question right back at me, so I will answer.

Ten days is just barely enough to do the "big three"; moreover, it means neglecting SMALL(er) TOWN Italy - - Siena and Verona are just two examples that fit my aforementioned triangle well.

And you want to take a day for the beach. I try NOT to "put down" what people say they want to do - - on the premise that they may have thought it through. But since you say you haven't started the process of doing your homework, let me suggest that you forget the beach - - at least in the sun and surf sense of a beach. Go to Florida if you want beach. A fishing village (where you may stroll along the edge of the Mediterranean) is another thing, but I don't call that the "beach".

I left out Rome because it will have the greatest increase in tourists, and as a result, probably the greatest increase in Year 2000 prices (because of the Jubilee). That's not to say that you won't feel high prices in Italy (especially Venice). But Venice will be expensive in 2000 and in 2001 as it was in 1999. Rome may be disproportionately more expensive (and congested) this coming year - - especially in April, August (and almost every "good" month).

You really need to read, read, read. Here's an offbeat web resource you won't find in a standard Yahoo! search (which you should also do):

Go to the London Times, Sunday edition - - www.thetimes.co.uk - - you'll have to register, but it's free. There was a great 13 part series called Passport to Italy in November (get back to me if you can't find it).

Other great websites that every Europe traveler should visit are

www.about.com
www.ricksteves.com

and

www.timeout.com

Last of all, if you want more hand-holding than this, there are such things as small group custom tours - - they can be more affordable than you might suppose (hint: I do them, as well as others).
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 01:58 PM
  #5  
Marilyn Ham
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You could go to the Amalfi Coast if you would like beach. Italy has excellent train/bus service if you would rather not drive. I love Rome and Florence, but can't speak for Venice as I've not been there. We've made reservations for the coming year, and yes they are more expensive, but not prohibitively. There will be three of us going and the room rates run between 225,000 lire to 310,000 lire. It equates to about $55 a nice per person. Marilyn
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 02:42 PM
  #6  
Ann
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Thanks Marilyn and Rex for all the info. Rex, I will start reading up and checking the websites you listed. I don't necessarily have to visit a beach during my stay. My goal is not to cram too much into 10 days but visit one or 2 cities during my visit. Thanks again!
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 05:45 PM
  #7  
Nick
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Took a CITA bus from Florence to Sienna.
Very inexpensive, clean, cool and on time. I wouldn't hesitate to leave the driving to them. Then you can also see the coutryside.
Enjoy.
NC
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 09:40 PM
  #8  
Rex
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Someone just wrote me and pointed out that the Passport to Italy series is very hard to find without the date. It was 13th November 1999.
 

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