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2 leisurely weeks in Italy - Tuscany alone or paired with Amalfi? May 2017.

2 leisurely weeks in Italy - Tuscany alone or paired with Amalfi? May 2017.

Old Aug 6th, 2016, 05:26 AM
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2 leisurely weeks in Italy - Tuscany alone or paired with Amalfi? May 2017.

Hi everyone! This is my first post though I've been reading these forums for years! I have traveled to Europe at least once a year since 2007, gleaning fabulous advice and tips by reading these boards in advance. In particular I have spent some wonderful time in Italy, including a full month in Tuscany just outside of Florence, and another more recent more whirlwind (but fabulous) 10 days to lake como, Verona, Venice and back to Florence.

My husband and I have booked flights to Italy for two weeks in May 2017 - may 14-28. There will be one big change this time, we will be bringing our new baby who at that point will be one year old! I have done a lot of research on travel with a baby that age, and also have talk to you experienced traveling friends. We already have done some travel with him in his first three months, including flights, and will be doing some more before we go.

We will be flying direct to Rome because we have learned through experience that anything other than nonstop flights are not ideal with babe. Flight is already booked including a seat for bambino. We will begin with five nights and Montalcino, renting a car at the Rome airport. We are staying at a lovely winery we've been to before where we will have an apartment and delicious daily breakfast and dinner. We think this would be a perfect place to recover from the flight and just relax. We will do a lot of walks on the property, reading, resting, and some short trips to local wineries and small towns for lunch.

We chiefly want to relax, and are not that interested in having packed itineraries or in carting our baby all over the place. We chose May in large part to avoid the high season. We are very comfortable travelers, and our favorite types of experiences include meeting new people (we tend to make friends with waiters and bartenders and go back to the same restaurants, for example), nature walks and hikes, tasting great food and seeing beautiful locations, including towns and countryside. Going to specific museums, churches are other sites on a specific timetable is not really our style, especially with the baby - we are happy just to pop in somewhere if it's open and it works. We haven driven throughout Italy and are comfortable in the car. We also think our own car is easier with the babe. If it's helpful background, our favorite ever spot we have ever traveled so far probably was the Costa Brava in Spain, though Florence/Tuscany, Venice and Paris are all very close seconds.

I am torn about how to spend the remaining 8 nights and days. Our initial plan had been to drive to priano on the Amalfi coast. We likely would split up the drive by spending one night somewhere midway, perhaps on the coast. Amalfi coast is very much on our bucket list, and we have found a villa where we can walk to a few restaurants and stores and also about 100 steps to the beach. We are physically fit and accustomed to long walks with babe in carrier (we baby wear much of the day all day and plan to continue for another year plus). Also, grandma is very likely to join for the second week in order to enjoy the coast and help with the baby so that we can have some more adult and some alone time! We would chiefly relax and enjoy our view from the villa, reading and cooking and walking, taking shorter day trips when it works well for everyone. We'd keep our car (villa has a parking spot). I know the driving is tricky and wondering if it's trickier than along bellagio/lake como?

I then started to wonder if we should keep things simpler and stay put in Tuscany, renting a villa (likely near Florence) OR go to the Tuscan seaside, perhaps elba or punta ala, OR do a blend of Tuscan seaside and Rome (I've read some great and very helpful trip reports of Rome with babe - we would dump car and rent an apartment). We would very much like to spend at least some time at the sea. Grandma is likely to join on this second week no matter where it is. She also is physically fit so would happily join us at any of these spots.

So my question for you lovely, experienced and helpful travelers is this: would you go for Amalfi for 6 nights or no? If no, you think it's too much and too much of a push, how would you structure the remainder of the trip? Any and all thoughts welcome!
veganlily is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2016, 05:42 AM
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I should have mentioned the villa I have found on Amalfi coast is in priano! Chose that location based on the great advice on these boards!
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Old Aug 6th, 2016, 06:28 AM
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Rome seems counter to your desire to stay put, enjoy the sea views, and relax.

That said, I am a big fan of Rome, have visited several times, and will go back. But usually, I don't relax there.

Six days on the Amalfi Coast sounds heavenly. I often second guess my plans, but if I were you, I wouldn't.

The drive: Maybe consider leaving very early in the morning, planning a great lunch stop, and then plowing through to Praiano.
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Old Aug 6th, 2016, 07:22 AM
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Just one comment. Ive stayed in Praiano twice and love it because of the non resort feel. However, if your villa is just 100 steps to the beach, then it must be about 300 steps down from road level. Have you checked this factor and are you prepared for hauling all the baby gear? Just a reco to check.

I have visited both Maggiore and Como, but not driving. I would be willing to bet driving and parking on the Amalfi is much more difficult.

Stick with the Amalfi Coast plan. May is a good time to be there. The flowerw will be blooming the crowds will not be at peak yet. You can sightsee as much or as little as you want and you will love it eithe way!

Buon viaggio!
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Old Aug 6th, 2016, 08:08 AM
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Your trip sounds lovely and I would stick with the Amalfi plan.
We had a car for our Amalfi coast trip (stayed in Minori) and enjoyed having it for day trips to Ravello, Paestum etc.

My husband drove and after the first 20 minute "adjustment" period was perfectly fine and enjoyed the driving. You have to be a calm driver and have good spatial judgement, it would not be for the faint hearted, easily flustered driver. You can actually find a video on YouTube that shows you exactly what it is like.

My only advice would be to make sure you get the smallest car you can which will still accommodate you. The roads are very narrow and parking spaces are often tiny narrow spaces up against a road bank.

Have a great trip!
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Old Aug 6th, 2016, 11:21 AM
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Driving on the Amalfi Coast IMO is a lot more challenging than navigating the Italian lakes.

I don't know if I'd want to do Amalfi with a baby. All those steep steps and freaky driving wouldn't amount to "relaxed" for me. I'd do what we did with our babies in Italy when we wanted to relax - head south from Rome to Sperlonga, Gaeta, Isola di Poza, etc
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