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2 Weeks Backpacking through Italy - Mother/Daughter leave in 4 weeks

2 Weeks Backpacking through Italy - Mother/Daughter leave in 4 weeks

Old Feb 14th, 2011, 09:23 PM
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2 Weeks Backpacking through Italy - Mother/Daughter leave in 4 weeks

Hi all, I am new to the forum, but have been creeping on your awesome comments for the past 5 weeks while I've also been watching airfare for our first trip to Italy. I (mother in her young 40's and, my daughter, a music major and impressionable student) will be traveling to Italy for a two week backpack through Italy beginning March 11, 2011 and returning 3/26/11. We fly into Venice and out of Rome, we would like to spend enough time in Venice to absorb everything...the smells the sounds the people the food ......I think I have lodging figured out, could use some tips on cicchetti crawls and good but budget eating while spending 3 days there.

Our next stop in Milan, not sure if we need more than a day there, my daughter is a music major, so of course our interests are are La Scala, the shopping mall would be a nice see, and the last supper, well, we kind of fell like this is our first visit to Italy and we cannot see everything, nor, intend to....we will be back

From Milan, we will be going to Rome, which will be the major focus of the trip, with a nice side vacay to Sorrento for 3 days where we can visit Pompei and climb Mt. Vesuvius and explore the Amalfi Coast and [insert your suggestions here]. We are thinking of staying at Ulisse deluxe hostel these nights, if you have better view accomodations in mind for March please tell.

What I need is tours for getting out into the Umbria/Tuscany area for one day and along the amalfi coast and a cooking class, we really would like to take a cooking class....doesn't really matter where it happens. Any ideas are completely welcome, I have not booked anything but the airfare yet........so please feel free to give any advice.....We are skipping Florence and Cinque Terre this trip...no worries, we will throw coins into Trevi......we will be back....would rather absorb than skim.
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Old Feb 14th, 2011, 09:35 PM
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For a specific cooking class in Rome you can take a look at http://catalog.gamberorosso.it that I believe is the best school in Italy and it makes you busy just late in the day. Other suggestion to eat easy, clean and cheap in Rome (some restaurant could charge you a lot) is to eat in some specific place. I have found during by three days stay in Rome a place called Sfizio Pizza close to Termini Station Via Giolitti 77 where I eat good Pizza and some other Italian specialities.
Have a nice Trip. Pedro
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Old Feb 14th, 2011, 09:43 PM
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When I stayed in Sorrento and visited Pompeii on my first trip to Italy, I did only a day trip to Naples - and wished I'd spent more time there. Neat city, once you get away from the train station area. There's also an important museum in Naples tied to what you see in Pompeii: many artifacts from the excavations there ave in that museum.
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Old Feb 14th, 2011, 09:44 PM
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Thanks Pedro!!!

The food stops is another thing I will definitely need much input on. We would like to stay away from high end meals and experience more of the local and/or budget type meal....but with good taste...so I don't mind sandwich or pizza....just good! Thank you!! Eating clean in Italy doesn't seem to be possible, but if that were the case, I would sign up
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Old Feb 14th, 2011, 09:48 PM
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Hi Andrew, How did you feel walking around Napoli? I've read/heard different things and too would like to visit the place where the pompei artifacts are displayed in Napoli and of course find the best place to eat the perfect Pizza in the birthplace.
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Old Feb 14th, 2011, 10:00 PM
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I did a ton of walking in Naples, actually. How I felt walking around Naples varied by the area. I felt slightly less safe than in, say, Rome, Florence, or Venice because in all of those places Americans with maps are everywhere. Not nearly as many tourists in Naples. Some areas seemed open and completely safe, but others were narrow alleys with lots of people out and about. I was vigilant but comfortable, never really fearful. It's always important to be vigilant of your surroundings in a strange place - and that includes Rome, Florence, and Venice too.

I felt comfortable enough in some of these areas to shoot video with my camera walking around, in areas with lots of locals and almost no tourists. No one seemed to care.

The area around the Naples train station does feel a little seedy, but once you get away from there it feels better.
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Old Feb 14th, 2011, 10:11 PM
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Hi, Ineedavacay

I love Napoli, I just spent a week there before Christmas and enjoyed every minute. Given the time of year you are going, when weather might be iffy, I'm tempted to suggest you base there rather than Sorrento to have things to do in case it rains. HOWEVER, it is definitely not a vacation destination, so if you really need a vacation, staying in Sorrento and taking the train into Napoli to see the archeological museum is really very simple. If you only come into Napoli for a day, some other great sights to see in Napoli are the Cappella San Severo and the cloister of the church of Santa Chiara. Try not to miss those, along with the archeological museum which is as fantastic as you've heard. If you end up with rainy days, a tour of underground Naples is a good way to get out of the rain.

Your time frame for visiting the Amalfi coast is early, so you'll have to play that one by ear. Be careful about taking a boat excursion if the weather is windy if either you or your daughter is prone to motion sickness.

Is opera your daughter's interest in music? If so, you might enjoy a tour of Teatro San Carlo in Napoli, either in addition to or instead of Milano. (You need a reservation for the Last Supper in Milano). If your daughter's interest in music is something other than opera, I would suggest skipping Milano in favor of a destination that is closer to her interest. Italy has many towns where musical instruments are made or concerts are given (many in Venice). Again, instead of Milan, you might consider a night in Bologna or Parma both of which have famous opera houses plus lots of good cooking classes (and beautiful art). Bologna and Parma have fantastic shopping, and Parma is the birthplace of Verdi, so there are lots of concerts.

Arezzo, not far from Florence in Tuscany, is the birthplace of the musical scale. Lucca, not far from Pisa, is an important Puccini town. Cremona has violins, and so on and so forth. You don't need a tour for any of these places. They can be reached by train.
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 05:35 AM
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Wow....Zeppole, thank you for all of that information! My daughter is a music major with an instrument focus so I will have to send her all of this and perhaps reroute our plan from Venice to Rome via Bologna or Parma Everyone is so kind an helpful on this forum! Thank you so much.
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 01:38 PM
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You and your daughter might find this whole thread worth reading

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...s-in-italy.cfm
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