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roscoeG Feb 21st, 2006 05:42 AM

5 months pg in italy, best destination?
Hello fodorites and thank you in advance for the always wonderful advice I receive on these boards.

My husband and I are planning to take a trip to Italy in June. By that time I will be 5 months pregnant and this will be our last getaway before becoming parents. My husband is not a huge fan of traveling but has agreed to let me plan this trip (hurray!)..I am a go go go type of traveler and he is much more laid back. I promised him we would compromise on this trip and I wouldn't pack each day with activities. There must be an element of relaxation in this trip. I will probably be tired anyway!

I am looking for a place that has beautiful scenery, is romantic, will have nice weather in June, will offer plenty of activities, but also will be a nice place to relax and just stroll around. As of right now I am thinking about Venice as our destination, but I am really up for suggestions. Tuscany or the Amalfi coast seem like good options, too.

Neither of us have been to Italy before. Because of work we can only go for 4-5 nites so we will only go to one place. We definitely want to stay someplace pretty nice. ie, i was looking at the Westin Europa & Regina in Venice. We will do some sightseeing, strolling, eating, relaxing, etc. I'm not terribly into museums/monuments, but my husband is a history buff and would like that type of thing. We would like to go to the theatre one nite, and, of course, will go to dinner for some fabulous italian food every nite ;) I am mostly interested in exploring a new place and having some quality time in a romantic locale with my husband before the baby comes..

Does Venice seem like the place for us?
Or is there a better destination that will provide me what I'm looking for?

Steve_James Feb 22nd, 2006 04:45 AM

RoscoeG - Venice fits your criteria pretty well IMO :)


capxxx Feb 22nd, 2006 04:59 AM

Another vote for Venice.

nessundorma Feb 22nd, 2006 05:27 AM

You say your husband doesn't like traveling. Is it just doing too much every day that bothers him or is he also bothered by crowds of tourists and high prices?

Also, you say he is a history buff. Italy has every era of history, so if there is one period of history he is interested more than another, you might focus on that.

The reason I raise these questions is that while Venice is a unique place that many people adore, it is crowded and pricey, and not really La Dolce Vita. It can also be a rather tiring place in the sense that you spend a lot of time walking, up and down many steps and unless you get out of Venice proper, there really aren't that many places to just lay back and idle away an aftertoon. It is urban place, with canals instead of streets) devoted entirely to tourism and sightseeing. On the other hand, if someone has a particular fascination for the history of Venice (and it is a fascinating history spanning 10 centuries), perhaps it is just right.

For beautiful scenery, I would suggest Lago di Como. Varenna is an affordable town and easily reachable by train from Milan. Once on the lake, you can take boats to other towns on the lake for variety and new views. It is a wonderful place to relax.

There is nice weather everywhere in June, so you can pick anyplace. If your husband is more interested in the history of ancient Italy, or if you prefer the sea to a lake, staying on the Amalfi coast would provide you with spectacular scenery and the chance to easily visit Pompeii, which is an extraordinary place. And the food is fantastic (something that is not so readily availabe in Venice).

Last but not least, if your husband is most interested in the Renaissance, staying in the Tuscan countryside within easy distance of Florence is a chance to experience great food, great art, fascinating history and enchanting scenery and plenty of relaxation among very friendly and generous people.

Sorry there is no simple ansswer to your question!

ira Feb 22nd, 2006 08:22 AM

Hi r,

Another vote for Venice.


roscoeG Feb 24th, 2006 06:14 AM

Thank you so much nessundorma and others for your replies. The more I think about it and research other posts on these boards, the more I think we should head to the amalfi coast for our short vacation.

I'm sure venice is amazing, and we will get there someday, but will probably not be quite right for this trip. My husband is not a big fan of crowds, so I'm looking into a more secluded place on the AC. We are both huge fans of spectacular waterfront scenery so I think it is a better fit.

I have gathered from many posts on this board that we do not need a car and can utilize the bus system. This weekend I will be busy researching the best place for us to stay. I'm sure I'll be back here with questions. I'm getting so excited looking at all of the beautiful pictures of the area. Thanks again!

nessundorma Feb 24th, 2006 06:34 AM

The most secluded place on the AC is Ravello, and it is wonderfully dreamy. Just be sure you don't go there during the Wagner festival (and I thing they have a film festival in the summer, but that might appeal to you).

A wonderful place to stay in Ravello is in the renovated double rooms underneath the excellent restaurant Da Salvatore. There are only about half a dozen rooms, and each of them has a small two-chair private balcony with a fantastic view of the sea. Last time I was there they cost 90 euro. I don't believe Da Salvatore has a website. The telephone number is 089/857227.

If you want the same views plus a swimming pool, try the Giordano next door:

Because Ravello is seculded, it is not a convenient place for day trips. If you stay in Amalfi, you will more easily be able to take a boat to Capri or catch the bus to visit Positano or Atrani or Sorrento.

Another useful thing to know is the name of a reliable car service. I can recommend the family-run Benvenuto Limousines. They do both long hauls (to Naples or Pompeii) and short trips (to Ravello, etc.) They have excellent English speakers. Although a private driver sounds extravagant, it can really help ease the stress of getting from the train or the airport to your hotel.

If you have time to spend a few nights in Naples, it is wild but worth it and a trip to both it and Pompeii is great for a history buff. In Naples, go for the best accommodations you can afford, away from the train station.

Have a wonderful time. The food in the Amalfi and Naples is divine.

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