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8 days in italy--first visit--married couple around 40, where to go

8 days in italy--first visit--married couple around 40, where to go

Feb 8th, 2010, 06:09 PM
  #1  
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8 days in italy--first visit--married couple around 40, where to go

This will be our first trip to Italy--and Europe. We won't have the kids with us. We aren't big museum types and tend to favor 'off the beaten path' to touristy. I am all about the food & drink. My wife loves to do pottery and other artsy stuff. I know everyone has their favorite spots, but based on what I've told you, what kind of itinerary would you suggest? i guess my ideal time in Italy would combine great food & drink, great scenery both inland as well as some beautiful beach. Thx. Oh, BTW, need to book flights by Thursday (feb 11, 2010) and we'll be going in the first half of August this year.
remdog99 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2010, 09:00 PM
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There are many places that meet your requirements! Does the 8 days include travel days? If so, you basically only have 6 days in Italy... so maybe 1 or 2 (close) places would be best.

How about Cinque Terra and Venice? Or the Lakes region? Or the Adriatic coast? Or Tuscany and Umbria? Or the Amalfi coast? Not being into museums, I guess you wouldn't be interested in Rome or Florence or Pompeii.

Best food I had was in Umbria (Assisi) and Tuscany (Siena). Worst was in Venice (except for the gelatto!) Best wine I had was in Tuscany.

Lots of places for pottery, too... Orvieto, maybe? And you can get the Orvieto Classico wine there.

Why the rush to book the plane tickets? Doesn't give you very much planning time. But, I would suggest that you try to book an open jaw to save travel time.
joannyc is offline  
Feb 8th, 2010, 09:02 PM
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Forgot to mention... it will be very hot and crowded in August.
joannyc is offline  
Feb 8th, 2010, 10:08 PM
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Remdog...Joannyc gave you a good tip about booking your plane tickets open jaw : when booking airlines we always land where we want to start our holiday and depart from the last city we visit while in europe. It saves a lot of time back tracking.
donnae_b is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 12:16 AM
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Judging from what you've said about yourselves, I would skip the Rome/Florence/Venice triangle and instead pick a particular area to explore, perhaps based in one or two towns. For example, you could explore Umbria or north-west Tuscany or central Tuscany or the Amalfi Coast or Puglia (and so on). Once you've narrowed down the particular area you're interested in, grab a book full of photos from your library (e.g. 'most beautiful towns in 'xxx'') to get some inspiration. Also, once you've picked an area to explore, come back and ask for specific recommendations of places to visit within the area.

I suppose you know that August will be peak season? Pick somewhere a little quieter if possible.

ps. I second Joan's assessment - food in Venice was a disappointment (especially given our budget!).
dreamon is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 12:31 AM
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Or Cinque Terre and Piedmont...and what about Bologna...
jamikins is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 07:14 AM
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We have 8 days to tour (10 days total including travel). The rush to book is because my airmiles plan is changing as of Feb 12 and I wont get as much bang for my buck. based on suggestion above, i am looking at starting in umbira, then to orvieto, then to tuscany. anyone know if there are airports on either end so i could do the open jaw thing? also, would you recommend renting a car or relying on rail & public transit to get around? also, could you give me a general idea of how much i could expect to spend for a nights accomodations in either a hotel or b&b (doesn't have to be fancy, but not the cheapest either), and for a typical dinner (again, mid-range). thx
remdog99 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 07:23 AM
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I would rather be the only woman on a freighter than to be in Rome in August....

that said... if August is the only time you can go.... try the north where it may be a bit cooler...
jetsetj is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 07:26 AM
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Try Rome, Pisa, and Florence airports... take a look at a map to see which would be best, based on where you want to start and finish, then check for flights. For example, you might want to fly into Pisa or Florence and out of Rome.

You won't be able to book online for an open jaw ticket but you can check the flights using the multi-city functionality. Then call the airline and book via phone (you will get stuck for a small fee for making the reservation via phone... a Catch 22!)

Good luck! I'm too familiar with the point changes!!! ;-)
joannyc is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 07:28 AM
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Do you have to go in August? It's miserably hot in Italy in August, and all the usual destination spots are jammed with Italian and other European tourists. I definitely wouldn't want to head to an Italian beach that time of year. If you must go in August I'd pick someplace cool, like the lakes.

If you're planning to visit major cities, then train travel is the way to go. If you want to wander the Tuscan and Umbrian countryside, a car is essential. You say you're looking to start in Umbria, then visit Orvieto, then Tuscany. Those places are so close together it wouldn't really make sense to do an open jaw, unless you wanted to, say, fly into Rome and out of Florence (in which case the logical sequence would be Orvieto, then other parts of Umbria, then Tuscany, ending in Firenze). Eight days isn't much, but you could fit all that in in that timeframe: a night in Orvieto, maybe a brief detour to Bagnoreggio, then to Umbria for 3-4 days and Tuscany for 3-4.

What you can expect to pay depends on a number of factors, not the least of which is the exchange rate, which right now is relatively favorable to Americans compared to past months, but who knows what it will be in August? A very general rule of thumb, I guess, would be about 100-150 euros per night for a decent hotel room and 25-40 euros for a good dinner. Of course, you could pay way less or way more if you wanted to. A better way to approach this is to establish your budget, then do the research.
StCirq is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 08:34 AM
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Orvieto.
TDudette is online now  
Feb 9th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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Or Spoleto with day trip to Orvieto.

Or Siena....
TDudette is online now  
Feb 10th, 2010, 06:00 AM
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Could someone explain what is bad about going when there are so many tourists around? I'll be a tourist too. What am I missing?
remdog99 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 06:09 AM
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more tourists = higher prices due to demand, longer lines, filled restaurants etc
jamikins is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 06:42 AM
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Realize that August is 'vacation month' for most of Europe. What this means is that places like beach towns will be packed with vacationers, whereas the cities may be quieter. We went to France in August several years ago, and Paris was fairly quiet - some of the restaurants were even closed. It would be wise to do the northern half of Italy this time of year due to the heat. One city that we found very enjoyable and quite untouristed was Bologna. Bologna is known for it's fabulous food, lively college scene, and it's beautiful portico streets. I believe there are some good airfares to Bologna. Orvieto is another good suggestion, being big enough to spend several days in, but stunningly beautiful.
If this is your first European trip, be prepared to be blown away, and do your homework in the coming months. Check out the slowtrav.com website, which is brimming with lots of helpful info, particularly on Italy.
zootsi is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 11:25 AM
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VENICE VENICE VENICE - you must not miss it! You can find lots of "off the beaten path" in Venice. And it is so unique, there isn't another place like it in the world!
Cindywho is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 11:30 AM
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OK, here's a place off the beaten path:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...a_Tuscany.html

Arturo Toscanini used to summer in this town.
TDudette is online now  
Feb 10th, 2010, 11:46 AM
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"What am I missing?"

Traffic jams, beaches so crowded you can't find a place to lay down a towel, jacked-up prices in hotels and restaurants, lines to get into things....
StCirq is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 02:00 PM
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And throngs of hot, sweaty, cranky (due to the heat and crowds) people jammed into narrow streets and alles, in Venice especially.
hazel1 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 02:25 PM
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And sometimes snarky waiters and shopkeepers who are understandably wiped out by the constant crowds...people who the rest of the year are perfectly pleasant to deal with.
StCirq is offline  

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