Advices & tips on Greece & Italy

Jun 14th, 2001, 07:02 AM
  #1  
Georgio
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Advices & tips on Greece & Italy

Hello There !

I am an experienced travelled muself and I have been traveling mainly in Greece and Italy.

If somebody is planning to visit/stay in Athens downtown and subburbs I have some usefull tips to tell.
Also I have real hot tips about Ioannina (Yannina) Northwestern Greece and in particulary about Papigo, Konitsa and the Zagoria villages (National Park of Vikos-Aoos, Voidomatis river, Vikos canyon, mountain huts, rafting paragliding, etc).

Also I can give free advices about my favourite towns in Italy: Siena (tuscany), Perugia (Umbria), Venice and a few other that I have visited several times.

With friendly regards,

Georgio
 
Jun 15th, 2001, 03:53 AM
  #2  
JA KIZLER
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We are to leave for Greece next week on business but will have one day in Athens. Can you recommend a quick itinerary, guided tour companies, or other information that allows us to see the high points.

Thank you.

JK
 
Jun 15th, 2001, 05:02 AM
  #3  
Ricardo
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Do you know what the weather looks like in Naples / Sorrento / Capri the 1st 2 wks of November. I'm planning my honeymmon. Regards
 
Jun 15th, 2001, 12:16 PM
  #4  
Georgio
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Response to JK :

Just ONE DAY in Athens?! So, as you can guess you will have not the chance to see many things there.

Are you a museum type? If yes i would suggest of visiting the National Archeaological Museum but its vast and you'll need several hours (and afterwards you'll need the rest of the day to.. recover!).
Instead of that, if your hotel will be located somewhere near the center, It will be fine to visit EARLY in the morning Acropolis (parthenon). But not after 10:30 because its too hot!! (rember that!). Then go for a stroll in the picturesque streets of PLAKA, located below Acropolis (there are plenty of souvenir shops there too, and nice cheap restaurants with greek typical greek dishes). I reccomand "Platanos", a traditional and moderately priced typical greek taverna (with the best Retsina!), near the "Wind's tower".
Or if its too hot by that time, you can wander in Plaka in the late evening.

If you go to the nearby "Monastiraki" fleemarket on saturday and monday mornings (you can hardly walk because there are 1000s of people) be aware of the pick-pockers. Don't hold camera's or mobile phones in visible spots. Put it in safe place instead.

In the evening you can visit Lycabettous Hill from where you can enjoy a breath-catching view of the entire city and the sunset ! Plus you can have a dinner in the classy reastaurant on top of the hill. Better to reserve a table in advance though.

Once in Athens get to the EOT (National Tourist Organization) office near Syntagma and ask for the FREE brochures for Athens and the hotel/restaurant list wher you can find all infos on the matter.

For any additional info, always at your disposal, or e-mail me directly once you'll be in Athens.
All the the best and Have a Nice Trip and permanence in Greece.

Georgio
 
Jun 15th, 2001, 12:31 PM
  #5  
Georgio
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Riccardo,

My opinion is: You have chosen THE RIGHT place for Honeymoon!

Naples, Sorrento and in particulary CAPRI are some of the best places in Italy !

In Naples, is better though to avoid some areas* where weirdos and pick-pockers hang around. And do not accept invitations by uknnown locals to drink a coffee with them ! I have heard TWO stories from friends (one Polish and one German) who accepted a such invitation and they weak up several days letter with no baggages and.. clothes !
Second, in beautiful Capri don't miss to visit the Tower (villa) of San Michele, built by Dr. Mounthe, a famous humanist/doctor and author of the best-selling book "San Michele book".

The best time to visit Italy is im my opinion: May and September. June can be fine too. July and August are too hot and too crowdy (remember Italy is one of the most visited- in the WORLD- touristic destinations!)

In the end of September starts the "rain season", but the temperatures are still middle epecially in the area around Naples that you're planning to visit. By October the first snow is appearing in the Italian North mountains.!... But sometimes (depending of the westher) the middle temperatures can long up to the end of October.

My suggestion would be, if you can organize the trip from mid September to mid October would be perfect, but then again the most important event of your life is up to yours and hers !

Tell me once you'll be back how it was the trip,

Truly yours,

Georgio
 
Jun 15th, 2001, 12:35 PM
  #6  
cameron
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Georgio...you're very kind to answer so many questions! One from me...where in Greece would you recommend a 2 month winter stay? Someplace with great weather, nice accommodations (apartment) and perhaps with local eateries, grocery stores etc.
 
Jun 15th, 2001, 02:32 PM
  #7  
Jay
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Hey Georgio,
You're a great help to many travellers. I'm going to Greece on July 19 and staying at the Divani Acropolis Palace Hotel on Parthenenos St., do you know if they have an email address so I could request a brochure?
Thanks Georgio!
Jay
 
Jun 15th, 2001, 02:54 PM
  #8  
Georgio
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Thanks Cameron,

Hmm, well, TWO entire months in Greece in WINTER time ?!?

Is there any particular reason for choosing winter? And what exactly months?

Because although officially November is winter sometimes in Athens I was swimming in the sea by the end of November!!

Tell me, its just for holidays or for bussiness too ?!

And what type of holidays do you prefer? Active, relaxing, educational ? Want to be near Athens or in the countryside ?!?

Tell me some more details about your plan, and I will tell you my suggestion.

Yours,

Georgio.
 
Jun 15th, 2001, 03:06 PM
  #9  
Georgio
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Hi Jay, and thanks too,

Divani is one of the well-known hotels in Greece.

I'll take a look to check if they have an e-mail address.

For how long are you goin to stay in Athens ?

In the meantime, if you are from the States, you can contact the offices of the E.O.T or G.N.T.O. (Greek National Tourist Organization):

1)645 Fifth Ave. New York, NY 10022, Tel. (212)421 5777 , Fax: (212)826 6940. E-mail: [email protected]
2)Or in Athens (once you'll be there): E.O.T. (Head Office) 2 Amerikis Street, Athens, Tel. (01) 322-3111 , Fax: 332-2841.

They send for free tourist pamphlets, maps and hotel lists upon request! Don't forget to ask !

I wish you a nice journey in Greece too !

See you later,

Georgio
 
Jun 15th, 2001, 03:36 PM
  #10  
Georgio
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Jay,

I have found only their phone non e-mail.

But check this site: They have photos of the Interior (rooms , restaurant!) of the Divani Acropolis Palace Hotel, nor just the external !
It looks great!...:
www.ellada.net/divani/dh-acropolis.htm

Also I think you'll found usefull the following link (that also appeals to the other two friends who wrote me: JA KIZLER and CAMERON):

http://www.athensguide.com

And in the following link you can found Matt Barett's "A Travel Guide To Greece":

http://www.greektravel.com

I hope that it helped.

All the best,

Georgio
 
Jun 16th, 2001, 03:41 AM
  #11  
Irene
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Dear Georgio,
I'd love to hear your tips on Siena & Perugia. Starting to plan a two week vacation for next May - probably a few days in Rome and the rest of the trip divided between Tuscany/Umbria and the Almafi Coast.
Thanks
Irene
 
Jun 18th, 2001, 05:07 AM
  #12  
Georgio
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Hi Irene !

Thanks for your mail!

I have just been back after having spent the weekend together with my parents in Konitsa, Greece northwest.
(check the link: http://www.vacation.net.gr/p/ioanina3.html
for info and photos of the place).

Siena in one of Italy's most beautiful towns. I have spent there two entire summers (1990 & 1994).
Is not so big like Rome or Florence, but yet is very charming, with friendly people. Almost all Tuscany is beautiful as the nearby Umbria does too. There are many picturesque hill-towns scattered all over the area. The landscape of Tuscany is famous for its serenity and unique atmosphere (colours) that reminds of renaisance paintings! Especially in the spring when many fields are covered with plenty of beautiful flowers.
I think that your itinerary it is a well chosen one, and that you're going to have an unforgettable time in Italy! Rome, Tuscany and Umbria worth certainly, not just one visit (I'm sure you'll be back again and again !), and ofcourse the famous Amalfi coastal zone as well.

This is your very first time in Italy?

This is an important question, because, my special advices will depend upon that fact and of the what are you expecting to meet in Italy, and what are your likes and dislikes (from a traveller's & tourists point of view). I mean some people like to spent hours admiring the marble statues of Michelangelo in Florence while others prefer to wander in small silent picturesque alleys of medieval villages...
Tell me some more info, and I will come with more suggestions and worth-to-visit spots (or email me directly at: [email protected]).

All the best,
Yours,

Georgio.
 
Jun 18th, 2001, 08:09 AM
  #13  
Deborah
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Georgio,

Its wonderful reading all of your advice! We are planning a trip for the end of May and can't decide on the Amalfi Coast or the Greek Islands.
We are looking for good weather, quaint little streets, lots of little shops, restaurants, Fabulous views, nice people, and the best value for our dollar. Thank you for your opinion!
 
Jun 19th, 2001, 12:50 AM
  #14  
Georgio
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Hi Deborah !

Thanks a lot for your kind compliments! Travelling is for me a passion (I could not live without it!) and since I have an experience on the matter I decided to give some tips to other people who share the same passion with me!

Now, May is just fine, the perfect time for a trip in the deep down south of Europe, especially if you don't like the crowds and hot temperatures!

Amalfi is a very beautiful place, cosmopolitan and classy. Italy is a classy, more refined and artistic place (no wonder, rennaisance WAS born here !), with friendly loacals.

Greek islands are very beautiful too. Some of them (Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini) are cosmopolitan too. Some of the island though are really off-the beaten track, with a few or NOT ALL inhabitants and ZERO tourism ! So you can make your choise among them*!

Italy is not cheap, ofcourse. No wander why, is one of the TOP touristic destinations in the WHOLE world (after France, I think).

Greece is much more cheaper, especially the food and usually the hotels (unless if you choose HILTON !). The same does the transportation means.

Generally speaking, if you want relaxed holidays, much of sunbath, lot of deep blue sky and water plus budget prices, the Greek Islands are the ideal target !

But ofcourse, once again, I will ask you the usuall question: Have you ever been before in South Europe?

*For more details please don't hesitate to e-mail me: [email protected]

Thanks again,

yours,

Georgio.
 
Jun 26th, 2001, 12:35 AM
  #15  
Georgio
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Erica thanks,

I have e-mailed you directly with the details you requested.

Bye,

georgio
 
Jun 26th, 2001, 05:00 AM
  #16  
cameron
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Thanks Georgio for your response...as for more information...my wife and I are "young" retirees and we like to get away from the cold Canadian winters for Jan and Feb. every year. We have gone to Florida, Arizona and are now thinking of finding a spot in Europe. I know it won't be "hot" but is there anywhere in Greece where the weather might be temperate and one could spend 2 months? Thank you.
 
Jun 26th, 2001, 02:16 PM
  #17  
John
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Hello Georgio:

Great travel tips ... my question is somewhat general regarding a trip of 4 or 5 days to Greece: This is a first-time visit to Greece and we'd like to see some of Athens, but also spend some time on a "typical" Greek island. Is this possible? Any advice on which island and how to split up our time between Athens and an island would be appreciated. (I think our vision of a "typcial" Greek island is one that's not too busy, but has those travel-poster views of the sea and relaxing restaurants and some casual hiking / exploring.)

Thanks in advance, when you have time to reply. John
 
Jun 30th, 2001, 05:09 AM
  #18  
Georgio
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Hi Cameron,

Thanks for your e-mail.

Well, January and February are also Greece's coldest months.

But ofcourse from late February and onwards Spring starts too!

If you seek moderate temperatures in that particular season (Feb-March) in Greece, the southern you go, the better it is!

Something like CRETA island, or RHODOS island seems the best idea to me, an I suggest you to prefer one of these places if you finally decide to come to Greece.

Attica (Athens area and the nearby regions, such as Loutraki, Corinth, etc, have also mid winters, and the spring starts very early there too).

Alternatively, Sicily (Italy) and CYPRUS island can be a good destination place for you...

Well, I hope that It was helpful for you the what I wrote and please contact me for more information.

Thanks.
 
Jun 30th, 2001, 05:17 AM
  #19  
Bob Gladstone
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I am going to Italy for the first time in September. I am not taking a guided tour - going to Rome (4 days), Florence (3 days) and Venice (2 days) using train travel. Do you have any suggestions for restaurants and/or sightseeing? Thank you!!
 
Jun 30th, 2001, 05:27 AM
  #20  
Georgio
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Hello John and thank you for your e-mail.

Just 4-5 days in Greece and want to visit Athens AND a typical Greek island?!

Hmm, I think that 4-5 days it is not a sufficient time to combine both!...

Athens alone needs at least 2 days if you want to visit JUST the main sightseings (Acropolis, Plaka, Monastiraki and at least the Achaeological Museum).

And then, it will be virtually impossible to visit any of the major touristic island of Greece (such as Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Paros, Naxos and Creta).

Unless if you want to visit one of the nearby to Athens islands of the Argo- Saronic gulf (like Hydra and Aegina or even Poros and Spetses). These islands despite their vicinity to Athens, preserve some of their typical Greek atmosphere.

But then again, as I have already told to other people who consulted me too, is better to avoid August (too crowdy and hot). The only Advantage of being during August in Greece is to actually STAY in ATHENS because this is the only time of the year that Athens virtually EMPTY from its inhabitants and you can enjoy the peaceful streets !

Also is better to avoid visiting Salamina and Aegina islands during April-May because usually ALL the SCHOOLS of Athens** are choosing these islands for their annual school-trip and the ferries (and islands!) get occupied by THOUSANTS of noisy teenagers !!

Well, that was my suggestions and if you want more specific information please contact me directly ,

Yours,

Georgio.

(**PS: You can immagine, how MANY pupils correspond to Athens population of 5.000.000 inhabitants!!)
 

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