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Alternative to Amalfi Coast - Tropea or Maratea Areas?

Alternative to Amalfi Coast - Tropea or Maratea Areas?

Old May 1st, 2005, 02:06 PM
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Alternative to Amalfi Coast - Tropea or Maratea Areas?

Wanting an alternative to the Amalfi Coast, with beaches, towns to explore, and ruins over perhaps a 5 - 7 day timeframe.

We're two women in our 40s who have visited Rome, Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre, Pisa and some Tuscan hilltowns. I'd like to travel south of Rome but my friend is a little anxious about this. Thinking about suggesting to her visiting a new-to-us area in mid to northern Italy, with a few easy days south.

I'm fine about driving.

Which of these two towns do you like best, and why?

Any other suggestions very welcome.

Many thanks, Linda

P.S. My real desire is to visit Sicily but I think that is a no-go with her. Might suggest Taormina as an easy first step, though. My mention of Sicily to both male and female friends brings a lot of incredulous/anxious looks. Anyone else find this?




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Old May 1st, 2005, 06:15 PM
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Anxious/incredulous looks that are given to you by the mention of Sicily, I am assuming, are coming from people who have never been there. It is a beautiful island that is full of wonderful people, food & sites. It is becoming quite the popular tourist destination.

I spent 2 nights in Maratea and a day in Tropea. Maratea felt more isolated to me, although the mountainous scenery is stunning. The main town didn't feel as large as Tropea. Tropea's town is on a cliff looking over the ocean, so to me it was more picturesque.

If I had to choose between the two it would be Tropea. Although it would be a tough decision, they are both wonderful!

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Old May 1st, 2005, 06:28 PM
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By the way, Sicily is full of ruins. To my knowledge, there isn't any in the Tropea vicinity. If you did Maratea, I believe the nearest site is Paestum, which is about 1 1/2 hours?? away.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 07:08 PM
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Thanks for your postings, AP. I looked quickly at a Tropea + area website, and it seemed to be an area full of possibilities.

The attitude towards Sicily is interesting. Yes, they are people who have never been and seem to associate only "The Godfather" and nothing else with it. I have been researching Sicily for a while now, and I'm really eager to visit it. Might try to squeeze a few days away from my friend and fly in for a quick visit.

By the way, AP, I really enjoyed your postings about Sicily of some months (?) ago.

Cheers,
Linda
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Old May 1st, 2005, 07:42 PM
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Linda, your friend will have an entirely different view of Sicily if she reads The Stone Boudoir, by Theresa Maggio. You might want to give that a try.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 08:25 PM
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Holly, that sounds interesting.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Linda
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 03:39 AM
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I suggest you show her the Dorling Kindersley Guide to Sicily. There are a lot of great pictures that should make her want to go! 5-7 days isn't a lot of time (as Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean), but it's better than nothing!
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 03:47 AM
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Hi BL,

Is it that the AC was your first choice and your friend doesn't want to go?

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Old May 2nd, 2005, 10:46 AM
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AP, I have the D-K Guide to Sicily, with gorgeous photos, etc., and she's just not interested, as several other potential travel companions aren't.

Ira, the latest, very tentative plan is to visit Paris for 6 nights, fly to Rome, rent a car and tour Umbria for 6 nights, and then some beach time somewhere. My friend is much more interested in the beach time than I am, hence my thoughts about other things to do (visit neighbouring towns, ruins, etc.).

Neither of us have been to the AC, and it is not a must-see for either of us (rightly or wrongly!). To try to get my first southern Italy fix in, I thought of the Tropea or Maratea areas. From my googling these two towns, I think she would be happy with them.

If the above scenario is a go, then I'll work out the logistics of making our way from Umbria south.

The other scenario is that she may leave a few days early to join her daughter in Greece. She has more travel time available than I do, so I won't be joining them. If that is the case, I was thinking of a quick few days for me in Sicily - just base myself in one town for a few days.

Any suggestions or comments welcome.

If not Tropea or Maratea, where?

Thanks, Linda
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 02:26 PM
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Bowen Island?

I'm with AP6380 (Hi!) - Sicily is a wonderful destination for beach lovers and history lovers.......and the food is tied for my favourite in Italy (tied with Puglia).

We spent two nights just outside of Tropea - it's a lovely little town - stayed at a resort called Villagio STromboli - not somewhere we would usually stay but all the hotels in Tropea were full (didn't have reservations) - anyway it turned out to be great.....we had a lovely apartment overlooking the sea - there's a good sized beach (a bit of a walk down or ride the golf carts) and the food was quite good.

But here's the best part about Tropea - you can fulfill your desire to visit Sicily from Tropea - there are boat trips to Stromboli (and from there you could go to one of my favourite places on the planet - Lipari).......if you're travelling alone at that point it might be easier than getting to Taormina and the Aeolian Islands are lovely.

I have more info if you would like.....here's a link to a web site with pictures of Villagio Stromboli - it's in German though.....

http://www.wonderland-travel.de/Isol...stromboli.html
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 07:19 PM
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Your initial idea to go to Sicily is the best. The Aeolian islands might fit your needs for beach time plus scenery and towns and archeology, and then there's the whole rest of Sicily to travel around.

I have no patience for people with those negative attitudes that you describe about Sicily, which usually reflect the kind of ignorance and/or bigotry I don't want to have to deal with. But since your friend probably has redeeming traits, maybe you can help her to get over her resistance to Sicily, which is arguably the most interesting region of Italy, with the richest and most complex cultural hsitory.

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Old May 3rd, 2005, 03:38 AM
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Hello Elizabeth! I have been to Venice, Rome, all over Sardinia, Maratea, several places in Calabria and Sicily. I must agree that Sicily was the most fascinating. If you can't get your friend to go, then you have to go on your own once she departs!
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 05:11 AM
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You really need more than a "few" days to get a quick sampling of some of the highlights of Sicily or to enjoy one spot in Sicily at leisure. It might be better to shift the proportion of time and spend most of your time in Sicily, whether alone or with your friend, if she can overcome her prejudices in time for the trip, with a shorter stop in one of the two other places you're considering.

However, if you do decide to spend a longer period in either Maratea or Tropea instead (I've never been to Tropea so can't comment), you might also consider spending an extended period visiting other places of interest in Calabria and/or Basilicata. I'm eager to go to Calabria myself, but except for the resorts, I have the impression that it may be somewhat more difficult for the tourist, especially women traveling alone, than Sicily. Basilicata, as of the time when I was there (2001, before the movie Passion of Christ attracted new attention to Matera, where part of it was filmed), except for some popular places like Matera and Maratea (and I assume also Metaponto, which I did not visit), was much less set up for tourism than Sicily or any other part of Italy I've visited so far, and that was a huge part of its attraction, but the people were among the most hospitable I've encountered anywhere. See http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34401476

The ignorance and negative stereotypes about Sicily are not limited to Americans, by the way. It's actually just as bad or even worse among Italians. See: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34577286
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 10:53 AM
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Elizabeth, yes, we're a Bowen Island family. Are you in the vicinity?

Thank you for the Stromboli suggestion and link. I've saved it to drool over later today.

CMT and AP, Sicily certainly has my vote but, on the other hand, possibly not visiting Sicily this trip isn't a terrible dilemma for me because I haven't been to much of Europe. My friend is fabulous, just doesn't like the idea of Sicily, but then I'm not much interested in the idea of visiting Switzerland, and without any good reason!

CMT, interesting you bring up Calabria: my husband and eldest son are making a pilrimmage to the village of Mommola, located in Calabria, along with my husband's siblings. Their maternal grandparents immigrated to Canada in the 1920s. Greatgrandma never learned to speak English, and Greatgrandpa only spoke a little. I've heard lots of wonderful stories about them, and southern Italy. Everyone is meeting tonight to further plan their trip.

Anyway, thanks everyonefor your comments and suggestions. Very much appreciated. Onward with more planning!

Cheers, Linda
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 11:00 AM
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How funny! My family isn't too far from Mommola, I've been there for dinner. That area is somewhat convenient for a daytrip to Tropea & to Taormina, albeit long ones. I did it this past August.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 12:33 PM
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AP, what did you think of Mommola? I've looked at the town's website and it looks charming.

My husband and group are thinking of flying into Rome... and that's about it to date. Is there a nice town/city in the area of Mommola that you would recommend as a base for visiting Mommola and that area of Calabria?
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 12:38 PM
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AP, I'm not thinking clearly. Blame it on the... coffee.

Just to confirm, the Maratea/Tropea suggestion is for my separate trip with a girlfriend.

For my husband and his group, I see that Tropea might be a base for them to visit Mommola (by the way, how was the food?) and that area of Calabria.

Any other suggestions for a base town/city for him?
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 01:02 PM
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Hi Linda - I'm in Toronto but a North Vancouver native....would love to move to Bowen - but the prices are nutso!

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Old May 3rd, 2005, 01:11 PM
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Elizabeth, ain't it so! Our family is, apparently by real estate standards (but none other!), wealthy.

Not that Toronto prices haven't gone through the roof as well!

Ah well... dreaming of Italy...
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 05:53 PM
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Mammola is about 70 km from Tropea, which is only 43 miles. But, you must take into consideration the kind of driving that it is- it would probably take 1 1/2 hrs each way. I guess it depends if your husband plans on spending a lot of time with his family. 1 1/2 hrs each way everyday for a few days would be draining.

I went on a daytrip to Gerace, which is a hill town. The driving to it is twisty-turvey, but it's a cute town and 18 miles from Mommola. I bookmarked a hotel that looked cute on the internet:

http://www.lacasadigianna.it/index.html

If your husband thinks he will only need to go to Mammola for a day, Tropea would probably be the best and most interesting place to stay. An interesting day trip from Gerace would be Stilo.
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