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SusanAlexandra Sep 21st, 2004 01:12 PM

Amalfi Coast or Tuscany - which one, and where to stay?

We would like to take our honeymoon in late March/early April 2005.

Firstly - how is the weather in Italy then?

Also, we want to relax, but can't sit all day we were thinking of doing Tuscany or the Amalfi Coast. Which one would you recommend, and do you have any suggestions of places to stay?

We live in Montreal, Canada, and don't have an unlimited budget.

Thank you!

nytraveler Sep 21st, 2004 03:57 PM

Well, the weather will be distinctly warmer than Montreal - but only warmish.

Where to stay depends on if you prefer the countryside or the seashore. If it were me I would do Tuscany - since IMHO its kind of early for the Amalfi coast - not beach weather yet - and these resorts really benefit from that.

How long do you have. You might soend some time in Florence and then in one of the smaller towns - with day trips from there.

Pls provide more info on your # of days, budget, interests (strolling in florence, seeing a church or museum, window shopping and then some drinks on the roof at sunset can be very relaxing - unless you really want a tiny town.)

ira Sep 22nd, 2004 05:59 AM

Hi Susan,

It will be early for the Amalfi Coast, but not unreasonable.

Is there a reason why you have left out Venice?

Kate Sep 22nd, 2004 06:15 AM

Don't listen to Ira, I think concentrating on one of these 2 areas will be perfect.

You really can't go wrong with either - they're both beautiful places to tour.

So it really comes down to what you enjoy doing.

Tuscany is the heartland of the italian renaissance, so if you're in the least bit interested in history, art and archictecture then you will be tripping over some of the world' most spectular. You could spend a year here and not get bored. From the renaiissance magnificence of Renaiisance Florence to the medieval charm of Sienna to numerous ancient hilltowns.

Add in rolling hills, endless vinyards, etruscans ruins, Tuscan cuisine (which is trendy now even in Rome) and the best wine that Italy produces, and, well, I don't need to go on.

Then you have the Amalfi coast: dramatic scenery, elegant resorts much loved by wealthy Italians and the best roman ruins you'll find anywherre (Pompeii and Herculaneum). If you go to Capri, make sure you stay overnight - there's nothing worse than glimpsing this beautiful island over the heads of a million day trippers.

I would say that I think Tuscany is easier to drive through (the Amalfi coast road has to be seen to be believed, just cross your fingers round those bends) and has more to hold my interest. The Amalfi coast is more about wandering around lovely little streets looking for the next glass of limoncello.

Your choice, I have loved both but Tuscany draws me back at least twice a year.

Amalfi coast will be slightly warmer, but don't plan on any sunbathing just yet. Both areas CAN get very pleasant weather (low-high 60sF) at that time, but don't bank on it.

mamc Sep 22nd, 2004 06:16 AM

I agree with Ira. Venice is the perfect place for a honeymoon. I would select Tuscany and plan from there.

sognatrice2 Sep 22nd, 2004 06:18 AM

I've been to the Amalfi Coast twice at this time of year, and I think it's glorious, and not yeat crowded.
I have had a couple of rainly days, but the weather was mostly sunny and beautiful.
If you want to relax, but also like physical activity, there is some magnificent hiking there. Hi to Montreal from NY!

Dick Sep 22nd, 2004 06:37 AM

Any particular day hikes that you would reccomend?

SusanAlexandra Sep 22nd, 2004 07:24 AM

WOW - you have all gotten me even more excited! Glad to hear about the warmish weather - we don't need hot, but like pleasant, sunny, breezy days!

As for budget - would like to spend about $5,000 to $6,000 Canadian for 2 weeks (keep in mind, we are hoping to use points for one ticket) - do you think this is possible, or am I crazy? (-;

As for interests - strolling, visiting history and museums, EATING, and hiking are all up our alley! A real mix of everything! We definitely like off the beaten path, and real, authentic places - not too touristy!

It sounds like Tuscany is better - do you think that we should stay in Florence and base ourselves from there?

Thanks again!

mgfit Sep 22nd, 2004 07:23 PM

We just returned from a wedding/honeymoon trip to Italy (we got married in Positano). You can read my trip review I posted last week. This was our second trip to Italy. I have been to Tuscany and Amalfi. I personally felt the Amalfi Coast was magical and romantic. I would recommend that. Don't get me wrong, I loved Tuscany too - I just felt more relaxed and laid back on the coast and the scenery was SPECTACULAR!

As far as reasonable hotels....we loved where we stayed in Positano - Villa La Tartana. It was only 150 euros per night including breakfast delivered to your room every morning. They set up breakfast with a linen table cloth and everything right on our balcony overlooking the sea. I loved it every morning. It was wonderful. Read my trip review for details on restaurants and things we did. There are great day trips from there including Amalfi, Sorrento, Salerno, Capri - all available by boat. It was truly the best trip I have ever taken! If you have more specific questions, [email protected]

Good luck

Aine Sep 23rd, 2004 04:15 PM

Why not listen to Ira? he is most helpful and experienced on this board and I always want his input!

Ira, thank you for helping me plan many excellent trips. A

SeaUrchin Sep 23rd, 2004 04:35 PM

I think Tuscany would be great that time of year for all the reasons Kate mentioned. There are much more things to do during the cooler months in Tuscany, nothing would be better than the warming Tuscan food in the early Spring.

Henry Sep 23rd, 2004 04:47 PM

Look at an agriturismo (an apartment on a vineyard) to keep expenses down.
Try southern Tuscany (Siena, Pienza, Montepulciano, Bagno Vignoni, Sant Antimo, Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Buonconvento, Murlo). The driving is easy and the food and wine in each town is special. If you want more information e-mail me.

padbrasher Sep 23rd, 2004 06:17 PM

I have been toying with the idea of taking my family to Naples/Amalfi Coast during springbreak (last 2 weeks of March). We had a wonderful trip last March to Venice, Siena & Rome with very pleasant weather (60's and no rain). Am I being overly optimistic to hope for even warmer days in southern Italy? I wanted to combine the Naples & Pompei/Herculaneum ruins with some relaxing fun-in-the-sun time on the coast.

Second choice is Andalusia...although Italy sounds more appealing right now.

SusanAlexandra Sep 24th, 2004 06:58 AM


I never answered you - I have actually been to Venice (though my fiancee has not), and I was not in love with it. I won't rule out going back, because it may have just been a bad experience - but I thought that it was going to be my favourite place in Western Europe and it was not - I found it annoying to get around and VERY humid, which I hate. Bu I was there in August 2000 on a backpacking trip, so the whole mentality was different!

Maybe I will look into again. Any recommendations of a nice place to stay that's not too outrageously priced?


panucci Sep 25th, 2004 09:33 AM

Tuscany would be less expensive. You could also spend one or two days in Cinque Terre which is very beautiful and again not as expensive as the Amalfi Coast. I am not too sure of the weather in April. Try this site for weather info

ira Sep 25th, 2004 09:47 AM

Hi Aine,

Thanks for the kind words.

ira Sep 25th, 2004 10:04 AM

Hi SA,

>...I was there in August 2000 on a backpacking trip, ...<

That might explain it.

For 2 weeks, you might want to consider flying into Venice for 3-4 days, followed by a week motoring through Tuscany, 3-4 days in Florence and flying home from Florence, Pisa or Venice.

>Any recommendations of a nice place to stay that's not too outrageously priced?<

Some reasonably priced places that have been recommended:

SusanAlexandra Sep 27th, 2004 09:17 AM

Thanks Ira - you know your stuff!

I was in Cinque Terre in 2000, and thought at the time that it was the best honeymoon place! I will look into the weather, as I was under the impression that it was chilly March/April.

Does anyone know of an affordable but really nice place to stay in any one of the towns in Cinque Terre?

Thanks again everyone for your great help!


jabez Sep 27th, 2004 10:48 AM

"Warmish" in March and early April???
I suppose ,if I lived in Montreal ,I might define it that way.
It's ,obviously, very hard to predict the weather. This May, north Italy and Tuscany especially, was quite cold and very rainy.
Figure the further south you go, the more "warmish" it'll be.
Everyone here has there personal favorites. That's one of the reasons this site is helpful, diversity.
I personally love Tucany AND (unmentioned) Umbria. I also love Rome, Como,etc. After all, what's not to love in Italy.
Make a choice ,water or hills. Don't expect to be using any beaches that time of year though.
I'll be returning to Rome, Tuscany and maybe the Piedmont area next April . Although we had some cool/rainy weather this May, it doesn't scare us from trying April this year.
In many ways ,it's better than the heat of '03.

cheryllj Sep 27th, 2004 03:32 PM

For a honeymoon? I vote the Amalfi Coast! Tuscany is lovely, but the Amalfi Coast (in particular, Amalfi, Ravello and Positano) is just magical and incredibly romantic.

I would think that the weather would be very pleasant in March. I was just there recently and it was much hotter than I would have preferred (and I'm from the Deep South of America and know a thing or two about hot).

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