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Calling all Fodor Experts - First Time Europe / Italy

Calling all Fodor Experts - First Time Europe / Italy

Old Jan 11th, 2001, 07:06 AM
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Calling all Fodor Experts - First Time Europe / Italy

HELP - Planning trip to Italy for anniversary March 4 - 14. Lifelong dream to visit the Amalfi Coast. Will fly into Rome spend 2-3 days, rent Car and drive to Amalfi or Postiano for 3-4 days. Maybe then to Florence for 2-3 days and on to the Tuscany Region by car??? As Novices are we CRAZY to venture out alone by car? Hate tourist stuff and tours (Florida Natives). We're hopeless romantics that enjoy the landscape as the major attraction. How about itinerary? Places to go and stay? Travel by car or other means? Suggestions PLEASE!!!!!
Old Jan 11th, 2001, 07:25 AM
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My wife and I have done exactly that in different parts of Italy over the years.There is no better way and one gets used to the "Roman" ways very quickly - If you are driving up to Firence make sure not to miss San Gimignano , Siena and Pistoia all within 2 hrs from Firence.

Postiano is also stunning not to mention Sorrento-also don't miss a boat trip out to the "Blue Grotto" Exploring Capri must also be part of your plans.

Rome will be testing(due to its size and number of people but three days should suffice.

Old Jan 11th, 2001, 07:42 AM
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Pam, I cannot speak about southern Italy but driving from Rome to Florence was delightful. The autostradas are toll roads and the traffic moves quickly. In contrast to Florida, you use the left lane to pass and then get the hell out of the way - usually there will be someone on your bumper. I would try to plan so you can do Tuscany by car and drop the car in Florence. There is no way you want or need to drive in Florence - it is horrendous and it really is a walking town. You could then catch a train back to Rome for departure.

Off the Autostrada, the roads in Tuscany and Umbria were fun - good condition, good signage and great countryside. We rented the car in Rome and went to Montalcino and Montepulciano enroute to Castellina in Chianti where we stayed two nights - spent one day exploring Chianti and then the next day to Florence where we turned in the car and continued to Venice and the Riviera by train. I will include a post by Elaine about a map - it is wonderful and will help in your planning. e-mail me if you need more info.
Author: elaine ([email protected])
Date: 1/04/2001, 5:54 pm ET
Message: I haven't done this drive, but here is some info
For the Chianti region, there's a great, detailed map available free on the web.
www.monterinaldi.it/en/. Click on "The Map of Chianti Classico area", fill in your name & address on the next screen, and you'll get a map in the mail in a few weeks. It's 1:80,000 in scale,
so it's quite detailed. As a bonus, it shows exactly where all of the Chianti wine estates are located.

Old Jan 11th, 2001, 10:28 AM
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Pam, if you only have 9 days to see Italy then you need to decide on 3 destinations and not 4, and that will be pressing it. You will be using one full day in just travel time. I would also change the sequence. Start in Rome,
train to Florence, then get your car as you leave Florence--or, train all the way to Positano. The only place you will need a car is if you do Tuscany and I just do not see the time for that.
Lay it out day by day and include travel time, then decide what you can do with the time you have.
Old Jan 11th, 2001, 10:57 AM
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I tend to agree with the above, in terms of car vs train. IMO it is less stressful and most time effective to take a train between the majors (Rome/Florence etc.) Then pick up a car on the outskirts of say, Florence and drive through the countryside. Rome is definately not for the faint of heart, and trying to navigate in unfamiliar, frequently unmarked city streets with a bunch of other drivers who have a vastly different set of "driving values" could add stress to the most relaxed person on earth. Also as stated above Florence is a walking city for sure, no parking and tiny cobbled streets are not facilitating to cars. I honestly think, having done both driving and training, that you will have a much more enjoyable trip if you do trains+cars. Trains in Italy are inexpensive and pleasent, we really loved sitting in the dining car, sharing a glass of chianti and ending up at city center. The most important thing to remember is to pack lightly regardless of whether you take a train or a car. Happy Anniversary.

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