driving in Italy

Old Jun 18th, 2012, 08:36 AM
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driving in Italy

We would like to drive from Venice to Ascoli Piceno to visit student traveling abroad in early October, then possibly head to Naples and back up to Florence before returning to Venice.
Is this realistic to do in a week? Any suggestions as other destinations could be substituted for Naples.
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 08:43 AM
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The drive is possible but you won't get much sightseeing in. I would try to do this trip by train or bus rather than all this driving.

>

I don't think there is any substitute for Naples. You plan to go out of your way to go to Naples and then ask for a substitute city? I don't get it. If you don't want to go to Naples then head directly to Rome.
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 09:14 AM
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Is this realistic to do in a week?>>

no. Venice to Ascoli is about 500 kms and will take over 5 hours according to viamichelin.com; and Ascoli to Naples won't be much less. then you have Naples to Florence and Florence to Venice - which altogether is a total of at least 3 days driving out of a 7 day trip.

presumably you want to spend some time there with the said student? and some time in Naples? you can't do it all, and IMO would need more like 14 days to accomplish what you have here.

Any suggestions as other destinations could be substituted for Naples.>>

you mention florence - whilst not exactly en route going back, it's at least more in the right direction, though having a car there would be a handicap. i would suggest returning the car when you get there and getting the train back to venice, or staying somewhere like Fiesole outside Florence and using the bus to get in and out.

Rome is also a possibility, and again you would not want a car and could get the train back to Venice, but you would really have to miss out florence.

alternatively, go to Naples from Ascoli, but fly straight back to venice at the end of the week.

nothing i have heard or read makes me think that i would want a car in Naples.
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 09:14 AM
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I would skip Naples---too far---and enjoy rural Umbria and/or Tuscany.
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 09:29 AM
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Thank you so much for the suggestions! Other than flying into Venice and visiting Ascoli we have an open slate and I was basically throwing darts thinking we could drive anywhere as we are used to long car trips. More realistic ideas for a first time visit to Italy?
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 11:29 AM
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rquinn - if you go to the viamichelin website you can try out many combinations using the trip planner function, just put in your leaving point and destination, and any points along the way. you might like to add something onto driving times, but it will give you the general idea.

as for other places to go, are you locked into flying into and out of Venice? if so, you might like to stick to places between there and Ascoli. you would not be lacking in choice - Bologna, Verona, Modena, Ravenna, Ferrara, ..more than enough for a 7 day trip.

if you could fly out of Rome [look for the "multi-city" option as opposed to the "round trip"] then you might make it to Naples - but i would suggest doing only Venice-Ascoli - Naples, with a train ride on the penultimate day to rome to get your flight home.

personally i would go for the Venice-Ascoli-venice option as you will see more places in the limited time you have.
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 12:00 PM
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>

With just a week and flying into/out of Venice, I suggest splitting your time between Venice and the Ascoli Piceno area, with the drive in between. They are both great places to visit. A week isn't much, time will fly and you'll probably wish you had more time for both Venice and the Ascoli Piceno area.
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 12:10 PM
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thank you for the suggestions - I will check out the viamichelin site! Any tips or warnings about driving in Italy?
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 12:12 PM
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You need an International Driver's Permit.
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 01:01 PM
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Most towns/cites have restricted zones where you aren't allowed to drive. You also need to learn the road signs. Here are a few.
http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/road_s..._signs_cr2.htm
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 01:43 PM
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How about skipping Florence and instead visit Bologna and coast of Rimini? It is not impossible to do the destinations you first suggested, but you would be travelling most of the time because of the long distances, and you would miss out on sightseeing.

So if you really want to visit three places I would do either Venice, Ascoli Piceno and Bologna/Rimini, or else skip Bologna/Rimini, stay longer in Venice and do day trips from Venice (find accommodation in mainland not on Venice island) to Verona, or Padova or south Lake Garda area like in Peschiera del Garda.

Again, I do think you do have too a short time to include Naples, maybe if you can add another three days, that may be a different story. Although I would still catch the plane back from Rome, it is still a shorter distance from Ascoli Piceno, or better still take flight back from Bologna airport - no point in driving back to Venice.

Another lovely city which came to my mind right now is Trento (we also visited last December).

Even though you won't be travelling in the peak tourist season, it is still not easy to drive in Naples - we drove along its harber to vist Amalfi Coast, Pompeii etc, but never even considered driving to its centre. We drove in Rimini last December, it is a nice coast of Emilia Romagna, and would be easy for sure to drive around in October, as it would be out of season. There is a nice Italy in Miniature park, if I remember well in Riccione that is well worth a visit. We wanted to go for a day to Bologna but ran out of time.

As other suggested, I would certainly not make more than three stops, and omit Naples altogether. Bologna is directly on your route from Venice to Ascoli Piceno, so if I were you I would consider stopping there on the way. Florence is not too much out of the way either if you are really determined to visit, you would be lengthening travel a little bit more.

Did you plan to stop in Venice or just to land? And how many days did you intend to stay in Ascoli Piceno? Did you book flight back home from Venice already?
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 01:55 PM
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thanks for all the great insights. Back and forth from Venice - yes 2 nights in Venice on front end - plan to stay in Ascoli area for 2 nights over weekend. That leaves 3 nights free with a flight out early afternoon. I know the Naples idea was not well thought out.... Any suggestions on must see spots is greatly appreciated.
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 01:59 PM
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Bologna, Ravenna, Ferrara, Modena - take your pick!

Why not get hold of a decent guidebook like the michelin green guide and decide which appeals most?
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 02:35 PM
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Hi there, we live near Ascoli Piceno and the stunning Le Marche area and there is so much to see here, we are sure you would love it. I would suggest maybe getting the train down from Venice to either Ancona or San Benedetto and picking up a car there. There is a hire car office right near Ancona train station.

We normally go on the train to Venice as it is much more relaxing and a great journey along the coast. Also if you travel at certain time, you can get a one way ticket of €19. From San Benedetto it is a 30 minute drive to Ascoli. From here it is 2 hours 45 mins to Rome. There is also a very good bus service to Rome. We have apartments in Amandola and know quite a bit about the area if you would like any more help. Hope you have a great trip.
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 03:58 PM
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thank you so much for your ideas about taking the train and picking up a car in Ancona! Do you have any suggestions on a place to stay in Ascoli? How far away is Amandola? What sites would be on the top of your list to visit in the area? We are active and do not mind a lot of walking or hiking to get places.
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 10:42 AM
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Any suggestions on where to stay in the general Ascoli area?
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 12:09 PM
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@Sarah_Topps--we are going to be in Ascoli Piceno area for approximately 5 days in late October. This is my father's birthplace and I want to spend enough time to really get a feel for the area. It is my hope to find my dad's relatives still alive in Ascoli. Someone suggested staying in Umbria and using the new highway to get back and forth to Ascoli. I am still leaning towards staying the entire time in Le Marche. Do you have suggestions for apartments in or near Ascoli? If I were to stay in Umbria is that trip reasonable on the new highway? Thanks!
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