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First time Italy (by plane) half September 2013: tips?

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May 16th, 2013, 04:35 AM
  #1
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First time Italy (by plane) half September 2013: tips?

Hey

We'd (my boyfriend and I) like to fly to Italy for 10 days (from Belgium) for the first time. Seeing all the incredible things I've read here, I suspect it won't be our last trip to Italy!
I'm hesitating where to go though.

We'd like some peace and quiet, nature and good (vegetarian for me) food. No completely deserted spots though.
Not really into crowds so we'll probably won't do cities like Rome and Venice.

Will probably fly somewhere and travel by train if possible and fly from another city.
3 days here - 3 days there - 3 days somewhere else

I know my question is really broad but all suggestions are welcome. Have been brainstorming about:
- Genua - Cinque Terre + Tuscany (maybe Siena if possible)
- Amalficoast

Thanks so much!
misslorre is offline  
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May 16th, 2013, 05:23 AM
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You may have to adjust your thinking about crowds. The places on your wish list are well worth it but you have to expect crowds in most the places you have listed, especially Cinque Terre, Siena and the Amalfi Coast. These places are spectacular which is why they are crowded with tourists. Do some research, decide what appeals and where you want to go and we can probably be of some help.

I would spend 4 days in Rome and 6 on the Amalfi Coast, visiting Amalfi, Positano, Capri, and Pompeii. Others will have different suggestions. Good luck and enjoy planning - it is a big part of the fun.
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May 17th, 2013, 02:44 AM
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Hi mamcalice, thanks for your reply.
My wishlist is not final, the most important thing is that we relax and eat well. So if someone has other suggestions, thank you so much! I really don't know where to start, there's so much to see.
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May 17th, 2013, 04:26 AM
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I think you can fly cheaply from Brussels to Genoa, and it can be nice along the Mediterranean coast in September, especially before September 21. That part of Italy is also very vegetarian friendly.

If you don't like crowds, it is best to stay someplace other than le Cinque Terre, which will still be very crowded in September with tourists. Siena (and Florence) will also be very crowded with tourists. Think about staying in Arezzo instead if you don't like crowds and if you like good food and prefer a larger town, but one that is still relaxing. If you would enjoy staying in a true Tuscan village and eating well, the small town of Pistoia is between le Cinque Terre and Florence on the train line, and has wonderful food. It is a very pretty little Tuscan town with beautiful architecture and markets that tourists don't seem to know about. Starting in Pistoia, It is very easy to visit Florence. Pisa and Lucca by train.

You can fly back from Pisa or Florence airport.

Rome and the Amalfi coast will be absolutely mobbed with tourists.
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May 17th, 2013, 04:51 AM
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You want places in Italy that are really great to visit, that aren't crowded but aren't deserted, just kind of deserted. Then you list some of the most popular tourist spots in Italy as your likely destinations. This won't be easy.

steve has given you some good general advice. Pick a small town (Arezzo is a good recommendation) as your base, or more than one small town, and do day trips to the popular spots you mentioned as your favorites. That wouldn't necessarily be the way I'd go, but it might suit your needs of combining the sleepy with the popular.
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May 17th, 2013, 06:13 AM
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If you want to get away from the crowds then stay away from the coast during August and the early part of Sept. I'd look at

1) The Po valley, Bologna, Ferrara, Parma, Ravenna etc etc all with good train links, great food with vegi options all over, wonderful countryside, a fair bit of student presence and some great buildings many bicycle paths and bicycle friendly/rental activities so getting into the country is very easy.
2) Puglia, up on the Murge in particular so Martina Franca, Ostuni, Gravina you can get by with trains but you might need a car to get to all the ancient monuments and mountain tops. In this case historical poverty means that Vegi is very much part of modern culture.

If you decide on Tuscany I'd advise getting to the main visit spots at the end of the day as the tourist coaches are leaving. For instance I've been to St Gimignano twice, once in the evening and once during midday. The evening was lovely but during the day euch!
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May 17th, 2013, 06:15 AM
  #7
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Great info, thanks! Will look into all of them!
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