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First time travlers to Italy around the end of October for 2 weeks

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Aug 28th, 2009, 03:19 PM
  #21
 
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This place looks like just what I'd be looking for in the Maremma: cheap, on site restaurant, very private accommodations, lovely setting, ideal location

http://www.aione.it/index.php?option...emid=8&lang=en
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Aug 28th, 2009, 03:20 PM
  #22
 
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Oh, and they make their own wine.
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Aug 28th, 2009, 03:42 PM
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Ouch. Personally, I did find Naples interesting. I don't mean to sound like I am panning it. While all of us who have been to Rome can probably vouch for the presence of numerous pick-pockets, Naples really is a more dangerous place. I am surprised anyone would suggest otherwise. That doesn't mean it isn't interesting and yes, very clearly it is less touristy than Rome. As another poster has pointed out, there are reasons many tourists flock to certain areas. One of the most tourist-invested during my experience was CT. In any event, I think most of us are trying to be helpful here.
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Aug 28th, 2009, 04:07 PM
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This is the most recent document I could find online about crime comparisons for Rome, Vatican, Naples and Florence. The document was issued by the US Consulate in Rome and therefore, as it states, gives details about Rome that it says are applicable to Florence and Naples without further elaboration. But it is worth noting that the ONLY specific reference to crime in Napoli is about the prevalence of truck hijackings in the port (note to self: don't drive a truck into Napoli to get the line for the ferry to Capri).

And it defies belief that Napoli has anything near the more than " 1,000 velvet hand gangs operating in and around Rome whose specialty is pick pocketing" or that "A high degree of crime occurs at tourist areas in Rome, where tourists are the favorite targets. Tourists often possess large quantities of cash on their person and are easily distracted by the sights. Well-organized pick pocketing rings and other criminal elements work these areas intensely."

Any one using the Circumvesuviana in Napoli to get to supposedly safer Sorrento is likely to be sized up by pickpocketrs, so be aware. But to think that city is more "dangerous" than Rome to visitors is a misperception and a myth.


http://italy.osac.gov/page.cfm?pageID=1311
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Aug 28th, 2009, 04:27 PM
  #25
 
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I'll be nice enough only to post the link to this article rather than past the whole thing -- It's about the mythologizing of Napoli by other Italian natives and people who write travel articles for affluent American suburbanites. But it hits all the bells and provides plenty of factual information to counter the myth that Napoli is dangerous:

http://www.sersale.org/mancuso/naplepro.html
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Aug 28th, 2009, 05:38 PM
  #26
 
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Hi Zeppole, love the look of the B&B you posted in Maremma, I'm going to check out my map. Also some other good ideas here I can look.
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Aug 28th, 2009, 06:00 PM
  #27
 
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Er look AT!
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Aug 29th, 2009, 05:37 AM
  #28
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Hi all

Oh my, thanks to everyone for their input. I do appreciate all the suggestions and insight to traveling in Italy in October.

To answer the BIG question as to why we choose Italy for our European adventure, we have read several novels and seen movies with Italy as the backdrop. The scenery every where in Italy always seems inviting.

Our interests are varied. We went to California on a business trip and spent some time in Sonoma at a B&B on a vineyard. LOVED IT. We currently live on the coast in NC and feel like we are on a permanent vacation.

We enjoy just traveling around and exploring on our own. We are looking for an experience where we get to know the people, local food and wine and see what each area has to offer in landscape and culture. Of course, my husband would probably just prefer to eat great pasta and drink local wine. Which is not bad either.

We are not really experienced travelers. This trip, we hope, will be our start to getting "out of town" at least twice a year to see seeing different areas while we are still able and willing to handle international traveling.

Thanks and keep those comments coming ~
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Aug 29th, 2009, 06:50 AM
  #29
 
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I'm not sure those crime reports are accurate. The police in Naples resist filing the reports. I talked to several people that tried to file reports in Naples because their insurance/credit cards wouldn't cover reimbursement otherwise. The Naples police really didn't want to fool with it. I wonder how many tourists just give up when they meet such resistance?
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Aug 29th, 2009, 07:14 AM
  #30
 
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If the air deals are really much better in/out of Naples, then do that. Otherwise, check out fares for an open-jaw trip into Naples and out of Rome, or vice versa.

It sounds like you want a nature-oriented trip, and are not so interested in Rome, or the other big cities of Italy. That's fine - it's unfair of me, I know, but I get tired of reading about the "automatic" first trip to Italy being Rome-Florence-Venice. So it's nice to see trip planners who are thinking about what THEY enjoy more! (Not that Rome-Florence-Venice isn't enjoyable.)

For variety, consider one week in the Amalfi coast area, and one week "inland," in Tuscany. At the time of year that you'll be there, you'll have no problem with excessive tourists. We've visited Italy several times in mid-September to early October, and it's a great time of year to be there.
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Aug 29th, 2009, 07:51 AM
  #31
 
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Open jaws is a great idea if it works financially and frequently it doesn't make a lot of difference, in my experience. Utilizing most major European cit airports does not require going into the city at all, so if finances allow, I'd certainly vote for using the one which puts you closest to your destination. We spent a week on the Amalfi coast in March one year and loved it. We rented an apartment (more of a small house really) in Positano and used that as our base for exploring the area. Very little in the way of crowds and we were lucky with the weather. While we usually (but not always) pick urban areas for travel during the less weather friendly times of the year, we have found that the locals are more approachable and interested in visiting when its not the height of tourist season. In this sense, you could probably go anywhere at the end of October and find things quieter and less hectic anywhere in Italy. No doubt some will disagree with me, but if you have never driven in Europe, I would advise against driving in the Amalfi coast area in particular.
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Aug 29th, 2009, 08:46 AM
  #32
 
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"If it wasn't October, I'd encourage these people to follow their instinct and head straight to Cilento National Park and have a fantastic time"

I'd still advise them to do so! I have been to Cilento 5 times now, 4 of them in October. Last year the first two weeks of October were about as perfect as I could imagine. The tourists are mostly gone, you have the beaches to yourself, but it is still warm enough to swim. If you drive up into the hills and mountains, the leaves have started to turn and the views are stunning.

I cannot say I don't understand peoples concerns about Naples, but I do find that some do get paranoid about it. I don't like the area around the central station, and there are certainly areas I would not go after dark, but overall I find the city grubby and chaotic, but marvellously alive and fascinating.

A work colleague in her early 50s is over there now with her teenage son. She was warned off Naples (She is staying in Sorrento) and was quite nervous about it. She went into the city on her 2nd day in the region, and has been 4 more times in the week since - she loves it.
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Aug 29th, 2009, 08:56 AM
  #33
 
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Patti,

Are you checking kayak.com for your flights? Use the multi-city option to search for the best flights, depending on where you decide to spend your time in Italy. I would decide where I'm going and then book flights accordingly.
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Aug 29th, 2009, 01:08 PM
  #34
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Hi all

The current thinking is to fly into Naples. From there, go to Amalfi Coast area for about a week. Still unsure which town right now. I would like to find a good "base" location and do some traveling from there. My husband is looking at renting a car and using that for most of our traveling. I like the idea of using public transportation when seeing certain areas of the coast line. I think being able to enjoy the views rather than worrying about driving off the road sounds like a lot more fun to me. Then, perhaps, drive/take a train to Tuscany area and spend a few days there. Head to Rome for a day or 2 before we fly home from there.

Now, this travel plan is as of today. Right now, my husband is not keen on traveling north to the Tuscany area. Will there be a big difference in the weather? I like the idea of seeing another area of Italy. And, I read it is olive and wine harvest time in Tuscany, so that is another reason to be there.

What I would like to know is how flexible can we be with regard to making arrangements for accommodations in the Tuscany/Pisa area?

And, if anyone has a great reference for a place to stay in the coastal areas of the Amalfi coast. I'm all ears.

Again, thanks to everyone for their suggestions and insights for traveling in Italy. They are appreciated.

Grazie
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