First trip to Italy-Amalfi coast?

Apr 15th, 2007, 02:33 PM
  #1  
Ani
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First trip to Italy-Amalfi coast?

I posted last week about visiting Italy next spring with my husband and 2 children (aged 18 mo and 4 at that time). As of yesterday I was mostly leaning toward a week in tuscany (Val D'Orcia) and a week in Umbria (?) but now I'm considering the Ravello area. We want to stay in agriturismos or apartments or similar for the most part. the thing with the amalfi coast is that we dont have as many places we'd like to visit as we do further north and are not sure that its "worth" a week there for our first visit to Italy. I'm basically clueless and just trying to get some opinions on the regions. Any will help-thanks!
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Apr 15th, 2007, 03:20 PM
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Ani,
My trip report may help http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34811101

Henry
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Apr 15th, 2007, 07:54 PM
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Ani-I would not advise starting with the Amalfi Coast-I would start with the art cities-Rome, Venice, Florence-you want to get a sense of the grandeur and the antiquity of Italy-this is where to start. Why not rent an apartment in one of these cities and do day trips? You want to be in Tuscany, you can stay in an apt. in Florence and do many lovely day trips, Pisa, San Gimignano, Lucca, Siena, then take the train down to Rome, rent an apartment and see the magnficent sites there by doing the hop on hop off buses (excellent value, and you have 3 separate double-decker buses to choose from: the red bus-the famous sites of Rome, the yellow "cristiana" bus-that stops at the important basilicas and churches, and third, the Archeobus-which will take you to the fascinating necropoli, the Appian Way, of Rome. These bus tickets are for 24 hours, and cost 13 Euro-an excellent value. Your children would love this.

For a first trip, I would not think of staying in some agriturismo in a small town-you have to get the big picture, to see the grand sites of Italy first, otherwise, you won't really feel as if you have been touched by the grandeur of its antiquity and patrimony to the world.
Girlspytravel is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 09:24 PM
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We travelled a lot in Europe when our kids were small. One of our tenets was that we would get babysitters whenever possible so that we could enjoy the museums, leisurely lunches etc.- meanwhile the kids would be enjoying themselves in their own ways. It worked pretty well in Italy where the lovely castle village we stayed at, Gargonza, in our own house, arranged very nice babysitting (our kids were 4.5 and 18 mo on that trip.We'd come home, cook dinner, put the kids to bed, go out and look at the amazing stars over the valley.They had quite a nice outdoor restaurant, with a little playground next to it in a safe place so if the kids got bored while we were finished up dinner, they could wander over there. It worked very well on a couple trip to London where an agency, Childminders, sent in lovely young women who took the kids out to the parks, etc, and in a scottish village. Adequately but not so well in Rome where the arrangement we found was asort of a day care facility. Since our kids always had a babysitter on weekdays at home, there was no disconnect when we did the same thing on a trip. the times we took them along on our outings- well I vividly remember my little daughter going down on her knees and competing with pigeons in the campo in Siena for pieces of dried bread. Or not being able to sit through a lunch in Sansepolcro. Its just hard to get full benefit from your trip with the kids in tow.

I think that going to a lower stress environment, such as an agroturismo is a valid approach to travelling with small kids. Staying in an apartment or house is also a big plus.

Having just been in Ravello I dont think its particularly suitable for this kind of visit, with all the steep hills,cliffs and steps. If you're planning to use a stroller, it would be a huge pain and mostly you are on foot, not travelling by car. Also, car travel around there is more than a bit white-knuckle. Once we got to Ravello our car was parked til we had to leave. Its a wonderful place, Id go back in a minute, but its more of an an adult place, great for walking in the hills, concerts,dining, etc. Tuscany or even maybe Sicily (you are talking spring) might work better.

Venice could be a good visit with kids, with the nice smooth "streets" lack of cars, boats, and canals and bridges and great markets for fun. There, the attraction is the city, not so much museums and there not so many things you must do. There are a lot of apartments available for rent. It would be a good contrast to a week in the country.
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Apr 16th, 2007, 06:54 AM
  #5  
ira
 
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Hi Ani,

I'd stick to Tuscany and Umbria, if you want a very calm and relaxing visit.

Although the scenery is gorgeous, Ravello is up in the hills above the AC. There ain't all that much to do.

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Apr 16th, 2007, 12:05 PM
  #6  
Ani
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Thanks everyone for your response. Although our main goal is calm and relaxing, the idea of renting an apartment in a city for the first week is growing on me. However, I dont know that I want it to be Venice. any other ideas for this? Maybe Siena? It would be North, as our 2nd week will most likely be Val D'Orcia.
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Apr 16th, 2007, 12:40 PM
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Ani
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Never mind-Siena is too far Sotuh. Lucca? We'd really like to day trip to Venice and florence at some point in our trip but I suppose Florence could be the 2nd half. So something closer to Venice perhaps?
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Apr 16th, 2007, 12:56 PM
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Really, the almafi coast is beautiful,

check out sorrento, capri, positano, almafi and the volcano area. It's worth the trip down. Especially if your already going to see Rome.

www.nomadwannabe.com
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Apr 17th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Is is possible to do a day trip from Rome to the Amalfi Coast? If so, can you recommend a tour company and/or limo service?

Thanks
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Apr 17th, 2007, 02:11 PM
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ira
 
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Hi We,

>Is it possible to do a day trip from Rome to the Amalfi Coast?

Yes, but why?

What's the rest of your itinerary?

ira is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 02:30 PM
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I will be doing a TA cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Civitavecchia and would like to spend a week in Rome...have never been.

We will have 12 hours in Livorno (Florence) prior to disembarking in Rome. I guess I just wanted to do everything, but, you brought me back to reality.
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Apr 17th, 2007, 06:45 PM
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Im thinking of Venice for a city visit because its pedestrian, not hilly and most manageable with strollers (tho there are the bridges to contend with). Siena is very hilly. Florence, would also be suitable, Rome, tho it too has its hills, ...
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Apr 18th, 2007, 06:06 AM
  #13  
Ani
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No stroller to contend with-we use the backpack for the littlest one.
Soooo-any thoughts on staying in Lucca?
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Apr 18th, 2007, 06:16 AM
  #14  
ira
 
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Hi we,

>..would like to spend a week in Rome.

In that case, you could train to Salerno, take the ferry to Amalfi, take the SITA bus to Meta, take the Circumvesuviana to Naples and take the train back to Rome.

It's a long day, but you will see the AC, if the weather is good.

Train schedules are at http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html

For Ferry schedules Positano Amalfi - Salerno (P.zza della Concordia):
See http://tinyurl.com/j4ufa


ira is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 07:27 AM
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We spent about 4 days in Lucca and got a little bored. It is flat, though, and there are a lot of villas in the Lucca area to visit. Plus you could train to Pisa, Florence, etc.

I love Venice, as do slightly older kids. But you'd have to hold on to the little one all the time. Even the 4-year-old might be in danger of falling in the water.

And, yes, save the Amalfi coast for later.

I think Rome would be a good city base or maybe Florence. But an agriturismo would be best.
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