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HELP ITALY OR SPAIN? can't decide which..

HELP ITALY OR SPAIN? can't decide which..

Mar 17th, 1999, 04:34 PM
  #1  
jan
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HELP ITALY OR SPAIN? can't decide which..

WE CAN'T DECIDE WHICH TO SEE. IF WE GO TO ITALY WE WOULD GO TO TUSCANY, FLORENCE ETC. POSSIBLY MILAN, VENICE, ROME. IF SPAIN,BARCELONA, PALMA MAJORCA,SEVILLE. WE WANT TO RENT A CAR IN EITHER CASE AND DRIVE THROUGH THE COUNTRY VILLAGES SO WE CAN GET A REAL FEEL FOR THE PEOPLE AND THEIR CULTURE AND FOOD. ALL SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME.WHEN TO GO, WHAT TO AVOID AND WHAT WE SHOULD NOT
MISS. WE ARE MID FIFTIES AND MAY TRAVEL WITH TWO OTHER COUPLES. THANKS IN ADVANCE... THIS FORUM IS GREAT AND HAS HELPED ME IN THE PAST.
 
Mar 17th, 1999, 09:14 PM
  #2  
Barbara
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Jan,
I don't think any place tops Italy for beauty, cuisine, charm and romance. But don't you think a steady diet of big cities might get tiresome? This is the mistake most American travelers make and then wonder why they come home exhausted and disappointed. Suggest you choose two of the cities and add some hill towns like Lucca or Siena, and some relaxing coastal area, such as the Ligurian Coast or Amalfi Coast towns. What is the length of your trip? It occurs to me that I might be telling you to do too much. And what time of year are you going?
 
Mar 18th, 1999, 05:59 AM
  #3  
Paul Rabe
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I've spent two weeks in both countries, and I'll vote for Italy (although EITHER place will be GREAT!). Italy just has a few more centuries of art and culture acculmulated. Barbara is absolutely correct on the need to SLOW DOWN, a lesson I learned the hard way. If you race from church to museum to village to garden in ANY country, you'll end up frazzled and harried, almost resentful that there's so much beauty.
 
Mar 18th, 1999, 09:08 AM
  #4  
v ictor
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Both countries are great. I love Spain
and his people but Italy too.
see Fodors travel on line and go to
Create you own miniguide. You will see
Vic
 
Mar 18th, 1999, 09:24 AM
  #5  
michele
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I love both countries, but would vote for Italy for all the reasons the others listed ( and I am going to Seville in two weeks). I have found Spain to be less crowded and less expensive...don't know if those are considerations for you. Also, Spain seems to be less travelled than Italy..but Italy has sooo much history. Oh well, it's a lovely problem and I would advocate slowing down also. Pick one area and explore it.
See www.karenbrown. for suggestions.





 
Mar 19th, 1999, 02:13 AM
  #6  
Marc
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I lived in Spain back in the early 80's...and I'd still vote to pick Italy if it was a vote for which of the two countries to see if I hadn't seen either. Be sure to spend at least 3 full days in Venice. Forget Milan.
 
Mar 19th, 1999, 09:07 PM
  #7  
shawnna
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i've been to both and i'd pick spain...such a beautiful country, wonderful food, friendly people...there's nowhere else like it.
 
Mar 20th, 1999, 06:35 AM
  #8  
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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Jan, Get a map of Spain and you will be
able to answer your own question. The best parts of Spain are too far apart.
Just try to travel from Seville to
Barcelona or from Barcelona to San Sebastian---all of the good places are in the corners of Spain and require alot of travel time. Italy is your best
option---lots to see and do with less travel time and hassle. Buon Viaggo !
 
Mar 28th, 1999, 04:46 PM
  #9  
John S.
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I've been to Italy twice and am planning a trip to Spain/Majorca this summer. I would suggest renting a car to travel through Tuscany, where you MUST stop in Siena. Venice is also MAGICAL. Travelled in late Sept/early Oct and over Thanksgiving, which was much less crowded and the weather moderate (50s-60s). I suggest skipping Milan and Rome might be too far south if you're touring around Tuscany. Good Luck!
 
Mar 28th, 1999, 08:48 PM
  #10  
Bill Fleites
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Italy!!! The history, the art, the culture, the food, the gelato, and the wonderful people.
 
Mar 29th, 1999, 12:38 PM
  #11  
Susan
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It's a shame you have to choose! Both are fabulous countries. I've lived in Spain and traveled through Italy, and I have to vote for Spain. You'll run into less Americans, and see cultures you're unfamiliar with in a beautiful environment. I'd recommend renting a car in Barcelona and driving up the Costa Brava, which is beautiful (try staying in hotels off the coast to save money), then perhaps train to another city and drive from there - Madrid/Toledo is lovely, or Granada. Also, try the paradores (national hotels in castles, monastaries and other historically significant sites) for a great splurge. Whichever you choose, I hope you have a great time!
 
Apr 1st, 1999, 06:37 AM
  #12  
cpyounger
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I recommend Spain. They have Art(including roman,visigod,moorish),nice people,good food and wine.AH, and gelato!!!
 
Apr 2nd, 1999, 11:53 AM
  #13  
Marianna
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Have been to Italy three times and lived in Spain for a short while, love both countries.......but if I had to choose it would be Italy and for all of the reasons listed above. Skip Milan without a doubt, Florence and Venice are amazing. I agree with the "slowing down" advice, stick to two major cities and visit some of the smaller towns. That is where you really get a feel for the country and it's culture.
 
Apr 3rd, 1999, 01:20 PM
  #14  
Dave Hutchinson
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I have also been to both Italy and Spain, as a matter of fact my wife and I are going back to Spain for 10 days Tuesday..Madrid, Toledo, Segovia and Costa del Sol. Both countries are terrific, but like most, if I had to make a choice I would also choose Italy. We loved Florence, Orvieto (Medieval village near Florence) and Pompei and Sorrento. Fabulous art, great food, expensive shopping (I always buy ties in Italy..the best buy!)

-Dave-Safety Harbor, FL
 
Apr 21st, 1999, 02:52 PM
  #15  
Maria
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I have never been to Italy but have repeatedly loved Spain, the food, the people, the history, etc...I think it is far less travelled than Italy, especially off-season. The highlights of Spain are definitely Madrid (the Prado), Seville (pure magic), the white towns (driving thru Southern Spain and the mountains), Granada and Cordoba. If you can afford it at all, don't miss the paradors...you can stay in them or definitely dine in them even if you are not an overnight guest...they always have typical regional cuisine and you can't go wrong with anything on the menus...Good Luck...
 
Apr 21st, 1999, 03:50 PM
  #16  
Cheryl Z.
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We just returned home from our first trip to Spain and while we enjoyed it thoroughly, I'd still recommend Italy. Have been to Italy several times. However, Spain (and Portugal) are two of the least expensive countries we've been to in Europe so if finances are an issue, you might want to consider that. Both countries have much to offer, wonderful food and wine, nice people (both drive like maniacs too!) and language generally not a problem. Actually, you can't miss, picking either! Have a wonderful trip.
 
Apr 22nd, 1999, 03:30 PM
  #17  
Jules
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I've been to both Spain and Italy and, no offense to the Spaniards, Italy wins out out, hands down. A friend and I traveled from Milan down to Naples and stopped at places in between via train. The country is beautiful, the people are friendly and the food is fantastic.

If you do end up opting for Spain, I would definitely recommend renting a car. If I end up going back to Spain, I would take a pass from the major cities (not all that different from any other large european city) and travel instead through all the hill towns. I really loved the town of Ronda and wish that I had spent more time there.
 
Jul 22nd, 1999, 04:26 AM
  #18  
janne
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It may be that Italy has more to offer in culture, but if I'd like to spend a relaxing holiday I'd vote for Spain. I've tried to brainwash myself to like Italy, because of its marvellous culture and great sight, but it just doesn't seem to work for me. I've never really felt at home in Italy even if I've visited it several times. If it wasn't for the sights, Rome would be perhaps one of the most unsympathetic capitals in Europe to visit. Polluted, dirty, over-crowded, horrible traffic, forlorn public transport, tourist ripp-offs, bad food. I like the north more, though, especially Florence, Verona, Vicenca and Bolzen. It feels more civilized. I don't know whether it is only my prejudiced mind, but somehow everything always feels more easygoing and relaxing in Spain. Things work out. Seville is a jewel, as are other large Andalucian towns. Many prefer Barcelona to Madrid and I can see their point. But Madrid is awesome as well, as are many of the adjacent towns such as Toledo and Segovia.
 
Jul 22nd, 1999, 12:14 PM
  #19  
Jeanie
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I would choose Italy in a heartbeat. Maybe it is different by car, but I found Spain to be hard to get around. The trains are really long (6+ hours from madrid to barcelona) and expensive. I wasn't fond of the people there either, between them blowing smoke in my face and being rude I had had enough of spain.
In italy there is so much to do in a smaller area. There are great cities to see but also more relaxing places, like the Riviera, the lake district, the towns of tuscany. Where else can you get Alps and palm trees? Plus the food is fantastic and the people super nice.
 
Jul 25th, 1999, 11:33 AM
  #20  
Thomas Nastos
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Pick one and then next time go to the other. Spain is my choice but you need to be selective. You probably can't go wrong. Italy, well, avoid getting fleeced, hide your valuables. For comfort and seeing a lot, try the Perillo Tour Off the Beaten Track. You see an awful lot in both large and small cities. We took it several times.
My soul is in Spain.
 

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