help me pick italy destinations!

Jul 6th, 2008, 07:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 86
help me pick italy destinations!

help me pick my destinations / itinerary for my italy trip!

here are my criteria:
- 12 to 16 days (including travel)
- end of june, beginning of july next year
- have already been to rome, florence
- considering lake como, cinque terre, amalfi coast, capri, ... suggestions?

the things i am looking for in my vacation, in approximate order of priority are:
1) good food (both restaurant and farmer's markets for home cooking)
2) beautiful setting
3) least touristy spots, good weather

what do you think? and which airport should i fly into?
tjhsu is offline  
Jul 6th, 2008, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
You should either stick to northern Italy, or southern Italy, and not try to combine both.

All the places you've naped are extremely touristy in summer.

For food and variety, you might enjoy the region of Amalfi, but if you want to get away from tourists, don't pick Positano and Capri. Instead, head to places like Salerno, which still gives you access to the Amafli coast and the islands.

I might choose Ischia or Procida over Capri if I wanted to escape tourists. Or else book some time in Anacapri, and don't leave the island to avoid being a daytripper.

If you look south of Ravello, and do some research, you can find some marvelous nature spots with great beauty, and occasionally dip into the touristy parts further up the coast. (Check out the area of Cilento, Salerno, Santa Maria de Castelabate).

Now everybody will jump in and tell you to go to Positano!

Fly into Napoli or Roma.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 6th, 2008, 08:48 PM
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Everything will be touristy in June or July. I actually might do this tour.

4 days in Rome.

Rent a car and drive from Rome to Florence and explore Tuscany for 4 days along the way and visit hill towns.

3 days in Florence

3 or 4 days in Venice.
galaxygrrl200 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2008, 09:50 PM
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You could try somewhere like Umbria, which is slightly less touristy but still has amazing amounts to see.
Nonconformist is online now  
Jul 6th, 2008, 10:02 PM
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that is a nice idea. I've been there in July, it's not as bad as Tuscany
galaxygrrl200 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2008, 10:28 PM
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I suggest the Asti/Alba/Bra area of Piemonte with a couple of days in (pick one) Torino, Lake Maggiore, Lake Como or Cinque Terre.

Great food and wine; white truffles, barolo and spumante in particular. The birthplace of Vermouth and Nutella, if that interests you. Bra is the center of the Slow Food movement. The area has mountains, castles, vineyards. Very picturesque.

Although there can be hot days, daytime temps would probably be in the 70s and overnight temps in the 60s. More rain in June than July and a little more likely than in the places you mentioned.

Fly into Milan or Torino.
Jean is offline  
Jul 6th, 2008, 11:11 PM
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I don't know what the weather is like in summer (assuming hot), but the food in Tuscany and Umbria is amazing. We had one fabulous meal after another. That and wonderful scenery. Umbria might be a little less crowded than Tuscany.
luvtotravel is offline  
Jul 7th, 2008, 04:38 AM
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As galaxygrrl200 said, you'll encounter tourists wherever you go in Italy at that time of year. That's especially true of the spots with a "beautiful setting".

We've found that, even at the most favorite tourist destinations (except Florence), it's easily possible to get free of the hordes. That should not be a reason to not visit these beautiful places.

We don't find Tuscany to be "crowded" nor "as bad as...". But Tuscany is not on your list (neither is Venice for some reason).

For 12 to 16 days, either The Italian Lakes + Ticino (not just Lake Como) would be ideal.

So would The Amalfi Coast + Capri (several nights there).

The Cinque Terre is good for maybe 2-3 days and is isolated from your other targets...
TuckH is offline  
Jul 7th, 2008, 05:43 AM
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Posts: 16,511
I agree with Zeppole to not mix north and south. Plan 3 trips now since you will return. Here are some to consider:
After 23 trips to southern Europe, and having developed more than 180 customized TRIP PLANS for others, I am now older and hopefully wiser. Here is an updated version of my favorite itineraries & my “Bella Italia” photo gallery. I hope you enjoy.

1. BELLA ITALIA: Five destinations in 15 days—car & train travel
* Arrive in Milan[MXP] & depart from Venice[VCE]or vice versa.
* Itinerary to include the Italian Lakes, Ligurian coast, rural
Tuscany, Florence, & Venice. Suggested timing is 3-2-4-2-4.
* Option: Drop the coast & rent a villa in Tuscany[ 3-7-2-3].
* Best time to go: May & June or Sept. & Oct.

2. LA DOLCE VITA: Three destinations in 12 to 14 days-car & train
* Arrival & departure from Rome[ FCO] or arrival in Naples
* Itinerary to include Rome, the Amalfi coast, and Tuscany
* Best time to go: Easter to end of October
* Option: Fly into Naples & stay at 2 locations on the coast

3. CLASSIC ITALIA: Three destinations in 12 to 14 days-car & train
* Arrival & departure from Rome—may start trip in Florence
* Destinations to include Florence, Rome & Tuscany/Umbria
* Best time to go: Anytime, but May & Oct. are my favorites
* Option: Consider a weekly rental in Tuscany/Umbria

4. SICILIAN CHARMS: Five destinations in 15 days—car travel
* Connections to Catania & Palermo via Rome or gateway city.
* Itinerary to include Taormina, Siracusa, Palermo & more.
* Best time to go: March to November—May is best for flowers
* See:

5. THE VILLAGE SAMPLER: My favorite venues for those who enjoy natural beauty and quaint, small villages. Arranged north to south.
* Arrive Milan & depart Rome—car travel-- 3 nites per location
* Itinerary to include Lago Orta, Castelrotto/ Ortisei[Dolomites],
Portovenere[Liguria], Montalcino[Tuscany], & Spello[Umbria].
* Best time to go: May to October for the lakes and Dolomites
* Option: Pick 3 out of 5 and stay longer in Tuscany/Umbria.

bobthenavigator is offline  
Jul 7th, 2008, 06:27 AM
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I don't know how you're going to avoid "touristy" spots at that time of year in Italy, especially if you include Italian "tourists" in that equation.

That said, I'd fly into Rome and head south to Sperlonga, Gaeta, and inland to all the remote little hill towns that very few visitors get to. You get a lovely combination of beach towns and fairly unknown-to-tourists places.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 7th, 2008, 07:08 AM
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You should tour Northern Italy. Venice, The Dolomites, Verona, Lake Como and Cinque Terra. Add other Northern Italian towns or cities to taste.
bdjtbenson is offline  
Jul 7th, 2008, 10:10 AM
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Posts: 199

Bob's is surely a tough act to follow as he has given you what might be the definitive response to your query. Still, I'd like to chime in with a plug for several Italian destinations, some of which I enjoyed last summer. And while my list can't be classified as "untouristy," these are destinations with undeniable charm and appeal:

-Montepulciano, in Tuscany, makes for an ideal base to explore such lovely villages as Pienza, Montalcino, and countless others. From here you can also make a day trip into Siena - well worthwhile, but at least one overnight is warranted, as Siena is especially nice (and less touristic) after the daytrippers have departed. The exact same can be said about Assisi (the basilica is worth a special journey), located just over the border in Umbria. You'll want at least three full days for rural Tuscany, and the Mueble il Riccio, located in Montepulciano, makes for a splendid accommodation from which to start your Tuscan wanderings.

-You'd also be well advised to spend a few days in the Dolomites, an area of remarkable, rugged beauty. Bolzano makes for a good base. It's a small, attractive city, one that's not overrun by tourism, yet also one that features good restaurants, shopping, and the superb South Tirol Museum of Archaeology, with its lead attraction, Otzi, a 5,300-year-old man.
For lodging, consider the modern, tidy, and centrally-located Hotel Figl. Three full days exploring the Dolomites is advisable.

-Lastly, while it's by no means a secret, Monterosso, on the Italian Rivera (Cinque Terre) is a terrific place to camp while exploring this magnificent region. If you've not visited the Cinque Terre, you must take the plunge. The region's five villages are magnificently situated, with Monterosso offering the most amenities in the area. I very much enjoy the accommodation Villa Steno. It offers sea views, super service, a/c, and is perfectly located (a short walk to the center of the old town).

If you'd care to sample some photos from our Italy '07 holiday, featuring pics of the Cinque Terre, Siena, rural Tuscany, and more, check out

Best of luck
ExplorerB is offline  
Jul 7th, 2008, 10:21 AM
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Since tjhsu specified food as her first priority, I think touring the lakes and the Dolomiti may not be the ticket, unless one heads for Friuli, which would indeed be a fabulous, non-touristy, foodie destination. I would recommend Piemonte for food, although I think the best food there is in autumn/winter, and that the area just doesn't have the same stunning beauty as other locations.

I love the food of Liguria, but it is a very limited cuisine, with limited ingredients.

I think I am alone in not much enjoying the meaty, cheesy cuisines of Tuscany and Umbria.

Campania offers fabulous summer food and gorgeous scenery, and even though it is very hot, humidity is low.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 7th, 2008, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 32
I totally agree with ExplorerB's recommendation of the Cinque Terra. Nestled into the hillside, each village is a picture postcard waiting to be explored & enjoyed.
ZippityDoDa is offline  
Jul 7th, 2008, 10:51 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
Here's a nice guide to Cilento:
zeppole is offline  

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