Help Plan My First Italy Trip

Old Oct 25th, 2011, 12:40 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Help Plan My First Italy Trip

Hello All,

New to the forum and looking for your sage advice.

In September of 2012 my siblings, spouses and I plan two weeks in Europe.

Everyone but me will probably spend the first week in France before joining me in Italy so I'd like to spend that first week in the Dolomites (I think) if the weather's relatively decent. I'm neither skier nor mountain climber, but am a big nature photo buff, so spectacular scenery tops my agenda.

Any suggestions where I should base myself in the Dolomites for a week's worth of relatively easy-on-the-knees hiking and great scenery? An out of the way quiet spot is preferred over a busy tourist/skier hotel location. Or is September in the Dolomites guaranteed to be snowbound - and should I just head to Tuscany?

The second week we'll all meet somewhere in Tuscany. Florence is currently our only must-see city. I'm guessing that once they've done their research, they'll settle for the Amalfi Coast, rather than the Cinque Terre region. Since there will be about a dozen of us, I expect we'll rent a villa for the week. Question is what town would you chose as base camp in both AC and CT?

Thanks,

Dan
Danpv is offline  
Old Oct 25th, 2011, 12:51 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
YOur first stop is right here for the Dolomites. Come back for help in Tuscany once you define that.

http://www.onelittleworld.com/dolomites_1.html

For the AC, talk to Luca at summerinitaly.com for rentals
bobthenavigator is offline  
Old Oct 25th, 2011, 01:40 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
venicetourism.com

dolomiti.it Cortina from there

nice shuttles run from Venice

will not be too snowy pretty nice

sirmione.com Garda another great location

In Tuscan Florence of course also like Lucca.info

Pick 2 or 3 of the above and enjoy...

eurocheapo.com great lodging city tips for you

seat61.com train cheap fun everywhere for me

Except for Cortina bus from Venice to go there.

Happy Travels!
qwovadis is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2011, 06:24 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Bob and Qwo. Dolomiti.it is a very helpful site. Cortina looks beautiful and the eurocheapo site's got lots of useful info.
Danpv is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2011, 06:31 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 61
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would encourage a visit to Siena and the small town of Monteriggioni (sp) in Tuscany. My favorite town on Amalfi Coast is Positano.
willperson is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2011, 06:59 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So you'll be looking for a villa for 12, say 6 or 7 bedrooms? Those are hard to find, especially on the Amalfi Coast and in the Cinque Terre. (The steep coastlines that make them beautiful have little flat space for big houses.) Villas in Italy mostly rent from Saturday to Saturday. Will that work into your schedule? I would worry less about which town for a base and more about finding a big enough villa. For next September you better start looking right now.

In both cases I suggest you expand the villa search to nearby towns, like Sorrento and the Sorrentine peninsula for the AC and, for the CT, other Ligurian towns on the trainline to the CT. Better chances there for larger villas. Here's a good source about self-catering accommodations, with reviews of rentals and rental agencies: www.slowtrav.com/italy/index.asp

Note that neither the CT or the AC are in Tuscany. The AC, in particular, is quite a long ways away.
Mimar is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2011, 09:26 AM
  #7  
jgg
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,683
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bob's suggestion of the onelittleworld.com website is spot on. We used their advice for our 5 night stay in the Dolomites, and it was perfect for recommendations of easy but spectacular sites hikes. We stayed in Castelrotto and thought it was perfect. A nice little town, but not too crowded with a bus stop right there to take you to all the places you want to hike to. We also had a car, but did both bus and car.
jgg is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2011, 09:28 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm confused - are you going to Florence or the CT?AC - or both? How many days do yuo all ahve in Itlay.

As noted - most vilas rent by the week from Sat to Sat - and if you're in a villa on the coast - then will you skip Florence and just see the coast?

And agree that villas with so many bedrooms ae scarce - esp if it's al for adults (many have several kids rooms, often with bunk beds.)
nytraveler is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2011, 01:47 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 877
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Check the website Tuscanynow.com to see if they have any villas in the areas you want to base in. We rented La Casa Rossa (6 bdrms) and it was fabulous. It's located in a small village near San Gimingano. In fact we would sit in the back yard overlooking the pool and the vineyard covered hillsides and off in the distance was the outline of the towers in San Gim. It's about 2 miles to the town center where you can catch the train to many cities but you definitely need a car with this propety.
CYESQ is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2011, 04:59 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,672
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tuscany is a great place to stay with a large group. We love the Chianti area with its conveience to Florence and Siena and many other lovely smaller towns. We (a group of 8) stayed last fall in the Chianti region in a wonderful villa outside of Greve. We had 2 cars and were able to go to separate places if we chose. Search this board for suggestions for places to stay in Tuscany.
mamcalice is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2011, 05:28 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 198
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Since you have a year to get ready for your trip, I'd like to make a non-travel suggestion. If you don't already speak Italian, start now on some language cd's. Your local library probably has a wide selection you can check out or down load free. I know everyone says that most Italians speak English, especially in tourist areas, but on my recent visit I wish I had known more Italian. I worked on it for about 3 months, but I wish I had spent more time on the language.

A lot of the signs in stores, museums, Churches, etc, are in Italian only. It would have been great to be able to at least get a rough idea of what the sign said. It also would have been very helpful when grocery shopping to know what was on the shelves without constantly pulling out a food guide.

We spend so much time and effort planning our trips, I think learning more of the language would be time well spent. Since you are going with family, it might be fun to learn together.

Also, if you are not already in good physical condition, start walking. DH and I are relatively fit, but the amount that we walked was a bit tiring at times. If you aren't on a walking program now, I'd advise starting one. Hey, you could listen to language lessons on an mp3 player while you walked.

CindyP
Cpelk is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2011, 06:28 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
CYESQ, San Gimignano doesn't have a train station. In which town did you catch the train?
Mimar is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
dtph
Europe
4
May 3rd, 2010 11:40 AM
Bumblebea
Europe
4
Feb 5th, 2007 10:31 AM
odonnela
Europe
5
Mar 28th, 2005 02:22 PM
Harlie
Europe
7
Jan 15th, 2003 04:53 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information