Help with a Italy itinerary


Feb 22nd, 2015, 04:46 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Help with a Italy itinerary

We are a Canadian family heading to Italy for our second visit with our three kids ages 5,10,12. Our last visit was to Tuscany so we are heading south this time.
Here is what we have for an itinerary so far:
Fly into Rome on June 27, rent a car and head straight to a rental in the countryside outside of Rome for one week
One week in Sardinia or another beach area. We are really interested in Sardinia.
Back to Rome for three nights
Fly home

We are looking for help with:
1. One week in the countryside in a villa or resort with a kitchen, two bedrooms and pool. We want to explore the towns and markets like we did in Tuscany. We don't want to go north towards Tuscany because we have been there. Budget approx $2000US per week.
Any towns or rentals you can suggest?
2. One week rental in Sardinia where we can explore the beaches and enjoy the ocean. Two bedrooms, kitchen, pool. Same budget $2000US
3. Apartment in Rome for three nights. Max $500US per night.

Thank you so much!
Francewithfive is online now  
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Feb 23rd, 2015, 07:15 AM
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I would begin by using the search function on this forum and on other travel forums such as Lonely Planet. There are lots of rental companies. For Rome, use an apartment rental website although it may be difficult to rent an apartment for only 3 nights.
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Feb 23rd, 2015, 09:10 AM
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For places to spend your week near Rome, you might consider Umbria, which resembles Tuscany in a superficial way, but is generally less given over to tourism. It's also an almost entirely rural region, and even the cities themselves are mostly smaller than cities in Tuscany. Umbria has only three cities with more than 50,000 residents.

I can't help with villa rental, because I've never rented one.

For locations, I would suggest someplace near Assisi or near Todi. The countryside near Assisi is lovely, and there are several places worth visiting (Assisi itself, Perugia, Spello, and Spoleto, for example) in the vicinity. An American family (with childen) I know rented a villa near Todi and thoroughly enjoyed the stay. Near there, you can easily visit Orvieto, Narni, Termi, and Civita di Bagnoregio (which lots of people love, myself not included). There is a very interesting and attractive waterfall near Terni, the Cascata del Marmore. It was created by the Romans, those great public works engineers, who rerouted a river over a cliff to drain a marsh. It's not huge, but the water spills down in multiple torrents and rivulets, and you can climb and clamber amongst them. The water is diverted to a hydroelectric plant, but once or twice a day, they let the entire current loose. Some siren blasts warn everyone to get back behind the barriers, and it's quite a sight to see the full force of the water start up.

Abruzzo is also accessible from Rome, and there are some beautiful landscapes in the Sibillini Mountains. We once stayed in Pescasseroli, and enjoyed mountain hiking there. It's a popular summer holiday region for Italians, but very few foreigners go there.

The same could be said for Le Marche, which is a bit further than Umbria and Abruzzo. It's one of the most beautiful and varied regions in Italy, with seacoast, hill towns, castles, and mountains (mostly along the border it shares with Abruzzo. It also has some of Italy's best cuisine.

And, finally, Lazio (the region where Rome is located) has some very beautiful areas itself. The area around Rieti is beautiful; some other suggestions would be near Palestrina, Fara in Sabina, or the Castelli Romani area. The latter area is very close to Rome. Sermoneta is one of the prettiest towns I've ever seen, vying with Spello (near Assisi) in my catalogue of the prettiest towns in Italy. Near Sermoneta, the Gardens of Ninfa are spectacular, created in and around the ruins of an abandoned medieval town. They're only open a few days a year, but if you happen to be there on one of the days they're open, they're really worth a visit. Even my husband, who has no interest in gardens,and goes along to humor me, thought they were wonderful.

I'm not much of an expert on Sardegna. I've been there twice, but not for any extended period, and I know nothing of villas there. I do know that some parts of the island are very expensive. However, it's a big island, and there are plenty of areas that haven't been taken over by the nabobs. I once spent a day (off season) in the Golfo Aranci area, which seemed to be a very pleasant place for a summer holiday, and not at all glitzy. There are also some very beautiful places in the interior, and if you're at all interested in ancient history, you should visit some of the nuraghi, amazing fortified places, maybe dwellings, made by the prehistoric inhabitants. Here is a web album of photos I took on one of our trips to Sardegna:

It may help you decide where you'd like to stay. The island is large, and the road network in the interior is not extensive, so you can't hope to visit distant spots from one base.
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Feb 23rd, 2015, 08:39 PM
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I have rented an apartment in Rome for four nights which looks fantastic. Found it through VRBO, only a few blocks to the Colloseum.
bvlenci, thank you for taking the time to share so many ideas for our two weeks before Rome. I am going to take a really thorough look through our books and online to see if i can come up with something that will work for us.
We really want a bit of time in the countryside and some beach time. The beach part is proving difficult. Sardinia looks gorgeous but logistically it means flying and renting another car which adds two more travel days to the trip getting there and back.
Beaches anyone????? We aren't into the glitz and glamour and would prefer more rugged and quiet (if that's even possible in July in Italy!).
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Feb 23rd, 2015, 08:41 PM
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Here is our apartment in Rome if anyone is interested: VRBO#72116
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