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Honeymoon in Italy- help!! Suggest an itinerary for us! (Sept/Oct '12)

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Feb 13th, 2012, 10:36 AM
  #1
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Honeymoon in Italy- help!! Suggest an itinerary for us! (Sept/Oct '12)

Hi All!
I would love some help from all of you expert travelers on a good honeymoon itinerary for us!! We're looking at spending 10-14 days in September/October (pretty flexible about dates). We're going 3 months after our wedding. We have a moderate budget and don't need luxury to make us happy. We'll probably book half of our nights through VRBO or small b&b's. We're semi-experienced travelers and good at navigating.

Our likes:
-hiking and nature
-walks and strolling in small towns and cities
-quaint villages with interesting architecture and uniqueness
-good food, seafood
-some touristy historical places, but also some not-so-touristy places
-coastline
-a nice mix of adventure and relaxation
-seeing a few different areas of Italy

Are locals friendly to tourists? Some places more than others??

I appreciate all of your help!!! : )
-Sara
midnattros is offline  
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Feb 13th, 2012, 10:54 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,646
I have never found locals unfriendly to tourists - but admit that my goal going on vacation is not making a bunch of new friends. You can expect everyone to be cordial - but unless you are involved in a group activity (which is much more likely to be other tourists than locals - but from many countries) you are unlikely to develop any real friendly relationships.

I can make limited recos - since I'm not hiking anywhere - and like to look at the outdoors - not climb it. And I really ike cities, as well as smaller towns. But I reco that you get several of the quality guide books for sights (Michelin green, others with in-depth info and pix) to see what places are must sees for YOU.

Also - without a specific price in $ or euros it's hard to make recos on places you might want to stay.
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Feb 13th, 2012, 10:57 AM
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First, you must decide if it is 10 or 14---and, if that means plus travel time. It is hard to advise your best options without knowing how many days to plan for.
Based on your input, my first idea is Piemonte and the Ligurian coast--flying into Milan. But,it all depends.
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Feb 13th, 2012, 03:06 PM
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Many places fit your criteria, so a little more info would be helpful.

As bobthenavigator pointed out, 10 v. 14 days is a big difference.

Considering the flight options from your home, which airport/s in Italy would you prefer?

Do you want to stay entirely on the coast?

Would you be comfortable driving, or would you prefer to rely on public trans?

"Moderate budget" needs to be defined in an actual number.
Jean is offline  
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Feb 13th, 2012, 03:32 PM
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Here's a partial Itinerary for you based on our experience. It requires a car.

Go to Orvieto, a small city. The historical part is perched on a high mesa and offers gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside. Get a guidebook and read about all the interesting things to see there.

After two nights, pick up a car and drive west to Lago di Bolsena, stopping off at Civita di Bagnoregio, a tiny town on a soft-rock cliff that is getting tinier all the time as the hill erodes away. They have been trying to figure out what to do about it since about 1450. You have to walk across a long causeway to get into the town from the new town below. It's very pretty.

Also, on the plains between Orvieto and the lake you will come across a pecorino cheese factory. Yum! If you want to find it, you should head for San Lorenzo Nuovo after leaving Bolsena. Our favorite little town is a few miles north of S. Lorenzo, called Torre Alfina. It's built around a huge castle that dominates the town. There are two streets running through it. The commerce consists of two butcher shops, one little grocery, a bakery, two cafes, one of which has gelato to die for, and two hotels. That, literally, is all the shops! We stayed at Albergo Nuovo Castello, which has a superb restaurant. A room for two with breakfast and dinner cost us about 85 euros, and for Sunday dinner they served roast suckling pig! There is a natural reserve on the east side of town where you can hike.

The towns around the Lake (Lago di Bolsena) were originally settled by the Etruscans, before the Romans. You can see Etruscan caves and ruins all around. There is an Etruscan museum in Orvieto, by the way.

Then drive west to Pitigliano, a very pretty town that was originally settled by Etruscans, too. Follow the highway from there to the coast and work your way south through Grossetto and then south to the coast and Porto Santo Stefano. (This is across from the island where the cruise ship was wrecked.). It's a popular coastal destination for Italians. South of there you will come to Tarquinia, a very interesting Etruscan town somewhat inland. Now you are almost within shouting distance of Rome. The big autostrada starts just south of Tarquinia.
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Feb 13th, 2012, 03:36 PM
  #6
 
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I should have added that Torre Alfina has lots of quirky public art in the town. You walk along and see a shuttered window that turns out not to be a window at all, but a piece of art. Or a couple sitting on a blanket on a wall, and the couple and their blanket are ceramic.
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Feb 13th, 2012, 05:04 PM
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hi Charnees,

Thank you for mentioning Torre Alfina. I enjoy quirky public art. I'll check it out the next time I'm in the area.

OP- When is your trip? Will you have a car?
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Feb 14th, 2012, 07:35 PM
  #8
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Hi All.. sorry for not being specific!! And thank you for the suggestions so far.

Ideal would be 12 days (not including travel days), coming from Los Angeles, CA. Our budget is at $2,500 or 3,200 EURO (not including flight), but we'd like to spend less if possible. We have a discount at Starwood hotel chains in the bigger cities (Florence, Rome, Milan) which helps too.

We wouldn't mind having a car for part of our trip.. but not the entire time. We do like things that are off the beaten path.

I've heard wonderful things about: Ligure, Amalfi coast, Venice, Rome and Florence.

I asked about locals being friendly because I don't like the "unfriendliness" of some locals in France! It's always better when people are friendly!!!

Charnees- Orvieto, Civita di Bagnoregio, Lago di Bolsena, and Pitigliano all look STUNNING- thank you charnees for your recommendations! I also love your suggestion for Albergo Nuovo Castello for a room for two with breakfast and dinner all for 85 euros.

Bob- piemonte looks LOVELY!

zoecat- our trip is not booked yet. we're gathering information! We are flexible about when we leave, Sept/Oct seems the best for us... Nov could work too.

Thank you !!
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Feb 15th, 2012, 12:17 AM
  #9
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oops... meant "Santa Margherita Ligure"....
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Feb 15th, 2012, 03:52 AM
  #10
 
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All your factors point to the south of the country; 2 weeks would allow you to visit the Naples and the Amalfi area and continue on to Matera and Puglia. Driving would be the way to do this, though.

There are a few trip reports here that you could read to see if that area appeals to you; it is the perfect time of year with fewer tourists than summer. And prices are far lower in Puglia/Matera than in areas like Piedmont.
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Feb 15th, 2012, 04:08 AM
  #11
 
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I think October is the perfect time to go to both Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. We spent the entire month of October last year in the Val d'Elsa in Tuscany (very much undiscovered and completely beautiful with tiny crawling villages as beautiful as those in the more popular areas) and rarely ran into crowds --- the only places that were bustling was Florence and Siena. Most of the smaller towns --- including even San Gim and Volterra --- had few (to no) tourists. Orvieto's gorgeous, too, but I personally fall in love with Tuscany every time I'm there.

September's going to be warmer but with much more tourists as well, so if I had the choice, I would pick October (plus the vines are full of grapes in October). If you can put your trip off until early November, then you'll get the first batches of fresh olive oil, which is an absolutely indulgent thing and might catch some of the truffle festivals, as well. If I'm remembering correctly, Volterra's white truffle festival is in the first weekend of November.

We were on the Amalfi Coast in the first week of November last year and I swear to you that we were the ONLY tourists in most of the cities --- including Sorrento. We drove the entire Amalfi Drive and didn't have to worry about traffic or anything. It was too cold to go swimming and we had a few days of torrential downpours but the views were fantastic.

So, assuming you're doing 12 days, and you fly into Rome, here's a potential itinerary:

Fly into Rome: 4 days in Rome
Train up to Orvieto (about 3 hours): 1 day in Orvieto
Rent a car and drive up to the Val d'Elsa (or the Val d'Orcia): 5 days in Tuscany
Drive to Florence and drop off your rental car: 2 days in Florence
Fly out from Florence or Pisa (we've found more frequent flights out of Pisa back to the U.S. but you might find something in Florence, too)

You'd skip the coastline here but it would be a lovely trip with a mix of some super touristy areas and some not so touristed sites with plenty of fantastic hiking --- Tuscany's chock full of gorgeous parks and great hikes --- amazing food and scenery.

Otherwise, you could do a southern tour, something like this:
Fly into Rome: 4 days in Rome
Rent a car and drive to Naples: 2 days in Naples, including 1 day (but it would be a long day)
Sorrento/Amalfi area: 4 days on the coast (fantastic hiking here and obviously the sea)
Paestum: 1-2 days and then drive back up to Rome to drop off car and head to the airport

This way you'd get the seaside and stunning views. I personally wouldn't opt for the Cinque Terre in October/November because that area gets really cold with horrible winds and rain that time of year while the Amalfi is still quite sunny and warm in October/November.
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Feb 15th, 2012, 04:17 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Go a lot all are nice was there in May going again in April.
Pick about 3 nice places and divide your time there.
Find a cheap flight in and take cheap trains between.
seat61.com/italy

3 of my favs...

www.metropole.it cinqueterre.com
www.lucca.info
www.venice-tourism.com my #1
italyby.com booking.com eurocheapo.com
Tips and lodging.
My wife and I are headed over there for our 37th in April.
We cannont wait. Congrats!
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