If you were going to go to Italy...

Old Feb 25th, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Bob, everything sf7307 said -- oooh, now I am itching to go to Sicily (without a child who does shout outs in museums and offends zeppole/stepsbeyond/primeranoche/whatever the next name will be)! Those are spectacular photos!
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 01:59 PM
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Try the Aeolian Islands off Sicily for a truly amazing Italian experience. We stayed on Salina at the Hotel Signum. Think... Ritz Carlon on a miniature scale with spectacular view of a volcano from the outdoor bar....out of this world staff...quaint but very comfortable accomodations on an island in the middle of the Mediteranean. Throw-in a few days in Taormina on Sicily before returning to mainland Italy by way of the Amalfi Coast with a stay in Ravella near Positano then a train ride to Umbrian Hilltowns before finishing on the Italian Riviera.
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 03:16 PM
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We were fortunate on our last trip to Italy to pass through several small towns on the day that they were having their local farmers market.Great food,fruits,etc.Buy some and have a picnic in a scenic spot.The dates for them should be available on the towns internet site.
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 06:53 PM
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SF, it sounds like our interests are similar, except perhaps for the museum comment. We are generally not the club med types, and try to see, soak in, and become part of a place as much as we can. So, our first trip to Italy we checked out the "big three" (Rome, Florence, Venice) with a side trip to Pisa, and walked everywhere, meeting people, laughing a lot. Our last trip to Italy had a different feel to it, because we were anxious to see the Amalfi Coast, along with going back to Rome. Because Rome, like Paris, requires more than a few trips to soak it up as thoroughly as one might like. My husband is a city boy, so he can't take too much countryside without getting a little bored. So I worked it out so we'd have big city, small town, lots to do and see, as well as down time.

As such, we traveled to Rome, then took the train to Salerno, where we took the ferry to Positano, and based ourselves there for a while. Coming into Positano by ferry is a great way to check out the coast, with a stop in Amalfi. From there, we traveled to Capri for several days, then Sorrento (just a few nights there), then caught a train up to Venice with a day trip to Verona. Someone on this board, I believe it was Neopatrick, suggested (quite strongly in fact!) that it was better to stay over in Capri than daytrip. He was so right! Plus, we were able to take the bus to Anacapri, go up to the top of Mount Solaro on a chair lift (scary as all get out and go, but so much fun and so beautiful at the top!), as well as get to the Blue Grotto by footpath. Then, as the daytrippers left, the town quieted down, but one was left with a happy group of visitors as well as locals lining the cafes and bistros around town. The beach by the harbor is pebbly, but so beautiful and just a pleasure to swim in and sunbathe.

But again, looking at Bob's photos, that looks great and jhager's comments sound fabulous as well.

The Amalfi coast gives you the opportunity to see Pompeii, as well as relax, and swim a lot. Also, festivals -- I love festivals, and the one at Montepertuso, high above Postitano, at the tail end of June, is so much fun, with dancing in the streets, fireworks, and locals having a great time!
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 01:17 PM
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The val d'orcia is more like the dry Texas hill country than Piemonte, which gets considerably more rain and has thus the greater variety in food production.

(Has stu ever been to Piemonte to stay for any length of time? Stu?


Take your original post exactly as you wrote it and post it on the message board at Slow Travel. com -- except add "PIemonte or Val d'Orcia -- or someplace else?" at the end.

There are enough posters over there who have seen enough regions of Italy to have a real basis for comparison. I don't post over there, so I won't have a penny on the scale in the responses. But there is certainly no reason -- given the way you describe yourselves -- not to make Piemonte your introduction to Italy, especially since it is so close to parts of France you love. Exciting as Sicily is, I don't think it's a place to just "be". Piemonte is.

Here's a link the Slow Travel website Italy board. They'll be glad to help you -- and I have no idea what they'll say:


If you haven't taken up Stu on his offer for his itinerary, you might as well. I'm a sort of scourge of the plug-and-play, or cut-and-paste travel itinerary, one size fits all, especially with a car, which ought to be about the freedom to drive off into the unknown in Europe, but Stu -- sincerely -- is quite generous in offering this to all comers, and many swear by his trips.

Have fun whatever you decide!

Have fun wherever you go!
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Old Feb 27th, 2010, 02:10 PM
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We once did a trip that started with 10 days in Sicily... then ferried to Naples (overnite) and on to Rome and Amalfi. It was wonderful. But then, we have also enjoyed our time in the Piemonte.. and Verona is one of our favorite cities. Your list of favorites is almost identical to ours.... so it's a sigh , sigh , what to say situation. Have you been to Siena? Orvieto? Urbino?
Vicenza?... which will get you into Palladio country for your interest in architecture.

Let us know what you finally decide. Some of us need vicarious travel at this point!
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