Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Italy: 40 days & 40 nights, but no Rome?!?!

Italy: 40 days & 40 nights, but no Rome?!?!

Feb 21st, 2006, 06:27 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
We often, when driving around Italy, spent one night here and there. Not every place needs more than one night IMO. Vagaboundsoul, have a wonderful time in Italy, you obviously will!!
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 07:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 35
Next up will be mapping all our routes so of course it's subject to tweaks here and there [that's part of the fun, right?].

Honestly though ... I've "lurked" on Fodor's for awhile but have found via this post is the various opinions have really helped me think through the options,

As a "newbie", I appreciate everyone's input. Thx all!
vagabondsoul is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 06:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Wow. I'm sorry I didn't see this message sooner. I had been to Italy 4 times (and Milan 4 times) before I ever set foot in Rome -- and I've got nothing against Rome. I've now been to Rome 3 times. Milan is a wonderful, sophisticated city that rivals New York for food and style but is safer and far more enjoyable.

But all that aside, most of the time I spend in Italy I spend in small towns, driving from one to another and staying in inexpensive albergo ristorantes. My last trip to Italy was to Le Marche, where I scarcely encountered an American tourist and enjoyed the marvelous countryside and small unique towns with beauiful architecture, like Ascoli Piceno (also famous for its olives, liqueurs and caffes).

One of the best meals I've ever had in my life was lunch in a town of less than 200 people where a man was cooking on an open grill in front of his restaurant. Another great meal I had was in the small town of Vissa, famous for its salami, where the local restaurant not only served us but all the schoolchildren in town their lunch every day. (It was fun to eat with the kids.)

Sure most people go to the "big 3" and are nervous not to. Next time I'm in Italy, I hope to return to both Rome and Pisa, so I'm a big tourist too. But if you enjoy the countryside and beautiful scenery, and freshly made Italian food, a month in the country in Italy (topped off by a few days is high-end Milan) is greatly rewarding.
nessundorma is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 06:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,009
I think your itinerary looks fine. Rome is definitely my favorite city in Europe, but your itinerary should be about what you want to do; not what we think you should be doing. You could spend 40 years in Italy and not see everything!

What a great vacation. I am lucky enough to have quite a bit of vacation time (over 6 weeks) but my DH is not so fortunate so we can only take a couple of weeks at a time. Enjoy yourself and treasure every moment!

tcreath is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 07:13 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 460
Just go see Rome. You will be glad you did. Check out the other places on future trips.
Cato is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 35
As I said, once I start booking things will change!

Net, I've eliminated two stops as I agree w/JT & Melissa. Added a taste of Rome as a tease.We have one long-a*s drive but we look forward to that part!

Bavaria 2
Milan 2
Lake Garda 2
Venice 3
Le Marche 2
Florence 3
Southern Tuscany 7
Puglia 3
Somewhere in between 1
Sicily 8
Amalfi Coast 4
Rome 2

nessundorma - I'd be interested in knowing where you stayed in Le Marche [as that's BACK on the list!].

la, la! [i'm getting very excited]
vagabondsoul is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,118
Hi V,

Stop worrying. Rome will be there on your next visit to Italy.

We've been to Venice many times, and have only been through Rome on the way to somewhere else.

ira is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 35
PS Ira:

shhh ... it's a secret, don't tell anyone else:

the real reason Rome's on the list is we're doing a lease / buyback via autoeurope and we can only drop the car in either Rome or Milan. Who knew?
vagabondsoul is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,912
ooooooooooooh, what kinda car are you getting?
flygirl is online now  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 10:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 35
hi fly - glad u asked. hubby spent lots of time researching [have I mentioned he likes driving]?

Peugeot 407 exec sport wagon; diesel; manual; 2-liter 136 HP.


What I like? It has an all-glass roof so I can sight-see upward. I'm sure that'll come in handy looking up at all the hill towns.

Overall, it came to about 1/2 of a normal rental. Worth the itinerary change for sure!
vagabondsoul is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Hi vagabondsoul

In Le Marche, we stayed in a truly wonderful place called Hotel Nene which is in the woods right outside the walls of Urbino and therefore has plenty of easy parking and the FOOD is some of the best I have tasted in Italy. (It also has a swimming pool.) You can find it on the web.

We also stayed at the Palazzo Guiderocchi in Ascoli Piceno, which is a marvelous town if you have time to visit it. The prices at the 4-star Palazzo Guiderocchi are often outrageously cheap, depending when you go, and it is a fun place to stay. However, Ascoli Piceno is probably too far south given the rest of your plans.

We also stayed in Genga in a hotel inside Frasssesi Park, but I don't recommend it. Nor do I think the Frassesi caves are all that worthwhile.

When we were in Le Marche last autumn, the roads to Gola di Fulro were closed, so you need to check if that is on your list.

We had lunch in San Leo and climbed the fortress, which is very much worth a look. Many of the hilltowns of Montefeltro are wonderfully preseved and charming to be in. (It might be the best way for you to head into Tuscany.) Driving through the countryside in and around Mt. Sibillini is fantastic. (We didn't care for Norcia, if you are headed that way, but adored the Piano Grande). We did not go to the coast at all, except to Ravenna (which is in Emilia-Romagna).

There is a an excellent website called Marche Voyager which is not only good guide to Le Marche but has links to many, many accommodations. However, Le Marche is a place where you can really travel without reservations. I particularly enjoy staying in restaurants with rooms upstairs, so after my big meal with wine, I just have to walk to my room -- and the rooms are always very clean and very cheap (less than 100 per night).

All that said, looking at your new itinerary, I suggest that you go from Venice to perhaps Urbino, and through the hills of Montefeltro into Tuscany, and make your way to Firenze.

You might also consider trimming your time in Southern Tuscany and spending more time in Rome before heading to the Amalfi coast.

Where are you going in Sicily?
nessundorma is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 03:37 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 35
nessundorma! Great info ... I've already checked out the website and have found 1/2 dozen cool places [like Dai Mori in Isola del Piano]. I'll have fun looking at others, and will check out Hotel Nene as well - sounds just right.

Your route also sounds perfect. We'll have a 12-year old with us thru Florence so I want her to see the smaller villages.

The only thing I know for sure I want to do is visit the fortress in San Leo and do country things [since this is sandwiched in between Venice/Florence].

Ascoli Piceno: yes, too far south. I found this amazing place though and when I showed it to my husband he said "oh. that's worth the drive". So ... um maybe. If not, I'll save it for next time. I have a tendency to want to do too much so I'm trying to go with the simpler route! Take a peak and you'll see why I'm tempted: www.casteldiluco.com/en/index.html

As to Sicily: will work on that soon; have looked into lots of stuff. Need to narrow it down [simple! simple!].

And last, have family joining us in Siena and doing a week rental so that's staying. And, it's my 1st time in Italy and I've always dreamed of that area. I fear a week will be just a taste.

N - thank you again for your suggestions & information. Most useful!

vagabondsoul is offline  

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 -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:25 AM.