Italy

Old Jan 18th, 2009, 02:44 PM
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virginiafish
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Italy

We are planning a 2 week trip to Italy, either the end of March-beginning of April or mid-May. Any thoughts about where to go, other than Rome (where we have visited)? We're thinking of Venice and environs or Florence-Tuscany/Umbria. Any itinerary suggestions welcomed!
 
Old Jan 18th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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OK - you need to help us out here. What sorts of things do you want to see/do. Have you researched any of the options? Clicked on DESTINATIONS on this website?

Your question is sorta broad - there will be lots of different opinions - and all will be right. So you need to narrow things down a bit or ask more detailed questions.

Plus - how many is "we". A couple? A family w/ kids? A group? Do you want to rent a car or do it all by public transport?
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 03:23 PM
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I would suggest Tuscany or Umbria (and probably Umbria gets the edge for me), and because you mentioned our interest in museums, I suggest that you either make Florence part of your Tuscany stay, or Perugia part of your Umbria stay. A lot of people who sing the praises of parts of Tuscany and Umbria actually enjoy them mainly because their visits keep them out of the range of museums, so they don't feel guilty about not going!

In Venice, seeing the "scuole" is an important thing to do, I think, as well as the Accademia. Verona has an exquisite museum, and is a wonderful town to walk around.

Firenze has the best museums in Tuscany. Perugia in Umbria, although it is very much worth your time to visit the small museum in the town of Montefalco, and of course the great church art of the region.

Do you enjoy talking with fellow travlers or with the locals on your vacations? If its fellow travelers, go to Venice. If the latter, try Perugia.

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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 06:26 PM
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Don't skip Venice! It is an incredible city.

2 weeks is enough for Rome/Florence/Venice but I'm not sure how much time you'd have "extra" for other towns near each place.
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 06:47 PM
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viriginfish,

Yes, I think that's enough time. When you see Venezia and Firenze you will see that you could easily spend months in each as a visitor, but if you do those two major cities, I think you'll probably have to think hard about whether you want to visit the other big cites of art nearby or inbetween, or forego the risk of overload and focus on some tiny towns, with time enjoying the countryside.

If you think Pisa, Lucca, Siena are not going to be too big, you can do all those easily by train, from Firenze. From Venezia, you could even think about Verona as a day trip, or Treviso as a small town experience, or perhaps staying in Ferrara as a base for Bologna and Ravenna, or day trips to Parma, Modena, if you go to Firenze via Bologna . All doable by train.

Otherwise, a car rental would really expand your options and more easily allow you to visit the much smaller towns. May is a nice time of year in most of Italy, so you really have no restrictions that way.
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 07:39 PM
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Hello virginiafish, I think you have received some good thought from zepppole. I will mention however if you while in Florence decide to go to Siena for a day trip do take the bus that is at the train station versus the train as the bus takes you into Siena.

Regarding the end of March or beginning of April do bring a raincoat (one with a zipped in lining for the cold would be good). You can wear it onto the plane and it can be useful on the plane as they often get cold.
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 07:50 PM
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Try a Veneto trip for two weeks.

Fly into Marco Polo, stay in Venice for about half the time. 5 nights, 6 nights, 7 nights, you decide. Rent a car and spend the balance exploring the Veneto. You could loop through Vicenza for Palladian villas and architecture, Verona, Bassano del Grappa, Castelfranco, Cittadella, Conegliano for the "Prosecco Road", Asolo and as far north as Cortina d'Ampezzo for the Dolomites.

The Veneto is a great place and spring should be beginning around the times you are talking about.
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 09:04 PM
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Well notbob, you just listed my favorite Region of Italy. Beautiful, relaxing and not overloaded with tourist and don't forget the Prosecco wine!
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 10:41 PM
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if i'm not mistaken, the end of march/beginning of april is too early for the dolomiti. No?
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 10:51 PM
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Ciao Zeppole, yes driving up to the Dolomiti might be to early in the season but all the small towns in the Region of Veneto not in the Dololomiti would be lovely. There could be rain of course but that is true no matter where virginiafish visits. Anyway, just one thought.
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