Italy

Jan 17th, 2011, 09:13 AM
  #1  
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Italy

It will be my first trip to Italy for 13 days and I would like some suggestions on where to go for a 1st timer. Any sugggestions would be very helpful- My plan is to go the end of September 2011
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Jan 17th, 2011, 09:15 AM
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I will be with my Husband and another couple
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Jan 17th, 2011, 09:34 AM
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Venice and Florence. But you might want to look at some guidebooks to give you some general ideas.
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Jan 17th, 2011, 09:37 AM
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Micheal,

What guidebooks would you suggest ? and thanks for your reply-I was first thinking Florence, Tuscany and maybe Sorrento or the amalfi coast- what are your thought on that
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Jan 17th, 2011, 09:37 AM
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What are your interests? Why did you pick Italy? We can guide you better if we know the things you like to do and see.
ellenem is online now  
Jan 17th, 2011, 09:42 AM
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You have to give us SOME information to go on, as the possibilities are endless. What do you like to do? What's your budget? How do you plan to get from plaace to place? Do you prefer cities, the countryside, or both? Why did you pick Italy? Just being a first-timer doesn't really relate to where you go.

A map and a few guidebooks should get you started.
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Jan 17th, 2011, 09:50 AM
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Like Romance Good food, wine anad scenery and interested in art also- even a cooking class would be of interest. I just dont know where to begin. I will be with my husband and another couple
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Jan 17th, 2011, 09:55 AM
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I forget to say I do like both city and country side and have no idea where to begin as far as where to fly in and out of. I know the first and last day of travel are out due to flying so I will be in Italy a total of 12 days .
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Jan 17th, 2011, 11:21 AM
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This could help you get started: http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/planning/index.htm

For 13 days I would pick 2-3 places because you will lose about half a day everytime you move and you also want some time to relax.

I like Michelin green guides, and apparently rick steve's is good for beginners to Italy.
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Jan 17th, 2011, 11:23 AM
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Thanks for your help.
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Jan 17th, 2011, 12:28 PM
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Massgirl, go to your local library or Borders or Barnes & Noble and look at travel books for Italy. I think the Michelin green guides will be a bit much for you on this first trip. Look for something like Rick Steves for a simple overview of Italy. Be sure to read the introductory parts about how to travel in Italy, and what Italian culture and food is like.

Most people you encounter in the tourist areas will speak some English. Try getting some Italian phrases learned. I found the podcasts of My Daily Phrase Italian, from Itunes were easy and fun. 100 five-minute lessons, so you can take it slowly. It does help to have a phrase book in hand, too.

Italian food is really different from most Americans' idea of it. And there are regional variations. One thing to notice is that all pastas are not served with tomato sauce, and never with great gobs of it. The pasta is considered as important as the sauce.

The classic first trip is Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Venice, flying into Rome and out of Venice. But if you want to do Florence and Tuscany, and something on the coast, stay in the north and go to Cinque Terre or the Italian Riviera. The Amalfi Coast is WAY south. Take a look at the guide books and maps for more info.
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Jan 17th, 2011, 12:30 PM
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I like Michael's suggestion of Venice and Florence, and I'd add some time in the countryside for scenery, wine, food, cooking -or- the Cinque Terre. In 13 days, I'd stick to three hotel stays. I would leave the Amalfi Coast for another trip that includes Rome. If you haven't booked your flights yet, look into flying into Venice and flying home from Florence or Pisa (or the reverse). I'd put the time in the countryside/CT in the middle so that you're close to your departing airport on the last night.

There are many guidebooks for all types of travelers. My favorite guidebooks for dreaming about future trips are the DK Eyewitness guides because of their color photographs. Rick Steves is good for logistics, modest budgets, traveler tips, etc.
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Jan 17th, 2011, 12:37 PM
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Let me guess---is this Susan?
Here is s start. How much time may dictate:

BOB the NAVIGATOR’S FAVORITE ITALY ITINERARIES

After 24 trips to southern Europe, and having developed more than 220 customized TRIP PLANS for others, I am now older and hopefully wiser. Here is an updated version of my favorite itineraries & my “Bella Italia” photo gallery. I hope you enjoy.
http://www.slowphotos.com/photo/show...y.php?cat=3827

1. BELLA ITALIA: Five destinations in 15 days—car & train travel
* Arrive in Milan[MXP] & depart from Venice[VCE]or vice versa.
* Itinerary to include the Italian Lakes, Ligurian coast, rural
Tuscany, Florence, & Venice. Suggested timing is 3-2-4-2-4.
* Option: Drop the coast & rent a villa in Tuscany[ 3-7-2-3].
* Best time to go: May & June or Sept. & Oct.

2. LA DOLCE VITA: Three destinations in 12 to 14 days-car & train
* Arrival & departure from Rome[ FCO] or arrival in Naples
* Itinerary to include Rome, the Amalfi coast, and Tuscany
* Best time to go: Easter to end of October
* Option: Fly into Naples & stay at 2 locations on the coast

3. CLASSIC ITALIA: Three destinations in 12 to 14 days-car & train
* Arrival & departure from Rome—may start trip in Florence
* Destinations to include Florence, Rome & Tuscany/Umbria
* Best time to go: Anytime, but May & Oct. are my favorites
* Option: Consider a weekly rental in Tuscany/Umbria

4. SICILIAN CHARMS: Five destinations in 15 days—car travel
* Connections to Catania & Palermo via Rome or gateway city.
* Itinerary to include Taormina, Siracusa, Palermo & more.
* Best time to go: March to November—May is best for flowers
* See: http://www.slowtrav.com/tr/tripreport.asp?tripid=634

5. THE VILLAGE SAMPLER: My favorite venues for those who enjoy natural beauty and quaint, small villages. Arranged north to south.
* Arrive Milan & depart Rome—car travel-- 3 nites per location
* Itinerary to include Lago Orta, Castelrotto/ Ortisei[Dolomites],
Portovenere[Liguria], Montalcino[Tuscany], & Spello[Umbria].
* Best time to go: May to October for the lakes and Dolomites
* Option: Pick 3 out of 5 and stay longer in Tuscany/Umbria.
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Jan 17th, 2011, 01:25 PM
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I would like to Thank all of you very much for your time and suggestions. This is my first time on the forum and Im happy to be part of this wonderful forum .This is such a big help. "Bob" yes, this is Susan your suggestions sound great - You all have given mec such nice ideas. I do need a good travel guide so your help is appreciated in this matter.
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Jan 18th, 2011, 02:09 AM
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Bobthenavigator, beautiful photos.
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Jan 18th, 2011, 06:59 AM
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Grazie mille !
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Jan 18th, 2011, 10:58 AM
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Great pictures- I'm still deciding on where to go - My thought right now are with FLorence, Tuscany,Venice and maybe one more - Could I do four in 12 days?
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Jan 18th, 2011, 10:59 AM
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Where could I take a cooking class ?
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Jan 18th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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Yes, I think you could do four in twelve days. However, you still have to allow for travel times between destinations. Florence is in Tuscany so you could either do a couple of day trips from Florence to places like Siena, San Gimignano, etc. or pick a town in Tuscany to stay for a day or two. Venice is also only a couple of hours from Florence via train.

As for another location, you could pick Rome, which is what I would do for a first-time visit and either travel Rome-Florence/Tuscany-Venice or the reverse.

If you want coastal Italy, instead of Rome you could do the Ligurian Coast/Cinque Terre, another beautiful area on the northwest coast of Italy. You could visit Pisa, the five villages of the Cinque Terre, Portovenere...

Another alternative would be to head north to either Lake Como or Lago Maggiore.

If recollection serves, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast are a good four hours trip south from Rome. The area is beautiful, but I would leave that for another visit.

I concur with the recommendations of previous posters that you consult both a guidebook and a map so that you will have some idea of the distances between the locations you are contemplating visiting. Also, when you see what is listed for each area, you may have a better idea of which areas you want to visit. I use the DK Eyewitness Travel Guides and then supplement with information from Fodors, Frommers and Lonely Planet from the library and internet. I like Eyewitness because they are informative and have lots of color photos, maps and diagrams. The large "Italy" guide is divided by region, so it is particularly helpful for getting an idea as to what cities/areas are near other cities/areas.
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Jan 18th, 2011, 01:07 PM
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You can base yourself in 2 or 3 locations and do day trips. Florence is actually in Tuscany. Venice deserves at least 3 full days. If you are a lover of art/architecture/art history, then you'll need at least 3 full days in Florence. If not, then a day or 2 is enough. You can take day trips from Florence to other Tuscan towns, possibly Pisa, or Siena. If you decide to go to Rome, which is well worth it, you would need at least 4 full days there (although you could easily keep busy for a week or more). From Rome you can take day trips to places such as Pompeii or Orvieto.

Once you decide on locations, you can look into open-jaw tickets (fly into one city and out another) based on your itinerary.

Given it's your first trip to Italy, and you have 13 days, I would recommend the big 3, Rome/Florence/Venice with maybe a day trip or 2. Fly into Rome and out of Venice (or vica versa)
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