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Italy, beyond the most common Tourist Destinations

Italy, beyond the most common Tourist Destinations

Feb 19th, 2017, 03:38 PM
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Italy, beyond the most common Tourist Destinations

My husband and I are returning to Italy for our 3rd visit in the last 5 years. We have gone miles wide and an inch deep! We have spent a few days in Florence, Rome, Tuscany (San Gimignano, & Southern Tuscany in the country, Sorento and Venice) On this trip, we would like to spend at least 3 days in each location that we visit and explore a little more. We are foodies and like the history as well. We LOVED San Gimignano. We are flying in and out of Rome. We plan on 4 days in Montepulciano doing cooking classes and wine tours. Considering Lake Garda and Verona for 3 days. I have read that for our taste, this may be a better choice than the Cinque Terra or Bologna region. Any suggestions for better locations? Suggestions for activities if we go to Verona/Lake Garda? We love exploring and staying in the old villages.
Pam6000 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2017, 05:02 PM
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Bologna is known for its food, and perhaps better in that regard than Lago di Garda for foodies.

Tarquinia is worth a stop for its Etruscan museum and tombs:
Michael is offline  
Feb 19th, 2017, 07:15 PM
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Verona is a very pretty town and not at all like San Gimignano. I liked it a lot, there is some good food there (and wine) and day trip possibilities. It's easy to go to Padua and Vicenza by train, and with Lago di Garda there is more than enough for 3 days/4 nights.

Another place we enjoyed was Perugia. The food is good, the wine is very good, and again, lots of possibilities for daytrips ie Assisi, Gubbio, Spello.

It would be helpful to know when your trip is.
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Feb 19th, 2017, 09:33 PM
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Padova might be good, lots of interesting wines to the North and you have the Euganian hills next door with a small AC. Food good
bilboburgler is online now  
Feb 21st, 2017, 11:21 PM
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If you have the budget, villa feltrinelli in Lake garda (in the town gargnano) has a two star michelin restaurant that will absolutely change your life. Seriously the food was utterly transcendental. The meal starts with a medley of gorgeous and creative canapés and champagne in their sprawling gardens by the lake and then you move to a lakeside terrace to enjoy the rest of your meal. We did a full tasting menu and I was nearly moved to tears several times during the meal because the food was that good. I feel ridiculous writing that but it's the truth. In my mind its worth going to garda just for that meal. Riva del Garda is also quite beautiful and the hiking is truly wonderful in that area. If you do go to garda---definitely rent a car-- the buses are infrequent and unpredictable
trailandtide is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2017, 05:50 PM
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If you fly in and out of Roma, why go so far to Verona? The best thing about Verona is the arena, just like the Colosseo in Roma. It is a nice city but it is nothing like San Gimignano. It is a city. The red wine is very good but the food is nicer in other cities.

Why don't you go to Sabina Hills or Umbria? If you like food, you go to a beautiful towns in Umbria like Montefalco or Spoleto or Spello. But if you don't like to be with other tourists, go to the Sabina Hills. The food is beautiful and the towns are ancient. People are very friendly. If you like to look at a lake you can visit Lago del Turano.
massimop is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2017, 10:19 PM
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If you've no particular reason for going there, I'd steer clear of Verona.

It's got, if anything, substantially less charm, great art and impressive buildings than Padua, Vicenza, Ferrara or Parma (never mind Ravenna) or most other medium-sized towns in the area.

But - at least while the opera festival's on - it's simply heaving with crowds. I suspect it's not just the opera festival but the town's unfortunate location at the intersection of the main Northern Italian east-west motorway with the main motorway connecting Central and Eastern Europe with Italy and the Mediterranean. Or maybe the imbecility surrounding the purported Juliet's house.

Whatever: all the horrors of Rome, Venice and Florence with none of the great art.

But if it's just a couple of days, I'm with massimop. Umbria's stuffed with smallish delights.
flanneruk is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2017, 12:59 AM
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I was also going to suggest the Sabina


It is on my list of places to visit
jamikins is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2017, 03:27 AM
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If you go to near Lake Garda or Verona, I would suggest Mantua. Small compact city with lots to see. Not good n the main tourist track.

In Montepulciano, I would go on the Avignonesi winery lunch. Hour tour of the winery followed by a 3 hour multi course meal with lots of very good wine.
SkipHudgins is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2017, 04:57 AM
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On Lake Garda visit Malchesine and its castle for wonderful views. Also take the ferry over to Limone. A gorgeous little town across the lake with narrow cobbled streets, beautiful old homes, stunning views, cute lil shops and restaurants on the waterfront.
mnag is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2017, 08:48 AM
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I rather like Verona. We went there a couple of times to visit a medical specialist, but we also spent a night there once so we could go to the opera. The arena is certainly worth seeing, and there are some nice old bridges over the Adige, which makes a big loop around the city. Yes, it's a city, but it has a nice old center.

If you really want great food and not many tourists, visit Le Marche. Nothing against Umbria, but Le Marche is one of Italy's best dining destinations.
bvlenci is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2017, 09:46 AM
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Siena is one of my favorite places in Europe.
shelemm is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2017, 02:23 PM
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There's more to Verona than Juliet's balcony...some visitors don't even go there.


And it's a good base to visit other places very close by on the train.

But if the OP wants to stay in a small town then Verona isn't that.
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2017, 04:35 PM
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A really nice small town is Vicenza. Beautiful architecture, good food, great train connections to other places.
Sassafrass is offline  
Mar 5th, 2017, 07:01 PM
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We booked our train from Rome to Verona before reading many of your post. Now, we are concerned about our time in Verona! Our itinerary is:
Land in Rome then train to Verona. Spend the afternoon in Verona.
Day 2 - Rent car and go to Limone and Riva.
Day 3 - Possibly visit some wineries, by car if necessary and take a cooking class.
Day 4 - Early train to Florence and stay 1 night.
Day 5 - Rent car and Drive, by way of Siena, to Montepulciano & stay for 3 nights,
Day 6 - Visit Montilcino, Pienza and some Brunello wineries
Day 7 - stay in Montepulciano
Day 8 - Drive to Rome stopping in Orvieto.
Day 9 & 10 - Rome
Pam6000 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2017, 07:20 PM
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Sounds like a nice trip to me. Maybe rethink your stops on Garda. Limone is very small and Riva del Garda is quite spread out and the older section is small. You can take a boat ride from there.

But I might pick a town or two from the bottom of the lake.

When is your trip?
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Mar 5th, 2017, 09:49 PM
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Why concerned about Verona? Are you planning to be there during the opera season?
sundriedtopepo is offline  

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