Italy full - come back later.

Jun 23rd, 2007, 03:05 PM
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Italy full - come back later.

We just arrived home from our third June trip to Italy. Our first year we went in late June and last year and this - early June. I gotta tell you that Rome and the Amalfi Coast were absolutely crawling with people. Way more than last year, especially Positano, shich was a zoo. I don't think the dollar vs. euro has scared away anyone. Our friends couldn't get into the Pantheon until our 3rd day in Rome because it was wall to wall people inside and out. The line at St. Peter's was miles long. There were just WAY more tourists than we have seen in years past. The one spot that we were sometimes in glorious solitude was Tuscany. This surprised me because it seems every other post on this site is about a trip to Tuscany. We are returning to Italy (Rome and Umbria) in October and I am hoping that we will find it less crazy!!!!
rbnwdln is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 03:18 PM
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I was in Rome and Umbria for 3 weeks starting the last week in July and it was packed with people - had the same experience with the Pantheon.

Went back in mid-October for 10 days and it was a completely difference experience. I think you'll love your fall visit.
StCirq is online now  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 06:24 PM
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I have vowed never to travel in Italy during the summer months. I've had friends who visited during those months return home and ask me why I am so passionate about Italy...they said it was too hot and too full of tourists. That's a shame.
caroltis is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 06:36 PM
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I think Italy is being loved to death. On our last trip, in February, there seems to be as many tourists as there were in October ten years ago. I thinki I'm going to concentrate on areas (and countries) Rick Steves doesn't write up, and where private guides are not abundant.
Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:16 PM
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hmmm...we were there in Jan. and Feb. and barley even saw another tourist (!) guess it matters where you go...and obviously base yourself in more off-the-beaten path spots (there are SO many great places that are not in the guide books!)...although...I must say...we really didn't think Rome was crowded when we were there for a week in late Feb. - I though fairly average tourist-wise.
We're thinking of going over though in Aug./Sept. though and I'm a bit worried...haven't been "high-season" in years and I don't know if I'll get used to it!
CasaDelCipresso is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:48 PM
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The fact that Italy is one of the cheaper countries in Europe to travel in, probably makes it even more popular to US tourists. Despite the high airfare.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 08:00 PM
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Cheaper? Well, the hotel costs are more than France, that's for sure. We didn't find it any cheaper than previous trips to other countries in Europe. How is it cheaper? What did we miss?
rbnwdln is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 08:07 PM
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I say it's one of the cheaper. France, especially outside Paris, is also relatively cheap. When compared to northern Europe or UK.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 11:57 PM
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We were in Rome in early October last year and had no problems with crowds except for the Vatican but we had prebooked so went straight in. The Pantheon was wide open.
We rented an apartement for 3 days which was reasonable and I didn't find restaurant prices to be exorbitant.
Sarvowinner is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 01:58 AM
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Things will probably never go back to the way they were. France and Italy are on the entire world's "must see" list, and a lot of countries that didn't use to travel for monetary or political reasons are now making up for lost time.

The first increase came from Eastern Europe. In the early 90's, the Hungarians, Poles, Czechs, Russians and others were sleeping in their cars and eating canned goods from home but so happy to be able to travel. Within 5 years, they were staying in 1-star or 2-star hotels. That added about 15 million extra tourists a year to the West. Since then, they have been joined by the Chinese as well as a lot of Southeast Asia, Mexico and a lot of latin America. And internet bookings are filling up the planes better. Even the winter can get crowded, because a lot of tropical countries crave the novelty of winter. We just have to learn to live with it.
kerouac is online now  
Jun 24th, 2007, 05:20 AM
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well...all I know is that there are still places in Italy that my family of three can go in and have a lovely meal (pasta, main course, side and wine) for under 25euros...
I haven't found that in a lot of Western European countries It still is definately the biggest bang for your buck, IMHO...outside Venice, Rome, Milan...and maybe Florence too . Just go out and find other towns to base yourself and go into the cities for day trips and you will be pleasantly surprised! Or better yet...head South to Campania, Puglia or Basislicata...where there are almost NO tourists (exception being Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast). Still great "back-door" spots to find on your own ;-)
CasaDelCipresso is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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Okay, then, it's agreed - - no one mention anything further about T_R_NO or the Pi_m_nte in S_pt_mb_r, okay? We want it all to ours_lves!

If you c_n und_rst_nd my coded m_ss_ge, then I guess I should worry about you trying to s_bot_age my plans, huh? (safe to assume that you don't live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, maybe... you th_nk?)

Best w_shes,

rex is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 06:22 AM
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Well, and here is the thing. If you have secret spots, please don't share them!!!
I know this goes against the grain for this board in some respects, but I think the board is best used for travel tips on well-known places.
Once revealed is forever overrun.
Let the world have Rome, Venice, the Amalfi coast. And let each person discover, if they are willing and able, special quiet authentic spots.
But let's not invite the world to these quiet treasures. Know what I mean?
Ellen C.
ellencraig is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 06:28 AM
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We were in Rome / Naples in December and there were few lines anywhere and what lines there were, were relatively short. I realized that December may not be an option or desire for everyone but it worked well for us.
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 07:15 AM
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Yes, I am sure there are many places in Italy that are less crowded, less expensive, and very appealing. My post was just a way to marvel at the amazing increase in tourists that we noticed in just THREE years. Last year in early June there seemed to be about 10 people on the main beach of Positano in the afternoons. This past week it was wall to wall bodies AND the little alleyways were almost impassable. I think next year we will find another 'paradise.' (My husband says next year we spend our vacations spending more time visiting his mother in Indiana! We'll see....Hahaha)
rbnwdln is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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lol, rbn. This was our first trip to Italy and we were expecting more lines, crowds, etc. from all that I had read so our experience in December came as a surprise.
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 02:29 PM
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A note to all tourists from the US - don't try to rationalise in terms of dollar tourism. Much of the huge increase in numbers for the southern Med this summer will be down to us Northerns (european) heading on mass for the sun.

We are all pointing at China as the devil incarnate for burning the planet but unfortunately the European low cost flight operators have their part to play. This is probably similar to the changes in fare structures that took place with US internal flights 10 - 15 years ago.

It is now cheaper to fly from London to Rome than it is to park your car at Heathrow for 4 days!!

The number of trips per year being taken by English/ German tourists is becoming ridiculous ( and I am also guilty). I know of retired teacher groups who visit Italy nearly every other week!
markrosy is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 03:40 PM
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Interesting info markrosy.
calville is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 04:23 PM
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Unfortunately, this is the price paid when things are accessable. The worst is San Gimignano. It is a wonderfully picturesque town with dozens of towers. There are only about 7,000 natives. There is a parking lot at the bottom on the town, where buses park and let people out. You climb up to the top of the town. There are at least 20 buses at any one time. Each year they get about 1,000,000 tourists. It sounds impossible, but do the math. 356 days times 50 buses a day times 40 tourists per bus.

Florence and Venice are trying to think of ways to limit people, but what do you do when someone drives to the city limits?

Prague was really bad because it is so small that a relatively small number of people can overwhelm it.

The good old days are gone.
dncdave is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 04:24 PM
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I like the explanation by markrosy too.
rkkwan is offline  

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