Italy: September 2014

Old Jun 7th, 2014, 09:40 AM
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Italy: September 2014

My boyfriend and I want to go to Italy this September. We plan to fly into Venice and out of Rome. We will probably have 9 days.

We are planning to spend about $5000-6000 total (including airfare which is around $1200-1300 per ticket right now). I am more of a "gotta see everything" sort of person, and he is a "relax and enjoy" person. We want a good mix. I have been to Italy, a short weekend trip to Rome with a "gotta see everything" approach. So, Rome is essentially our departure city (back to Minnesota, US), but we would like to see a few things so he gets a taste of it. He would like to see the Colosseum.

We plan to spend 2 days in Venice, but don't know what to do between Venice and Rome. We most care about seeing some "authentic" Italy, eating good food, and balancing relaxation and seeing the "must-see" stuff.

Maybe Tuscany? Florence could be nice. We like museums. I would like to see a coast, like Amalfi or Cinque Terre (or an non-touristy coastal town with just as much beauty), maybe a day trip or a one-night stay? My thoughts are all over the Italian map since I don't what to exclude any ideas until I get some first hand advice on this. After I get some recommendations, we will narrow down our hotel stays to probably 2-3 cities (including Venice and Rome), with day trips to get variety, then pick a logical route (via plane, train, or bus) from city-to-city.

As of right now, I am looking for the ideas of what and where. Next, we will plan the how.

I would appreciate advice on what to see, where to go, how much time to spend places, and must do activities! Any ideas on "must-see" touristy things as well as more "authentic/off the beaten path" places are greatly appreciated!
sjohns100 is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2014, 09:49 AM
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Well the obvious choices are Verona, Padua, Ravenna, Ferrara, Bologna, Palma, Bergamo, Florence, Siena, Lucca, Pisa plus a few more up in the hills. I'm going to assume you are using a train and I'd advise to stay 3 nights at each place.

Must sees..... What is the Must see of Minnesota? Do you want to see how wine is made or Ferraris? Do you want to see the birth of the renaisance or how the plague stop Siena developing? This is a country that has been occupied for the last 6000 years by a number of peoples nearly all of whom have left their mark on this modern country.
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Old Jun 7th, 2014, 10:25 AM
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I suggest spending two nights in Venice, two nights in Florence then either head to Sorrento for two and end in Rome for two or skip Sorrento and go just to Rome with a day trip to Amalfi. I personally don't like day trips that long . My first trip to Italy I arrived in Rome for 4 nights took the train to Florence for two nights, then took the train to Venice for two nights. My second trip to Italy we flew into Calabria for a week and the second week on the Almalfi Coast and flew out of Naples. I enjoy staying put more and enjoy the little surrounding towns. We rented a car for touring locally but used trains for transportation to other destination. Good luck! What ever you decide it's a great trip.
Joy2 is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2014, 01:49 PM
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Thanks for the advice. Do you guys have favorite places to see or things to do in Italy?

And bilboburgler, the Minnesota must sees are the Minnesota State Fair, the Iron Range, Duluth, and the Twin Cities. Must dos are snowshoeing on the North Shore, camping near the Iron Range, fourwheeling, and shopping at Mall of America. Just in case you're sincerely interested!
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Old Jun 7th, 2014, 01:57 PM
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I don't think the obvious choices are Verona, Padova, etc, if you want to spend some time by the sea in summer. (In Italy, summer lasts until the end of September in most places). I also thin Sorrento is to touisty -- for many people it is just an easy pit stop for seeing Pompei or Capri or the Amalfi --it isn't really what you are looking for.

9 days is not a lot in Italy, especially if you would like to experience both a non-touristy aspect of Italy and the sea as well -- in addition to Rome and Venice.

Fortunately, in Italy, you can both relax and see amazing"must see" sights. just about every place you walk, you will bump into an historic or artistic sight that is incredible. So go with your BF's wish to "relax" and not be dragged around sightseeing. the guidebook recommended sights. Don't be afraid you will end up missing incredible things. They are everywhere. Cut a deal with your BF that you get to see 1 or 2 of your personal "must see" sights before lunch, but the rest of the day after lunch, you will go with his mood. Like I said, even if he just wants to hang out in some pizza, it will be an incredible piazza with a great history and great architecture, so you will be rewarded too,

As for what to do between Rome and Venice, some of these places might interest you if you want to spend a moment off the beaten track and yet have a jaw-dropping experience of Italy in September:

Camogli or Chiavari
Fiesole or Pistoia
Chiiusi (find an offbeat b&b)
sandralist is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2014, 02:11 PM
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I'm sure you are right about Minnesota but must sees are also about what you like as well as what is for offer. My advice is firstly that
1) Tuscany is a very pretty site, the trees climbing up the hill side is really good.
2) Florence is a good gateway to Tuscany but it is down in the valley as is Pisa and Lucca. Each of those cities offers buildings and art from 1300 to the present with only Lucca offering much of the city walls still present (even if the walls are 1700-1800).
3) The cities of Tuscany up in the hills tend to be seriously hilly (oh yes) and the views from the old buildings are wonderful
4) The towns and cities mentioned by everyone above are also attractive versions of this type of city. Though some of them are pretty old with the Chiusi founded before Rome.

I'm going to ignore mountain climbing and going to the seaside as I guess you can do them anywhere. However you will find some aspects of the smaller cities interesing including the evening wanderings of the locals which is major part of the local culture.

Have a great holiday 3 stops in total sounds about right
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Old Jun 7th, 2014, 02:57 PM
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sjohns100 -
If you'd consider renting a car in the middle part of your trip, you could have a lovely time in Umbria or Tuscany for a few days.

If you fly into Venice, it could look something like this:
2 nights Venice
3 nights Spoleto or Assisi (good access to hill towns via train, but a car rental out of Spoleto or Perugia would be easier)
4 nights Rome

Venice has great museums and there's nothing like the Basilica in Assisi. Rome of course, is great. With just 9 days I wouldn't go to the coast, I wouldn't go to Florence, I'd want a mix of city and more rural to get a better feel for Italy. Of course if it was my trip, I'd also skip Venice and save that for a different trip that included Bologna and Ravenna.

And then there's be a third trip that would include the coast somewhere...

Keep in mind that your budget will go farther outside of places like Florence and Rome. Umbria is fantastic and I have found it to be more affordable, especially for lodging. You also save money if you move around less. 2 or 3 places are plenty for 9 days. If you're 4 nights in Rome, you might want to consider apartments.
rosetravels is offline  
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