Italy trip Fall 2022

Old May 8th, 2021, 03:56 PM
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Yo Mike,
FWIW, if Montepulciano, then the closest train station is Chiusi. And if memory serves, Perugia and also Foligno are 2 other train hubs in that general region.
Funny, almost seems like we are all talking about some distant historical epoch or some other planet.

"Been so long, so long, so long."
(Bowie)
Done end
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Old May 8th, 2021, 05:47 PM
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If you’ve not come across Fodorite isabel’s photos, they might help you decide where to and and for how long:
https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/f739967755.
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Old May 9th, 2021, 04:29 AM
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**4 nights Milan with interest in side visit to Bergamo
Hire car
2 nights Lake Orta Hotel San Rocco
2 nights Lake Como Varenna Albergo Milano vs. Hotel du lac
4 nights Dolomites Ortesei, Hotel Grones side trip Bolzano…drop car in Verona?**

Why combine Bergamo with Milan instead of visiting on your way from Como to Dolomites?

Montepulciano has some bus service, but no train. Even bus service is limited so you can't easily day trip to other hill towns except maybe somewhere close like Pienza. Many buses in Italy are geared towards workers or school children. The schedules don't often work well for day trips.

Italy trip Fall 2022-sienaextraurbano.jpg
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Old May 9th, 2021, 05:19 AM
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Thanks all, bon voyage and Isabel photos have helped us decide to eliminate Puglia on this trip. We will devote more time to the Lakes region and also a bit more to Tuscany and Umbria.
If we wanted to find lodging in Tuscany and Umbria where we could cook our dinners could someone please share how to find such a place. Thanks
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Old May 9th, 2021, 09:08 AM
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"3 nights Ravello visit Paestum
Hire car drive to Puglia first 2 nights in Ostuni"

How will you get to Paestum? It's a long day-trip from Ravello however you do it.

Where would you pick up the car?... Most likely Salerno, so will you bus or ferry or taxi from Ravello? Then you have a 4-hour drive to Ostuni. Why not head to Matera first and shorten that travel day a bit...
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Old May 9th, 2021, 10:48 AM
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Yo KYB--excellent map. Grazie for posting it here. All of us posters will surely find it useful, including Mike & Laura.
Mike, it has been 31 long years since we were last in Tuscany. But as for Umbria, we can attest that a certain Bevagna apartment rental overlooking the main square would be ideal for cooking, plus much more. Actually, the agent gal who was our contact there exactly 6 springs ago, keeps sending regular rental updates for her various properties throughout the region. We don't really need those recommendations just now, but whatever.

Happy to provide specifics about that Bevagna address for anyone who might be interested. Tip: that apartment can be divided into 2 separate units, but we'd advise against that, don't settle.
I am done. The end.

PS such a shame about Castelluccio and the quakes; we had another attractive apartment recommendation there.
Does anyone know whether Norcia had re-opened to tourism post-quake/prior-covid?

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Old May 9th, 2021, 12:10 PM
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Yes kyb that is a great map and I will definitely use. So grateful for all your help. Jean, I have decided to forego the trip to Puglia. I need to research the trip to Paestum.
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Old May 9th, 2021, 01:02 PM
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You want to drive in Tuscany, between the hill towns.
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Old May 10th, 2021, 01:34 AM
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Suggested travel options

Hi Mike and Laura,
I would definitely suggest staying in Italy for the whole vacation. Changing countries would be too stressful because of the covid restrictions that vary a lot even within the EU. I don't know how long you're going to travel around Italy, but here are a few ideas for you:

Option 1: Milan and surrouning areas (Bergamo, Pavia, Como- Iseo-Garda lakes) + Trentino and Dolomites
In around 5 days (give or take) you can visit this area and you'll get to see medieval towns (Bergamo), Certosa di Pavia (beautiful monastery), you can relax on the lakes (and maybe get to visit villas on lake Como). Wine tasting tours are also interesting in this area (I did the Valcalepio DOC and Moscato di Scanzo DOCG in Bergamo). Trentino is just amazing: wonderful sceneries everywhere (lakes and mountains are something unique).

Option 2: Tuscany and Umbria
In about 7-8 days (depending on what you want to visit and the things you want to do there) you can get to see these hilly regions. I would definitely go for some cooking classes in the countryside (if it's something you like) and visit San Gimignano, Volterra (alabaster museum), Certaldo, Monteriggioni, Lucca, Viareggio (on the Versilia coast) and Pisa, not to mention Florence and the Uffizi Gallery, as you're also interested in museums. You cannot miss Orvieto, lake Trasimeno and Perugia in Umbria, which is pretty close to Montepulciano, Montalcino and Val d'Orcia, a must-see place in Tuscany.

This is what I would do having from 1 to 2 weeks to spend in Italy. I wouldn't go too south as it takes time moving around - I would only add it to this itinerary if I had 3 weeks.

Hope my suggestions will be useful for you guys

Ciao!
Claudia
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Old May 10th, 2021, 03:19 AM
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Scrb11, yes I would drive for the lakes and dolomites. Train the Bologna portion. Drive the Tuscany and Umbria leg. Than public transportation for Naples ,Amalfi.
Hire car in Sicily from Siracusa up till Palermo
At the moment I am looking at where to base for Tuscany for 4 nights in an apartment or small lodging where we could easily park the car and I love to cook.
Zebec offered up a beautiful apartment in Bevegna ? spelling. So that looks fantastic.
Happy Monday and a belated Mother's day.

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Old May 10th, 2021, 03:22 AM
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Claudia, thanks that sounds beautiful and similar to our thoughts. We will also include Sicily. We have set aside 2 months for our vacation
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Old May 27th, 2021, 02:39 PM
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**I need to research the trip to Paestum**
**Than public transportation for Naples ,Amalfi.**

Paestum public transport can be confusing. Probably easier by train from Naples if you stay there,but you can also catch the train at Pompeii's Trenitalia station (maybe 1/2 mile walk from the ruins) not the Circumvesuviana station. The train stop at Paestum is a tiny station and may have no option to get tickets so you would need to buy a r/t. From Amalfi, you can take a bus to Salerno and change to the bus for Paestum. This can be a little confusing as some buses drop/pick up over on the water a few blocks from the Salerno train station while other buses pick up/drop off in front of the train station. At Paestum, you would hop off the bus when you see the ruins, but for return, you should be able to catch it on the far side past the tourist shops.

** Most likely Salerno, so will you bus or ferry or taxi from Ravello? Then you have a 4-hour drive to Ostuni. Why not head to Matera first and shorten that travel day a bit**

I went to Matera by public transport from Caserta. Caught a local train to Naples and changed to an Italo train to Salerno which offers an Italo bus from there to Matera (small bus about half the size of a regular bus). Trenitalia and Italo offer some bus connections to various places, but only if you are taking their train too. I'm sure there are other buses that aren't owned by them such as Flix.

**At the moment I am looking at where to base for Tuscany for 4 nights in an apartment or small lodging where we could easily park the car and I love to cook**

For Tuscany, Pienza is flat with parking to be had on side streets outside the old town and there is also a paid lot. Pretty easy in and out, but Pienza old town is tiny (you can walk side to side in about 5 minutes). I've rented an apartment in Pienza at Il Giardino Segreto before, but I've also stayed a couple of miles outside Pienza at an agriturismo. I like being in town and walking to dinner (don't want to cook on vacation), but if you want to cook, most any agriturismo would have apartments with kitchens. If very early fall, their pools might still be open.

Il Giardino Segreto di Pienza | Un angolo di natura e di pace nel centro storico di Pienza

Depending on timing of your trip, the Chianti festival in Greve is in Sept. and they have a range of wines beside Chianti (+ a lot of Reserve Chiantis). There are lots of festivals, but I think you will probably miss the rolling of the barrels in Montepulciano, but there might be a festival in Montalcino or wine taste at the Fortezza. Or Osticcio Enoteca has sweeping views of the countryside and you can sample the brunellos there.




https://osticcio.it/en/

I found some of the towns in Umbria (south of Perugia) quite deserted. You have to plan around long closures in the afternoons many places. Perhaps bigger towns during those times (Assissi?). You can sample Sagrantino at L'Alchimista in Montefalco on the main piazza.




Ristorante - Enoteca Montefalco - L'Alchimista
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Old May 28th, 2021, 03:04 AM
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KyBourbon, thanks for all your input. I very much appreciate your knowledge and assistance with helping me plan my trip. Also I think the lodging in Pienza looks perfect for our time in Tuscany. Zebec had mentioned a beautiful spot in Bevegna for Umbria portion of our trip.
Here is what I am currently thinking.
US flight to Milan
3 nights Milan
Train to Varenna, 5 nights Varenna, One day for Bernini Express excursion
Train, bus to Ortesei 4 nights
Train to Bologna 5 or 6 nights Bologna, side trip, Modena, Parma, Ravenna

Not sure of best way to do train to either Umbria or Tuscany. Assuming I stay 4 nights in Pienza and 4 nights in Bevegna. I would hire car for this week. Where would be the most efficient way to leave Bologna. Also, I was planning to head from here to Naples. So what would be the most logical car drop train to Naples location?

I have decided to save Puglia for another vacation.

Thanks all.
mike
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Old May 28th, 2021, 08:35 AM
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Mike, in a recent replay of the 'Dreams of Italy' series, Kathy visited Umbria. Viewers saw a VG selection of Bevagna, Montefalco, Perugia and Assisi. There were even glimpses of S. Felipe (saffron harvest) and San Giovani, with all of its post-quake restoration complete.

Again, we ain't been to Tuscany in decades, and we've never been to the val d'Orcia, but my old research mentions some noted beauty spots there, ones that our above posters have no doubt seen on their travels:

-Agroturismo Baccoleno farm, as seen on countless tourism promo posters.
-Agroturismo Poggio Covilli farm, a popular sunrise spot with shutterbugs, apparently best seen from the hill on SP323, the route linking Bagno Vignoni with Rocca d'Orcia.
-Cipressi di 'Il Gladiator', the dreamy 'grain fields' spot that the location scout chose for the fantasy ending to 'Gladiator'; picturesque farm 'Terrapille' is just a bit further south.
-zig-zag roads at of course, La Foce plus just SE of Monticchielo (VG sunset spots).
-close by S. Quirico, the 'Podere' belvedere on Strada Prov. 146 towards Pienza.
-Pienza's own v. dell Amore and v. del Caselo, plus its viewing terrace accessed by the lane to the right of the cathedral entry.

I am done. the Italia fantasia

Last edited by zebec; May 28th, 2021 at 08:45 AM.
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Old May 28th, 2021, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by zebec View Post
-Cipressi di 'Il Gladiator', the dreamy 'grain fields' spot that the location scout chose for the fantasy ending to 'Gladiator'; picturesque farm 'Terrapille' is just a bit further south.

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Old May 28th, 2021, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by zebec View Post
-zig-zag roads at of course, La Foce plus just SE of Monticchielo (VG sunset spots).

I am done. the Italia fantasia
There is a good documentary that touches on both the fantasy and the reality of life in these scenic Tuscan hilltowns: Spettacolo. Takes place in Monticchiello.

Trailer here:
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Old May 28th, 2021, 01:24 PM
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Sicily looks much better than your earlier plan! Good job! We spent a full week on Ortigia Is., loved it.
I would drop Lake Orta and either spend those days on Lake Maggiore
or put all those days together and add to Lake Como. We did not enjoy Lake Orta nor did our friends. In ten trips to Italy, one of very few places we not like.
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Old May 28th, 2021, 06:44 PM
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**Not sure of best way to do train to either Umbria or Tuscany. Assuming I stay 4 nights in Pienza and 4 nights in Bevegna. I would hire car for this week. Where would be the most efficient way to leave Bologna. Also, I was planning to head from here to Naples. So what would be the most logical car drop train to Naples location?**

Depends on whether you are going to Tuscany first or Umbria. You could pick up a car leaving Bologna and head to Perugia area (appears to be a 3 hour drive) or Bevagna. No easy train connections between Bologna/Perugia (multiple train changes). You also have to pay attention to closures for these rental car companies. Many simply close on Sunday and are open 1/2 day on Saturday so you have to plan around that.

I would not drive in Naples. Of call the crazy driving you see in Italy, Naples is insane.

**Also I think the lodging in Pienza looks perfect for our time in Tuscany.**

The apartments are very basic. There are quite a few other apartments in Pienza if you need different amenities. Do ask any lodging about heat and air and when it gets turned on/off for the season. I find this to be more of an issue in the countryside than in cities. I froze one trip in Sept. because no one had turned heat on yet (some areas have to hit certain temps before it's turned on). Another option, these apartments in Montepulciano have been popular with Fodorites (I haven't stayed in them) and they have parking. Probably pick the location that is more central to the towns you want to visit.

APPARTAMENTI AL POGGIOLO romantic holiday apartments in montepulciano



**Again, we ain't been to Tuscany in decades, and we've never been to the val d'Orcia**

Zebec - You need to go back and stay in val d'Orcia area. I think it's more scenic and other areas.

Have you looked at budget flights from Naples to Sicily? Overnight ferries to Palermo (depart about 10pm and arrive about 7am)?
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Old May 28th, 2021, 06:49 PM
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I was in Pienza in July 2019. There were several days of around 100 degrees temperatures.

Then the night before I departed, it rained like crazy. It ended in the morning in time for my drive back to Florence to return the car and take the train to Venice.

Was almost as if they needed a good drenching to break the heat wave.

Needless to say, I'd make sure of air conditioning.
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Old May 29th, 2021, 02:03 AM
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**Needless to say, I'd make sure of air conditioning.**

Perhaps, but the OP says Sept/Oct. When I've traveled in the 2nd half of Sept. I haven't needed AC in Tuscany, but have wished for heat several times. Perhaps someone can chime in about the timing of cut off/on of heat/AC.
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