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Ed Park Dec 11th, 2002 04:24 PM

Italy vs. Greece?
My wife and I are planning to take a 10-day trip to Europe and I'm wondering what people think about Italy vs. Greece for a (pregnant) couple looking for outdoor activities, hiking, and nature/scenery. We're not as into museums, though. Your suggestions are appreciated.

umm Dec 11th, 2002 04:33 PM

what season? presumably this pregnancy is already real, not imagined, so in the next few months, i presume?<BR><BR>surely you can find what yuou seek in either country. you may find the hospitality industry a little more shut down in winter in greece, a little less seasonal in umbria, just to use one example.<BR>

Tanyia Dec 11th, 2002 04:36 PM

I absolutely adore Italy and would choose it in a heartbeat. Greece was fun but Italy has my heart.

StCirq Dec 11th, 2002 04:41 PM

Although Greece is a spectacular destination, I would opt for Italy under the circumstances. Greece is not necessarily the safest of European nations at the moment, and it's also more likely your pregnant wife would contract some intestinal misfortune there. That's possible in any country, of course, but as it's not something you'd want to happen during pregnancy. I'd go to Italy where she can pretty well eat without being concerned for her health.

Robert Dec 11th, 2002 04:43 PM

My suggestion Valle D'Aosta. Stay in Cogne or Dagioz,hiking high season is August.<BR>Planning would depend on how pregnant your wife is at the time.Now is time for skiing in the area, also other winter activities.<BR>Area is around Gran Paradiso National Park<BR>also could slip down to alba and asti for a little gourmet get away,maybe work in a hot spring spa.Sound good? RR

Robert Dec 11th, 2002 04:45 PM

Area above is in Italy near Mt. Blanc(monte Bianco) RR

Nick Dec 12th, 2002 03:17 AM

Not sure of why Greece is that much more dangerous than Italy at the moment.<BR>I would definitely say Greece is cheaper than a lot of Italy. I was appalled at the prices I paid for ordinary food in Sardinia earlier this year. As to belly aches, I am not a huge fan of Greek food (and I am married to a Greek) but one thing for sure - they love (over)cooking their meat, so not great risk on that front! I would not get too concerned about either place if you avoid the all you can eat buffets where food sits out all day - common enough in lots of tourist places. Scenery wise , Santorini is an outstanding island. Hiking - could look at Northern Lakes of Italy or the South Tyrol - better weather for hiking than in the more south areas if you are going in summer. Lakes are gorgeous but be prepared in summer for the weekend invasions from Munich

Alice Twain Dec 12th, 2002 04:19 AM

The only actual advantage (aside for personal tastes) I can see in Italy vs Greece is that in Italy you may have easier access to the health structures. Not that Greek health structures are worse than Itlaian, but due to the &quot;shape&quot; of the two countries you are much more likely to need an helicopter to fly you (or your wife) to a faraway hospital in Greece than in Italy. Tuscany and Umbria (and other regions of Italy too!) offer plenty occasions for mild outdoor activities, fit for a pregnant woman, while still in the surrounds of a fairly large city or town with a decently sized hospital. You know, just in case!!! Ah, one last thing: all emergency services in Italian public hospitals are completely free, even for foreigners. As far as I know they are free also in Greece, though, and in every village or island there is usually at least one doctor.

Rex Dec 12th, 2002 05:03 AM

Umbria sounds like a great match for what you are seeking. Consider also Rieti, the province which is geographically closer to Rome (south of Umbria), but actually less touristy, known primarily for its giant &quot;Parco regionale naturale dei Monti Lucretili&quot; (like what we would call a national park in the US).<BR><BR>See for more info.<BR><BR>Best wishes,<BR><BR>Rex<BR><BR><BR>

Boo Dec 12th, 2002 06:17 AM

Hi.<BR><BR>I've spent time in both places. My three weeks in Italy semed like a day. My three days in Greece seemed like having the flu for a year and a half. One may be interested in historical Greece (then go to the British Museum which has most of the good stuff), but unless this is really what you want, you will be bored silly. Now read the responses from the Greece fans...<BR>

Alice Twain Dec 12th, 2002 06:31 AM

boo:<BR><BR>You asked for a greece fan? Well, here I am. Greece can be the most wonderful place in the world unless you are very interested in history and art. Most people make the huge mistake to go to Greece to have a link to ancient Greece, but unluckily there isn't much of it left, so the go back home depressed. Greece is something else, Greece is a great scenario, is quiet islands, is a sea you rarely see in Italy (except in some areas in Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia) is great food at much cheaper prices than in Italy, is the best, most creamy and perfumed coffee in the world (haven't been to Turkey, though!), is a sun dthat will make you forget gloom and sadness, and much more. Sure, you must not go there in the heat of summer and you must carefully keep clear of the most crowded islands, but if it is a sea holiday, than it must be Greece.

selena Dec 12th, 2002 07:49 AM

I have to go with Italy too. One of my favorite things to do in Italy is just drive aimlessly on backroad. This would be very relaxing for you and your wife. Tuscany, Umbria,or the Lakes would be suitable for this.<BR>Have fun....

tracy Dec 12th, 2002 09:05 AM

hey ed,<BR><BR>i would say 'go greece' if you're looking for pure r&amp;r and no hassles (italy still can be rip-off central, while in greece they're required by law to give you the receipt for meals/purchases/whatever.) <BR><BR>greece is in the european union, and every small island has a modern health center.<BR><BR>since you only have 10 days in europe, i'd fly into london then take a cheap charter flight right to one of the island chains, avoiding athens like the plague leading up to the 2004 games. (it should be great afterwards!)<BR><BR>check online for UK package holiday companies - most of 'em do flight-only, too. my personal fave islands are the into samos, kos or rhodes then check out the smaller islands nearby, 1 night here, 2 nights on another. easy to get around on hydrofoils.<BR><BR>maybe you and your wife could charter a yacht (bareboat &amp; tours are available) for some quality time researching the many colors of mediterranean blue . . . ?<BR><BR>and - *congratulations* on your growing family! greeks love families and you will be pampered, wherever you go. promise.<BR>hth &amp; let us know which one you choose<BR>= )

ttt Dec 12th, 2002 05:24 PM

up to the top, for Ed<BR>

Alice Twain Dec 13th, 2002 05:17 AM

Tracy:<BR><BR>Italy made recepits be required for every buy except cinema and theater tickets and newspapers before Greece. The fact that some Italian shops and bars and restaurants don't give you a receipt does not mean that it is legal not to do so. In case some shopkeepr does not give you a receipt (it must NOT bear a colored band with NON FISCALE written on the band) does not give you a receipt, you should look for a policeman and tell him or her what happened. I am pretty sure that after this the shopkeeper will think twice about breaking this law.

Nola Agha Dec 13th, 2002 07:35 AM

I've spent time in Italy and Greece and now I live in Greece, that's how much better I think Greece is! <BR><BR>Italy has that romantic pull on our heart strings but the hotels are filthy, I was never able to find good pasta, and they really know how to overcharge in touristic areas. If you're not into museums and the glory of old cities there really is no reason to be in Italy except for the Alps. <BR><BR>Greece is over 50% mountains so there are endless little villages and mountain retreats all spotted with ruins, monasteries, and breathtaking views of the sea. <BR><BR>You can really get caught up on history without having to do the museum bit: Delphi, Olympia, and Marathon are all outdoors, hikable, and pretty. If you really don't want museums then come to Greece. <BR><BR>I really don't know why someone said the food and water here are unsafe -- that's absolutely not true. Tap water is safe and drinkable everywhere and you won't catch any bugs. Greece may not be as spanking clean and organized Germany, but it IS part of the EU you know. And I happen to adore Greek food. The Greek food I had in America apparently wasn't ever the real thing.<BR><BR>Outdoor activities in Greece are best in May and June. In those months it's warm but not too hot and there is really very little chance of rain. April might be a -bit- chilly and rainy still. Avoid July and August like the plague (every Italian, German, Brit, and Greek flood the islands).<BR><BR>September can also be a good time to travel but it sounds like you'll be a proud father by then.<BR><BR>Have a great trip -- Nola, Greece101

Carolina Dec 13th, 2002 04:45 PM

Healthcare in Greece is fine, although, with a pregnant wife, you would probably be better avoiding anywhere totally isolated (that would also be true for Italy, or anywhere else for that matter).<BR>The hospitals in Athens, Kalamata and Ioannina are particularly good, and the larger islands are certainly ok from this point.<BR>More people seem to speak English in Greece than in Italy which may be a concern to you.<BR>No problems with food, water etc. in either country.

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