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-   -   *** ITALY- What's best, east or west? *** (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/italy-whats-best-east-or-west-127960/)

Debbie Jun 4th, 2001 06:34 AM

*** ITALY- What's best, east or west? ***
 
Posting this again as first posting disappeared: <BR> <BR>Been to Meditteranean side of Italy many times and never to AAdriatic side. Have you been? Can you recommend where to visit? Hear it is different in landscape from opposite side. Please advise me. Grazie.

Shanna Jun 4th, 2001 12:07 PM

Debbie, me too! I suspect the Adriatic side is the undiscovered country (although not in the Shakespearean sense). A friend's mother's family hails from the Adriatic side and I'm told it's cliffs dropping to the sea, small towns, very rural, but don't know much else. Hoping for a trip next year. I'll be interested in seeing the responses. To the top!!

russ i Jun 4th, 2001 01:19 PM

Debbie, <BR> <BR>As far as what’s best, that is up to the individual. Obviously, Venice is in the east, but is it better than Rome, Portofino, or Capri, or just different? You need to ask youself a few questions: Are you mostly interested in landscape, towns, beaches, or …? Are you trying to tie in a trip to this area with another destination (i.e., Venice in the north, or Bari in the south)? Keeping that is mind, here are my impressions: <BR> <BR>With few exceptions, the Adriatic Coast of Italy is very flat. In fact, the area from north of Venice, south to the town of Ravenna is all delta land from the river Po. Continuing south, there is a substantial “bump” just south of Ancona. There you will find the Monte Conero, which has hiking trails, and a charming 3-star hotel called Hotel Monte Conero. It was converted from a convent, and still has many of the original structures. <BR> <BR>From here, south to Temoli, the mountains are closer to the sea, but you are not going to find the shear drop-offs that you find in eastern Liguria and the Amalfi coast. This changes once you reach the Gargagnano Pennisula, the “spur” of the boot-shaped country. This is a large mountainous park, with chalky limestone cliffs that drop off to the sea. From here, to the tip of the heel of the boot, the coast south is more developed, with a mix of beaches and rocky stretches. <BR> <BR>As far as suggestions, if you like to explore small and medium size towns, I prefer: <BR> <BR>Ravenna, a must-see for some of the best Byzantine mosaics anywhere; San Leo, hill-top town just north of San Marino, small, quaint and firmly off the beaten path; Sirolo, on the side of Monte Conero, medieval streets on the cliff above a rocky beach; San Loreto, major pilgrimage site to see the Virgin Mary’s house which, legend has it, was transported there by “angels”; Vasto, another hill top town with great sea views; the towns of Peschici and Vieste have some charm, but if you don’t like crowds, stay far away in the summer; Trani, wonderfully preserved Romanesque cathedral; Alberobello, not on the coast, but home to the famous stone houses called "Trulli", Ostuni, white-washed hilltop town, looks more Greek than Italian, surrounded by miles of olive groves; Lecce, Baroque gone wild, more curly-cues and naked babies on the front of those churches than you thought possible. <BR> <BR>For me, the must-miss is Rimini. This is the premiere beach going destination for Europe, and it is brash, crowded and just not pretty (although the old town center has some appeal). In fact, skip the beach towns entirely in the month of August and on summer weekends, unless you like to be wedged in like a sardine. <BR> <BR>I hope I’ve somewhat answered your question. Let me know if you need any other info. <BR> <BR>Russ <BR>

debbie Jun 4th, 2001 02:51 PM

Ciao Russ, <BR> <BR>Thank you for such a lovely description of Adriatic. I will mull over and see the places on map. My husband and I will then come to a decision. Again, molto grazie!

russ i Jun 4th, 2001 03:32 PM

Debbie, <BR> <BR>I forgot to mention. Another must see town is Urbino, slightly inland from the coast in Le Marche. This was the second most important town for art and architechture in Italy during the Renaissance, after Florence. About 2 hours south of there is Ascoli Piceno, with a beautiful piazza and home to the wonderful Olive Ascolani: stuffed olives, breaded and lightly fried. Yum. Have fun!

debbie Jun 5th, 2001 06:41 PM

Lei me ha fatto fame con questo posto, RUSS . . . <BR> <BR>(You made me hungry with that post, Russ!)

alan Jun 6th, 2001 02:22 PM

Hi! Have you considered Northern Italy? We've been to Italy several times but have not been south of Venice. The Dolomites are beautiful, with some very nice towns and cities. I've been on the Adriatic side but in Slovenia, which is south of Trieste. The water was a beautiful blue. We stayed in Piran which is a bilingual coastal town in Slovenia. Very inexpensive with good Italian seafood. The hotel had a tiled balcony that overlooked the Adriatic and was just about perfect. Less expensive than Italy but it used to be part of it. <BR>alan

Maira May 30th, 2003 03:38 PM

A Hollywood press column is making a big deal of the fact that Nicole Kidman just stay at the Hotel Elisa in Peschici (southern Italy) for about $69/night. She spent the weekend there with her parents. Who knows....maybe they found it in Fodor's.

ira May 31st, 2003 09:53 AM

Hi Debbie,

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