Naples or Florence or Venice


Mar 4th, 2011, 05:42 PM
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Naples or Florence or Venice

I'm going to have 5 nights on my own in Italy. I would like some opinions about the major differences between the three cities/regions. . . Naples vs. Florence vs. Venice. I'll be there in mid-July.

I'd like to have a home base and then travel by train around to visit other places. I'm on a budget.

pauleau is offline  
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Mar 4th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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It's going to be pretty hard to tell you what to do when you haven't given us any idea what you like.

Some thoughts: Naples will be pretty hot in July and Florence also. Venice will probably be somewhat less so if that is a consideration.

You can take day trips from any of the three. My personal favorite is Florence as there is so much to do and see there that we return each time we are in Italy. The food is better in Naples and Florence than in Venice (also my personal opinion).

Come back with some information and we can be of more help. Is this your first trip to Italy? How do you like to spend your travel time - seeing scenery, churches, museums, strolling the city, sitting in cafes? Why are you going to Italy? Since you have picked 3 cities, can we presume you prefer cities to countryside?
mamcalice is offline  
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Mar 4th, 2011, 06:48 PM
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All great cities and July is a great time to go (August is when things begin to shut down). Here are our thoughts on the cities:
Naples: This city is Old. School. Really great. We stay in the old quarter and enjoy the beautiful Baroque architecture and museums and just generally soaking up an Italian city which most tourists miss.
Florence. Also incredible. Overwhelming amount of Gothic and Renaissance art and architecture. One of our favorite activities is to use a guide to visit Florence's Last Supper frescoes -- the city has so many concentrated in the center, that you can visit several sites in only a few hours and compare the different styles. In addition, many of these sites are less on the beaten path, which can be nice!
Venice. A definite favorite. Absolutely gorgeous, with amazing architecture that was influenced by all of Venice's trading partners. Favorite sites are the Eastern-influenced Church of St. Mark and Palladio's Renaissance gems.
The choice is yours, but you can't go wrong!
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Mar 4th, 2011, 08:58 PM
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I am not a fan of Naples for a few reasons: it isn't clean enough for me. The air isn't clean and the people can be rude. I thought that even window shopping sucked in Naples. I had two bad meals there, both featuring abysmal service. Neopolitans told me that they got awful service in Naples all the time. I loved the Archeological Museum (although even that was unkempt) but I am not interested in returning to Naples. There are other places in the south of Italy that I would choose before Naples.

I don't know if you are a man or woman, and if you are even interested in things like window shopping.

I love Florence. I've been there many times and often for a week or so. It will be hot in July, and probably crowded, but you could say that about all of the major tourist cities in Italy. If you like art and architecture, this would be a good choice. I don't think of Florence as a city where one would experience Gothic art or buildings. Medieval and Renaissance are the deal there. Fabulous window shopping, a great central food market, and other good markets. Wonderful food, and I've only experienced minimal disdain there. Florentines are often decorous and sophisticated.

Venice is as beautiful as you've heard, and can also be hot. If you like churches and museums, it's a good choice. Wonderful daytrips. In fact, perhaps you could consider a small city like Verona as a base, and from there you could go to Venice as a daytrip. Verona is lovely and in July, you would be able to go to the opera at the arena.
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Mar 5th, 2011, 09:05 AM
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For an idea of what each of those three has to offer, you might try this...

We moved to Ischia, some 20 miles from Naples, eight years ago - so what follows now may not be entirely without bias...

Ironically enough, Italy's oldest city was named Neapolis ("new city") by the Greeks who founded it in 8th or 9th century B.C. and for a long time it was one of the western world's two or three largest. Even today it's almost three times as populous as either of you two other choices - with a million people in the immediate Comune, and some 3m in the wider Provincia. For the half millennium up until the country's unification it was the capital of southern Italy - a position that, since then, it has only claimed unofficially!

It's easy journey from Rome - about an hour on the €45 fast train, or longer (but as little as €10.50) on the slower ones....

Depends what you want but, for a July visit, I'd personally prefer to base myself in one of the many attractive resorts nearby - where I could have a bit of beach or pool time after exploring the city and the many places of interest that surround it...

For more information, you might start with these very good leaflets, produced by the Regione of Campania a few years back - which now, for whatever reason, are only available from a local B&B operators' website....

And then there's lots of "what's on" stuff as well as hotel and restaurant listings by district, etc etc in the 'Qui Napoli' magazine, which the tourism people usually bring out every two months (but not Feb/Mar!). Mostly it's bilingual - there's a PDF version available by clicking on the word "download" here....

If you did choose to stay in the city, and then wanted to escape for a day, Procida or Ischia might fit the bill?

A_Brit_In_Ischia is offline  
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Mar 5th, 2011, 09:08 AM
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Oops - for the links which lead to those leaflets I mentioned, look under the "Tourist Guides" heading on that website!

A_Brit_In_Ischia is offline  
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Mar 5th, 2011, 02:21 PM
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Hi P,

>I would like some opinions about the major differences between the three cities/regions. <

That's what library and guide books are for.
ira is offline  
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Mar 5th, 2011, 03:41 PM
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I would enjoy countryside, however I won't have a car, so I'd like to be near bus or rail station so I can see a bit more of Italy during day.

I like strolling the city, sitting in cafes, I will have just finished four days of major sightseeing in Rome, so I probably won't need a lot of that.

I am a woman, by the way. 58 years old. Healthy, vegetarian.
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