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Need Help - Off the Beaten Track Italy Itinerary

Need Help - Off the Beaten Track Italy Itinerary

Jan 27th, 2007, 05:23 AM
  #1  
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Need Help - Off the Beaten Track Italy Itinerary

I have finally convinced my husband to go to Italy for our vacation this year, and desperately need help planning this trip. The trip comes with many stipulations on his part, so we are somewhat limited.

First, I have to get our plane tickets with ff miles, so we have to fly in and out of Rome and it will most likely be in November.

Second, he is more of an "off the beaten path" person as he doesn't love crowds. If it were up to him we'd be in Costa Rica every holiday at our beloved beach that is less over taken by tourists. We have decided that instead of planning our trip around the normal places (Venice, Rome, Florence) we would find some smaller villages where we could really get a taste for the culture and life and slow down a bit.

Thirdly, he has seen pictures of Cinque Terre (yes, I know that doesn't meet the off the beaten track criteria) and would like to go there.

We will most likely only have 8 days. Should I limit us to just Liguria? If so, where should we focus on staying. Although, I'd like to see Cinque Terre, I was more interesting in checking out Cervo (which looks gorgeous and remote)and smaller less unheard of places.

I was hoping to get a mix of sea and hills and get a diverse taste of the country in a short trip. Is this possible in November?

Any suggestions are much welcomed.
jlh370 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 05:51 AM
  #2  
 
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The time of year should shape your itinerary. In November I would stay south--perhaps even Sicily.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 07:39 AM
  #3  
MaureenB
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Are you sure you can't get FF miles for an open-jaw itinerary? I flew United FF ticket last May into Rome and returning from Nice, France. They didn't put any restrictions on the itinerary, except for availability. It sure helps to use your vacation time more wisely than having to back-track to the same city to depart.

We loved Santa Margherita Ligure, for a smallish city that didn't seem to be crowded (although we were there before tourist crush). But, in November, I think it's good advice to stay south for better weather.

Have fun planning.
>-
 
Jan 27th, 2007, 08:33 AM
  #4  
 
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I agree with the other posters who say November in northern Italy is a bit too chilly for the beach...though you probably wouldn't have to worry about the crush of tourists.

By car it takes about +/- 4 hours to drive to Ligure, whereas you can drive south to Sorrento in +/- half that time and have a wonderful holiday exploring the Amalfi coast, which is far more dramatic and beautiful than the Riviera. The drive from Sorrento to just north of Solerno is breathtaking. You could also fit in day trips to Capri and/or Pompei.
mikka89 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 08:50 AM
  #5  
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Unfortunately, it seems like flying into and out of Rome is the only option. The miles are through US Airways and according to their route map they only fly into Rome and Milan. I have not found ANY award flights for Milan, only Rome. I'll start looking into the Southern portion. Are there any off the beaten track "gems" of towns and villages down South that I should look into?
jlh370 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 09:06 AM
  #6  
MaureenB
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Is US Airways a Star Alliance member? It seems to me that one of my United FF flights was on US Airways. Maybe they have a reciprocal agreement? I think you have to search specifically for Star Alliance flights. It's worth a try.
>-
 
Jan 27th, 2007, 09:13 AM
  #7  
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Yes they are. I just checked into their website more and it appears that I can call the reservation number to use the miles on other alliance member airlines. In and out of Rome is still the best option because on US Airways flights you can fly for 1/2 the miles on certain days. I doubt I can do that on other airlines, but I will definitely look into. Thanks for the heads up.
jlh370 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 09:44 AM
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Re: south to Amalfi coast. The towns along the coast are all delightful and, off-season, won't be over-burdened with tourists. Personally, I like Ravello.

The site below has a nice selection of photos from various Amalfi towns:

http://www.terragalleria.com/europe/...coast.all.html
mikka89 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 11:24 AM
  #9  
ira
 
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Hi J,

With only 8 days and restriction on flying in/out of Rome in November:

A. You will not be surrounded by mobs of tourists. You are well into the off season.

B. Why not stay in Rome with daytrips to Orvieto, Hadrian's Villa and Ostia Antica.

Weather on the coast is going to be quite iffy.

ira is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 01:01 PM
  #10  
 
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A few years ago, my husband cut out an article about the "most beautiful villages in Italy". It's a designation determined by a club that supports the small places in Italy that don't get the attention of the traveler. To be on the list, the village has to have some historic significance and less than two thousand inhabitants. The club has a site on the internet at
http://www.borghitalia.it/index_en.php
with lists of the various villages broken into the various regions. It's really pretty interesting.
toni_g_b is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 09:38 AM
  #11  
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I'm still looking at getting tickets at another time of year. Is the middle of March any warmer to head up north, or is still pretty chilly to really enjoy that area?
jlh370 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 09:40 AM
  #12  
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And thank you for the links to the pictures and to the small villages website. The website has a lot of places on there and should be a great resource for ideas, no matter where we go.
jlh370 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 11:18 AM
  #13  
ira
 
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Hi J,

Mid March will still be cool to cold. It might be windier and rainier than Nov.

ira is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 11:30 AM
  #14  
 
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hello

since you are going up north to see cinque terra (Great place!), consider checking the small town of Bergamo (siad to have the pretties town square in Italy) or even Verona.

see pics at this link to get an idea if they might appeal to you-

http://www.travellingbazaar.com/travel%20italy.html
travelbuggg is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 01:21 PM
  #15  
 
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Id would recommend the Rome with daytrips route. Rome's temperatures are usually moderate and stimulating. We have been there in early december and twice around New Year, and even then it has been possible to walk and hike with open jackets or even just a sweater most of the time. Rome itself is so big that it absorbs tourists easily. If you can deal with cities, its really an extraordinarily interesting one, and mostly walkable, or you can easily get a one week pass to take buses, metro, trams etc.

trips to places like Ostia Antica, Orvieto, Viterbo, Anzio and our fave, walking the Appian Way, can take you out of the crowds and into the country.

Italy's not a warm weather destination in November, though.
jjkbrook is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 01:53 PM
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November doesn't seem like a good time to head to any of the summer/beach places even if you are trying to avoid the crowds. Most of the life in those places revolves around the tourist season so you'll find it hard to get an idea of the place.
If I were you I would just rent a car in Rome (cheaper to rent online from the US) and drive.
You should drive north-east from Rome towards Rieti, the Sabine Hills are full of undiscovered gems and local flavor. You should go to the thermal baths, hot from the spring, in Saturnia or Viterbo. Enough people speak English (although poorly) to make you feel welcome and find interesting things even if you drive aimlessly on the backroads.
joiedevivre is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 03:08 PM
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I'm planning our initial Italian for the Emilia-Romangna region of Italy. This was just based on my appreciation of Lynn Rosetto Kasper's cookbook and NPR radio show. It is one of the areas that has wonderful cuisine, think balsamic, parma ham etc.

I'm hoping we can stay in a smaller town south of the big cities and bus and train around the area. We don't need to have a car.

Good luck!
Danna is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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Toni g b
Thanks for that link - it looks quite ueful to us!
margo_oz is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 06:26 PM
  #19  
 
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jlh370, I'm getting an open jaw ticket from US Air and it's partners into Florence and out of Milan for October. It cost 50,000 points. Was able to arrange that on several different dates by calling US Air.
Pawleys is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 09:58 AM
  #20  
 
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great link! thanks!
MacPrague is offline  

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