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Leslie Aug 29th, 2000 09:04 PM

Off the beaten path - Rome,Tuscany,Venice
We are off to Rome/Tuscany/Venice for 2 weeks in Sept. This will be my 2nd visit to Italy in the past 5 yrs so I'm looking for recommendations of things to see & do aside from the usual stops. I've been to the Vatican, Forum, Uffizi, St.Marks, etc., and although I'm sure I'll stop in on 1 or 2 of the above while I'm there - can anyone recommend neighborhoods to visit - little known churches - anything too good to miss w/ spare time on our hands? The last trip (although wonderful) seemed like a constant schedule of museums, tours, train schedules, etc. Probably just getting old, but this time around we hope to just relax, stroll around & take in the atmosphere. Schedule is 4 days in Rome (staying around Sp. Steps), 6 days in Tuscany (villa rental in a town called Strove, Nth of Siena) where we will have a rental car, 2 days in Florence where we will drop off the rental car, and 2 days in Venice. Any suggestions for me?

luigi Aug 30th, 2000 09:55 AM

Leslie, <BR>I am starting to sound like a broken record or a salesperson for them, but I can't recommend strongly enough the following books: <BR> <BR>VeniceWalks <BR>RomeWalks <BR>FlorenceWalks <BR> <BR>I have used all three and they do just what you are asking for. They take you into small neighborhoods, tell you what you are seeing and the history of the place. They even make some suggestions of local places to stop and eat. They are available at any good book store and I'm sure you can find them online. <BR>Ciao e buon viaggio, <BR>luigi

sally Aug 30th, 2000 10:19 AM

Leslie: Go to and look for a <BR>book called City Secrets Rome(don't know it there's one for Venice or Florence). It is a compilation of favorite discoveries of foremost artists, writers, archaeologists and historians. I thinks someone on this forum recommended it and Amazon definetly carries it. Just received mine today and can't wait to read it. My personal favorite in Tuscany was Badia e Coltibuono, a winery and wonderful restaurant housed in an old abbey(?)in a beautiful setting. Try search of this forum or maybe someone will be kind enough to provide the website for you. Hope this helps and have a great trip! Oh, someone also said that Hill Towns of Italy is a great <BR>book (don't remember the author); perhaps it would have info.on things other than the ordinary tourist attractions.

Tom Aug 30th, 2000 10:23 AM

Love San Gimignano. Touristy during the day, but still a quaint old walled city.

rose Aug 30th, 2000 10:35 AM

Walk along Via Guilla in Rome, it's a beautiful side street that travels in the direction of the Vatican from the Pantheon area. Vines hang down from the reatining walls, and there is a building with skulls on the door along the way. Not sure what the building is called, but you can't miss it! This walk may be in the "Rome Walks" book, but I wanted to make sure you knew about it. Plam an hour or so for the walk. Happy trails!

topper Aug 31st, 2000 04:35 AM


twalker Sep 1st, 2000 07:19 PM

We spent a lot of time in Montalcino (eat at Poggio ANtico -- expensive but good, or Taverna dei Barbi) and Montepulciano. Lots of incredible wineries/farms.

topper Sep 2nd, 2000 04:12 AM


Dona Sep 2nd, 2000 06:54 AM

Leslie, <BR> <BR>I identified with your e-mail since I have been known to spend a bunch of days in Florence and not step foot in a museum. To me, the best part of any visit to Italy is just walking the cities or driving and stopping at whatever looks interesting. <BR> <BR>Tuscany <BR>Town of Monteriggioni - tiny walled town with wonderful restaurant, Il Pozzo. <BR> <BR>A second for Poggio Antico. You can stop into the winery next door - same name but no connection to the restaurant... <BR> <BR>Towns of Volterra, Lucca, Colle di Val D'Elsa. <BR> <BR>Florence <BR> <BR>Ringo's Bar - across from the Hotel Lungarno. A restaurant with a counter. Sit at the bar and have Ringo work his magic... especially good for lunch. <BR> <BR>Venice <BR>Explore Burano <BR> <BR>restaurant: Fiaschetteria Toscanna: near Rialto Bridge. Have to try the sauteed artichoke hearts if they have them. <BR> <BR>restaurant: Al Covo <BR> <BR>Livio de Marche - fabulous store selling wooden sculpture of everyday objects. Near the Palazzo Grassi. <BR> <BR>Have a wonderful trip. <BR>Dona <BR>

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