Picking Italian Destinations....

Nov 28th, 2010, 04:09 AM
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Picking Italian Destinations....

Hi all! I am planning a week to 2 week Italian holiday and need help choosing destinations. I spent a semester in Italy in college and ADORE it. My mom has never been to Europe and I'm taking her to Italy in May. I've considered Cinque Terre (and the Italian riviera), Capri (and the Amalfi Coast), Florence.... She prefer smaller cities to something like Rome. I've also thought about Lake Como.

So, I'd love to hear thoughts on how to choose among these places, and what order you might do them in?

Thanks in advance!
italylovinglawyer is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 05:24 AM
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I always tell people to plan 3 trips to Italy in advance since you cannot see it all with only one. Think geographically ! I would not mix the AC with the CT or Lake Como--too much time lost in travel. Here are some sample itineraires I have developed after 16 trips to Italy:



1. BELLA ITALIA: Five destinations in 15 days—car & train travel
* Arrive in Milan[MXP] & depart from Venice[VCE]or vice versa.
* Itinerary to include the Italian Lakes, Ligurian coast, rural
Tuscany, Florence, & Venice. Suggested timing is 3-2-4-2-4.
* Option: Drop the coast & rent a villa in Tuscany[ 3-7-2-3].
* Best time to go: May & June or Sept. & Oct.

2. LA DOLCE VITA: Three destinations in 12 to 14 days-car & train
* Arrival & departure from Rome[ FCO] or arrival in Naples
* Itinerary to include Rome, the Amalfi coast, and Tuscany
* Best time to go: Easter to end of October
* Option: Fly into Naples & stay at 2 locations on the coast

3. CLASSIC ITALIA: Three destinations in 12 to 14 days-car & train
* Arrival & departure from Rome—may start trip in Florence
* Destinations to include Florence, Rome & Tuscany/Umbria
* Best time to go: Anytime, but May & Oct. are my favorites
* Option: Consider a weekly rental in Tuscany/Umbria

4. SICILIAN CHARMS: Five destinations in 15 days—car travel
* Connections to Catania & Palermo via Rome or gateway city.
* Itinerary to include Taormina, Siracusa, Palermo & more.
* Best time to go: March to November—May is best for flowers
* See: http://www.slowtrav.com/tr/tripreport.asp?tripid=634

5. THE VILLAGE SAMPLER: My favorite venues for those who enjoy natural beauty and quaint, small villages. Arranged north to south.
* Arrive Milan & depart Rome—car travel-- 3 nites per location
* Itinerary to include Lago Orta, Castelrotto/ Ortisei[Dolomites],
Portovenere[Liguria], Montalcino[Tuscany], & Spello[Umbria].
* Best time to go: May to October for the lakes and Dolomites
* Option: Pick 3 out of 5 and stay longer in Tuscany/Umbria.

NOTE: These are only intended to be SAMPLE ITINERAIRES.
bobthenavigator is online now  
Nov 28th, 2010, 05:33 AM
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Thank you!!!
italylovinglawyer is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 08:21 AM
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You might want to consider Florence as a base and tour Tuscany and Umbria.



Michael is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 08:38 AM
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Venice is nice. It's actually a small town.
One proviso - your mother would need to be reasonably ambulant to enjoy Venice.


A lot of walking.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 08:54 AM
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Where would your mom prefer to go?
Jean is online now  
Nov 28th, 2010, 09:12 AM
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My experience of mothers is that what they love above all is seeing their children having a great time and spending time with them sharing that. Italy can be a wonderful place to do that, so I would think about what you want show her and enjoy with her.

That said, Lago di Como is one of the most beautiful places in Europe, and it makes a wonderful place to get over jet lag if you fly into Milano. Do you think you and your mother might also enjoy Verona? It's a smaller city with a very beautiful Roman arena, and great castle and lots of pleasant piazze for people watching, and some killer shopping and wine. It's easy to reach by train.

From there you might move on to Florence -- and then I think the tough choice is whether to go to le Cinque Terre or go to Capri. For some people, Capri just has such allure it is worth all the effort to get there. But if you feel you could skip it for this trip, I suggest you enjoy the le Cinque Terre area. Basing yourselves in either Levanto or Santa Margherita Ligure would mean that you aren't in the extremely vertical towns of le Cinque Terre with all their staircases and climbs to everything (which can be very fatiguing when the sun is out in full force), yet you have access to trains and boat rides to visit le Cinque Terre (and from Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino, Camogli and other pretty spots as well by boat).

I would look into fly out of Pisa -- but depending on how your split up your time and how energetic you are about traveling (and budget!), you could spend your last two nights in Lucca, and from there get a car transfer to fly out of Pisa airport. Lucca is small and enchants many people as an atmospheric and perfectly preserved car-free Renaissance city.

So the trip would look roughly something like this

Arrive Milan airport -- head straight to Lago di Como. 3 nights.

Train to Verona. 2 or 3 nights

Florence 3 nights

Italian Riviera 3 nights

Final night Pisa or Final 2 nights in Lucca

I'm sure others will have lots of other ideas!
zeppole is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 11:24 AM
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We spent a couple of nights in Verona four years ago and liked it. It's a small city, a town really, and easy to get around. The ampitheatre is impressive, and as Zepp mentions, the shopping ain't bad.

My wife and her 84 year old mother will be staying there in a couple of days.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 01:14 PM
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zeppole gave a very kind and thoughtful response, and by coincidence almost described the trip we did with our college-age daughters last June. They had a wonderful time and we did too (and as zeppole said part of our enjoyment was seeing them enjoy Italy so much). We particularly enjoyed Verona and Varenna (Lake Como).

I will say that we parents are in our 60's but have no mobility issues; to the contrary we are avid hikers and enjoyed Cinque Terre for that reason.

We stayed in an apartment in the center of Lucca and loved being part of the town; shopping for food and cooking, and just wandering around.
enzian is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 03:53 AM
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For one week, Venice and Florence.

For two weeks, Venice, Tuscany and Florence.

ira is online now  
Nov 29th, 2010, 04:26 AM
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After 7 trips to Italy, I agree with Ira 100%, especially if your mother doesn't like big cities.

Where were you whle in college for a semester? Would you like to take your mom there? Are you and your mom active travelers? We loved hiking in the Cinque Terre.

We only reached the Amalfi Coast on our most recent trip. While it is beautiful, we much prefered Capri. There are so many things to consider and we can only tell you what we liked and, as you can see, everyone is different. Talk it over with your mom and read lots about Italy and then make your own itinerary. We're always here to help so come back for information at any time. And have a wonderful trip.
mamcalice is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 05:49 PM
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I don't think anyone has yet asked when this trip would be.

Jean is online now  
Nov 29th, 2010, 05:53 PM
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Oops. Just saw May in your OP. FWIW, the gardens around Lake Como are gorgeous in May.
Jean is online now  

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