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Planning a Trip to Italy in September

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Dec 28th, 2011, 03:32 PM
  #1
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Planning a Trip to Italy in September

My husband and I are planning a three week trip to Italy in September. I was there years ago and he has not been. We are planning mostly on training but maybe a rental car in Sicily? Before we get too far in our planning, we would like input. We want to focus on the South but maybe a quick trip North. We will be flying in and out of Rome. Rougth plan is 2 nights Rome, 2 nights venice, 2 nights florence, then train down to naples (because Pompeii is a must for me), down to cosenza and then on to sicily. Note there are no time estimates for the south as we need suggestions. Cosenza is a must because my mom is from there (no relatives or anything, just want to see it) and sicily is a must for my husband. Maybe one night naples, two nights Cosenza and then on to Sicilily?

Any must dos? Anything that won't work? car on Sicilily?
Somewhere I would like to stay at a monestary or convent if anyone has suggestions.
Thanks.
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Dec 28th, 2011, 04:02 PM
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Keep in mind: when you state "two nights" someplace this means you have only one full day in that place.

Any reason why you must arrive and depart from Rome?
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Dec 28th, 2011, 05:04 PM
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This a definitely a whirlwind trip - and you will spend as much time getting from one place to another as seeing anything. IMHO you are cutting all of thee places short (not for a relaxed trip but for even a rushed look at the most major sights).

And I'm confused about your description - you say you want to focus on the south - but then include Venice and Florence (north) and Rome and Naples center.

IMHO you are trying to do way too much. Also you should fly open jaws - into Venice and out of wherever you end up - to avoid wasting time and money backtracking.
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Dec 28th, 2011, 07:30 PM
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From the first sentence, I started out envying your three weeks, but by the end of the paragraph I was thinking the same as nytraveler. I would leave Venice and Florence for a future trip.

As ellenem pointed out, two nights equals only one full day. That's especially tough on your arrival in Rome if you'll be dealing with jet lag.

Other than Pompeii, were you planning to spend any time in the Naples/Capri/Amalfi Coast area?
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Dec 28th, 2011, 08:57 PM
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In and out of Rome as I have a cousin there who I want to catch up with (and yes free accommodation). The first two nights in Rome were for jet lag and visiting and then the two as we leave for sights. For Venice, I really was thinking of a morning train, late afternoon & evening in Venice and then leave the next day for Florence. I was thinking of long days, cramming things in (remember I have seen these places before - just need to go back to a few sites) and then relaxing, leisurely sightseeing... in sicily and the south. If we changed to do Rome and South, what would the proposed itinaries be..... Hadn't thought of Capri or Amalfi Coast but would certainly consider (that is why I am on here looking for suggestions). So, with three weeks, if we were to do Rome and south (remember a good week in sicily) what would you all propose?
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Dec 28th, 2011, 11:31 PM
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You could certainly travel Naples-Pompeii-Cosenza without seeing Capri and the Amalfi Coast, but you're so close it would be a shame to miss the opportunity. IMO, it makes more sense to spend time on this much smaller geographic detour than to travel north to Venice and Florence and then back south.

If Pompeii is an imperative, you should also consider spending a few hours at the archeology museum in Naples. And, of course, there are many other interesting things to see in Naples.
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Dec 29th, 2011, 04:30 PM
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I really enjoy off-the-beaten-path italy, so were it me, i would spend as much times as possible in and around Cosenza. Even in September, the towns of the Amalfi coast and Capri especially are choked with busy-bee tourists and queues for buses and ferries, which for me cancels out the appeal of relaxing there.

You can find trip reports on Fodor's for beautiful coastal places south of the Amalfi where tourists seldom go. Try doing seaches for Cilento and reports by ekscrunhcy. Were it me, I would head to Salerno from Pompei (a world calls reason to go to Italy) and rent a car in Salerno. Visit Paestum and enjoy the beautiful seaside around the Cilento Park, and then head to Cosenza.

Have you seen this YouTube about Cosenza? It looks like the kind of incredible unspoiled Italian town people tromp all over "Tuscany" looking for, hoping to find one that isn't filled with tour groups and tour buses:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_9u0WA9CBI

Even though you say you no longer have relatives there, you may be surprised to find you are treated as one, and perhaps even do have relatives there. If you go to the Frommer's italy message board, you will find a regular poster there who goes every year to Calabria (he discovered relatives there) and he could probably tell you a lot about what to do in that region.

Were it me, even though you are flying into Rome, i would go directly to Naples or Pompei by train the same morning. After a few nights, move further into southern Italy (renting a car in Salerno), seeing Cosenza and its enviorns, then onto Sicily.

It is probably worth it to pay a premium to drop off the car in Sicily and fly to Rome from there for your return home. I think a car is really a must for both Cosenza and Sicily (just don't plan to drive inside Palermo if you choose to visit the city).

Sounds like a grand adventure. Hope you will report back on your time in Cosenza.
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Dec 29th, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Links about Cosenza

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/calabria/cosenza

http://www.italia.it/en/discover-ita...a/cosenza.html

and this is great: Beautiful pictures of Cosenza and the song "Buonanotte Cosenza"

ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj6Ynf6-cx4&feature=related

If you are in Calabria in September, eat as many figs as you can
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Dec 29th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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This is all really helpful. We are already changing our plans and think we will do Rome, Naples (just for Pompeii which is on my bucketlist) Cosenza and Sicily. So time lines... 3 days in Rome at the beginning and then again at the end and a week each for Cosenza and Sicily (and travel time)?
Also, does anyone know anything about spezzano piccolo in Cosenza as that is where my grandmother is from?
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Dec 30th, 2011, 12:35 PM
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Aagree perfectly with Zeppole for your itinerary. If you contact the Comune di SPezzano Piccolo you might make some impt. contacts to follow up during your visit.
Leave out the northern portion and concentrate on the family contacts... Buona fortuna...
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Jan 1st, 2012, 01:31 PM
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I found this online about Spezzano Piccolo. it looks like you should have no trouble finding accommodations in your time frame

http://www.intervalworld.com/web/cs?...esortCodes=LVD

I am so glad to hear that you are are planning to spend time to explore Cosenza. Even if you didn't have a such a personal connection, places like that are fast disappearing in Italy. You can always go to Capri or Venice -- they will be remain what they are now today. But these small towns in Italy are under great pressure to change. It amazing to walk in the streets, eat the food, be welcome by the people. You can have a great travel adventure and really step into another world.

If you are going to Pompeii, it really does make sense to visit the archeological museum in Naples as well because some of the most beautiful and astonishing artworks from Pompeii are kept in that museum for safekeeping. If you want to stay in Pompei itself, you can visit Naples on a day trip. Or you can stay in Naples and visit Pompeii. Either way, consider renting your car in Salerno, and give some consideration to stopping by Paestum on your way to Cosenza.

Here is a zillion pictures of Spezzano Piccolo from the blog of a young woman who went there last August (I just found it online):

http://principessagabriella.blogspot...zano%20piccolo

have a grand time!
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