Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Please give advise on itinerary: recommendations instead of Rome?
Notices

Please give advise on itinerary: recommendations instead of Rome?

Reply

Mar 14th, 2012, 10:38 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 24
Please give advise on itinerary: recommendations instead of Rome?

After a gap in time, due to work and family needs, I am back to planning again our trip to Italy in mid May. Time is flying by.......
We will fly into Venice and out of Rome from LAX and we have 12 nights.

My question is : What would you recommend instead of staying in Rome upon leaving?

We will arrive early Monday: have 3 nights in Venice--do maybe one day trip (Ferrara, Raveena, Volterra?)
Florence: 2 nights
Siena: 4 nights at Hotel Ravizza. Get a car to see hill towns (San Quirco, Pienza, then maybe Lucca). I think driving in Italy will be fine, as I have driven grew up in NYC, then LA and SF.

Any input on this plan is welcome!
We will need to spend our last night near Rome as our flight is at 10 AM on Sat.

Where to spend 2 nights before that and leaving? Should we go south and see Naples or Cilento? We would prefer not a large city. Or should we stay in Tuscany and do more trips in that region?

We (husband and I) have our 23 year old daughter and we are most interested in food, wine, Italian life and culture than museums.
I still have a ways to go in planning this out, but have hotels reserved except the last 3 nights!
Thank you for your help!!
Fodorites have been very helpful and I have 3 notebooks of ideas, so I have alot of work to do!
Lynnczimm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 14th, 2012, 10:58 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
If your family is "most interested in food, wine, Italian life and culture than museums," you might enjoy your time in Italy more if you didn't go to Florence and if you didn't make Siena your base. Stay instead in the countryside.

Most people don't realize, even after they've been here, that they spent a lot of time in Italy zooming right past interesting food, wine, Italian life and culture just so that they could cram in more guidebook sights that are mainly listed there because they are important historically -- which doesn't interest you much. There is no need for you to go to Rome, and Naples would hardly be the right substitute give your interests. Cilento is much too far.

If you would like to enjoy the sea, look into the area of the Tuscan coast. Check out an area like Magliano in Toscana, or Porto Santo Stefano. Google up "wild beaches of Tuscany." From these place, you will find it not-too-difficult to drive down the coast and spend your last night near the airport in Rome.

I also suggest you re-think your entire Tuscan stay. Look for a smaller town where you can enjoy more of the rhythm of Italian life up close and personal. Don't be afraid to toss away the guidebook somedays when you go out exploring. Think about whether you might like to stay on a farm that serves dinner to its guests every night for great food, wine and an understanding of Italian life.
zeppole is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 14th, 2012, 11:15 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 24
Zeppole-
Thank you so much. I will also seriously look into your recommendations and rethink this.
My concern is balancing this trip. I do not want to zoom around and miss experiencing Italian life but also with a 24 year old daughter, I am trying to include some of the traditional historic/cultural aspects to experience medieval vs renaissance vs estrucian life and history. Without too much Big city time !! And not museum oriented. My husband and I would love staying on a farm but not sure if that would be too remote for my daughter!!

Daughter took Latin for 5 years, for what it's worth and an interest in medieval history.
Thank you again for your thoughts.
Lynnczimm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 15th, 2012, 01:15 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 527
Hy Lynnczimm,

I am so much like you, I live to visit historical cities like Florence and have the feel of the city, but I would not enter every single museum or historical place that it has to offer, maybe just one not more. (only exception was when we go to Vienna, I just can't resist entering the lovely palaces, gardens and museum, the whole city is a living culture).

So you can do with both worlds easily. I agree with zeppole that the best authentic Italian food are found in agriturismos or relais country house hotels, most of them do their very best to give you the best food ever and are so accomodating. Last December we spent two nights in Umbria to a Relais called Locanda del Borgo in Pietralunga, and the food was out of this world on Christmas Eve. They kept coming with plate after plate of seafood (a tradition in Italy on Christmas eve) accompanied with about 4 full bottles of wine.

I always research on Trip advisor for the best agriturismos, relais or hotels in the area we are interested in going, and then try and choose the best at the most affordible price.

Naples and Amalfi coast is lovely, but just bear in mind that you would need literally a whole day travelling by car from Tuscany to Naples, probably you would arrive in the evening, and would have time just to relax a bit, have dinner and maybe have a short walk if you stay like near the harbour. You would have one whole day sightseeing, and next morning you would have to travel back by hired car to Rome, taking you roughly about 2 hours, but you do have to allow at least 5 hours before flight departure just in case you get stuck in traffic.

If you would like any suggestions I would gladly be willing to help you. A year ago we went to an agriturismo one about 1km away from the medieval town of San Gimignano called Palagetto di Sotto, they did not offer dinner as it was wintertime, but I read reviews that their dinners are really really good. They also have their own grapevines and produce wine and oil, and the countryside view is so lovely, thought you might be interested to have a look at it. You can esily reach many towns and cities of Tuscany from there, like Florence, Siena etc.

Have fun!!!!
Anna_Galea is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 15th, 2012, 05:54 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
For an experience of medieval vs renaissance vs estrucian life and history, stay in Siena or south of it, and visit Chiusi (Etruscan) and Pienza (Renaissance) and take a day trip to Florence if you all feel like it. If your daughter feels she would like the entertainments of a larger city, stay right in Siena. If she feels she's like something quieter, check out Montepulciano.

For the last days of your trip, consider migrating south along the coast to the area around Saturnia (hot springs), Tarquinia (Etruscan and Roman history) and Porto Ercole.

In Chiusi, if you are dead set against going to the wonderful small museum of Etruscan history, at the very least eat lunch in Zaira and go down to its wine cellar, which is an Etruscan tunnel that has been in use since Etruscan times.

I think Ravenna doens't fit in this trip and Volterra is too far. I'm not sure you will care about Ferrara. Lucca is too far to visit from Siena.

If you want to stay in Siena, I suggest:

3 nights Venice
Pick up car, drive to Siena. Day trip to Chiusi and Pienza by car. Day trip to Florence by bus.
Drive car to Saturnia or coastal area.
Drive car to Rome airport area night before the flight.

If you'd rather stay in Montepulciano:

3 nights Venice
Travel to Florence by train, stow luggage at train station, walk around town gawking and have lunch, go back to train station, pick up car and drive to Montepulciano.
See Pienza and Chiusi from Montepulciano. Explore at whim.
Drive car to Saturnia or coastal area.
Drive car to Rome airport area night before the flight.
zeppole is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 15th, 2012, 07:58 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,342
Rome is one of the great cities of the world. If you've never been, don't toss off the notion of visiting just because it has more residents than Assisi.
BigRuss is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 15th, 2012, 02:33 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,083
Ditto what BigRuss said.

And another southern Tuscan town of interest to medievalists is Pitgliano. Google it to see photos and read its history.
Mimar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 15th, 2012, 05:23 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
Well, great cities have a way of lasting, and Rome has lasted the longest, so I tend to think it is better to wait until you all actually feel like seeing it.

It would be hard to find a town in southern Tuscany that isn't of interest to medievalists. Pitigliano is of particular interest to people interested in Jewish settlements in Italy.
zeppole is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 15th, 2012, 10:10 PM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 24
Thank you all for your advice!! I have to rethink things now. I like all the suggestions!
Since my work has been so busy with long hours, I will have to do some research this weekend and will post then.
I appreciate all your experience and expertise!
Pitigliano sounds a very intriguing combination of interests to me. I didn't know anything about it!
Thank you all!
Lynnczimm is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:12 PM.