Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Rural Italy - In the planning stages
Notices

Rural Italy - In the planning stages

Reply

Oct 9th, 2012, 10:54 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 97
Rural Italy - In the planning stages

we are currently planning a 3+ week trip to rural Italy in april. considering flight into PALERMO,renting a car and spend 2-3 days wandering the area. then drive to the CALABRIA region and spend a week in that area, again wandering the small villages. we plan to rent apartments and villas in all of the regions visited. then off to the central area, either UMBRIA or THE MARCHES. then finish with a week in TUSCANY. dropping the car off and flying out of Florence. how does with look? any ideas about a possible homebase for each region?

thanks
ddreher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 9th, 2012, 01:56 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,498
Since most apartments and Villa rent by the week, I would pick 3 locations for bases. Sicily is a good start,but you may not be able to fly into Palermo directly---assume connections via Rome.

I would skip Calabria in favor of Puglia, and pick one location to see both Umbria and Tuscany.

Good luck---sounds like fun to me.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 9th, 2012, 02:04 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,672
Sounds like fun to me, too. I would spend at least a week in Sicily. If you haven't been, Palermo is worth 2-3 days itself. Have a great trip.
mamcalice is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 9th, 2012, 02:06 PM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 97
why puglia instead of calabria? thought it might be warmer in april and less tourist.
ddreher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 9th, 2012, 02:08 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 97
maybe skip the south of italy and spend week in sicily? one good location for day trips instead of constant moving?

thanks
ddreher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 9th, 2012, 04:44 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,498
Puglia has more to see--- weather will be the same.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 10th, 2012, 04:49 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,205
By all means, explore Calabria! April should be a very good time of year as far as weather is concerned.



Although I love Puglia, and have just returned from my third trip to the region, I think that your plan to begin in Sicily and move on to Calabria is a good one and makes geographic sense. There is a lot to see in Calabria, although it is too large to see from one home base. Instead of that, would you consider staying in a couple of agriturismi, rather than rent an apartment? (You can certainly find apartments to rent for a few days if you wish). I didi quite a bit of research before my own trip and would be happy to share the names of well-regarded agriturismi. One of these, near Castrovillari, is:


http://www.agriturismolefarnie.it/uk/prodotti.htm




Last year I did a driving trip that began at the airport in Lamezia Terme, Calabria. We moved on to Amantea, which is a delightful seaside town, and Castrovillari, which offers access to the Pollino Park, which is one of the biggest in Europe. I would guess that you would want to include a couple of days in that area. The tiny hilltop town of Morano Calabro is a gem that might make a good base for a couple of days.



http://www.comunemoranocalabro.it/


From there, we drove north to the resort town of Maratea, which could make a good overnight stop for you, although much will be shuttered in the off season. (An alternative would be the more workaday town of Diamante, famous for its outdoor wall murals,and for its hot peppers.


http://www.vividiamante.com/Eng/Default.aspx


http://diamantevacanze.com/content/things-do


And then, rather than forge on to Umbria directly, you could plan to spend some time in rural Campania, perhaps in one of the villages of the Cilento peninsula, and/or in inland Basillicata.

The area of Matera/Senise would be a detour off the route, but I found it to be one of the most compelling areas of southern Italy. You can access the Pollino Park from there as well; the Park straddles two regions: Calabria and Basilicata:



http://www.parks.it/parco.nazionale.pollino/Eindex.php

A book that has lotos of information about travel in Calabria is STOLEN FIGS, by Mark Rotella:


http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Figs-Ot.../dp/0865476276



There is so much to see between Calabria and Umbria!!

As for Palermo, I would not rent a car if I planned to stay in the city. Driving in Sicily is not stressful in rural areas, but inside the large urban areas, it can be anxiety provoking!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 10th, 2012, 09:48 AM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 97
wow! thank you so much for the detailed information, it will take me a while to check it all out.

thanks again!!!
ddreher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 2012, 05:43 PM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 97
now considering may trip instead of april. with the warmer weather i think that the piedmont and lakes are doable. if we did this we would probably not do southern italy. good idea?
ddreher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 2012, 06:35 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,205
I would not say that warm weather is guaranteed in Piemonte and the Lakes in May, but I suppose that nothing is ever guaranteed, weather wise. If you are looking for rural Italy, I am not sure that the Lakes will fit the bill in any case. Is that the choice, between the far south and Piemonte? Is Tuscany a definite?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 2012, 07:50 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,758
I don't think you've mentioned where in Italy you've already been, if anywhere. Knowing your interests would be helpful, too. Food, wine, art, photography, architecture, markets, festivals, etc.?
Jean is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 2012, 08:11 PM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 97
yes tuscany is a definite and then either southern umbria or abruzzo. just not sure about north or south/calabria , also thought about sicily, for the 3rd week. probably getting one villa/apartment for a week in each. not interested in seeing all of each area. just wandering on day trips - enjoy drives and heading down small roads to see where they head. did that about a year ago in turkey and just wandered - made it all the way up to black sea near georgia. not real big into historical sights. just experiencing the culture as much as possible.
ddreher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 2012, 08:21 PM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 97
have been to italy twice, 1970 and with the kids in 1984. spend about 10 days each time and hit most of the popular locations each time - florence, rome, venice, naples, hiked mt vesivius/pompei, amalfi, down the southeast coast to brandisi to catch the ferry to greece. while in tuscany we will probably head to either pisa or florence for a day. if we are in the south, might drive the amalfi coast again. even though i have a masters in history and taught for 35 years, i am not into historical sites. food, local culture, markets, some light hiking are our likes.
ddreher 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 05:32 PM.