The Best of Italy

Old Aug 16th, 1997, 09:37 PM
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The Best of Italy

We are planning a trip to Italy next year - not sure if the spring or fall is better - we aren't the sun-bathing type so want to avoid the hottest times and most tourists. Need to know what are the must-see/do places, and what the places that are overrated, we can miss. Thx. for any help.
Old Aug 17th, 1997, 05:04 AM
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We have gone to Italy both in November and late February. This year we arrived Feb. 27. That is spring time in Rome and the flowers are beautiful. Temperatures are in the sixties both times of year. Neither time of year will find many tourists (except Rome during Holy Week). I am so in love with Italy I could write more than this bulletin board could handle. My best advice is: 1) stay in Siena and make Florence a day trip. 2) get several tour books and read them. 3) learn a little Italian, even just enough to order food and make a reservation -- the people will love you for it and be very, very, very tolerant and delighted. If you want to communicate with me, e-mail.
Old Aug 18th, 1997, 05:05 PM
Deb Survil
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I agree about Siena. Take the train to Florence. When you are ready to leave Siena, rent a car and drive the tiny roads. Find the wineries..explore whatever looks good. I can still hear the wind in the leaves on the tiny, winding roads we were on, and see the tiny church we discovered deep in the shade on a tree lined road which lead to a different walled city in either direction. We listened to a stooped, leathery farmer for 20 minutes give us a tour of his Tuscan tomb (in Italian, which we speak not one whit) and still, somehow, knew much of what he was telling us. Be prepared for Italian time-the first Italian word I learned was "Chiuso" (closed!!). After so many Anglo-Germanic tours, I about pulled my hair out the first two days because we couldn't stay on schedule, but then I gave in and just enjoyed things because I had to stay in the "moment". Going further south, we cried when we had to leave both Sorrento and Positano (where on the beach, I collected bits of colored tile and glass which had been tumbled to jewels by the surf) Napoli (Naples) was rough and tumble and we loved it-if you go, be SURE to the see the Archeological museum-it has most of Pompeeis treasures in it, which are too awe-inspring for words. We travelled in late October and had Pompeii and Herculaneum to ourselves, almost literally. You could almost hear the horses pulling their carts over the cobbled streets, wearing ruts 2" deep. Skip the Cinque Terra. We bought Fodors and Rick Steves (you NEED his Italian phrase book-it helped me during a discussion about gun control I had with a young man on a train from Sorrento to Napoli) guide books. Someone once told me I would spend $150 on guide books to plan a really good trip, and I thought they were nuts, until I realized that they could help me save three times that on poorly spent time, travelling to see an attraction on the only day in the month it closes, etc.
Good Luck!
Old Aug 18th, 1997, 05:13 PM
Preston N. Rawlins, Jr.
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Thanks for a great, succint, but very descriptive
report! Wish more people on the net did so!
Old Aug 20th, 1997, 03:41 AM
Roger Vineall
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All the tour books will tell you to avoid Italy in July and August. They are right!

Florence is a must. We stayed in a pension Hotel Il Perseo, Via Cerretani 1. Tel (3955) 212504. Very pleasant - simple but clean and central. English speaking owners.

Rome is fascinating but demanding. Probably worth spending a bit extra on accommodation there.

Be warned. Quite a few Italian shops struggle with the concept of credit cards
Old Aug 20th, 1997, 02:22 PM
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Mavis, Do you have an hour?? Having planned
numerous trips to Italy, the best time depends but
I suggest May or after Sep. 15 thru Oct. 15.
How long do you have?? I have been there 5
times and am going back this fall to fill in the
voids. In order, my favorite general destinations
Contact me directly if you want more details.
Old Aug 21st, 1997, 02:12 AM
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First suggestion for your Italian trip: the best period is either June or September.
If it is the first time you come to Italy, I think that Rome, Siena and 1-day trip to Florence, Venice are really great.
But why don't you try to go to Sardegna ? The sea is wonderful, beaches are almost desert if you go in June. May also is great, since the island is full of flowers. Sardegna is out of the classic turisitic routes, but I assure you it is worthwhile.
MOreover, if you want a cheap accomodation, I suggest you to try "Agriturismo". You have to contact Turistic Offices in the different areas, but they are very nice accomodations in the country, with the possibility to have great typical food.
Have a nice trip.

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