Touring Italy

Sep 18th, 2011, 11:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 29
Touring Italy

My wife and I have never been to Italy and would like to plan a trip of 2 to 3 weeks. While I would like to visit cities like Rome and Florence and see the Amalfi coast, I am more interested in getting the feel of the country in the also rural areas around Tuscany. I have heard of people renting a villa in that area and using it as a base to visit the surrounding towns. I would like advice on whether my aspirations are too great and if not how to accomplish them. I understand late spring or Sept. and early October are the best times to go.
sgweiss2 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Not sure why you think your aspirations might be too great - people have been renting villas in Italy for decades. I first did it in the 1970s and quite a few times thereafter. There are all kinds of reputable companies. You can search the internet and get plenty of recommendations here on Fodors. It's a lovely way to "settle in" to an area for a bit. Of course, you will need top rent a car as well.

With three weeks, you have ample time for Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Florence (which is in Tuscany) and a week in a villa.

I would do a week in Rome, 4 days on the Amalfi Coast, three days in Florence, and then a week at the villa. But of course you can rearrange your time to suit your priorities. You might also want to see a bit of Umbria on the way between Rome and Tuscany.
StCirq is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 12:09 PM
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If you started your trip by flying to Naples, spent four nights on the Amalfi Coast, then went to Rome for five or six nights, then rented a villa in Tuscany for a week, and went to Florence for three nights, you could do this in 3 weeks. Fly out of Florence or Pisa, depending on where your villa is. If you are closer to Pisa, do Florence before the villa. You would have adequate time to see things that way, and you would not be moving around too much.

If you are staying 3 or more days in a location you can rent an apartment, which we enjoy very much because it allows us to shop in local food stores and interact with some Italians in a non-tourist situaton.

You can download the 5-minute podcasts (100 of them) from and learn the basics of getting around in Italian that way.
charnees is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 12:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 29
Thank you for your informative response. We are just beginning to investigate the areas and probably wouldn't do it until next year. As my wife has Crohn's disease she must be very cautious about the food she eats. Contaminated food could be disastrous. Consequently she is leaning toward taking a cruise to visit the area but I don't feel we can appreciate the culture visiting from acruise ship.

Although we live in a big city we really like country and natural beauty better consequently although we would like to visit the cities, we lean to the countryside. We would definitely like to spend time in Umbria and of course I love red wine.
sgweiss2 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 12:31 PM
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I think the chances of contaminated food would be greater on board a ship than anywhere in Italy.
StCirq is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 12:43 PM
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For more info about renting villas in Tuscany, take a look at this website They also have very good trip reports to peruse. Your proposed trip is quite doable.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269

One of my favs for upscale touring there wise for firstimers
especially with medical issues.Guided Perillo tours can be to 40% less than traveling independently. other providers

good personal experience with Globus.

Travel independently over there a lot

you cannot use a villa as a base to train or drive around

all of Italy distances are too vast..

But if you want to pare back

is a nice site I also like

Happy Researching!
qwovadis is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269 sorry for typo

if you end up self guiding and do some time in a villa

have a look around for Villas with vineyards

Prettiest part of Tuscany for me usually better prices also.
qwovadis is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 01:52 PM
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Guided Perillo tours can be to 40% less than traveling independently.
Where did you get this? Nonsense--I say 30% more.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 01:58 PM
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Say WHAAAAATTTTT? Not true, plus you have to deal with their choices of hotels and restaurants.


What on earth are you talking about? That's exactly WHY people rent a they can drive around the countryside! Of course you can't see ALL of Italy by renting a place in Tuscany, but the OP is certainly smart enough to know that.

The combination of haiku/textese/baby speak and misinformation is getting to be annoying, to say the least.
StCirq is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 02:21 PM
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Thank you, StCirq, I was wondering if I was the only one getting so irritated with incorrect information and the style of writing.

Sgweiss, I agree with StCirq that your wife would be "safer" with food in Italy versus on a cruise ship. And regarding taking a tour, in that IF your wife had a "problem" one day she could just relax and take care of herself versus having the stress of having to get on a tour bus early morning. That would be horrible.

Have fun planning your trip, it sure sounds to me like you have the right idea!
LoveItaly is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Forget the cruise - terrible way to travel and get a feel for anything, and the contamination on cruise ships is often Legionnaire's disease.

Use this resource for starters and go from there:
BigRuss is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 03:53 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 78
Forget the Cruise, if you are happy to drive a rental car get a villa. We stayed in a little town call Greve in a villa called Palazzo. It was only 100m to centre of town with plenty of great restaurants. We did day trips to most cities in Tuscany and also to Pisa and Florence
kiwipete is offline  
Sep 18th, 2011, 07:14 PM
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Posts: 1,155
This will give you some ideas
Henry is offline  

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