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Traveling to Italy in 2010 - considering 3 coastal regions - please help

Traveling to Italy in 2010 - considering 3 coastal regions - please help

Old May 28th, 2009, 10:24 AM
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Traveling to Italy in 2010 - considering 3 coastal regions - please help

We are planning a trip to Italy in 2010. We went to Italy in 2005 and stayed on the Amalfi Coast. It was incredible.

We are looking to visit a different region, but we definitely have a preference to stay on the coast and have been eyeing three different areas:
1. West coast from Genoa to La Spezia to Pisa to Livorno;
2. Venezia and surrounding coastal towns;
3. East coast from Ravenna to Rimini to Ancona to Pescara.

Can anyone summarize and compare the areas? Advantages/disadvantages of these regions? How they differ? Culture/feel/atmosphere of each.

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
kirkfongemie is offline  
Old May 28th, 2009, 10:35 AM
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I would much prefer the Ligurian coast to those Adriatic destinations. If you want the best sand beaches then look at Gaeta/Sperlonga south of Rome. If you want the best hiking and scenery you want Liguria.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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Though I bow to Bob's knowledge on many, many things, I refuse to make this too easy for Kirk...I LOVE the Adriatic coastline and believe it has an incredible amount of untouristy Italay to offer. The journey from the 'spur' of the Gargano (Vieste and the peninsula-very Puglian) up through the fascinating small towns of the Abruzzo (Vasto and the Tremiti Is, Lanciano, Pescara, Ortona...amazing hiking and history) and then finishing with the Marche region (Sirolo, Monte Conero and fine beaches) with a final flourish of Ravenna (you can skip Rimini, but thats my taste)...WOW that would make a wonderful vacation and a nice contrast to the Amalfi.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 11:39 AM
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my sister and I spend several nights in Cinque Terre in 2007.
I thought it was more scenic and rugged than Amalfi.
It is stunningly beautiful.
IMO.. It is a not to miss area.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:22 PM
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My TA was in Northern Italy last year and his only compaint was the Adriatic/Rimini. Said it was dirty and very unappealing. I say, the Cinque Terre, if you must stay on the coast. My vote would be to go to Tuscany, Val D'Orcia area, but that is inland.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:38 PM
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OK---LJ has a point if you go as far south as Puglia, but forget those beaches further north.
I also make a distiction between the CT per se and other parts of that coast starting in Genoa. The Portofino peninsula, Camogli, and Sestri Levante are also worth your time. And, Portovenere is my single favorite village.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:54 PM
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I have been along the east coast many times and love it. From Venice to Bari (no further south). I am not one to try to convince someone what is the "best" or "most enjoyable" as that depends on each traveller. I would encourage some research. The east coast is so different from the west cost of Italy. But having had a lot of time in Italy my opinion might be different then for someone that has only so many days. And I can't say I like one coast better then the other, they are complete opposites.
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Old Jun 14th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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Kirk,

The Adriatic coastline is very different to the other one, and has many differences in it. It is not as commonly visited by Americans, but it is a very interesting experience.

While in Ravenna, please take a whole day to visit the Byzantine churches and mosaics. This is one of the most important artistic treasures in Italy.

Going down, my hint is to avoid Rimini and the surrounding coastline. This is much loved by Italians, but is is also busy and crowded 'by definition'. However, if you are there, go visit San Leo a bit in the hinterland.

Going down, you could spend a little time at the Colle San Bartolo, a small promontory between Gabicce Mare and Pesaro. Luciano Pavarotti spent most of its last days here, for the peaceful surrounding, mixing sweet hills (typical of the Marche region, "http://www.le-marche.com/") and a quiet seaside.

If you want to spend a day in the hinterland, go visiting Urbino (Unesco site) and the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche. This is one of the most important places of the Italian Renaissance. It is also the opportunity of visiting a typical town of the Marche, and a lively small university town. This is a place of Renaissance castles, that I suggest you visit while going by.

Then point down, to the Conero promontory (http://www.conero.it/en/). This is probably the most interesting naturalistic place in your itinerary. Go to Portonovo and Sirolo for their rocky seashores. If you have time, visit the ancient areas of the Greek town of Ancona, with monuments with a style that is unique in Italy.

If you have some more days, from Ancona you can take a ferry to Croatia. It is a small ticket and a six-eight hour ride. You will see both sides of the Adriatic sea.

When coming back, you can visit the basilica of Loreto, with works by Bramante, Sansovino, Luca Signorelli and others. Going a little south, stay a little in Grottammare, maybe for a dinner. Avoid the nearby, busy town of San Benedetto del Tronto, unless you are looking for a good fish restaurant. Anyway, you can walk from a town to the other along a fantastic palm-sided trail running next to the sea. Pointing to the hinterland to the middle-age town of Ascoli Piceno (Unesco candidate) is warmly recommended.

At Tortoreto, take the way to Civitella del Tronto, to visit the Spanish fortress. The main height of the Appennini Mountains (the Gran Sasso) is not far from there. Due to the recent earthquake, you may find some problems with lodging, but I guess by next year tourism will be active again.

Pescara is an active, busy sea town. Rather modern, I don't know what to suggest apart for going still down and visit the Gargano promontory.

Best regards,
Paolo
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Old Jun 14th, 2009, 04:26 PM
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Paolo:Thank you both for your advice to the original poster and for stirring memories in me...I have visited nearly every place you mentioned (lived in Lanciano, lucky me!). We are due to retunr and I have made notes of places you reccomended as our tastes seem similar...I am a huge fan of the Adriatic coast, it is so often over-looked (except for the dreadful Rimini!)
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