Trip to Italy for 4 weeks in September.

Old May 23rd, 2024, 01:08 PM
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Trip to Italy for 4 weeks in September.

Hi everyone.

So we’ve been to Italy 5 times. We love Italy. So we want to go back next year in September. We want to rent an apartment or place that has a view, anywhere between Florence, and Calabria. Doesn’t have to be a view of water, just want to be able to see out on a patio. We want to be near train stations, because we don’t want to rent a car. We would like to go to the Greek islands, also, while we are there. We’ve been to Florence twice, so don’t need to go there, but need again, to be near trains. We enjoy going to all the little towns.

I know I’ve said a lot, but really need where to stay. You guys on Fodors have been great in the past. Help me now please.
Thanks!
barb
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Old May 23rd, 2024, 01:39 PM
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I think we need a little more direction than "between Florence and Calabria," since there are dozens of choices! 😊
Do you want cities? Small towns?
Do you want access to lots of art, churches, museums? Or more countryside?
How much of your four weeks do you want to devote to Greece? Presumably you will need to end your Italy time somewhere that has good connections to Greece, then fly home from Greece.
Edit: I see you said you like going to all the little towns, but keep in mind that some won't have a train station, you would have to take a bus, at least in Tuscany. I'm going to Puglia soon and have found good train connections, although not to all the towns.

Last edited by SusanP; May 23rd, 2024 at 01:44 PM.
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Old May 23rd, 2024, 03:54 PM
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All 4 weeks in Italy in one place?

There are areas that have no train service. You might want to study a map of the Italian rail service, like this one, to narrow your thinking:

https://traintravelitaly.com/italy-train-map/

Once you pick a region or city, investigate bus services. Look at some timetables to see how much exploring is possible as a day trip. Timetables for many places are geared more for commuters and students, not tourists, so the buses are generally heading INTO the larger city in the morning and out in the afternoon... which is often the opposite of what tourists are looking to do.
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Old May 23rd, 2024, 05:55 PM
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Search for Fields trip reports, bblount. One of our best trips was here:

Turin, Spoleto, Bologna and Bellagio TR

However, Venice, as a magical base, also offers convenient train trips: Padua, Verona, and even Trieste!

Another of my faves was Pisa:

In Defense of Pisa
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Old May 23rd, 2024, 06:03 PM
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Somehow, this got posted as a new thread:

Search for Fodors trip reports, bblount. One of our best trips was here:

Turin, Spoleto, Bologna and Bellagio TR

However, Venice, as a magical base, also offers convenient train trips: Padua, Verona, and even Trieste!

Another of my faves was Pisa:

In Defense of Pisa


Last edited by TDudette; May 23rd, 2024 at 06:05 PM.
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Old May 24th, 2024, 05:50 AM
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I agree with Jean that there are areas that have no train service, however, there are often local bus services. Our experience was that the local bus schedule hours were often geared to school and commuter times. Once we made a deal with a taxi driver; once our hotel found a private driver; and most often we took days tours. Please share your experience in bella italia!
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Old May 24th, 2024, 07:23 AM
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Clarification on 4 weeks in Italy

Ok, Here’s what I need. We’ve been to Amalfi Coast ( Positano, twice) , Venice, Florence (2) , Rome (2) , Matera to Lecce, Bannabio, Parma, Lucca, Abbruzzo, Pisa, Cinque Terre and spent a week in Tuscany. We’ve rented a car for a few trips and last year used the train to go from both Florence and Rome, out to the small towns. Hubby doesn’t want to go to Milan.
Now, we want a place to stay somewhere in Calabrio or Bari or anywhere else to get to more small towns. We don’t mind taking the buses either.
And then go to Greece. We can take a week there out of our 4 weeks. We know we will have to take ferries or boats to the Greek Isles.
Is there a town in the Calabria area where the trains go or buses.
I know I can research this myself, but thought you guys might have suggestions. Thanks for the ones I did receive.
thanks,
Barb
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Old May 24th, 2024, 12:00 PM
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You could look at somewhere on the main train line on the east coast of Puglia, so maybe Bari itself if you want a larger city, or Trani, which is fantastic
https://slowtravelitalyspain.blogspo...ove-trani.html
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Old May 25th, 2024, 04:30 AM
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The train map posted by Jean only shows a few stops on each line, mostly the ones where you can transfer to another line, and not even all of those. I also don't think it shows every route, although there were some very faint lines that I wasn't sure about.

This one is more complete, even though it still doesn't show all stops.

https://images.app.goo.gl/GsnxWRp2V9687JMG9

Near the major cities there are commuter lines, which aren't all shown even on this map. Some small stations have very infrequent stops.

Last edited by bvlenci; May 25th, 2024 at 04:33 AM.
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Old May 25th, 2024, 08:16 AM
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I've never found an Italian railway map or even regional maps that show all the routes and all the stops. The map I linked was meant to indicate the areas where service is less comprehensive and where main routes intersect which might offer additional local service by either commuter train or bus. IMO, if relying entirely on public transportation, you either pick the towns/areas you want to explore and then hope to find a reasonable base with good transit options, or you pick a base with good transit options and then figure out what you can see from there.

The OP is now focusing on Calabria, and I don't have experience with train service in this area. just_tina's suggestion of Trani or Bari may be the answer.
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Old May 25th, 2024, 10:58 AM
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If you think you will return to Europe, then I suggest having a separate holiday to Greece. A week is just too short unless you are very selective.
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Old May 25th, 2024, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bblount
Ok, Here’s what I need. We’ve been to Amalfi Coast ( Positano, twice) , Venice, Florence (2) , Rome (2) , Matera to Lecce, Bannabio, Parma, Lucca, Abbruzzo, Pisa, Cinque Terre and spent a week in Tuscany. We’ve rented a car for a few trips and last year used the train to go from both Florence and Rome, out to the small towns. Hubby doesn’t want to go to Milan.
Now, we want a place to stay somewhere in Calabrio or Bari or anywhere else to get to more small towns. We don’t mind taking the buses either.
And then go to Greece. We can take a week there out of our 4 weeks. We know we will have to take ferries or boats to the Greek Isles.
Is there a town in the Calabria area where the trains go or buses.
I know I can research this myself, but thought you guys might have suggestions. Thanks for the ones I did receive.
thanks,
Barb
OP, if your intent is to also go to Greece, you will need to determine where in Greece and how/if you can easily get there from your point in Italy and how you will get home as well. You said "Greek Isles;" there are many. Which ones? And will a week be enough for what you want to see and do at those Greek islands?

Last edited by Travel_Nerd; May 25th, 2024 at 12:13 PM. Reason: Typos
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