Tuscany and Amalfi - atmosphere?

Old Jan 21st, 2010, 08:55 AM
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Tuscany and Amalfi - atmosphere?

I have done a decent amount of research on Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast but I still don’t have a sense of the atmosphere at each place or what really differentiates them other than the scenery. They both seem like smaller towns places. Can anyone help describe the two areas more? I am traveling in September with one of my girlfriends – we’re in our early 30s and like the feeling of smaller towns. We want to relax but have options of things to do/places to see but not feel rushed. We aren’t really into statues and art. I’ve read on the threads here that you need a car in Tuscany to really see it but we wont be getting one. I’m worried that if we do Tuscany and we want to do a day trip to Florence, Cinque Terra and maybe a winery that the buses/trains will be difficult to navigate. I’m guessing Lucca is the only city we could stay in if we wanted to do CT and Florence day trips. Is the amalfi coast worth going to if we can only stay 2 days? thanks!
mhohol is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2010, 09:10 AM
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Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast are pretty different. The former is inland, and most people visit for the wineries, countryside, etc. The latter is on the coast and is therefore more oriented towards beach activities.

If you want to get to Cinque Terre, you can get there easily from Pisa (south) or Genoa (north). Here is a Cinque Terre guide to help with train transport and to give you a better idea of what it's like there:

amazingview is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2010, 09:17 AM
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If you want to see Tuscany, you really do need a car. If you choose Tuscany, will you have more than 2 days? If not, there is no time to do "day trips" to the CT or Florence and relex too.

Personally, I would not go all the way to the Amalfi Coast only for two days. Where would you be coming from? It will take a few hours just to get there from Rome.

As to atmosphere, I think the Tuscan countryside is more relaxing - WITH a car. Without a car you will have to make sure you know the bus schedules, make sure you don't miss the buses, etc.

to me, the Amalfi Coast is more "resorty", although it does vary by town. Resorty = Sorrento and Positano. Not resorty are Praiano, and other smaller, more local towns.

A lot depends on your itineary and what makes sense as far as a travel and time commitment. It does not make sense to go to the CT as a day trip!

Hope this helps

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2010, 09:59 AM
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To be strictly accurate, Tuscany has a coastline, but that's not what most people mean when they think of the Tuscan countryside.

How many days will you have? That makes a difference.

You could base in Lucca, which is more of a large town, small city. And make day trips by train to Florence, Pisa, and the Cinque Terre. But I think, giving your tastes, spending at least one night in one of the very small towns of the CT would be good.

But, yes, skip the Amalfi coast this trip. And, yes, to see the small hilltowns of Tuscany, you really need a car or lots of time for waiting for buses.

I give you my official permission to skip Florence. Sounds like it's not to your taste. But you'll have to face up to all the people back home who will say "What, you didn't go to Florence when you were so close? I lo-o-o-ve Florence."

On the other hand, I don't give you permission to skip Venice, if you can possibly work it in.
Mimar is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2010, 10:54 AM
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Do not go to the AC for only 2 days. Pick Lucca and one other Tuscan destination--maybe Siena--if you have the time. That is the variable---TIME.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2010, 11:00 AM
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Rather than travel all the way to the Amalfi Coast, it seems to make more sense to consider staying a couple nights in CT, rather than trying to day trip from Tuscany. I think Siena might give you more options to take buses to some of the hill towns, plus it's easy to get to Florence from there and it's a very interesting small city in and of itself.
hazel1 is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2010, 09:01 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
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If you're not into statues and art, I'm not sure why people are recommending Lucca or Siena to you, other than you can day trip (sort of) to le Cinque Terre from there.

It's true you can't drive around Tuscany without a car, but I think you might very well enjoy staying in Cortona or Arezzo, both on the train line, and you can day trip into Florence from there by train.

You might consider splitting your time between le Cinque Terre and Cortona.

But I agree with the advice that the Amalfi is too far to make for a relaxing trip combined with Tuscan or Ligurian towns.

However, if you stay in the non-touristy spots in Sorrento (away from the coast, back into the hills), it can feel like quite a hideway, and yet you can still get in quite a bit of sightseeing (to Capri, Ischia or parts of the Amalfi coast) using public transportation.
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