Tuscay or Amalfi Coast??

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Oct 23rd, 2003, 10:09 AM
  #1
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Tuscay or Amalfi Coast??

My husband and I are looking to take a relaxing vacation next spring. We have talked for some time about visiting both Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. Due to time contraints, we would only be able to see one this trip, and if it is Tuscany, most likely either North or South Tuscany, not both, in order to do them justice. We will have 9 days max.

Which would provide us what we are most looking for, which is:

Scenery, ambience, friendliness, lodging, restaurants, activities/sites, cost, and ease of getting to and around - we are flying in from Boston(we will have a rental car wherever we decide).

For the most part, we just want to meander around, eat drink (both the wine and the scenery), shop, see the sights, and laze about.
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Oct 23rd, 2003, 10:17 AM
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DRJ
 
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Congratulations on staying in one area for nine days.

IMO, a car is virtually worthless on the Amalfi Coast and the food is just OK. Again IMO, Tuscany would provide more of what you're looking for.

That said, I recommend you consider Umbria or Le Marche. Both are less touristed than Tuscany and are its equal in scenery, wine, food and ambiance.
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Oct 23rd, 2003, 10:19 AM
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They are both great destinations, but Tuscany is super-great! And, nine days in Tuscany makes for a wonderful, relaxing experience.
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Oct 23rd, 2003, 10:19 AM
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You need to talk with Bob the Navigator; per a brief post -- Bob is back from 15 days in Toscana ! --, he's just returned from another trip to that region. As a frequent poster on this forum, I'm sure he'll be sharing a trip report within the next few days.
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Oct 23rd, 2003, 10:21 AM
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We spent part of our honeymoon and Tuscany and it was our favorite. www.tuscany.net can help you find a little farmhouse. With 9 days I'd stay 4 in the South and 4 in the NW. Stay near Montapulciano or Montalcino to explore that area and the wonderful wineries, then stay in or near San Gimignano to hit Florence or Lucca/VOlterra, Siena, etc. You will love it!

IF you do AMalfi I don't think you want a car.
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Oct 23rd, 2003, 11:22 AM
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ira
 
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Hi wanderer,

I think 9 days would be stretching the charms of the Amalfi Coast. I believe that you would enjoy it more if you include 2 nights in Naples. You could visit Pompeii on your way to the AC.
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Oct 23rd, 2003, 12:51 PM
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After just returning from both areas, I would definately choose Tuscany. The Amalfi Coast is beautiful but more costly and more "resorty" in my opinion and the only bad wine we had in all of Italy was in Positano. That being said the seafood is wonderful on the Amalfi Coast but for 9 days, I think you may get bored.
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Oct 23rd, 2003, 01:52 PM
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The Ligurian coast (Riviera/Cinque Terre) borders on Tuscany. It might not be the Amalfi coast but it is just as nice IMO. It seems you'll have plenty of time to see this area if you wish.

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Oct 23rd, 2003, 02:10 PM
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Thanks to all. I think we are leaning toward southern Tuscany - Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, Assisi, Cortona.

We may not have 9 days - that would be the max we could do. It might be more like 6. That is why we were considering both areas - the Amalfi Coast for the shorter period.

If we did Amalfi Coast, we were thinking of Positano, Ravello, Amalfi, Pompei, Naples, with 2-3 nights in Amalfi or Positano, and then 2 nights on Capri.
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Oct 24th, 2003, 12:32 PM
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Southern Tuscany looks like it won out.

We are considering two places - Il Falconiere and Locanda dell Amorosa. Is one better located than another, and is one less "stuffy/formal" than the other?

The main towns we want to see are Montalcino, Pienza, Montepulciano, Cortona, Assisi, and perhaps Sienna, but we think we might skip the cities this trip.

Realistically, how many nights would we need, considering 2 days will be travel days - to see these towns in a leisurly manner and amble about as we please?
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Oct 24th, 2003, 01:07 PM
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wanderer, I'll tell you what we did, and maybe you'll find it useful. We stayed in the tiny Umbrian village of Montemelino, at Villa Rosa. It's nearby (15 km from) Perugia. We spent day one visiting the hilltown of Gubbio, with a very brief stop at a neighboring small town. Lunch in Gubbio, sightseeing, pottery shopping, etc. brought us up to 6:00 in the evening, without our even noticing how the day had flown! Off to Perugia for an evening stroll, a drink at the bar, a stop at a park to watch the sunset, then back to our B&B to prepare for dinner. Next day, off to Orvieto, Todi, and Deruta to buy more pottery and to watch a sunset. Another day had effortlessly flown by. Day three, we were feeling tired from all the driving and sightseeing, and got a late start, arriving at Assisi late morning. Assisi ate up the entire day!

I guess what I'm trying to illustrate is that you really won't be able to do justice to more than two or three hilltowns per day. Unless you want to go at a breakneck speed (not recommended)! I'd enjoy leisurely breakfasts, lunch, sightseeing and shopping. Take your time and enjoy. I had fully expected to see Florence and Siena, but that wasn't the way our days unfolded.

You've already made a good decision to stay in one place. It will become clear after only a few days how much you're going to actually see, and what kind of pace you can maintain. I figure that it's good to have a "wish list" to start out with, and places not seen can always be done on another trip (and you know with Italy, there's ALWAYS another trip).
 
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Oct 24th, 2003, 01:32 PM
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wanderer
We did about the same thing as dln but we based in Chiusi in S. Tuscany and stayed at the Villa Il Patriarca. We found it on Tuscany.net A beautiful hotel where we were treated like royalty. A Michelin one star restaurant on premises, great food! We also went to Montalcino, Pienza, Montepulciano, Cortona, Deruta, Perugia, San Quircio d?Orcia and outside Siena for dinner.
Make that wish list and you'll see how your pace goes. Enjoy your trip.
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