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Venice, Amalfi Coast, Rome must do, must see that isn't a norm

Venice, Amalfi Coast, Rome must do, must see that isn't a norm

Feb 28th, 2011, 05:33 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Venice, Amalfi Coast, Rome must do, must see that isn't a norm

So I've been creeping on many of your trips reports trying to cram in everything I need to know for a first trip to Europe with my 22 yr old daughter.

Itinerary 4 nights Venice, 4 nights Sorrento, 6 nights Rome. Leave March 11 PM, home March 26 PM. Hotels in Venice and Sorrento, apartment in Rome. Have Scavi tour booked and a cooking class, planning Pompei/Vesuvius (weather permitting), Amalfi/Ravello and perhaps Capri in our days in Sorrento.... Venice our must do's are St. Marks and Doge's Secret tour, and then walking ....would love ideas for Cicchetti bars and amazing gifts shops that sell ornaments (my souv. of choice), have scoped out a few Mask shops that we can hopefully catch some artist in action. No luck on tickets to La Fenice...so bummed, will go day one to check.

So we fly into Venice and then fly to Naples train to Rome fly to home. Tips on this travel for firsties would be appreciated as well....like transfer type info.

Rome...oh boy.....Scavi, Borghese and Cooking class....oh and from eks....Maria Santa Novella pharmacy, great find through your trip reports and what a surprise for DD. Other than that, of course the obvious day and night walks, but looking for your ideas on things you have found in your expert travels that have awed you that are not in the norm must see's. Thanks for all your help thus far!!
Ineedavacay is offline  
Feb 28th, 2011, 05:49 PM
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Many people miss the following in Rome:

San Clemente - layers of churches through which you can descent through history - the bottom level is the remains of a Temple of Mithras

Villa Guilia - has a wealth of Etruscan art and everyday objects. I found the more than 2000 year old pots of cosmetics, tweezers, scissors - and household goods to be fascinating

In Venice I prefer torcello to the other islands (it was the first settled and the church has wonderful Byzantine mosaics)
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 28th, 2011, 06:28 PM
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My map lists some 56 churches in Venice, not including Murano, Burano and Torcello, and if you buy a Chorus Pass, you can have admission to seventeen of them for 12 or 13 euro. Otherwise it is 3 euro per, which can be a bit off putting. The map that comes with the Chorus Pass is one of the best maps of Venice in terms of finding the popular tourist sites, it’s a new publication and very easy to read. Besides the churches, all 56 of them, it shows places of interest like the Ghetto, and shows the vaporetto stops. It’s not so good for navigation – you’d need a street finder for that.

The most easterly church is San Giobbe, near the site of the former municipal abattoir, the most westerly San Pietro di Castello, not far from the football ground, home ground for Venice’s team, which sadly enjoys little success. And about a quarter of the way from abattoir to football ground is the Church of San Polo. The church is pretty dim, and when inside you can see people put their noses in, and decide that they’ll maybe spend their three euro on a coffee and brioche rather than yet another church. In the church proper, there is an OK Tiepolo the elder, and after that the usual group of dark oils showing various saints having a rough time of it.

The treasure of San Polo is in the sacristy. There is a Stations of the Cross, the story told in fourteen frames, almost like a documentary. This group of paintings did not find favour when Tiepolo the Younger painted it around 1750, and I think that the style would have cut across the conventional view of the crucifixion. Tiepolo painted no calm, placid, self-sacrificing demi-god, there’s no Father, Son and Holy Ghost in evidence here. We have a tortured, agonised man, being done to death for upsetting the Roman order of things, threatening the status quo, that “Render unto Caesar” phrase would certainly have threatened the taxation revenue, and overturning the tables of the money changers would knock a hole in synagogue revenue. Those moneychangers paid for the table concessions, were licensed, and entitled to make a buck on the exchange.

That Tiepolo painting, that first Station, sets the scene of what is to come, and outlines the way the narrative will be told. And so asking the mob, “What should we do, what’s a fit punishment” was always going to have the mob baying for blood, “yeah, let’s have a crucifixion, haven’t seen one for weeks”. Nobody was going to suggest a period of home detention, an ASBO, or a fine. And no magistrate was going to lose favour by asking the mob – every election campaign, 2000 years later, still brings up law and order as a issue. “Let’s get tough on Crime!” I’ve read an account of the municipal authorities of a fourteenth century Italian town paying for the right to disembowel, hang, draw and quarter a criminal from a nearby town. Getting tough on crime has a long history.

So there is no “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” portrayed in these Stations. It is all a very human story; I think not the way the people who commissioned the work expected the story to be told. They were not expecting a political statement to hang in the church, and so the paintings languished, unhung, for decades. The same goes for the ascent to Heaven. Mostly one see a most serene portrayal, Jesus ascending, maybe standing on some sort of little cloud, a bunch of angels in attendance, being drawn up to the light. Not in Tiepolo’s version. He has Jesus literally jumping towards the heavens, ascending completely under his own steam, a most athletic Jesus.

So the San Polo church may not be for everyone, but the Tiepolo works make it pretty special for me.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Mar 1st, 2011, 06:39 AM
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À propos Tiepolo the Younger: Peter, I suppose you already know Ca' Rezzonico; if not, it's a must for Giandomenico Tiepolo buffs.

Ineed, some ideas for sightseeing off the beaten path in Rome are here: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ightseeing.cfm
From there, you'll find more links to threads about food in Rome, food in Venice, sightseeing in Venice.
franco is offline  
Mar 1st, 2011, 08:10 AM
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The Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy is in Florence, not Rome.

Rome:
There are great views of the Forum from the back of the Capitoline museums as well as from the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II (the "Wedding Cake").

When you visit the Pantheon, pop into Santa Maria sopra Minerva. It is a beautiful church with an early Michaelangelo.

I also enjoyed the views from the top of Castel Sant'Angelo

If you go the Borghese Gallery, which I highly recommend, walk through the park towards Piazza Popolo, the view from the top of the stairs that lead down to the Piazza is great. You could also visit Santa Maria del Popolo which has some amazing Caravaggio paintings.

I enjoyed San Giovanni Laterano, the Cathedral of Rome, and felt it was actually more beautiful inside than St. Peter's.

Venice:
I'm in the camp that recommends a gondola ride.

Go to San Giorgio Maggiore and ride the elevator up the Campanile for a great view of Venice.

Be sure to visit the loggia level museum of Basilica San Marco. You can see the actual Quadriga (4 horses) and can walk out on the balcony with the copies overlooking Piazza San Marco. There are great views.

I really enjoyed visiting the Frari Church (Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari). The outside gives no hint of the beauty within.

Sorrento:
There is fabulous gelato at Davide. It is located at Via Padre Reginaldo Giuliani, 41, not far from the main square, Piazza Tasso.

Ravello:
Visit Villa Cimbrone. It is a bit of a walk from the main square but completely worth it. The gardens are beautiful, and the views of the Gulf of Salerno from the Terrazzo dell’Infinito is stunning.

Villa Rufolo has beautiful views too, but I preferred Cimbrone.
Delaine is offline  
Mar 1st, 2011, 09:22 AM
  #6  
ekc
 
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A couple of places I can recommend for cicchetti in Venice are Vini al Bottegon (also known as Gia Schiavi) on San Trovaso, and All’ Arco.

One of my favorite souvenirs from Venice is a hand-blown glass necklace that I purchased at Giorgio Nason located at Dorsoduro 167. He might also have ornaments.

One of my favorite museums in Rome is Museo Dell’Ara Pacis, which contains the 9th century Altar of Peace. It is simple, beautiful and not as overwhelming as most museums are to me. Find a picture on the internet and you will see what I mean! It would be a quick stop if you are "in the neighborhood".

Another fun thing in Rome is to go up to the Malta embassy and look through the "keyhole" in the gate for a great view of St. Peter's.
ekc is offline  
Mar 1st, 2011, 09:26 AM
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Ineed - no way i can compete with Peter and Franco in their encyclopaedic knowledge of Venice and Rome.

however, a couple of places they have not mentioned, one in Rome and the other in Venice, which you may enjoy and which are not yet overwhelmed by visitors.

the first is the palazzo doria pamphilji in Rome - it is half stately home and half art gallery, and what a gallery it is - the walls crammed full of glorious paintings which would fill half a dozen museums anywhere else. and the joy of it is that there is virtually no-one there.

the second is the island of san gieorgio in venice. there is a lovely campanile there with views just as good as those from the one in san marco, and far fewer people.
annhig is online now  
Mar 1st, 2011, 09:46 AM
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Yes indeed, and the best thing about S. Giorgio is the former monastery with its dormitory, two cloisters, and library, now the Fondazione Cini, which hardly anybody seems to visit; details on my Venetian sightseeing thread (sorry to promote it again, but I don't have time to re-type right now).
franco is offline  
Mar 1st, 2011, 09:51 AM
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Ah, and by the way, Delaine: there's a shop of the S. Maria Novella Pharmacy in Rome, as well (or a knowledgeable poster like ek would of course never say so) - more precisely, it's on Corso Rinascimento 47.
franco is offline  
Mar 1st, 2011, 10:08 AM
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Thanks, Franco. Good to know for future reference.
Delaine is offline  
Mar 1st, 2011, 10:36 AM
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I too am an ornament collector but had trouble finding them in Europe. What I finally ended up doing was purchasing little souvenirs, I especially liked the tiny plates 2-3" across. When I got home I hot glued a loop of gold or silver cord onto the back in order to make it a hanging ornament.

I also bought some key chains, the red vespa from Rome is great, a gondola from Venice, a small Eiffel tower from Paris, beer mugs from Munich and so on. At first I was disappointed that I didn't find more traditional ornaments, but when I decorated my 'travel tree' last year and this year I just loved it. Think outside the ornament box and you will be surprised what you can make an ornament out of. They also travel better than the traditional glass ornaments. Don't get me wrong, I bought a ton of glass ornaments in Germany but when I couldn't find any in some cities I had to get creative.
michele_d is offline  
Mar 1st, 2011, 12:22 PM
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Christmas ornaments . . . Another typical small souvenir you will see all over Italy that would make a great tree ornament: the traditional Pinocchio. Pinocchio is available in many sizes, from key ring to foot-high statue. In Venice you should find blown glass balls (which may be true Venetian glass or Chinese copies) that have been made with a loop to be use as ornaments.
ellenem is online now  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 07:41 PM
  #13  
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Wow you guys, thank you all so much for all of your input! I am printing and packing this weekend....soooo very excited, we leave next Friday! So much amazing advice and so little time. None of your suggestions will go to waste, my daughter will and I will definately have a trip full of awesome memories...this forum rocks!!!
Ineedavacay is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 10:21 PM
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