Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Village stopover between Naples and Venice

Notices

Village stopover between Naples and Venice

Old Nov 20th, 2015, 02:46 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 127
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Village stopover between Naples and Venice

Our family of four (mom/dad, 2 teens) will be in Italy next March. We're looking for an interesting place to spend a night or two during our drive from Naples to Venice. Good food, some history, interesting countryside???

Any suggestions?
CanadaKate is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2015, 03:03 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Try any of eons of cute Tuscan/Umbrian hill towns for such a place - Siena is a bigger one but really neat and has trappings of a larger city; Montepulciano is a cute smaller hill town or try Assisi if interested in St Francis - where he talked to birds is in a rural setting a few kms out of town or Perugia - larger hill town with large university - again more of a city draped over a hill than the iconic proverbial Tuscan or Umbrian hill town (but kids may be more into a livelier seen depending on their ages)

Or Pisa - see the Leaning Tower and savor a pleasant regional town or Lucca, one of the finest fortified ramparted cities in Europe IMO - Roman edifices built right into the ancient walls - can day trip easily from there to Pisa and the Leaning Tower - a sweet 2-day base about half way between Naples and Florence I would think.

Bologna is a big city but to me a very underrated one - said to have more certified historic medieval edifices than any other city in Italy - again a large universitey adds a certain flare to the town - also a known culinary capital for a lot more than baloney!

so if proper cities Bolonga, Pisa, Perugia, Assisi and Siena would all be great as would any of zillions of impossibly cute Tuscan/Umbrian hill towns - like posh Todi in Umbria - a pristine wealthy old hill town known for the many wealthy ex-pats and Americans, including celebrities who have villas around it - not your typical hill town IME but a neat small very clean and rather glitzy one.

Others will have oodles and oodles of other possibilities and different takes on those I have given - which are only a start.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2015, 04:16 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I assume you will have already visited - or have decided against the obvious - Rome or Florence.

How old are the kids and what are their interests. A small hill town can be pretty boring for teens unless there are specific sights they are interested in. I would aim them towards the Let's Go Student Guides so they have an idea of what might interests them in these places - and where local kids hang out if they are older teens.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2015, 04:17 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 127
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks both for your replies! The teens are 15 and 17. One is an artist, both enjoy being outside wandering around historic or natural areas. And food is high on all our agenda!
CanadaKate is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2015, 06:43 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,599
Likes: 0
Received 16 Likes on 2 Posts
Look at Spello, Umbria, near Sissi. Wonderdul restaurants. Easy drive from Naples on A-1.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2015, 11:24 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are simply dozens upon dozens of small towns and villages that would interest your family as you describe yourselves that are not far off the fastest main route between Naples and Florence. I suggest you get a copy of this book and see what appeals. You might also take into consideration what would break the drive fairly evenly in half, so that your driving days are not very lopsided, with one short leg and an unpleasantly long one.

http://www.amazon.com/Authentic-Tusc.../dp/8836532977

I would avoid going too far east or west off the main highways or larger towns, where driving gets very complicated and congested. Stick to the villages and rural areas, where there is a real density of historic towns, many with beautiful artworks, all in lovely settings.
sandralist is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2015, 07:25 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 949
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My vote would be Orvieto. It's about half way between Naples and Venice and is just off A1 which I assume is the route you would take. We have visited Orvieto several times and really enjoyed our time there. Seeing the duomo, taking an underground tour, climbing to the top of the Torre del Moro, going down St Patrick's well and just walking around the gorgeous streets would make for a good day and should be interesting for the whole family. It's big enough to have a good selection of restaurants and places to stay. Be aware of the ZTL areas when driving in the town.

We have not been there but have always wanted to visit Civita di Bagnoregio which is only about 30 minutes from Orvieto. If you run out of things to do in Orvieto, Civita di Bagnoregio might be a nice quick diversion and give you a chance to drive through the country.

As others have said above, there are literally dozens of towns that would be of interest so you really can't go wrong.
john183 is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2015, 10:50 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,246
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I like Orvieto myself, but it's certainly not a village.

Spello is smaller, and very charming, but not near the A1. If you get off the A1 in Orte (near Rome) and take the E45, you'd pass close to Spello and Assisi, and also a lot of other little towns and villages in Umbria and Le Marche. The E45 is not an autostrada, but still a pretty good road, much of it limited access (but free). It mostly follows the route of the Italian state highway, SS3bis. It would add about an hour and a half to your trip. The regular SS3 (sans bis) would take just a little longer, and follow a more rural (and very scenic route).
bvlenci is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2015, 12:56 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
village is a nebulous term in these contexts - not sure the OP meant tiny village like with a few hundred inhabitants or a larger 'village' like Todi or even larger like Orvieto - a gem - or Siena, Lucca - smaller towns but teens that age may like to hang out at caffes where young Italian hang out - few of those in villages and few non-tourists really.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2015, 02:20 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 127
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks all. Great book recommendation -- I see it appearing on my Christmas list!

Agreed, village is something of a nebulous term ... what I was aiming at was not-a-city.
CanadaKate is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2015, 02:21 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,246
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't consider any of those villages. Todi is the smallest, at about 17,000 inhabitants. Lucca is actually the largest, much bigger than Siena.

When someone uses the word village, I assume they know what a village is and really mean that's what they want.

Here are some very nice places I consider villages, none of them overrun with tourists:

In Tuscany, Sovana, population about 500, lovely little town with some craft shops and an Etruscan necropolis.

In Umbria, Città della Pieve, about 8000 inhabitants, near the border with Tuscany, is another charming little town, birthplace of the Renaissance artist Perugino, with at least four of his paintings in the town. There's an even smaller 13th century "ghost town", Salci, on the outskirts.

Sant'Angelo in Vado, in Le Marche, is a pretty little town of about 4000 inhabitants, on the banks of the river Metauro, not far from Urbino. In October, it hosts a white truffle festival.

There are scores of others in these three regions.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Nov 22nd, 2015, 10:21 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
small villages can be boring for teens and anyone - think of at home - would you recommend someone see say Chicago or a small mid-west village out in the sticks?

A smaller city, when compared to Rome and Florence, etc) may be what the OP is really looking for - something where there is something to do, especially for teens.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Nov 22nd, 2015, 10:58 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
PalenQ,

An Italian village is nothing like a US small town in the sticks. And you have an incorrect picture of what Italian teens are doing in March even in small cities like Orvieto or Lucca. They are not hanging out in cafes. They are in school or have homework. They may join all their neighbours for an evening stroll, or some recreation in the piazza -- but in March that is going to be brief.

Italian village and small town life for one or two nights is something to experience that isn't found in the US or much of the rest of Europe. The travellers will be visiting super-crowded Napoli and Venice, an overload of entertainment and sensations. That is not the whole of Italy by any means, and seeing how millions of Italians live in small towns (quite happily in the main) is not boring for someone with normal curiosity about foreign cultures, not to mention that these areas have such a density of castles, medieval walls, history-soaked landscapes, important art and architecture and traditional still-living craft that has continued unbroken for centuries -- well, I guess some people don't appreciate it, but with a modicum of thought, most people are struck by what an amazing thing it is that these villages and small towns, so beautifully preserved, have withstood the centuries and the ravages of globalisation. Not boring in the least.
sandralist is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
DebbieKincan
Europe
6
Feb 27th, 2012 10:07 AM
dkm102131
Europe
4
Oct 10th, 2011 12:46 PM
enzian
Europe
24
Jun 6th, 2009 11:15 AM
asp10
Europe
12
Mar 8th, 2008 11:00 AM
LongIslandGirl
Europe
4
Feb 12th, 2007 07:10 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO