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Where in Italy to stopover? Italy lovers please chime in.

Where in Italy to stopover? Italy lovers please chime in.

Old Feb 19th, 2008, 06:58 PM
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Where in Italy to stopover? Italy lovers please chime in.

I can spend a couple of nights (probably 2-5) pretty much anywhere Alitalia goes (except the islands), where should I pick? I have been to Rome several times, the more I go the less I like it. The last time was practically horrid for getting ripped off and just being treated as a tourist (which is apparently less than human). I also have been to Venice, Pisa, and Florence, and like all those cities a lot because they are so walkable, and Milan.

I am curious about Bologna, but it seems a little big and expensive to stay in (I'm a budget traveler). Any thoughts? Also considering Naples, which would probably have better weather in March, Siena, Perugia, or Lucca. I would really appreciate any thoughts esp. about the last 2. I am leaning toward a smaller city I can get a sense of in such a short time.

thanks a lot!

mp413
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 07:22 PM
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Perugia: a nice unique city with lots of charms. Well placed to visit other towns in Umbria. I think Perugia has more charm than Lucca, and better food. Better art museum, that is for sure. A little fashion, a bit of older charm, all mixed up together. I favor Perugia.

Lucca is ok; there are plenty of great places to visit by train and/or car.
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 08:16 PM
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Why not Urbino ?
Urbino is unique, charming and wonderful.
Small enough and perfectly walkable.
Very interesting museum and palaces to visit.
Very good food.
From Urbino a daytrip to Pesaro, along the Adriatic Sea, elegant and cute town.
Sorry, but I have to spend a further word about Naples: still you should avoid it because the garbage is still a very big and deep problem and any solution is far. Garbage is almost everywhere and it is not nice and dangerous, also.

Have a lovely trip, ciao.

Vincenzo




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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 08:38 PM
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Wow, thanks Vincenzo I had completely forgotten about the garbage issue! Is Amalfi affected by that problem as well?

Perugia sounds perfect, thanks a lot tuscan for that rec. Plus, I can fly there direct and not bother with trains or buses which is a perk.
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 08:45 PM
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P.s. it doesn't look like Alitalia flies to Urbino, is it near another city they may fly to? It sounds nice as well.
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 09:02 PM
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Another vote for Perugia - stay in the old town. "Mini Hotel Primavera" is great value. Go for the food, gelato, art, history and style. And it's a convenient base for other Umbrian towns and countryside.
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 09:06 PM
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Forgot to mention the chocolate, and the fact that Perugia is excellent for walking - fairly level on top and pedestrianised!
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 09:26 PM
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Perugia does sound great. I am also started to be tempted by Bologna/Ferrara/Ravenna as a good way to spend 5 days.

Any downsides to either option?
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 09:55 PM
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Hello mp, my vote would be for Bologna, I love that city. Just walking around is such a joy and the food and wine, ambrosia! Being a University City it is vibrant and not so crowded with tourist although I am afraid that due to its popularity it will soon be very overrun with visitors. With 5 days you could catch a train and do a day trip or two. Whatever your decision is do have a wonderful time in beautiful Italy.
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 10:16 PM
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No, Amalfi Coast and Penisola Sorrentina are not affected from garbage but . . . you cannot fly directly on Amalfi (or Sorrento) so your eyes will see garbage along the roads from Naples airport to highway and, believe me, it is very sad !
About Urbino, the nearest airports are Ancona and Rimini.
Anyway, obviously also Perugia is a very good place, also Bologna.
IMO the final driver of your decision should be the period you're coming here. Is it May ?

Vincenzo
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 10:41 PM
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Vicenzo, I'm actually coming in early-mid March. Probably isn't quite as ideal.

I'm glad for the opinion about Bologna, it does seem great and also a good base to explore another town or two. It is hard to find a budget hotel though!

thanks!
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 03:52 AM
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I think Bologna is a good option with good day trips. The mosaics in Ravenna are spectacular

Another possibility might be basing in Verona and visting Vicenza and Padova. too.
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 05:56 AM
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Ferrara is nice and flat, and also a good base for a day trip to Ravenna. I stayed at www.borgonuovo.com/index-eng.html - helpful hosts, good food, comfortable - great value for not-too-much money.
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 07:53 AM
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About Bologna my suggestions for a good B&B is BLUE ANGEL, in the historical center of Bologna.

Vincenzo
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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Visit Verona, one of the lovliest towns in Italy. Clean and lovely, it is a city surrounded by wine towns.
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 07:11 PM
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"I have been to Rome several times, the more I go the less I like it"

this CRAKCED me up ;-) sums up my feelings right there...don't get me wrong...I still think there is just so much to see in Rome and I'm glad I've been, etc. - but kind of had enough really.

I'd pick Siena - if you have not been before - out of those choices...much more charming and relaxing(IMHO) than Bologna (although I like Bologna quite a bit), Ferrara, Verona.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 01:04 PM
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Thanks for all these replies! I gather from some of these responses and what I've read that Bologna has more of a busy city feel. Is that true of the historic center as well? Is that part of the city pedestrian? I honestly don't want to deal with a whole lot of hustle and bustle for this short trip so it sounds like a smaller town might be best for this time.

Mnapoli, thanks for the rec--I have also been to Verona and really love it. It's exactly what I'm looking for really, though I would like to try something new this time.

Right now the biggest dilemma is whether to stay in Siena and maybe a night or two in Florence, or split my time between Florence and Bologna (which means getting to visit Ravenna, which I've always wanted to do).

I appreciate all the help!
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Old Feb 24th, 2008, 09:40 AM
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this is what i wrote to another person interested in bologna.
it's so long to retype so i copy/paste but i've read all the topic and i can tell you that bologna is a businness city because of its big fair zone and other things but this doesn't affect the feeling you can have in the centre of the city.
the weather here starts to be quite good, around midday there are about 15C but in the evening and if you spend some days near the sea (ravenna, rimini...) better have a sweater/jumper.

hi!
my name's claudia, i was born and live in bologna so, apart from apt. or hotel (you can imagine i don't need them here^^)i can give you some advice.
bologna is great in sept/oct, right temperature, good weather (it's a matter of luck, as everywhere).
students to tell you the truth never left the city...they're always around, even in august because often they've got houses for rent and they spend cheap holidays inviting each other in the cities where they study^^.
if you spend 5 days you have all the time to see the highlights of the city, having a trip if you are in the mood (by train you can reach firenze in about 1 hour, rimini-by the sea for a loving walk on the beach and a fish lunch-1 hour and 20 , ravenna for mosaics and history, modena 30min i think for the city centre and balsamic vinegar...) or enjoy some particoular places of the city not very well known (e.g. bologna is full of underground canals, in some parts of the city the canals exit and you can see spots with homes with balcony and flowers just right over the canals, you see it through a little square window in a wall that you don't really expect-this place is beetween via augusto righi and via delle moline. or if you stay a friday and/or saturday you can visit piazzola market, thousand salers: you can find shoes, clothes, house linen, bags and belts...if you enter the little streets right behind p.za maggiore you can find the oldest and typical shops of the city -via pescherie vecchie and around- and while you're there you can rest for a lunch or dinner at tamburini. it's a food shop, the most precius hams and cheeses, fresh and typical pasta from tortellini to ravioli...it's a shop, a take away of ready to eat food but also a self service with a really really bolognese speciality.
if you want you can enjoy a walk along the san luca portico. it's quite long but you can also take a bus to the church on the top of the hill, it's a beautiful church between trees and green and you can see a great view.
bologna has got a lot of parks too.
the most famous are giardini margherita, a lot of green, a little lake with turtles and ducks, just take a plaid or a blanket with you and relax in the park.
if you want to try the best bologna's ice cream you really really have to go to gianni- via montegrappa, a lateral of via indipendenza, near p.za maggiore.
if you want to see the most important italian fashion names and elegant men and women you just pass the piazza and walk on via d'azeglio then turn left in via farini untill galleria cavour. really posh place but no matter at all if you have t-shirt and bermudas and go around^^.
all the places i've told are reachable on foot from the centre of the city apart from san luca and gardens but for them there are frequent buses.
these are only the first places i trought about, there are many, i hope you'll find this little excursus interesting and useful, just tell if you need to know something more
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Old Feb 24th, 2008, 10:02 AM
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Another vote for Siena, although it is 3 hours from Rome by Bus, or you could fly into Florence.

Lucca is another place that I am very fond of - although quieter.

Other options: Orvieto, Montalcino or Montepulciano (both quite far from airpots).

I have been to neither Bologna nor Perugia, but they are both on my list of "Places to do".
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