where to go in Italy - no driving

Old May 21st, 2017, 07:33 AM
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where to go in Italy - no driving

My boyfriend and I are hoping to go to Italy on holiday this year, neither of us have ever been there before. We love the beach but also enjoy walking around towns/cities and seeing sights. Neither of us can drive so we would need somewhere we can walk (we don't mind a bit of distance) or use public transport.
Any recommendations?
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Old May 21st, 2017, 08:10 AM
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What time of year are you going and for how long? More details would help with specific suggestions. Which city are you flying into?
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Old May 21st, 2017, 08:38 AM
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We have nothing booked yet and we haven't chosen a destination because I've heard it's best to have a car in most places and obviously that isn't an option for us. I have looked at Tuscany, Venice (where I know we could walk everywhere easily but I'm not sure if there's a beach there), Rome of course... everywhere in Italy looks amazing it's so hard to choose!
We will probably travel in August/September.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 09:08 AM
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There is a beach in Venice. It's called the Lido di Venezia. There's also a beach in Rome, called Lido di Ostia. If you just want a typical summer-holiday beach, either of these will fit the bill.

There are plenty of other beaches you can get to by public transportation, but some of them aren't near any of Italy's famous tourist cities, and it sounds as though you'd like to see those as well. Some beach towns that can be easily reached from Rome are Nettuno, Anzio, and (a little more difficult to reach) Sperlonga. From Venice you can take a traghetto to Chioggia (Sottomarina) or to Lido di Jesolo, both reachable by vaporetto. From Florence you can reach Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi.

Are you interested in a beach with bathing establishments, expanses of fine sand, restaurants, and other services? Or are you more interested in scenery?

There are also some very scenic seaside destinations with cliffs rising out of the sea, such as the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, and the little-known Riviera del Conero. These don't necessarily have the best beaches, if by that you mean lots of lovely sand.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 09:22 AM
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The beach in Venice is really pretty awful.

It is easy to enjoy the Italian Riviera by train and combine it with places like Pisa, Lucca & Florence if you are willing to switch locations.

Or, go to Rome & spend a couple of nights in Sperlonga for a beach break or go to Napoli or Sorrento and use boats and buses to visit the Amalfi coast.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 09:33 AM
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thank you both!
Personally as long as I can swim in the sea I am happy. You're right we would like a bit of both. So if we went to Rome there is a beach there and we could also take day trips out of Rome to other local beach areas by train?
What is the beach in Venice like? I heard a lot of bad things about Barcelona's beach but I personally didn't think it was all that bad.
It's convenient to be near restaurants but because I am vegan I will probably be making a lot of my own food and bringing it out with me in case we can't find anything out and about.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 09:47 AM
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Very little of Italy needs a car. Rome and the beach out at Ostia Lido would be fine. Venice Lido fine as well, it relly depends on what you want from a beach.

Nothing wrong with all the beaches in or near Barcelona.

Vegan, should be fine but bring a card, in Italian with the things you cannot eat, Italians really like to discuss food and unless you are in tourist trap any waiter will not only try his best to help but even discuss it. Try also the hungrycow.net for possibles
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Old May 21st, 2017, 10:44 AM
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Thank you! That's a good idea. I plan to learn as much Italian as I can before I go I always do that before going anywhere so I avoid shouting in English as people hoping they will understand.
I loved the beach in Barcelona! I don't know what people are on about.
Thank you all for your help this is making Italy seem like an even better option for us. I was thinking Italy or a Greek Island and I'm now leaning toward Italy.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 10:51 AM
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Italy's ever more excellent rail system will take you around Italy quickly - Rome - Florence just over an hour or to Venice in about 3 hrs - Naples in about an hour, etc. And if you book train tickets early enough you can get the limited in number discounted tickets - as low as 9 euros regardless of distance!

Anyway much cheaper than walk-up fares but you have to peg yourself into a certain train on a certain day weeks before.

anyway for lots about trains check www.trenitalia.com (Italian Railways site for booking your own); www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com (check their free online European Rail Guide's chapter on Italy for suggested rail itineraries) and www.seat61.com (great info on discounted tickets).
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Old May 21st, 2017, 11:30 AM
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I would base in Firenze and day trip to cities around. Pisa luc a bologna etc.
If in Venice I'd go to Rimini for the beach and the nightlife. But don't know how easy by train.
I détestes Lido. Both the beach and worse the casino.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 12:21 PM
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If in Venice I'd go to Rimini for the beach and the nightlife. >

not easy by train - 2-3 hours each way I suspect.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 01:16 PM
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Rimini is even more than three hours by train from Venice, closer to four.

I'm not really much of a beach person, but I know a lot of people think a beach is awful because it has umbrellas lined up like soldiers, and pizza shacks all along the beach road. However, that's exactly what some other people want. So maybe a definition of terms is in order.

Lots of Italians are vegans these days, so that shouldn't be a problem. Most coffee shops have soy cappuccinos, gelaterie have soy gelato, and there are always pasta choices that are suitable for vegans. My daughter is allergic to milk, and she has no problem here. Butter isn't much used in central and southern Italy, nor in Venice. Some pastas are made with egg, but you're always safe with spaghetti, which isn't made with egg. Just stick with spaghetti and tomato sauce, and make sure they don't put cheese on your pasta.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 02:11 PM
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The Lido beach in Venice isn't awful because it has umbrellas. It is awful because it it is dirty with trash and has no appeal.

Disagree that "lots of Italians are vegans these days." Overwhelmingly restaurants are not vegan. If you want to eat vegan, do research & be prepared to shop.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 02:50 PM
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We have nothing booked yet and we haven't chosen a destination because I've heard it's best to have a car in most places and obviously that isn't an option for us>

No not for most cities where cars are banned from city centers - even Tuscany has a excellent bus service to take you to some of the iconic hill towns.

You do not need a car for Italy for what the average traveler does.

I suggest you Google vegan friendly restaurants - look for salad bars and maybe self-catering places -lots of supermarkets and many have deli take outs you can do a picnic with or eat in room.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 03:05 PM
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We will probably travel in August/September.>

september is way WAY better than August when main tourist cities are mobbed with tourists and it is hotter than heck in most of Italy.

The Cinque Terre is a popular seaside area and Monterrosso has one of the finest beaches anywhere.

Sicily is also great for classical ruins and fine beaches.
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