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> Need suggestion on 2 weeks in Italy
natcire
post Apr 6 2009, 11:11 PM
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This workaholic needs to take his first break in 5 years, two weeks in July 2009. It is going to be a dream vacation for us and to celebrate our 8th anniversary.

From the postings here, my better half wants to see Rome and Venice. I would like to drive in Tuscany but am a little worried about driving on the opposite side of the race track. She does not want to drive there but you know us men...we are fool hearty.

Would like recommendations from others who have done a self-drive tour or a guided tour to give us suggestions, tips and avoidance. To give you an idea of where we've stayed: resorts with pit toilets, generator at night and no bathroom or running water. Love the idea of staying with families or farm houses. How much Italian should we know before we embark on this trip?

Thanks in advance to all for your guidance,
Eric
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starlagurl
post Apr 7 2009, 09:17 AM
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Hi Eric, welcome to the forums!

I'm pretty sure someone around here has done a trip like that, but I seem to forget who it is. I hope whoever it is chimes in!

I have been to Tuscany, but I found that I didn't need to know any Italian at all. However, people always like it when you try to speak their language, so knowing some Italian would definitely be to your benefit.

As for recommendations, it's been eight years since I've been there, so I can hardly remember it. Tuscany didn't leave very much of an impression on me.


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natcire
post Apr 7 2009, 09:59 AM
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Starlagurl

Thanks for feedback. We did read through each of the three pages of postings for Italy. And got some of our ideas. So Tuscany did not make an impression on you. Wonder if it will be that way for us also...I realize that different places have different effects on different people.

Eric


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starlagurl
post Apr 7 2009, 10:01 AM
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Yeah, I wasn't there very long... I went to Pisa and Florence, very nice and old, but that's about all I remember!


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huckabmm
post Apr 7 2009, 11:05 AM
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QUOTE(natcire @ Apr 6 2009, 11:11 PM) *

From the postings here, my better half wants to see Rome and Venice.

Good choices. Italy will be hot and crowded in July, but judging from the other places you've been, I don't think this will bother you much. I think the idea of staying in farmhouses is a great idea. You can probably find info about this on Google. One other thing you might consider is renting an apartment from someone while you are there, you can rent a week at a time (sometimes less) and use this as a "home base" and travel around the countryside from there.

Also, if you're interested in learning to cook, try La Vecchia Scuola Bolognese in Bologna.

QUOTE(natcire @ Apr 6 2009, 11:11 PM) *

I would like to drive in Tuscany but am a little worried about driving on the opposite side of the race track. She does not want to drive there but you know us men...we are fool hearty.


As far as I know, Italy drives on the right hand side of the road. So driving should not be that much different. To really get in to the "heart" of Tuscany (i.e. out of the cities) you need to drive. I think this is probably your best option.


QUOTE(starlagurl @ Apr 7 2009, 09:17 AM) *

Tuscany didn't leave very much of an impression on me.

What?? shocked.png Where did you go?


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starlagurl
post Apr 7 2009, 11:31 AM
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Pisa and Florence, didn't really like it!


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huckabmm
post Apr 7 2009, 02:14 PM
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QUOTE(starlagurl @ Apr 7 2009, 11:31 AM) *

Pisa and Florence, didn't really like it!


Interesting...I guess different strokes for different folks but Florence was one of the most beautiful places I've seen!


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"Be a traveler, not a tourist."
"Chance favors the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

Give Life

My upcoming trips:
1. A week at the Outer Banks, NC; June '10
2. Somewhere in South America, Early 2011
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natcire
post Apr 7 2009, 02:24 PM
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Huckabmm...thanks for the feedback.

Timing in July is non-negotiable, wish we could go in spring (I am really needing the vacation now. Could be because I am planning the trip and work seems like a drag! LOL) ...wife will be in between intership and school starting in early August.

I never really thought about cooking class but that sounds awesome. We love to cook. Renting apartment also sounds awesome but it will probably wait for the second trip after we find out what portion of Italy we like to spend more time in.

For those who have driven in Italy. I looked at the map and from Rome to Perugia is like 110 miles so a full day of driving will be plenty of time to sight-see between the two cities, correct? Recommendations on detours to see the not too familiar sights??

Here are my thoughts on the driving tour:
July 10 arrival in Rome (Starlagurl, will take your recommendations on 10 things to do in Rome)
July 13 depart for Perugia (what sights to see on the way?) Is Perugia worth stopping at?
July 14 depart for Siena (what sights to see on the way?)
July 15 depart for Florence (what sights to see on the way?)
July 17 depart for Pisa then to Bologna (cooking class???)
July 20 depart for Venice (what sights to see on the way?)
July 24 head for home

Is this too much to do in two weeks?

Eric
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starlagurl
post Apr 7 2009, 02:27 PM
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Yes, Florence was definitely very beautiful, don't get me wrong. I guess nothing really special happened to me there, so it didn't really stick out in my memory. In no way am I meaning that you should skip it.

Glad you liked the top 10 list, Eric!


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natcire
post Apr 8 2009, 12:09 AM
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As I said, I am a workaholic...and I did not know there was an earthquake in Italy: demolished Aquila and Onna. Wow...kinda makes me rethink our plan. Not that I don't want to go. It is like driving past a car accident and looking. Morbid. I always believed if we are not there to help why rubber neck? Would it be like callous to be 'vacationing' in that part when there is so much sadness and pain? Discussion?

Eric
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starlagurl
post Apr 8 2009, 09:29 AM
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You don't have to go to the affected areas if it bothers you.
Sometimes it's good to go to places that have just been affected by a natural disaster. They need the tourism business to get back on their feet. But if it bothers you, of course, don't go.

However, Florence and Perugia seem to be alright, you could just change your route to avoid the area. I don't think you should cancel the trip because of the earthquake.


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Massimo
post Apr 11 2009, 04:23 PM
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Hi Nactire!
Farmhouses in Italy are called Agriturismo , google this, nd then enter the english page.
In the cities that you would define as "known places" you won't need any Italian, people will speak english, sometimes a broke english, but you will make it, I'm sure.
In Rome I would say 5 days and 4 nights, that will do it, in Venice 2 and 2 .
In the countryside such as in Tuscany, the drive can be enjoyable and safe, just try to take it easy for the first 2 hours before you get on the highway, and make sure you get a car with a gps device ( should cost around 10 extra euros per day ).
In Rome, I would reccomend having tours with local driverguides in the city, and guides at the Vatican.
I can certainly reccommend the xperienceitaly.com guys , they will do the job .
To sleep in Rome, go ahead with B&Bs , if you don't know if the location is good, just ask me, some of them have very attractive names, like central bla bla bla, or downtown bla bla or so, but then they are in the outskirts...
For any question, feel free to ask me, it's a pleasure to help, I'm not here daily, but I try to be there as much as I can!!
Ciao!


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Massimo
post Apr 11 2009, 04:28 PM
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I forgot,
About l'Aquila and Onna, as an Italian, I would ask anyone, please DO NOT go there .
There's no way a tourist can help, and some people go there just to take pictures, exactly like the rubber necking you were talking about . Let's don't forget the immense sufference behind all that, respect for it first of all.

Once said that , the rest of Italy is safe and ok to travel , in Rome we just felt it, and there is a crack in the ruins of caracalla's baths, but nothing more.

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natcire
post Apr 11 2009, 05:19 PM
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Easitalytours:

Thanks for the two comments...greatly appreciate it.
I think you are correct. Just don't go to those cities: Onna and Aquila. So sad.

I have frequent mileage with hotels so was going to use hotels in Rome, Florence and maybe at Maetre (sp) outside of Venice. But in other places will do B&B since they are smaller towns. Maybe even in Venice to be closer.

5 days/4 nights in Rome!? I know it is a large city and lots of sights. But don't want to rush through other parts also. Comment?

Any comments on the sights along the way from Rome to Siena to Venice?

Am really exited about this trip now. Will start to learn Italian in a couple of weeks. Have to finish my spring class first.

Thanks again!
Eric
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Massimo
post Apr 16 2009, 01:40 PM
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QUOTE(natcire @ Apr 11 2009, 05:19 PM) *

Easitalytours:

Thanks for the two comments...greatly appreciate it.
I think you are correct. Just don't go to those cities: Onna and Aquila. So sad.

I have frequent mileage with hotels so was going to use hotels in Rome, Florence and maybe at Maetre (sp) outside of Venice. But in other places will do B&B since they are smaller towns. Maybe even in Venice to be closer.

5 days/4 nights in Rome!? I know it is a large city and lots of sights. But don't want to rush through other parts also. Comment?

Any comments on the sights along the way from Rome to Siena to Venice?

Am really exited about this trip now. Will start to learn Italian in a couple of weeks. Have to finish my spring class first.

Thanks again!
Eric


Ciao Eric,
5 days/4 nights in Rome is enough to see the highlights of the city, you'll love it.
going north from Rome, you can really see a lot, are you going to drive there?
if yes, don't miss Monteriggioni, Cortona, Assisi, the whole chianti region, then from Siena to Venice it's betterg to go with the highway, even if there's not much to see on it, but don't miss Padova, or the small Arqua Petrarca town , i mean, you won't get bored...
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natcire
post Apr 16 2009, 10:33 PM
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[quote name='easitalytours' date='Apr 16 2009, 01:40 PM' post='97367']
[quote name='natcire' post='96519' date='Apr 11 2009, 05:19 PM']
Easitalytours:

Easitalytours:

Thanks for feedback. Your suggestion is totally awesome: I was wondering if there was much between Florence/Siena to Venice. Yes, will be driving.

Are you based out of Italy?

Eric
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julieg122
post Jun 16 2009, 07:52 AM
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Eric,

Don't let your better half talk you out of Tuscany! You two could enjoy wine tasting in Chianti, a nice relaxing summer concert, touring Tuscany on Vespas and enjoying a romantic lunch, horseback riding through the Tuscan beaches and trails, and obviously the remarkable art exhibits! There's this really great website that helped me figure out things to do, places to stay and travel to, and where to dine. Take a look at it and I hope it will help you out!

http://www.turismo.intoscana.it/
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cogob
post Jul 2 2009, 01:55 AM
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Having driven in a few countries ie France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Italy, USA and off again driving from UK to Italy at the end of July, I can honestly say that Italy is the most adrenaline producing place to drive, I think where ever we went there was an Italian car nearly attached to the rear bumper. Coming out of Italy and into France was driving to sanity. I went as a passenger one day with an Italian and the road speed limit was 50 kph and we were doing 90, when I queried it he said he was keeping up with the vehicle in front. The other thing about Italy is the road signs which generally do not give warning until the last minute of what towns are at a certain exit.

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