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> Ideas please - first time in Italy
happyjj
post Apr 13 2011, 09:12 AM
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Ideas please - my 80 year old Mum has wanted to go to Italy 'where the painters go' for many years but until recently has been taking care of my Dad. Sadly he died in February but it means my mum is now free to travel. I would like to treat her to a week or 10 days in Italy but have no idea where to take her - am thinking of a few days in Rome, Venice, Florence maybe - but how do we easily travel from place to place? Mum is reasonably fit but has arthritis, so would find walking for hours and standing around difficult especially in heat or humidity. When and where is best to go? Where do the painters go? Mum used to paint water colours so this may have influenced her, she's not into art galleries, museums, beaches but would love scenery especially with rivers, lakes etc. I am coeliac so have to be very careful with food - no pasta for me sadly, so need to bear this in mind too. Any suggestions, advise would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks
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kathryn77
post Apr 13 2011, 06:01 PM
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I'm so annoyed with myself that I've not written this blog yet, but I'd totally recommend...as you say....Florence, and the surrounding areas! Florence is gorgeous, I was there last year, and I went to a wedding in Sienna that was outstanding! So scenic I want to go back. Are you going to have a hire car? I'd recommend that as it'll give you more flexibility - I went round by train...

I think it'll be tough to take in Rome/Venice with Florence and areas in 10 days though...if you want to see stuff at your pace and thoroughly...I'm not sure on where the painters go or any coeliac reference though, sorry...I'll try and get my blog up soon with pics, but Florence / Sienna is stunning - I'd skip Milan & Pisa!


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liscio
post May 4 2011, 12:42 PM
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Hi,
for transportation, rent a car. Public transport in italy it's ugly. It's unconfortable, and a greate waste of time. Expecially if ur mum is "not young", i strongly suggest you to rent a car.
Anyway, if you plan to visit "big cities" like Rome and Florence, the car can be a problem. In Florence, you have to leave the car outside the historical center, and take bus (there is not the underground).
In Rome, instead, there is a lot of traffic jam, but there is the underground, so i suggest you to park the car outside the city, in the parking of a Metro station... usually, when i go to rome, i leave the car here:
http://maps.google.it/maps/place?ftid=0x13...pn=0,0&z=16
You are far from the historical center, but you can easily park the car, and take the underground to mode inside the city. This metro station is called "Santa Maria del Soccorso".

I don't agree about Pisa... i have good memories, about it.
About Milan, skip it for sure.
About Siena, it's pretty.
I'd suggest you to visit Ravenna, it's full of outstanding churches with incredible mosaics. It's not far from Venice, just 150km south.

I don't know how about coeliachy.... but i recommend you to be very, very careful when in restaurants: be sure that the waiter understand your problem. Just a few, few restarurants, here, have the "special menu" for your problem.

Where do the painters go? strange question.... well, if you visit Venice, you can spend a day in "Comacchio valleys", in italian it's "Valli di Comacchio"... they are between Venice and Ravenna. You can google it to look some pictures... it's a good place to see waters and colours, and birds.
This is the only "interesting" piece of east-coast... to have a beatiful coast, on the east, you have to go south, and see the "Conero" coast, where i live... it's located in the middle of the east coast, so maybe it doesn't worth the distance.

I know that western coast, for example in tuscany, it's pretty, but i've never been there.

If you like to see natural places and parks, lakes, and falls, you should go either in "Umbria" (it's a region located north-east from Rome) or "Trentino"... Trentino it's a mountain-region on the Alps, and there are many beautiful places..

Anyway, in wich month will you come to italy?

P.S. sorry for my mistakes... italians are famous for bad english biggrin.gif
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happyjj
post May 5 2011, 06:17 AM
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Hello liscio, thank you so much for your reply, very few mistakes so your English is excellent!

Although you recommend it I'm not sure about hiring a car as I'm very wary of driving abroad. Mum feels travelling by train would give us a better view of the country. I think our visit will be this October, flying from Bristol to Rome for a few days, then moving on to Venice, Verona, Florence then back to Rome to fly home again, spending a few days in each place. Probably not the way to see Italy at its best but it's what Mum thinks she wants to do - I'm just keepng her company! I understand we cannot buy train tickets at the stations - perhaps you would please let me know how we buy tickets.

Mum definitely wants to go to Pisa, so we will do a trip to there when we stay in Florence.

Is October the best time to visit Italy? We could move our trip to either September or November, we can't book flights etc after 15 May as other things are getting in the way until then.

Much as I would love to see a lot more if Italy it's not going to be possible on this trip but hopefully we will be able to to come back again in the future to stay longer.

I will try to learn some Italian before we visit. Thank you for taking time to reply.

happyjj x


QUOTE(liscio @ May 4 2011, 12:42 PM) *

Hi,
for transportation, rent a car. Public transport in italy it's ugly. It's unconfortable, and a greate waste of time. Expecially if ur mum is "not young", i strongly suggest you to rent a car.
Anyway, if you plan to visit "big cities" like Rome and Florence, the car can be a problem. In Florence, you have to leave the car outside the historical center, and take bus (there is not the underground).
In Rome, instead, there is a lot of traffic jam, but there is the underground, so i suggest you to park the car outside the city, in the parking of a Metro station... usually, when i go to rome, i leave the car here:
http://maps.google.it/maps/place?ftid=0x13...pn=0,0&z=16
You are far from the historical center, but you can easily park the car, and take the underground to mode inside the city. This metro station is called "Santa Maria del Soccorso".

I don't agree about Pisa... i have good memories, about it.
About Milan, skip it for sure.
About Siena, it's pretty.
I'd suggest you to visit Ravenna, it's full of outstanding churches with incredible mosaics. It's not far from Venice, just 150km south.

I don't know how about coeliachy.... but i recommend you to be very, very careful when in restaurants: be sure that the waiter understand your problem. Just a few, few restarurants, here, have the "special menu" for your problem.

Where do the painters go? strange question.... well, if you visit Venice, you can spend a day in "Comacchio valleys", in italian it's "Valli di Comacchio"... they are between Venice and Ravenna. You can google it to look some pictures... it's a good place to see waters and colours, and birds.
This is the only "interesting" piece of east-coast... to have a beatiful coast, on the east, you have to go south, and see the "Conero" coast, where i live... it's located in the middle of the east coast, so maybe it doesn't worth the distance.

I know that western coast, for example in tuscany, it's pretty, but i've never been there.

If you like to see natural places and parks, lakes, and falls, you should go either in "Umbria" (it's a region located north-east from Rome) or "Trentino"... Trentino it's a mountain-region on the Alps, and there are many beautiful places..

Anyway, in wich month will you come to italy?

P.S. sorry for my mistakes... italians are famous for bad english biggrin.gif

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liscio
post May 9 2011, 11:21 AM
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Hi,

QUOTE
Although you recommend it I'm not sure about hiring a car as I'm very wary of driving abroad.

Sorry, didn't realize you were in UK... i've been in Scotland for 2 weeks, and hired a car... driving wasn't funny...

QUOTE
Mum feels travelling by train would give us a better view of the country.

Right... you are not far from here smile.gif
Well, i don't think so... train stations are not good places to stay in. Personally, i HATE trains biggrin.gif i think you have better view, when you can stop anywhere and conteplate whatever you meet.

QUOTE
it's what Mum thinks she wants to do - I'm just keepng her company!

Right. The choice is hers.

QUOTE
I understand we cannot buy train tickets at the stations - perhaps you would please let me know how we buy tickets.

You can buy tickets at the stations, but u could find the train "full", and have to travel "stand up".
In italy, there is ony one "train-company". If you want to buy tickets in advance, you can go here:
http://www.ferroviedellostato.it/homepage_en.html

QUOTE
Is October the best time to visit Italy? We could move our trip to either September or November, we can't book flights etc after 15 May as other things are getting in the way until then.

November is usually rainy and with fog. I'll go for the last half of september, or first half of october.

QUOTE
Much as I would love to see a lot more if Italy it's not going to be possible on this trip but hopefully we will be able to to come back again in the future to stay longer.

Right... you are not so far from here smile.gif

Your itinerary is ok, but i think you should take at least 10 days, not less.
Good idea to go to Verona. I've been there a few months ago, and you can visit all just in a day or two.
If you have a day, think about spending it in Ravenna. It's very beautiful.

If u have further questions, ask me smile.gif

Andrea.
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