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Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

Old Feb 8th 2004, 10:51 am
  #1  
Mona
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Posts: n/a
Default Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

I am looking to head to Italy for my honeymoon in mid-May for three
weeks. I would like to see as much as possible, starting in the way
north and ending in Sicily or somewhere else in the south.

Our priorities are:
-beautiful mountain villages
-clean and nice beaches
-great food
We also don't want to spend a fortune throughout the three weeks, but
are willing to spend for a little luxury, it being our honeymoon and
all.

Here are my questions:

1. What are the must-sees in Italy?

2. What are some off-the-beaten-track must-sees that the average
tourist won't ever visit?

3. Where are good places (i.e regions, cities) to splurge on a nice
hotel?

4. Where can we save money?

5. Are we better off renting a car or taking trains throughout?

Thanks for the replies.
 
Old Feb 8th 2004, 11:06 am
  #2  
Dan Stephenson
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

In general, you should go to your local bookstore and get several
guidebooks and read them all. You might check out Rick Steves' _Italy_
book in particular because he sort-of caters to first-timers.

You can check out some Italy photos through the link in my signature.

If you want to see off-the-beaten-trail things, you'll need a car. If
you basically want to visit only cities, then take the train.

--
Dan Stephenson
Photos and movies from my 3-month European vacation and Wales 2003 at
http://homepage.mac.com/stepheda
 
Old Feb 8th 2004, 2:02 pm
  #3  
Elainebenes
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Default Re: Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

[email protected] (Mona) wrote in news:fc6dca4b.0402081551.57d36741
@posting.google.com:


    > Our priorities are:
    > -beautiful mountain villages
    > -clean and nice beaches
    > -great food

Try Abruzzo or Puglia

    > 2. What are some off-the-beaten-track must-sees that the average
    > tourist won't ever visit?

Cascate delle Marmore
Scanno
Civitella del Tronto
Gran Sasso
Alberbello
Castelli
Alba Fucens

    > 5. Are we better off renting a car or taking trains throughout?

For what you want to do ... rent a car
 
Old Feb 8th 2004, 10:30 pm
  #4  
Tile
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

If you want mountain villages and landscapes, you will find a lot
we have mountains surrounding italy from west to east ( alpi) and crossing
italy from north to south
(appennini )
then you can just reduce yrself to national parks
again.. a very large choice..
either you will limit yrself to a aprt of italy. or you will just be
running.
"Mona" <[email protected]> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:[email protected]...
    > I am looking to head to Italy for my honeymoon in mid-May for three
    > weeks. I would like to see as much as possible, starting in the way
    > north and ending in Sicily or somewhere else in the south.
    > Our priorities are:
    > -beautiful mountain villages
    > -clean and nice beaches
    > -great food
    > We also don't want to spend a fortune throughout the three weeks, but
    > are willing to spend for a little luxury, it being our honeymoon and
    > all.
    > Here are my questions:
    > 1. What are the must-sees in Italy?
    > 2. What are some off-the-beaten-track must-sees that the average
    > tourist won't ever visit?
    > 3. Where are good places (i.e regions, cities) to splurge on a nice
    > hotel?
    > 4. Where can we save money?
    > 5. Are we better off renting a car or taking trains throughout?
    > Thanks for the replies.
 
Old Feb 9th 2004, 1:44 am
  #5  
B Vaughan
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

On 8 Feb 2004 15:51:42 -0800, [email protected] (Mona) wrote:

    >I am looking to head to Italy for my honeymoon in mid-May for three
    >weeks. I would like to see as much as possible, starting in the way
    >north and ending in Sicily or somewhere else in the south.
    >
    >Our priorities are:
    >-beautiful mountain villages
    >-clean and nice beaches
    >-great food

In mid-May, most of Italy's beaches are not really ready for swimming
or even sunning. If you are lucky, you may be able to swim or sunbathe
at some of the southern beaches.

    >We also don't want to spend a fortune throughout the three weeks, but
    >are willing to spend for a little luxury, it being our honeymoon and
    >all.
    >Here are my questions:
    >1. What are the must-sees in Italy?

You've told us that you mostly want mountain villages and beaches.
Most people consider the must-sees to be the cities of Rome, Florence
and Venice. However, these don't have beaches nor are they mountain
villages.

Since it's your honeymoon, I would say that you might want to start or
end in Venice. No city on earth is more romantic. Then you might want
to head south, stopping for a week in a lovely town such as Gubbio or
Spello and visiting the surrounding villages. I see someone else
suggested some villages in Abruzzo, which are also beautiful. If you
like to hike, there are lots of possibilities in this area. Most
lodges offer guided excursions. Then you might want to go to Puglia,
towards the end of your trip, where you might actually find some beach
weather. I've been told that there are lots of lovely beaches in
Puglia, but I'm no beach expert, so I'll leave that to others.

In three weeks, four stops should be plenty. I would tend to
discourage going to Sicily on this trip, unless you want to spend at
least a week there. It has a high probability of finding beach weather
in May, but it takes a while to get there and to get from one place to
another within Sicily.

As for the car, you definitely don't want it in Venice. However, for
mountain villages and beaches, you will need it. I would pick it up
when you're finished with cities. Get an International Drivers Permit
at your local Automobile Association, and ask for a booklet with
European road signs if you're not familiar with them.

    >3. Where are good places (i.e regions, cities) to splurge on a nice
    >hotel?

Venice

    > 4. Where can we save money?

All of the other regions I mentioned.

    >5. Are we better off renting a car or taking trains throughout?

If you take trains, you should definitely plan to base yourself in
places with good transport. In that case, I would recommend Venice,
Asissi (but do take a day trip by bus to Spello), and Sorrento, and
then maybe some beach resort for your final stop. It may not matter if
the beach resort has good transport if you just want to relax under
the sun. However, if you encounter rainy or chilly weather, you might
want to have the possibility of a quick change of plan.
-----------
Barbara Vaughan
My email address is my first initial followed by my surname at libero dot it
I answer travel questions only in the newsgroup
 
Old Feb 9th 2004, 2:15 am
  #6  
Jenn
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

In article <[email protected]>,
B Vaughan<[email protected]> wrote:

    > On 8 Feb 2004 15:51:42 -0800, [email protected] (Mona) wrote:
    >
    > >I am looking to head to Italy for my honeymoon in mid-May for three
    > >weeks. I would like to see as much as possible, starting in the way
    > >north and ending in Sicily or somewhere else in the south.
    > >
    > >Our priorities are:
    > >-beautiful mountain villages
    > >-clean and nice beaches
    > >-great food
    >
    > In mid-May, most of Italy's beaches are not really ready for swimming
    > or even sunning. If you are lucky, you may be able to swim or sunbathe
    > at some of the southern beaches.

and towns that cater to beach crowds will be all but shut down -- youmay
have trouble finding hotels and restaurants etc

on a honeymoon I would spend a few days in Siena -- such a romantic city
-- nothing like a campari on the Campo under a full moon --
 
Old Feb 9th 2004, 2:46 am
  #7  
Cathy Kearns
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

"Mona" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > I am looking to head to Italy for my honeymoon in mid-May for three
    > weeks. I would like to see as much as possible, starting in the way
    > north and ending in Sicily or somewhere else in the south.
    > Our priorities are:
    > -beautiful mountain villages
    > -clean and nice beaches
    > -great food
    > We also don't want to spend a fortune throughout the three weeks, but
    > are willing to spend for a little luxury, it being our honeymoon and
    > all.

You might consider some of the lake towns. I know towns
around Lake Garda are very beautiful, I liked Limone, at
the very north. It was a town built into the mountain side.
(The beaches on the lake seemed nicer than the beaches
around Sorrento.)

On the Amalfi coast Sorrento is lovely, Capri is gorgeous,
but very expensive. Positano is a beautiful city built
on the cliffs. I'm afraid all of these are well known by
tourists.

    > Here are my questions:
    > 1. What are the must-sees in Italy?
    > 2. What are some off-the-beaten-track must-sees that the average
    > tourist won't ever visit?
    > 3. Where are good places (i.e regions, cities) to splurge on a nice
    > hotel?
    > 4. Where can we save money?
    > 5. Are we better off renting a car or taking trains throughout?
    > Thanks for the replies.
 
Old Feb 9th 2004, 5:03 am
  #8  
Freeda
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

    > I am looking to head to Italy for my honeymoon in mid-May for three
    > weeks. I would like to see as much as possible, starting in the way
    > north and ending in Sicily or somewhere else in the south.
    > Our priorities are:
    > -beautiful mountain villages
    > -clean and nice beaches
    > -great food
    > We also don't want to spend a fortune throughout the three weeks, but
    > are willing to spend for a little luxury, it being our honeymoon and
    > all.
    > Here are my questions:
    > 1. What are the must-sees in Italy?
    > 2. What are some off-the-beaten-track must-sees that the average
    > tourist won't ever visit?
    > 3. Where are good places (i.e regions, cities) to splurge on a nice
    > hotel?
    > 4. Where can we save money?
    > 5. Are we better off renting a car or taking trains throughout?
    > Thanks for the replies.

Unless you are sticking to cities, a car is essential, public transport out
in the sticks is at best erratic, at worst non existent. It is very easy to
get stranded somewhere for the night simply because the last bus, usually at
4pm simply fails to turn up.
 
Old Feb 9th 2004, 7:14 am
  #9  
Alessandro Riolo
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

B Vaughan, from B Vaughan<[email protected]>,
in <news:[email protected] > wrote:

    > In mid-May, most of Italy's beaches are not really ready
    > for swimming or even sunning.

Not exactly true. Italians hardly venture in beaches before April, but you
can continuosly see 1 or 2 couples from Northern Europe layind down to the
sun here and there, and if you approach them, they will tell you Italy in
March is as Northern or Baltic Sea in July.
Living in Sicily, I usually start to pay visits to beaches in late April,
but it is true I usually find the water comfortably hot only later, during
last weeks of May. Definitively, the best time to enjoy Italian beaches is
the period between last week of May and first week of July. After the
second week of July Italians begin their vacations, and for the first two
weeks of August the beaches will be a carpet of flesh.

    > In three weeks, four stops should be plenty. I would tend to
    > discourage going to Sicily on this trip, unless you want to
    > spend at least a week there. It has a high probability of finding
    > beach weather in May, but it takes a while to get there and to get
    > from one place to another within Sicily.

I don't agree, but hey, obviously that could be Cicero pro domo sua ;-)
Nowadays you can get in Sicily really easily, quickly and cheaply.
There are various options: aircraft (the ticket from Roma to Trapani costs
53¤, and from there you can go to Pantelleria for 23¤ or to Lampedusa for
25¤, each day of the year, major infos at
http://www.airgest.com/english/index.html, and there are a lot of options
for Palermo and Catania), ferry boat (night lines to Palermo or Trapani,
from Cagliari, Genova, Civitavecchia and Napoli, really cheap but really
slow), catamaran(more expensive, but only 5 hours from Napoli to Palermo),
train (slow and usually expensive, not adviceable) and highway.
If I would like to visit Sicily having rented a car, I would probably leave
the car in Roma, jump in an aircraft and renting another car in Sicily.
Probably some rent a car could even offer this as a service.

--
ale
http://www.sen.it
rara temporum felicitate, ubi sentire
quae velis, et quae sentias dicere, licet
 
Old Feb 9th 2004, 7:39 am
  #10  
Luca Logi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

Mona <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I am looking to head to Italy for my honeymoon in mid-May for three
    > weeks. I would like to see as much as possible, starting in the way
    > north and ending in Sicily or somewhere else in the south.
    >
    > Our priorities are:
    > -beautiful mountain villages

The most beautiful mountain villages are in the North, around Bolzano
(Alto Adige/Südtirol). My favourite valley is the Pusteria/Pustertal,
but also Val Gardena/Grödnertal is quite nice. As you see, all names
have a double Italian/German form, as this is a German speaking zone,
formerly belonging to Austria.


--
Luca Logi - Firenze - Italy e-mail: [email protected]
 
Old Feb 9th 2004, 8:11 pm
  #11  
Tile
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

let me add

there are a few low cost airlines that can take you to sicily for about
20.00 eur
I think that these low cost airlines will bring a lot of tourists to
sicily....
"Alessandro Riolo" <[email protected]> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:[email protected]...
    > B Vaughan, from B Vaughan<[email protected]>,
    > in <news:[email protected] > wrote:
    > > In mid-May, most of Italy's beaches are not really ready
    > > for swimming or even sunning.
    > Not exactly true. Italians hardly venture in beaches before April, but you
    > can continuosly see 1 or 2 couples from Northern Europe layind down to the
    > sun here and there, and if you approach them, they will tell you Italy in
    > March is as Northern or Baltic Sea in July.
    > Living in Sicily, I usually start to pay visits to beaches in late April,
    > but it is true I usually find the water comfortably hot only later, during
    > last weeks of May. Definitively, the best time to enjoy Italian beaches is
    > the period between last week of May and first week of July. After the
    > second week of July Italians begin their vacations, and for the first two
    > weeks of August the beaches will be a carpet of flesh.
    > > In three weeks, four stops should be plenty. I would tend to
    > > discourage going to Sicily on this trip, unless you want to
    > > spend at least a week there. It has a high probability of finding
    > > beach weather in May, but it takes a while to get there and to get
    > > from one place to another within Sicily.
    > I don't agree, but hey, obviously that could be Cicero pro domo sua ;-)
    > Nowadays you can get in Sicily really easily, quickly and cheaply.
    > There are various options: aircraft (the ticket from Roma to Trapani costs
    > 53¤, and from there you can go to Pantelleria for 23¤ or to Lampedusa for
    > 25¤, each day of the year, major infos at
    > http://www.airgest.com/english/index.html, and there are a lot of options
    > for Palermo and Catania), ferry boat (night lines to Palermo or Trapani,
    > from Cagliari, Genova, Civitavecchia and Napoli, really cheap but really
    > slow), catamaran(more expensive, but only 5 hours from Napoli to Palermo),
    > train (slow and usually expensive, not adviceable) and highway.
    > If I would like to visit Sicily having rented a car, I would probably
leave
    > the car in Roma, jump in an aircraft and renting another car in Sicily.
    > Probably some rent a car could even offer this as a service.
    > --
    > ale
    > http://www.sen.it
    > rara temporum felicitate, ubi sentire
    > quae velis, et quae sentias dicere, licet
 
Old Feb 9th 2004, 10:22 pm
  #12  
B Vaughan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

On Mon, 09 Feb 2004 09:15:05 -0600, Jenn <[email protected]> wrote:

    >In article <[email protected]>,
    > B Vaughan<[email protected]> wrote:

    >> In mid-May, most of Italy's beaches are not really ready for swimming
    >> or even sunning. If you are lucky, you may be able to swim or sunbathe
    >> at some of the southern beaches.
    >and towns that cater to beach crowds will be all but shut down -- youmay
    >have trouble finding hotels and restaurants etc

Here in Le Marche, the seaside towns are beginning to wake up at the
end of March. I suggested Puglia, because being further south, they
may be even more geared up.

You can usually find hotels and restaurants even in the middle of
winter in the seaside towns. Ice cream stands and beach-side bars and
pizzerias may be closed, but there's too much capital invested in a
full-scale restaurant to close it down for nine months of the year.

I live about 20 minutes' drive from Senigallia, which is a summer
resort on the Adriatic. When people go out to dinner around here, at
any time of the year, they often go to Senigallia because it has lots
of restaurants.

Also, my husband and I toured the Etruscan sites one year in April,
and one of our stopovers was in Tarquinia Lido, where there were
plenty of hotels and restaurants in business.
-----------
Barbara Vaughan
My email address is my first initial followed by my surname at libero dot it
I answer travel questions only in the newsgroup
 
Old Feb 9th 2004, 10:22 pm
  #13  
B Vaughan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

On Mon, 9 Feb 2004 21:14:47 +0100, Alessandro Riolo
<[email protected]> wrote:

    >I don't agree, but hey, obviously that could be Cicero pro domo sua ;-)
    >Nowadays you can get in Sicily really easily, quickly and cheaply.

I guess I'll just have to go there and see for myself!

Actually, I've been trying to get my husband to go to Sicily with me
for the past five years and he's the one that says: 1) it needs at
least two weeks; and 2) he can't take two weeks away from his work. He
spent a month in Sicily about 20 years ago and maybe doesn't realize
how easy it is to get around these days.
-----------
Barbara Vaughan
My email address is my first initial followed by my surname at libero dot it
I answer travel questions only in the newsgroup
 
Old Feb 10th 2004, 1:39 am
  #14  
Bob Fusillo
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

"B Vaughan" <[email protected]> wrote in message >
    > You've told us that you mostly want mountain villages and beaches.
    > Most people consider the must-sees to be the cities of Rome, Florence
    > and Venice. However, these don't have beaches nor are they mountain
    > villages.
    > Since it's your honeymoon, I would say that you might want to start or
    > end in Venice. No city on earth is more romantic.

Technically, Barbara, you are right about Venice, but only if you limit
yourself to confines of the small city itself. The Lido is one of the most
famous beaches in the world, and it is part of Venice -- seven or eight
vaporetto minutes across the lagoon. And up from there are a string of
beaches, culminating in Jesolo, a fashionable beach resort town extremely
popular with northern Europeans as well as Venetians, and less than a half
hour from the Lido.
That said, the Lido, et al, are not really warm enough for swimming in May.
Topless sunbathing at mid-day, yes.
And Venice IS the most romantic city on earth -- although some twisted
peopole recently listed Paris as first for romance with Venice a third --
some people, alas, have no idea of romance.
rjf
 
Old Feb 10th 2004, 4:23 am
  #15  
Jenn
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Italy: Must-sees, Off the beaten track, Need a car?

In article <q26Wb.140344$U%5.644642@attbi_s03>,
"Bob Fusillo" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "B Vaughan" <[email protected]> wrote in message >
    > > You've told us that you mostly want mountain villages and beaches.
    > > Most people consider the must-sees to be the cities of Rome, Florence
    > > and Venice. However, these don't have beaches nor are they mountain
    > > villages.
    > >
    > > Since it's your honeymoon, I would say that you might want to start or
    > > end in Venice. No city on earth is more romantic.
    >
    > Technically, Barbara, you are right about Venice, but only if you limit
    > yourself to confines of the small city itself. The Lido is one of the most
    > famous beaches in the world, and it is part of Venice -- seven or eight
    > vaporetto minutes across the lagoon. And up from there are a string of
    > beaches, culminating in Jesolo, a fashionable beach resort town extremely
    > popular with northern Europeans as well as Venetians, and less than a half
    > hour from the Lido.
    > That said, the Lido, et al, are not really warm enough for swimming in May.
    > Topless sunbathing at mid-day, yes.
    > And Venice IS the most romantic city on earth -- although some twisted
    > peopole recently listed Paris as first for romance with Venice a third --
    > some people, alas, have no idea of romance.
    > rjf
    >
    >

I love Venice -- but it can't hold a candle to Paris -- there is
something romantic about a beautiful city that is also alive -- Venice
is alas nothing much more than a superior sort of theme park -- a
thoroughly dead city existing only for tourists
 

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