2 weeks around Italy
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Apr 26, 2012 10:14 PM Last Post By: clementis_fur_cap
Apr 16, 2012 7:23 AM
2 weeks around ItalyHi
I'm travelling around Italy for 2 weeks with a friend in July ( I know hot, hot, hot) I have done this before and seen the usual suspects - Milan, Venice, Rome, Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Sicily (&Vada)
Now we are looking for something a little different.. As we are going in July, I would like to stay away from as many tourists as possible and see some countryside and a quiet beach would be lovely...
Can anyone make any suggestions please??
Apr 16, 2012 9:15 AM
1Countryside you can easily find on the outskirts of Florence... think San Gimignano, Tavarnelle val di Pesa, even Impruneta. I like these kind of options, because at some point if you want to see a little "city" then its maximum 30 minutes into either Florence or Siena.
As for the beach, I'm short on suggestions there... but if you want to check out some Italian islands there are several off the coast (you'd leave from Livorno by ferry)... such as Giglio and Capraia. Both have extremely beautiful nature filled environments, and then of course the sea :)
Apr 16, 2012 10:41 AM
2naples is a dangerous place. so take extra precautions.
when 4-5 guys in their 20's beat up 1 disabled old man, gee, i just don't know what to say!! it took over a month to heal.
the cops? they did nothing. well, a police report. but that was it. helpful don't you think???
naples has a bad reputation for a reason. i wonder why????? reputations are so hard to earn, aren't they?
even other italians are embarrassed by it. one woman, who was from the next town down the bay, wished ''they should just drop a bomb on it and start over". they had broken into her car and robbed her! she had NOTHING nice to say about the place and didn't want to ever return to the area, despite being from there. (i met her in turino and her english was excellent! so i didn't misunderstand.)
the government had to send in the army to collect the garbage, it was piling up on the sidewalks for weeks and weeks, and was becoming a health hazard. the smell was enough to knock you down!!!
if you go, you need to take EXTRA precautions with your valuables and your safety. i have been all over and in some less than lovely places and never had the problems i had in naples!
be careful in southern italy, esp naples.
Apr 16, 2012 12:30 PM
3Just giving another side to the Naples story - my friend and I stayed there for 3 days (2 females), yes I know not that much amount of time, but still was there. Our accommodation cancelled on us last minute so we stayed at the first hostel we can find, which was not in a touristy part of Naples at all (google and do a streetview: Piazzetta Trinità alla Cesarea, 231, 80135 Napoli, Italy).
We were also warned by a lot of people to be careful in Napoli. We got lost using the metro but we were promptly helped by a lady who had her kids in tow. She even walked us to our hostel. We met lots of locals at the hostel and they were some of the friendliest people we met on our 3-week tour of Italy. We also walked around for hours & hours, usually getting lost in neighbourhoods that I'm sure hadn't seen any tourists in a while or at all and we were never bothered or harassed once (except the incident where the restaurant owner tried to marry her son to my friend). In fact, we had gotten more harassment in Venice and Rome than in Naples. I know bad stuff happens there but bad stuff can happen anywhere, you just have to keep your eyes open, pay attention to your surroundings, and have some common sense.
Underneath the grit and badness, Naples isn't so bad. But if it's really too bad, hop on a boat and head to Capri :)
Apr 16, 2012 12:54 PM
4Odd, OP doesn't even mention Naples.
I've only been there once, spent all my time in Naples and loved it. I'd go back in a heartbeat. Somehow millions of people manage to live there without incident.
Italians are beach crazy. So a quiet beach in July is a bit much to ask. Parts of Sardinia and the islands north of Sicily might not be too crowded.
Any place that isn't a city is pretty much countryside. Looking for anything in particular?
Apr 16, 2012 4:11 PM
5I'm a big fan of Tavernelle, a small town surrounded by sunflower fields and vineyards in the Tuscan countryside. It's about 45 minutes southish of Florence. And they have a giant food/wine festival sometime in July/August (contact the hostel there - I'm sure they can give you the dates).
Rio Maggiore and the other Cinque Terre towns are also lovely. They will be a bit more touristy, but so worth a visit! And if you want to avoid the worst of the tourist throngs, you can stay in nearby Biassa - a small town with a relatively quiet (at least when I was there) hostel and an hourly bus to the Cinque Terre towns (or, if you are feeling adventurous, I think you can actually hike to the Cinque Terre towns from there, though I didn't try it myself). If you do stay there, try the pizza parlor in town (it's the only one, as the town is super small). It's to die for!
Bellagio (on Lake Como) is another winner. Charming, small, water-front. Unfortunately, there is only one free public beach and it's rather small, so it gets a little crowded. But if you are more interested in sitting in waterfront cafes and strolling cobbled lanes and such, it's a great spot. And very picturesque.
Verona is also worth a visit. Very interesting architecture (loved the walls, moat, etc.), one of the last remaining Roman coliseums still in use (as an opera house!), and a devotion to the Romeo and Juliet story that is way fun (you can visit Juliet's house and such).
I was less than impressed with (or would not recommend): Genoa (nothing bad about it, just nothing really special either); Padua (again, nothing bad...just not that exciting or beautiful).
Apr 19, 2012 3:01 AM
Apr 19, 2012 3:30 AM
7Clementis - I would really like to stay away from the tourists and enjoy REAL Italian food and wine and if no-one speaks English, that is fine with me =)
I've heard some really bad things about Naples, mostly that it is a dirty and ugly scar on Italy's side. Think we are going to skirt around Naples and see Pompeii and Sorrento
Also looking at Stomboli, but is it worth it? It seems like a bit of a trek and am I right that the volcano gives a nice firework display??
Thank you all for all the comments, it is an amazing help =)
Apr 19, 2012 7:23 AM
8@ami870: look up Capri! Touristy yes, but really pretty. It's a 30min hydrofoil ride from Naples.
There isn't much to see in Sorrento. Maybe look up other towns like Positano. Pompeii was really awesome. Read up on it before you go so you know some of things you're looking at. Be prepared to walk, walk, walk. It was a city after all.
Have a great time!
Apr 26, 2012 6:45 PM
9#4 perhaps next time you are in naples the thugs will break your ribs and try to break your knee.
then you can post what a lovely time you had, visiting naples!
not every tourist is treated so badly, but given enough time, they will get to you. it is a numbers game, afterall.
so are you feeling lucky?
naples has a very bad reputation, for some reason. why? why is their reputation so ugly? is everyone wrong, who is not a fan, after being there? that fact remains, it is not a safe place. if you want to go, please, go right ahead. in fact i hope you do go back. and often! it will leave its impression on you, eventually.
Apr 26, 2012 10:14 PM
10Lol--a quick look at the "Breaking News" section of the Trib sure makes Chicago sound like a dangerous place! And yet, like Naples, millions of people live there without incident.
Frankly, I'd rather be stranded in the worst neighborhood in Naples than in the worst neighborhood in Chicago (I was born in what's currently one of the worst neighborhoods in Chicago--Roseland).
Besides, Rick Steves likes Naples. I don't think he'd encourage his legions to visit an unsafe place.
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