Where to go in the beatiful Italy and problems with hitch hiking
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Oct 22, 2013 3:19 AM Last Post By: james1908
Jul 6, 2012 8:12 AM
Where to go in the beatiful Italy and problems with hitch hikingHi to everyone, I´m a spanish guy who lives in Venezuela and I´m planing my first trip through Europe. I will be traveling from February to June in 2013. My trip is going to beging in Venice, for the carnivals.
I´m having some trubles planifiying where to go. Of course I will visit big cities (venice, rome, others?) but I would like to see the small traditional towns and landscapes too, It is specially hard to find information about wich places are more beautiful in winter. So! if you know small towns and beatiful landscapes I could go in february/march it would be awesome!!!
Since my budget is pretty low (6000 dollar for 4 months) I wanna go couchsurfing and hitch hiking (also I think this would make my trip much more exiting and will let me know some locals and nice people and to know about their culture and everyday life). Recently I read that hitch hiking in Italy is ILLEGAL(???) they mention places lice autostrada and stuff like that that I don´t understand. Do you know if it is possible to hitch hike in Italy??
Thanks a lot for your help.
Jul 6, 2012 9:07 AM
Jul 6, 2012 10:03 AM
Hitch hiking is not illegal in Italy. It is just very hard as, for some reason, many Italians are reluctant to stop. You are most likely to get a ride from tourists.
Hitch hiking is illegal on highways (autostrada) but as far as I know that is illegal (or at the very least heavily frowned upon) in every European country. The chances of ending up on a highway on foot are near to zero, so don't worry about going where you shouldn't go.
On the places to go; the list is endless. I'm afraid you will have to look at all the options and pick out the ones that interest you the most.
Jul 6, 2012 10:04 AM
3Since Italy is pretty small for its population, its pretty easy to combine cities with amazing landscapes.
Possibly interesting for you (I don't think you can do all of it:
- Coast of Amalfi, Naples, Sorrento, (simply wonderful)
- Capri if possible
- Rome, (although I've never been there)
- Perugia (in Umbria),
- Tuscany (Siena, Firenze, Luca, Pisa, Grosseto), (Can't say that you've been to Italy if you havnt seen Tuscany one of the greatest cultural landscapes in Europe - and the country side is astonishing, too)
- Bologna (Thriving university town - I think its the oldest university in Europe)
- Ligurian Coast (from Genova to the French border and further on to Monaco)
- Milan (not the greatest city, but worth a short visit, possibly the best clubbing szene in Italy concerning electro music)
- Como (Lago di Como), Brescia (Lago di Garda), at the foot of the alps, easy to go to Lugano in Switzerland from here
- Alto Adige-Trentino / Friuli / Val d'Aosta (hiking in the alps / Alto Adige is close to Austria and some people still speak a Tyrolian dialect over there, Aosta is surrounded by high mountains and close to France and Switzerland, from Friuli, Slovenia and Austria is accesible)
- Sicily (blend in southern Italy with Greek, Roman, Carthage, Suevian and Arabic history)
Probably left out tons of interesting stuff. Railway isn't too cheap. I don't think that hitch-hiking is forbidden - I think Wikipedia states that is is allowed anywhere in Europe. Maybe it's forbidden standing on the motorway (autostrada), but that seems to be quite intuitive, because there is a certain mortal peril combined with standing on the motorway and hitchhike (compared to hitchhike from gas stations on the motorway).
In most European countries there are also car sharing websites. These are very useful. Make sure that you get the Italian one then you can arrange cheap intercity travel. Also if you do long distances, look for cheap air carriers, there are plenty of them in Europe (Ryanair, Easyjet, etc.)
Jul 6, 2012 11:05 AM
4Use regional train yes they are slower but very cheap to use and cover most of the country. As already stated it is illegal on autostrada's (motorways) but not on the normal roads. I agree that most Italians will pick you up and certainly February, March April will be quite slow for tourists. Also especially in the north it will be pretty cold February and March and can be quite dull and wet unless you are high enough for snow. The good thing is that most of the famous cities will be quieter with the exception of carnevale in Venice.
Jul 6, 2012 3:24 PM
5Perhaps last but not least: Unless you have a specific visa for your visit, you will be limited by the Schengen regulations (use the search function, top of page) which limit general tourist to 90 days out of a total 180. Which means if you spend all your time in Italy, that's all you'd get as you'd have to spend another 90 days someplace that is not in the Schengen zone (and it comprises most of Europe now) before you could go back to Italy....and I don't think your budget is up to that much time.
So look at it this way: Your budget for four/five months has shrunk (time) and expanded (more to spend in the shorter period of time) just like that!
And be prepared---Carnival is a very expensive time because everyone wants to be there for carnival. Couchsurfing, etc. might be difficult at that time also.
Sorry if this sounds negative, it isn't meant that way, but saying slow down and take a good look at your plans...
Jul 6, 2012 7:54 PM
6Well... It seems like Italy is not the best place to stay for too long then, I was really exited to spend at least one month on the Roman country, I will try anyway, perhaps I will have some good luck and find some nice Italians that help me, otherwise I will have to move to more frindly countries(can you recommend me one?).
Thanks to 3, I will google all those places to learn something about them . I was thinking about Venice- train to rome and from rome start hitch hiking to florence (with pisa, lucca, sirena)- then to cinque terree- milano and from milano to Laggo Magiore (stresa) I really love those beatiful lakes, and from there go to switzerland. (but It seems like I will have to forget about south Italy if it gets too hard to find a ride). But of course I am very flexible.
To be clear if I hitch hike in petrol stations no problem then?
Jul 7, 2012 3:56 AM
7I dont think that you understood the concept of autostrada motorways. These are 4-12 lane ways were cars speed constantly at 130 km/h (I think thats the official limit). This applies through all of Europe, standing on the emergency lane of a motorway is not a good idea and can possibly cost you your life. As well as that no motorist will stop, except for the Carabinieri
Then again, these are fast ways to get around quickly, and if you hitchhike from roads where cars come from the city to get on the motorway and you change rides on autogrills/petrol stations, it won't be a problem at all.
If you visit Milan, check out Bergamo. It's not the busiest place in the world, but a neat city, where you can comfortably spend an afternoon.
Also you might check out couch surfing for places like Milan.. Accomodation is very expensive there!
However, Italy is still considerably cheaper than Switzerland.
Jul 7, 2012 4:05 AM
8As goes for the recommendation of European countries
I'm from Germany, so I can recommend you Germany's urban centers, most definately Berlin, which is one of the hottest centers of Europe. Also Berlin is certainly one of the most affordable of all major European cities. Food and accomodation is very affordable, and also clubbing (normal entrance fee for good electro clubs - 10€). But don't go to the ones LP recommends.
Then definately the Benelux countries. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brugge, Brussels
Also Eastern Europe is more affordable and offers much: Poland (Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow, Gdansk), Czech Republic (Prague, Brno), Slovakia (Bratislava), Hungary (Budapest, Pecz), Ukraine (Lviv, Odessa, Kyiv), Slovenia (Ljubljana), Croatia (Dubrovnik, Zadar, Split, Zagreb), Serbia (Belgrad, Novi Sad), Montenegro, Turkey (in Europe: Istanbul), Bulgaria (Sofia, Burgas), Romania
Baltic States are very nice: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
Jul 7, 2012 6:39 AM
9Then definately the Benelux countries. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brugge, Brussels
Leiden, Haarlem, Hoorn, Enkhuizen, Edam, Utrecht, Amersfoort, Alkmaar, Den Haag, Delft, Breda, Middelburg, Maastricht, Zwolle, Groningen, Leeuwarden, Giethoorn, Ootmarsum, Gouda, Den Bosch, Deventer... Plus several more in Belgium - Ghent being an obvious addition to above list, at least as beautiful as Bruges but less touristy.
Rotterdam is essentially a big gritty port city. Interesting if you're a city person or like to see one of the largest ports in Europe and definitely a fascinating and colourful place, but not your typical quaint Dutch town. If that's what you want - without the tourist hordes of Amsterdam - pick one or more towns from the list in the previous paragraph.
Anyway, please specify your interests, that's easier for us to suggest more than a random list of sights.
Jul 8, 2012 5:36 PM
10Wow a lot of places to Google!!, In the begining I had not much interest in Germany and Benelux, but they are becoming more and more ineresting, and friendly.
Well I want to be in beatiful places where I can walk and take nice pics (I'm into fotography) whether it be beautiful cities or landscapes. I wanna go to clubs, pubs, and see a litle bit fo the big cities of course. But what I want to see the most are typical places, do what the locals do, drink and eat some vey typical stuff, I'm really into knowing the culture of every country (not expensive museums). So, from those places in Benelux wich ones do you recommend me the most? OH! I'm also interested in visiting castles, lakes and snow!! and in smoking something good where it is legal.
Very thankful for your place!!!
Jul 8, 2012 5:54 PM
Jul 9, 2012 2:01 AM
12In the begining I had not much interest in Germany and Benelux
Note that these 4 countries all offer different architecture, a different cuisines and different language and culture (although German is an official language in all except the Netherlands, French in Belgium and Luxemburg and Dutch in the Netherlands and Belgium).
from those places in Benelux wich ones do you recommend me the most?
I'll limit myself to the Netherlands: all places I listed above are worth visiting. Having said that, Alkmaar and Delft see a bit more organised tours (mainly for their cheese market and pottery, respectively), Giethoorn is touristy too and when independent travellers are "adventurous" enough to see somewhere else than Amsterdam, they usually go to Haarlem, Leiden or Maastricht. All of which are excellent choices, by the way.
A bit farther from Amsterdam (but still only 1-2 hours by train) and often overlooked even by domestic tourists, are Amersfoort and Deventer.
For natural scenery, nowhere in the Netherlands is as spectacular as, say, Switzerland, but the landscape in this flat country does have a certain charm of its own, especially when you see massive clouds roll over the fields or float in from the North Sea. You could do worse than spend a day along the coast (for example to one of the beach-side towns such as Noordwijk or Scheveningen, or to Zuid-Kennemerland NP), or hire a bicycle and explore the area north of Amsterdam. Hoge Veluwe National Park, in the eastern part of the country, is very popular too.
For castles, google Haarzuilen or Muiderslot.
smoking something good where it is legal
Smoking cigarettes and cigars is legal throughout the country, as long as you respect non-smoking areas.
Jul 9, 2012 3:54 AM
13I think he meant to go to the Dutch coffea shops. Although they can't sell you anything any more, as long as youre not a resident! That's my last info, however. I think theyre a bit fed up with the tourist hordes only coming to get high.
If youre in your twenties and havnt seen a good party yet, then its about time: go to these places
Amsterdam (if youre in Europe and you havnt biked through Amsterdam, then well..), (easy day trip from Amsterdam: Rotterdam, however its more underground, so better meet some Rotterdam students in Amsterdam before, then go and explore the underground scene),
Brussels (although its not the best party city on earth, didnt have a good time in the clubs there, hwoever the beer is unbeaten, and thats coming from someone who gre up next to a brewery in Munich),
Cologne (maybe.. I'm not too fond of that city however, better go directly to Hamburg or Berlin ;))
Hamburg (theres an upcoming electro scene there, certainly not comparable to Berlin),
Berlin (really! The city to go in Germany, although youll find yourself among millions of other young hipster tourists pilgrimaging to the temples of electronic music - again, dont go to the clubs LP Berlin recommends, although some might be good. The legit ones are at the moment Sisyphos, Kater Holzig, Berghain, Watergate, Ritter Butzke, About Blank, Wilde Renate, Club Magdalena, Prince Charles, though you might have a hard time getting passed the bouncers)
Copenhagen (great, great city) There is a seven Euros (or was it 15?) ferry from Warnemünde/Rostock, north of Berlin to the main Danish island (is it Sjaelland?)
Lund/Malmö (easy to access from Copenhagen), Stockholm (though all of them are expensive, as is Copenhagen).
As said, you might turn to the East from Berlin (easily accessible, good hitchhiking and cheap train tickets to Wroclaw (29 Euros, booked in advance), Kraków (39 Euros), Warszawa (39 Euros)).
Also, it is very very easy in the Benelux and Germany to hitch a ride. The Autobahn swystem in Germany is very dense and there is no speed limit. Hitch hiking is frequent from gas stations on the Autobahn. Go to hitchwiki.org for info.
Jul 9, 2012 7:54 AM
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