Italy - Help with Tuscany and Amalfi
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Oct 12, 2012 5:18 PM Last Post By: bluesart
Oct 8, 2012 10:40 AM
Here are some questions:
1) I think planning the trip on my own would be preferable to trying to find a tour to needs my needs.
2) Based on the regions I want to visit it seems that Rome would be the preferable Italian city to arrive as opposed to Florence?
3) Suggestions on cities to be bases in Tuscany and Amalfi area.
4) In Tuscany I have been reading about “Agrotourismos” as places to stay and I think I will like to stay/base my Tuscany visit at oe of these locations. What would be the expected rates.
5) It also seems like hiring a car/tax to explore the Amalfi areas is preferable and I would appreciate any information on this, such as contacts and rates.
6) Is it difficult to travel by train between Tuscany, Amalfi and Rome?
Any other suggestion would be greatly appreciated as I know my message cannot capture all the needed details. Much thanks in advance.
Oct 8, 2012 11:02 AM
11) I agree.
2) Definitely, most international flights land in Rome anyway and it's no sense to catch another flight to Florence. Plus Rome deserves a visit too!
3) In Tuscany either you stay in Florence and have a few daytrips from there, or choose a couple of locations (like one in the Pisa/Lucca area and one near Siena). By Amalfi you can stay at any of the coast towns, Sorrento, or Salerno.
4) It depends by what kind of transportation mean you will have: agritourismos are in more rural areas and often not so well connected by public transportation, so without a car it wouldn't be the best choice for daytrips. Towns with a train station would be a better choice. Depending on your budget, even Florence can have some affordable B&B.
5) Parking a car in the Amalfi area may be a problem, as it's usually expensive and outside of the main towns. All coastal towns are well served by both buses and ferries, so I wouldn't care of renting a car there. You might think about it for Tuscany as for the previous answer.
6) Rome is in the middle of the two areas and therefore you'll have to pass by it. Tuscany is well connected with frequent trains, both high speed and slower, on both the Florence and Pisa directions. To go South you need to go to Naples (also here both fast and slow trains) and then several options depending by your chosen base: fast train to Salerno, local train to Sorrento, buses and ferries to the Coast towns.
I'd add that you need to decide what you want to see and do: touristic sights (like Pompeii)? Wander around towns? Find secluded beaches and relax? ...
Oct 8, 2012 11:33 AM
2If you really must see both regions in 10/11 days which you don't really have time for I suggest flying via London or France AA or Delta into Pisa and then out of Napoli. If you want to see Tuscany properly in a short time you really do need a car, especially if you want to stay in an Agriturismo. It would be probably easier to keep the car for the whole time. In 10/11 days though I would choose on of the regions and leave the other for another trip there is too much too see in 10/11 days. Maybe add Rome onto one of the regions.
Oct 8, 2012 1:14 PM
310-11 days are barely enough for Tuscany only, I'd leave the Amalfi coast for another trip, choose a flight landing in Pisa as suggested and hire a car to go around the Tuscan countryside. It could be nice to fly back from Rome and visit the city in the last few days.
Agriturismo abound in Tuscany, the average double room with breakfast is around 60/70€ (at this time of the year at least, I am just planning a short trip to Siena and Chianti). They are often quite far away from cities, villages and public transport, but many offer amenities like a swimming pool.
Edited by: chiaram
Oct 9, 2012 12:04 AM
4preference is more about cultural immersion and enjoying the natural splendor of the landscape as opposed to visiting historic landmarks
In that case, I totally respect your decision to avoid Rome and Florence. On the other hand...Italy is basically wall-to-wall historic landmarks. You'll have to go out of your way to avoid them. And I don't think that the combination of agroturisomos (basically a farm with a pool that accepts guests, usually in the middle of a rural area) and the Amalfi Coast (a huge tourist enclave) is going to give you much of a cultural immersion. Culture, after all, does tend to be the opposite of nature. I tend to feel most "culturally immersed" in cities, myself...
A lot might depend on the specific places you decide to visit in Tuscany. The smaller the town, the fewer English speakers you're likely to encounter. A car, preferably equipped with GPS will be a real boon in rural Tuscany and a pain in the neck elsewhere. If you're thinking cities, as you mention in Q#3 (Siena, Lucca, presumably), take the train. For agriturismos (Q#4), rent a car. It might be worth noting that unless you have experience with manual transmission, you'll need to specify that you require a car with automatic.
Oct 9, 2012 12:31 AM
Oct 10, 2012 10:52 AM
6To all, thank you so much for your responses. Any additional information that you may have will be appreciated.
On a side note, I hope I did not come away as an ugly American. I think what I was trying the covey in my orginal post is that we did not want to be part of an organized tour and all of the prerequisite time obligations. We wanted to explorer Italy at our own pace and terms. I have been to Italy twice and the amount of culture and history found in Italy just amazing. It would be shame for any visitor to miss these experiences.
Oct 12, 2012 7:33 AM
7You are strongly advised no to rent a car to get around the Amalfi cost. Streets are very narrow and parking quite hard to find (other than expensive). I would rather rent a motorbike, so you can stop at several view points, take pictures and enjoy postcards views...
Oct 12, 2012 5:18 PM
8I think you would better choose for one area so you would have more time to explore instead of travelling.
Otherwise if you do want to see both areas I think you'dd better fly into Florance and leave out of Napels or the other way around.
Explore Florance for a few days and maybe from there it's an idea to rent a campervan to get the feeling of the landscape of Tuscany and visit places like Pisa, Lucca and Volterra who have places to overnight nearby the centre.
For the Amalficoast Sorrento is a good place to stay.
There is a place to rent scooters nearby the trainstation and you can make a boottrip to the Amalficoast and to Capri.
By train it's about half an hour to Pompeii. From there you can also visit mount Vesuvio.
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