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2 Weeks in Italy? Please advise.

Travel Forums Europe 2 Weeks in Italy? Please advise.

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1. Posted by nutsnbolts (Respected Member 155 posts) 10y

My wife and I are planning a 2 weektrip to Italy. Both of us are CLUELESS as to where to even go.

Our last trip to Portugal seems to be much easier and we prefer to travel non-touristy. In other words, we rent a car and then we like to plan at most, the cities that we definately want to visit, depending on how much attraction there is will determine how long we will stay. In the end, we expect to visit the towns we expected to visit.

Considering that we have 2 weeks of time, anyone here have been there or at least give us a heads up as to where to go, what to do and make sure to not miss.

I'm not expecting anyone to plan the trip for us but not knowing anything about the country it is discouraging to plan this trip. If you were to go to Portugal, I could definately assist a person as to where to go and what to not miss. I hope I find someone here that can assist given the two week time constraint.

I will again try to plan another trip at a later point but that won't probably be till next year. I know some places are just too large to do within 2 weeks so please let me know if I should do northern italy at one week and then another at southern italy, etc.

Lastly, I will be reading through this forum about anythign related to Italy, already I see in one post that Pisa is literally a day trip at most because there is not much to do there other than see the leaning tower of Pisa...that advise is very helpful.

Thank you very much everyone!

2. Posted by cruisegirl (Respected Member 244 posts) 10y

I've had the pleasure of going to Italy, and loved it.

You said that you want to travel non-touristy, but I can't imagine a trip to Italy without seeing Rome and Venice. Both I'd give a couple days (if you want to see the Vatican, devote one whole day to that).

Two other towns that I have been to and highly recommend are Assisi and Portofino. Both very pretty, scenic, quieter, relaxed....away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

I've also visited Florence, Pompeii (very intersting, 1 day visit), Messina, Portoferraio, Civitavecchia, and Capri (stunning). I can't say I would recommend Civitavecchia, it is simply the port city for Rome, and not exciting. The others however were very beautiful and a pleasure to see.

3. Posted by nutsnbolts (Respected Member 155 posts) 10y

Quoting cruisegirl

I've had the pleasure of going to Italy, and loved it.

You said that you want to travel non-touristy, but I can't imagine a trip to Italy without seeing Rome and Venice. Both I'd give a couple days (if you want to see the Vatican, devote one whole day to that).

Two other towns that I have been to and highly recommend are Assisi and Portofino. Both very pretty, scenic, quieter, relaxed....away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

I've also visited Florence, Pompeii (very intersting, 1 day visit), Messina, Portoferraio, Civitavecchia, and Capri (stunning). I can't say I would recommend Civitavecchia, it is simply the port city for Rome, and not exciting. The others however were very beautiful and a pleasure to see.

Well there is some truth and nontruth to that terminolgy (non-touristy). We obviuously want to see the so called "tourist" attractions, we are just not "tourist packaged trip" people. We prefer to rent a car and hit the spots ourselves at our own leisure. I am a bit more picky than my wife however, in that I would liek to maximize every visit. Usually with book in hand and ahead planning, when i get at a location, I know where to go and what to do, not wasting anytime figuring out what there is to do?

With that said, I definately would like to visit all these locations and would like to find out more whethere these towns/cities are 1 day or 2 day trips. I know that my wife would like to spend a few days along the coast (as you see in movies) in a villa that is quite, ride a bike, and soak in the culture.

4. Posted by nickla (Respected Member 223 posts) 10y

Hi, i agree a lot with what cruisegirl has already said. For me, the following are a must when travelling to Italy

Venice, Verona, Florence, Pisa, Rome, ( avoid Naples), Pompeii is worth a visit, and perhaps stay on Capri or in sorrento.

If it were me, i would probably drive down one coast and come back on the other. Rome will require a good 3 days, Venice another 3 days and then the others can be fitted around these 2 major cities.

Hope this is of some use.

nicola

5. Posted by cruisegirl (Respected Member 244 posts) 10y

Lol...oh, I understand now! You are not one of those people who walks around with the colour-coded sticker following a guide with a clipboard over their head. Don't blame you one bit.

Assisi and Portofino are perfect for relaxing, reading a book and absorbing the passing world. Assisi is right in the mountains and is a perfect spot just to wander. We stopped off for one night only on our way from Florence to Rome. Great way to unwind between cities. Portofino is another place just to enjoy a glass of wine and enjoy the view! I fell in love with Capri when I was there, it's just stunning to look at!

And if you can maybe sneak in one tour to go see Stromboli? Really something fantastic.

6. Posted by nutsnbolts (Respected Member 155 posts) 10y

Quoting nickla

Hi, i agree a lot with what cruisegirl has already said. For me, the following are a must when travelling to Italy

Venice, Verona, Florence, Pisa, Rome, ( avoid Naples), Pompeii is worth a visit, and perhaps stay on Capri or in sorrento.

If it were me, i would probably drive down one coast and come back on the other. Rome will require a good 3 days, Venice another 3 days and then the others can be fitted around these 2 major cities.

Hope this is of some use.

nicola

This is definatlely a good advice. Another thing is it possible to do what you have suggested? Drive down one coast and up the other in a matter of two weeks? I don't want to be on the road the entire time.

Any other suggestions on how long to stay in these areas?

7. Posted by nutsnbolts (Respected Member 155 posts) 10y

Quoting cruisegirl

Lol...oh, I understand now! You are not one of those people who walks around with the colour-coded sticker following a guide with a clipboard over their head. Don't blame you one bit.

Assisi and Portofino are perfect for relaxing, reading a book and absorbing the passing world. Assisi is right in the mountains and is a perfect spot just to wander. We stopped off for one night only on our way from Florence to Rome. Great way to unwind between cities. Portofino is another place just to enjoy a glass of wine and enjoy the view! I fell in love with Capri when I was there, it's just stunning to look at!

And if you can maybe sneak in one tour to go see Stromboli? Really something fantastic.

Yes, as easy as it may be following a leader around and be herded like sheeps, I'll pass. hehehe..

I will take note on the following you have suggested.

Anymore ideas, let me know...

What do you guys think about getting there from the states...some people suggested that we go to london, france and take an indirect flight to save money...any suggestions there?

8. Posted by jnw47 (Budding Member 12 posts) 10y

I've not been to Italy, yet, but advice from my friends who have been here for a semester suggest a place called Cinque Terra (not sure on the spelling). It is supposed to be a 5 village area tucked away in the Tuscany area and untouched by modernization. You even have to walk to the villages. I plan on going in April. It would be a shame to avoid Florence too. So much culture.

9. Posted by cruisegirl (Respected Member 244 posts) 10y

Well, being from Canada I flew Toronto - Paris - Venice. Then the other times I arrived by ship!!

Sure, if you don't mind the trip over taking a little longer to save a bit of money, by all means take an indirect flight. A little bit of time in an airport never did me any harm (7 hours in Detroit Metro was a bit extreme though....anyway....). If you have the time, saving a little money on the flight can mean an indulgence somewhere else, which is fun.

Oh!! If you do go to Portofino, there is a little restaurant on the left side of the harbour (when looking in), they charged me 9 euro for a champagne flute of white wine!!! But up the street on the right hand side there is a pizza place where you can get a litre of white wine for 6 euro!! and the pizza is FANTASTIC!!

10. Posted by amanecer (Respected Member 203 posts) 10y

I really like people like you. the real travellers out of beaten tracks..

I try to help with your itinerary.

If you want to stay 2 weeks and visit different place with some relax, I think you have to choose: North and centre Italy or centre and south Italy.
Consider that distances are pretty long.
you can land in rome (you have low cost flights from london to rome and from paris as well, check ryanair, easyjet.com...)and visit rome at least for 3 days.
THEN:
from rome TO NORTH:

Tuscany is a very famous region, you can spend 5/6 days here, visiting the cities and the coast.
In my opinion the south coast around Grosseto-Orbetello is nice, there are a lot of rural farms in the countryside but very close to the sea, and a natural park to have some nice walks(Parco dell'Uccellina). If you go in the countryside you'll find nice little medieval towns, more or less undiscovered by tourist.
From the sea you can move in the internal area of the region. I list some nice towns, consider that you'll drive in beatiful roads, but the travel from a town to another can take a bit time, because obviously you're not in a motorway. I think that the best way to visit my region:) is just loosing in its countryside. That is the list of the towns: Roccalbegna, Massa Marittima, Volterra, San Gimignano (beautiful but very touristic) Colle Val d'Elsa, Monteriggioni, Siena.
Siena need a day to be visited. then Florence obviously and Pisa, that I like because is the city when I spent my years at university, but it's true that you can visit in a half day (leaning tower, piazza dei cavalieri, borgo stretto, piazza delle vettovaglie, torre della cittadella, that's the itinerary in the city).Little nice towns near pisa are Vicopisano and Lari, both with ancient castles.
From Pisa you can visit another absolutely undiscovered area of the region, the area called Lunigiana, near the city of Massa carrara: beautiful little towns are Luni and Equi Terme. You have the mountains (alpi Apuane) very close, if you like trekking, sendering etc. You can also find accomodations in rural farms.
If you prefer, from Pisa you can reach Cinque Terre, which are located in another italian region called Liguria. I suggest you to reach the city of La Spezia by car, and from there taking the train to 5 terre: is basically impossible to park there. 5 terre are 5 villages on the coast, very small and picturesque, and, obviously, very touristic and expensive. Although there are on the coast, they have very small beaches. Before arriving to 5 terre and La spezia you can also visit the town of Sarzana.
From La spezia you can take the motorway and reach Milano (in my opinion doesn't worth a visit, but has 2 big airports) or Venice if you prefer, but the journey is pretty long. Venice has an airport as well. I would not suggest you the adriatic coast: the sea is not so good until the south of Italy.

Another idea it could be planning a round trip from rome, and visit tuscany (more or less the itinerary I told you) and Umbria, which is a little region close to Tuscany and Lazio (the region of Rome).
Umbria has a countryside with hills, similar to Tuscany, and quiet little towns on top of the hills. I would recommend you: Perugia, the main city, with medieval historical centre, Spello, Assisi, Bevagna, Spoleto and the natural Park of Monti Sibillini (area of Castelluccio di Norcia), absolutely perfect on may- june, during the period of blossom. From the national park you can also reach the coast(Riviera del Conero)close to the city of Ancona, Conero riviera is nice, and very different from the rest of Adriatic coast because has rocky instead of sandy beaches.

from rome to the southi've less informations..

campania region(region of Naples)
pompei ercolano area are very famous, as well as sorrento,Amalfi riviera(positano Ravello, Maiori, Minori) and capri and Ischia Islands; but very touristic and expensive. Less known is Cilento rivera, in the same region but southern(from salerno going to south along the coast until marina di policastro.)

other idea is going from rome to Abruzzo Region (on the map look for L'aquila): this region has 4 national parks (Gran Sasso, Sirente- Velino, majella and National Park of Abruzzo)and beautiful mountains(appennini.)you can visit L'aquila, Ascoli Piceno and many little towns around the mountains.

The sea is beautiful on the really south of Italy:Salento area(puglia region, ) lecce (between adriatic and Jonio sea) or Calabria region ( the region which is the southern part of Italy, on the map look for Reggio Calabria) or Sicily and Sardinia island.(during summer and high season sardinia is VERY EXPENSIVE).tHE JOURNEY FROM ROME TO SICILY,is 700km, and more than 7 hours by car.(the motorway from salerno to reggio calabria is awful). And during summer it is really hot. In Sicily you have an airport in palermo and another one in Catania, but check the destinations from these airports.

well, now you have just to open a map and select your itinerary, I suppose...:)if you have any question don't hesitate to contact me.