My family and I are thinking about going on a vacation to Italy during the summer. We want to visit the sights, but also want time to just relax. The trip will probably be for about two weeks. I definietly want to visit Venice. What types of places are the best to stay at? Apartments, Villas, Resorts? As for activities, I'm not quite sure. Maybe staying at the beach, cooking classes or biking? I really am open to suggestions from people who have maybe gone to Italy for about the same amount of time with teenagers. Thanks for your help.
Take a look at Cross-Pollinate - there's some great accommodation on the site, especially for Venice. Tuscany also has some fantastic villas at really reasonable prices. Here is a good place to start, although there are a ton of sites that you can look through. Personally, I prefer those more homey places to a more traditional hotel, as you get to meet and talk to people and learn about things to see and do.
Venice is fantastic, and I'd also suggest a few days in the Amalfi coast. The beaches are wonderfully blue and to see the homes built along the mountainside is simply breathtaking. You're also a short drive to Pompeii, Napoli and Serento.
My friend and I went for about 15 days last May and managed to see Rome, Venice, Tuscany, and the Amalfi coast. We averaged about 4 days in each place, just enough to see the sights and feel like we weren't rushing.
Enjoy your trip!
I suggest the following for two weeks: Broadly a week in Northeast Italy and then a week in central Italy
Fly into Venice (probably via London or Frankfurt). Either take a hotel in Venice or in one of the lovely towns (such as padova) not too far away. Padova is pretty well positioned as a base to see everything around.
Things to do and see:
Venice (Incomparable. In September the weather should be warm and you will avoid the excessive crowds of the Summer. You will still lose your way though - everyone does!)
Lake of Guarda and the Dolomites (Could well go off for an overnight stay in the mountains - arguably the most beautiful part of the Alps around Alpi di Siusi and Cortina)
Spend some time in Padova, Vicenza, Verona (the setting for Romeo and Juliet) or any of the other typical NE Italian towns. The area has a very rich history; subsequently the towns are attractive.
Head South (by car or train - 2 1/2 hrs) to Florence and the Appenines - Do not miss Michelangelo's statue of David in Florence - in many people's opinion (and mine) the best statue ever carved. Although it seems very simple the more you look at this carved figure the more impressive it gets. You begin to even be able to discern the veins under the skin. When he unveiled this statue to the world many admirers poured forth praise for his carving skills. Michelangelo however simply said that when the huge block of marble arrived at his workshop he could already 'see' the fugure inside. All he (humbly) had to do was remove the excess marble to let the rest of the world see it!
Travel on to Rome (1 1/2hrs by train). Once the greatest city in the world this remains one of the most beautiful and romantic of cities. You will find yourself wandering through streets and squares and suddenly coming upon 2000 year old buildings like the Pantheon (my favourite).
You will need a whole morning to see the Vatican museum and the Sistine chapel and another hour or two to climb to the top of St Peter's cathedral (the centre of christianity and the largest religious building in the modern world) and admire the interior. Again don't miss another fantastic carving by Michelangelo.
You must see the Collosseum and the Fontana di trevi also (before you come try to watch the 'old' film 'La Dolce Vita' (means the good life). The Fontana di Trevi features in a famous scene.
Rome is also a great place to shop and eat.
Head South once more to Naples and from there travel to Positano. This coastline (the Amalfi Coast) is one of the most beautiful and spectacular in the world. We got married in Positano!
That should be enough to get your research started.
All the best
Thank you very much for your suggestions.
well i have been in italy for a voluntary project in milan,there i met several hundrds of volunteers all over the world.interacting with Italians is not difficult.well i think i could give some little advice.Vanice is a very good tourist site u have choosen.here u will see buildings built in water,the community is so lively.the Italian food is nice eps the Pizza.infact i enjoyed my stay there.Well what i sugesst u do immediatly u arrive in Italy is to go to ur embassy there and register.with this they can provide with with any info u need and offer help incase of crises.
If you are looking for affordable cooking classes in Italy, I suggest taking a look at activities in southern Italy which is more affordable than to vacation in nothern Italy. See www.visitcalitri.com for information about an ancient villague located in Calitri.
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 9, 2007, at 12:47 PM by Hellotrav ]
add-on to Andy's post. if u have time, do check out Capri island, it's a gorgeous place
i just came back from Italy.
i was there for two weeks with my wife and 2 kids (10 and 12 y/o).
i like to recomend two places to sleep.
Villa Corte Olfino near (11 km) from Garda Lake - very nice place, the owner is a very nice person and is not expensive (I paid 85 Euro for an Apartment) but i suppose that in the summer should be more expensive. from there you can go to venice, Verona, Sirmione, and more. website - http://www.agriturismocorteolfino.com/index.htm
The second place is in Toscana between Florence and Pisa. a beautifull place named Isola Verde - they have roms and apartments and i think you should reserve with a long advance. here is their website - http://www.agriturismo-isolaverde.it/home_gb.htm
It is very hot in Italy in the Summer so think twice if you would like to be in Rome
I hope i helped