I cannot believe that I finally get to go!! I fly into Rome and fly out of Rome. There are a few things I would like to see. Sardenia, Cirque Terre, Tuscany. I would really love to go to Lourdes France. I have 30 days to play. Trying to make my trip plans by the end of the month. The best way to go?
Rental car that I can camp in?
Train for town to town and then hostel/hotel?
Will it be raining much that month?
I dont really care if I see a lot of the big stuff, I am more of a backroad person. I do have a budget, what is the price of gas for cars? I would love any input and have read a lot of threads here for italy. If I could I would ride my bike around for a month. But.......thanks for any help, k
IWill it be raining much that month?
Which month Nomad?
Rain is generally not a big problem in Italy. I have been there 4 times and did not see a drop of it on any of the trips. One was in July, one in October, one in November and one tonight.
Personally I prefer train and plane travel so I dont have to be responsible for a car. I sleep in hostels or on trains usually.
I would also like the bicycle idea because like u I am more a backroad type than a tourist to main attractions.
I think if going to France is something u dont want to skip dont go by bicycle. It is way too far to cycle in one month.
If u dont have one get yourself a Lonely Planet Guide for either Europe or Italy. That will help u decide how u want to travel around etc.
A month is a short trip, so you need to make choices on where to go, so reading up a little bit is a good idea. (maybe take a look in the library first before buying a book, but check the Lonely planet guides and the Rick Steves books).
Gas/Petrol prices are high at the moment. (it's a good thing the Dollar is so weak ) Yesterday I filled my car for 1,46 euro a liter. (in other countries it can be a little less, but not much)
If you are travelling solo, I think a car would get much too expensive, you don't only need to hire one, but also pay for the petrol, parking and toll on a lot of highways/tunnels/passes. If Italy is you main target, then look at the places you like to visit. A lot of people go for: Rome (obvious place to go, and history-wise the most important city in Europe), take enough time here 5 days is what I recommend. See if you want to make a daytrip to Pompeii. An alternative is to station yourself at the Amalfi Coast (Sorrento) for a few days and visit Pompeii and Capri from there. Also Florence, Venice, and Cinque Terre are popular destinations. (you can visit Pisa on the way to Cinque Terre. A few hours will do). Other also include Siena (some as a daytrip from Florence, or on the way between Rome and Florence), and one of the lakes in the north of the country into their initerary. You already stated you like to go off the beaten track so might want to travel further south to Sicily.
From Italy there are also a lot of cheap flights to other countries, so you can continue the trip somewhere pretty easy. (of cause from the north you can also take the train to other countries)
I believe riding trains and staying in hostels is the best way
That's just me though. But I think that for an itinerary and budget such as yours, it's a wise idea. Especially if you want to go to Lourdes. There are multiple port cities littered between the "Cinque Terre" and Naples where you can take a ferry to Sardinia so getting there from your nearby stops will not be a problem! I'm not sure what kind of route you'll take to Lourdes since it's basically on the Spanish border but I have a suggestion:
Rome > Sardinia > Corsica > Lourdes > Monaco > Cinque Terre > Tuscany > Rome
On the French mainland, Toulon is the westernmost port city with lines to/from Corsica (Closest one to Lourdes) so you'll probably want to get off there. Of course though, it's all up to you
Thanks everyone for their help I will be going in the month of April. France would definately be my train/plane but biking sure would be sweet, but I realize that to see much train travel would be much faster. So basically, plant myself in a place and take side trips? then on to the next town? Yes, a good map and a tour book is in order. Thanks
There are quite a few people who travel around by bike in Italy. Sardenia is especially known for this. Though if you want to throw in Lourdes too I would personally skip Sardenia. IMO Sicily is much more interesting (Palermo and the Etna).
Train is a very good and cheap method to get around. I travelled by bike and train in Italy in May 2007, staying mostly with my own tent at camping sites. I went from Palermo to Venice in 28 days, covering longer distances by train. Feel free to ask me if you want to know more.
well I have got my map and book. I have been reading posts to try and figure this out. Some folks are saying you dont need an itinerary, but to do this it could be more expensive. I realize that I need to get to major cities either thru plane or train or rail(is everybody talking about the same thing? is the train something different than eurorail? how feasible is it to take a fold up bike to get around ?
I think everyone means the same thing when saying "train" and "rail". Eurorail is what people use to describe traveling on European trains using rail passes. Not having an itinerary doesn't mean it'll be more expensive to travel. That statement only really applies to trips where a flight is involved somewhere. Part of the appeal of train travel is to travel when and wherever you want cheaply.