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Italy - 3 weeks - Where to go!

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1. Posted by Kanga (Budding Member, 21 posts) 28 Jan '11 23:30

Kanga has indicated that this thread is about Italy

Hi All,
My friend and I are planning to got to Italy for 3 weeks in August 2011.
We would like to plan 3 destinations to stay to for approx 1 week each and explore the surrounding areas or just experience the region itself.
I'd like to end the trip in Sicily.
Whilst we like to go out and have a good time, it's not everything so areas not on the "beaten" track would also be welcome.
The trip is about enjoying Italy, the people and relaxation!
Any suggestions on what to do and where to stay would be greatly appreciated!
THANK YOU
Cheers
C

2. Posted by Falukozi (Budding Member, 56 posts) 28 Jan '11 23:39

I would have to say that the Cinque Terre was my favorite place in Italy. I was on a tour that only allowed me a day there but I could have spent a week easily.
It is 5 beautiful villages along the coast, they are tucked up between the hills and the water. I can not recommend a place to stay as I do not remember. But it is definitely worth it to take a boat to each village. ( we did boat on the way there train on the way back) the train was just not as nice of a view.

Have fun

Tracy

3. Posted by Kanga (Budding Member, 21 posts) 28 Jan '11 23:46

Thanks Tracy!
I'll look into the area!
Cheers
Celeste

4. Posted by Gurt (Full Member, 59 posts) 29 Jan '11 00:48

Hi, you think 3 weeks is a huge period, but Italy has so much to offer...... First: where do you fly in? I assume Rome?

If you like the city, stay at least 3 days in Roma! It's the absolute minimum.
Then take a train to Napoli (3 hrs) and look around overthere. Take the smaller train to Pompeii and Sorrento for 1 day.
If you like to travel by car or train from Napoli go to Tropea in the South. Very nice surroundings.

We did another thing: from Napoli we took the ferry to Palermo. 1 night good sleep and you'll be there. Not expensive too.

At Sicily we liked Palermo, Cefalu and Taormina best. But also consider the small Eolian island as Lipari and Vulcano.
From Milazzo you can go there.
Do not forget a trip to Etna!!

I could offer much more information, but first you make a rough plan.

Good luck!

5. Posted by Anne723 (Budding Member, 3 posts) 29 Jan '11 16:38

I recommend seeing some of the very moving memorials that concern battles in Italy during World War II. Many of these are in Rome and near Florence. You can find a list of WWII sites on the web. Some of the most interesting are in the towns of Cassino, Anzio, and Nettuno, all of which are a day trip from ROme.

6. Posted by Tiramisu (Budding Member, 3 posts) 30 Jan '11 03:37

Hi Kanga
Firstly, you have to bear in mind that August is the hottest (and in most parts most humid) time of year in Italy. It is also the month in which most of the population takes their annual holiday, so many shops, businesses etc are closed, especially in smaller towns, so you don't get to experience the real vibe/culture of a lot of places. You also have to remember that everyone flocks to the seaside, so if you're wanting to visit places like Sicily and other southern or coastal parts, it's best to book accommodation many months in advance.
Having said that (and not wanting to sound like the prophet of doom), Italy is AWESOME!! It's true that, with 3 weeks, you really have to plan carefully as the country has so much to offer. For Sicily, I suggest the east coast, you can fly to Catania airport (a 40 minute flight from Rome, and you can get good deals at www.blu-express.com), then visit Siracusa (which has amazing Greek ruins et al) and Sicilian Baroque architecture, Taormina, Etna (take an evening hiking excursion to the top - it's awesome!), Aci Trezza. Most places are really crowded, but if you want to opt for something off the beaten track, I strongly suggest Basilicata, in the south - the weather is milder and they have the largest national park in Italy (the Pollino) with its lovely hilltop towns and villages, never-ending woods and incomparable gastronomy - it's also where you'll find Matera (where Mel Gibson's Passion was filmed), and on the coast, Maratea, with its beautiful, pristine beaches. The region has a poorly developed infrastructure, but in a way this helps to preserve the region's beauty and mysteriousness - you need a car here - rent a car in Rome, and take the 5 hour scenic trip down to Basilicata. In Naples, hotel rates are usually lower, with everyone having escaped to the seaside - sleep in Naples and take the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii. If you rent a car, you could also visit the Grotte di Pertosa (Caves of Pertosa) a little further south, on the border between the regions of Campania and Basilicata, for a true Phantom-of-the-Opera-esque boat ride experience as you explore the caves with a guide. If you're wanting to do Cinque Terre, the best way to see it is to do the hike, through each of the 5 coastal towns/villages - the full hike (or rather, walk) takes less than a day, but in August would be crowded, so might take a while. Venice is arguably my favourite city in Italy, but in the heat and humidity and battling through the crowds, not to mention the stench from the canals in the heat.... I might give it a miss. In Rome, the best way to deal with the heat (approx. 40 degrees C and humidity in the 90s) is to visit some of the numerous galleries and museums. Also, Rome is unbelievably gorgeous at night, with fountains and monuments lit up, great for pictures your friends will be so envious of! Florence too - visit the Accademia, Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti to escape the heat, and don't forget the Tuscan cities and towns like San Gimignano, Siena, Volterra (HIGHLY recommended). I could also suggest places to stay, depending on the kind of budget you're looking at). Let me know if you'd like info on daytrips from Rome - the possibilities are endless. Forgive me if I've gotten carried away.... I just LOVE this country!! Happy planning. Cheers

7. Posted by daisan (Budding Member, 40 posts) 31 Jan '11 00:59

HI Kanga
i agree with Tiramisu about Sicily, Catania is better.
To visit Rome August is the best period,as all italian people are at seaside so you can live the city. Only problem is that Rome in August is really really hot.
I can also suggest Salento in Puglia really good spot for seaside and nightlife or Maremma (like Castiglione della Pescaia) good beach, good food, good wine and a lot of place to visit (as terme di saturnia).
i can tell some more spot if like mountain (dolomiti) or lake (garda near verona, or como).
Beside Rome in each of the place i told you can rent a car (or a bike) and move around and visit every day a different place.
Avoid place like Milano, Bologna, Ferrara ecc. in august you will find no one and it will be really hot.
bye

8. Posted by pvsoccer20 (Budding Member, 27 posts) 31 Jan '11 13:58

Rome - 4+ days
Florence - 3+ days
Venice - 1-2 days
Cinque Terre

Fill the rest with small towns/villages along the way either north or south based on your preference (very different cultures)

9. Posted by Kanga (Budding Member, 21 posts) 31 Jan '11 18:31

Thank you All!!
Some great suggestions and truely appreciate you taking the time to write.

I know it's going to be hot but unfortunately that's the only time we can both get the 3 weeks off - LOOKING FORWARD TO IT all the same!! Will be in touch seperately with some further questions on your suggestions!

Cheers
Celeste

10. Posted by Daysi Hard (Budding Member, 9 posts) 1 Feb '11 00:25

Quoting pvsoccer20

Rome - 4+ days
Florence - 3+ days
Venice - 1-2 days
Cinque Terre

Fill the rest with small towns/villages along the way either north or south based on your preference (very different cultures)

Thanks!
I do agree with you. You have a great plan.