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Italy - 4-5 days at a coast relaxing.. where??

sachia007

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We are planning a trip to Italy and are planning on seeing Venice, Tuscany (including Pisa), Rome, and Pompeii.

The Italy trip will be our 2nd week of our European vacation and my husband would like to relax at some coastal area for 4-5 days.. either on the water, or with water views and would like a bit of time to rest, enjoy the views/water. He is okay with day trips to one, possibly two of the places listed above, but would like to be at one hotel for a while as a base.

I've heard of the Amalfi Coast, but am not sure if there are any other beautiful seaside spots where American tourists would feel comfortable (and possibly near our areas of interest).

Thoughts? Thanks!
 

Laurie

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Rapallo is lovely, and you can daytrip to parts of Tuscany as well as Cinque Terre.

Sorrento is also, and you can daytrip to Pompeii.
 

Bill4728

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Cinque Terre would be my choice but we are big Rick Steves fans ( the Seattle Travel Guru) and he says that it is his favorite place in the world.
 

sachia007

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Rapallo is lovely, and you can daytrip to parts of Tuscany as well as Cinque Terre.

Sorrento is also, and you can daytrip to Pompeii.

Thanks Laurie,

With a stay in Rapallo, could one see Pisa too?
 

Laurie

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With a stay in Rapallo, could one see Pisa too?
Yes - it's about an hour and a half away.

You could also see Lucca, as well as Carrara (Michelangelo, marble), possibly all in the same day, with an early start, a pre-booked time into the Leaning Tower, and a rental car. Or if you're not planning on a rental car, you can do it by train, but not as many places the same day. Btw, many folks don't think Pisa is worth it, but I found it thrilling to see (and climb) this icon in person, since it had fascinated me since early childhood.

You can see much of Cinque Terre in a day, by train and walking, and another day, take in Portofino and Santa Margherita. Or maybe that's not your idea of relaxation!

Genoa is close by, and the terraced hills surrounding the area are beautiful.

I liked Rapallo because it's slightly off the usual tourist-route, but pretty and convenient - and the food was outstanding: the area is the home of pesto.

We have been to Rapallo 2x - one overnight hotel stay during our first quickie self-tour around Italy; second time after wanting to return to the Ligurian coast, we exchanged into Portofino Est Residence.
 

lizap

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Love love Cinque Terre; unfortunately it has gotten much more Americanized, like so many parts of Italy. Can remember a time we visited about 15-20 years ago when almost no English was spoken there and very little in other rural parts of Italy..


Cinque Terre would be my choice but we are big Rick Steves fans ( the Seattle Travel Guru) and he says that it is his favorite place in the world.
 

Laurie

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Love love Cinque Terre; unfortunately it has gotten much more Americanized, like so many parts of Italy.
Yes, especially Rick Steves' favorite town which I think was Vernazza. Once he writes about a place, it forever changes and usually for the worse. The train station there was as crowded and hectic as a subway station in NYC (language included)! Other towns weren't quite so bad, especially the one midway that's higher up on a cliff (I can't remember the name) which was almost deserted.

In contrast to the Cinque Terre, Rapallo was quiet, didn't seem to have that much (audible) American or British tourism. Santa Margherita was quiet too.

Oh, just found this article, hope it's helpful
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-615294/Sorry-Coleen-Rapallo-real-Riviera-gem.html
 

lizap

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Corniglia. We stayed there many years ago over New Years Eve. Almost no English spoken then, and we were virtually the only tourists there.


Yes, especially Rick Steves' favorite town which I think was Vernazza. Once he writes about a place, it forever changes and usually for the worse. The train station there was as crowded and hectic as a subway station in NYC (language included)! Other towns weren't quite so bad, especially the one midway that's higher up on a cliff (I can't remember the name) which was almost deserted.

In contrast to the Cinque Terre, Rapallo was quiet, didn't seem to have that much (audible) American or British tourism. Santa Margherita was quiet too.

Oh, just found this article, hope it's helpful
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-615294/Sorry-Coleen-Rapallo-real-Riviera-gem.html
 

isisdave

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What time of year are you going, and is a beach (I mean with sand) a requirement? A lot of Italy has rocky shore, and it was hot as the blazes last June.

I thought Cinque Terre vastly overrated. You could get the same effect by visiting any American mall, turning off the air conditioning, and tearing up $100 bills. Well, maybe fifties. At the train station, there's a guard making sure you don't stand too close to the tracks when a train is approaching, as the platform is so full it's easy for that to happen.

What about Capri? I haven't been there (yet ... ) but understand that like many tourist places, it's nuts in the daytime but really nice in the evening.
 

Glynda

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Cinque Terre

I agree that Cinque Terre has become a nightmare of tourists and is over-rated. We went in off-season, late this past October, hoping to avoid the masses. It was better than so many have described it being during high season. But we could still only get through three villages in one day and the trains were crowded. The boats don't run as often at the end of October so missed views from the water. And the weather was so so...a bit chilly and gloomy. It's one of those places that I'm glad I've seen but wouldn't go back to. I can see how those of you who saw it prior to its current popularity had an entirely different experience!
 

buzglyd

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Positano is the fancy town on the Amalfi coast. Several years ago I stayed in the small town of Amalfi. It was very charming and a third of the price of Positano. My B&B was steps from the water.
 

lizap

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I agree- time of the year probably makes a huge difference. Definitely would not visit in the summer.


QUOTE=Glynda;1844147]I agree that Cinque Terre has become a nightmare of tourists and is over-rated. We went in off-season, late this past October, hoping to avoid the masses. It was better than so many have described it being during high season. But we could still only get through three villages in one day and the trains were crowded. The boats don't run as often at the end of October so missed views from the water. And the weather was so so...a bit chilly and gloomy. It's one of those places that I'm glad I've seen but wouldn't go back to. I can see how those of you who saw it prior to its current popularity had an entirely different experience![/QUOTE]
 

pedro47

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Positano is the fancy town on the Amalfi coast. Several years ago I stayed in the small town of Amalfi. It was very charming and a third of the price of Positano. My B&B was steps from the water.

The Amalfi coast is just outstanding for taking photos of this city. I can do two (2) days in Rome and never see all of it. Please bring several disks for your cameras and enjoy.

My only suggestion would be to learn how to use the train system in Italy for travel.
 

cgeidl

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Go to Sicily

We have been to Italy about ten times over the years. Our last stay was the first one in Sicily and this was our favorite stay. We have stayed in Vernazza three times and like it. Do not go on a Friday or Saturday as that is extremely popular with Italians driving for getaways.
In our opinion the place to stay is Taormina. Strikingly beautiful and good for many different day trips. Expensive nut worth it.
Our second choice would be the Syracusa area where beside the interes:banana:ting old city there are wonderful towns to visit. With this much time I would choice only one of the two locations.
Sicilians consider themselves to be Sicilians,not Italians.Poeple are wonderful.the sites magnificent , and the Sicilian pastas as good as it gets.
 

Laurie

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We have been to Italy about ten times over the years. Our last stay was the first one in Sicily and this was our favorite stay. ...
In our opinion the place to stay is Taormina. Strikingly beautiful and good for many different day trips.
I also loved Taormina, we did a 3-nite b&b stay there (on our way back from Malta) and Sicily definitely warranted more time.

Sicily is far enough from the major mainland sites on the OP's itinerary tho, so IMO probably not worth it to add in the extra travel time & expense on this same trip.
 

cgeidl

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Rome to Catania

A bit over an hour flight is $72 RT in June . As they probably are flying in an out of Rome internationally this seems reasonable and the drive from Catania to either recommended destination is an hour or two.
 

Glynda

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Train travel

...My only suggestion would be to learn how to use the train system in Italy for travel.

We traveled exclusively by train throughout Northern Italy, moving every three days to a new area and also using the train to get to sightseeing areas, like to Cinque Terre from Portofino and back. Learning how to use the train system is a very good idea. This site helped me more than any:

http://www.seat61.com/Italy-trains.htm#.VpG7FjZotE5
 

Laurie

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A bit over an hour flight is $72 RT in June . As they probably are flying in an out of Rome internationally this seems reasonable and the drive from Catania to either recommended destination is an hour or two.
Wow, that is a great deal - what airline? Maybe we'll get back for a longer stay after all! We used easyjet and it was cheap, but not that cheap!
 

pwrshift

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I've been to the major locations in Italy and if I wanted a few days to relax, climbing hills wth no cars would not be my choice. I loved the Amalfi area, stayed in the Hilton Palace in Sorrento with an executive room/balcony that included breakfasts in May when the lemons were out in full fragrant bloom. It was wonderful.

Actually any part of Italy is great. I could live there.

Brian
 

lizap

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A few observations:

While technically part of Italy, Sicily is on a separate island, and has its own unique culture. If you read the history of Sicily, you will note that there is a lot of Greek influence there (hence many Sicilians have lighter hair). Parents of a good friend of mine were from Sicily.

Places in the boot of Italy typically have a higher crime rate.

Each part of Italy has its own unique culture (be it Tuscany, northern Italy, southern Italy, Umbria, etc..). I suggest that you purchase a book on Italy from the bookstore and read it before you make a final decision.. I think you will have a very enjoyable trip regardless of where you choose to visit.
 

CCR

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Positano is the fancy town on the Amalfi coast. Several years ago I stayed in the small town of Amalfi. It was very charming and a third of the price of Positano. My B&B was steps from the water.

We stayed in Minori on the Amalfi coast. It was a beautiful town near Positano & Amalfi. Day trips to Pompeii and Capri are easy from there. However this little town felt like true Italy without the commercialization of more famous towns. We loved it. You can hike (or drive) to the beautiful and more touristy Rovello from Minori.
 

jehb2

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My friends spent a night at the island of Elba when we spent a night at Venice. They said it was very lovely. That's where Napoleon was exiled.
 

cgeidl

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Iberia Rome to catania

Checked again on Orbitz Many June dates Rt Rome to Catania now a bit more at $84
 
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