Rome/Genova in May- stay or to Tuscany/Amalfi??

(21 Posts)
Salbertina Thu 10-Jan-13 15:33:08

We're arriving at either Rome or Genova and looking for affordable, nice, authentic-ish in good location. Aim either to hang out there for a week (parc i pini?) or head off to Tuscany (Parco delle Piscine??) or down to Amalfi to try and pack in Pompeii (easy bed hostel??)
These places sound good and cheap online but am aware that Italy expensive for car hire and eating out so may be wise to stay nearish to start point

Salbertina Thu 10-Jan-13 16:11:42

And weather in early May?
Any tips appreciated!

janek Thu 10-Jan-13 16:18:15

My experience of weather in late may is when it rains it pours, when it doesn't, it's beautiful (ie you'd rather sit in the shade unless you were sunbathing).

I would imagine early may wouldn't be too different.

You could travel by train and save on car hire - info here, this is an old website which apparently has more information?!? or here, the new site, supposedly not as comprehensive

Salbertina Thu 10-Jan-13 16:31:43

Thanks will check those out!
Would rather train but thinking 4 of us cheaper by car? And quicker?

janek Fri 11-Jan-13 17:07:01

You'd have to check about price and time - i think it would depend on the journey and where you were going. For example, we normally get an overnight train to milan, and then it takes just over three hours to get to where we go in tuscany.

But i would not dream of hiring a car in milan and driving as 1 i'd have to drive through the centre of a busy italian city and 2 i'd still have to go through the mountains so the car journey probably wouldn't be much quicker and quite a lot more sick-making for dd2! Arriving at an out of town airport and driving to a remote villa would be an entirely different prospect.

I believe it is cheaper to buy train tickets once you're there, although seat61.com talks you through all the various prices and buying tickets directly from trenitalia.

High speed trains are generally quite expensive and quite amazing. The local trains are fine, but cheaper, slower and much, much less modern.

janek Fri 11-Jan-13 17:18:47

Also, is there a particular reason you are flying to genova? I would have thought pisa or florence would be closer.

And you could get an overnight train to rome...go on, you know you want to!

Salbertina Sat 12-Jan-13 08:34:12

Thanks, got friends in Genova not seen for yrs hence popping by there tho probably cant stay.
Trains do sound more expensive tho

dikkertjedap Sat 12-Jan-13 10:49:13

I think you would be much better off taking the train and buses. They are still quite cheap.

Be careful in Pompei obviously, a lot of crime. In Rome you have to be careful as well.

Make sure you have a good and extensive travel insurance.

Never leave stuff in your room, if you stay in one of the cheaper places. Also, in spite of the crisis, Italy is actually very expensive, especially eating out/taxis/car rental. You can get cheap hotel rooms, but you usually get what you pay for.

It is a beautiful country though, so I am sure you will have a lovely trip.

Ponders Sat 12-Jan-13 11:03:49

in early May I'd be inclined to go south - it could be warm in the north, but it's more iffy. We went to Tuscany in early June a couple of years ago & it was boiling (& had been for several weeks) but that was very unusual - but then our weather in the UK has been "very unusual" for the last couple of years, so who knows? grin

& Tuscany is wonderful, beautiful countryside & so many lovely towns to visit, but you would def need a car there. it's cheaper to pre-book from the UK, try economy car hire - they include 1 extra driver, & also CDW for bodywork knocks, though not for the rest of the car. (You can get full CDW - roof, glass, keys, tyres, underside etc - from eg carhireexcess.co.uk)

Ponders Sat 12-Jan-13 11:21:36

have a look at carhire 3000 as well - they're a bit cheaper, but they will charge for a 2nd driver

you could get a 4-door 5-seater for between £200 & £300 - £50 - £75 per head for all your journeys for a week (plus fuel of course), from your door, & then back to the airport on the day you leave.

trains are great but a car is so convenient smile

BagCat Sat 12-Jan-13 11:33:15

I wouldn't stay around Pompeii, the edges of Naples are not nice at all, seriously! I'd go a bit further around the coast, Sorrento because at least it is safe, extremely pretty, and you can wander around freely any time you like with plenty of scope for eating out and seeing things in either direction up or down the coast. Plenty of different priced accommodation and the train to Pompeii from there is cheap and quick.

I'd maybe suggest Perugia in Umbria as an option too. Beautiful, with tonnes of sightseeing (Cortona, Assisi, Castiglioni Del Lago, etc) within 20 miles or so and the food is fabulous! Easy to drive around as not too busy and it doesn't have the same price tags as some places in Tuscany.

Ponders Sat 12-Jan-13 11:51:27

oh yes, Bagcat, we got as far as Castiglioni Del Lago on our Tuscany trip, it's lovely. Not to Perugia, Assisi or Cortona though; maybe next time

We also went to the coast, near Giglio, one day & en route passed an amazing looking place called Pitigliano which I had never heard of (& still haven't, even now I know about it!) We were on our way back & really didn't have time to divert into the centre - another "maybe next time"...

Salbertina Sun 13-Jan-13 06:48:26

Thanks all.
Ponders, that sounds lovely!
Need to think whats doable v heading for sunnnier south.

Like the look of Sarteano area (good sounding campsite there w hot-water spring pools, ideal for kids in May and walking distance to the town so not stuck with mediocre onsite pizzeria etc)

Ponders Sun 13-Jan-13 17:04:12

Sarteano is the other side of Montepulciano from where we stayed, Salbertina; great for Tuscany touring, & very handy for Perugia etc too. Also a fairly short drive from the Med coast, but the lake at Castiglione del Lago is nearer & has nice beaches (& fish restaurants...drool)

walking distance to town very handy too smile

Salbertina Sun 13-Jan-13 17:41:40

Are any of those you mention doable by train? Thanks

Ponders Sun 13-Jan-13 18:50:23

Sarteano isn't on a rail line itself - if you look at google maps, & zoom in to a bit over half way up the scale, you can see the railway lines. the main NS line from Rome runs approx parallel with the A1/E35 NS motorway; it looks as if the nearest station to Sarteano would be Chiusi, & the line splits N of there with one going E to Castiglione - you could prob get a bus to Chiusi from Sarteano

the Castiglione line goes on to Arezzo & the main line goes up to Florence, & there's another line that branches off NW to Siena; if you wanted to get about much you'd need a car but if only a couple of trips you can manage with bus & train. if you go to that Sarteano site they will probably have the public transport information you'll need smile

ah - and there is a campsite at Castiglione!!! here - it is also walking distance into the centre, for shopping etc, & might be better for you to get about from (it says the station is 1km from the campsite)?

plus it's actually on the lake!

Ponders Sun 13-Jan-13 18:51:43

oh - I think it's all bring-your-own-tent though. bugger

Salbertina Sun 13-Jan-13 19:05:44

Yes such a shame, we'll have nothing. Oh well, hunt resumes...

Ponders Sun 13-Jan-13 19:18:35

how about baia domizia???

It's on the coast, between Rome & Naples, & the railway line runs very close so you could get to Pompeii (& Rome) quite easily from there; & it's far enough S to be really warm in May.

I once stayed at Formia, about 12 miles away round the bay, & the beach there was absolutely beautiful.

Ponders Sun 13-Jan-13 19:29:46

what about an apt in Castiglione? £450 for a week

'Castiglione del Lago is on the main Rome /Florence line and many trains stop there There are also buses to Perugia and local villages. Cars and bicycles can be hired by the day or by the week'

Salbertina Sun 13-Jan-13 19:34:55

Thanks, Ponders! You should charge wink. Shall check out your links.

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