Italy for beginners. Scicily, Sardinia or mainland?

(48 Posts)
poorincashrichinlove Thu 29-May-14 14:58:23

DH have decided to save hard for a proper family holiday next summer 2015. We would love to go to Italy but don't know where to start. The wishlist:
A villa or apartment (for 5)
with pool, terrace & bbq
within 1km of a beach (pref not big & touristy)
with 2km of a town (a small authentic italian village with basic amenities at least) with a few restaurants/trattorias to choose from.
I like the look of Scicily and Sardinia but I'm also romanced by Tuscany (but don't have a clue where t stay that's neat the coast).
Budget is. �2000-2500 inc. budget flights for at least a werk.

To save money I'll be booking online so would appreciate the well-travelled wisdom of mumsnetters who are familiar with Italy and can point me in the right direction.

Janek Mon 02-Jun-14 19:38:53

I love the beach at San Terenzo in Liguria. I looked on booking.com and there are a few apartments round there for under £1000. They do not have a pool, but you are so close to the sea it might not matter...

lerici, just along the coast, also has a beach

also lerici, there's a bus to san terenzo, or you can walk along the seafront

poorincashrichinlove Mon 02-Jun-14 20:21:52

Thanks for the links Janek. I hadnt looked on Booking.com and feel excited again that my holiday dream may become a reality. Now, what can I sell???

deadwitchproject Mon 02-Jun-14 20:35:37

I've been to Alghero and absolutely loved it. So pretty and very friendly. On the mainland I've only been to Rome which was a dream come true but very hot and very, very busy in July.

Siennasun Tue 03-Jun-14 17:29:13

Another cost to factor in is that a lot of beaches in Italy are privately owned by beach clubs and hotels. The clubs have great facilities but they aren't cheap. A 'residence' which is like an apartment complex that has a shared pool and free or reduced price access to a beach club may work out cheaper. I like villasimius near Cagliari in Sardegna.
If you have a hire car there are beautiful beaches you can drive to but they might involve a trek and won't have any facilities.

unrealhousewife Tue 03-Jun-14 21:59:56

Good point Sienna, I have always been disappointed in Italy where beaches are concerned, they are either private or a bit overcrowded and no facilities.

ZenNudist Fri 06-Jun-14 08:11:49

You could get everything in your list if you went to Croatia. Staying near rovinj you can do a ferry trip to Venice as well. Porec another nice family resort. Flights to Trieste for a song. It's not in the euro so cheaper by a long way compared to Italy. Food is amazing. Wine fabulous. Sadly beaches are shingle or paved! So perhaps not.

Spurious Fri 06-Jun-14 18:59:29

We are going to Liguria this summer.
Flights with BA for 4 - £450 inc taxes
Apartment in a hotel complex for 1 week €1000
Car £240

NorbertDentressangle Fri 06-Jun-14 19:01:59

Another fan of Sardinia here (especially Alghero)

SJaneS Sat 07-Jun-14 06:57:39

The Amalfi coast is amazingly beautiful with mountains covered in lemon groves, great beaches and stunning towns. Easy Jet fly into Naples and from there you can get a coastal train or ferry. Amalfi is lovely but there are other cheaper places.

Liguria is another alternative. Norwegian Air have very very cheap flights to Nice and from there its a 1 hour 15 train journey to San Remo. Trains can be booked from the UK and are really cheap. Bordighera is also nice.

A friend of mine who lives in Milan keeps recommending Cinque Terre - looks great from her pictures but might need a car.

Janek Sat 07-Jun-14 11:21:27

You definitely DON'T need a car for Cinque Terre, in fact most of the villages are car-free - you have to park at the top and walk down. And when I went in September a few years ago there was nowhere to park at all i.e. the carparks were all full. We ended up driving back to La Spezia, parking by the station (also pretty tricky...) and getting a train in.

SJaneS Sun 08-Jun-14 18:14:52

Thanks Janek - had assumed it was hard to get too, now I know just by car!

Oriunda Mon 09-Jun-14 11:56:53

Beautiful beaches in Salento (southern puglia). Cheaper too . Ryanair fly to Bari and Brindisi.

Go last week Aug for cheaper prices. Look at Long Travel and consider agriturismi too.

TerrysNo2 Wed 11-Jun-14 15:57:25

We went to Tuscany on holiday last August and I can honestly say it was one of the most stunning places I've ever been (and that includes, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Thailand!).

We got easyjet flights from Gatwick - Pisa for about £250pp and then booked into an Agriturismo (basically a farm that has apartments + facilities) which cost about £500 per week for a massive 2 bed apartment. Contrary to what I'd read Italy was not very expensive for food/drinks. We stayed here

The beaches were not great, although we did find one or two nice ones but we tended to stay around the pool a lot in our apartment.

Tinkerball Sat 14-Jun-14 09:14:49

We are off to Tuscany in 2 weeks, can't wait! I've been researching the beaches, just hope I can find a nice one!

Eve Sat 14-Jun-14 09:19:38

Pisa is not far from the coast , so have a look at villages in the beach near there.

unrealhousewife Sat 14-Jun-14 09:25:53

Terry that looks amazing! I want. We did Agroturismo 10 years ago and it was a bit rough and ready but this is beautiful and great value.

Kundry Sat 14-Jun-14 10:20:26

Sicily in August will be mind blowingly hot. We did our honeymoon in the first 2 weeks in August and it was painfully hot - most Italians knew this so everything was shut as they had all gone to the beach for the month.

Loads of people have already discovered Tuscany so the holiday of your dreams there will be v v v expensive. Plus no beaches or not very nice ones.

Adriatic coast around Rimini/Ravenna/Pesaro is full of Italians crammed in on sun loungers like sardines so deffo not what you are looking for.

I'd suggest Ligurian coast or La Marche and looking at Agriturismo instead of renting a villa.

We are going to La Marche for part of our holiday this year and it is very much undiscovered - prices are half those in Umbria and Umbria is a lot less than Tuscany. I became absolutely obsessed with staying here www.latavolamarche.com

If you go to an agriturismo a bit further in land then you can easily have the idyllic Italy experience at a reasonable price. Around Ascoli Piceno or Fano might suit what you are looking for.

How old are the kids and do you just want beach/pool or are you looking for cultural things as well?

unrealhousewife Sat 14-Jun-14 22:43:54

Terry I'm thinking of booking you Agroturismo, was it very remote , was there a town nearby?

tiredandsadmum Sat 14-Jun-14 22:51:22

Sicily is gorgeous, but August - far too hot.

Do look at the Lakes in the North - they are all different. You can fly Ryan Air to Bergamo.

You can swim in the Lakes at the lidos.

Loletta Sat 14-Jun-14 22:55:12

My DH is Italian and I can tell you that everywhere in Italy is very hot in August. It's not like Sicily is necessarily hotter than Sardinia or Tuscany. It's hot full stop. It only gets better if you're very near the coast and I think your plan of being near the beach is a very sensible one. After all Italian cities are deserted on August for a reason!
I am quite confident that the place for you is Tuscany. There are beautiful beaches but you must know where to go. Try googling Argentario or Uccellina and see for yourself.
The idea of staying in agriturismo is an excellent one too.
Fly to Pisa or Rome and stay in south of Tuscany. The nearest city is Grosseto.
Good luck and pm me if you need more info

TerrysNo2 Sun 15-Jun-14 23:39:55

unreal it was on a hill a couple of km from a nice little town called Pomerance which has a nice (but small) square with a couple of bars and a nice restaurant. The place we really liked going to in the evening was Volterra which is about 30 mins away, a stunning hilltop town with nice shops and restaurants.

I can tell you lots more about the Agriturismo if you want, just PM me. smile

AllTheLeavesAreGreen Mon 23-Jun-14 22:54:16

No idea on prices but the Isle of Elba is very popular with Italians who want a beach holiday in Tuscany. You'd have to fly to Pisa (Ryanair) and then drive down to the ferry, so car hire essential.

It's lovely, loads of beaches obviously, and very lush and green too, especially further inland, but very busy in August.

Just a thought.

jenster1976 Mon 07-Jul-14 21:49:53

We're flying to Lamezia in Calabria in 2 weeks, staying in a 'holiday village' in a 2 bed villa next to the beach not far from the beautiful town of Tropea. This region is stunning with fab quiet beaches, for a family of 5 (one a baby though) we're paying total of £2,400 inc. car hire and unfortunately flying Ryanair, so I hope we will survive! Its sc but with option of earing meals in hotel...However am totally excited and sounds like its exactly what you're after. Can you let in 2 weeks if Its a winner! Booked it all independently....

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