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Italy recommendations

(59 Posts)
orlandobb Mon 18-Jun-18 06:44:39

DP and I are looking to take a summer holiday in Italy, neither of us have been before. We are looking for a chilled out break - what are you mr recommendations?

LIZS Mon 18-Jun-18 06:59:37

When are you going, some areas will be extremely busy and hot in summer. Lake Como is the least crowded of the main 3 Italian lakes in high season. Or you could look at towns slightly off the beaten track in Tuscany.

DunnoWhy Mon 18-Jun-18 07:22:51

Stay in Rome for a few days. Do the usual sights, Vatican etc too. Hop on top off bus is a must, to familiarise yourself with important sights and their whereabouts. If I remember correctly, such buses are valid for more than one day so you can utilise if well. Rome is good for at least 5 days or even more on it's own.

While staying in Rome, you can do one day trip to Florence and back by train on the same evening. Pisa too, on the same day.
Then rest in Rome the next day. As long as it's not on a Monday, it's okay. I can't remember now exactly what was the problem but Pisa tower was closed on Mondays or something like that so Pisa Florence can be any day apart from Mondays which you can check it in advance before booking your train.

Another day, you can do Venice by train, as a day trip which can be departing from Rome in the early morning and arrive in Venice early enough to do sights and return back to Rome on overnight sleeper train, arriving in Rome in the early hours of the next day. In Venice you can take the vaporetto which is the boat equivalent of the hop on hop off bus. It's very useful for seeing the sights and killing the time when you are bored sitting in a cafe. Especially if you do late night sleeper train back to Rome, you would be bored sitting in restaurants and cafes waiting for your return train and these boats are great, operating 24 hours, day and night. Saves money.
Alternatively you may want to stay in Venice but it's easily doable in a day I think, so day trip from Rome suites us.

You can then stay in Rome for a rest after Venice.
You then can move to Naples by train. Only few hours train journey, easily done.

Stay in Naples for a few days, and do the sights from there. One full day to see Pompeii. Back at hotel in Naples. Another day to see Capri island and then back at hotel in Naples again.
You can visit the coastal area from there too but other than that not much to do and see in Naples itself.

AvengingGerbil Mon 18-Jun-18 07:51:00

Dunno, your idea of ‘chilled out’ and mine are radically different! That sounds exhausting.

OP - Tuscany, agritourismo.

DunnoWhy Mon 18-Jun-18 07:55:17

It looks and sounds hectic but it's easy to see several major sights in one holiday that way and trains are easy to book and not crowded. We went in August and it was perfect. Having said that if you don't like the idea of several centres in one holiday then lakes are an idea.

Amalfimamma Mon 18-Jun-18 07:58:13

Amalfi coast, Cilento coast. You could fly into Naples, see the city, Pompeii and Ercolano then move down to the coast. We're pretty relaxed here

TheGirlOnTheLanding Mon 18-Jun-18 08:54:10

Cinque Terre. My favourite of the five is Manarolo - nestled into the hillside on the coast, the streets and narrow and steep so no cars in the village itself. Like stepping back in time. And lots of other great places to visit fairly nearby if chilling gets too much for you.

orlandobb Mon 18-Jun-18 08:56:15

These are awesome suggestions! Thank you. We are looking at going in August but really after some down time with good food and wine.

Amalfimamma Mon 18-Jun-18 10:07:53

If you're coming in August it's useful to know that most cities close down for at least the 2 middle weeks of August so restaurants and museums may be closed. Sea towns are in high peak season so it's useful to book asap as prices are high and rooms few and far between

Cassimin Mon 18-Jun-18 10:13:36

We're going in August.
Flying into Naples, staying in sorrento for 8 days.
Plan to do trips from there.
Then onto Naples for last three days, may do a day in Rome.
There's lots to do and last time we went the transport system was cheap and easy to use so it seems a shame to just stay in the one place.

Cacofonix Mon 18-Jun-18 10:19:28

Umbria or Puglia - rent a place with a pool and chill. Mooch around local towns if your fancy takes you. Racing around Rome or Venice in summer does not equal relaxing with kids. I'd also avoid Amalfi coast and Sorrento, Naples, Pompeii in the summer months.

Cacofonix Mon 18-Jun-18 10:20:07

Umbria is great for food. And wine. Yum!

ReservoirDogs Mon 18-Jun-18 10:26:14

I am off to Positano next week!

Amalfimamma Mon 18-Jun-18 11:36:59


Get the early morning Italo from Naples to Rome and the last one back in the evening. It's easy to get a full day's sightseeing done in Rome.

If you, or anyone else coming, need anything I'm here and at hand

juneau Mon 18-Jun-18 11:40:55

August in Italy is both hot and crowded. What is your idea of chilling out? If it's lying by a pool and reading then I suggest you choose a nice hotel in Sardinia or Puglia or somewhere in Sicily. The lakes are lovely, but will be very busy with families in August. Tuscany will be mobbed. Umbria is lovely and quieter than Tuscany, but requires quite a bit of driving if you want to sightsee. I wouldn't go to Venice, Florence or Rome in August if you paid me! Very hot, crowded and all the Italians will have fled to the coast or the mountains for the holidays. TBH, if you don't have DC I'd go in Sept instead when it's a bit cooler, less expensive and crowded.

EvilMorty Mon 18-Jun-18 11:54:21

We just got back from Venice and it was ridiculously hot. Not much of a breeze at all. Absolutely gorgeous though. I’d love to do all of these suggestions though, Italy is fantastic. Everyone seems to be going there at the moment.

LIZS Mon 18-Jun-18 12:39:30

We recently went to Bologna which has a lovely mediaeval centre and great food! You can book tours to farms and vineyards in the surrounding area, and get to likes of Florence (although it is heaving with tourists) and Venice easily by train. Understated, uncrowded and interesting city.

Collectorofcookbooks Mon 18-Jun-18 12:41:54

Do a food tour - they are wonderful! Another MN'er recommended I did one when I went to Rome last year, and it was the highlight of our holiday.

Davros Mon 18-Jun-18 17:06:18

Ischia, the Grand Hotel Excelsior

LoniceraJaponica Mon 18-Jun-18 17:14:40

“Stay in Rome for a few days”

I think that is probably the least chilled out place to stay in Italy It is a fantastic place, but not somewhere that I would want to visit in the height of summer as it is way too hot and way too crowded.

Lake Garda is brilliant. It gets busy in August, but it is easy to get away from the crowds and chill out. Taking a ferry to visit different towns around the lake is a relaxing way to travel. Lake Como is on my bucket list.

barneymcgroo Mon 18-Jun-18 17:14:46

Agriturismo - cheapish places to stay, dinner bed and breakfast (and often vvv good dinner) in wonderful spots all over Italy. Have a look - well worth it.

veggifriedbreakfast Mon 18-Jun-18 17:19:15

I'm. Going to Belluno in August with a friend we plan to visit Venice and that's about all hahaha

Cassimin Mon 18-Jun-18 20:27:54

Thanks amalfi!
I've been to Rome before, we managed to do lots in one day.
I was hoping coliseum, pantheon, and maybe a little tour.
Went about 11 years ago when my kids were 7. They loved it, we stayed in camping Roma and travelled in daily.
Never been to sorrento or Naples before so any tips would be great.

IdblowJonSnow Mon 18-Jun-18 20:36:30

Lucca is tiny and chilled. lts an old, walled city and you can catch a train to the coast.
Sienna is beautiful and my fave of all the Italian cities/places that I've been to. Didn't rate Florence at all for some reason! In the minority there tho!

yogaginrepeat Mon 18-Jun-18 20:41:40

Lucca!! Amazing town to use as a base for exploring Tuscany.

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