Holidays - The Azores or Italy?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Speicher, 5 Nov 2007.

  1. Speicher

    Speicher Vice Admiral Moderator

    The Azores and Italy are two of the places I might visit for a holiday next year. Some of you well travelled peeps might be able to offer some info or advice.

    If I go to the Azores, it might be as part of a group, with a company called "Explore". Has any one been there or travelled with that company?
    What is the best time of year to go, when it is not too wet?

    The other possibility is Italy (or I might even do both:biggrin:) I have reservations about Italy though, for two reasons. Last time I went to Amalfi and we were using public transport quite a lot. However, any timetable for buses seemed to be a work of fiction, and frequently buses just did not turn up, meaning in one case a two hour wait at a very busy junction, with nowhere safely even to sit down.

    Another very short visit to Italy (from Locarno where I was staying in Switzerland) was cut even shorter (to about 50 metres from the border with Switzerland). This was because, I was very nearly mugged, but with luck, and a speed of reaction that I did not know I possessed, I realised the situation and moved towards a woman with the biggest dog I have ever seen in my life, (it was the size of a small horse and obviously not a "pet", on the basis that if I pretended to know her and then the men continued their pursuit of me, hopefully the dog would attack them. It seemed to work, but I immediately left Italy. Was I just unlucky on that occasion or is a woman on her own in Italy vunerable?

    I was thinking of going to the Bike Hotel in Riccione, the Belvedere. Has anyone been there? It seems you can cycle, go wine tasting, enjoy the beach, etc etc, and use their swimming pool.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
  2. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    I used to live in Italy and had no trouble at all, so unless the world's changed in 10 years, you should have no trouble at all...and just have been unlucky!!! You're always vulnerable as a woman on your own, but I honestly don't think Italy's any more dangerous, I'd happily go on my own.

    As you might guess, I'd go for Italy over the Azores just because I love it. Not sure that Rimini would be the nicest place to go - it's a bit beach resort so might be more raucous than other places? But I've never been there, so don't know this as a fact.

    We've also travelled with Explore (to Egypt) and had a great time, and the Azores would be very unusual!!!
  3. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    I believe Riccione is a more sophisticated place than Rimini, Catherine, although I haven't been there either. The Azores would be a bit more exotic but Italy is my favourite European country. A nice choice to have to make as you can't really go wrong. The cycling in Marche is supposed to be very good too.
  4. I don't like Italy much. Whenever I go there someone always tries to rip me off in some way. Nobody has ever succeeded in this regard but it puts me off going there.
  5. Tetedelacourse

    Tetedelacourse New Member

    What do you want from your holiday Speicher?

    Relaxation and sun = The Azores.
    Action and sun = Italia.

    I think that in-depth analysis should suffice.
  6. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    I can't be doing with Italian beaches and all that deckchair rental mullarkey, but as a country it has beautiful scenery, great food and wine and one of the sexiest languages you could ever try to get your tongue round....
    And if you go to Rimini, say hello to Marta for me... (a lost love from many moons ago....:biggrin:)
  7. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    I assume you got your tongue around her (her what? I hear you think! :biggrin:)
  8. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    venice has to be seen to be believed. siena and lucca in tuscany are very nice too (you can ride a bike around the top of the city walls in lucca, if you can find one with brakes that work that is).
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Über Member


    Can't help with your hols, never been to either place but I just have to know: is your forum name related at all to pre-war French cycling ace Georges Speicher?
  10. terry huckle

    terry huckle New Member

    Have had two great trips in Italy. Last year we visited lake Garda....relying on the local buses too, which were reasonably punctual.

    Did a cycling trip some years ago to the Cilento area, south of Naples, courtesy of Exodus (trip no longer brochured). We stayed in Agriturismo hotels which were brilliant, local people very friendly and curious (they don`t get many tourists there, and they assumed we were Dutch).
  11. OP

    Speicher Vice Admiral Moderator

    Thank you to all those who replied, they were very helpful comments.

    I expect I was very unlucky on my last visit to Italy, several people have said that.

    Tete de la course, your in-depth analysis was succinct. :biggrin: However, I think the itinerary with Explore is reasonably busy, visiting each of the islands and some easy walks etc. The Azores can be very rainy. The Bike Hotel at Riccione gives me the opportunity of wine tasting, thoroughly researching their steam room, swimming pool etc, and other strenous activities as well as the option of easy cycling. They also organise some cycling trips for novices and beginners!:biggrin: and have the beach nearby, and they have a lot of social activities in the evening. :smile: Fnaar, I will try and find out a bit more about the protocol of beaches in Italy.

    Such a lot of decisions to be made, good job I'm starting my research this early. One of the reasons for travelling with Explore, is that they have been recommended to me if I wish to travel to Argentina, Brazil and Peru, possibly in 2009. So I wanted to try them out a smidgen closer to home.

    Frustuck - you asked about my forum name. I had only recently come across references to George Speicher, and that is not the reason I chose it. Bearing in mind your forum name I am surprised you have not made a more accurate guess at its origin;).

    I am trying to learn some Italian, but so far have only found Men of Lucas Kazan speaking Italian on Sky. :smile::ohmy::ohmy::blush::biggrin::biggrin: Their vocabulary seems somewhat limited. I have nearly given up trying to learn Swedish - people seem very keen to teach me rude words.:biggrin::biggrin::ohmy::smile:
  12. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    Having lived In Italy the culture quite interesting but for SUN I'd guess Azores :biggrin:
  13. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    I'll point you in the right direction! :biggrin:
    Are you coming over in the foreseeable future?
  14. OP

    Speicher Vice Admiral Moderator

    I was in Stockholm in September, but that was before I became a member of this forum. I might visit Sweden again, but had hoped it would be to Goteborg (cannot find the umlauts on this keyboard). But that is another "story", and a very long one.

    If I return to Stockholm I will give you a pm. If I decide not to do Azores or Italy, I might visit Copenhagen, Goteborg, Stockholm, Helsinki etc, joining up the "dots" by train, and boat. What would be the best time of year for that - balancing reasonable weather, but not too crowded?
  15. OP

    Speicher Vice Admiral Moderator

    On the subject of the Bike Hotel Belvedere Riccione, I have just looked at the web-site again and found a competion to win a week's holiday there. :biggrin:(In March, but it is a Prize) I have tried to find the answer without success. The question is: which athlete has/had the nickname Cannibal?was it Armstrong, Merckx, Anquetil, or Indurain or none of the above. Google search gives approx 300,000 whatsits. Does anyone know the answer, and then lots of people can enter (including ME!:biggrin:). This is not really a link, so I hope the moderators don't mind.
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