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Nice cities to visit in Italy...

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Melvil, 10 Nov 2007.

  1. Melvil

    Melvil Standard nerd

    ...I'd just like some advice, really. I only really have time for, say, one or two when on holiday there and have narrowed the list down to:

    Venice
    Florence
    Naples (mainly for Pompeii)
    Rimini

    Anyone been to the above and have any tips, sights, where to stay etc?

    Cheers,

    Mel.:blush:
     
  2. Frazer

    Frazer New Member

    Naples, definitely go and see Pompeii (but perhaps not in tourist season, it can get quite crowded, though it is big enough to still get nice and lost). Herculaneum is pretty interesting too. Plus, you can get a pizza in the only city to actually have laws on what can be defined as a pizza, they are so good!! And of course, go and see Mount Vesuvius. The crater is really impressive, as are the surrounding ignimbrite deposits but I doubt most people are as interested in those as me, being a geologist!!

    I have been to Venice as well and to be honest, found it crowded, smelly, very very expensive and full of tourists. Not somewhere i would recommend, though at certain times i guess it could be worth going
     
  3. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    I thought Turin was great.

    Aosta is great too, but then again, I love mountains.......
     
  4. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Used to live in Florence and honestly think it's the most beautiful city in the world. Got engaged in Venice and think it's stunning. Naples smells, but the area around it is gorgeous. Never been to Rimini.

    If you pick anywhere I've been, I've got LOADS of tips to help you plan. Know some great hotels in Venice and Florence.
     
  5. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    Melv-mate I spent a fair bit of time in a place called Padova its about 20mls from Venice. A uni town, very quiet when i was there ! Lots of Italians compared to tourists or immigrants...

    I found it very interesting though not very green though the place is a concrete kind of place in a hisoric italian way cathedrals and the likes...

    Venice was interesting too - Ive always said: its definately worth a visit because of history..in fact, a must actually !

    Not sure on the smelly tag though I can see how it could as some of the canals are quite secluded...

    Dont get in the Gondola's unless you have a fair few bob to throw away and watch your valubles in st marks square !

    Ive never seen soo many tourists in one area in my life ! Which made me look hard for a local if you see you one count yourself lucky !!!

    On a light note to end with 'we started playing football with some small lads - such great memories.... :blush:

    Thanks for being able to post on this thread Melv' !


     
  6. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Staff Member

    venice in october is (ime) fantastic; not too full of tourists, not too hot and definately not too smelly.

    eat and drink away from the piazza san marco and it's not too pricy. hotels on the lido (a short vaporetto ride away) tend to be cheaper than in venice itself.

    florence is a beautiful city plagued by traffic, particularly mopeds. unless you are a real art buff (there are two fantasic art galleries), you might find it disappointing. a better bet is siena, just down the road and simply breathtaking, with a fascinating history to it. you'll get better photos there than florence.

    if you find yourself in tuscany, the small medaeval city of lucca is worth a visit (particularly if you are doing pisa) and you can ride a bike around the city walls.
     
  7. Will1985

    Will1985 Über Member

    Location:
    South Norfolk
    It all depends where you want to go for your holiday.
    In the north west, you can do Venice, Padova, Verona, Mantova and Vicenza all very easily. They are especially good if you like renaissance history and architecture. You could also go to Bassano del Grappa as well which is a gorgeous town famous for its alcoholic beverage. I lived in the Veneto a couple of years ago and could never tire of it, although Venice can be a struggle at times as I hate over-touristy areas and times of year. Additionally the Venetians themselves aren't the most welcoming of Italians, but then many of them consider themselves not to be plain Italian.
    Although it is nice to say you have stayed in Venice it can be notoriously expensive even out of season, and you can find far nicer places on the mainland 20 mins by train from Santa Lucia. Padova is a good hotel point as you can sleep there, "commute" into Venice, and spend one day in Padova to break up the trip.

    Tuscany is obviously a popular tourist destination, but then why not? Florence is very attractive with the history and the centre doesn't make it feel like you are in a big town. Ponte Vecchio is a no-brainer, but there are also lots of palazzi and churches to go around, most having been associated with the Medici at some point. If you get a chance to go up the Campanile (Bell tower) or Brunelleschi's dome, then do it. Agree with Alec that you must go to Lucca if in Tuscany. I thought Siena is worth it too, but quite expensive. Best time to go is for the Paglio in July or August for the excitement despite the enormous crowds. Then there is Pisa... The problem with Tuscany is that it is so big, it is difficult to see lots of different places without travelling for ages. I only stayed in a cheap hostel in Florence, and I can't really remember any of the good accommodation areas. Eating wise, there is tons around Piazza della Signoria - cheap and not so cheap.

    I haven't really done the south that much, but if you want Naples, don't forget Herculaneum and the Villa Poppaea for some more "preserved" stuff. The Campi Flegrei are pretty cool too.

    There is a bit of history to Rimini, but I don't know why people want to go there - it is a bit like a cross between Ibiza and Blackpool! It has lots of clubs as well as a massive red light district... Urbino is close-ish, and Bologna could be a day trip.

    Unfortunately, wherever you go which is touristy, the Italians have learnt to exploit with high prices and hassling tactics to get you into restaurants (especially Venice). Careful of pickpockets, and try not to buy anything from the immigrant street sellers because if the police catch you doing it, they love to turn the screw and fine you for buying counterfeit instead of the vendor!
     
  8. Naples - Avoid. Total sh1thole. Just pass through it quickly to Pompeii. Florence is the most beatuful city on the planet. Milan is fab as well also Venice and if you can, take in the Lake Como.
     
  9. SamNichols

    SamNichols New Member

    Location:
    Colne, Lancs
    Instead of Naples, go up into Sorrento - lovely scenery, orange trees by the mile and not an industrial town. Naples really isn't a touristy place, a bit like visiting Liverpool really. But, Pompei and Herculaneum are definitely worth a visit. Don't bother with Capri, it's a tourist trap.

    Rome's good for a laugh, even if it is the most insanely busy city in the world. Look after your valuables and enjoy it. Florence, Padua, Turin all brilliant. Not been to Venice, but most say it should be done.
     
  10. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Cookie Monster is 100% right, and Lake Como has to be seen to be believed. Naples does have the gorgeous Amalfi Coast next to it, and I know the world's most gorgeous hotel in Sorrento!! And we loved Capri but you have to stay overnight for when the crowds have gone, and do a tough but magical hike into the cliffs!!
     
  11. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    I'd avoid Rimini like the plague. Verona and Siena are great as is Rome for a historic city. Many of the smaller cities are wonderful like Mantova, Modena and Lucca. How long are you going for as personally I get pisht off with cities however nice they are after a few days. You may need to pick a place with nice surrounding countryside.
    ps. Bologna is great too!
     
  12. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    We had a nice day out in Vinci, the birth place of young Leonardo. There is a really interesting museum there in the main town which houses many original artefacts. In the afternoon, after a relaxing lunch, you can walk up through the olive groves to his house in the hills.
     
  13. terry huckle

    terry huckle New Member

    I liked Verona.

    Only experience of Venice was the airport, where one of the security blokes tried to pocket my wife`s watch, with a classic piece of misdirection. Looked quite put out when my wife asked for the watch back.

    Pompeii was great....though the modern bit outside the Roman site is a bit of a dump.
     
  14. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    I've been thinking about this. If you only have time for two cities I'd go to Venice, as it seriously has to be seen to be believed, and stay in the Pensione La Calcina as it's just lovely and great value. I'd then train it down to Florence for a few days, and take a day trip to Siena.

    If I were you....
     
  15. longers

    longers Veteran

    If visiting Venice you could look at staying in Treviso (nice old walled town/city) as it's only a very short train ride away from Venice and it may be cheaper.