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I'm going to Italy for 2 weeks, any tips, places to see?

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  • I'm going to Italy for 2 weeks, any tips, places to see?

    Leaving for Italy on Saturday, renting a Fiat and doing a +/-1300km, 14 day roadtrip starting in Venice, across to the West coast and down to Salerno and the Amalfi Coast, then north up to Rome to fly back home.

    Not my first roadtrip, but first time abroad so if anyone travels to Europe alot or lives in Italy (Italians welcome) theres some technical questions...

    Cellphone situation, did you get a new plan, buy one in Italy, or pay a lot of money?

    GPS - Just realized my garmin doesnt have European maps, is that common to find over here? Might have to buy a new one. Wondering if I should wait to get to Italy, not sure if it'll work the same over here.

    How did you handle your money? Was your ATM card working right? Were people picky about Euro dollars?

    Anywhere in particular I should definately get to?

    What else?

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  • #2

    bump for gaetano. hes our #1 italian expert.

     

    i'll be going on a trip to italy and the rest of europe in 2 months myself good luck and have fun!

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    • brokenfixed
      brokenfixed commented
      Editing a comment

      thanks maca, good luck on your trip. I plan on doing that one myself someday.

      So whats your plan for cellphone situations? Apparently smart phones are constantly ticking away and driving up the bill when theyre not in use and depending on your international plan they can really get expensive. We use my wife's, and she's planning on getting one in Italy and says most people do that when their providers are screwing them.  Ive never owned a cellphone, so I have no clue.


  • #3

    Sorry I don't post often anymore but It might be a good way to get back into it

    A few things to consider:

    1) bank and cash

    - Euros are accepted everywhere
    - Ask your bank to make sure that your card is good to retrieve euro from ATM cash points
    - Make sure to take a backup situation in case the machine eats your card.
    - Take a good chunk so you don't have to regularly use your card and incur international fees.
    - In places where Credit Card works, def use it. It means you got cash for anything that might come up and need a decent sum.

    2) travel
    - Italian roads are notorious for getting crazier as you get more south. I've travelled around the amalfi coast and the little mopeds are the most dangerous thing, not cars.
    - In the south, it is notorious that some people get into car accidents to claim cash so be careful driving, no need to think you are a speed king.
    - There are a few tolls so make sure to have some cash when travelling by car.
    - GPS: get either the maps for Italy or a GPS there, they cost round 100-150 euros. You don't need to fanciest, just get a decent one. Don't forget to hide it every time you stop, you never know someone could smash your window and steal it.

    3) Communication

    - If you have an Iphone or a phone with SIM card, make sure it's unlocked and useable abroad. You can then get a top up pay&go from TIM or any other operator that deals there.
    - Failing that, just get a crap little phone and use it just for call and text.

    4) Staying

    - Hotels are plenty but look at websites like hotel.com or lastminute.com, just make sure you print a confirmation of your booking as sometime the booking might not make it to the smaller places. You will have a proof of your booking and can take it from there.
    - Usually the star rating system is a bit lower than in the states. a 4 star hotel will actually only be like a 3 star hotel so keep that in mind.

    5) Places to visit

    - Pompeii
    - Amalfi coast has too many places but I loved all the places I stayed at. Hopefully the weather will be on your side
    - Stay as little as you can in Milan. It's horrible and it's just plain ugly, except for the few good touristic sites.
    - Lake Cuomo and take the funicular to the top.

    6)food

    Dinner can get expensive very quickly so don't dine out all the time unless you have the cash. Find places for lunch that do quick bites and have a nice dinner. Sometimes, a sandwich made fresh is a better option.

     

    Hopefully some people can give better insight as these are mainly general travel tips.

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    • #4
      Hey man, I'm from Italy, from Napoli and really close to Pompei, Amalfi and Sorrento. It's
      Really late and I'm going to sleep, but tomorrow I'll answer all your questions!
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      • placebo62
        placebo62 commented
        Editing a comment

        Go to Positano, one of my favourite places ever.

        I wouldnt bother with the Cinque Terra if you were entertaining that. Rome and Florence are great too.


    • #5

      Italy, beautiful country, lovely and lively people, great food
      2 weeks, hmmm, you'll have to make choices

      from Venice, I'd stay 1-2 days and head to Florence (interesting if into renaissance), Pisa nearby
      but most of all, you will be driving through Tuscany, a beautiful region, Siena, Arezzo, Cortona, San Gimignano and Lucca are smaller cities worth a visit.

      Driving a car into any major city in Italy is a stressful and haunting experience.

      From there I would head down to the Amalfi coast, we stayed in Sorrento a couple of years ago, very touristic place, good location for daytrips, instead of renting a car, you should check out the Circumvesuviana public transport, gets you anywhere for cheap, you need mad skillz to drive a car around the Amalfi Coast and whatever you do, don't drive a rental car into Naples.
      When we were there, we went to Naples a lot, a great town to explore, very friendly folks, it's got a great hectic vibe during the day and a wild vibe at night, great food, great musea, also the contemporary stuff and lots of cool things to see and do, like the Sotteranea

      there's Pompei or Capri, but don't miss Ercolana, you could take the car and explore the Amalfi coast, tourist traps like Positano and such, nice for touristy things, expensive ... also nice, Atrani, Amalfi, Cetara and Paestum.

      there aren't many beaches

      if you do some research and have a rental car, you could visit some of the less touristy things like the Stabian villas (great archeological sites that are a bit off the tourist track)

      learn a bit of italian, the italians really appreciate it when you at least try to communicate in italian, most people also understand a little bit of english, most of the young folks are fluent in english.

      have fun ! plan ahead, 2 weeks will fly by in no time

      especially if you also want to do Rome (you need at least 3-4 days)

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      • #6

        I've been to Italy a few times, including the areas that have been discussed here. On one trip we flew to Rome, then drover down and stayed at Vico, round the bay between Napoli and Sorrento, before driving back & staying in Rome for a few days.

        View from Vico.
        View from Vico


        I have very mixed feelings about the area as a tourist. Much of the area is beautiful, but it is busy and crowded. Trying to drive into Sorrento was difficult because of endless traffic jams. Parking is also extremely awkward - make sure you have a large supply of 1 euro coins, because everywhere you go they will be needed, and no-one will give you coins because they need them too. I'm serious.

        Positano is beautiful, and worth 1/2 a day at least. The coast road between Sorrento as Positano is twisty but will give breathtaking views.

        Positano
        Positano

        Positano 2


        Pompei and Herculaneum (Ercolano) are absolutely recommended, and Pompei needs at least a full day to visit.

        Pompei 1

        Pompei 2

        Rome is also fantastic, and compared to the area around Napoli, was relatively relaxing. It's just a couple of hours drive between if you use the motorway. Be prepared to leave the car somewhere and walk/use buses to get around.

        We have also stayed in Florence (Firenze) and Siena. Florence we loved, because it's a beautiful city, full of light and fascinating art. Siena is very dark, with the feeling that there's still some medieval unpleasantness lurking under the surface. Some of the buildings, like the old hospital, go down through many levels, and you may well find reliquaries containing bones or even whole mummified bodies in odd places.

        Since you're driving, try to drop in on St Giminagno, which lies between Siena and Pisa. Good for an afternoon, it's another wonderfully sunny and interesting Italian city/town on a hill.

        HTH - have a great time.

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