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Venice, Florence...Where else is good? anyone been to Lake Como or Cinque Terre?
Their trains are such good value!
Beautiful scenery, lots of history, one whopping volcano.
Pompeii is pretty awesome, so is going up Mt Vesuvius, it's not too expensive either.
and it looks like restoration/conservation work has only improved it since I was there a few years back:
Preferred it to Pompeii. Ostia is sweet too.
It's all quite near the Amalfi Coast.
Sienna near Florence is lovely too if you're up that way.
but the surrounding areas are beautiful. Sorrento is a lovely little town, although becoming a bit too commercial for tourists.
Go Umbria, although this is just a geographical JAG.
Also like to point out i climbed vesuvius with the single worst hangover of my life, possibly anyone's in existence.
A couple of specific reccomendations:
In Florence, go to the Bargello, their sculpture gallery. Barely anyone does, and it's amazing. Obviously the Uffizi and Academia are great, but trust me, go to the Bargello too. For food, go to Gusta Pizza on Via Maggio, five mins south of the Ponte Vecchio, it's proper, authentic, and ridiculously cheap, no tourists, just all the exchange students who've realised how amazing it is. And for drinks, go to the Art Bar on Via del Moro for an amazing cocktail experience.
In Venice, try and get out to a tour of the San Lazzaro Armenian monastery, I think they only happen once a week but it's really worth it.
I love Italy.
and tickets were 25 Euros for men (that's me) and 5 Euros for under 16s and all women. I treated her. Great food and piazzas for sitting in.
[flips open notepad] [raises eyebrow]
what about the Alps?
Are they rubbish?
It's just like my fairy godmother said.
There's a little self contained flat in the farmhouse, you can cook in it. The owners picked us up from the station. We were attacked by hornets. Those Italian trains are indeed superbly cheap, this place would be great for a night or two if you're going to Florence.
with advertising and commercialism everywhere taking away any charm went I went. Doubt I'd go back.
As someone born in Florence with Neopolitan parents I would say the North is great but you can't beat the rural, untouched beauty of the south. The people are much friendlier and the food is ten times better then you'll get in any major northern city as a lot of the restaurants are just tourist traps.
Check out Lecce, taranto, Salento, Naples, Bari..the whole amalfi coast area
In the north Bologna, Torino, Siena and perugia are well worth going to
unless you're going to the biennale which is also hit and miss it's just REALLY touristy, expensive and busy.
ain't been anywhere else, so those are my two pennies
I think I might try and go to Italy again soonish. I've also been playing Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, so I've got a pretty good idea of how to climb the Pantheon in Rome.
it was nice. Came at the end of a month of inter-railing from city to city, so it was great to just be sat on a beach doing nothing for a few days.
And you can't knock the history and the art. But it's so touristy and so crammed. If you're going to Venice in the summer, try and get out into the more northern districts of the place, they're just as charming and less busy.
Aside from that, I really love the north-east, lovely little towns like Belluno and areas like the Julian Alps.
Milan's a bit crap, and Turin is just industrial hell. Never been to the south, but the Amalfi coast and Sorrento and that sounds wonderful.
but obviously its unique
pisa is suprisingly lovely
Didn't think much of it.
Really want to go to Verona:
1) To watch an opera here: http://selectitaly.com/theater.php?product_id=5
2. It's pretty close to a massive lake which I'd guess isn't as expensive or busy as Como? But I dunno.
However, while in Milan did do a trip to Como and went up the mountainside on a cable car to a tiny village called Brunate overlooking the lake. It's now my life dream to move there. Spectacular views.
and don't mind the occasional dead cat in the street
because I'm going there this weekend and have planned nothing AS USUAL
You could spend at least a week there and not get bored. I know I did.
I'm there for a few days. Anything you recommended?
666 porticoes lead up to it. Santo Stefano church is well worth a visit. Just wander around via Zamboni which is where the University is based for lots of bars / cafes etc. Make sure you wander around the old market area in the centre too. It's donkeys years old. Go up the Torre Asinelli for amazing views. It's well precipitous (and leaning). And if they're at home, go and see Bologna play. When I was there they beat Modena 2-0!
...in addition to the stuff mentioned above, I had an excellent meal here: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187801-d1058464-Reviews-Osteria_Il_Rovescio-Bologna_Emilia_Romagna.html
There are loads of cool bars on Via del Pratello populated by students and the like, definitely hang around there. Also go and check out the Tambourini deli. Err. The cathedral is more interesting than the basilica, if you're at all fussed about either. If you have time for a day trip, we went to Ferrara which is a world heritage site. It cost about £8 each on the train, return. Well worth doing. Verona is doable as well as a day trip, as are Modena/Parma/Rimini (although the latter might be chilly).
Basically, Bologna is cool, you'll enjoy it.
but maybe it won't be very busy at this time of year. If you have any spare time to explore elsewhere, I highly recommend Lucca, awesome little town.
and by touristy i really just meant busy.
BE WARNED though (this is mainly aimed at the Scots). If for whatever reason you find it amusing that the Tuscans have Tennent's lager on their menus, do NOT be tempted to try it. It is actually Tennent's Super. The Tuscans are mad for it. It is 9% and should not be drunk in 35 degree heat on an empty stomach, when you have a long coach journey ahead of you :'''D
The stuff is barely drinkable.
but apart from that, its lovely. just walk around and drink in cafes on sqaures. you know, continental style. theres nothing there that i remember HAVING to go to, we just eat and drank our way through the weekend. fantastic.
If you aren't pregnant, scared of heights, or of weak heart then I'd really recommend climbing to the top of the Duomo. Might be a bit windy this time of year but when I went up on a clear day in June the view was amazing.
The Synagogue was very nice. The guides there are very knowledgeable and we spent about half an hour talking to a woman who seemed to be the in-house researcher. It's a lovely building as well.
It's worth heading into Oltrano to see The Wooden Crucifix in Santo Spirito. Didn't actually know it was in there so it caught me completely by surprise. It's in a small side room with light pouring onto it through small windows above. Quite amazing.
I went to a place that was really nice. I can't remember where it was, though. HTH x
I went on a watersports holiday there. It was ace apart from being swept out to sea and then swept into some rocks.
i DON'T CARE THAT IT'S OVERCRODED AND STINKY. IT'S AMAZING. (woops caps).
If you like opera, then you have not lived until you've heard it done in this small 15th century palazzo- http://www.musicapalazzo.com/
It's been a bit taken over by WAGs and the like in recent years and is a bit like the Puerto Jose Banus of Italy now. Still worth a trip if you're in the Santa Margarita area.
Camogli is well worth a few hours of your time.
If you carry on up the coast Genoa is a great city.
I've been to Bergamo a few times in recent years, mainly to see the mighty Atalanta. The Citta Alta is rather lovely.
In the North East, Mantova, Verona and Vicenza are all great.
Down South in the Salentine Peninsula Lecce is highly recommended.
Oh right, whatever, fix!
blah I did this I did that I discovered a wonderful little trattoria in naples.
Shut up everyone.