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Italy off the beaten path September 2020

Italy off the beaten path September 2020

Old Jan 2, 20, 1:15 pm
  #1  
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Location: North Sentinel Island
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Italy off the beaten path September 2020

Hey FT friends and Happy New Years.

I am planning a trip to Italy in September. I've been to Italy before and have seen the major sights already - Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice - and don't really care to repeat them. The trip will start in Praiano for a wedding and end in Barcelona as that's where I found the cheapest return flight (posted in the good flight deals thread). The dates in between are wide open, and that's where I am asking for assistance. My personal interests are related to food, wine, and pretty sights if that helps with recommendations; I know Italy has all of those in abundance. Not into hiking more than a day trip (no overnighting in the wilderness for me). One additional consideration would be spending weekend nights somewhere with good nightlife. Would like to stay at least some of the time on Marriott points but this is not a dealbreaker, I am also open to AirBnb and local hotels. Lastly, I plan on traveling by train. Here are what the dates look like:

9/3 Depart ORD
9/4 Arrive FCO; FCO-Naples-Praiano
9/5 Praiano
9/6 Praiano
9/7
9/8
9/9
9/10
9/11
9/12
9/13
9/14
9/15
9/16
9/17 Barcelona
9/18 Barcelona
9/19 Barcelona
9/20 BCN-ORD

Some initial thoughts would be to do Naples/Vesuvio, Cinque Terre, and Nice (with a day trip to Monaco) along the way to Barcelona but I am not committed to anything at this point - hence the ask for places I may not know about at this point!
rdurlabhji is offline  
Old Jan 2, 20, 6:35 pm
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Puglia is a beautiful part of Italy with good food and wine and a little less crazy than other parts. A week between Bari and Brindisi would be good.

For a different take on the Amalfi Coast head into the hills above the coast. There is a great half day walk from Bomerano to Nocelle (obviously not good with luggage). It's called the way of the Gods and it has some of the best views I've seen in Italy and far from the crows of Positano etc. Nocelle is a pretty little village with a few places to stay and a couple of nice restaurants. Then a local bus will take you down the hill to Positano.

If you haven't visited Sicily, the history there is well worth a week.

I loved the food and wine of Friuli, East of Udine. A car would be a bonus (except when tasting wine). Lush green country bordering Slovenia, not to hard to reach from Venezia.
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sydunipete is online now  
Old Jan 3, 20, 4:33 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7
I am also planning a trip to Italy and there are some cities that are on my itinerary: Rome, Tivoli, Vieste, Alberobello, Matera, Paestum, Salerno, Ravello, Amalfi, hike the path of the gods, Positano, Sorrento, Capri and Ischi. Pompei, Vesuvius Herculaneum, Naples
bebegirl is offline  
Old Jan 5, 20, 3:37 pm
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Join Date: May 2019
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If you're only thinking of using the trains and you want something off the beaten path I'd chalk off Tuscany or Le Langhe. I adore both regions, but they need to be driven/cycled through.

Puglia is a good choice: fairly close to Napoli/Praiano and with some marvellous cities with decent rail connection. Lecce, Bari and Brindisi are all worth a visit.

Another suggestion I'd make that isn't on the usual 'trail' is Perugia (though I'm genuinely at a loss on whether they finally got a Frecciarossa service or not) Matera is too an interesting place without much tourism (yet).

Two final suggestions that I'm making with absolute and complete disregard for geography: Trento and Trieste. They are as far from the stereotype of Italy as it gets and both worth checking out. I'd include Bolzano/Bozen too but it's really a shame not to be going there for a hike.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 9:54 pm
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Originally Posted by 13901 View Post
...{snip}...Another suggestion I'd make that isn't on the usual 'trail' is Perugia (though I'm genuinely at a loss on whether they finally got a Frecciarossa service or not)...{snip}....
There is one (one, as in 1!!!) per day, leaving at 5:30 and arriving at Milano Rogoredo at 8:50. If one wants to get to the main station, add another 20 minutes plus a local train (price not included). Alternatively, you can change onto the next available Freccia at Firenze directly to Milano Centrale, but the price is much higher. I have linked here to an article at Perugia Today (in Italian, sorry!) describing the situation. As a further alternative, one can obviously take a bus or a "normal" train to Firenze at any time and then, again, change on the Freccia (the way people used to, and still do it): Yes, half of the trip is in an old train, but who wants to take a train at 5:30 am?
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KLouis is offline  
Old Jan 6, 20, 10:58 pm
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Thanks for all the information. I am not averse or unable to renting a car for a portion of the trip, I just wasn't originally planning to. But if there is more to see, then I am willing.
rdurlabhji is offline  
Old Jan 8, 20, 7:03 am
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As you have 9 free days, I would suggest you to explore a maximum of 2 portions of the country.
You have received some good advices and, as a general suggestion, a car would be advisable in every region, while you move from one region to another one by train of plane.

Puglia is a fantastic place to even spend the whole period, travelling north to south from Gargano (province of Foggia) to Salento (extreme south of Puglia): Bari, Brindisi, the baroque city of Lecce, the seaside, vineyards, a daytrip to Matera: everything is feasable in 9 days.
The same applies to Sicily, you can take the night ferry from Napoli to Palermo, visit the region (or part of, it's up to you) and fly to BCN from PMO or CTA.

If you wish to split in two portions, I'd recommend Umbria and Liguria (flying GOA/PSA-BCN at the end) or the northeast (Friuli and Trentino/Sudtirol), flying to BCN from VCE/TSF/BLQ. Langhe is very nice as well, expecially in September, with Torino deserving a 2-3days visit.
I.CRIS is offline  
Old Jan 9, 20, 4:28 am
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Agreed. Matera is very interesting. Rather overpriced, but quite unique and accessible by train if you don't have a car. The Salento area has some fantastic food - anything "cucina povera" will be simple yet full of flavour. Trattoria La Brasciola in Brindisi, with handwritten menus is a delight.
sydunipete is online now  
Old Jan 9, 20, 8:37 am
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Heraklion, Greece
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I once stayed in Brindisi for 4 days, many, many years ago, due to a big engine problem with my car (coming by ferry from Patras). The only interesting thing you could do in town back then was watching the fishing boats coming back into the harbour in the afternoon and, in the morning, watching the smugglers' boats being readied to go out for their cigarette runs. What was worse than that was, even more years back (70s), coming to Brindisi one day early (mea culpa) to take the ferry to Greece and spending 36 hours there on a rainy December day...
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