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Advice for 10 days in Italy in September, with some beach

London
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Advice for 10 days in Italy in September, with some beach

We're a couple, c.30 years old and looking to spend 10 days in Italy in mid-September this year.

It's our first time apart from a long weekend in Milan.

We like history, art, wine and good food (hence Italy!) but don't really know where to start and it feels like we've left it quite late to arrange something.

Thoughts so far:

- Planning to rent an apartment or very small house (any good links welcomed)

- We will rent a car

- We'd like punctuate exploring with days at the beach (probably 3 days in total)

- We'd like to do visit a vineyard or two and explore some historically/artistically interesting sights but not worried about ticking the big attractions off

- We prefer places that are more authentic to busy tourist hotspots

- We like to sit outside with a glass of wine and watch the world pass by in the evening

- We would want to be based in one but max. 2 locations

- We like good, authentic Italian food and would be happy to splurge on a couple of nights

The beach is the bit that we are particularly struggling with - would really appreciate some advice on one or two locations that would give us access to these things.

Grateful for any advice or pointers to existing topics (I did have a quick search but nothing obvious appeared).

Thanks.

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Adelaide, Australia
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1. Re: Advice for 10 days in Italy in September, with some beach

Tuscany might suit you, renowned for its wines ie: Chianti, and nearest beach area is Viarregio.

Travelling by train you can visit Lucca, Pisa, Florence and Siena, and with a rental car enjoy the rural wine region of Tuscany.

www.easyjet.com fly London to Pisa

Car rental www.auto-europe.co.uk Route planner www.viamichelin.com

Accommodation www.venere.com

www.discovertuscany.com

www.italia.it/en/home.html

Edited: 09 August 2012, 00:28
Munich, Germany
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2. Re: Advice for 10 days in Italy in September, with some beach

Unfortunately Viareggio to Forte dei Marmi is the most overcommercialised beach area in Italy (the world). The Italians have basically ruined most of their large beach/coastal areas. This area is just 20km of Bagni (Beach emplacements) littered across the beach up to Massa in the North. Its over commercialisation is only matched by the Rimini-Riccione-Cattolica stretch on the east coast.

Just look at Googlemaps and you will see.

Unfortunately this is a recurring theme to a greater or lesser extent across much of Italy depending where you go.

September is just at the end of the season and some places start to shut down already by mid September.

Depends whether you want to be in the countryside with access to the coast or on the coast itself.

In this area you might like Santa Margherita Ligure

Further south (near Naples) consider Ischia - perhaps the town of Forio

Dependng on who you fly with perhaps you could fly into somewhere like Milan and home from Naples

Not by the sea but Lake Garda can be nice that time of year. Many of the hordes are gone. Nice small lakeside towns (Lazise a personal favourite). Numerous restaurants and shopping. Towns like Lazise and Bardolino mostly pedestrianised with little alleyways and shops. and restaurants. Evening just about having a nice meal, people watching and having an ice-cream

Verona is a short drive or even get a local bus.

Various historic sights and Gardens around the lake including the Roman Villa in Sirmione. Malcesine has it's own cable car up Monte Baldo

www.funiviedelbaldo.it/index.php?lang=en

Peschiera del Garda at the south end is on the Milan-Venice Intercity line. You can get a Regional train to Venice in only 2hrs (€9.50 single)

Valpolicella region is just inland. The Region just north of Bussolengo

Lake Garda is popular with northern Europeans - especially the Germans so maybe you might feel for you not "authentic" Italian - but what is- all the Regions are different. Tuscany isn't Lazio isn't Puglia isn't Piedmont isn't Aosta et al

"Süd Tirol" in northern Italy (area North of Bolzano) used to belong to the Austro-Hungaro Empire. Major language is German not Italian (both are offical languages for the area) and every town has both German and Italian names.

Just depends what you want.

London
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3. Re: Advice for 10 days in Italy in September, with some beach

Thanks for the responses - really helpful given I appreciate my question(s) are quite broad at the moment.

Took a look at Viarregio and Santa Margherita Ligure and the latter definitely looks more our kind of place - so, more like that please!

Giftzwerg - I think we'd be happy being inland and having a drive out to the beach but wouldn't want that drive to fall the other side of an hour - preferably 30mins or so. Alternatively, we could do two destinations - one Tuscany and one Santa Margherita Ligure. Any recommendations on good bases in Tuscany?

What's the difference in experience between staying in the Tuscany/Italian Riviera area vs. Amalfi coast?

Are there any beaches on the Amalfi coast or is it mainly cliffs? I'm wondering if the Amalfi would remain 'open' for longer than the North, given it likely has a warmer climate – would that be true?

Thanks again.

Medford, Oregon
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4. Re: Advice for 10 days in Italy in September, with some beach

You should consider your beach location on the Ligurian coast. This is north of Tuscany. We stayed for 4 nights in Lerici and really enjoyed it. There was a beach right across from our hotel, but we also drove up to a private beach, Eco de mare. It cost money, but was much less crowded. While we stayed in Lerici we visited Portovenere and a few of the Cinque Terre villages and also visited the marble caves - which were fascinating; especially after reading The Agony and The Ecstasy.

Here is a link to my trip report from our time in Lerici along with pictures:

fromhometoroam.com/2012/…

London
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5. Re: Advice for 10 days in Italy in September, with some beach

Judy - great report, thanks. What's the evening like in Lerici? We are quite keen to be somewhere that you can sit out in the evening, after dinner, and enjoy a glass of wine What time do things tend to wind down?

Medford, Oregon
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6. Re: Advice for 10 days in Italy in September, with some beach

We were there in July and it was quite busy including in the evening. You could definitely enjoy a glass of wine after dinner. There was always something happening in the main Piazza - musicians, art shows, etc. However, I can't speak to what mid-September would be like. You might consider asking Megan at BellaVitaItalia.com what it would be like in mid-Sept. She is the one we used for the daytrip to Cinque Terre and the fabulous cooking class. She lives in Lerici so would know. She has a spot on her website where you can email her.

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Advice for 10 days in Italy in September, with some beach

Hi Judy, I am in the very early planning stages of our first trip over and just came across your blog, thanks for all that great info. Your photo's are gorgeous!

Medford, Oregon
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8. Re: Advice for 10 days in Italy in September, with some beach

gabbyo - Glad you found it helpful!!

9. Re: Advice for 10 days in Italy in September, with some beach

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