Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm A Researchin' Fool


It looks like this is going to be the year we go to Italy.

My cousin Ro and her boyfriend Brian are planning a trip there in October, to celebrate Brian's 50th (his birthday was in April). They've carved time out of their schedules to plan ten days in Italy and have extended the invite to anyone who's interested in going.

Ed and I think it might just be in the cards; so much so, that I've been helping Ro with researching which areas we'd be interested in seeing. First on the list is Fano, a town in Le Marche (the calf of the boot), where her mother has family. That part of the trip is a definite. It's the rest that's overwhelming!!

We really want to do a trip that's a little unconventional in a sense; no tour busses, no itineraries that can't be veered from, no standing in line. I'm not so much interested in the real "touristy" spots and since they've been to many of those places before, we're trying to plan something that allows us to visit more of the "real" Italy, so to speak. The small towns and villages that many people don't get to see or drive through (in additon to the ones that do see a lot of tourist traffic).

So far, these are the three regions we'd like to explore (we will just pick one of these to do in addition to Fano) and the towns within those areas:

Toscana
San Gimignano
Florence
Lucca
Pisa
Siena
Cortona (of Under The Tuscan Sun fame)
Montepulciano
Chianti region
Pienza & Val D’Orcia

Umbria
Perugia
Orvieto
Civita di Bagnoregio (this town looks pretty amazing - check out
this NY Times article from 2004)
Spello
Assisi
Trevi
Spoleto

Campania
Naples (the birthplace of pizza!!)
Pompeii
Capri
Sorrento
Positano
Salerno
Amalfi

If we do the Southern part of Italy, I'd really like to make a trip to Badolato in Calabria to visit
Michelle. After reading her blog for so many years, I'd love to finally make a trip to her 700-year old village.

Obviously, we can't do everything and we have to cater to the desires of several people so we're trying to piece together something that'll be acceptable for everyone. Ed has indicated that we can stay longer than the ten days and do some of the major attractions on our own.

As for where we'll stay, I'm looking into some options that aren't regular 'ol hotels. Check these out:

The
Olive Garden cooking school; yes, it really does exist!

This
fabulous place in the Marche region.

A
castle in Umbria!

This
fantastic palazzo in Badolato, Calabria.

And
THIS spectacular place on the Amalfi Coast. Oh my God, I think this one is my favorite!

I know I have a lot of readers from all over, so if any of you have any must see suggestions, please let me know! I'm already drowning in information, what's another drop or two?


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
The Closest I’ll Ever Come
2 YEARS AGO:
Who Is He Kidding?
3 YEARS AGO:
The Captain Of My Vessel
4 YEARS AGO:
Baking Is Fun!
5 YEARS AGO:
Sticks And Stones

6 comments:

Evil Pixie said...

Jealous. I'm totally, friggin' jealous.

all things bradbury said...

this would be a fantastic adventure.....and i agree with ed about staying longer because i don't think you could even get a start in just ten days.....gawd, i wanna go too!!!!...

paul from the clue-by-four said...

Michelle's latest post reminded me of San Stefano di Sessanio, in Abruzzo (which is not far from my grandfather's hometown. It's a restored village, an 'albergo diffuso' where you stay in the individual homes rather than in a hotel.

A bit off the track which you're beating, but it's between north and south, so you have to get there somehow….

Buon viaggio!

CRAIG and DIANE said...

We too are counting down the time until my retirement kicks in and we can take off for a couple of months and just absorb life in different countries. I've had this website in my favorites for some time. You might want to check it out as a way to stay with the locals.

http://www.untours.com/

Anonymous said...

Is this your first trip to Italy?
I think your planned tour is a really good start!
My suggestion is: stay longer if you can, rent a car through Toscana, Umbria, Marche and maybe contac a tour operator than can guide you through Campania.
What about a visit to Rome? I live here but I'm from Sardinia an incredibly beautiful island (if it's your first trip to Italy I see it's not a major attraction!!)

ANNA

Unknown said...

I know this is an old post, but I just have to say how much I love Italy. I've been twice and pretty much want to go back on a daily basis. Reading this post made me homesick for what feels like my second home!

P.S. I absolutely love your blog. I found it through Bleeding Espresso and I am so glad I did!