1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Must-see sights in Italy?

Discussion in 'Photographic Locations' started by BamaMike, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I know San Gimigano very well, having spent 13 or 14 weeks there at the Hotel La Cisterna during the years 1998-2008 - but always in April/May or October. Even at that time of year it can be coach party hell between mid-morning and late afternoon, which is why I did not suggest it for an August visit. Once, I was there over Christmas, and recall having a coffee in a cafe on Christmas morning: the cafe was open until Mass at noon.

    There is one tower, part of a museum, that can be climbed. This what you will see if you lean over the guard rail and use a Sigma 10-20mm lens at its widest setting. Try not to be there when the bell at the top of the tower rings the hour at 11 am or noon...

    If you go in August, I would suggest arriving soon after dawn and leaving mid-morning.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Volterra not a million miles from there is also worth a visit. I personally love Siena. We've been there several times, including once to watch the Palio di Siena in August. That was very good.
     
  3. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

  4. Mark101

    Mark101 Well-Known Member

  5. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Yes I recall them not being that cheap, but as I recall non of the decent ice creams in Italy were cheap.
     
  6. Mark101

    Mark101 Well-Known Member

    Well I got part way up the open staircase and I started to get unsteady on my feet, pausing I made the wise decision to head back down. I never was good at heights.

    I stayed at a very nice organic farm just a handful of km from San Gimigano, which overlooked the town, the scene from the farm/b&b was amazing. When in Florence we stayed at a hotel around the corner from the Central Markets. There is some very good and reasonably priced eating to be had upstairs in the food court.
    https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attra...eviews-Mercato_Centrale-Florence_Tuscany.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  7. singingsnapper

    singingsnapper Well-Known Member

    Whyever not? I hired a car a year or two back. Didn't find the Autostrada any worse than a UK motorway - though I wouldn't drive in Rome, most other cities are far easier. Though you do have to research the cities to make sure you don't enter a traffic free zone as the fines are automatic and heavy.
     
  8. singingsnapper

    singingsnapper Well-Known Member

    I made this mistake on a train from Bologna to Rimini in 2000 when I spent a few months learning Italian in a summer school. I got away with no fine. A fellow passenger pointed at me saying "Lui - Inglesi" (He's English). The conductor rolled his eyes tore my ticket and proceeded further down the train.
     
  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    The first time I ever visited Italy, on a motorcycle, we'd been in the country for 45 minutes when we were rear-ended when waiting at a red light at road works. Frances was thrown over my head, over the handlebars, and couldn't walk for three days. The dozy young woman who had slammed into me very kindly wrote on the accident report form, "I came around the corner too fast and was unable t0 stop in time." The second time, we were in a Land Rover. I stopped in an hotel car park, one parking-space from the hedge. A young cretin shot through the space available (there was plenty of room on the other side). A second later, Frances would have lost her leg as he took off the passenger door. The third time -- Land Rover again -- we were with our daughter. As we entered Italy, I said, "Italians are the worst drivers in the world." A second or two later I had to brake hard to avoid hitting someone on a motorcycle who just didn't slow down at the very first roundabout we encountered. A few kilometres down the road his 'bike was spread across the road in pieces. I forget which trip it was when we went through maybe half a dozen countries and didn't see a single accident -- except in Italy, where we saw five (if you count the aftermath, such as "accident" signs, blocked traffic and air ambulances).

    As I say, I've driven cars and ridden motorcycles in many countries famed for their poor driving, including Mexico, Greece, India and more, and NO-ONE comes close to Italy for sheer incompetence and macho idiocy. The above are only some of the stories. I no longer go there unless I HAVE to cross Italy in order to go somewhere else. Middle-aged and old men drive like teenagers: teenagers drive like toddlers. Anecdote? Yes. But consistent.And my late father reported similar stories.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  10. singingsnapper

    singingsnapper Well-Known Member

    I can certainly understand your position.
     
  11. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I drove small hire cars in Italy for one or two weeks every year between 1996 and 2010. The only incident I had was returning to a car park in Montalcino and finding a big dent in the side of the car. Fortunately I had paid extra to insure the rental company's standard 2 million lire excess (about £600 then). But I did not go into the large cities in the car, which is the same advice I have offered visitors to this country.
    I saw the same idiots on the autostrada in (usually) big black German cars, and the same grandads doing 50 kph in the fast lane, as I see in the UK. On a very quiet road near Pienza we were once waved down by two armed carabinieri and asked to prove the car was ours (the rental paperwork and passports sufficed) - they were looking for stolen rental cars.

    Also, I found that some roads were much quiter than expected. I once drove from the mainland near Venice (after a week in the city without a car) to Tuscany. At noon on a Saturday in October the southbound motorway around Bologna was virtually empty. At that time the motorways aroung Birmingham or Manchester would be as busy as they always are.

    I suspect that if Roger drove his Land Rover in the big cities in the UK today he would find that they are just as bad as those in Italy. I live in a rural area over 100 miles west of London, and still see people driving whilst using handheld 'devices' or putting on seatbelts. Around here, young drivers still manage to drive into trees, with no others cars involved. No doubt the trees don't pay enough attention to the road...
     
  12. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Chester,

    Nope. Besides, these incidents weren't in big cities. In fact, I've never driven in big cities in Italy (though I have ridden motorcycles in India, and driven cars in London, Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow). If big cities in Italy are worse than the open road, and worse than small Italian cities, they must be truly terrifying.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  13. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Think I've posted this before, but as they say, "There's no smoke without fire"

     
  14. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    This video comes up as a link at the end of the Italian driving one...

     
  15. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    And that is what a world without health and safety legislation looks like.
     
  16. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    A more relaxing image of motoring in Italy: I found this pair hidden away in Montichiello (near Pienza) in October 1995.
    I suspect there are far fewer Topolinos about today, but the Ape three-wheelers will probably be around forever. There are few more relaxing driving experiences than following an Ape piled high with bags of grapes and it struggles up a hill at walking speed... in those days anybody could 'drive' an Ape on minor roads without passing a driving test, so it was best not to get too close.

    This is from a scanned Kodachrome 200ASA transparency, and I have still have a 12"x15" Cibachrome print on my wall.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page