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Must-see sights in Italy?

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

  1. BamaMike

    BamaMike Well-Known Member

    Evening all,

    Heading to Italy in late August and will be day-tripping to various places so I'm looking for some insight in to good potential spots for the camera.

    We'll be staying in Rome for 10 days but heading off on the train for a day trip to each of the following; Milan, Pisa, Genoa, Florence, Venice and Naples.
  2. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    There are a vast number of spots in Italy. I've been to Rome, Florence, Pisa and Venice out of your list. In Rome there are far too many to list but I would suggest The Roman Forum, The Monument to Vittorio Emmanuele, the Pantheon, Castel St Angelo. I didn't spend a lot of time in Pisa and as far as I know there isn't much beyond the leaning tower and the buildings in that are. For Florence there is the Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi gallery, the Galleria del Academia (where the statue of David is), the Boboli Gardens, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. I would suggest that you just wander around; there are plenty of interesting sights and things to photograph.
    BamaMike likes this.
  3. BamaMike

    BamaMike Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Nik!

    Yes will definitely be having a wander. I'm more of a sights than sun holiday kinda person so will be making the most of my time in each place trying to see as much as possible.
  4. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Slovenia. South of France. Switzerland. Malta.

    Oh... sorry... you're not driving. Won't matter so much in that case. But DO NOT get behind the wheel of a car in Italy.


    BamaMike likes this.
  5. BamaMike

    BamaMike Well-Known Member

    Switzerland and France are on my list. I'd like to go to two places next year which will likely be Germany and France. Switzerland would be great too but perhaps in 2020 :)
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Geography is not my strong point but a day trip from, say, Rome to Milan by train seems a bit ambitious!

    The old town in Rome is wonderful once you figured your way around. I used to go on business but it has been a while. I remember you had to be a bit cautious of aggressive begging in the tourist spots and not to sit at the outermost outside tables at restaurants, best to be closer to the restaurant door than to the road. It's one of the few places I would like to go to on holiday.

    Coming from Chester, with its Roman tradition and the shiny Roman soldiers laid on for the tourists, I recall that their Roman equivalents looked much more like the real thing - not shiny at all.

    Have great fun!
    BamaMike likes this.
  7. BamaMike

    BamaMike Well-Known Member

    Thanks Pete! Yeah it's 3-3.5 hours each way but it'll be a case of leaving early and getting home late :)
  8. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    If it's just a case of getting from A to B then why not fly? Last minute flights can be got cheaply. If I recall the train journey, I just remember many many tunnels!

    In my day a few years ago, the fun thing was to jump on a bus or local stopping at all points train to, well, anywhere! We found some great parts of Italy that way - and the people, food and wine too.
    Great as the cities are, the countryside, towns and villages were a delight.
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    You need a strong masochistic streak to want to fly in and out of Rome/Milan airports especially a day trip! When I was going back and forwards Brussels to Rome there was hardly any point to wait for the luggage carousel back in Brussels - the bag would be lost for a few days - guaranteed.
  10. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

  11. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    If you are going to base yourself in Rome and travel out to the other cities then the train is a great idea. Highspeed is really good and as parking in the cities is a nightmare you should let the train take the strain (I'm sure Ive heard that before) From your list Florence and Naples are the unmissables for me although I haven't been to Venice yet. Overall though I think Italy is just such a wonderful place.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
    BamaMike likes this.
  12. BamaMike

    BamaMike Well-Known Member

    We'll be travelling via train. Flying would likely be too expensive and going via train will probably be more relaxing.

    I'm trying to keep costs down as much as reasonably possible so I can look at getting myself a better lens for wildlife later this year.
  13. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I've been to both Florence and Venice during 1998 - 2010. In both cities, try to stay a central as possible, and go out very early in the morning with your camera. Also, check all restaurant bills very carefully, particularly in Florence. My wife and I were twice given bills with extra main courses on them, and when the 'error' was noticed the staff pretended to be surprised. Perhaps tourists in London get treated like this too.

    The cities may be grim in August - if you can, try to get to some of the smaller towns and try the small family-run restaurants you'll find there. In these small restaurants, an attempt to use a few words of the language (however bad) will be appreciated. Consider if you can afford to hire a small car for 2 or 3 days so that you can visit the smaller towns in Tuscany. If so, try the Latte di Luna restaurant in Pienza and ask for their roast suckling pig. The views from Pienza are wonderful too.

    I know that Roger (above) advises against driving in Italy, but I would suggest this applies mostly to be cities (I would make the same suggestion to a visitor to the UK). The smaller towns and countryside are best explored by car: but I always went in April/May or October,
    so August may be much busier everywhere.
    BamaMike likes this.
  14. BamaMike

    BamaMike Well-Known Member

    Wonderful, thanks!

    As it stands there may be a spare day to venture further afield by car from Rome.
  15. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I forgot to mention Siena - the tower in the Campo was open at 9.30 am last time I was there, with a restriction of 30 people in the tower at any time. I got there before the school parties (abandon all hope if you arrive after them). There are over 500 steps to the top, and a further ladder to go to the highest point. Attached is a scan from a Kodacrome transparency taken in 1996, using a Vivitar 19mm lens on a Pentax MX and leaning over a handrail just under the bell at the top of the tower.

    Invest in a decent guide book or look online - my comments about opening times are over 20 years out of date, but I assume the restrictions on numbers still apply. Siena in particular has lots of wonderful things to see within a few minutes walk of the Campo, and last time I was there a massive underground car park had been build inside a hill as you approach the city from the south. Arrive early: even in May or October it gets very busy, so I assume that August could be much worse. 1999.06 SIENA 1000.jpg

    The same comments about steps and school parties apply if you visit the cathedral in Florence and want to climp up the steps inside the roof to get to the highest point.

    My wife always used to moan about my obsession about climbing towers to see the view... I'm not sure I could get to the top of the tower in Siena now.

    Don't forget to put some of your best images in the AP gallery when you get back.
    Andrew Flannigan and BamaMike like this.
  16. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I loved Naples. I had the benefit of knowing someone who'd lived there for two years who took me around Pompeii and also dragged me on a boat to Ischia for the day where we sampled the volcanic spas. But really, you could spend hours just wandering around streets soaking up atmosphere. I didn't do any other tourist stuff so can't comment on things like the Fontanelle cemetery but can highly recommend proper Neapolitan pizza under lemon trees, campari overlooking the bay and coffee almost anywhere. If you're lucky enough to arrive on a market day they even have people selling highly concentrated espresso from little carts that they walk up and down the middle of the aisles. Wonderful!
    Catriona likes this.
  17. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I still remember the delight of roaming the hills above Pietrasanta and a bus trip to Luni (Liguria) and the magic of walking around the Roman site, on our own, with no-one else there. Magical. Other train and bus trips led to us finding out of the way places, cafes, wines and olives to die for and gentle, kind people.
    Much as I loved places like Florence and Rome - and crazy Naples!! I did love the hills and countryside more.
    Mark101 likes this.
  18. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    I would add that if you travel by train/bus in Italy, make sure you validate your ticket prior to getting on (likewise the water buses in Venice). If you don't and get caught by the frequent checks you can face a hefty fine.
  19. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    Yep, we forgot to 'ding' our tickets on the train from Venice to Rome. The conductor was going to charge us 80 Euro but we managed to talk her down to 20 by pleading ignorance.
    Mark101 likes this.
  20. Mark101

    Mark101 Well-Known Member

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