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Author Topic: Italy–Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast plus Florence.  (Read 5772 times)
Schewe
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« on: August 13, 2013, 01:31:56 AM »
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So, I'll have 3 days (yeah, not long) in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast and 3 days in Florence (yeah, not long)...any must do locations? Thinking of a boat trip along the Amalfi Coast and a walking tour in Florence...any restaurant suggestions and or must do things to see? Planning of getting advance tickets to Uffizi Gallery & Museo dell'Opera del Duomo & Gallery of the Academy...

Any advice appreciated greatly...
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Manoli
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 03:01:33 AM »
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...any restaurant suggestions

Florence:

probably the best known:
http://www.enotecapinchiorri.it

but a personal favourite (check out the links to the other restaurants)
http://www.oradariaristorante.com/en/odaprofile_en.html
http://www.oradariaristorante.com/en/odalinks_en.html


.. must do things to see?

how long is a piece of string ? (just kidding). Apart from the many well known galleries etc. suggest you try the market, 'mercato centrale' for a taste of street-life. and look at Palazzo Pitti & Cappello Medicee

http://www.uffizi.firenze.it/en/
http://www.uffizi.firenze.it/en/musei/index.php?m=cappellemedicee
&
http://www.palazzopitti.it/site.php

Not sure when you're thinking of going,(my preferred months are September/ Mid October and March / April) but if you feel like some unbridled aggression you could always try a football (soccer) game in Florence, (Fiorentina, they play in a purple strip) but for a true one-off experience think San Siro, Milan - particularly for a derby.

M
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kevk
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 03:22:17 AM »
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Mmmm Florence - fantastic, you lucky chap! Ditch the rest of the trip and just stay there!

The galleries you already list are great, plus a few memorable things for me: (a) the Basilica of San Lorenzo has the Medici chapels that house Michelangelo's Night & Day and Dawn & Dusk; (2) you can get up to the top of the dome of the Duomo, as well as the bell tower (campanile) with great views over the city from both - and the dome trip takes you past the vast frescoes on the dome ceiling with views down to the mosaic floor; (3) Piazza della Signoria (where the marble copy of David lives) has several great sculptures; (4) Palazzo Vecchio for huge rooms, paintings and sculptures & more views over city; (5) across the river where the bronze copy of David is (Piazzale Michelangelo) has good views of the city; (6) Donatello's famous (and contrasting) version of David is in Museo Nazionale del Bargello.
I've attached a few snapshots of/in the places I mention here to whet your appetite.

Make sure you stay in the old part of the city close to all the good stuff, and try out the odd espresso, pastry and gelato!

Kevin
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francois
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 03:54:59 AM »
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Not sure when you're thinking of going,(my preferred months are September/ Mid October and March / April) but if you feel like some unbridled aggression you could always try a football (soccer) game in Florence, (Fiorentina, they play in a purple strip) but for a true one-off experience think San Siro, Milan - particularly for a derby.

M


I agree with the the September/ October season. Summer is very hot and unpleasant. Soccer game can be an absolute madness and a must-see. The show is not only on the field but also in the fan groups. While the season is over, unfortunately, calcio storico is also interesting.

Florence is not a large city, at least the old, historic city so walking is the best way to visit it. If you're to tired to walk, you can always join a Segway tour.


Not sure when you're thinking of going,(my preferred months are September/ Mid October and March / April) but if you feel like some unbridled aggression you could always try a football (soccer) game in Florence, (Fiorentina, they play in a purple strip) but for a true one-off experience think San Siro, Milan - particularly for a derby.

M


I agree with the the September/ October season. Summer is very hot and unpleasant. Soccer game can be an absolute madness and a must-see. The show is not only on the field but also in the fan groups. While the season is over, unfortunately, calcio storico is also interesting.

Florence is not a large city, at least the old, historic city so walking is the best way to visit it. If you're to tired too walk, you can always join a Segway tour.

I can't help much for restaurants as I'm mostly having lunch at friends' place or at home but Manoli provided some excellent suggestions.

Edit: typo corrections
« Last Edit: August 13, 2013, 04:03:39 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
Schewe
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 10:51:49 PM »
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Not sure when you're thinking of going,(my preferred months are September/ Mid October and March / April)

Going in a couple of weeks...I have no control over the timing as I'm taking my wife for our 40th wedding anniversary (and we can't change THAT date :~)

I know that all I'll get is a taste–but I've never been to Italy (been most other European countries). But we chose Italy because my wife loves it and after our trip she's staying in Italy for an additional week going to a baroque music festival in Tuscany (which why we're ending the trip in Florence–thankfully I don't have to go :~)
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2013, 03:34:43 AM »
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Florence in August is going to be pretty hot and full of fat sweaty tourists.
Any guide book will point you at enough treasures to keep you busy.
The 'must sees' are the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Sante Croche, Uffizi,
Climbing to the top of the Duomo is best done as early in the day as possible, even at 9am in summer the corridor up smells like a hot day on the Paris metro due to the FSTs.

Actually Firenza isn't the most photogenic place in Italy, too busy, too small and too contrasty.

The best place to eat we found was The Yellow Bar in Via del Proconsolo, 39. Great home made pasta and good service too. Generally you won't go far wrong in Italy with food, but some of the main tourist hot spots can be less than wonderful.
Vivoli, Via Dell'Isola delle Stinche, is sometimes claimed to be the best Gelataria in Italy, it isn't by a long way, but still does a good gelato that's worth walking to.

Make sure you learn some Italian before you go and make the effort to try and speak in Italian as much as possible. The Italians are wonderful and friendly in general, if you're polite and courteous they appreciate any effort you make to speak their language, then you'll then learn why they're regarded as so hospitable.
Loud, arrogant FSTs get the response they deserve.
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Manoli
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2013, 11:39:54 AM »
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I have no control over the timing as I'm taking my wife for our 40th wedding anniversary (and we can't change THAT date :~)

Great reason, Jeff - congratulations (to both of you) - It's really heartening to hear news like that today.
Hope you enjoy the trip and the celebration.
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Kathy
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2013, 05:31:45 PM »
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So, I'll have 3 days (yeah, not long) in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast and 3 days in Florence (yeah, not long)...any must do locations? Thinking of a boat trip along the Amalfi Coast and a walking tour in Florence...any restaurant suggestions and or must do things to see? Planning of getting advance tickets to Uffizi Gallery & Museo dell'Opera del Duomo & Gallery of the Academy...

Any advice appreciated greatly...

Both locations are wonderful. I second all the advice on Florence. Sorrento will be very very crowded so getting on the boat to tour the coastline is a great idea. Capri is a cliche but a beautiful one. My favourite place is Ravello near Amalfi. Do try to get tickets if there is a concert at Villa Rufolo in Ravello during your stay. It offers the most magical setting for an outdoor stage in a natural terrace offering a breathtaking view over the whole Costiera Amalfitana. Look at this site http://www.ravellofestival.com/home.php
Congratulations and have a wonderful visit to Italy
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2013, 08:01:59 PM »
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Haven't been in Florence for several years now but the tourists (and you WILL be one!) are thick. The Uffizi is worth it for the Botticelli alone. Too many Madonnas for me, otoh. Boboli Gardens are worth a visit, lots of photo ops. Vivoli's is famous for gelato, but just stop at any of the little shops, they all have great gelato and in consumable portions (Vivoli's will try to make your stop there a meal). My favorite ristorante is Mama Gina's, but heck it may not even still be around. For wine to ship home visit Enoteca Ponte Vecchio. I got some great grappa glasses there.
I've never been south of Naples but I hear it is beautiful. Once again, traveling in August is a nightmare as all of Italy is on holiday.
Good luck, you're gonna love it.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 08:05:23 PM by JohnBrew » Logged

cmburns
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2013, 08:03:17 PM »
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As of a few years ago you were not allowed to take photos of Michelangelo's David. They had a camera nazi there telling you no. Of course people still did and if you got a lot of people doing it it made it easy. Someone on one side would do it and get yelled at, allowing everyone on the other side to snap away. Then camera nazi would yell at peeps on that side allowing peeps on the other side to snap.

There's also a copy out in the square by the Uffizi where the original used to be.

No photos inside the Uffizi.

There's an overlook up above the river where peeps go in the afternoon for sunset, kinda of a classic shot of the Ponte Vecchio.

It's about an hour train ride over to Pisa. Then you can catch a bus, or taxi to the leaning tower. The cathedral there is nice as well.

Florence has markets. On the street a touristy thing with a bunch of stalls selling leather this and that. There's also an indoor market the locals buy groceries at, all fresh this and that veggies and meat.

Go up in either the Duomo or bell tower for a city view. My main memory of this was getting out of the shower, walking about 100m from our hotel, doing the elevator/stairs, and then needing another shower I had sweated so much.

They pulled all the good stuff out of the Duomo and put it in the Bargello and then made it a no photo zone. Grrrr.

I like the science museum. They have Galileo's finger in there, as well as some old medical tools, old telescopes, etc. Of course, you guessed it, no photo zone.



Amalfi coast. I did this area in May and it was already getting crowded. At least late August won't be as busy as early August.

Take a boat out to Capri. I didn't get to do the blue grotto because the water was too rough that day. Check out video's online to see if you even care. We did the boat tour around Capri which was nice.

I'd suggest from Sorrento go to Pompeii. Tour bus hordes mid day, but early and late you can have a lot of the place completely to yourself.
Drive up to the top of Vesuvius. Nice smog filled view of Naples.
Herculaneum. Better than Pompeii in a lot of ways.
All the good Pompeii stuff that wasn't looted long ago is in the museum in Naples.

The Amalfi coast itself was underwhelming to me. There's some beautiful spots to be sure, but you almost have to be staying in each town. Very few places to pull over and get a photo. The road gets jammed with tour buses and it's really narrow in some towns. Big buses should realllly not be allowed but hahaha good luck getting that implemented.

I do wish I had some realllly cold limoncello right now lol.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2013, 11:31:55 PM »
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Have yet to go there, but as mentioned that's a great reason to go anywhere!!  Congratulations!!

Mike.
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Colorado David
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« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2013, 11:47:47 PM »
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. . . going to a baroque music festival in Tuscany (which why we're ending the trip in Florence–thankfully I don't have to go :~)

Heathen! How can you not like baroque music?
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2013, 02:34:30 PM »
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Heathen! How can you not like baroque music?
Right!

Jeff, we may have to repossess your BMW until you come around to the Right Way of Thinking (RWT™) about baroque music!

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Schewe
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2013, 04:59:44 PM »
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Jeff, we may have to repossess your BMW until you come around to the Right Way of Thinking (RWT™) about baroque music!

Sorry, lute and harpsichord ain't my cup of tea...my wife on the other hand, sings choral music and loves the opera. I tend more towards jazz and blues. But that's ok...she likes her music (and sings it) and I like mine (and don't sing–although I go to her concerts and try to stay awake).

That's why we've gotten along for 40 years!
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2013, 05:07:56 PM »
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It would be my pleasure...will send info. via message with PDF etc. etc. - to your Lula address
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2013, 07:40:03 PM »
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I stayed in Amalfi as a kid and the bus journey along the Amalfi coastline is firmly etched my memory. Combining an Italian driver, a very overcrowded buses, 1000+ bends in 8 miles of narrow roads and long drops to the sea and rocks below with a very low stone wall being the only [and insufficient] barrier to certain death, makes roller coasters seem very tame in comparison.
Probably even more 'interesting' a journey for say an American, as the narrow country roads where I grew up are pretty scary to visitors from the US/Canada. Highly recommended.  Grin
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muntanela
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« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2013, 02:42:21 AM »
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I stayed in Amalfi as a kid and the bus journey along the Amalfi coastline is firmly etched my memory. Combining an Italian driver, a very overcrowded buses, 1000+ bends in 8 miles of narrow roads and long drops to the sea and rocks below with a very low stone wall being the only [and insufficient] barrier to certain death, makes roller coasters seem very tame in comparison.
Probably even more 'interesting' a journey for say an American, as the narrow country roads where I grew up are pretty scary to visitors from the US/Canada. Highly recommended.  Grin

I think that in Italy the highway-bus combination is far more dangerous than that of narrow coastal (or mountain) roads and buses. I don't remember buses fallen off one of these small roads, but accidents on the highways are happened. Here pictures of the last, some days ago (38 dead) the guard rails were older type and insufficient, and the bus too...

http://www.google.it/search?q=tragedia+del+l%C3%AC%27autobus&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=bnUQUpeaDor34QSbnIDQAw&ved=0CFYQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=593
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nma
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« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2013, 03:14:53 PM »
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Hello Jeff,

Having just skimmed this thread, I have an alternative suggestion for Florence. Take a taxi to the Roman Gate. Ask the driver to point you back to the center. The exact route doesn't matter. You will walk through the artisan district, the tassel shops, chandelier makers, jewelers, fine fabrics, eventually coming to the Arnau to your right about 4 blocks away is the Ponte Vecchio. Do not cross the river, but find your way over to the Ponte V, and walk across, continuing  straight up the main street. You will walk in the footsteps of those who came in awe to this city, passing the major monuments (at least within sight) and ending in the square with the Duomo and the Baptistry doors.  Even, or especially, non catholics will appreciate the power of the church from admiring this square.  This will take from 2-8 hours, depending on how often you stop, how many little shops you enter, ect. Oh, don't forget your camera!

See if you can find a copy of George Oakes "Turn Right at the Fountain" in your public library for wonderful descriptions and walks in Florence. Not much has changed since this published, old as it is.
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KirbyKrieger
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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2013, 05:36:48 PM »
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Hello Jeff,

Having just skimmed this thread, I have an alternative suggestion for Florence. Take a taxi to the Roman Gate. Ask the driver to point you back to the center. The exact route doesn't matter. You will walk through the artisan district, the tassel shops, chandelier makers, jewelers, fine fabrics, eventually coming to the Arnau to your right about 4 blocks away is the Ponte Vecchio. Do not cross the river, but find your way over to the Ponte V, and walk across, continuing  straight up the main street. You will walk in the footsteps of those who came in awe to this city, passing the major monuments (at least within sight) and ending in the square with the Duomo and the Baptistry doors.  Even, or especially, non catholics will appreciate the power of the church from admiring this square.  This will take from 2-8 hours, depending on how often you stop, how many little shops you enter, ect. Oh, don't forget your camera!

See if you can find a copy of George Oakes "Turn Right at the Fountain" in your public library for wonderful descriptions and walks in Florence. Not much has changed since this published, old as it is.

Agree 100% with the spirit of this post.  Although your time is quite short, give half a day or more to walking and getting lost.  Take a small camera.  Follow your nose.

If you going to see paintings, try to read anything by S. J. Freedberg prior to departure.  This isn't easy reading, but they aren't easy paintings.

At M's David, the best fun (imho) is watching the reactions of people when they see it.  Watch their hands.   Smiley  (Perhaps not possible with August crowds.)

An hour at an un-crowded Casa Buonarroti is worth three hours at any of the packed museums.

Alta Macadam "Blue Guide" is highly recommended if you are interested in art.

Enjoy.
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Manoli
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« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2013, 02:49:28 PM »
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Jeff,

Are you back and if so any feedback on the first-time impressions ? Enjoyable or a case of survival ?
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