I am looking to fulfill a lifelong dream of spending a month (or more) in Italy. I have been several times, none recently, and always with a traveling companion sharing accommodations and costs, etc. This will be a solo trip and the more economically I plan, the longer I can stay. My thought would be to base (at most) in 2-3 locations (with good rail access), thinking that longer stays may make for cheaper rates and I could day trip to other areas. I am wondering whether it would be wiser to rent a studio with at least a small kitchen. On previous trips I have stayed in B&Bs in Florence, convents in Rome & Orvieto, and assorted small hotels in Lucca, Bergamo, Varenna, Cinque Terre, Sienna, Positano & Bologna. On this trip, I would want to spend time in Rome and Florence, and perhaps travel to Venice. I am thinking about traveling from mid-March to early May, again thinking this may be a less expensive time to travel. I would appreciate knowing any recommended towns and any locations not recommended for this time period, as well as any other advice. Final note, I am a single female in my early 50s and would appreciate any "safety smart" recommendations.
My first thought was, what months did she travel in on her previous Italian trips. I've only traveled there at end of March once, and got lucky, weather was excellent, a little cool, but manageable. April and May are probably good for southern cities such as Rome, go here first, possibly enjoy the crowds at Easter, and then go Northward as the days go by and finish trip in Venice. Fly open jaw, arrive in Rome, fly out of Venice. Seems as though a number of people have stayed at Agri-tourismos( not sure of spelling), might be something to look into. Renting a studio with kitchen might cut down on costs of eating out while on a day trips.
Thanks Jim. I have always traveled in the fall shoulder season. But having retired and before I begin work again I have a window in which I could take a longer trip. That is what has me in the March to May time frame.
First off, I'm so jealous I could die! Secondly, check and see how long you're allowed to stay in Italy on a vacation. There's a time limit, but I don't know what it is! Secondly, definitely, staying in apartment is much less expensive. Is there any possibility that a friend or two can join you for part of the trip to help offset the cost of an apartment that you'd rent in Florence or Rome? I've been saving money for years by planning a trip, choosing an apartment, usually two bedrooms two baths and inviting someone (a friend or relative that I know I can live with for a week or two) to join me. I have stayed at this apartment three times in Florence: VRBO #68776
It's in a safe, residential neighborhood. The owner is a single woman (quite beautiful). It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and a small garden in the back. I've been there with girlfriends, and twice with my husband and another couple. Her name is Christina, and I think she also has smaller places in Florence. VRBO has never let me down regarding the security of my money. I did once rent in a "shakey" area in Paris, and wish I'd have "Google Mapped" the street first. I've just learned to do that. Basic advice don't rent an apartment that is really close to a train station in any city. Even though RS recommends hotels in these areas, I've never been comfortable in any of them, whether traveling with my female friends or even with my husband and I'm around 60 years old. Have a GREAT TIME!!
The limit for Americans in Italy is 90 days without a special visa. No worries on that front.