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Location advice, month-long stay!

Planning a month-long stay, May 2022. On previous trips to Italy, we’ve visited Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Milan/Lake Como areas and we always include Rome on each visit! I’m seeking advice from those of you that have ‘lived’, temporarily, in Italy…….what area/town in Italy was home-base for y’all and why? Our primary considerations are good public transport in order to allow convenient opportunities to explore surrounding areas and reasonably priced lodging.

Eagerly anticipating your responses, thanks so much!!

Posted by
802 posts

Since you seemed to have covered most of Italy on previous trips, is there any particular places you have in mind to visit? In order to suggest a home base, you might want to narrow down your choices of areas or towns for us.

Posted by
9785 posts

Having lived in Rome for almost 5 years I suggest Rome! Get an apartment in a residential neighborhood like Prato or Parioli. Use the bus, find your local bar for morning coffee, get to know the grocery, the pharmacy, and take day trips to the little Lazio towns so many miss. Florence is only 90 minutes away. Actually, you can spend a month exploring Rome without leaving the city and never be bored.

Posted by
11 posts

@threadwear....that's the problem for us, loved everywhere we've been and just can't narrow it down lol. I guess I'm hoping to receive recommendations on an outlying area (small town I'm not aware of) that's economical for a month-long stay but also has convenient public transport. Thank you!

@Laurel....this is exactly the type of info I'm hoping for! Thank you!

Anyone else?

Posted by
18916 posts

The Northeast, based in Padua.

Puglia, based in Lecce or perhaps Bari.

I love Sicily, but I'm afraid by May, especially the second half of the month, it could be getting quite hot. In addition, the limited rail service and size of the island make it impossible to get good coverage from any single base without doing a lot of very, very long day-trips.

Actually, Rome's the only city in Italy where I'd even consider spending as long as a month, given how many really interesting places there are to see. There are many places where I'd happily spend a week, however (including Turin, by the way). Are you sure you want to plunk yourself down in one place for an entire month? Part of your savings on lodging will be spent on extra rail and bus fares. And if you do choose Rome, I don't know that your lodging costs will necessarily be much lower than if you moved around and spent some of your time in lower-cost places like Padua and Lecce.

Posted by
677 posts

I was immediately going to say Padua or Lecce, but Acraven beat me to it.

Ravenna was a surprisingly good base for us for more than a week. But we did use our rental car.

We loved both Genoa and Naples a lot more than some people, especially Genoa for the food. But too big?

We are hoping that Perugia, where we hope to stay for 10 nights on our next trip, will feel somewhat like Padua.

The only single location we've stayed in for more than a month is Florence, and we never tired of it, nor did we go on more than two half-day trips from there. Would live there again.

Yes, also Rome. Inexhaustible. We like to stay in Testaccio northwest of the train and metro stations.

Sicily could keep you well occupied for a month, but I'm pretty sure you would want a car and to be staying in 2 or 3 locations --- we stayed near Enna and had a car. The central location meant too much driving back and forth on the same roads. Hope to return to Sicily for 5 weeks next spring.

Torino is probably also too big of a city for you. But when we stayed in nearby Alba, it was easy to get to Torino and other places by train.

Posted by
802 posts

Unless you are set on a big city, I would have two bases. One in Tuscany and one in Umbria and explore towns and villages you haven't seen before. There are plenty of places interesting to see in these two regions.

Posted by
25773 posts

I didn't see, other than Venice, anything in Friuli–Venezia Giulia or Veneto. There is a whole world to discover there.

Have you never discovered Vicenza or Bassano del Grappa? I could spend a month easy there and around there.

What sort of things do you like to see? What about which artists or artistic periods? Do you like architecture? Do you like cheese? Soave? Grappa?

Posted by
11 posts

Thank you all for your helpful information! Let the Italia planning begin!!!

Posted by
88 posts

I would suggest Siena as a base. In 2017 for one month, then in 2019 we were here for two months and now we are here again for two months. We use public transport for all our travels. Siena has a small town feel but offers everything a large city has. We spend our time walking around the city seeing familiar faces, greeting waiters and shop keepers. We always stay in the center but it is possible to find much less expensive lodging right outside the old city walls. Although we will never be "locals" it is easy to feel as if you are.

Posted by
3480 posts

Terri,
Have you considered Verona? Obviously not large enough to keep one busy for a month, but one can easily spend four or five days there. It's large enough to have everything you need, but still small enought to have a smallish type vibe. It has very good transportation connections so you can day trip to quite a few other places. Wish we could do what you are. Enjoy!

Posted by
2080 posts

You only mention Cinque Terre--have you been to other places in Liguria? I consider it the best place to travel by public transport in the country.
With a whole month, having the extra time might make Puglia workable, but you will be limited. I'd look at the train schedules and such.
How important is the town size versus transport options? Would you be willing to do rental for a portion, or is it off the table completely? Do you think staying in a big city would be more appealing, or a small place with lots of day trip options?

Posted by
861 posts

I'm always amazed how exciting and relaxing Rome is. Usually I stay about 2 weeks each year. Obviously I've done most (you never do 'all') of the tourist sites. Each year I repeat several but with a new appreciation. I still stand in awe of the Forum, St. Peter's, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the tight small streets where I find daily life. The best though is when I begin to feel like a resident and not a tourist. The coffee comes with a smile. The staff at my favorite restaurants greet me by name and stop to chat before guessing (correctly) what I will start my order with. (ok, I'm easy - it's always water with gas and the house red wine). So, I am planning for more than a month in Rome for next spring. Hmmm, maybe I'll let myself stay 2 months. Yep, I would recommend you stay in Rome! Meet you on the Piazza Navona for gelato!

Posted by
58 posts

I would suggest Umbria. There are a lot of places you visit in easy day trips from there-Assisi, Montefalco, Deruta, Pienza, Chianti, Tuscany.

Posted by
3775 posts

Besides what has been mentioned, I would consider Ferrara. Here’s a few examples of train time per Trenitalia:

Ferrara to Venice - 1 hr
Ferrara to Florence - 1 hr
Ferrara to Arezzo - 2.5 hrs.
Ferrara to Ravenna - 1 hr
Ferrara to Rome - 3 hrs.
Ferrara to Parma - 2 hrs.
Ferrara to Torino - 3 hrs.

Posted by
11 posts

Oh my!! Y'all are amazing....researching now! Thanks so much :)