which place to go?

I am about to go on my first trip to Europe. My son is over there now and I plan to go meet him. My two options are to Greece at the end of May or northern Italy around mid June. I am trying to decide which one to do. Help!!.....

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
675 posts

Chances are you'll have more flight choices and better fares to Italy than Greece. Also less trouble communicating in Italy, where the alphabet is the same and you're likely to find more English speakers. That's assuming you don't speak either Greek or Italian, of course. Condolences to you both on your loss.

Posted by Lee
Oregon
1643 posts

Greeks in the tourist industry are all multi-lingual, or at least they do speak English. Street/Road signs are printed in Greek and in Phonetic English.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8761 posts

How on God's good earth can we read your mind, sara? I have no idea why you would have chosen Italy or Greece. It is nice that your son is in Europe now but that really doesn't help. Where in Europe is he? Where does he want to go? Do you want to go where he wants to go? Does he want to go where you want to go? What caused you to choose Northern Italy? Greece? Both of those are pretty big areas. Can you be more specific, please. We can't tell you which to go to. We can help with the good and bad points of places, ultimately it is for the two of you to decide. A Psychological Tip, Piet Hein Whenever you're called on to make up your mind, and you're hampered by not having any, the best way to solve the dilemma, you'll find, is simply by spinning a penny. No -- not so that chance shall decide the affair while you're passively standing there moping; but the moment the penny is up in the air, you suddenly know what you're hoping.

Posted by sara
raleigh
6 posts

A long story...my son is just taking some time and traveling throughout Europe. My schedule kinda dictates when I can go meet him. So the end of May he will be in Greece and in mid June will be in northern Italy. He is traveling all around Europe for months to regroup after deployments in Afghanistan and the sudden death of his brother. We need some fun time together and these are the only times I can get away. Am just trying to get some advice on which place to go. We both need this and I just wish I had more time/money so I could do more....

Posted by Charlene
Centennial, CO, US
916 posts

Sara, I'm so sorry ... this sounds like a really tough time for you and your son. Both Greece and Northern Italy are beautiful and well worth seeing. My instinct is that Italy would be more crowded; I'm not sure if that would be a good distraction or an annoyance. Greece would offer beautiful little seaside villages (either on the mainland or the islands) where you might find more peace. While you're deciding, you might want to check out flight prices and schedules. Try Kayak.com. Plug in various combinations of cities and dates. Sometimes you can get a better price flying mid-week. For northern Italy, ask your son if Milan or Venice would be best for him. For Greece, it's Athens. Look for flights with the least number of connections possible. And when you do have a connection, try to allow at least 2 hours between planes. At this point, you don't need the stress of worrying about missing a flight. Once you've decided which country to visit, you could come back here for some ideas on specific places to see. I'm assuming you already have your passport? And an ATM card tied to a checking or savings account that you can use to withdraw cash while you're there?

Posted by sara
raleigh
6 posts

Yes, seeing as how I have done very little traveling, none overseas, I am having a hard time making a choice here. Clearly each trip would be great for what each has to offer. Hopefully I will do the other at another time. My coworkers seem to think I should go to Italy. Greece would be beautiful as well I know. My son already in Europe has a knack for finding neat spots to go to and places to stay so he will figure much of that out. And with only about 10 days over there one can only see so much and not feel overwhelmed. So yes advice on which spot to go to is welcome. Also, have done some research on flights. One sight I came across was certainly cheaper than the rest so it made me question how well this sight is thought of.....globalfares.com. Has anyone any thoughts on this site?

Posted by Lee
Oregon
1643 posts

Hello Sara- The end of May is the perfect time to go to Greece. The weather will be pleasant and it won't yet be crowded with summer visitors. By mid-June Italy will be a lot more crowded. If you choose Greece find an island where you can both relax and enjoy the sea. I suggest Santorini, specifically the village of Oia, the most beautiful village on the island. The island is unique and has spectacular clifftop views of the sea. I honestly feel healed every time I go there and you will too.

Posted by JS
Bay Area
2081 posts

My choice would be N.Italy. I have just returned from Greece and while nice I prefer N. Italy. Weatherwise either location will be vg. From Stresa to Lake Como, Lake Garda then on to Dolomites ending in Venice-wow you can have a great time with R&R
there. hope this helps alittle.

Posted by Charlene
Centennial, CO, US
916 posts

I have never heard of globalfares.com. To get some feedback about it, you should post another question, this time in the "Transportation" category of the Helpline. Put globalfares.com in the title of your post. If you can get a good fare to Athens, I think Lee had a good suggestion. Santorini would be a beautiful place for you and your son to spend a few days. Then you could ferry to another island for a few days, and back to Athens for the remainder of your trip.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2612 posts

Sara, so sorry for your loss. I can understand how planning this trip is overwhelming. I have been to both places, and while they are both great, being your first trip I would opt for Italy. Yes, it will be crowded and hot, but you are from Raleigh, so I assume you can take it. You could spend some time in smaller villages and at the lake just enjoying the Italian lifestyle and each other.

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3511 posts

Sara posted almost a month ago. Presumably she made her decision back then, as it is now the end of May. Just sayin' . . .