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North or South?

On a 2 week trip, is it best to visit the south or north part of Italy?

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13 Answers

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  • Victoria Ancheva

    top answer by

    It actually depends not only on season, but on types of places you go. If you go now (winter) to South, I'd avoid small villages and towns (everything will be closed). Rome is probably the nicest south choice during fall/winter.

    I'd go to Florence, Venice (all year round), Verona, Treviso, Milan (think sales start on January 6th) and the neighbourhood for winter sports and so underestimated foody tours during winter. Those places have not only all the action but this northern Italian holiday charm anyone should experience.

    During summertime all Italy (except probably the Alps) is amazing.

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    • Maurice B.

      Maurice B.

      Add to that Verona and Vicenza and don't miss the Palladian architecture · (2 likelikes)

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  • Gary Witt

    answered by

    I agree that a critical factor is when you are going, and would recommend the shoulder seasons, spring and fall. Summer brings the big crowds to the major cities. The Big Three -- Rome/Florence/Venice-- are called that for a reason, they are among the most wonderful cities on earth and should not be missed. Milan is great, too, and is the home of the Last Supper, but it is, in my opinion, mostly a business / fashion town.

    Too many great things to see to even start listing, especially in Florence. But don't miss the Pitti Palace across the river, which many people never get to. Truly amazing. Also the Uffizi Gallery, one of the five greatest art museums in the world.

    Since you have two weeks, I would buy a Eurorail pass (here!!) for 14 days and just wander out after seeing Rome. You could give a couple of days to places south, including the Amalfi Coast, then head north toward Florence. You can get off and on the train as you will, checking out towns that look interesting. Just make sure you save three days each for Florence and Venice. More if you go see some of the surrounding towns like Sienna or Pisa and visit the wineries! No matter what, it will be a memorable trip!

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      Great suggestions, Gary! I was in Italy not too long ago and wish I got to visit all of these places! By th way, I'm a community manager here and I helped you geo-tag Pitti Palace and Uffizi so that they appear on your map with the others. Thanks for sharing! :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • Tiffany Weber

    answered first by

    It depends on time of year and what you want to see. In the summer, I'd go north and in the winter, I'd go south. Culturally, both are very different. Two weeks will allow you ample time to explore. On my last trip we did one week in Rome and one week in Tuscany and it was wonderful.

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    • Annemarie D.

      Annemarie D.

      Have you tried Tuscany in the winter, Tiffany? I've found an amazing travel deal but I don't know if it's worth it if everything will be closed. · (0 likelikes)

    • Tiffany W.

      Tiffany W.

      I actually spent that week in Tuscany for New Years in 2011 and it was great. Really, not much was closed, but it depends on what you want to do. We visited Pisa, Lucca, San Gimignano, Florence, Sienna, Cinque Terre, and the beaches as well. Other than some of the shops along the Cinque Terre, nothing was closed. We had a wonderful time and saw a lot - it's just extremely cold and you could have snow. We nearly did. Although I'd go to Tuscany in the winter again, I don't know if I'd go to the Cinque Terre again. It's ok, but a lot is shut down for the season (even restaurants), the trails can be closed for weather, and though it's pretty, it isn't anything close to what it is in the summer and a lot of the fun activities associated with it will be closed. So, short answer, yes, go. There's a ton to do. Just don't bother with Cinque Terre unless you have extra time. · (1 likelikes)

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  • Stephen Schreck

    answered by

    I prefer the North depending on the time of year.

    You have a lot of art, history, and cultural. Places like Tuscany offer beautiful landscape, and you have picturesque coastal cities like Cinque Terre.

    If medieval cities are more your style then you can go to places like Siena. A city that makes you feel like you have stepped back in time.

    You also have cities like Milan and Florence

    You have Venice, and while it is super touristy, it still maintains it's charm.

    The south is also nice, with some great food, and wonderful cities, but if you only have two weeks I would stay in the north. You will get to see more of Italy's famous sites.

    If you are looking for Italy travel tips check out my article here. http://www.abackpackerstale.com/blogs/backpacking-italy-travel-tips/

    It covers a lot of the North.


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  • Aylin Kaya

    answered by

    I think north is more beautiful and enjoyable than south, ıf you prefer north you will see high-quality places and friendly people. ıf you go Milan you should go Osteria San Giacomo all of the beverage and food so delicious

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  • Surya Bhattacharya

    answered by

    In my opinion, DEFINITELY the south. It's sunnier, happier and way more laid back. And the image people have of Italy, is that of the south.

    The North is cold and grey (literally and figuratively), industrialised and not very pretty. Trust me, I learned the hard way (after moving to Milan for a year). It was a rude shock because I had been to Rome and assumed that's how it's going to be. Big nope!

    Also, pizza is from the south!

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    • Antonio P.

      Antonio P.

      ehi Suria. that's simply uncorrect. have you ever been outside Milan?have you ever heard about Turin, Genoa, Cinque Terre, Dolomiti, Aosta Valley, Venice, Padua, Trieste, Bolonia? have you any idea of what's there? maybe you are right: the image people have about Italy is that of the south. well, i bet you neither know the south, as you don't know Milan. know what?that's why people travel: to discover what they don't know. love, of course, Anto. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Georgi Kolev

    answered by

    It depends on what time of year the trip will be but this is a very tricky question.

    If you pick the south then you will miss on Tuscany which is arguably the most beautiful area in Italy where you can see many of the renaissance masterpieces of Michelangelo and places like Florence, Sienna, San Gimignano, Pisa etc. Milanis there too and the Italy dolomity and the great lakes Como and Garda.

    Then on the other side if you choose the north then you should forget about the amazing Amalfi Coast, Capri, Naples and Sicily(if you even think of getting that much south).

    Choosing south or north is not the best way to divide Italy as far as I'm concerned. For 2 weeks you can see many places in both so just spend 4-5 days in Tuscany using Florence or Sienna as a base and then work your way down to Rome and further down if you like. You'll need at least a week only for Rome if you want to see most of the things without running around.

    Bottom line is that if you want to see the renaissance Italy then choose the north. If you want to spend your time relaxing and travelling through beautiful coastal town then choose the south.

    Last but not least Italy is one of those places which never loses it's charm so if you like it the first time (and you have to be crazy not to :)) you'll be planning to return as soon as you leave so just enjoy the 2 weeks as much as you like and then know that next time you'll see another part of the country.

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  • Lauren Grochmal

    answered by

    It really depends on what you're most interested in seeing. The north will have Milan, Italian Alps, Venice and the Cinque Terre. The south will have Rome, Naples, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast. Florence and the Tuscany region is central to both. If you are wanting to hit the main cities: Venice, Florence, and Rome they can easily be done in two weeks with train travel. You definitely want to spend a couple of days in those cities because there is a lot to see. I would say that you have to stop in Rome though, there is nothing like it!

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  • Andrew Spear

    answered by

    You could do both! My wife and I did Italy in two weeks, staying in four cities and taking trains between them, the train rides were part of the fun :) The main destinations for us were Venice, Florence and Rome but would love to see Milan and some quieter central or coastal places too.

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  • Agata Mleczko

    answered by

    I would go to the north, but it's because I had been living there for a long time and have some personal attachment to the region. I would personally avoid the big cities. If you really want to experience the authentic Italy you should go rather for small towns or even villages. Do you speak Italian? That would be helpful to get close to the locals.

    Agata

    http://nullnfull.com/category/recent-travels/italy/

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  • Ramon Begins

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    depends largely on the time of year ... But I prefer the south

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  • Iris Milton

    answered by

    I depends on what sights you want to see. If you go to the North, you'll be able to get acquainted with Italian culture and traditions. While the South is full of fabulous beaches.

    Once my family and I we spent two weeks in Italy. We managed to visit both the South and the North. What helped us to do this in such a short period of time is a rental car. We rented it at Milan Car Rental and were really happy we did it.

    During the first week we visited Milan, Verona, Venice, Metropolitan City of Bologna, Province of Florence, Rome,and even Vatican City. It gave us an opportunity to enjoy diverse Italian food, wine, picturesque scenes all around.

    Then we spend some days relaxing at the spectacular Amalfi Coast and enjoy its kind sun and its unforgettable beaches.

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  • Anna Andreò

    answered by

    It's a hard question.
    Having lived in Naples for 5 years now and being from a nice little town in the South, well... I'll surely suggest you visit my share of Italy, but I believe much of the decision depends on what you want to do, how much you want to spend, and how long you are staying here.

    The best advice I can give is to make a list of the things you want to see, and decide a tour based on that.

    For example: you want to eat pizza, visit the Imperial forum, the Coliseum and Pompeii, take a tour of the trulli and eat granita?
    Well, visit Rome, move to Naples, eat pizza, take a ferry to the Amalfi Coast, visit Pompeii, move towards Alberobello, and well, visit Sicily and enjoy your time.

    Let us know!

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