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Looking for advice on Italy
  
 
runakid
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Looking for advice on Italy


Hope to take a trip there in 2018. Looking at a Peril tour with wife. She is not a walker. Can but... How much walking? I'd like to do as much photography as possible. Ideas on them or others.


Sep 28, 2017 at 08:53 AM
MalbikEndar
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Looking for advice on Italy


What's a Peril tour? Some kind of package?

Especially if you want the time to photograph with some deliberation you do not want to be on a tour. It is fairly easy to organize a few days in different cities yourself. If you stay in cities you will need to walk.

If you are dead set against walking then rent a car and visit smaller towns and the countryside. This can be delightful but you will be driving in Italy, which has its own issues.



Sep 28, 2017 at 02:49 PM
mdude85
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Looking for advice on Italy


Certain notable Italian cities are conducive to getting in a lot of photography without much walking. The historical parts of Venice, Siena and perhaps Florence as well are fairly geographically small and you can see a lot without a ton of walking. But you will have to commit to some walking, at least 1-2 miles in each city I would say.

If you plan your route well you could probably see some good stuff in Rome without walking too much. Although Rome is considerably larger than those other cities. But public transit and taxis are more plentiful.

Milan is probably not the best idea for a non-walkers.

I cannot really speak to the smaller towns and villages other than to note many of them are quite hilly.



Sep 28, 2017 at 03:51 PM
runakid
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Looking for advice on Italy


Auto spell check- Perillo


Sep 28, 2017 at 07:06 PM
Dragonfire
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Looking for advice on Italy


Vespa tours.


Sep 28, 2017 at 07:15 PM
 

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elkhornsun
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Looking for advice on Italy


Check out the Rick Steves books. They provide lots of practical advice for travelers and lots there is also a general travel tips book for anyone traveling to Europe on their own.

Even if traveling on your own there are times when it is very advantageous to hire a driver for the day. You get a guide, a driver, an interpreter, and someone to watch over what you leave behind in the car while at a site. In many places you can find a photographer guide who will know the best times of day for an area and be even more helpful.



Sep 28, 2017 at 09:59 PM
Craig Gillette
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Looking for advice on Italy


When you say she's not a walker, is that a not like to walk or has difficulty walking? I ask that because you could reasonably expect a lot of walking in some areas but also because it's not unusual for the streets or sidewalks to be "paved" with stone or brick and it can be somewhat rough or uneven.

My daughter was in Florence for about 9 months studying. They were not allowed to drive, rent scooters, etc., so they walked a lot but also were able to deal with taxis, local transit, etc., so it's do-able. Buses and taxis do access most of the city but for the most part, the historic area is pretty compact and flat. Intercity trains and buses are available in most of Italy and generally convenient and not too expensive.

I'd expect coverage is less convenient in smaller towns or villages. Typically tourist buses are excluded from some of the most congested and/or important areas. Medieval and earlier city planners didn't account for anything much larger than horse carts.

Current guide books will cover the areas you might be interested in and of course, the internet is full of traveler resources tailored to interests, whether it's photography, food, architecture, history, etc., etc.

Perillo is, if I've heard correctly, one of the oldest established tour companies for Italy. But tours anyplace can be fairly regimented when it comes to time usage and that often isn't oriented around best photography times. One advantage to tours, I would think, is that I'm guessing here, that they cater to the population most likely to have the time and money for touring, the retirees so aren't too strenuous. I'd want to know how much free time was available and/or how convenient that time was to the places you are interested in. For example, a friend went on a cruise and they stated they visited Florence - but actually they moored at Livorno and had to decide between various options of trying to rush to the train station and figure that out, bus tours, shared vans, etc. which can be kind of pricey - and total time available was pretty limited all things considered. Bus tours, etc., probably get you into the cities/towns and may have a better set of options. And I'm guessing they have fairly efficient routes and parking, drops and pick-ups, etc.

Rome is both ancient and modern (as are Florence and the other cities), some of the towns/villages retain more of the pre-car character, of course). Rome is, as already noted, much larger than Florence and it's harder to work around the 7 hills, but they make up much of the historic character and it's not as dramatic a set of hills as one might find in San Francisco, etc.




Sep 29, 2017 at 07:00 AM
runakid
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Looking for advice on Italy


My wife has some difficulty walking after her double knee replacement surgery.

I will continue to look into all your suggestions. Thanks to all for taking the time to send me great advice and lots of great ideas to look into.



Sep 29, 2017 at 12:13 PM
jdc562
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Looking for advice on Italy


What about cruises? I keep getting ads for these, but they seem to be best for other European countries that are traversed by navigable rivers. Much of Europe grew up around these rivers, so there is lots to see without stressing those knees. Italian cruises seem to be mostly seaport to seaport, but maybe Venice has tours by canal?

Many Road Scholar tours cater to older people, so they are ready to accommodate your wife by knowing how to avoid steep stairs, etc. They specialize in high quality educational tours that visit places that the more commercial fru-fru tours miss. This means getting photo opportunities beyond the same-old postcard views. They fill transit time with interesting explanations by experts, so you're primed to understand what you can experience at the next stop. Their stops include hours of free time to wander, explore, and to get absorbed into your photography. I particularly like exploring farmers markets, fish markets, open-air bazaars, etc., and getting briefed ahead of time by the guide on where these are and how they compare. Road Scholar has many efficient, small group tours, not the 40-person buses where so much time is wasted herding people and taking endless 40-person breaks for for stops at 2-person bathrooms.

For travelling on your own, I second Elkhornsun's recommendation of Rick Steve's guides. I did southern Spain by myself, and his guide was the most useful by far: no fluff, and great, in-depth, practical information from his first-hand experiences. In a much different category, the DK guide was very well illustrated--great for photography, which made it a good complement to Steve's guide, but by no means a substitute.



Sep 30, 2017 at 10:06 PM







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