Italy ? in 2007 - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 19 Old Oct 17th, 2006, 1:54 pm Thread Starter
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Italy ? in 2007

Wife & I would like to tour parts of Italy next year.

Would appreciate input and suggestions on:

1- where to stay
2- what to see
3- where to rent a good bike (RT - GS)
4- Would like to do a central hotel for the week instead of different hotel each night. Suggestions for ride out?
5- what else should I know

Your input/suggestions appreciated.

David Major
Charleston, SC
-2003 LT
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post #2 of 19 Old Oct 17th, 2006, 2:50 pm
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post #3 of 19 Old Oct 17th, 2006, 4:16 pm
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Cool Italy

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmajor
Wife & I would like to tour parts of Italy next year.

Would appreciate input and suggestions on:

1- where to stay
2- what to see
3- where to rent a good bike (RT - GS)
4- Would like to do a central hotel for the week instead of different hotel each night. Suggestions for ride out?
5- what else should I know

Your input/suggestions appreciated.
How much time do you have? Be careful about when you go. Do you have a firm date? If only a week, you can not do it all. Too much traffic. Tolls are really high. If you want the Alps, Mt Blanc over to France, Milano, Brescia, Lake Como, Venice, stay in Bergamo. You avoid the big city ripe off, hotels are delightful, the HIGH CITY of Bergamo is superb (ancient). PM your email and I'll give you the details. I've stayed there many times visiting Brembo, my client. If you want the south, I don't have the experience. But, my pals at Brembo can help you. They recently gave a pal of mine their corporate rate, saving over 50 Euro a night at top hotels.

Rob Nelson

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post #4 of 19 Old Oct 17th, 2006, 4:34 pm
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David, don't miss the Dolomites in northern Italy. Superb mountain riding! Talk to you about it @ Iron Horse later this month.

- Bob

Cowboy Bob Menton
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post #5 of 19 Old Oct 18th, 2006, 1:20 am
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Cool That's a loaded question . . .

As others have said how much time do you have, money are you budgeting and what is your style (accommodation, travel in the country (motorcycle, car, bus or train), are you adventuresome . . .

For a first time visitor you should think of staying from Rome north, consider:

Rome
Florence
Venice
Mountain areas to the north

A few friends have used Untours (http://www.untours.com/) and this concept is for those who like an "On Golden Pond Experience" - land in one place for a few weeks and use this as a home base. Then plan on traveling around the country getting back to your base - it works real good with couples . . . also not all the luggage dragging experience!!

What is an Untour?
Two weeks in an apartment, farmhouse, villa or cottage.
Air/Ground transportation.
Support services, including escort from the airport.
Live IN a country, instead of just travelling through it!

Also check out their samplers one week each in two different places:

Untour Sampler Packages: One Week in Each Destination!
Are you one of those people who just can't spend two weeks in one spot? The vacation rental packages are intended to let you "sample" two exciting Untour locations during a two (or three) week period.

BTW- I am not connected to any travel agency!!!

Arrivederci

Dan Finazzo
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post #6 of 19 Old Oct 18th, 2006, 1:55 am
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If you want it to be a riding vacation, then you need to read Motorcycle Journeys Through the Alps & Corsica by John Hermann. The Dolomites are spectacular.

If you want to see more of Italy, then staying south of the mountains is better. Milan is a modern, industrial city, good for world-class shopping. Florence is fabulous and everyone should go there at least once. Pisa is small and charming. Rome is also amazing, but has a lot of big city feel to it. It has the busiest airport, and is worth at least a couple days on either end of your trip. Naples is less interesting, but Pompeii/Herculaneum is worth the trip south. Haven't been to Venice (yet) but it gets glowing reports. There are also numerous smaller towns and villages you can stay in and have a great time.

But before you rent a bike (or a car for that matter), be sure of your riding skills and comfort level, especially in the larger cities. I learned to ride in L.A. traffic and have ridden in many European and Asian countries, but Italian traffic is just plain nuts. You will have trucks, cars, bikes, scooters, and pedestrians coming at you constantly from all sides. We usually parked the bike at our hotel and either walked or used public transportation to go see the sights. I'm not saying that it can't be done, but don't underestimate this aspect, especially on an unfamiliar bike.

Riding/driving further out in the countryside is less hectic and the scenery is incredible. But you will need a GPS with local maps, whether in the cities or countryside. Street signs are erratic at best, and often the signs at an intersection will all point back to the same town that you just left.

And as when travelling anywhere, be extra vigilant with your belongings. The tourist sections have generations of pick pocketers trained to prey on confused tourists. It only takes a second to really mess up your trip.

Other than that, Italy is a wonderful place to visit. The food, wine, and scenery are all amazing and I would love to go back given half a chance.

Ken
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post #7 of 19 Old Oct 18th, 2006, 3:04 am
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David, you say "next year".
I think that before any real decisions can be made you should have a rough idea about when you are planning on going, as it can make a big difference to your comfort and enjoyment of the trip.
Simon
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post #8 of 19 Old Oct 18th, 2006, 12:58 pm
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One other thought. In your Euro-forum post, you mentioned maybe June or July. Keep in mind that it can be quite hot then. We were in Florence one summer and it was in the high 90's. All we had were bike boots to walk around in, and it was uncomfortably warm for that. So we got on the bike, negotiated through the traffic mess and headed north. A few hours later, we passed Lago di Garda and headed into the Alps. By the time we reached our hotel, it was in the 40's and raining.

Ken
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post #9 of 19 Old Oct 18th, 2006, 8:27 pm
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David,
As I mentioned in my other correspondence, we had one spritzy day during the last week of September in Tuscany. If you check some of the websites for weather in Italy you will see that the weather is very hot in mid summer in most areas except the Alps. Also, the tourist busses and rental car visitors will hang up traffic in many areas. I'd suggest late Spring or late summer as the best riding time. Within 100 miles of Florence you will find all kinds of terrain and great attractions.

Posted speed limits are "just suggestions" in Italia!

Moto Tours rents bikes from Milan, though not sure that you will find any LT's in Eligio's stable.

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post #10 of 19 Old Oct 19th, 2006, 2:25 am
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Ken is right in my opinion.
Important to remember as well is that June 2nd is a big national holiday with loads of cars and people on the roads. In 2007 it falls on a Saturday so Friday and Monday will be interesting on the roads, to say the least !.
Highly recommend Venice and Milan. Stay outide Venice and catch the bus/train in.
If you ignore the decor, this place is good, with secure parking for the bike and near a bus stop to Venice, 10 mins away.
www.hotel-venezia.com/ita/index.asp
Simon
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post #11 of 19 Old Oct 21st, 2006, 6:47 am
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Italy

Someone on another list mentioned this site:

http://www.alpineroads.com/dolomites.php

I have only been to Italy once and that was a high speed run from Lake Como to Genoa and back. Motorway driving seemed fairly disciplined but in town is absolutely crazy.

Graham Wintersgill
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post #12 of 19 Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 7:22 am
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Ciao David, if you plan to visit Italy next year let us know your plan. We (K1200LT Owners Group) are currently over 500 members throughout Italy from Trentino to Sicilia so wherever you go I think you'll be able to find someone of us.

There are many many places to see here so it's almost impossible to give you some directions if you don't have any idea to where to go. To rent a bike I've some friends that have a BMW rental company so no problems.

Ciao
Andrea

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmajor
Wife & I would like to tour parts of Italy next year.

Would appreciate input and suggestions on:

1- where to stay
2- what to see
3- where to rent a good bike (RT - GS)
4- Would like to do a central hotel for the week instead of different hotel each night. Suggestions for ride out?
5- what else should I know

Your input/suggestions appreciated.

President
K1200LT & K1600GT/GTL Owners Group - Italy

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post #13 of 19 Old Nov 4th, 2006, 9:43 pm
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Thanks Andrea for posting as I was just going to suggest they contact you guys. (www.kog.it), click on international pages and guess who is listed for English.
I posted on the kog.it site in 2004 and got replys back from Maurizio and Ciro who both went out of thier ways to help me. Maurizino manages the Four Points Sheradian Hotel in downtown Milano (great place) and invited me on the annual BMW weekend ride out of Milan. There were over 50 LT's and my rental RT and they treated us to an excellent ride and mountian top lunch.

Ciro escorted me off the mountain and back to Milan so we could hook up with the AMA Alps tour. This was lead by Francesco who has a touring company out of Rome (www.cimt.it/). He was born in the USA and speaks all the necessary languages so you get what you order (most of the time).

As mentioned City traffic is an E-ticket rush as anything goes and all motorcycles/scooter go to the front anyway you can at traffic lights (go when cages honk as you can not see the signal because its on your side of the intersection above your head!!! Just follow the other bikes.) Took me a couple hours to figure it all out but no problems. Great country, Beautiful scenery, Fabulous people.

Have a safe trip

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post #14 of 19 Old Nov 5th, 2006, 9:43 am
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I would suggest you hook up with a tour company like Edelweiss. Everything you are trying to figure out on your own they do for you. They even have tours that are based at on location with a selection of day rides while you're there.

http://www.edelweissbiketravel.com/tours/E

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post #15 of 19 Old Nov 9th, 2006, 7:47 pm Thread Starter
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Talked to Edelweiss.

I would really like to save all the money...about $3000+.
I like the idea of the tour group fine, but think wife & I might like winging it at our pace.

I just got Garmin's City Navigator Europe and that really makes it easier to plan distance and places.

Now all I need is some ideas on places in the Tuscany/Umbria area.

David Major
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post #16 of 19 Old Nov 10th, 2006, 6:53 am
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David

http://www.msltours.co.uk/ might be worth a look and I am sure there would be discounts if you joined them in Europe. The brochure may also give you some pointers. If you want to join the tour in the UK them my bike would be available for you to borrow.

Bear in mind that Tuscany is not a large area which will lend itself to stayin gin one area. http://www.tuscany.net/ has lots of properties - you will nearly allways find rural properties have parking and most town properties will manage to fit a bike in somewhere.

It may be worth while thinking along the lines of 'I want to go and see x,y,z in Italy' which will help shape your stay / tour rather than 'I want to go to Italy and see [email protected]

HTH

Graham Wintersgill
On the bonnnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond

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post #17 of 19 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 3:56 am Thread Starter
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Italy 2007

At this time, we are trying to lock this trip down to some time in May or June.

Which would be best?

Temps?

Hotels OK in each month?

David Major
Charleston, SC
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-2007 GS Adventure. White
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post #18 of 19 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 7:11 am
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MAy or June

David

May or June would be regarded as off peak - the kids are still in school/uni which should make hotels a bit cheaper. June would be hotter than May but not as hot as July Have a look at http://www.tuscany.net/weather/weather.htm for temps
July and August are hot and busy.

and these for more info

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldgui...s/europe/italy

www.viamichelin.com is also a useful site. You can do hotel enquiries of both sites.

http://wikitravel.org/en/Tuscany

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g...Vacations.html

Graham Wintersgill
On the bonnnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond

2001 K1200LT

1995 K75RT now deceased
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post #19 of 19 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 7:26 am
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David,
As I posted before, June 2 is a big national holiday so that weekend will be busy everywhere.
I would either go before or after, and if I had a choice it would be May.
I think you will find yourself going farther afield than just Tuscany and Umbria, especially if you are on an LT !.
Simon
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