Subject: Re: Day Trips
Callie--You asked about those who like day-trips...

I often take day trips when in Italy--and elsewhere. I like to have a base from which I can reach out for two and at most three times during say a 10-day stay. Last November, while based in Roma for nine days, we took a day trip to Anagni which is about an hour's drive from Roma. We left Roma about 0900 and arrived in Anagni a little after 1000. We strolled around that delightful hill town, visited the famous crypt in the ancient church there for an hour or so and afterwards stopped for a coffee. We then left for Acuto which is about a one-half hour drive from Anagni where we had luncheon reservations at a country restaurant--Le Colline Ciociare.

After a leisurely, delightful, enjoyable two+ hour lunch we headed for Palestrina taking the country roads which took about 45 minutes. We did some sightseeing there for a couple of hours or so. We then drove back to Roma arriving back at our hotel about 1800. We relaxed for an hour or so then headed out for a good walk before stopping for a very light dinner--and a coffee plus a gelato to eat while walking back to the hotel :-).

During that stay in Roma we also took day a day-trip to Viterbo then on to Tuscania for lunch. Then we drove back to Roma. We pretty much followed the pattern of the day-trip to Anagni.

Lunch time for us is exactly that--lunch time. If the habit of the country calls for a several-hour break for lunch when everything except restaurants close, in my mind it makes good sense to get in step with that culture and have a leisurely lunch in a pleasant restaurant. There will be plenty of time to see the sights without pushing it. Now I don't recommend long day trips, an hour or so from base is about the longest day trip that makes sense. Of course, it takes thoughtful planning using detailed road maps, cross referencing several guide books, the endless information to be found on the internet and a defined idea what you would like to accomplish for a particular trip.

What I find to be a big travel mistake is undertaking too much in a 10 to 14 day stay abroad. Just taking Italy as an example, the tourist wants to squeeze in way too much into that short time frame. The itinerary for the stay is often Rome, Florence and Venice and the places in between like Cinque Terre. It is almost as if the country were a Disneyland. I almost forgot to include Civita as recommended by the tourists' guru, Rick Steves.