Here’s another in my Italy Q&A series of posts. I got a note from Milton which read:
i am going to italy in september for about 3 weeks and was thinking about taking an apartment in rome, or maybe another town. i would love your thoughts. i don’t want to try to see everything in the short time, but would like to headquarter in one place and see some wonders of the south and then go for a few days to the north of italy.
Choosing an apartment over a hotel is a great idea, especially if you’re going to be staying for more than a few days and you want to take day-trips rather than move from place to place. It makes for a slower pace of travel, too, and lets you get to know the greengrocer down the street and the bar on the corner where you’ll have your morning coffee every day, and as a bonus it often makes for more cheap travel, as well – so bravo for thinking about taking an apartment, Milton!
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I’m of two minds about basing yourself in Rome, however. On the one hand, it’s got a massive train station and you’ll be able to take day-trips to just about anywhere you could possibly want to go. It also has Italy’s major airport, so finding cheap airline tickets to Europe will be easier here than for some other Italian cities. On the other hand, even apartments in Rome aren’t necessarily going to be inexpensive – especially if you don’t want to be way out in the (Roman equivalent of the) boondocks. Having said that, you didn’t say that you were specifically looking for the cheapest apartment out there, so you might have budgeted enough for a centrally-located apartment in Rome where you would be perfectly content.
>>Read more about apartment rentals in Italy
If your goal is really to see more of Southern Italy, then perhaps basing yourself in a city like Naples would be an option, too. Naples is certainly much more rough around the edges than Rome (and Rome already exhausts me!), and it’s the center of quite a bit of controversy and protests right now because of the garbage crisis, but there’s no telling what it’ll be like by September. The benefit of choosing Naples over Rome would be that it’s even more southern, so getting further into the toe and heel of the boot would be much shorter train rides than they would be from Rome. But again, Naples is even harder to handle than Rome, especially for non-Italians – so read up on Naples before deciding it’s the place for you!
You didn’t say what cities in the North that you were planning to visit, so I’ll pass along my links for Venice and Florence in case they’re on your list. And if there’s anything else I can help you with, do let me know!