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Old 29th October 2019, 12:21 AM
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Default Public Transport

I want to visit Italy next year and make at least 3, maybe 4 stops where we rent an apartment and spend several nights trying living like a local. That means, go to grocery stores, bakeries, butcher, etc, and just hang out. Sure, there might be a little sight-seeing but not for the purpose of hitting touristy places, mainly to get a feel for the daily life.

The Venice metro is on the list (i.e Treviso), as well as other undecided options like a lake community (i.e. Samico on Lago d'Iseo), and a Ligurian coastal community (i.e. Varazze). Is local, public transport typically available in the smaller towns? I mean, I'd anticipate bus services to metro communities surrounding larger cities, but do smaller towns with less than 20,000 inhabitants have nothing more than a train station and taxis? I'd really rather not rent a car, unless it is for a single day use. I appreciate any recommendations and insight. Thanks.

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Old 29th October 2019, 03:29 AM
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Almost every town has something. The question is will you find it useful? Or even need it.

If you're renting an apartment in town you can usually walk to the shops. The whole point of living in the city is to be near things.
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Old 29th October 2019, 12:22 PM
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If you are going to Treviso and will not have a car, aim for something inside, or just outside, the town walls. Everything you would want will be in walking distance.

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Old 30th October 2019, 08:18 PM
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Thanks for the tip on Treviso. I will, indeed, do Google map searches on any prospective lodging to ensure we're well within walking vicinity of all the amenities we'll need. My biggest concern was being able to get from point "A" to "B", as in how will it look to arrive at the airport in Milan and get to Sarnico, or some other small town with no train station. So, I did something I never had and used Google Directions to give me options. I was surprised and hope it's fairly accurate.

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Old 30th October 2019, 08:49 PM
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Google is good, so is Rome2Rio here, I use both to check things our. Your arrival airport site is also a very good place to start.

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Old 30th October 2019, 09:23 PM
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Cheers, thank you very kindly for that!

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Old 30th October 2019, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heinz57 View Post
Thanks for the tip on Treviso. I will, indeed, do Google map searches on any prospective lodging to ensure we're well within walking vicinity of all the amenities we'll need. My biggest concern was being able to get from point "A" to "B", as in how will it look to arrive at the airport in Milan and get to Sarnico, or some other small town with no train station. So, I did something I never had and used Google Directions to give me options. I was surprised and hope it's fairly accurate.
Sorry about the misunderstanding.

One tip about bus services: in our experience what actually happens can bear little relation to the published timetable, but you still end up getting where you are going. So for example you board a bus from big city A to small town B, which the timetable claims is a direct route. Unexpectedly you are dropped at a service station somewhere on a motorway, where eventually a minibus appears and takes you to B by a circuitous and possibly scenic route, arriving an hour later than the timetable said. The drivers will generally be helpful and explain what is going on, provided you have enough Italian to ask questions and understand the answers.


Last edited by Troz; 30th October 2019 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 30th October 2019, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troz View Post
Sorry about the misunderstanding.

One tip about bus services: in our experience what actually happens can bear little relation to the published timetable, but you still end up getting where you are going. So for example you board a bus from big city A to small town B, which the timetable claims is a direct route. Unexpectedly you are dropped at a service station somewhere on a motorway, where eventually a minibus appears and takes you to B by a circuitous and possibly scenic route, arriving an hour later than the timetable said. The drivers will generally be helpful and explain what is going on, provided you have enough Italian to ask questions and understand the answers.
That's some good, red meat advice. What about mini-cab services, or Uber in the small towns?

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Old 31st October 2019, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heinz57 View Post
That's some good, red meat advice. What about mini-cab services, or Uber in the small towns?
Any town of at least moderate size will have a minicab or minivan. The prices I've seen quoted for trips between towns look pretty high, but start to look reasonable if there are two or three of you (or more if it is a minivan). The usual caveats apply about agreeing a fare beforehand.

While I am a regular Uber user in Australia I've never used them in Italy. They don't operate where we live. I've seen something where Uber says it is available in larger Italian cities but last time I was in Rome (about a month ago) I saw a sign in English at a taxi rank saying that Uber was illegal in Rome and quoted fines for both drivers and passengers. I was curious about this and googled it later, and found articles suggesting this was a misinformation campaign by taxi drivers!

Anyway, I find that in Rome taxis are ubiquitous, even at peak times, and cheap by Australian standards. The driving techniques are... memorable.

edit: here is the article I found: https://anamericaninrome.com/wp/2017...illegal-italy/

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Old 31st October 2019, 02:52 AM
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Thank you very much for the terrific advice. This discussion is most useful and it's helping me shape a prospective itinerary.

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