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Where to Spend a Month in Europe in September?

Where to Spend a Month in Europe in September?

Old Jan 19th, 2022, 06:03 AM
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Where to Spend a Month in Europe in September?

We have been asked to babysit our grandson for a couple of nights in Paris, while our son and DiL attend as destination wedding. Since we will be fully retired by then, we have a lot of free time afterwards and thought we might as well stick around. (Covid has kept us from foreign travel recently.). I thought after Paris we might head to Charleville on a Rimbaud pilgrimage, then on to Brussels to check out the art museums. So that's a few days . . .

Ideas: Return to France, see Provence (never been), perhaps another region.

Rent an apartment in Naples for a two weeks, visit archaeological sites, etc. Perhaps continue to Sicily for another two weeks.

Visit Greece for the first time. Peloponnese and an island (want to get to Delos).

Return to Spain after thirty years. Madrid and environs, then Andalusia.

We're interested in art and history, particularly Roman and Medieval. We like walking in cities and hiking in scenic areas, good food and drink -- the usual.

Restraints are budgetary, I guess. Can't spend all our retirement funds so early on. Hence the idea of staying in apartments for longer stays rather than hotels, which we prefer. Would it be reasonable to assume we could rent an apartment for say $1500 a week? Just trying to get an idea. Will these places be too hot in September? Where would you go if you had a free month?
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Old Jan 19th, 2022, 06:58 AM
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$1500 a week? You can stay in hotels for a fraction of that. Certainly in Madrid. I'd expect Greece to be a fraction of that budget. Especially with September not really be the height of summer.

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Old Jan 19th, 2022, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Traveler_Nick View Post
$1500 a week? You can stay in hotels for a fraction of that. Certainly in Madrid. I'd expect Greece to be a fraction of that budget. Especially with September not really be the height of summer.
Good to hear.
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Old Jan 19th, 2022, 07:27 AM
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Fra, you two have such a smorgasbord from which to choose, yeah? Here are simply some ideas, focusing on bases with daytrips abounding:

1) Minori: staying in this Amalfi coast town would put one in a position for VG daytrips plus a quotient of authentic coastal town life.
2) Siracusa in Sicily--as above.
3) Bevagna in Umbria--again as above.
4) Beaune--same same
5) Uzes (great value rentals throughout this town)
6) Arcos de la Frontera
7) Which Greek isle? That'll be a whole additional decision. I'd try to factor in 2-fer possibilities.

Good Luck, sounds like a great time no matter wot.
I am done. the fras
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Old Jan 19th, 2022, 07:59 AM
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Ortigia specifically, not Siracusa.

Dijon, not Beaune - or Strasbourg in preference to either, visiting Nancy on the way.

Mainland as well as islands in Greece - north as well as south.
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Old Jan 19th, 2022, 09:24 AM
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Hi Fra_Diavolo:



1500 is a generous budget and could get you a month in an Air B&B in some places 😊.



All your options look good, but how do you feel about heat, as Andalusia in September can still be quite hot in places (Seville for example) and same can be true of Provence.



You may not need to venture far from Paris. I have similar interests in art and history, particularly the Medieval and the Renaissance. I spent last September (2021), based in Paris for a couple of weeks doing day trips through history base on this book:

Amazon Amazon



I then spent 5 days in Lyon (I could easily have spent double that!) with day trips and then to Strasbourg for 4 days and back to Paris.



I can share my itinerary of you like.



September is my favorite time in Europe, so I can come back with more suggestions re Spain and Italy.



Regards Ger
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Old Jan 19th, 2022, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
Ortigia specifically, not Siracusa.

Dijon, not Beaune - or Strasbourg in preference to either, visiting Nancy on the way.

Mainland as well as islands in Greece - north as well as south.
All of the OPís choices are perfect, though Iím not sure how hot it gets in Andalucia in September. If he wants to visit Delos, Mykonos is indicated, Iíd probably stay there just 1-2 nights, itís not my fav island.

Ä1500/ week is quite a lot for many of these places, you should be able to keep your costs well within that amount. We always like to rent apartments, more place to spread out and more comfortable too. We also enjoy buying fresh produce from local markets and rustling up simple meals, to be enjoyed with a bottle of wine!
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Old Jan 19th, 2022, 01:43 PM
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Sicily's weather is still hot but bearable in September and nights are cooler and comfortable. Late September into October is my favorite time to visit.
Sounds like it will be a wonderful trip whichever place(s) you choose.
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Old Jan 19th, 2022, 03:14 PM
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We have traveled to Europe several times in September and the weather has been perfect, maybe some days a tad too hot but not unbearable. We have been to France, Andalucia in Spain, and Croatia, for example. We were in Provence one year in September visiting our daughter and her family who live there. It was warm, probably 80's Fahrenheit, but I don't remember it being unbearable. Croatia was summer-like, people were still swimming, but temps were pleasant. In Madrid, Toledo, and Andalucia, temps were in the 80's. The one place that was uncomfortably hot was Sevilla. It was late September/early October, and temps were in the low to mid-90's. I switched from wearing capris everywhere else to wearing shorts in Sevilla. Yes, it was a bit uncomfortable but not unbearable.

All your destinations sound wonderful. In France, you could visit Provence and the Dordogne, or go to Nice after Provence. I definitely recommend Madrid and Andalucia. Would you consider Croatia? It's gorgeous!!!
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Old Jan 19th, 2022, 03:41 PM
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Thank you all for responding -- I appreciate the input. I gather I can't go wrong. While I'm not a big fan of heat, I do live in NYC which is very hot and humid in the summer, so I guess I'd get by in the southern destinations. I welcome any further ideas.
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Old Jan 21st, 2022, 01:20 PM
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I agree with everyone else: you can't really go wrong with any of your options.
However, since you're specifically interested in Roman and Medieval history, as well as hiking and good food, and given the month during which you will be travelling, I think Naples (also as a base to visit the rest of Campania) and Sicily are a particularly good option.

Naples is a truly amazing city in and of itself, with a great archeological museum, various palaces and castles, and great views. Of course Pompeeii and Herculaneum, and the Vesuvius, are close by and easy to access. Naples is also not far from the Sorrento peninsula with its Medieval villages and hiking trails (and the Amalfi coast). Nearby you also have Santa Maria Capua Vetere, the site of the ancient town of Capua, at some point the second most important city under Roman rule and the site of the most important amphitheatre (also where of Spartacus start his slave uprising) until the Colosseum was built. There are numerous other Roman ruins there, interspersed through the fabric of the modern town. There's also the town currently called Capua, which was re-founded by the Normans further to the west of ancient Capua and is a very pretty, largely Medieval town. The via Appia, the most important ancient Roman road, was built to connect Rome to Capua; it's along this road that the vanquished gladiators of Spartcus's revolt were crucified. You can follow the route of the road (though no ancient pavement is visible along it) pretty much all the way from present-day Capua through Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Caserta (biggest royal palace in the world), Maddaloni (cute historic town centre, some ancient pavement), Arpaia (at the end of a narrow valley and probably the site of the Caudine Forks, where the Samnites defeated the Romans), Montesarchio (scenic, largely Medieval town), Benevento (a Roman theatre and triumphal arch, plus other Roman ruins, plus palaces and churches, plus it's just gorgeous) and beyond (shout out to the ruined Roman Ponte Rotto over the Calore river).

if you head down to Sicily overland (as opposed to by ferry or air), you can stop at the great archeological site of the Greek and Roman city of Paestum. You can also hike through some of the hills and mountains of the Cilento or Pollino National parks, both of which are very scenic. (Pollino is higher and more rugged.)

Once in Sicily, the ancient ruins (in Agrigento, Ortigia, Segesta, Selinunte and beyond), although gorgeous, are mostly Greek, not Roman, but they were still under Roman rule, and I don't think they'll disappoint you! That being said, there's the Villa del Casale, with some of the best Roman mosaics anywhere, which is a must-see. For medieval (and ancient) architecture, head to the picturesque small towns in the mountains in the northeast of Sicily: San Marco d'Alunzio, Castelmola, Castelbuono, Castiglione, Novara, Savoca... Palermo also has the spectacular, Medieval, Arab-Norman architecture (and much, much more). As for hiking, there's lots of options: the high-elevation active volcanic terrain of Etna, the plateaus and incised valleys of the southeast, the vast wooded slopes of the Nebrodi mountains, the high ridge between two seas of the Peloritani, the meadows and gorgeous peaks of the Madone, the cliffs and sea views of the Monti di Palermo and the Zingaro reserve, the remote ridges of the ranges in the interior, the rugged and scenic small outlying islands (volcanic or not)...

When it comes to eating, both Campania and Sicily offer some of the best food in the entire world, including the original modern pizza (in Naples, and Caserta, too), a vast array of different pasta dishes, great cheese, tasty meat (fresh and cured) from local breeds, plentiful and varied fresh seafood, delicious technically vegan dishes (caponata!), a huge variety of sweets and pastries, and Europe's best street food (in Palermo). There's also some of the most interesting wines (regular and sweet) In Europe, and some local craft beer, to wash it all all down...

Weather-wise, September is amazing: usually lots of sunshine and little rain, warm seawater, hot but not unbearable temperatures that give way to an early (compared to earlier in the summer), very pleasant night during which to wander the local streets and sample (more) local food.

Last edited by mbrevitas; Jan 21st, 2022 at 01:24 PM.
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Old Jan 21st, 2022, 05:24 PM
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mbrevitas -- Thanks, you make a strong case. I think it's going to come down to Provence or Naples/Sicily. I have been to Naples and wanted to return for an extended stay to see some of the lesser known sites. We honeymooned years ago in Positano and returned a few times. Might stop by for old times sake.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2022, 09:39 AM
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Hi Fra - I rarely wander into Europe any more, but I noticed your thread…

How absolutely wonderful to head to Europe in September and to spend time with your grandchild and his parents.

I’ve spent quite a lot of time wandering around Western Europe. Given your interest in art, history and cuisine, I would recommend the north of Spain. Madrid is an oasis of all of your interests. Plus, you could then visit San SebastiŠn and Bilbao. You will eat quite well! You might spend a few days walking bits of the Camino del Norte and visit Leon or Lugo. (I say all this as an avowed Francophile.) I liked Andalusia, but not in the same way that northern Spain got under my skin. Andalusia I checked off my list, Northern Spain I’ll need to return to again having only visited twice. There is a hospitality you feel there as well which is hard to find in other places.

Looking forward to hearing how your trip develops.

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Old Jan 22nd, 2022, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by gruezi View Post
Hi Fra - I rarely wander into Europe any more, but I noticed your threadÖ

How absolutely wonderful to head to Europe in September and to spend time with your grandchild and his parents.

Iíve spent quite a lot of time wandering around Western Europe. Given your interest in art, history and cuisine, I would recommend the north of Spain. Madrid is an oasis of all of your interests. Plus, you could then visit San SebastiŠn and Bilbao. You will eat quite well! You might spend a few days walking bits of the Camino del Norte and visit Leon or Lugo. (I say all this as an avowed Francophile.) I liked Andalusia, but not in the same way that northern Spain got under my skin. Andalusia I checked off my list, Northern Spain Iíll need to return to again having only visited twice. There is a hospitality you feel there as well which is hard to find in other places.

Looking forward to hearing how your trip develops.
Thanks gruezi -- I had thought we might walk a bit of the camino in Portugal. It's still a possibility. I also thought of adding a few early September days in Wengen to let the south cool off a bit more. I thought this would be easy to decide as a no-lose proposition, but there is a lot to consider. Pleasant work though.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2022, 04:10 PM
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Ahhh. Wengen. Well, I’d encourage getting over to Muerren too. I was going to suggest Switzerland because it’s gorgeous in September. But art and food are better in Spain. You can walk some beautiful parts of the Camino in Switzerland too. I did walk for 9 days in Portugal a couple years ago but I was there in January so walked in the south. There is some dramatic scenery but it was a tad festive for me. In terms of hospitality nothing compares to Spain. I’m not a huge fan of Italy, but I have been many times so perhaps my appetite is sated. Living in Switzerland, seeing Italy is like heading to Boston.

Sounds like you have some great choices to mull over.

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Old Jan 22nd, 2022, 04:13 PM
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Sorry - duplicate
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Old Jan 22nd, 2022, 04:31 PM
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My first thought on reading your post, in particular “We're interested in art and history, particularly Roman and Medieval. We like walking in cities and hiking in scenic areas, good food and drink -- the usual” was a combination of the Dolomites/Verona to the north and Naples/Amalfi Coast/Paestum in the south. Fantastic scenery and hiking of all levels in the Alpe di Siusi, Solo in Italia once again: Venice, Bologna (Ravenna), Ortisei, Bolzano, Verona, (see the photo in post #30 of the young woman pushing the baby carriage). That said, I was in Ortisei at the beginning of September and there were already vestiges of snow in the mountains. Loved Sicily as well. Where to spend a month with family in Europe is a problem to savor.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2022, 07:26 PM
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(searches Camino maps for that village called 'duplicate')
Doo-plee-kahtay'?
I am done. the duplicate
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Old Jan 22nd, 2022, 07:52 PM
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Portugal

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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bon_voyage;[url=tel:17325388
17325388[/url]]My first thought on reading your post, in particular ďWe're interested in art and history, particularly Roman and Medieval. We like walking in cities and hiking in scenic areas, good food and drink -- the usualĒ was a combination of the Dolomites/Verona to the north and Naples/Amalfi Coast/Paestum in the south. [...] That said, I was in Ortisei at the beginning of September and there were already vestiges of snow in the mountains. [..]
The Dolomites are awesome, and it's not too hard to travel between them and the south of the country, both by car and by public transport. September should also have much smaller crowds than July and August, which should help a lot. The weather gets rapidly cooler during September, and snow is quite likely at some point, but the start of the month should be pleasant. That being said, September is pleasant for hiking pretty much anywhere in Italy and beyond. Depending on the kind of landscapes and paths you prefer, there's numerous options, all over the Alps, in the central Apennines, on the volcanoes, along the coast... Maybe we can have a separate thread about that, if needed.
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