Going to Italy

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by CityGirlintheCountry, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    I get to go to Italy for a couple of weeks. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to go? Our trip starts in Venice, travels to Florence, then Rome, then Naples and finally Pompeii.

    I am so excited that I can't see straight! [​IMG]
     
  2. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

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    Jealous! My good friend lived in Italy...I'll see if she has tips for you.
     
  3. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    Thanks! I have wanted to take this trip for over 20 years now. I can't wait! [​IMG]
     
  4. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Lucky! Tops for me are Florence and Rome. Venice is beautiful but more expensive. Naples really busy and kind of dirtier altho that doesn't bother me. Are you with a tour group or planning your own itinerary? If it is your first time Florence and Rome could easily take up two weeks so I would make those two places the spots where you spend the most time.
     
  5. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    The itinerary is pretty set as I have to do a conference in Rome for school. We are planning our own tour this time. Eventually I will turn this trip into a class trip with an official tour group. Mainly this is to be a site survey for that class. I have the official sites that we need to visit for class. It is the other stuff that I am hoping people will have experience with. We are hoping to do day tours within each city to help us see all the standard touristy things. I just don't know which companies are reputable.

    We fly into Venice and will spend 2 days there. Florence gets three days. Rome gets 5 days (conference). Naples/Pompeii get two days and we fly home from there (through Paris!). I wish I could spend two weeks in just Florence, but that is not how the class is shaping up. [​IMG] Oh well... I am pretty pumped about seeing all of it. I realize that we will just scrape the surface, but that is better than nothing.

    Any restaurant hints or things we absolutely must put on the itinerary?
     
  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:I am excited for you, but color me green! I love Europe!

    ETA, I wasn't able to get to Italy. I did spend 7 months in Grenoble, France. The whole day to day way of living is so different that I reveled in it. I hope you have a wonderful time, I'm sure you will!
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  7. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    I have been to Rome...walked all over the place. It's a really nice city with lots to see. You can pretty much walk everywhere that is important to visit, so don't bother with public transportation. Crossing the street there is much different than in the US. If you wait for the cars to stop for you, you'll be waiting all day. Watch the locals -- they'll basically step right out into oncoming traffic, which will then slow down.

    Watch out for Gypsies -- honestly -- especially in touristy places like the Colosseum. There are beggars and scammers all over the place in Rome and you do need to watch yourself. Keep your valuables in a money belt and don't slip your camera into your pocket. Watch out for people selling fake purses, etc., on the street. Watch for mobs of children who will run up to you and swarm you, especially if you have suitcases or bags with you. We didn't have any problems when we were there, but a couple of our more gullible friends did. One lost her camera and the other was forced into paying for what amounted to a friendship bracelet (the scammer asked her to stick out her finger and she did; he then tied string to her finger and started making the stupid bracelet -- she couldn't get away). Just say NO and walk away -- don't touch, stop to talk, etc., if something makes you feel uncomfortable. Be rude -- it translates. [​IMG]

    If you know English and Spanish, you can read a LOT of Italian. That will be helpful if you have that ability.

    Visit the little churches; you would be amazed at the art that is inside the less-touristy places. Make sure your camera can have the flash turned off. Many places won't let you take pictures with flash as it will damage the artwork.

    Go to the Trevi Fountain; that's a must when you visit Rome. There's a tradition about tossing a coin over your right shoulder and making a wish to return to Rome.

    Do the walk up the stairs to the top of St. Peter's Basilica if you have the physical ability. It's worth it and very interesting.

    Enjoy the pizza and all the gelato you can eat. Pizza in tiny shops is sold by weight; you tell them how much you want and they charge you a certain amount after they weigh it on a scale. The geleto will ruin you for American ice cream forever afterward, but it's worth it.

    Dress a little bit more "upscale" than you would while on an American vacation. A nice pea coat, blouse, scarf, nice slacks, dressy shoes -- not tennis shoes!! Don't wear things that will make you stick out as an "uncouth" American. [​IMG] [​IMG] They are a bit more classy than we are over there and it's nice to fit in. [​IMG] Of course, if you're with a tour group all the time, you'll stick out a little, but if you're away on your own, it will help.

    Get a decent tourbook to read. I had the National Geographic one for Rome. It was nice to be able to read all of the historical details and plan our day from that.

    We stayed at the Hotel Palatino near the Colosseum.
     
  8. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you're into art it won't be hard to fill your time! I just try different restaurants all the time except I have a little favorite trattoria in Rome called La Bruschetta on via Sardegna. See if Sr Buonofacio can be your waiter. I would definitely do all the touristic sites - you won't be disappointed. The Pantheon is one of my faves. If you go to the Vatican which I assume you will, make sure you line up early in the morning for the Sistine chapel tour.There are two wonderful Caravaggios in the Sta Maria del Popolo Piazza I think in the twin churches as I recall. Galleria Borghese has a lovely Titian and much more.
    In Florence besides the Uffizia and Accademia art museums, the Boboli gardens are really beautiful. Shop the open air markets for sure - the quality is wonderful. For silk, straw and leather. Ponte Vecchio may be expensive but it is great to wander and windowshop.
    I've never had a problem with thieves but if a young woman with a baby approaches you, keep your hand on your purse/wallet. I saw two young women who robbed a man of his wallet and they both fled, they had a baby and a toddler. If I feel anyone is walking up too close to me I make sure my purse is well in hand.
    Make sure to get your train ticket stamped at the yellow thingys and I take cabs in Rome as they are cheap altho our dollar is so cheap now that they could be expensive, I haven't been in about 4 years.
    Definitely buy a phonetic phrase book - much more fun if you try to speak the language a little.
    Everything in Italy is beautiful - art, architecture, people, fashion, wine, food, countryside, but don't use the train station loos in Venice.
     
  9. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    How tacky is it to wear jeans? I don't want to look like a tacky American, but I don't have many other kinds of pants. I don't really have the money to go buy tons of new clothes.
     
  10. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

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    Quote:That would be my dilemma too!

    My friend says to buy tickets online to the Colloseum and Vatican. She said the lines can be HOURS to wait. Any questions, I'll pass them along.
     

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