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Anyone been to Italy?

 
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cdninkorea



Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:37 am    Post subject: Anyone been to Italy? Reply with quote

I'm going to Italy next week: two weeks with my wife, and a week and a half by myself (I have more vacation than she does). Right now we're thinking of visiting Rome, Venice, Sant'Agata Bolognese (for the Lamborghini factory), Milan, and Rome again (she has to catch her flight).
After that, I was thinking of going south a little to Naples and somewhere else down there (Amalfi Coast? Adriatic Coast? I don't know).

My questions, to anyone who can offer insight:
- How long should my wife and I spend in Rome, Venice, and Milan? Our priorities: History, architecture, culture, food.
- Aside from Naples, where should I go in that area? My priority: food, rest and relaxation, and food again (like my wife, I'm very much a city person, but I expect to have had my fill of cities from the first two weeks of my trip).
- How much cash should we carry? We're worried both about running out of cash (we'll take credit cards too, of course) and theft.
- Any other tips appreciated! Very Happy
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augustine



Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Location: México

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been to Italy a couple times, spent about a month there in total. Rome is pretty grimy but I'd give it a few days minimum. Vatican City is great, all of the ruins and all that etc. It's been a few years but I'm guessing your trip is going to be pretty expensive. Milan is cool if you're into the scene which I wasn't but Venice is a trip. Hope it doesn't rain too hard when you're there. I haven't been south of Naples and people were telling me that Naples was semi-dangerous, but I found it fine, and that was a while ago. I'd guess Italy is super tourist security locked down and all that. I went to Brindisi to take a ferry to Greece, but I don't remember anything remarkable about Brindisi though it was kind of nice. I always get mad at myself for not going to Sicily so I'd think about maybe doing that, or you could hop a ferry to a different country off the grid like Albania, Bosnia, Serbia or Croatia. Eastern Europe kicks Western Europe's ass any day of the week in my mind and I've been to almost every country in Europe, but I know everyone has to do their Italy thing. I wouldn't worry too much about theft or anything aside from pick pockets in crowded areas. Eh, sorry I don't have more to offer. Just my thoughts. Have a nice trip.
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No_hite_pls



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Location: Don't hate me because I'm right

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went to Italy for 9 days with my wife six years ago in February. It was part of our four week European vacation. The forum in Rome was impressive, we liked Pompeii down near Naples, and Venice was wonderful in February. We were there for margi gras, in Venice many people dressed up in fancy costumes and masks for the holiday. We also got to see ash Wednesday mass with the pope. We stayed at wonderful bed and breakfast in Rome for about 60 Euros a night. It was seven blocks from the train station.

We were overcharged for meals more in Italy than any other country of the trip. We stayed at the rudest bed breakfast in Florence. The women there accused my wife and I of not being married. My wife's passport still had her maiden name on it back then. All in all we found Italy over rated and over priced.

I would say spend at least 3 nights in Venice, 3 or 4 in Rome too, I can't help with the others since I didn't go there but I always wanted to go to Sicily. I believe the food and culture would be very interesting down there.

We brought 3,200 Euros in cash and travelers checks for four weeks plus three western credit cards that we never used. We wore money belts and split the money between the two of us. We ended the trip having less than 100 euros. We had maybe 8 nice dinners total, 12 pub like dinners, 8 cheap dinners, breakfasts were usually included with the room, normal lunches (small cafes sandwiches coffee), museum fees, train fees (we had a Euro-pass but you usually had to pay a small reservation fee), 200 euros of souvenirs, three days of skiing, and ski rentals. Very Happy

BTW 3,200 euros for four weeks does not including lodging, airfare, or the rail pass. We prepaid for them on our credit cards. The four week trip was about 10,000 USD everything included.


Here is were we stayed in Venice and Rome
Venice "Eden" (39-041-524-4003)
Rome "A&C Much More" (+39-06-445-3024)
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Brooks



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went last year with the wife.
I went to Milan, Venice, Florence, Tuscany and Rome.
Could have gone to Naples and Pompei. Instead went to the Vatican and Rome.
Much better than I thought. Good food.
Milan was not interesting but Rome and Venice are better.
Venice is unique and is like nowhere else.
Florence is good if you are into art or shopping for leather.

One warning: watch out for pickpockets in Rome on the subway and street.
I heard of Japanese getting robbed and having their cameras stolen.

Rome is dirty in parts but it is like walking around a museum, so it is cool.
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wishfullthinkng



Joined: 05 Mar 2010

PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i personally didn't really enjoy milan. it was nice but hard to break into a chat with most people and everything closes really early or just isn't open on the weekends.
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I'm With You



Joined: 01 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For anyone here that's made the trip, how does Italy compare with, say, Portugal and Spain?

If you had to choose between the two, which would you rather visit?

I've heard more negatives about Italy and not much about Portugal and Spain, however.
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augustine



Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Location: México

PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm With You wrote:
For anyone here that's made the trip, how does Italy compare with, say, Portugal and Spain?

If you had to choose between the two, which would you rather visit?

I've heard more negatives about Italy and not much about Portugal and Spain, however.


My time in Portugal was limited, but I've spent nearly three months in Spain, and as I said above, around a month in Italy. I'd choose Spain any day, even though I know there's a bit of an upheaval going on there at the moment. Italy obviously wins out in the historical department, food, and a few others. But Spain has a good thing going on. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities and I even came to enjoy Madrid on my second visit. But there are a ton of great cities like Seville and Granada (Granada, especially). One of the best experiences of my life was the week I spent in some super tiny town living in a cabin up in the Sierra Nevada mountains that you had to literally walk through the woods to find. Smoking hash and playing my guitar sitting on a rock like a douche bag hippie. There's a great vibe in some of the smaller places and to me the Spanish don't seem as stuck up as a lot of Italians often do, though both countries are full of some really funny, stereotypical dudes. Plus, you can pop over to Morocco, which is also a really amazing country to travel in. That's just my opinion. And I speak Spanish, not Italian, so I'm biased.
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Brooks



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot say but my wife has been to both Spain and Italy.
She prefers Italy for its food, art, and architecture.
I think Italy gets more tourists so their industry is more developed and organized.
We had guided tours at the Vatican and Florence, and it is easy to pick the language of your choice.

We did a group tour and the bus driver was very helpful and friendly.
We went from Milan to Venice to Florence, a winery in Tuscany to Rome, plus the optional tour to Naples and Pompei.


Pickpockets are worse in Spain, she thinks.
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