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First Trip Abroad: Logistics and Advice - Italy

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Hi everyone! My sister and I are in the midst of planning our first trip abroad will be spending 11 days touring Italy. We will be starting in Venice, spending a few days in Naples, and will finish with a big tour of Rome.

We've booked plane tickets, and are working on picking good/affordable hotels, and have nailed down some of the sites that we want to see (Doge's Palace in Venice, Pompeii, St. Peter's, Roman Forum, and Villa Borghese), but we need some help after that.

Logistically, what do you do when your plane gets in at 10 and you can't check into the hotel until 2? I've been told to carry nothing larger than a carry-on, but should we be dragging our luggage around the city during the day? We hear that the train system is great for getting around Italy, but can you buy tickets when you get to the station, or do you have to purchase them in advance? If so how?

What should we see while we're in Naples? We don't know much about that area. Which of the tourist staples aren't actually worth it in Rome?

I'll be buying a phrase dictionary, but some people have told us that if you look confused, the locals will switch to English. Is this true? Or do we need to brush up on a language that neither my sister nor didn't learned in school?

Any advice for a travel newbie? What questions have I not thought to ask? Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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