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Trip Report Italy Trip Report July 2007 Rome, Cinque Terre, Lake Como

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Italy Trip Report July 2007

This is my first trip report. I promise to use upper and lower case and to use paragraphs. I’ll try to break the posts between “chapters.” Then all bets are off. I hope you find something useful in my report. I got so much from all the information you shared.

The first thing I learned to remember is that everyone is different and therefore
each trip is unique. Remember to build your own memories, find surprises around each corner and to hold special things that could only happen to you and your family. I spent my first day in Rome looking for all these things I read about and trying finding them. I was also trying to take too many notes so I could have a complete trip report. I missed enjoying all that was going on around me. That changed quickly once I found my own travel style.

Let me tell you a bit about our family before I get started with the report. This is our first trip to Italy (and Europe!) There are three of us. Bill – 53, Cheryl – 47 and our son Jack -13. We’re all in okay health, but could all stand to lose some
weight. I mention that because we survived two weeks of walking and thousands of stairs.

Buy shoes ahead of time and make them your closest friends. Jack had his skate board shoes and Adidas sandals and didn’t mind. Then again he’s 13 and foot problems aren’t an issue. I wore a pair of Teva Ventura Cork sandals. I will buy more now that I am home. They molded to my feet and they are my best friends. A month before I had a bad case of tendonitis where I could barely walk without pain. Several years ago I had plantar faciitis and couldn’t walk three steps without crying. I loved my Teva's.To take care of tired feet, we would say Bi’Day Mate and then soak our feet in the bidet. Okay it was funny at the time. The cold water was very soothing.

Planning

We started planning for our trip in August 2006. I wanted to go to Rome, Cinque Terre and Lake Como. Of course our first trip would take us to Rome. My son is very interested in the ruins and history. I am a water person and have wanted to go to Cinque Terre since the first time I saw it on Rick Steves along time ago. Plus two co-workers had said this was the most beautiful place they had ever been.

Lake Como has a special place in my heart. The only thing on my “things to do before I die” list was to visit Mello, Italy near the Swiss border. My grandfather was born there. We used to ask him “Do you think you’ll ever go back?” and he would reply “….not unless they build a bridge.” And we would laugh and laugh. Well, what I found out was that I’m the bridge. More on this later. It was the best part of our trip.

I watched the airfares each day. When I saw them hit a “low” I booked my trip. We live in New Hampshire and traveled US Airways. It is not my favorite airline, but they have a non-stop from Philadelphia to Rome. I did not want to have to worry about connections in another country for this trip. The flight was about $1000 per person, coach.

I did my hotel research through Expedia, Trip Advisor and several travel books. I didn’t know about Fodor’s at that time. I narrowed my search on Expedia to hotels that had a 4.0 + traveler review and they had to have air conditioning.

After adding up the costs separately and on Expedia, Expedia was a bit cheaper, including travel insurance.

I sent confirmation emails to each hotel and they all had a reservation for me.
The only issue was with the Albergo del Senato. The Expedia website said the room had a balcony and the hotel confirmation said the triples did not have
balconies. Expedia did open a case, but I left things alone. I was too busy to pursue it and wanted to stay at this hotel.

Then it was six months of different travel books, Fodor’s, Trip Advisor and Googling. My only advice is not to over plan. Have a plan in place. Make reservations for the places you absolutely want to go. And once you arrive at your destination, let the plan change if it needs to change.

I think this is a good place to post the first installment.

Next chapter – packing and travelling

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