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Misc Tips for Italy travel

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Just came back from 19 day NCL Jade Adriatic/Med cruise. All went very smoothly and had a fabulous time. Just a few tips that I thought worth mentioning.

Euros: went over with 150E had leftover from last year's trip and that helped a lot. If your debit card only charges a % fee and not a flat transaction fee as well, I would take out 200-300E at a time, otherwise in getting out 400E I got 50E bills which are almost impossible to change. Handing over anything larger than 10E for a small purchase with the intent of breaking a 20E or 50E bill for getting change did not work. Clerks practically had their hand in my wallet looking for smaller bills.

Pompei (and Ostia Antica): would only go with books and maps less than 6 months old. I went with a great book figuring what could change but a lot did. Areas are blocked off, routes suggested in the book are no longer valid, etc. and they were almost useless. In Oct at least lots of flies at both sites.

Palermo to Monreale: catch bus #389 at Piazza de Independenzia. There is just a sign, no bus station just a large plaza. Asked 3 different bus personal and one lady offered info as she owns a B&B and has to know and they all gave incorrect info as only way to get to Monreale is bus #389 from P de Independenzia no matter what anyone tells you. Bus leaves a little bit after the top of the hour and there are not 3 buses an hour like the erroneous info I had. Take about 20 minutes.

Pickpockets: had my zippered backpack to my chest. Inside a zippered section had my zippered red wallet. Sitting on the bus to Monreale all of a sudden another pax came up to me with my red wallet (I had copies of my DL). Was shocked but pickpockets are good. They left my debit card, phone, etc and felt fortunate only lost 30E.

On very crowded Metro had my back to the door and a man in front of me. Two girls entered the metro to my right and all of a sudden saw the man in front of me raise his hand with his wallet in it and the 2 girls rushing out of the train. Pickpockets foiled.

Coperto or cover charge in restaurants: All restaurants we found in Venice charged a 2-3E cover charge.

In Rome, we had an apt at Campo dei Fiori so ate around there. There are no cover charges in those restaurants but verify before sitting or ordering as you want to be sure.

Weather: went to fodors.com and selected destination and checked the average weather for cities we were going to--spot on. We travel with one airline approved carryon each so have to be careful how we pack. In 26 days had 1 rain day.

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