11 days, 17 hours and counting to Italy!

Sep 11th, 2009, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 222
The vaporetto pass is a great deal! We were so happy to have it. I wouldn't bother with the toilet card - not necessary. Just keep a few 1 Euro coins in your pocket for the public facilities if you have to use them.
SCFoodie is offline  
Sep 11th, 2009, 12:07 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7
Pack washcloths if you use them. Italians do not have them. I am envious, because I was leaving for Italy on Aug 31 thru Sept 17, but broke my shoulder 1 week prior.
Be sure to visit Assisi while in Umbria.
Beg the Officio di Scavi for tickets. Take any openings while you are there. It is possible. I've been 3x.
Guarantee on the flight home you will be planning to go back.
Buon Viaggi! Ti Viogli Bene!
belwebonly is offline  
Sep 11th, 2009, 06:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 355
Marianna-I just got out the Old Navy anorak windbreaker...just in case! I'm only taking one sweater but a pashmina as well. Buon Viaggio!
SCFoodie-I bought the vaporetti passes on line today! Thanks for the tip on the bagno situation.
belwebonly-Oooh! My sister in law warned me that there are no washclothes in Italy! Thanks for the second on this! I'm so sorry that you broke your shoulder, I will take good notes and report back so you can travel vicariously. I have not had luck with the Scavi Tour! I re-sent my e mails, and faxes and explained that we were leaving in a short period of time...PLEASE LET ME TAKE THE TOUR. I got the standard confirmation AGAIN! So I will do as another great poster (kybourbon) here did and call upon arrival to see if there is any availability. Grazie per la sua saluti!
galelstorm is offline  
Sep 12th, 2009, 06:57 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 400
Italybound09 I don't know if you are able to check this now but I will be able to make it tomorrow night only if it's past 7 as I am taking a boat tour finishing at 5:30 and will have to go back to my hotel and freshen up. So if it works out that you can make it there and I can too see you at 7-7:30. If not I hope you are enjoying your time in Italy!

Gale, have an amazing time! Can't wait to hear about it.
JenV is offline  
Sep 12th, 2009, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,413
>>>did and call upon arrival to see if there is any availability<<<<

I didn't call, but some of the other people in my group did (a party of three). I had to talk my way past the Vatican employees and then past the Swiss Guards (so cute) to get to the Scavi office to ask about availability. It would have been much easier to call. I don't think the Vatican employees (2 guys guarding the fenced off exit from St. Peter's to make sure no one entered that way) would have let me by if I didn't have my e-mail response and was traveling alone. Since I only needed on spot, I'm sure they felt it was likely I could get one.

We bought umbrellas in Florence one year with the Tuscan cypress trees on them. I didn't see any last trip.
kybourbon is offline  
Sep 12th, 2009, 02:22 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 7
My husband and I have had the privilege of going to Italy 4 times including Paris 3 times,all in the last 9 years(all the kids are grown and gone and we are still young(50-55).We are absolutely in love with Italy, particularly with Tuscany.We had a trip planned for this past July(Andrea Bocelli concert,included), but the economy has hit us hard. Our friends went on without us,boohoo.
We are now planning a trip for September 2010. I already have B&B reservations in Greve(Chianti Wine festival)and in Cortona, we will then go to Venice(our 3rd trip to)and then slowly head to Lake Como and possibly on to France, its hard for us to get out of Italy,though. But we also have had great experiences and times in France.Have also been to the Cinque Terre,Sorrento,Capri.Loved the coastline as well.Absolutely gorgeous and of course Rome(3 times).I have loved hearing everyone's ideas and plans, it makes me extremely anxious for our trip, that I usually plan and save for 1-2 years in advance.
The Balloon idea for drying clothes is the most clever thing I have ever heard of.
We will definitely be trying that.
Sounds like galelstorm will have an absolutely fabulous time.
Any suggestions for things along the way from Venice to and around Lake Como would be greatly appreciated, we have never experienced this area.
We love everything about Italy
Ciao Sally
sallym808 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 7
Sallym808, PADUA, definitely! Not far from Venice, so ancient, so elegant. I have been attending University there so I've been living there for 4 years. Some wonderful monuments: coming from the train station and going towards the heart of the town, The Scrovegni Cappella (with Giotto frescos) and the nearby Eremitani Church (Mantegna frescos); the ancient University where Galilaeo taught; the three piazzas (Piazza dei Signori, Piazza della Frutta, Piazza delle Erbe) and the wonderful Palazzo della Ragione (definitely go inside and see the ancient Tribunal, it's a single, large room full of frescos); then Via Roma with its porticos and many nice places to eat and drink something; at the end of the street you find the Prato della Valle piazza, a large round piazza with ancient statues and trees; the St. Anthony Church with St. Anthony's tomb and, on the piazza, the equestrian statue of Gattamelata, an ancient warrior, made by Donatello. Just wear comfortable shoes cause you'll walk a lot otherwise you can use buses.
lapacenelmondo is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2
galestorm, thanks for the packing tips and the onebag web site tip. It sounds like a plan, and I wish you dry and breezy days! You give me hope. I'm having nightmares about having to pack for 6.5 months in Paris, spanning winter, spring and a bit of summer. I know I won't make it with a carry-on, but it would be nice to just have one bag plus carry-on, just from a logistics standpoint.

Have fun on your trip!
mumsie7 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 37
Please do a trip report! My husband and I are heading to Rome (7nights), Cortona (2 nights), Venice (1 night) and Paris (1 night) for our honeymoon in October. I'd love to hear all the little things you did as well! Thanks and have a wonderful time!
krystle0819 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 03:14 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 20
You must go to my good friend's restaurant La Pergola in the Cavalieri Roma. Masterchef Heinz Beck with 3 Michelin Stars is a culinary genius. You have never lived until you have dined here and feasted your eyes of Roma and Basilica San Pietro.
In Venice, go to Canova Ristorante in Luna Baglioni Hotel just 3 minutes from one end of Piazza San Marco. Superbe Ventian cuisine. Also, Caffe Florian where Casanova used to go for his romantic rendezvous. Yes, Casanova was a real gentleman.
Do not go to Trattoria All'Antico Pizzo", Rialto - S. Polo, 814-30125 Venezia. Tel: 041 523 1575 P.I. 03523870271 (By Calle S.Matio o del Marangon)
Please see my report:
Dining in a dark alley in Venezia….

MY name is Lim, Dr. Michael Lim and I am The Travelling GourmetTM. I travel the world to eat and drink professionally so I can write features about the places I experience. Recently, I was in Venezia and after strolling about the Rialto Bridge, I felt hungry as it was 8.30pm. I chanced upon a restaurant in a dark alley, only 5 feet wide. It was starting to get dark although the sun only sets about 9.45pm in summer. A group of seven boisterous Amercans were yelling and joking good naturedly at each other and at no one in particular. They were totally drunk. I could tell by the way they made merry and by the number of empty wine bottles on their table. At another table, there sat a couple who dined quietly whispering sweet nothings in each other's ear. I thought, "Great atmosphere, dining in a dark alley instead of a Michelin starred restaurant..."
"You don't like, you don't pay!", the owner said to me interuppting my thoughts.
"Vero??" I replied. Vero means 'is it true? or really?'
I decided to sit down and ordered in Italian. This suprised Sergio Nezha, the owner, who went to get his henchman to take my order. The henchman/maitre d' was a fat large aesthetically challenged guy that looked exactly like a Mafia hitman a la 'The Sopranos' with his black tie, black suit and slightly threatening demeanour. "Better and better." I thought. "Dine by the Rialto in a dark dark alley with a Mafia hitman as your server. Cool!"
I went to check out the kitchen and met the two cooks; I won't call them Chefs. One was from Sri Lanka so I spoke to him in Sinhalese, and the other was from Bangla Desh. The owner did not like me talking to his cooks and shooed me out with a peeved "Allora!". Perhaps he did not want his customers to see that the Italian food was cooked by a 'Tamil Tiger' (this is in jest as he was a very nice, harmless looking fellow)from Sri Lanka and a Bangla Deshi man. The food came. There was pasta and pizza and the inevitable l'acqua minerale naturale senza gas. It was not Michelin star food by a long, long chalk, but it wasn't too bad. Then the bill came and I paid with a 20 Euro bill. The fat, ugly Mafiosi maitre d' took my money and decided to keep the change, even though it was clearly written that all service and taxes were included in the price.
This displeased me, greatly. It was dark then and my partner pleaded in an anxious voice, "Let's go! I know your temper but it is not worth it to get into an argument. There might be violence." I did not like it but I went with her straight to my favourite cafe in Venice, namely the centuries old Caffe Florian on the Piazza San Marco. The band played Edith Piaf's signature theme, "Non, je ne regrette rein!" for me on request, and I felt better after a cup of nice Camomilla tea with honey. So, my friends, if you are near the Rialto and want to dine in a small dark alley way, pay your bill with exact change unless you are a rich New Yorker who likes maitre d's who look like Mafia hitmen. And if you happen to read this fat maitre d', I say this to you, "Idiota e imbecile!" C'est la vie, mon ami... Je ne regrette rien. { Trattoria All'Antico Pizzo", Rialto - S. Polo, 814-30125 Venezia. Tel: 041 523 1575 P.I. 03523870271 (By Calle S.Matio o del Marangon)

On another topic I'd like to share with you about another good friend of mine:

MARVELLOUSLY funny and witty Keith Floyd better known as "far Flung Floyd" for this much loved cooking shows has passed away
and gone to the big kitchen in the sky. He had a heart attack watching TV in Dorset, England.
I was a little sad to learn of this on Monday Sep 14, 2009, as he was a good friend.
I still remember the last time we had drinks in
Scotts Lounge of the Grand Hyatt Singapore. He loved Johnnie Walker Red Label which he could consume in incredible amounts.
Have another Scotch he suggested, but it was late so I said, "Thanks but I have work tomorrow."
Craggy faced Floyd was man of charm and charisma and the way he could cook put some of the TV Chefs to shame, especially those that we professional chefs laugh at for their inept cutting skills. and ludicrous lack of organisation in the mis-en-place, not to mention apalling kitchen hygiene.
Yes, Floyd, wherever you are, you will be missed...but as he would say with a devil- may-care glint in his sparkling eyes, so full of life, "CHEERS!"
Have a lovely timne in Europe and take care!!! {
thetravellinggourmet is offline  
Sep 20th, 2009, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 39
JenV-I'm sorry we missed you! We stayed in an apartment right on the beach and our balcony looked out at Buca di Bacco. I could have hit it with a rock if I wanted to! We ate there the first Saturday night and had drinks at the bar underneath a few times. I thought of you during our stay-wondering if we were passing on the road or eating next to you!!
Hope you had a great trip!
italybound09 is offline  

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