Back from 6 Mos in Italy

Old Oct 7th, 2000, 07:00 AM
  #1  
Sylvia
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Back from 6 Mos in Italy

i wanted to thank everyone for the input i received before i left and to give back if anyone is planning something similar and has questions. i lived in umbria the entire time, but did trips to other parts of italy. i also took an italian language course for three months and brought my dog along with me on the trip if anyone has any interest in either of those subjects. thanks again to everyone!

sylvia
 
Old Oct 7th, 2000, 07:02 AM
  #2  
kk
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Welcome back, Sylvia. (I remember you largely because of your principessa email address.) I can't imagine being so deliriously lucky as to have six whole months in Italy! How fantastic. What are some of your best memories? (Gee, how could you even pick.)
 
Old Oct 7th, 2000, 07:36 AM
  #3  
Sylvia
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you're right, there are so many good memories. one that i was telling someone just last night was how it's very popular to go see movies outside during the summer evenings. although i intended to attend several times, i ended up going only once unfortunately. it was in the frontone giardino, a popular place where we had seen a show during the umbria jazz fest. anyway, we brought along a bottle of wine (even though they had a full bar there) and bought prosciutto panini. the movie was preceded by about twenty minutes of television commercials and they also had a fifteen minute intermission half-way through the film. the most magical part of the evening was watching fireflies overhead. it was difficult to pay attention to the film and not just gaze around me and soak up the experience.
 
Old Oct 7th, 2000, 09:09 AM
  #4  
kk
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How charming. Sounds like my own idea of la dolca vita indeed!
 
Old Oct 7th, 2000, 12:48 PM
  #5  
Sheila
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Sylvia, would be most interested to
know of your experiences travelling
with your dog. Did your pooch fly
in the cabin with you? Our dog is
not large, but she's too big to fit
under the seat...and we have certain
misgivings about putting her in the
baggage compartment. Did you have
your reservations in Umbria all lined up before you left? When you
took your trips to other parts of
Italy, did you always travel by auto
or can you travel by train with a
pet (in carrier, I assume)? We've
been contemplating an extended stay
in Europe, primarily France, but are
somewhat overwhelmed with the logis-
tics of taking our friend, Lucky.


 
Old Oct 7th, 2000, 05:21 PM
  #6  
nancy
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Sylvia,
I am very interested in the language course you took.
Where did you take it?
Did you learn alot, and did you find that also just being there helped with the language?
I have been studying on my own , with the help of a half dozen books, and two tapes.
Unfortunately,
1- I live in a part of vermont where there is very little opportunity to find an italian teacher.
2- I will only be in italy for two weeks, and will not be able to take any courses.
But someday we may have an chance to go for a longer period of time.
BUT, I am still interested in your experiences.
Is it hard to be back in the states?
nancy

 
Old Oct 10th, 2000, 08:45 AM
  #7  
Sylvia
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hi sheila! my dog is a fox terrier runt. she weighs about 17 pounds. i could have put her in a soft carrier
under the seat in front of me (although she would have to lie down the entire trip), but chose not to because i
thought we would both have a better flight if she rode in cargo with the other dogs. it was her first trip and she did very well both ways (as far as i know), although i did worry about her being frightened by the occasional
noise and turbulance. i had a rental lined up before i left for the first two months. it was a place i had stayed last year for two weeks. many hotels take dogs if you want to book something like that while looking for something longer term. i purchased a car for the six months, but i believe dogs are allowed on buses and trains with a muzzle. i would suggest bringing along a soft one (i did). i considered taking my dog on the train for some of the rail trips we did, but she would not have done well with all the noise when going through tunnels. i barely did myself.
-sylvia
 
Old Oct 10th, 2000, 08:57 AM
  #8  
Sylvia
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ciao nancy! yes, it's difficult being back in the states. sometimes i'm not sure i want to be back here. sigh... anyway, i attended the universita per stranieri di perugia for three months. i knew a few words in italian and had listened once to some conversational tapes before i left; however, this did NOT prepare me for the basic course in which i enrolled. the teachers taught the classes in italian and many people in my "basic" class spoke italian already. total immersion i think it's called. anyway, i had a friend come stay with me after the first five weeks and we spoke only english together. i'm sure i would have learned how to speak italian better and more quickly if i had no one with whom to speak english. one thing i did find is that taking a class does not prepare you for the basic interactions you encounter while living there, but you do learn on your own. p.s. there are similar universities in siena and florence.
-sylvia
 
Old Oct 10th, 2000, 12:11 PM
  #9  
nancy
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Sylvia,
You are right in that whatever I am learning here in the states will not really prepare me for daily interactions in italy!
I had a great conversation with an italian woman (who owns a great deli near my sister's)and even though it was fun, we had a miscommunication over something very simple!
I know I will be struck dumb when trying to converse, but I will attempt it anyway.
Total immersion courses sound so scary to me.
I mean, how do you even know where to start or what *anyone* is saying if you don't speak the language.
They must work though, people take them and schools teach them.
You are a brave woman!
Do you think you will ever go back again for another extended trip?
Perugia seems to be an interesting city.
I would think it is not very touristy?
What was one interesting or exciting or most beautiful thing you saw there?
thanks,
nancy
 
Old Oct 10th, 2000, 04:24 PM
  #10  
Erica
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Another question about your taking your dog with you....what requirements had to be met? i.e. any quarantine period, proof of shots, or health certificate from your vet? Thanks in advance, I'd really like to know!
 
Old Oct 11th, 2000, 09:09 AM
  #11  
Sylvia
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nancy, maybe later specific things will prevail in my memory, but for right now "interesting, exciting, beautiful" describes the entire six month experience.
i found that when trying to learn to speak another language that it's like swimming for me. you just have to jump in and not worry about perfect strokes. you mail flail about a bit, but if you don't try you'll sink.
i'll definitely go back for long periods and as frequently as i can. perugia is a great city, large but not too touristy; however, i stayed about 20 minutes away in passignano on lago trasimeno. it's much smaller.
you can e-mail me directly with other questions, if you'd like.
-sylvia
 
Old Oct 11th, 2000, 09:13 AM
  #12  
Sylvia
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erica, there was no quarantine either direction and a health certificate is required, although when i arrived in italy i was never ased to produce it. you need to make an airline reservation for your dog (they'll ask weight of the dog and dimensions of the carrier), especially if it's flying in the cabin with you because they only allow a few pets.
-sylvia
 
Old Oct 11th, 2000, 05:09 PM
  #13  
margo
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Dear sylvia, I am going to italy next July and want a hotel recommendation in rome. Everyone has their own personal opinions and I am totally confused. i am looking for a hotel with great location, a roof garden, good buffet breakast and clean. I want to spend between $150.00 and $200.00 per night.If you or anyone reading this reply can make some suggestions, I would appreciate it.
 
Old Oct 11th, 2000, 05:27 PM
  #14  
Sylvia
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margo, i'm sorry but i didn't stay in rome. i'm sure you'll get plenty of recommendations from others. good luck!
-sylvia
 
Old Oct 16th, 2000, 01:50 PM
  #15  
Jodi
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Ciao Sylvia, I hope you can help. I am planning a trip to Italy next July. I want to stop someplace for two nights on my way to Siena. I was originally thinking Cortona, but the best laid plans ... Do you have any suggestions; Perugia, Todi, Orvieto. etc.? My main focus is to be in a location accessible by train and where there will be easy access to country roads so we can ride to interesting small towns. We will have our bikes (not touring)and plan to do some day trips. Thanks for any input.
 
Old Oct 17th, 2000, 07:46 AM
  #16  
Sylvia
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jodi, on your way to siena from where? you can e-mail me directly if you'd like and i'll try to help you.
-sylvia
 
Old Oct 20th, 2000, 10:41 AM
  #17  
jenny
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Did you visit Calabria down south of Italy?
 
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 05:21 PM
  #18  
Sylvia
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sorry jenny, i haven't been to calabria yet.
-sylvia
 

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