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best hassle free way to visit Italy for the first time

best hassle free way to visit Italy for the first time

Jul 4th, 2010, 12:11 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 219
"If you want hassle-free, there's a lot to be said for booking a tour. Everything is planned. You don't have to figure out what you're going to do every day, how to get there, where to stand in line and buy tickets, etc. You'll have tour guides everywhere you go. You won't need to decide where to eat. Tours are perfect for hassle-free."

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think any of these things are a hassle. I like planning, and being able to set your own pace is a virtue not to be underestimated.

I spent 3 weeks in Italy in April (well, 3 and a half thanks to the volcano.), hitting Venice, Florence, Sorrento/Amalfi coast and Rome. I did learn some Italian before going, however before I got to Rome every time I tried to use the little Italian I had, the person I was talking to would reply in English. So, I would agree that a few phrases are desirable, you don't need to overdue it.

As to cars, I had no need for one. If you would like to tour the countryside, then there may be some value then, but for the cities they range from being a hindrance (Rome, Florence) to impossible (Venice - well the main islands anyway)
glenmd is offline  
Jul 4th, 2010, 01:13 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,355
"I did learn some Italian before going, however before I got to Rome every time I tried to use the little Italian I had, the person I was talking to would reply in English."

Please note that quite certainly, many of those people ONLY replied in English because you asked in Italian. You try to speak their language, they try to speak your language, that's how it goes in Italy. You'd be surprised how many of those very people who replied to you in English don't speak any English at all if you start the communication in English in the first place. (This is not true for people who work in the tourism industry, of course. But remember what I said when it comes to shopkeepers, passers-by whom you ask for directions, waiters in non-touristy restaurants, or even policemen.)
franco is offline  
Jul 4th, 2010, 01:25 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,444
You try to speak their language, they try to speak your language, that's how it goes in Italy.>>

I hate to disagree Franco, but this is not my experience in Rome. [Venice, generally yes, but an increasing number of waiters etc, there are not Italian anyway]. on our recent trip [February] normally, once the person I was talking to learnt that I spoke Italian, albeit not well, they were much happier speaking Italian than English. this applied whether we started off in English or Italian. in fact, it has surprised me every time I have been to Rome, how few people speak English compared to how widely it is spoken in Paris, Berlin, Venice, Florence etc., where it can be really difficult to get the opportunity to practice my rudimentary French, german or Italian.

which unfortunately I get little chance to practice in Cornwall!
annhig is offline  
Jul 4th, 2010, 01:37 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,355
That means that your Italian is not as bad as you may think, Ann! Most Italians who speak English actually speak terrible English; so if - IF - their impression is that your Italian is better than their English, they will continue in Italian anyway.
franco is offline  
Jul 4th, 2010, 02:14 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,444
Most Italians who speak English actually speak terrible English; so if - IF - their impression is that your Italian is better than their English, they will continue in Italian anyway.>>

LOL - I like your use of the word "impression" franco - are you sure we've never met? however, I am very good at looking intelligent and saying "si" and "non" in what I think are the right places. it usually works until they ask me a question which requires more than a yes or no answer, then I'm found out! it won't stop me trying though.
annhig is offline  
Jul 4th, 2010, 04:06 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,515
You didn't mention your age, or whether you enjoy being alone or whether you like to socialize wtih people. Are you adventuresome? Whether you take a tour or plan your own depends on your personality. I would not enjoy traveling alone, must have someone to share things with, so a tour would work best for me. You need to decide what would be a good fit for you and then proceed. Good luck and happy travels.
southeastern is offline  
Jul 4th, 2010, 04:45 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
Tour or no tour-sometimes you just want to sit longer in the piazza and have the whole bottle of wine instead of running to catch up with the tour bus crowd!
dutyfree is offline  

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