December in Italy. travel ideas

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Aug 15th, 2015, 04:56 PM
  #1
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December in Italy. travel ideas

I've booked 6 nights in Italy for the middle of Dec on my own. I fly into Bergamo. I am learning italian so I would like to go to a town that's not touristy and where the locals don't speak much English so I can get to practice more. I won't be renting a car so will depend on public transport. I have been to Bergamo, Verona, Venice and Lake Garda before. I was thinking of going to Turin this time. Any ideas??
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Aug 16th, 2015, 03:25 PM
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I think you will find plenty of English speakers in Torino. It has historically been a town with a real appetite for being cosmopolitan and modern. It is the home of Italy's autos, movies and communications industries. That said, if you tell people in Torino -- where tourists are certainly not plentiful in December -- that you have come all the way to their beautiful city to speak italian, they will oblige you. They are not so busy and fed up with foreigners that they will fail to take you in. They are extremely sociable and love cafe and bar life.

If you could stand the damp and fog, someplace you might consider is Mantova. It remains a more isolated culture and is absolutely fascinating to boot. It has beautiful historic attractions dating back to medieval times, unchanged. And wonderful food -- but then so does Torino.

Torino gets biting arctic winds, but Mantova is very humid and chilly. I think Torino probably has the more open culture, and you can strike up lots of conversations. You might need to work a bit harder at it in Mantova. If money is an issue, Mantova is probably very much cheaper. If good red wine and chocolate is important (and coffee), then Torino.
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Aug 16th, 2015, 03:29 PM
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I was just trying to recall how many English speakers I encountered during my stay in Mantova, and I think it was just one ticket taker at the Palazzo Ducale. Otherwise, nobody in the restaurants I went to or where I stayed spoke English. So if you want to give your Italian a real workout and don't mind the fog, Mantova is a great. You can easily visit Modena from there and other small towns in the vicinity of Mantova by bus or train.
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