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Tiff Dec 9th, 2007 06:46 AM

Do you ever just want to go and be, rather than planning all the sites to see?
I am pathetic and all I seem to be able to plan with any degree of organization for our upcoming trip to Roma is all the restaurants we want to dine in!


Are any of you on the same page? All we seem to desire is the delicious food of Italy once again, a complete need to wander and the image of sitting in a little place with ours books and prosecco.

I just this morning sent the Scavi email (it may be too late we are 5.5 weeks away from departing) and tomorrow I will call the Borghese.

The dining, however, I have planned with meticulous detail. Each and every restaurant is numbered on our walking map so that when hunger strikes we will not be denied.

I am messed up, huh????
Please I beg of you, someone tell me to get my act together and set our priorties straight, lol.

Tim_and_Liz Dec 9th, 2007 06:51 AM

Hi Tiff!
You are returning in only 5.5 weeks? How wonderful!
I must say that I love to plan-- it's part of the fun for me. However, Tim much prefers to just go along with my plans rather than get too involved with the planning itself.
Will you be writing another trip report? I hope so!
Have a wonderful time!
PS The Borghese Gallery is my favorite museum in the world.

2Italy Dec 9th, 2007 06:53 AM

We don't plan NEARLY that much, especially restaurants. We scout out restaurants during our walks around town during the day and then we ask some people about them. It could be locals, other tourists, the hotel staff etc. We have stumbled into some incredible restaurants while many that come highly recommended are so touristy now that it is unbelievable.

scdreamer Dec 9th, 2007 07:10 AM

I think I know what you are saying ... we returned a few weeks ago from a month-long trip, which included Athens (and a few Greek islands), Dubrovnik, Venice, and culminating with eight days in Paris.

This was our first time to be in all these places, and we ran ourselves ragged, making sure we didn't miss anything "important."

My dream, now, is to return ... especially to Paris ... with nothing particular on my agenda.

I just want to wake up whenever I feel like it, as opposed to springing out of bed and into the shower, and rushing out of the apartment so we could have enough time to check off the day's assigned "accomplishments."

I want to wander the neighborhoods, popping into small shops and galleries, relaxing on park benches, lingering over a treat in a sidewalk cafe.

Next time ... *sigh*

Tiff Dec 9th, 2007 07:42 AM

You know scdreamer, I think you have helped me figure it out. This is my third trip to Italy and perhaps this is why... the heart knows what the heart knows, and what I truly am aware of is that the simplicity of just being in this beautiful country is what has brought us the most pleaure. Thank you. I wish for you many more travels to your beloved Paris (with plenty of wander time!)

Hi Liz, yes, of course my darlin, I will post upon my return. With all the information I have gathered over the years here it would be criminal for me not to! I am glad I got to 'see' you today.

Hi 2Italy ~ I think because we have had so many fabulous dining experiences due to recs from Fodorites, I rarely stray from what has worked for us in the past. I will say though that if we see a place that looks interesting we do stop in, and for that reason I have been able to provide a couple recs to others, which is nice. Best wishes.

ParisAmsterdam Dec 9th, 2007 08:00 AM


We did just that this past summer. My wife wanted to go to Amsterdam, I wanted to go to Paris, so we compromised and did both.

Aside from accommodations, we did
no advance planning at all. We've been to both places before, I have been several times. We had our 15 year old daughter with us so we let her pick some things she wanted to see.

We woke up one morning to a sunny day and decided it would be Place des Vosges and the Marais. One morning it was pouring rain so we decided to do museums. This wasn't the best idea because every other tourist in town decided the same thing! LOL

But what happened was we had a most enjoyable and stress free 2 weeks. What's the point of a holiday if you're stressing over your minutely planned schedule? But that's my preference, I'm sure many people get as much enjoyment out of the detailed planning as the trip itself!

Was it entirely successful? We did get to some places we'd missed on previous trips but after 4 visits to Paris I still haven't made it to les
Egouts or the Catacombs. But I always expect I'll be back and don't feel the need to see 'everything' on one trip.


quokka Dec 9th, 2007 08:01 AM

I love planning, but I always leave some time for "just wandering".

There is one thing, though, that I hardly ever plan ahead, and that's restaurants. I don't consider food that important, I'd rather look around where I am and enter the nearest nice-looking place.

(Contradicting myself here, if you see my recent Dresden thread, but still. It's great to have some recommmendations at hand, especially if I'm staying in one place for more than a couple of days. Anyway, I would not plan a whole trip around restaurants.)

ira Dec 9th, 2007 08:03 AM

Hi T,

>someone tell me to get my act together and set our priorties straight,

I think that you have your priorities straight.

Enjoy your visit.


tower Dec 9th, 2007 08:06 AM

Tiff....spontataneity is such rewarding fun, from s-x to dining.

We have recalled several times that some of our better dining experiences world-wide have been of the "just drop in variety". This is especially true in the smaller towns, cities and villages. And we've done it with very good results dozens of times in the Romes, Paris', & Londons of the world.

Of course, we also enjoy the planning and research aspect of travel, always have. Usually, Roz handles the dining phase, and I do the rest except for shopping. It works well, too.

Bottom line...have a glorious time in can you help it??

Stu T.

Carrybean Dec 9th, 2007 08:07 AM

I don't like to plan a bunch ahead other than plane reservations & where I'll stay unless it's specific events for which I'll need tickets in advance. To me, that's the joy of a vacation - to just wander & decide what I'll do when I get up in the A.M. To each his own.

Zeus Dec 9th, 2007 08:09 AM

I realized a few years back that one of the symptoms of becoming an Old Fart was that European vacations were no longer so much about seeing the sites but more dedicated to eating, drinking and shopping. Not that we don't tour the monuments, bridges, buildings, and museums, but they serve as diversions between meals and visiting stores.

I don't normally research restaurants before embarking on a trip because I always enjoyed reading the menu cards in the windows then popping into whatever spot looked enticing. But with my upcoming first visit to Prague and Budapest I've actually found myself reading reviews and making lists of the local eateries. I suppose this may just be another symptom of advancing geezerhood.

Surie Dec 9th, 2007 08:37 AM

I'm with you, Tiff! I hate the kind of vacation where you are more exhausted when you get home than when you left.

If it's a place you love then you'll return and eventually you'll see everything you feel you should!

Wandering and sitting in cafes is a huge part of a great vacation to me. Have a wonderful time!

NanBug Dec 9th, 2007 08:57 AM

Ira's right. You DO have your priorities straight. If that's what you're interested in, why should you have to feel like it's "messed up"? I certainly don't think so, you sound completely normal to me! :)

I usually plan like a maniac before the trip, knowing full well that when I get there, all my plans may fall to the wayside. But at least I have a good idea of what could be seen or experienced.

I also think it's important to leave some things loosely planned --up to chance. You never know when you'll stumble across something special that ends up being the highlight or most memorable time of your trip...and you didn't even plan it.

Keep on traveling the way you want to travel, and don't worry about everyone else. The world would be a boring place if we all did things the same, right?

suze Dec 9th, 2007 09:06 AM

Just want to cast my vote as another satisfifed non-planner! I book plane and hotels but that's it. This only doesn't work out imo if someone's just HAS to see or do a specific thing, that might not happen without advanced planning.

That said, I should take a tip from
Tiff and do more restaurant research, becaue that's one place I know some recommendations would have improved my happenstance results in various cities.

Weadles Dec 9th, 2007 09:43 AM

I never plan anything-except more trips! Have a wonderful time.

tcreath Dec 9th, 2007 10:39 AM

Rome, in my opinion, is the perfect place to non-plan. So many people go to Rome with these ridiculously meticulous itineraries. Where is the time for strolling, sitting in piazzas, having a glass of wine, stumbling across something that may not be in the guidebook? They then come back and complain on this board that they don't like Rome...and no wonder! If I spent all day running from one big site to another I would be exhausted and tainted as well. No thanks! I have been to Rome three times and all three times we had a small list of maybe two or three "must see's" and then just let our feet lead the way. Loved it!

Best wishes,

LoveItaly Dec 9th, 2007 10:40 AM

Hello Tiff, I am so happy to see your thread! It is funny because just this morning while having my coffee I was thinking of you. I miss seeing you here on Fodor's. BTW, did you find a coat?

Tiff, one of the reasons I so enjoyed my trips with my husband was that like me he didn't want schedules and "have to do's". Some of our best days was when after breakfast we would just start walking without any idea as to where we would end up. That was always especially true in Rome.

One reservation you might want to make is for the Borghese Gallery if that is of interest to you two. But I would think you could do that after you arrive in Rome due to the fact you will be there in January.

Eating, wine, cafes, restaurants, walking, discovering hidden treasures..yes dear one that works for me!

Ooops, just saw you are going to call the Borghese tomorrow! That will be a couple of beautiful hours. And if the weather is conducive you can walk through the park, it is so peaceful and lovely.

TTYL..and congratulations for making your time in Rome the way you two want to. BTW, that is what Tom did..and he sure had a wonderful time didn't he.

Tiff Dec 9th, 2007 12:01 PM

You all are so humorous ~ Zeus, your post was especially funny and quite endearing.

I am pleased you all have enjoyed a similar traveling style. Italy in particular has been a wandering paradise for my DH and I. You can expect another January trip report from us upon our return.

LoveItaly, you sweetheart, you will be pleased to know that I did purchase a coat last week. Honestly, it is so warm, I don't know if I will be wearing it to Rome, but it perfect for here in MN. A darling chocolate brown (that BCBG refers to as Mahogany on their tag, lol) it ties at the waste and is car coat length like yours. I big wide collar that you can button up much like a shawl, just a beautiful woven wool. And I like the deep chocolate color. Again, I will have to check the temps before we leave, but for the temps here this weekend (6 degrees yesterday) it made running errands toasty warm! Unbelievable how warm wool is. I thought of you so much when I got it! p.s. I know how much you cherish those past travels with your DH, especially to Roma. I will keep the promise I made to you long ago while I am in Rome. Remember????

Tim_and_Liz Dec 9th, 2007 12:12 PM

Tiff- I forgot to mention in my first reply that Tim and I are returning to the Locanda Orseolo in exactly three weeks! We are taking Tim's youngest brother and his parents. I cannot wait to see Barbara and the other staff.
I first read about the LO in your "Enchanting April" trip report. Thanks again for that lovely report-- I am still reaping the benefits! :)

Tiff Dec 9th, 2007 12:27 PM

Oh Liz, what a joy! Please let them know their other friends in Mpls wish them well. I cannot wait to hear about it all when you return, I hope their new hotel is doing well, last I looked it was getting rave reviews. And thank you for your kind words about my trip report. Difficult to believe that was two years ago already! It thrills me that your trip was enhanced. LO is a very special place indeed. Will you please enjoy a chocolate crepe for me????

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