First time to Europe, only speak English

Old Jul 7th, 2014, 06:05 PM
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Adrienne it didn't bother me at all. And we might indeed scare her. I'm the guy who on my first trip to Europe couldn't find Germany as all the signs in Switzerland said Allemagne. I remember thinking how can I be 20 years old and never have heard of Allemagne?

You never know what people are thinking.
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Old Jul 7th, 2014, 06:14 PM
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cold - you get funnier the more I know about you. I'm glad you can recognize how silly and uninformed we all can be at times.

During my first trip at 20 I got drunk on a train, completely bypassed London and wound up in the wilds of Cornwall or someplace. I left that part out of my trip report!
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Old Jul 7th, 2014, 06:41 PM
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@ PhillyFan -- All I can do is assure you (and Andrew and everyone else) that I did not intend to offend and regret that some of you thought otherwise.
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Old Jul 7th, 2014, 06:50 PM
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I had a real problem in Switzerland also. There is a reason there is no such thing as a Swiss stand up comic.

"Every time I think of you, I get all Zwingli inside."
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Old Jul 7th, 2014, 07:09 PM
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If the OP loves art and history he will undoubtedly know what art and history he'll want to see. Not many guide books can tell you that. There's too much art and too many questions to decide.
Rick Steve's is great to give an overall view but you can't rely on him for specific interests.

The only person you can rely on for specific interests is yourself. If you know how to read, you know how to plan a perfect vacation.
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Old Jul 7th, 2014, 07:54 PM
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You should definitely go to Italy. For someone interested in art, architecture and history it has so much to offer. If you have 2 full weeks, that gives you 12 days, not including you travel days from your home town to Italy and back. You will lose some time traveling between cities, so give yourself at least 3 full days in Venice, 4 full days in Florence and the remainder in Rome.

You can reduce the cost of accommodations by staying in hostels. or consider staying in guest houses of convents and monasteries. you don't have to be Catholic, they will give you a private single room, with breakfast often and they are far cheaper than hotels. My friend and her son stayed at a convent in Rome and had a private room and private bathroom, and air conditioning.

In Venice if you are 29 or under you can get a Rolling Venice Card for 4 euros that gives you discounts to certain cultural attractions and allows you to buy a three day youth pass for public transit (water buses or vaporetto) for 20 euros.. a real bargain as you get 3 days unlimited travel. one of the magical things about venice is seeing the palaces along the grand canal from the water. this is a really good deal as public transit is very expensive unless you live in Venice and get a residents pass.

in addition to picnics and sandwich takeout or standup shops, there are university areas in all 3 cities and the places to eat in those areas tend to be cheaper.

you can take the train between cities. If possible fly into Venice, and then take the train to Florence, and then the train to Rome and fly home from Rome.

the first time I went to Italy I poured over my art history books, made long lists of places I wanted to see, and tried to get to as many places as possible, on my own, although I was traveling with a group. it was a wonderful experience.
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Old Jul 7th, 2014, 08:14 PM
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For antiquities I prefer Sicily. The Greek ruins there are incomparable.
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