First time to Italy? Must read first!!!

Mar 22nd, 2001, 08:43 AM
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Dual voltage is the answer and then with the adapter and plug you have no problems. My hotels had hair dryers. CONAIR dual action curling iron worked perfect. You can buy your bus tickets in machines (four languages)at the main bus stops now, besides getting them at the Tabacci- but you always must punch to validate after boarding your bus. They are also very strict on having your receipts when leaving restaurants, bars etc. The law is different and you may be asked to show them- after you are outside the establishment. Shoes that cushion are important. Smoke you learn to live with, but I have seen it much worse. Iceland every common room seems like it has opaque air.
Mar 22nd, 2001, 08:51 AM
To Mulan
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Iím so happy with the food and service in Italy, that I usually tip 20%, as I do here in the states, sometimes more. They appreciate it.

Banks are the best place to exchange lira, not on-the-street cambios ó and certainly not American express! Exchange money in Italy, at the airport.
Mar 22nd, 2001, 10:11 AM
Brian in Atlanta
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Mulan, while trying to be respectful of the previous poster, I must say that you should certainly not tip 20% in Italian restaurants. Service is included in the menu prices and leaving 5% is considered generous. Often nothing at all is left.

While the waiter will certainly appreciate a 20% tip, they will think you either unwise or naive (unless of course they have performed some superwaiter feat for you).

And it's best not to exchange any money - just use your ATM card. Good luck - Italy is a wonderful place.
Mar 22nd, 2001, 10:26 AM
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What no one is saying about the dual-voltage hairdryer is that they operate only in LOW mode when switched to 220V. Has someone actually found a unit with built-in dual-voltage capability that actually runs in HIGH mode at both voltages?
Mar 22nd, 2001, 11:50 AM
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Hi Brian,
didn't know you were traveling overseas.
Just wanted to thank you for all the Atlanta restuarant tips for my husband, he really got a kick out of one place, that had some kind of list of things not allowed(?)
Glad your trip was fun.
Mar 22nd, 2001, 01:56 PM
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As for hair dryers..I have a dual voltage one..It only worked on HIGH when switched to 220v..I will buy a travel one or get one there next time..Maggie
Mar 22nd, 2001, 05:26 PM
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I used a Braun Silencio dual-voltage (actually more than one) in Europe for 12 years. They always worked on both settings, as long as I had the correct plug adapter.
Mar 22nd, 2001, 06:04 PM
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Just an FYI about hair will find them in travel stores for 20-30 bucks, but really you can buy the dual voltage types at any wal-mart, target, etc. They make regular hairdryers, even great compact ones, with a voltage convert built in. i think i got a conair for about $10.00. Don't let AAA convince you to buy one from them!!! if you buy the dual from conair, you just take a penny and turn this little dial on the side of the dryer, and it's instantly european!
Mar 22nd, 2001, 06:10 PM
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I'm not trying to be an alarmist, but don't let your guard down, or your street smarts, just because someone saw only a few gypsies. As I mentioned on this board before, my traveling companion was pickpocketed by gypsies within 30 seconds of entering Termini in Rome. Luckily he was prepared and had his valuables in a money belt as I did. You may be lucky enough to not encounter Gypies, or you may see them (as well as feel them) all over as we did.

And as far as the smoke goes, I firmly agree with the original poster. I'm allergic to smoke and I had to wash every single thing after just one wearing because the smell of smoke was in my clothes after sitting in a restaurant for just 30-45 minutes. It's hell for me, but I just try to be the first one in a restaurant for dinner.
Mar 22nd, 2001, 08:21 PM
Bee Appleseed
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Hello. We are going to Italy in May/June for the first time. We are concerned about the hotel and food costs. What should we expect to spend on hotel and food each day per person?
Mar 23rd, 2001, 06:04 AM
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We just got back from Naples and the Amalfi Coast. I must agree with the smoking...being from California we are definitely spoiled with our 'no smoking' law in restaurants and bars. It does take getting used to. Such a way to ruin the atmosphere with lucious food flavors. There were dryers in the 3 hotels we stayed. If you use a diffusor I picked up the greatest thing called the 'Sock Difusor'. Fit over each dryer with no problem. As far as thief, we were on our guard in Naples but never felt unsafe. I did come over with Lire but there are ATMs everywhere and you will get the best rate that way. My bank charges $3.00 for a transaction in a different bank so I figured that was the commission I would have paid to change inside the bank. We did come across a change machine where one could enter in any foreign currency. There was one place we found in Positano where the commision was only 1500 lire (less than a dollar)
Since the dollar was so strong last week, we found food to be more than reasonable. We had full meals with wine and service for 35.00...really, and these were great places. When we left last Sunday there was 2200 lire to the dollar.
I always know that there are going to be cultural differences...but, hey, isn't that one of the reasons we travel?
Mar 26th, 2001, 02:28 PM
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Where can I buy a "sock diffuser?"
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Apr 29th, 2003 04:41 AM
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