First trip to Italy - some thoughts

Mar 15th, 2004, 04:46 PM
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First trip to Italy - some thoughts

Just back from my first trip to Rome and Venice. Some quick thoughts:

Internet access is hard to find - that surprised me, I'm used to traveling other places and finding it everywhere.

the mattresses in Italy really are hard.

The language was more of a problem than I thought it would be - my fault since I don't speak Italian, although when I did speak the few words in Italian I know, the locals starting talking back to me in Italian. Still, the difference in languages didn't keep me from doing anything I wanted to, just made it more difficult.

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown was a great read on the way to Rome - thanks everyone for suggesting it.

Leather was more expensive than I hoped it would be.

Almost no store of any kind was open on Sunday in Rome.

It's impossible not to get lost in Venice.

If you see something in a store in Venice that you like, don't assume you'll come back later to buy it - you may never find the store again.

I really loved both Rome and Venice - thanks everyone for the tips I got from this forum before I left.
mjnbrown is offline  
Mar 15th, 2004, 06:17 PM
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"It is impossible not to get lost in Venice."

"If you see something in a store in Venice that you like, don't assume you'll come back later and buy it - you may never find the store again."

You are indeed a fast learner!
HowardR is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 04:34 AM
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ira is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 05:18 AM
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most of the shops have business cards with addresses and phone numbers....some even have small maps on their cards...
popesa is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 05:46 AM
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I just went to Rome too. Actually I found that internet access was available almost everywhere, at least around the Termini and the Spanish Steps.

Also, I found that almost everyone near the sights and stores spoke English. Especially in restaurants. I was trying to order in Italian and the waiters and waitresses immediately started speaking English to me.

Smoking was everywhere, but this is true in Paris and London as well. I think I had a really hard time inhaling all the smoke and am right now sick and coughing.

What else...Italian drivers are careless and pedestrians meant nothing.

Pasta was really good but all that I had were way too salty.
singlegalzzz is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 10:00 AM
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wow, you are really negative. Lots of bad things and just a brief comment on good. My positive thoughts based on your criteria from our first trip to Italy 8 months ago:

Why would you want to be online when on vacation?(unless this was work?)
I don't recall noticing the mattresses after days touring, seeing amazing sites, drinking fabulous wine, interacting with wonderful people etc.
We found it fun to try to communicate without knowing much of the language.
Got a great red leather purse in Tuscany!
Didn't ever go to ROme, but florence had plenty open on Sunday, or it's a good day to just veg, walk around and watch people.
Getting lost in Venice is what it's all about!
If we couldn't find something, we just wandered til we found something else!

Better luck on your next trip.
e_roz is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 10:20 AM
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I am not still in Rome. But even if I were, is there a vacationing rule that you have to be out and about ALL the time and never get online?

My observations reflect the negative things that I saw in Rome. Who are you to judge that I am a negative person base on some observations. I didn't know that this forum is only about praising the cities that you visited. Is being overly positive just much better? Excuse me for not having the grass-is- ONLY-greener-in-another-country mentality.
singlegalzzz is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 10:34 AM
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Nice to hear you loved Venice & Rome. Although very different, I find them both to be fascinating cities and could return to them over and over again.

Getting lost in Venice is part of the fun!
capo is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 10:55 AM
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That's the recommendation I give everyone that goes to Venice. Take a map and get lost. You can't go too far.

I never had a hard time finding an internet cafe...ever.

I'm usually too tired to know if the mattresses are too hard.

Leather isn't cheap anywhere.

Italy is a very religious country, but there are stores open on Sunday. 30 years ago in the US all the stores were closed on Sunday. Right now in Paramus, NJ all the stores are closed on Sunday ....Blue Laws.

Just go with the flow when you travel or you'll never enjoy yourself.
Ann1 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 04:27 PM
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I didn't mean to be negative at all in my original post. I was making comments that I thought might be helpful to other people, which are the type of comments I learn from. I guess I had trouble finding internet access because I was in awe of the sights, architecture, fountains, etc. around me! I rely on email to stay in touch with family members at home, rather than making an international phone call. My elderly mother, in particular worries about me when I travel, so emailing her is a concern of mine and takes virtually no time away from my adventures.

I arrived from the US in Rome on a Sunday morning and usually when I first arrive in a new city, I try to find a market near my hotel where I will be able to buy local beer, cheese, bread etc. My comment about stores not being open on Sunday was to alert other travelers to that situation. Finally, I loved getting lost in Venice. While I may not have been able to find a place I had seen earlier, I usually found another place that was equally or more fascinating. By the way, I was up in the Camponile when the bells started ringing - loud but also fun.

Again, I loved both Rome and Venice, and hope to get back to them some day.

mjnbrown is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 05:10 PM
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You didn't seem negative to me at all, just making some observations. I was surprised that someone would read your post that way, too. I think your straightforward statements were misunderstood, and your comments reflected things that were surprising, but not necessarily bad.

progol is online now  
Mar 16th, 2004, 05:18 PM
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Martha -

I also didn't find your comments negative, either. I found it to be an entertaining post - especially about getting lost in Venice which I hear is easy to do. Thank you for your thoughts. I went out and bought some language cd's after reading them (your thoughts), in anticipation of my upcoming trip.
Mar 16th, 2004, 07:10 PM
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Ann1 - Is that a Paramus law or NJ law? Just wondering as I will be in the area the end of May.

Americans forget how it was in the old days when stores were closed on Sundays. We get to Europe and expect everything to be open and it isn't. I spent a fun Sunday in Paris one time trying to find my daughter "necessities". Don't leave home without them!

I didn't have any problems finding internet cafes anywhere in Italy. I think most people keep in touch with family and friends back home through e-mail instead of phone calls.

There was a thread a few months ago about how salty the food in Italy was and there were quite a few people that agreed.
kybourbon is online now  
Mar 17th, 2004, 10:24 AM
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I believe it is a Paramus law (or whatever county Paramus is in.) It is definitely not a state-wide law. But it is true in Paramus.
Mar 17th, 2004, 12:49 PM
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Thanks for your observations! Last fall ,I went to Italy for the first time and decided against posting a trip report because some of my expeiences were so negative.I should have posted though,if only to thank everyone on this board for all the helpful information that made my trip so enjoyable.

We encountered plane delays,lost luggage,train delays because of power outage, two hotels lost our reservations and many other bumps in the road that made me want to scream. But, I can't forget the beautiful art and architecture,the great food and wine,the kindness of strangers and other memories that will last a lifetime.
All travel tips are helpful especially if its ones first trip. So thanks for posting.
Bluebird is offline  

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