France, Italy, or Portugal?

Old Jan 23rd, 2001, 05:19 PM
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France, Italy, or Portugal?

Hello. I am planning a trip in spring and considering Italy (have been there) or Portugal (never been there) but friends keep suggesting Paris.
My concern is that I speak NO French--okay, I'd try to learn some phrases, but realistically my limited language skills are more along the mediterranean lines (smatterings of Spanish, Greek, Italian). I know that people speak English, but would I be able to get along and enjoy myself and not insult people?
Also, would Paris/France be comfortable for a woman traveling alone?
Any input is greatly appreciated!
Many thanks.
Old Jan 23rd, 2001, 05:25 PM
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My suggestions:
1) Language not terribly important. You have time, if you start now, to pick up a few important words and phrases wherever you go;
2) Friends' opinions of where you "should" go are completely irrelevant unless they'll be traveling with you;
3) Single woman traveling alone not much of an issue anymore, though as a general comment it might be said that the further south one goes in Europe the more chauvinisn may be seen ... again, a very broad generalization;
4) The only issue that really matters is what are your interests? It's your trip. Any of those options have plenty of attraction ... depending on why you want to travel.

My choice would be Italy, but I won't be traveling with you either, so ignore my opinion.

Old Jan 23rd, 2001, 05:36 PM
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I TOTALLY agree with Ed. It is YOUR trip. Go where you want to go! I wish I could go with you, but you can get along any where if you make the effort. Learn a few pharses, read a few guide books......GO FOT IT!
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 11:31 AM
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Millions of monolingual tourists/travellers visit Paris each year, so I suppose it's not really a major problem (and english is *way* more useful in paris than italian or even spanish...let alone greek). And Paris is as safe as any other european city. If you want to visit it, you shouldn't worry...

Portugal is great, too, by the way. And portuguese people are very friendly IME.
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 12:17 PM
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Have been to all 3 countres. No way do I think Portugal compares well with France & Italy.
Pick up a few French phrases & you'll do fine in France. Know some Spanish, & you still may have trouble in Portugal in small towns or at local bus stations where all is bedlam & NO ONE speaks English.
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 11:00 PM
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Especially since portuguese usually don't like being adressed to in spanish (even when you try to slip in some spanish word or sentence hoping it will help, you can be reminded curtly that you're not in Spain). English seems to be widely spoken in the Algarve, but I don't really know for other regions since I navigated there using french.


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