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HELP!! Going to Italy and needs advice!!!!!~

HELP!! Going to Italy and needs advice!!!!!~

Oct 9th, 1997, 06:50 PM
  #1  
Lara
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HELP!! Going to Italy and needs advice!!!!!~


I'm planning to go with my school to Italy next summer with my high school, and I need some advice.
We are planning to go to England, Frace, and Italy.
I need to know what are some good places to go in these countries. And also, I don't want to carry around cash, so what is the best way to handle this suition. And do those phone cards really work???
Thanks,
Lara
 
Oct 10th, 1997, 05:16 AM
  #2  
mark
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Lara,
Wow, that's alot. My best advice is to get some travel guides (Frommers, Fodors and Let's Go Europe) and do some research. This will give you a good background on each country and help you decide what interests you. For a first timer, it might be good to stick to the basics: bigger cities, main tourist sites. Any time I travel to a new place I like to do a bus and/or walking tour since this helps me get familiar with a city. London, Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome all have heaps of these. As long as you're with someone, and have a good map, don't be afraid to walk and explore on your own because this is how I've discovered some of the "hidden treasures" of Europe. Regarding cash, European cities and big towns have ATMs which should work for you but bring along some travelers checks and keep the serial numbers on you at all times. Therefore, if they are lost or stolen you can replace them. E-mail me with more questions if you like.
 
Oct 10th, 1997, 04:09 PM
  #3  
Lara
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Mark~
Thank you so much for writing back to me. I did not think anyone would. Thank you for the good advice. Thanks again.

Lara
 
Oct 12th, 1997, 12:40 PM
  #4  
Donna
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Hi, Lara. One of the places you cannot miss is VENICE. It is enchanting, it is magical, and there is no other place like it in the world. Plus you can buy tiny little souvenirs of glass candy very inexpensively and tuck them into your suitcase easily for transport home. You will WALK everywhere in VENICE, there are no cars, and the food is GREAT. (If you are starving for McDonald's, regrettably there is one there). Incredible history there: the Doges, the Bridge of Sighs, the Basilica of St. Mark (the Venetians stole St. Mark's body, brought it back to Venice, built the Basilica over it). Of course you'll take a boat to Murano to see how the beautiful glass is blown. I've been three times to Venice and I am taking my husband (his first time) next week, so I'm hooked. I repeat, no place else on earth like it.
 
Oct 12th, 1997, 12:56 PM
  #5  
Donna
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Hi, again, Lara. Let's talk about the money and valuables thing. Go to a travel store and purchase a money belt. I know it sounds stupid, but you are better off to have it, and USE IT, than to lose valuables -- and the only valuables you'd want to have with you will be your PASSPORT, 2 credit cards, and cash. I found most places took my AMERICAN EXPRESS CARD, only 2 did not(shop at the top of Eiffel Tower and Customs to pay duty when I returned to the States)so I used an alternate. You need to tuck some American dollars away for your entry home (phone, taxi, snack), and always take with you before you leave the US some of the currency of the places you are going. So, this means you visit the currency exchange a few weeks before you leave the States and get $$ in British pounds, $$ in French francs, and $$ in Italian lire. It gives you time to get used to the currency (it is really very pretty) and you can practice some dollar/pound conversions, dollar/franc conversions, and dollar/lire conversions BEFORE you go. Take a small calculator with you, know the approximate exchange rate, and whip out the calculator each time you make a purchase so you know about what you paid for what you bought. You'll see everybody doing it. The more you know about the money before you go, the more fun you'll have because you'll eliminate the worry that you are getting ripped off. You do pay a high price for almost everything, but hey, it is vacation, and so just roll with it. TAKE A WATER BOTTLE with you from home, filled, (you'll love having it with you on the plane). Buy water when you get to each hotel (down the street at the deli or pharmacy)so you have water with you at all times, to take an aspirin or to relieve your thirst or avoid the high cost of a $7 or $8 Coke over there. You know how we stop and get a Coke here -- just because we feel like it. Don't do it there, you pay too much. Gosh, I hope this is not too much info for you. I can't tell by your original question if you are a high school student, or teacher going along, or what your experience is, so I hope I have not bored you. Best wishes. I have had all good experiences in Europe with one exception: 5 years ago, during a 3 week trip to England, France, and Germany, three days before the end of the trip I was so thirsty for TAP WATER WITH ICE, that I asked for it at a restaurant. Drank 2 glasses. Within 12 hours I was deathly ill with diahhrea in Frankfort. Deathly. Went to a German doctor after suffering miserably, but it was my own darn fault--I asked for it. You cannot buy Immodiam AD over the counter there. Take it with you, don't drink the water. Other than that, I love every adventure that comes with European Travel. Have a great time. Enjoy the anticipation.
 
Oct 12th, 1997, 11:44 PM
  #6  
Mark
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About the above post some things are right and some not.
Yes Venice is great and a must see. Yes, do be careful of pickpockets....a much more common crime in Europe than in the States. If anyone spills anything on you or becomes very friendly fast beware and watch carefully.
What I don't agree on is her statement about the water in most European countries. I have drunk tap water many times in many European countries and have never been sick. I won't do it in Mexico or Latin America but in Europe that is a different story.
 
Oct 13th, 1997, 04:56 PM
  #7  
sfink
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Hi Lara - sounds like a great trip for next summer. I too agree with everything Donna said-it was nice of her to write so much great infO. I agree-don't drink the tap water-it is wroth buying bottled water. I would usually get a big bottle as it was always cheaper that way. We were recently in Paris and bottled water was not that expensive! Also-bring along alot of film as it is very expensive in Europe (and extra camera batteries). Alot of young people and those my age love to visit Pere La Chaise (SPelling??) It is the cemetary where Jim Morrison of the Doors is buried along with about 100 other famous people-ie Chopin, Balzac etc. It is an easy subway ride. If you aren't familiar with the Doors ask your parents about them! If Donna reads this message-I have a question- We are going to Italy in May-any suggestions of places to stay in Venice! Thanks to Donna and Lara, keep doing the research for your trip! Sharon F.
 

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