Ira's Italy Trip Report

Oct 10th, 2003, 05:19 AM
  #41  
ira
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That's a good one, dln.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 11:07 AM
  #42  
 
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Ira, would you recommend this B&B for a single female traveler? Did you ever wish you were closer to the center of the city? Thanks for any info.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 11:17 AM
  #43  
susancoleman
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Ira ... I LOVE this report. Your writing is both informative and funny.
Also, perhaps selfishly "its all about me"...I am just beginning to be able to travel. I'm a single woman. I hesitated to think of Italy because the idea of driving by myself makes me shudder. That said, your itenerary shows me one can do it by trains & taxis! For me, huge "I can do that!"
Thank you so much.
 
Oct 10th, 2003, 01:05 PM
  #44  
ira
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Hi ee,

Yes, I would recommend the B&B Peterson to a single female. My wife and I walked from the train station to the B&B a number of times around midnight.

The streets are well lighted, there is regular traffic, the sidewalks are wide.

No, we did not wish we were closer to the center. It is about 8-10 min to the train station and another 8-10 to the Duomo.

If you decide to stay there, I can give you some shortcuts.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 01:06 PM
  #45  
ira
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Hi Susan,

So glad to have been helpful. Pack light and have a great trip to Italy.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 01:15 PM
  #46  
ira
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Going Home (sigh)

Mr Renato picked us up in the rain at 11:00 and deposited us at Naples Centrale at 12:30. We had an hour before our train left, and we spent it people watching over lunch at McDonalds. This is not your American-style McD. One portion is a coffee bar with Italian pastries and espresso machines. In the middle is a pizza stand. At the other side is the usual McD counter. The salads were pretty good: 3E for salad Caprese or a garden salad with seafood and tuna.

There are two trains, one an ES* and one an IC, that go from Naples to Rome at 1:30. They are scheduled to arrive within a few minutes of each other. I chose to take the IC, and save some money. The ES* left on time. The IC left 1/2 hr late and arrived 45 min late.

Because we arrived in Rome late and the weather was very threatening, we skipped our quick tour of Rome and went directly to the Holiday Inn EUR-Parco dei Medici. This is a modern European International style hotel, with all of the little luxuries ? 110E/dbl w/bkfst. The restaurant was better than expected. They have a serve-yourself salad buffet at dinner and a very generous breakfast with good breads and pastries, cheeses and salumis and ham and eggs, bacon, pancakes and Vienna Sausages. No baked beans, though.

The 8:30 free shuttle (a 20E value) left on time and dropped us off at Terminal C at about 8:50. When we got to the US Airways desk, we were asked if we would consider taking an earlier Delta nonstop, as our plane was overbooked. We did, and arrived home five hours earlier. Delta informed our limo service in Atlanta of the change, and we had no problems getting home.

Gelato recommendations:

Gelateria Moline, Via delle Moline 13, Bologna Absolutely the very best we had.

Bar 4 Contorni, on the Campo,Sienna, Very, very good.

Vivoli, Florence Very good, but not as good as reputed.

Festival Gelateria, Via Corso (next to COIN department store), Florence, As good as Vivoli.

Bar Museo, (next to the museum), Paestum surprisingly good, mango was excellent

Perche No, Florence Good, but there were ice crystals in some of the flavors.

Wine Notes:

Italy has an abundance of regional wines (DOC) that are very hard to find outside the country. I do not claim to be a wine expert, but here is a list of those that we found especially interesting. They were all about 15E at the restaurants, with the exception of the Brunello di Montalcino (35E for a 1/2 bottle) at I Sette Consoli.

Brunello di Montalcino (Altesino, 1997) World-Class red wine loaded with flavors. The sommelier brought it out at the beginning of the meal to let it mellow. It kept coming up with new tastes.

Greco di Tufo (Beneventano 2002) Deep straw color, hint of saltiness tastes of nutmeg, coriander, apples Perfect with pasta and fish

Lachryma Christi (Mastroberardino 1999) All kinds of red fruit, tart finish Excellent with rabbit Also comes in a fruity white for fish.

Monti Lessini (Mercato 2000) Straw-colored, assertive and slightly resinous. Goes well with shellfish and tuna. Stands up well to cheese. Too assertive for mild fish.

Orvieto Classico Superiore (Inoma 2001) Fruity, aromatic, with a dry finish. Goes well with seafood, veal and pasta

Pignoletto Emilia (Umberto Cesari 2002) A fizzy, aromatic white that complements lighter meats, fruits and mild cheeses.

Rosso di Montalcino (Caparzo 2000) The rosso?s are the less well-endowed relatives of the Brunello?s at lower prices. This was a very nice wine, with good fruit flavors. It was still a bit young.

Sannio Falanghina Piemonte Dry, fresh fruit Good for sipping

Trebbiano di Romagna (Umberto Cesari 2002) Perfect with seafood

Vernaccia di San Gimignano (Torre Grossa 2002) A very spicy, almost salty white, that goes beautifully with Tuscan bread. Excellent for white meats, mild cheeses and pasta.

Things that stand out in memory

Cherry tomatoes from the slopes of Mt Vesuvius, the aroma of Amalfi Lemons, limoncello, Porcini mushrooms, truffles, salumi of all kinds, real pizza, gelato (even the stuff that is only very good ice cream), vino, vino, vino, real cappuccino, the chaos of Napoli, the ?David?, the Bargello, view from the Porcelain Museum in the Boboli Gardens, the view from Le Sirene, Venezia


Thank you all for your kind words. If you have any more questions, I shall be happy to try to answer them.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 01:23 PM
  #47  
 
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Thank you, Ira. A wonderful report. It was fun to get to read it over several days.
Judy C
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Oct 10th, 2003, 01:38 PM
  #48  
 
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Dear Ira,
Thank you for the whole report, but ESPECIALLY for the information about Naples! We are leaving Monday so I got it just in time. I'll take it all with me and hope I have the same luck with wonderful food. I'm glad that you got to the Museo and the Veiled Christ, even though I won't get to (boo hoo) but NEXT time, I will be sure that we are there NOT on a Tuesday. Sorry about your wife's vertigo - not fun at all. Would you stay at the Sansevero again? Do you think it was just one room affected (infected!) with the sewer odor? If you wouldn't stay there, did you pick out another likely place?
Thanks again,
Mama
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Oct 10th, 2003, 02:28 PM
  #49  
 
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ira, I was waiting til you finished before I said MILLE GRAZIE!!! It's a very informative report; especially the wine advice.

I feel bad that your wife had to suffer a bit along the Amalfi Coast but you both still seemed to have managed that portion of your trip just fine.

I'm saving your notes for future trips so thanks again!
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Oct 12th, 2003, 12:39 PM
  #50  
 
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Hi ira,
Enjoyed your report. You always seem to have such helpful ideas--guess it is all the research you do. I was thinking of the Sansevero when we go to Naples because the location seemed perfect for the Arch Museum and the Cappella Sansevero and Spaccanapoli area. Since I will only be in Naples for a couple of nights I would like to cut down on transportation time. Well, after reading Mizzeve's comments and your explanation I am wondering what I should do. Should I just hold my nose (something I don't think my husband will want to do) or do you have another suggestion for a hotel? Thanks
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Oct 13th, 2003, 06:39 AM
  #51  
 
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Thanks Ira for responding to my question regarding the B&B in Florence. I realized after I posted that I was not clear about where I was talking. I already had a reservation in the Duumo area but whenever I can get a suggestion from someone who has actually stayed someplace and as a result save a little money I go for it. Any hints/shortcuts would be greatly appreciated. I can't wait to leave!
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Oct 13th, 2003, 01:02 PM
  #52  
ira
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Dear Brahmama

I hope I catch you before you leave.
The sewer odor was unpleasant, but not pervasive, ie, if you closed the bathroom window and door you smelled it, but if you left the bathroom window open and closed the door you got just a whiff.

However, you might want to try the other properties that they have on their website.
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Oct 13th, 2003, 01:06 PM
  #53  
ira
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Hi Mimipam,

See my response to Brahmama.

I had read so many nice things about the Sansevero, that I didn't bother to look elsewhere. There are some recommendations for Naples hotels mostly by the waterfront, though. Try a text search.
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Oct 13th, 2003, 01:22 PM
  #54  
ira
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Hi ee,

If you decide to stay at the B&B Peterson,

1. Walking from the hotel toward the train station cross via F. Rosselli. Stay in position and turn right. You will see large, white vertical letters DLF. This is the cafe for the train personnel. Go in. Continue straight toward the back. You will see a stairway. Go up. Cross the tracks. You are now on platform 3 of the FSMN station. Saves crossing streets.

You can also get breakfast there. They have an internet point. Ask for an internet card - 3.65E for one hour.

2. There is a nice grocery store on the right hand side of the street as you walk toward the train station. Very good for buying fruits and juices for breakfast.

3. If you go right at via F. Rosselli about 1 block from via G. Monaco is a good Indian restaurant - Salaam Bombay.

Have a great trip.
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Oct 23rd, 2003, 12:22 PM
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for mcmrjm
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Oct 24th, 2003, 06:16 AM
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Just wanted to drop in and tell you how much I enjoyed your report, Ira, now that you're done. I was traveling when you did the final installments. Thanks for sharing.
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Oct 24th, 2003, 06:46 AM
  #57  
ira
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Thank you Statia. I greatly enjoyed your report.
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Oct 24th, 2003, 03:46 PM
  #58  
 
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ira - love your report and I am printing it out for future trips. Did you ever regret not having a car and do you think you missed out on any opportunities by not having one?
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Oct 25th, 2003, 05:44 AM
  #59  
ira
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Hi Barb,

Glad you liked my report.

We planned this trip with the idea of taking public transportation, and as you can see it is pretty much city oriented.

If I were planning more time in the small towns of Tuscany/Chianti or Tuscany/Umbria, I would do it by car.
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Nov 4th, 2003, 08:41 AM
  #60  
ira
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ttt
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