Is it better the second time around?

Oct 16th, 2001, 03:48 PM
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Is it better the second time around?

After having had some time to digest my thoughts on my first trip to Europe (Italy) and what I thought about the locations we'd traveled to (Rome-really loved, Venice, Sorrento) I decided that I would probably enjoy it even more the second time around. In particular, are those places that I wasn't so bowled over with (i.e., Venice). I'm thinking about the conditions I went under (just after the WTC attack), how I felt physically, unreal expectations,etc, etc, etc. Have you well-traveled Fodorites found this to be the case for you and where have you found this to be particularly true?
Oct 16th, 2001, 03:55 PM
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The first time I went to Italy I expected that Venice would be the highlight of the trip. I was terribly disappointed with Venice but loved everything else about Italy. Three years later I went back, with very low expectations and really enjoyed Venice. I think I just had terribly unrealistic expectations the first time and was able to discover some of the magic as it unfolded before me the second visit.
Oct 16th, 2001, 05:14 PM
richard j vicek
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Good evening, DI Have retirmed many
times to certain places in IT and CH
and have mostly been able to find other
places of interest in the cities and
also return to the places which were
especially notworthy. Have probably
been to Venice about 15 times and
would still stay over on the next trip,
I think that using some of the old which
you are familiar with plus some new places make up a very good trip.
Return... Richard of LaGrange Park, Ill.
Oct 16th, 2001, 08:14 PM
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I first visited Paris and Rome with a girlfriend when I was 20. Hated Paris because I was so out of my element with the language (a bit frightened to tell the truth and unprepared). Hated Rome because we were followed by two men and too young to know how to handle it.
Revisited Paris and Rome with my husband 15 years later and loved both places. It was a completely different feeling, I had realistic expectations and we found both Paris and Rome quite romantic.
Oct 19th, 2001, 04:50 PM
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Its hard to say what you're reaction will be but on a second trip. The circumstances you went under may have been the cause or it may have been how long you stayed or didn't stay in venice and what you did there etc. On my first trip to Venice it took a good two or three days for me to get the rythym of the place and fall in love with it. Our second visit was even better because we had done so many of the "must do's" the first time that we could spend more time wandering and exploring the second. We knew where we wanted to eat (Fiaschetteria Toscana, Do Mori and Achiguetta) and where to go for great Gelato (Nicolo on the Zatteriere). We revisited the Peggy Gugenheim. We found more great gelato- Paolin. We found two wonderful tiny restaurants- vini da pinto in the fish market and alla testiere in castello (this one was a little expensive, pinto cheap!). we say the carpacchio frescos and were simply stunned. We stayed in an apartment near the Rialto fish market and cooked some meals and went out for some. We went to the Murano Collections and spent way too much money on glass. Also went to Franco Shiavoni and another shop and spent there as well. The glass is the highlight of our living room!!!

In rome our three visits have each been better than the previous. Each has been short (3 or 4 days) but Rome is easier to enjoy. Our next visit will be a week in an apartment in Trastevere. But the third trip was so much better than the first again because we had things we wanted to do and things we didnt have to do.

Sorrento was again a 3 day visit. Next time we will be there for 10 days. Again we will have an appartment next time (in Massa Lubresne) with a kitchen. Our first visit to Sorrento was a little dissapointing because the hotel was noisy and without charm and we tried to do too much in too little time. Hence the 10 days. I know we will love it even if the apartment is a dump because we know that there are so many hings we want to see. The first trip just whet our appetite for more.

So my personal vote is to go back. Send sufficient time in each place you stop. Rent an apartment and do some shopping and cooking. Use the internet to find out about where you are going. And don't just use Fodor's or In Italy Online. Do searches on AskJeeves using the name of the town you want to visit.

There is a saying that there are travelers and tourists. Tourists have to be somewhere at a certain time. for travelers, just being there is the best part. Just go, stay and enjoy traveling.
Oct 19th, 2001, 05:17 PM
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You know it all depends... the first time my husband was in Paris, he really didn't care for it, I think it was us... I didn't even like it that time, we were really stressed out, I'd put a great deal of expectations on Paris being as perfect as it had for me 10 years earlier, I was worried about the rental car,,, we had trouble navigating the Metro, husband got a sore throat etc. Luckily, we gave Paris another chance the following year, when we were relaxed and not expecting much... voila! We utterly fell in love with Paris, every time we go back it's better and better, WE are better and better and more comfortable of course.
It all depends, certainly there ARE places we have been to that I don't think warrent a second chance.. but I've found that you sometimes need to adjust your expectations. Bravo for you following through with your plans after 9/11. Frankly, I don't know about you, but personally I was cast into a grey mood for weeks after the attack, and don't think any city would have left a great impression.
Oct 19th, 2001, 05:22 PM
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Hi DJ-the first time I went to Europe, my husband and I went to London for a week, a dream come true for me and there wasn't enough time~so the second trip was back to London to see more! and that is what I did for the 3rd time!Then my husband tried so hard to convince me that I would like Paris just as much and I said how could I?!-after that visit ,with quite low expectations on my part- we returned 3 times! This year was supposed to be Italy, and I am sure that although I wanted to go to France, I would fall in love with Italy, but circumstances changed travel plans for us(and many others) this year..we went to Montreal instead, for the 4th time!! And hopefully we will go to Italy next fall and then again and agin, never thinking I will like one place more than my favorites-but then getting new favorites~
Oct 19th, 2001, 05:34 PM
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I would say yes. The first impression someone has of a place or town is greatly affected by this someone mental and physical well ( or unwell) being. If it's the second or third time, it won't make a big difference, but as a first time, for sure. However, since you loved Rome, unless Venice was the first place you visited, maybe it's not really your cup of tea, nor it has to be, just because others love it.

Another thing that I think greatly affects how much you like or dislike a place is attitude. Being open, and going with the flow makes wonders for travelers, or at least for those like me. In my view, to set up a tight, regimented schedule, with sights to be seen, museums to be visited within a given time frame can ruin a trip, but then, this is me.

Also unreal expectations play a very important role over the impression one has. The higher or more defined they are, the less likely they will be matched, although not always, fortunately.

Venice is one of those places that people usually fall in love with or hate. I'm one of the lovers. Have been there in Winter, in Summer and Spring, and enjoyed each of them. However, when I was in Barcelona for the first time, I hated it, and today Barcelona is one of my favorite towns in Europe. I was just tired and homesick when I was there for the first time. I'm glad that I gave myself the chance of coming back. : - )


Oct 19th, 2001, 05:45 PM
John G
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Yes, the gelato of Vivoli is spectacular, but I have found better. Next to the Loggia dei Lanzi, directly across from Rivoire, there is a shop that serves a gelato that is the best I have ever tasted. I can't remember the name. And I agree with the above that you will find the best pizza anywhere in Naples.
Oct 19th, 2001, 07:39 PM
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John, get a life.
Oct 19th, 2001, 08:40 PM
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My first experience in Europe was as a 20 year old student living in Rome. We traveled constantly, learned the language, partied and soaked up as much culture as we could on our limited budgets. I've been back many more times with a lot more money, and as wonderful as it is - it just isn't the same. I see some people in this forum turn up their noses at budget travelers, backpacks etc - and wonder how many of them missed out on that type of opportunity.
Oct 20th, 2001, 01:41 PM
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Yes. My family travelled extensively in Europe when I was young, and I did my own footloose trips while in high school and college. Now I'm visiting everything again with my husband, and there are places we both would like to revisit. I really can't think of anywhere I've ever been that I wouldn't want to visit again, and there are many places I really want my husband to experience. In particular, I'd like to give Venice another chance to win me over.
Oct 21st, 2001, 03:41 PM
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I agree--it depends. And I'm not sure if expectations greatly affect your judgment....

The first time I went to Europe, it was just London & Paris. Loved London, still do. Did NOT like Paris much. But on my second trip there, I suddenly fell in love with the city, and became a Paris addict. Likewise, I really liked Venice the first time around, but didn't care for it as much the second time. But my two Venice trips were like apples & oranges, very different.

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