Italy: Don't miss this?

Old Jun 16th, 1998, 05:01 PM
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Italy: Don't miss this?

I've done my homework for Venice, Florence, and Rome until I am bleary eyed. I'm still afraid I am missing something important. Will you tell me the one thing that you believe I should not miss while in these cities? Anything out of the way that the many, many websites I've been to fail to know about?
Old Jun 16th, 1998, 05:29 PM
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I only know Rome, and I only know my side of it, so I'll tell you about my two favorite days. One day my husband and I toured the Vatican museum, climbed the rotunda of St. Peter's Basilica, and spent a long time just soaking up the atmosphere inside the rotunda. Another day we walked to the Spanish steps, took a nap leaning on one another at the steps, and walked through the shopping district, stopping for cappucino. Rome was lovely.
Old Jun 17th, 1998, 07:14 AM
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Marty, Everyone has to do the "BIG THREE" sometime
in their life. However, what you will be missing
is the best of Italy---not to be found in the big
cities where the tour bus crowds have taken over.
Italy is SO popular now that the logistics of trying
to see the places you have read about sap all of
your time and energy. Italy is my favorite place to
travel, but I counted 42 tour busses in San Gimignano last Oct.---and that is somewhat remote.
There are still some good places left, but not in the cities whose names you recognize. Next year
plan to discover the destinations that still have
some true Italian authenticity.
Old Jun 17th, 1998, 12:44 PM
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My husband and I spent almost 3 weeks in Italy last fall touring by train and automobile.While we will never regret spending time in the "Big Three" we will never for the road trip through the back roads of Tuscany(I would tell you which roads but we were literaly lost)and stopping a wonderful roadside picnic area with our "brought from the city" wine and cheese.Then of course I am sure you have read many site messages about "cinque terre" near La Spezia.They are the five little seaside villages linked by rail but also by an ancient footpath.We hiked the entire path -takes all day- and have never had such a wonderful experience.
Hope you have a wonderful trip..
Old Jun 17th, 1998, 01:20 PM
Cheryl Z.
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Marty - don't worry about what you think you might miss. There is SO much that even if you had more time and more info, you'll still miss something. Enjoy what you have planned, savor every moment, and you'll have the thrill of a lifetime. And it'll make planning your NEXT (yes, you'll do more) trip more fun.
Old Jun 17th, 1998, 02:15 PM
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let me recommend the following web sites for Venice

Obviously -- do Piazza San Marcos -- but my advice do it very early in the morning - as early as you can get up -- have an expresso at one of the cafes and then do Doges Palace -- by mid-morning it becomes unbearably crowded --

Take a vaparetto down or up the grand canal -- get on at San Zacarria -down beyondf the Danieli Hotel (adjacent to San Marcos). Hoepfuly you can get a front seat and take it the length of the Canal -- (see this site :

lget off at the Piazalli Roma (parking garage) and walk back - you will start through a park -- and then work your way back to Rialto or San Marcos -- you cannot get lost -- but you will absolutely get away from the crowds and enjoy Venice the best way possible -- see -- referenced above

One other thing in Venice -- if you get a chance -- in the late afternoon stop at the Danieli Hotel- next to San Marcos - they have a rooftop restaurant and lounge - forget the name of it - with one of the really great views anywhere -- have a glass of wine and enjoy the scenery.

Old Jun 17th, 1998, 03:41 PM
Robert Erickson
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We lived in Rome for 15 years. All the things to see the first time are well and repeatedly laid out in
the proverbially required three days; but there is an old book, probably long out of print, titled Rome,
the Fourth Day. (Libraries probably have it.) Look
there for the unique experiences.

Florence: The gallery (top floor) of the Ponte Vecchio through which the American troops crossed into Florence over the Arno, contains a fantasstic collection of self-portraits by the world's
leading artists, early to contemporary. It is open only by appointment at certain times on certain days. Enquire at the Pitti Palace. Absolutely worth doing.

Venice: Go in January and hope for snow. Onlly the Venetians are are around in their beautiful fur coats and the city is a fairy land.
Old Jun 18th, 1998, 03:00 PM
Jen Z
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When in Rome, don't miss the Chiesa di St. Ignazio, near the Pantheon. It has a great example of the painted illusionistic ceilings that were so popular in the Royal Baroque style. The painting on the ceiling is incredible; it really looks like the angels are soaring up to Heaven. Check out the dome from the center marks on the floor as you walk in...looks real, but once you walk past it you realize it's not there at all, it's just a painting. Apparently the money ran out before they could put up a dome, so they got a painter to make it look like it's there. AND one of altars is supposedly also a painting on a flat surface, but if so, it was done really well because I never figured out which one it was!
Old Jun 18th, 1998, 05:50 PM
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As a musician, one of my favorite things is enjoying superb concerts in the smaller venues - usually churches. What a thrill to listen to Vivaldi's music in the church in Venice where he worked! The acoustics in the churches are always wonderful, and it's such a marvelous experience!

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