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Terry Oct 19th, 2000 07:35 AM

Italy questions
I understand the water in Venice is good to drink, but how about the water in the rest of Italy - Fit to drink or should one buy bottled water? <BR> <BR>Would I need reservations for the Borghese Gallery and Nero"s Golden House - 6-10 Nov time frame?

Paulo Oct 19th, 2000 07:52 AM

I don't think you need reservations for the Borghese Gallery in November. Once it is kind of out the way (you won't stumble on it when sightseeing), though, it doesn't cost to call and hear about what the situation is (I've a hard time estimating the crowds in this crazy Jubialeum year). If nothing has changed, the Domus Aurea is not open for the general public. So, it's not a question of crowds. In principle it was open only for schollars and one had to make a special application to the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma in Piazza delle Finanze (tel. 06 67103819?). <BR> <BR>The water in all of Italy shouldn't be worse than what you have at home ... potable water doesn't mean that one for sure won't have any consequences. For instance, here in Brazil we have what one may call "soft" water. In most of Italy the water is "hard" some friends have experimented disarrangements when subjected to th water change. <BR> <BR>Paulo <BR>

elaine Oct 19th, 2000 08:02 AM

Paulo <BR>Once again you made me smile. <BR>"Disarrangements" is a lovely <BR>euphemism.

howard Oct 19th, 2000 08:52 AM

Unless they've changed the policy recently, Paulo, you are wrong about the Domus Aurea not being open to the general public. Are you sure? We didn't have a chance to get there last fall, but I know of people who did go.

nancy Oct 19th, 2000 08:57 AM

I understand the drinking water is very good in Rome, sweet and clean. <BR>Will be able to decide for myself after June. <BR>Paulo, <BR>good to know water is "hard" in Italy, same as Vermont. <BR>Will hopefully cut down on any "disarrangements" that I could experience! <BR>Now, if I pay attention to that olive oil! <BR>nancy

Paulo Oct 19th, 2000 09:16 AM

Elaine and Nacy ... though, like we say here in Brazil, pepper in somebody else's eyes doesn't burn, disarrangements are no fun :-) <BR> <BR>Howard - I'm not sure at all ... my last time up was in summer 97. The site was closed to the public (no ticket booth, etc.) and we were told that a "permit" by the Sopratendenza was required. We ended up not calling to hear about the details of the deal (if something like St. Peter's scavi with pre-arranged guided small groups or else). <BR> <BR>Paulo <BR>

howard Oct 19th, 2000 10:39 AM

Paulo, that all changed last year when the restoration was completed on Domus Aurea. They now admit us regular tourists in limited numbers; advanced reservations are advised. We were sorry that time didn't allow us to go there last, but next time...

Walter Oct 19th, 2000 11:08 AM

Hi Terry/Paulo: The Domus Aurea opened up June'99. I took the tour last Nov and unless things have changed this how it operated. Reserved tickets, but you can reserve at the ticket booth but IIRC (overhearing people) I think it was a 2 day wait then. I booked thru this commercial site The click-ons to e-mail them on the site didn't work so I had to type-in their URL [email protected]/ The tour was worth it but disappointing, a small group ~20 is given a 45min tour that was in Italian. I accidently hooked-up with a English private tour thinking that this was the English version. Our guide and us followed quickly behind the Italian tour, speaking in hushed tones and moving when they moved and no time for questions. Other posters I recall have also mentioned how they were rushed thru the site. If you rent the audio tour listen to it before the tour, it's of no use as you're rushing thru. Hopefully now they offer other language tours and have _slowed_ down the pace:). Regards, Walter <BR> <BR>

Terry Oct 19th, 2000 11:12 AM

Wow!!! Such quick responses. Thanks to all for the helpful info. I assume the Domus Aurea is the same as Nero's Golden House??

Paulo Oct 19th, 2000 11:25 AM

Thanks, Howard. It's hard to keep track ... I was not aware that the restoration work could have been completed (it looked as if it would take forever). <BR> <BR>Paulo <BR>

Paulo Oct 19th, 2000 11:30 AM

Yes, Terry <BR>Domus = house; Aurea = golden <BR>

Paulo Oct 19th, 2000 12:14 PM

Hi Walter, your post gave me a deja vue feeling. A search in the forum struck me like a bolt. I can't believe my memory is failing so badly! Bad sign! I now remember reading (with interest) ALL posts concerning the subject since last year and yet ... my brain seems to have blocked it out completely! Very strange! <BR> <BR>Paulo <BR>

luigi Oct 19th, 2000 01:01 PM

Well, Paulo, they say the memory is the SECOND thing to go! I can't remember the first. :-) <BR>ciao, <BR>luigi

howard Oct 19th, 2000 01:27 PM

Paulo, considering all the help you have been to so many people on this forum, you are forgiven! Mille grazie for everything else!

Paulo Oct 19th, 2000 01:40 PM

What if the first two things to go are going at the same time, Luigi? <BR> <BR>I'd say that forgiveness doesn't help much in the circumstances, Howard :-) <BR> <BR>Paulo <BR> <BR>PS. shouldn't you, at this time, be on the other side of the pond, Luigi? <BR>

Beth Oct 19th, 2000 02:44 PM

I took the audio tour at Nero's golden dome last year (in fact, I may have started a couple of the threads on it!). Its definitely worthwhile. I didn't find the tour quite as rushed as Walter did. We had the tape in English, but after listening to a portion, we had a few minutes to look around the room and ask questions. The guide spoke Italian to the group, but would answer a few questions in English as well. I thought it was okay, although I admit, my husband and I were always trailing after the crowd :-) Don't expect to see much in the way of decoration, the Domus Aurea is mostly fascinating because of the architecture.

Steph Oct 19th, 2000 02:55 PM

In fact Terry the water in Venice is probably less fit to drink than most places in Italy especially after the flooding in the north of Italy. Having said that it is perfectly safe. <BR> <BR>Romans have always appreciated having a clean and plentiful water supply - witness the massive aqueducts to supply the city. The water from the tap and the outdoor "nasone" is not only safe but tastes good - although very hard.

Terry Oct 20th, 2000 09:50 AM

Thanks to all for the helpful info. Guess we can relax re: the water. Will be sure to get tickets in advance for the Borghese Gallery and the Domus Aurea (Yikes, speaking italian already)

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