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Italy: Your Best Advice

Old Jun 14th, 1998, 06:26 AM
  #1  
Marty
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Italy: Your Best Advice

Well, I've read and read everybody's great advice in this forum, I've gone to many websites, and I've scoured the guide books. I leave on Saturday for Venice, Florence, and Rome. It is a partially escorted Goahead vacations tour (ie., to and from destinations, etc.) but mostly on our own. We will have 2 1/2 days in Venice(Hotel Bologna); 2 1/2 days in Florence(Hotel Corolle); only 1 1/2 days in Rome(Hotel Tea). WOULD YOU GIVE ME YOUR ONE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE BEFORE WE HEAD OUT?!Thanks for all the much, much help so far from everybody. I hope we can return the favor.
 
Old Jun 14th, 1998, 06:51 AM
  #2  
Lori
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Relax, enjoy, and don't be afraid to try new things. Try to visit some of the off the beaten path churches and places. You'll be pleasantly surprised. Also, go to the Vatican Museum around 11am. That way you miss most of the crowds from the morning bus tours and the afternoon ones aren't there yet. Ciao!!!!
 
Old Jun 14th, 1998, 01:16 PM
  #3  
Jen Z
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Do not make the mistake of running through the Vatican Museum, following the crowds to the Sistine Chapel. There is so much more there!!! I spent a good four or five hours in there on my second trip and I'm sure there was still more to see, though I did manage to see much much more than I did the first time I went. Don't forget to be dressed appropriately (the dress code for the museum is the same as going to St. Peter's). If you're going to St. Peter's after the museum, take the little bus from near the ticket windows; it's much faster than walking around the Vatican walls, and gives you a view of the Vatican grounds.
Make sure you see some out of the smaller, out-of-the-way places as well as the big cities, if you have time, splurge on some multi-course meals and wine, and most of all, eat at least one bowl of gelato a day!!!!
 
Old Jun 14th, 1998, 04:53 PM
  #4  
hamlet
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In Florence - check out the view of the city across the Arno at Piazzele Michelangelo. Also check out the view in the city by climbing to the top of the Duomo. In Rome - try the original tartufo at Tre Scalini, a restaurant at Piazza Navona. (twice as much to sit, you decide) and definitely throw your coins into Trevi Fountain because it really works! I've been there 4 times already. They don't call it the eternal city for nuthin'.
 
Old Jun 14th, 1998, 05:01 PM
  #5  
Rachel
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I realize you have alot to see in a short time, but I would suggest, while you are in Florence, to take a drive (about an hour) west to Lucca, a beautiful walled in city, that is quieter than Florence, less polluted, less travelled by tourists. You simply cannot go wrong finding a great place to eat, no matter how dingy the restaurant looks, and you must surely take a romantic walk after "pranzo" on the path atop the walls which surround Lucca. You will not be sorry.
Best of luck and try to eat as much as possible! Oh yeah, Lucca's olive oil is some of the best in Italy- be sure to stuff some in your suitcase...
 
Old Jun 15th, 1998, 04:01 AM
  #6  
francesca
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Old Jun 15th, 1998, 04:06 AM
  #7  
francesca
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We just returned from a 3 week honeymoon in Italy and found that:

-in Venice, the islands are probably not the best use of your time. The Dorsuduro area is the most beautiful and the best restaurants can be found in the Castello district.
-it is possible to eat wonderful food and not get ripped off in any of these cities if you spend a *little* extra effort to discover a nice, local place and avoid "tourist menus".
-in Rome, drink beer rather than wine in inexpensive bistros. The quality of house wine is in general quite low.
-I second the "1 gelato a day" statement!
Have a fabulous trip and let me know if you want restaurant specifics.

 
Old Jun 15th, 1998, 06:05 AM
  #8  
Gil Paniagua
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My wife and I are going to Italy to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in July. We are going to Rome, Florence and Venice. Since this is our first trip ever to Italy, I would like to know if you have some romantic restaurants to recommend and what would be some typical dishes to try, especially wines. I would also like to know what would be an appropiate amount to tip the waiters so as not to risk getting poor service.
 
Old Jun 15th, 1998, 12:15 PM
  #9  
donna
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The Scalinita di Spagna near the Spanish steps in Rome. Bella, bella, bella! Dark, authentic, romantic, fine wine and food, and secluded. Dow nan alley way off the strip of chic boutiques! Just loved it. If you need more info - email me !
Buono Fortuna!
 
Old Jun 15th, 1998, 12:27 PM
  #10  
Jennifer
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What's the dress code for St. Peter's and the Vatican Museum?
 
Old Jun 15th, 1998, 02:59 PM
  #11  
CJ
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I have answered this question before in many forums and it is very important to that you maintain proper dress. NO SHORTS, MINI SKIRTS SLOPPY TEE'S AND NOT SLEEVELESS. There are guards who will turn you away. I was dressed in a very nice black long linen dress with a small slit on the side. I was a little concerned about the slit. Yep, I was stopped not for the slit but I was told I had to cover my shoulders. There were some street vendors selling nice faux channel scarfs and I bought one for $6.00 to cover my shoulders. They are very follow these rules with no exceptions. Even with little kids. Respect is the name of the game. Have fun. PS no baseball hats.
 
Old Jun 15th, 1998, 07:23 PM
  #12  
Michele
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Marty, we leave day after tomorrow for 17 days that begin in Geneva and end in Rome. We organized the whole trip independently thanks in part to the wonderful postings on this forum. We arrive in Venice the evening of June 23, then travel to Florence at Noon on June 25, then on to Rome, all using the train. Unfortunately we are not in the same hotels as you are,or I would say let's all meet for an "Apperitivo" at a local cafe! From a safety standpoint in Rome, ALWAYS carry your bag/backpack on the side of you that is away from the street. Bandits (known as "scipatores")ride 2 on a moped. While one drives, the other will attempt to wrench away a purse or bag. Mail postcards from the Vatican; it will take less time than the Italian post office. Have a WONDERFUL trip!!!
 
Old Jun 16th, 1998, 04:00 PM
  #13  
kam
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Keep a journal in which you write the names of all the little trattorias and hotels that appealed to you for your next trip to Italy. Don't miss David in Florence--no matter how bad the crowds. Make res. in advance for the Uffizi if you want to go.
 
Old Jun 16th, 1998, 04:56 PM
  #14  
Marty
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Thanks for all the good information. I know about reservations at the Uffizi, but can I make them after we are in the city from our hotel room? I have the number. Our traveling companions are in another city, and it is hard to coordinate when to do things with them. Do I need a reservation if I plan to go at night?
 
Old Jun 17th, 1998, 06:35 PM
  #15  
ALLISON
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We visited Florence during the second week of May. We walked to the Ufizzi Gallery in the early evening, around 5 or 6pm, and encountered no crowds. Walked right in and stayed until closing. The entire second floor is closed at this time for restorations.Wonderful time to visit. Enjoy!!
 
Old Jun 18th, 1998, 12:35 PM
  #16  
Lori
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Addendum to Michelle's posting: Buy a postcard at the Vatican of the Vatican, since it is covered with scaffolding, go to the Vatican Post Office, buy a stamp and have it postmarked. Cheap and pretty cool souvenir.
 
Old Jun 18th, 1998, 02:06 PM
  #17  
Tom
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I second the recommendation on a travel journal. 20 minutes each day provides memories for a lifetime. And as I read mine from a few years ago, I highly recommend Da Mario, a great restaurant in Rome (Via della Vite, 55), near the Spanish Steps.
 
Old Jun 18th, 1998, 02:26 PM
  #18  
dimi
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GIL - my apologies - the Scalinita was the name of one of my hotels - the Restaurant is Ristornate Raineri near the Piazza di Spagna - make reservations and have the pasta fagioli - it's superb. Tip like you would in the States. Congrats and let me know how much you loved it.
 
Old Jun 23rd, 2000, 07:37 AM
  #19  
niki
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As soon as you return, email me or post!! I am taking the exact same tour with GoAhead in November. My friend and I are on the edge of our seats.
 
Old Jun 25th, 2000, 08:49 AM
  #20  
richardab
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I have tons of advise for Rome and Italy on my websight! Its not completely done yet but the Rome path is ready.

http://home.earthlink.net/~richardab/

Follow the path Enter>Fly>Europe>Rome

Enjoy.
 

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