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Just Back - Dayle's Solo Trip to Italy

Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 07:19 AM
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Just Back - Dayle's Solo Trip to Italy

Just got back from 3 wonderful weeks in Italy - my third trip. This time around as a solo traveler visiting the Amalfi Coast, Rome, Tuscany and Umbria. Thanks so much to the Fodorites who provided suggestions and detailed info for some of my questions. Here is my trip report with my personal opinions and recommendations. It may be more detail than some people care for, but I hope it helps those of you in the planning stages!

Flight day got off to a great start with Delta leaving just slightly behind schedule out of Salt Lake. For the first (and probably only) time in my life I was flying first/business class thanks to FF miles saved for many years. I had to book a year ahead to get this award ticket. I have to say, it’s the way to go if you can afford it! What a difference. Extremely roomy leather seats, lots of leg room, and very attentive flight attendants, food was actually quite good. We made it to JKF ahead of schedule and there was plenty of time to make the connection. Ended up having a very fun New York gal sit next to me and we gabbed for a couple hours until time to sleep. The Business Class seats on Delta were the best with all kinds of fine tuning adjustments for your comfort. For the first time, I actually slept on a plane. It was great to wake up for breakfast about 1 ½ hours out of Rome feeling relatively fresh and ready to go!

Amalfi Coast, day 1
Took the Leonardo Express into Rome which was very easy. Missed the ES to Salerno so I got a ticket to Naples on the next ES. I’m not an overly fussy person, but the train was filthy and smelled like a stadium restroom that hadn’t been cleaned in years! I thought, wow this is the worst train I’ve ever been on. I can’t believe it’s a Eurostar train. I should have listened to my intuition. I had mistakenly boarded the Direct (extremely slow) train to Naples that actually left 10 minutes before my ES train but from the same track. Instead of taking 1 ½ hours to Naples, I took me 2 ½ hours on a miserable train.

From there, I got the SITA bus to Praiano, but had to wait another hour for departure. It was a long, hot day of travel and took much longer than expected. In hindsight, I would have paid the $300 for a private driver from direct Fiumicino to Praiano and felt it worth the price.

Hotel: Le Sirene in Praiano. A double room for 90E a night. Quite a few steps down to the hotel. Like most rooms fairly basic, but completely clean and comfortable. The traditional Amalfi tile everywhere. Large room and bathroom. Lovely private terrace with a sea view. Dead quiet at night, which I love! Gianfranco and Maria were wonderful, welcoming and extremely helpful. Breakfast on the outdoor terrace was very good. Definitely recommend Le Sirene.

Weather: Extremely hot and humid for someone who lives in a dessert climate. Unfortunately, I learned the Italian word for mosquitoes “zanzari”. Not many, but enough to eat me alive. Very nasty little devils. Everyone was walking around with huge, ugly red welts on their legs.

Fashion: 98% of the people you will see are tourists, wearing every sort of tennis shoe and walking sandal you can imagine. Clothes very casual, even among the locals. Wear whatever you want. I was very glad I took sleeveless, nice tee shirts, linen tops and pants, and a tiered cotton skirt.

Crowds: This was the first time tour groups had a negative impact on a trip to Italy. The Amalfi Coast was absolutely packed with tour groups and tour buses. I can’t begin to imagine what it must be like in July and August. I would never consider going during those months, nor would I ever go again in September. My first trip to Praiano had been in March 10 years ago and the difference was horrible to experience. SITA buses ran 30 to 45 minutes late or didn’t show up at all. When they arrived, they were packed and stifling. If you must go during peak tourist months, I would recommend picking a town and parking yourself there. Don’t even try to go to the other towns -- unless you can get there by sea.

Praiano - day 2
I took the SITA bus to Ravello. Ravello was very nice, but I thought the Villa Cimbrone Gardens were a bit overrated, 5E to get in. The views were awesome however, and I had a nice lunch of caprese salad (my favorite) and nice local wine. I also finally acquired a beautiful ceramic platter with the lemon design! Very expensive, plus shipping home, so this was my major souvenir of the trip. Getting to Ravello on public transportation was so awful and took so long, that I would not recommend staying in Ravello unless you use taxis or plan on relaxing and not going anywhere else during your time in the area.

Day 3 - I took the bus, boat, and train down to Paestum. It took about 2 ½ hours one way, but was well worth it! The temples are beautiful and so different from Roman ruins.

Important Note:
The trains and buses in Campania are good for bus/train for a certain number of minutes. You cannot buy a return train ticket at the Paestum train station! You must buy your return ticket at one of the cafes in Paestum before making the long walk back to the station.

Discovering this the hard way lead to interesting encounter #1. The station agent (who cannot sell tickets, but handles the arriving/departing trains) saw my look of disbelief and defeat. At this point, I was hot, tired, dusty, and had blisters on both feet. I guess my opinion of walking all the way back and forth again was clearly shown on my face! He offered (in Italian, he did not speak any English) to give me a ride back to Paestum to get the ticket and I took him up on it! In return I got us both a cold Coke in the bar and away we went back to the station. So - now he wants me to sit and visit in his air conditioned office. We had a limited, but interesting conversation while I waited for my train. My Italian is not good enough for a fluent conversation, but he did tell me he collects stamps and asked me to send him some. Harmless enough guy, but he sure tried his best to make an “impression”.

On the catamaran boat back from Salerno to Amalfi, I was the only passenger! Seems not many people do this, but it was a beautiful ride. Coming up the gangplank, I was looking ahead, not down, and missed a step down into the boat. Went down on my hands and knees while the young crew members just stared and didn’t move a muscle. Didn’t even ask if I was alright. Interesting.

Took the boat to Positano and walked around a bit, then stopped for a glass of wine at a bar on the beach and just people watched. Lots of expensive shopping, clothes, jewelry, typical tourist stuff and lots of tourists. I’m so glad I decided to stay in Praiaino, it was much more my kind of place. I think if you like some nightlife, shopping and the resort atmosphere, you would prefer Positano and be bored in Praiano.

Restaurant: La Brace in Praiano. I had a dinner here 10 years ago and remembered it to be very good. Had a delicious seafood dinner here my first night with friendly, professional service. The second night, I tried a little trattoria/pizzeria in Praiano where my waiter (an Arab immigrant) made it very obvious he didn’t want to serve a single woman. Dinner was poor, the clams so sandy I couldn’t eat them. I headed back to La Brace for desert and they insisted on treating me to the dessert. Yummy tiramisu compliments of Gianni, the owner. I returned the third night and was greeted like an old friend. Again, a fabulous dinner. I would highly recommend La Brace. They asked me not to recommend them to too many people because they’re getting old! Be sure to try La Signora’s mixed grilled vegetables. They are to die for.

Capri - day 4
Since there was no hope of getting my single piece of luggage on the crowded Positano/Praiano bus, I took a taxi to Positano, sort of. 20E got me dropped off above the town and I had to walk down the stairs with my rolling suitcase. I had made a reservation for the 9:30 am boat and was glad I knew it was necessary. There were lot of people extremely disappointed to find out they were going to have to wait and take the 11:30 am boat for their day trip to Capri.

Hotel: Stayed at Hotel Bellavista in Anacapri, a 3*. Nice enough single room and very quiet hotel, but it has seen better days. Breakfast not good. It seems they have a lunch contract with a big tour outfit and the group was getting instructions from their guide during lunch. Grabbed a quick lunch in a pizzeria where every customer but me had a tour group sticker on their shirt. Not a good sign, but the food and wine were good enough and the service speedy. They seemed surprised and impressed that I was able to order in Italian.

Took the lift up to Mt. Solaris and enjoyed the views of the clear turquoise water below. Walked around a bit into the local neighborhood below and found a church, Chiesa Monumentale S. Michele, with a famous mosaic floor. It was really beautiful and I recommend visiting to see it. Jammed onto the little bus back down to Capri. Yes it’s quite a ride, but not scary. Walked around town and tried not to be trampled to death by a tour group. Sorry to say I did not enjoy this aspect of Capri at all.

Day 5
I took the boat tour around the island in the small wooden boat. We had about 20 passengers of all nationalities. This was a true highlight and very relaxing! The sea as very rough that day on the gulf side of the island (much to the dismay of the Italian girl sitting next to me - yuck) so the Blue Grotto was closed. That was OK, our tour took us to other grottos where we could see the beautiful effect of the sun reflecting into the water. We also saw a cave where red coral was growing. It was a very relaxing and beautiful trip. Perfect temps and the wind in your hair. Capri was definitely getting much better! After the boat ride, I stopped for a great lunch at ristorante Villa Verde in Capri. Excellent grilled seafood lunch and a beautiful interior garden setting. Then I made the hike up to Villa Jovis which is quite a hike. Not many people do this, so it was nice to see what the residential areas of Capri were really like and again to get away from the day tripping crowds in town. I ended the day with a glass of wine in the small piazza and definitely noticed fewer people in the evening.

Some people enjoy the high end shopping and that type of thing. What I enjoyed was the natural beauty of Capri. I would not go there again during tourist season. I would go to Ischia instead.

The next morning, on to Sorrento via the alifscafi. My scheduled boat never showed up, so waited another hour before one came. The ride was very scary!!! The sea was rough out in the middle, the “wings” kept hitting the water and we were nearly thrown out of our seats. I was really scared (not much scares me) and looked around to see if the regulars were concerned. They were. I would not recommend the alifscafi, take the boat instead!

Next Pompeii and Napoli…..

Dayle is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 07:50 AM
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Thanks for the great post. I love the Amalfi coast too. I went in mid-Feb. & my only disappointment was that the flowers weren't blooming.

What kind of a boat is an alifscafi?
Cobbie
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 08:06 AM
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Thanks for your report. It is just what I needed. I’ll be traveling solo and visiting pretty much the same area. I thought September would be a perfect month to visit the area. I may tweak my timetable just a little bit.

I can’t wait for the rest.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 10:21 AM
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Oops, sorry, it's aliscafi - a hydrofoil. Still a little loopy from the 26 hours of travel back home. But that's a whole other story!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 11:21 AM
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Thanks for the trip report. I will be in Sorrento for 4 days next week, and am also travelling solo. What kind of tour did you take in Capri? I don't have much of a budget and will only be visiting as one of those annoying day-trippers, but your boat ride sounds amazing!
 
Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 11:32 AM
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Hi Ashlynn,

I believe the company I went with cost about 11 - 15E. I usually save my tickets, but I'm not finding this one. The boat trip really was my favorite thing about Capri! It took about 2 hours. It may be a bit longer for you if you get to go into the blue Grotto.

Buona fortuna!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 11:46 AM
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Hi Dayle, thanks for sharing your time in Italy..enjoyed your report. Is there more?

I was on a hydrofoil from Naples to Capri one time when the sea was very rough. Isn't that terrible? My problem was half of the passengers got sick which made me so afraid I would be too, but fortunatly I wasn't.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 11:50 AM
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Pompeii - Day 6
After weaving my way through several huge tour groups waiting to board for Capri, I took the bus up to the train station and got on the Circumvesuviana for Pompeii. It took about an hour and I enjoyed chatting with 3 young entertainers who came ashore from a Silver Seas ship in the harbor. Upon arrival in Pompeii, I discovered that the only “baggage check” was a back room of the bar. Unsecured and very informal. No choice but to leave my bag there and I had all my valuables on me anyway.

This was my second visit to Pompeii. The first time I had 2 hours and this time I spent 4 ½. It was hot and I was very glad I had lugged along my straw hat. They never stop excavating, and a whole new area called the “Suburban Baths” has been uncovered in the past 10 years. You can go into it with a “special ticket” which is free. Just ask for one at the ticket booth so you don’t have to walk back. I got an audio guide and was very happy with it. Amazing mosaics! I concentrated on seeing some of the homes and buildings I had not seen previously and learned a lot. One of the most interesting buildings was the “laundry”. Also more beautiful and amazing frescos and mosaics. Reclaimed my bag and headed into Napoli.

I arrived at Garibaldi station just in time for Friday rush hour! What a great time to take a wild taxi ride in Napoli! It was actually a blast. The trash and garbage of all kinds for blocks around the train station was horrible! I would not have wanted to walk those streets under any circumstances, but I felt perfectly comfortable in the train station. My hotel, the Pinto Storey, a 3* was in the Chiaia district, very upscale area and in a historic building -- 80E per night. The hotel has been very nicely renovated and my single room had a great city view and was very nice and comfortable. The air conditioning had already been turned off for the season, but the humidity was so high and the noise outside so intense, I had to pay extra to have it turned on in my room. It was worth it for a good night’s sleep. This hotel seemed to have mostly a guy clientele and I felt a little out of place. If that bothers you, you might want to choose another hotel.

I couldn’t find the restaurant the hotel recommended, so I popped into a place on the same street called the Antica Pizzeria. I was early and the first customer, but my choice was confirmed when 5 minutes later all the locals trooped in and the place was full from then on. I was the only tourist! Fabulous pizza and good local red wine. I ate the whole thing!

Napoli - Day 7
Up early, left my bag at the hotel, and on to the Archeological Museum. Actually took the subway which was just across the piazza from the hotel.

Important Note: Have a good collection of small bills. Even though these are world class sites and museums, they are totally unprepared to give change for the 50E notes tourists get out of the ATM machines! I was unable to get an audioguide because I didn’t have exact change. I didn’t get as much out of my visit without it.

The artifacts from Pompeii were incredible, especially the mosaics! Some of them were done in pieces no bigger than an 1/8”! Absolutely amazing.

Reclaimed my bag at the hotel and since it was a Saturday and the subway wasn’t crowded, I just hopped back on to Garibaldi station. Got the ES to Rome and arrived quickly and easily in 1 ½ hours. Lucky for me I missed the torrential rain that hit Napoli later than evening. They actually had flooding problems in the city.

Upon arrival I took a taxi to my hotel, Hotel Giardino Rome, a 2*, 90E per night. This was a nice little place run by an Englishwoman, Katy, who has lived in Rome for over 20 years. Nothing fancy, but my single room was adequate and had double-paned windows to keep out the street noise. Yummy breakfast, but no water pressure whatsoever in the shower. Just a trickle……however, this hotel is in a great location! Just on the other side of the hill from the Vittorio Emmanuelle (SP?) and Trajan’s Market. Easy walking distance to all the sights except the Vatican which is a ways further. Katy and her staff are super helpful and friendly. Very homey place.

Desperately needing to do laundry, I experienced a Roman Laundromat. Didn’t take long and away I went with clean clothes. Their washing machines spin the clothes almost dry! Much better than ours in the US.

Tonight was the 3rd annual Note Bianca celebration in Rome. Basically an all night party where shops, restaurants and bars stay open all night. They had concerts and other performances in every piazza all night long. Unfortunately, it poured rain all night (as it has every year) and I was just too exhausted to care. I spent the night sleeping.

Roma - Day 8
Today was my reservation for the Borghese Gallery. My time slot was 11:00 am, but I was up early in search of cash. Turns out my ATM cards were not the same network as most of the Bancomat machines conveniently located absolutely everywhere. I had to get to more local banks to access cash. Got that done and headed to the Borghese.

Turns out since it was a Sunday morning (and probably also due to the all night party the night before) the 9:00 am time slot wasn’t full and they let me go in early. Great call! Instead of 200 people there were only about 75. A very pleasant experience and the sculptures were amazing. I had the same jaw dropping reaction to Apollo and Daphne that I had to Michaelangelo’s David. It’s that beautiful! When I came out, it was a madhouse with the 9:00 group trying to claim bags and get out and the 11:00 group trying to buy tickets, etc. One sour note, you do have to check all bags and I knew that going in so I had my valuables on me. Unfortunately, my very expensive Oakley cycling glasses were stolen out of my bag at the bag check. Be aware!

Enjoyed a walk through the Borghese Gardens and headed toward the Spanish Steps. Found an optical shop near Via Condotti and bought some new sunglasses from an Austin, TX gal who married an Italian and has lived in Rome for over 25 years. Had some lunch at a little sidewalk café off Via Condotti then continued on to the Pantheon. Such an amazing and beautiful structure! The scaffolding has been removed! Evidently the repairs/restoration are done. Had to make a gellato stop, then on to Piazza Navona which I had missed on my previous visit to Rome. Such a beautiful piazza with wonderful fountains. The fountain at (I think) the north end was fenced off for repairs. I believe this is the one that was damaged by a couple of idiots earlier this year. Too bad the junk vendors obscure the view. I never saw anyone buy anything from them. Sat and enjoyed a glass of wine at one of the many cafes and just people watched for a while.

By now I was beat and it was time to head back to the hotel for a short rest and to change for dinner. The hotel recommended a traditional Roman place on a tiny back street near the Quirinale, restaurant Scaremberg, street of the same name. Food was excellent and the real thing. I had octopus bruschetta, and although I’ve had octopus before and liked it, I just couldn’t eat this. It was served cold and was in big pieces. Got down 5 bites for a good try, but it was just a little too slimy. I also had their ravioli in butter and sage sauce which was fantastic and a good ½ bottle of their house wine. Desert was good too, but now I can’t remember what I had!

More Rome to follow.


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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 12:04 PM
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Dayle, I am enjoying your report. It's very helpful to those of us planning trips to the Amalfi Coast. From what you experienced our scheduled visit in early November is sounding better and better. Hopefully the numerous mosquitos and tour groups will be elsewhere by then. We want to visit Capri during this trip but I hope the seas are calmer when we are there. I seldom get seasick but if those around me are suffering my stomach may also in sympathy . Looking forward to reading more of your travels. Deborah
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 12:23 PM
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Dayle: Great report so far. Those of us who have been to the places you've been are hankering to return again!!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 12:34 PM
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Nice imformative report Dayle---grazie !
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 02:34 PM
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Thanks Dayle, I'm also a solo travelling Italy lover, but haven't been south of Rome yet. Your notes are great.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 02:35 PM
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Dayle,
So glad that you had a wonderful time!!
What is the hardest part of traveling solo??
Just curious...I'm leaving in a few weeks & going solo to Venice.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 02:57 PM
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Roma - Day 9
Today’s plan was for the Context Rome Antica Roma tour of the Palentine Hill, the Forum and the Coliseum, but I awoke to a wild lightening storm and torrential rain about 6:00 am. By the time I was ready to get started, it had stopped raining and the skies were clearing! Lucky again! Started the day with an English language tour of Nero’s Golden House given by an archeologist. It was very interesting, but you really had to use your imagination on what it must have looked like. Since Nero was not a popular guy, emperor Trajan (I believe it was) filled in his palace with dirt and added lots of galleries (brick walls) to support his new bath complex built above. One very interesting point was that they have found no kitchens or bathrooms in the palace at all. They think that the palace was only for show, for receiving visitors, and not for living. While I waited for my tour, I sat on a bench in the little park above and watched the Moms and some grandparents with the little toddlers and babies. Chatted with a couple of them and really enjoyed this little slice of Italian life. Stopped at a pizzeria across from the Coliseum expecting to get poor food and was pleasantly surprised with a yummy pizza, good wine and even good gelato!

Met my group and Context Rome guide, Carlos at the Palentine Hill entrance and off we went. Carlos was very knowledgeable, but his information was a little disjointed and I found my mind wandering. We spent a lot of time on the Palentine Hill then skipped quickly through the Forum so we could spend a lot of time a the Coliseum. Unfortunately, the Coliseum was the only thing I had already seen on my previous trip and also that I knew a lot about. I would have preferred to spend more time in the Forum, but in all it was a good tour and went a whole 4 ½ hours.

By now I had met 2 couples over breakfast at the hotel and we all happened to be spending the same nights in Rome. We all went out to dinner to ristorante Scaremberg and sat outside in the tiny piazza at a linen draped tables surrounded by cars and vespas. Very fun and friendly people! We had a great time and drank more than our share of good wine! Everyone agreed the food was excellent. We were the last ones to leave. I guess we closed the place down.

Roma - Day 10

The Context Rome Vatican Art tour was today! I had really been looking forward to this one. Got an early start and went to see Santa Maria Maggiore which was beautiful and San Pietro in Vincoli where the Michaelangelo sculpture of Moses is located. In order to save my legs, I took a taxi to the Vatican and braced myself for a bad meal at the café directly across the street. Yikes! I can’t believe it’s legal to sell frozen, micro waved pizza in Italy!!! Biggest mistake was getting their gelato, which didn’t even qualify to be called gelato. Oh well, I knew what I was getting in to.

The line for tickets was unbelievably long, but magically disappeared completely by 1:00 pm when we were to go in. Our guide was a tiny Sicilian girl who was getting her PhD in Renaissance art. She had gone to college in the states and had excellent English. Julianna really knew her stuff and I learned so much! Did you know they used to use urine to stabilize the dies in tapestries? I might have been able to live without that particular piece of information, but then look what I’m remembering! The Rafaello rooms were incredibly beautiful and Julianna spent a ½ hour explaining the Sistine Chapel in detail before we entered. It was crowded in the chapel, but still the art was just amazing! Like many others I would highly recommend taking a tour of the museums. You will get so much more out of it.

Back to the hotel for a rest and a change for dinner. One of the couples was going to a concert of opera arias and I went out to another restaurant recommended by the hotel. Ran into the other couple, who invited me to join them, and we all enjoyed another great meal. This restaurant was La Piccola Arancia.

Roma - Day 11
There had been a national transportation strike scheduled for today, but luckily it was called off. I was able to go out to Tivoli as planned and it turned out to be a real highlight! According to Steve James’ wonderful, detailed directions, I took the metro out to the proper station and then got the bus to Tivoli. Myself and a couple others hopped off and walked the rest of the way to Hadrian’s Villa. It was a bit of a walk, but not bad. The interesting thing about the Villa is that it has not been buried under successive years of building projects. You didn’t have to use your imagination much to see how it must have looked. Very interesting.

Caught the local bus up to Tivoli and went to the Villa d’Este. What a treat! I really didn’t know what to expect. The villa itself has been turned into a sculpture museum, but most of the frescos remain and are in very good condition. The real surprise were the beautiful gardens and fountains! It was just as I had always expected an Italian Renaissance garden to look, but had never really found. The fountains were spectacular and just overwhelming! I noticed that everyone was walking around with smiles. A real pleasure. Go if you can!

Met the 2 couples for a "last night" dinner and we went to ristorante der Pallaro, a place where you sit down and eat what they bring you for a fixed price of 20e per person. What a great meal. Four courses, we were stuffed and the family Fazi was lots of fun! Another late, but very fun night. We all exchanged e mail addresses and have invitations to visit each other. I've been wanting to go to Australia!

Next, on to Tuscany and Umbria.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 03:13 PM
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Bailey,

Really only minor inconveniences in traveling solo. Such as, not having anyone to take turns watching the luggage at train stations while buying tickets or making pit stops. Another very good reason to travel light!

The very major problem with traveling solo, and for a true wine lover, it really is a problem, is that you can't normally get just a glass of the wine of your choice. You have to settle for the house wine, usually not want you really want. Sometimes you can get a 1/2 bottle of something, but selection is extremely limited. It's hard for me to drink a 1/2 bottle even with a large meal. I love the wine, but it keeps me awake when I'm dining at 8 or 9 pm!

The advantages of traveling solo far outweigh any disadvantages. Restaurants take better care of you. You are far more available to talk with new people, tourists and locals alike! That's the biggest plus by far. I met so many great people. I also had much more opportunity to use my limited Italian and the local people really appreciated my efforts. I even got a few compliments!

You do need to be fairly self confident and self sufficient. If you are not normally, you will be by the time you go home!

Buon viaggio!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 05:28 PM
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Such a great read Dayle. I am really looking forward to hearing about Tuscany and Umbria.

Perhaps one of the advantages of travelling solo is having more time to keep a detailed journal. Your information is invaluable to those of us who now travel solo.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 06:18 PM
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Wonderful trip report. Can't wait to hear more. My 21 yr. old daughter just got back from 6 months in Italy and travelled some of the time solo and yes, she really met some great people (some not so great too, but she handled it fine). She even told us that in her 2 weeks in Lipari--she had a research grant--she only paid for 2 meals the entire time--they literally wouldn't let her pay!

Looking forward to hearing more.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 07:14 PM
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Thanks all! I'm glad if this helps some planners. I've been on Fodor's for over 10 years and have planned my 4 trips to Europe with the help of this great board.

EmBee, I actually don't have the patience to keep a journal. Never have, not even once all my life. I do, however, have a pretty good memory.

Ugh, back to work tomorrow. I'll finish up tomorrow.

Buona sera!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 07:16 PM
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great trip report!
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Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 03:47 AM
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Hi dayle,

Thanks for an interesting trip report.

When we visited the AC the 1st week of Oct, it was somewhat less crowded than you are reporting.

>Did you know they used to use urine to stabilize the dies in tapestries?<

Yes. Chamber pots were emptied into large jars on the corner and emptied by the dyers each evening. Night soil went into other jars and was collected for use on farms.

It's the urea in urine that helps fix the dyes and give brighter colors.

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