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Just Back From Italy - Shoes & Cell Phone Comments

Just Back From Italy - Shoes & Cell Phone Comments

Apr 23rd, 2006, 07:16 AM
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Just Back From Italy - Shoes & Cell Phone Comments

We just got back from 10 days in Italy and before I do my Trip Report I just wanted to comment on 2 topics that I obsessed about way too much - Shoes & Cell Phones.

Shoes: Since I obsessed so on comfortable & stylish "non touristy" shoes I made a point of noticing what everyone else was wearing. I came to the conclusion that ANYTHING goes. White tennis shoes, athletic sneakers, flats, mules, sandals, flip flops etc - I saw them all, on tourists and Italians. For the record I ended up in Birkenstocks & Nike Shox (decided to go for the comfort over style).

Cell Phones: To rent or not to rent that was my big question. My cell provider is Verizon and they have no international coverage. I do have a T-Mobile Blackberry that offers international cell & wireless service. After checking rental prices I decided it was less expensive and easier to have my Verizon calls forwarded to my Blackberry. That way I also was able to check e-mails etc. Worked like a charm. And everyone was able to use my normal cell number.

I am also going to post a Trip Report.

Just my 2 cents.

donnapg is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 07:42 AM
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Hi donnapg,

My husband and I will be going to Rome, Tuscany, & Venice in about 3 weeks and I, too, have been obsessing about the shoes. I'm actually tired of obsessing about it and decided to take whatever is comfortable on my feet.

Not sure if you visited the areas we will be going but can you tell me what the weather was like? I am now obsessing about what to bring to wear!
didi is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 07:52 AM
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I am a notorious overpacker.

I brought long sleeve, short sleeve shirts. Long pants & Capri pants.

At some point I wore them all. Days ranged from mid 50s to mid 70s (got warmer as the week went on) and nights were much cooler.

Also had a light jacket that I took every day as mornings were chilly, and also used each night. Be sure to get one that doesn't wrinkle easily.

You can check the 10 day forecasts online also.

Have a great time
donnapg is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 09:26 AM
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Donnapg, thanks for your comments. You are so right - you will see everything on everyone when you travel. We do worry too much about what to wear, especially shoes since we all want to be able to walk and do lots of sightseeing and be comfortable. I usually take a Clarks sandal which I have had good luck with on previous trips. I recently bought a pair of Aerosoles slip on sandals with a soft leather woven top - great for my pesky bunions! I also bought Liz Claiborne's Spice which is a casual sport shoe with a velcro closure. These are very comfortable and would be great for walking long distances. I thought they would be great for walking around Pompeii, Vesuvious, etc.

Looking forward to your trip report!
Marianna is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 09:31 AM
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Totally agreed on the shoes! I was worried about standing out in my beloved Nikes, but there were no 2 people in any location that I saw wearing the same shoes! They are all over the board on shoe styles!
michellen is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 09:59 AM
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I'm glad you posted. Plenty of people have written about the variety of shoe styles worn in Italy (and France), but maybe the more they read from recent travelers, the more likely they'll believe it.

Looking forward to your report.
Luisah is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 12:22 PM
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I think your comments on shoes will help all of those who go through the same dilemma.

I have learned that not matter what shoes I pack, what always works for me is to change shoes in the afternoon before going out again to eat/walk around at night.

One of my friends went through the same phone obsession as you. He ended up taking a dive into our agriturismo swimming pool with the phone in his pocket (result: phone died), which kind of reminded us all that you just can't overplan; stuff happens!

A comment for didi above: One thing I was so glad I took on a May/June trip last year was a cute jean jacket. If it is your style, take one!

It was the right weight. I could layer T's and even thin sweaters under it, tie it around my waist, use it to sit on for picnics and I could dress it up with a pin, scarf etc. for all but dressy restaurants (which we actually didn't go to on this trip anyway).
annabelle2 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2006, 05:04 AM
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Annabelle2 - I do have a short jeans jacket that I was thinking of bringing and now definitely will. Thank you!
didi is offline  
Apr 25th, 2006, 05:12 AM
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I, too, was just in Italy about a week and a half ago. I noted a lot of boots being worn. It would not be my choice for comfort, but to each his own. I also saw a lot of other shoe styles, so wear whatever is comfortable!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2006, 06:28 AM
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I recently returned to Italy after spending a semester there in college 10 years ago. I took nice black shoes with me to wear as my primary shoes because I remembered that all Italians seemed to wear nice shoes all the time. When I got there I couldn't believe how much things had changed - even the shoe stores mainly seemed to be selling primarily dressed up sneakers. I wound up wearing my sneakers every single day I was there. My black shoes never left my suitcase.
cab5s is offline  
Apr 25th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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I recently returned from europe and I wore my cowboy boots (nice lizard skin dark brown) most of the time with jeans!! I did get a lot of looks ( I didnt care!) and they were comfortable!!
Wear what is comfortable and what you like is what i say!
annesherrod is offline  
Apr 26th, 2006, 07:21 AM
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Cowboy boots in Italy -- I love it! The starers were probably wondering where they could buy them.

Glad you wore what was most comfortable for you. I'm finally learning to do that.
Luisah is offline  
Apr 26th, 2006, 09:50 AM
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You probably got the looks because they were admiring them. I saw cowboy boots in the stores all over Rome and alot of the local girls were wearing them. I think they are comfortable too, I will take mine next time.
SeaUrchin is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 05:39 AM
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Thanks for the post! Why is it we obsess over shoes.....Must be genetic! Will now pack my Nikes for my June trip. Still waiting for a clear, non-techie answer for my cell phone!
hcjax is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 06:20 AM
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Thank you for the shoe update!!!! I get *so* fed up w/the shoe police on this board who suggest that one must avoid "tourist" shoes--whatever that means. Behaving in loud or obnoxious (think stereotype ugly American) ways is one thing, but no one can be offended by the shoes worn by travelers.
socialworker is offline  
May 6th, 2006, 02:31 PM
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Note to hcjax: see http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34798811

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
May 6th, 2006, 08:39 PM
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On shoes - I just purchased a pair of Earth sandals which are intended to be my primary walking shoes on my upcoming Italian honeymoon. The style of sandal is just as ugly as Birkenstocks, but the color is super cute - lime green suede! They are soooo comfortable. As a notorious overpacker, I have vowed to do something that seems nearly impossible - fit all of my clothing in a cary-on. To accomplish this goal, I had originally intended to just bring one pair of comfortable shoes for the whole trip, and buy a pair of two of dressy shoes there if it becomes necessary. But now I'm thinking I'll toss in my very comfy pair of black Born slip-ons, just in case.

Donna, can't wait to read your trip report.
woot is offline  
May 6th, 2006, 08:58 PM
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I found that having a pair or two of really comfortable walking shoes for day and one or two simple evening shoes worked great. Skirts and capri pants were worn regularly. The only item I suggest bringing more of would be day time tees or shirts. We seemed to go through more of them as it got pretty warm walking around everywhere, etc. Of course, you can wash if you want, too.
brayden is offline  
May 8th, 2006, 03:00 PM
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You can do it, woot!! We did the same in the winter--much harder as you need some bulkier clothes--but it can be done. We did 10 days in France w/just carry-ons and I cannot tell you how freeing it was to travel that way.

Your lime green suede shoes sound so cute. There is nothing like color to jazz up what might otherwise look like ugly, orthopedic models if they were brown or beige suede, but when they are brightly colored, they have a whole different personality. Have fun on your trip!!
socialworker is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 04:36 AM
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Thank you SO much for this shoe update -- I was having nightmares over the "proper" shoes! Now I know I can wear what makes ME happy and comfortable without being plopped on Milan's worst dressed list!
Arizonacanal is offline  

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