Pinch me, I must be dreaming!

Old Oct 19th, 1999, 10:12 AM
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Pinch me, I must be dreaming!

I can hardly believe that I am planning a trip to Italy. Seems my whole life there were just pictures on my walls to daydream about. Now, I am boarding a plane in March to make this dream a reality.
I have a ton of questions. I plan to stay 2 weeks, about how much money should I plan to take with? I would like to go to the opera while I am there and take in all of the sites. I plan to stay in hostels and take the train to destinations like Florence.
Also, I was thinking about taking a train to Spain and while in Spain check out the city my ancestors discovered, Cadiz. Does anyone know any interesting tidbits on this city? It is so small that my agent couldn't find any information on it. Anything you might know would be of interest.
Old Oct 19th, 1999, 01:10 PM
Posts: n/a for online info about Cadiz

Opera tickets are very VERY difficult to get (especially at La Scala). There is a website for La Scala (I ordered tickets for a violin concert - no operas on stage at the time we visited - with the greatest of ease):
There are operas staged in Florence and other Italian cities; again, tickets can be difficult to get. website:
Money is subjective; do a budget just like you do for your monthly expenses (breakfast, lunch, dinner, lodging, transportation, souvenirs, admission fees).
Old Oct 19th, 1999, 11:34 PM
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Spain and Italy are two different (and interesting) worlds. Since you are staying for two weeks, I would (personal advice) only choose one country. Train connections between Italy and Spain won't be very easy and will take a long time.
Old Oct 20th, 1999, 04:21 AM
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Candace -- Haven't been to Italy, but want to recommend Maeve Binchy's book "Evening Class." You might get a kick out of reading about other people who daydream about Italy.
Old Oct 20th, 1999, 05:03 AM
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I would highly recommend not bringing alot of cash. There are ATM machines everywhere. We used them in Italy often with no problem at all. Also, credit cards are accepted in most places. That way you won't have to worry about carrying cash around.
Old Oct 20th, 1999, 08:42 AM
Monica Richards
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I just got back from a trip to Spain and Portugal, and went to Italy a few years ago. With only two weeks, I would focus on Italy and leave Spain for another trip. Cadiz was at one time a great port and one of the richest cities in Spain, but that was centuries ago and unfortunately, now not much of historical interest is left and it's basically an industrial city. My husband had read a lot about it in history books and was very eager to see it, but after researching more recent reviews of the city we decided to pass.
Old Oct 20th, 1999, 01:15 PM
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Definitely read Stephen's topic "Sixteen days in Itlay and made it back in one piece. My opinions on a great trip." which he recently posted on this forum.

If you've only got 2 weeks, I'd give it all to Italy and save Spain for the next visit.
Old Oct 23rd, 1999, 04:15 AM
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The old town of Cadiz is still there on
the peninsula - it is NOT industrialised - (with ref to a previous post-the surrounding areas are
but not Cadiz).It is very atmospheric,
narrow alleys but well lit & safe.Go to
the Torre Tavira for the view & the camera obscura.Also there is a fast train link to Seville - go & see the Alcazar etc.
Old Oct 24th, 1999, 03:58 AM
Ben Haines
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You have every right to dream: the Grand Canal and the Michealangelo "David" are an extension of reality.

The following web sites may help:

Tourist webring at:;list

Long Travelogue by American couple, with trip-planning tips:

Venice for Visitors

The reference library of a city near you may have the Thomas Cook European Timetable. Cadiz is, indeed, a long way away. Unreconstructed Englishmen siuch as me like to see the ruined cathedral left by the piratical Sir Francis Drake, but I'm not at all sure it's worth your time to take trains there and back.
The discovery of Cadiz lies omewhere in the eighth century unless you're a Roman or Phonecian): what did your ancrestors do there ? If it is worth your time, you should take the Salvador Dali hotel train, with a second class sleeper berth: Milan Central 2000, Turin Porta Susa 2132, Barcelona Sants 0900. Then the Antonio Machado hotel train, Barcelona Sants 2200, Seville San Justa change 0850 to 0900, Cadiz 1044. Or, less interesting, Barcelona Sants 1003, buffet car train, Madrid Chamartin 1738. Metro a couple of mles south. Madrid Puerta de Atocha 1800, restaurant car train, Seville 2025 to 2127, Cadiz 2311.

Please write if I can help further. Welcome to Europe.

Ben Haines, London


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