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Pt. 1 Italy trip report, some good, some bad

Pt. 1 Italy trip report, some good, some bad

Old May 14th, 2002, 11:39 AM
  #41  
Capo
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By the way, I don't like smoke in restaurants and I don't like coperto charges in restaurants. But eating in restaurants, even on vacation, isn't some kind of God-given right. If you don't like (or, due to health reasons, can't stand) smoke, or don't like coperto charges -- or don't like dogs in restaurants and cafes -- there are other options for food. <BR><BR>One more comment about coperto charges: although I suppose one could argue it's incumbent upon the diner to ask about them, I think they should be clearly posted on a menu. As long as they're clearly posted -- even if they're 20 euros per person -- you're not getting "ripped off" since you know beforehand what the charge is and, by agreeing to eat there, you're agreeing to pay the charge.
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 11:43 AM
  #42  
wes fowler
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I think even the most prepared, well versed, knowledgeable and experienced traveler will encounter a negative event somewhere, sometime during his travels. It may be a strike or work slow down, a problem in language interpretation, a disappointment in an accommodation, a chef's bad day. The experienced, knowledgeable traveler learns to tolerate such things since they happen so rarely. <BR><BR>For Pam to experience such a multitude of negatives suggests that the problems are with Pam, not Italy. With a negative attitude about everything and everyone encountered, coupled with a failing (despite her claim otherwise) to do some basic research she epitomizes the worst nightmares of those involved in catering to the tourist trade. <BR><BR>
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 11:45 AM
  #43  
Alyssa
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Amen! Italy bound, just got back and had a fantastic trip! A few quirky things happened but I certainly did not let it put a damper on my trip. Chalked it up to experience. It's the 2nd time I've been and would go again in a heartbeat! I love Italy!<BR>I was however amazed to see the amount of people complaining about such petty stuff, mostly at the airport and on the planes. It gave me a new appreciation of what those poor flight attendants go through! You could not pay me enough to put up with all of those whiners! Maybe Pam was one of those people I saw.....
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 11:50 AM
  #44  
what
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ukexpat: I guess you missed my point. Yes, bad experiences at home come free of charge, but my point was: how could anyone so well traveled (or so they say) be so naive to think that these experiences don't happen in other cities? Was Italy supposed to hold its breath because Pam came to town?<BR>Incidentally, the museums in Chicago are hardly the "local library". We have thousands of tourists who visit our museums daily and they deal with renovations as well.
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 01:57 PM
  #45  
Guido
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<BR>In October 2002 my wife and I stayed at the Santa Caterina Hotel in Siena that Pam describes.<BR><BR>I have to say that definitively your attitude impacts how you enjoy (or in this case: not enjoy) your accomodations.<BR><BR>In my opinion, the Santa Caterina Hotel was one of nicest places we stayed in our 18-day trip. It was not perfect, but quite charming. The breakfast was very good, with a great view of the Tuscany hills.<BR><BR>Better luck next time.<BR><BR>
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 02:27 PM
  #46  
Lou
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I think Pam is sitting back and having her laugh now. She was putting you all on to get you riled up about your beloved "travel to foreign countries". <BR>Don't waste your time with her, no one could see everything in such negative ways.....or maybe she IS the traveler from hell. Poor woman.
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 03:11 PM
  #47  
sad
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Every time I read this crap, and all the petty nonsense, I think of September 11th, not that I don't think about it every day. I am a New Yorker and just plain lucky to be alive, as are all of you (you too Pam!). Is it really a big deal to pay a few bucks for some poor cab driver to haul your luggage? Didn't everyone thank god after that disaster and promise to quit whining? Or was that temporary?
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 04:10 PM
  #48  
Louis
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Pam:<BR>It's true. The scamming in Italy is getting close to 3rd world countries levels.<BR><BR>
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 07:24 PM
  #49  
xxx
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OK, Pam, we've waded through the "some bad." Would you kindly direct us to the "some good?" <BR><BR>I gotta say I am totally humiliated on your behalf for the way you treated that Roman taxi driver. I wish I knew him - I'd call and apologize for you. In fact, if I could, I'd apologize to just about everyone you encountered, stormed at, accused of ripping you off, etc. You are one embarrassment of a traveler.
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 07:46 PM
  #50  
hess
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I do feel sorry for Pam, and have known oh-so-many people like her. I think it's important to have images like that in our heads so we can see ourselves if we start to behave that way! I know I've had my moments of getting there, all over the world!<BR><BR>One point of disagreement, I think with everyone who posted: you all seem to think the coperto is some horrible thing that you've trained yourselves to get over. I think this has been said elsewhere, but guess what: it's a perfectly reasonable charge for renting a space, which is what you do in Italy. You get a table, it is yours for hours, whether or not you eat a full meal. Americans rarely do, by the way; they'll have some pasta and hang out, paying a small fraction of what an average meal costs. It also makes sense for Italian families, who may come en masse with lots of kids in tow who eat nothing, but are welcome to spend a leisurely, festive Sunday afternoon. What's the big deal, for heaven's sake? Should they disguise it in higher prices, just to make some whiny Americans feel like they're not getting "ripped off"?
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 07:51 PM
  #51  
Leslie
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Not all vacations are perfect ones, but why are you knocking Pam for her honesty. These are her opinions. You don't have to berate her because her trip report wasn't flowery. All you had to do was stop reading it. No one here seems to complain at others when they have been ripped off by cab drivers in Prague. If there wasn't a per bag charge posted on the door or by the meter, how was Pam to know whether or not the charge was fair or not? I didn't read up front that the cab driver had told her of the per bag charge. It's not like the cover charges in the restaurants that are posted on the menu.<BR><BR>I've noticed on many vacations that when one thing starts to go wrong, everything else that follows seems to also be bad. So, Pam, I'm sorry your vacation wasn't perfect, I'm glad that you had some good things that happened. But, at least you didn't mention any bad weather or that you had gotten into an accident.
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 09:49 PM
  #52  
Cindi
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LJ, I have to laugh too at the thought of a grown man storming off to the office to complain that his half eaten cheese and salami were gone! They must be quite a pair, at least they both are on the same wave length, and can complain to each other.<BR>Every traveler has had moments of disappointment, but they don't let it bother them to the extent that Pam did.<BR>But there are many people like Mr and Mrs. Pam. But read this thread as a good lesson on what not to become.
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 09:56 PM
  #53  
Italia
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I can't help but feel that most of Pam's negative experiences could have been avoided if she had spent more time researching lodging choices.<BR><BR>She reminds me of a TRAVEL COMPANION FROM HELL I once had in France.
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 10:24 PM
  #54  
Lucy
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Lisa, about the Forum/Stadium confusion which you thought might have referred to the Colliseum ('just another stadium"!!!! ROTFLMAO!!!) My first thought was that maybe she meant Piazzas & was talking about Piazza Navona (which I recall originally was used for chariot races or something)... but who knows????
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 11:16 PM
  #55  
Toni
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I think she had a pizza navona at the pizzeria down by the colly see um where the Romans play the Lions on Saturday night.
 
Old May 15th, 2002, 07:49 PM
  #56  
Hmmm
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R U For Real?
 
Old May 15th, 2002, 08:15 PM
  #57  
Carol
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Consider this a cautionary tale. Do your homework.
 
Old May 15th, 2002, 09:27 PM
  #58  
xxx
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Come on, people, let her voice her opinion - that's all it is! Should she ask collective permission before making (gasp) critical statements? Either some of you serve on the Italian Chamber of Commerce, or you see no problem with shouting down or ridiculing dissenting views, just like you're back on the playground in junior high. "Oh, she must be a troll &lt;sniff&gt;." lol Maybe just not as sophisticated and worldly as you.<BR><BR>I just got back from Italy, and it was the best vacation I've ever had. Friendly people, good food, gorgeous scenery and sights. I took 19 rolls of pictures in two weeks. But, yes, I was remarkably disappointed by my gondola ride in Venice. Yes, I did get ripped off by an unmetered cab in Rome (they nail you right out of the box at the train station, before you understand what cab rides SHOULD cost - and, yes, "ripped off" is a perfectly apt description for it). Yes, I did come to understand that some bargain hotels are remarkably small and dingy, and that street noise is a big consideration if that sort of thing bothers you. Yes, I did encounter some quirks that I wasn't prepared for, despite three months of research.<BR><BR>Frankly, this post probably would have saved me from 2 of the 3 disappointing events on my trip. Did those relatively minor disappointments ruin my trip? Not even close. Would my trip have been somewhat less stressful, and marginally more enjoyable, had I been forewarned and forearmed? Of course.<BR><BR>I'll be a much better traveler to Italy next time, because I've experienced it once. Before I went, I had no choice but to seek other's advice. I enjoyed reading about all of the wonderful sights, the restaurant recommendations and obscure pearls of wisdom from those who went before me. I also filed away, and appreciated, the cautionary (or what some of you would call "negative") tales I read. I filed it all away and used it.<BR><BR>To the poster who expressed regret that Pam had a bad experience in a wonderful country, and tactfully suggested that she give Italy another chance knowing what she now knows - bravo! A contrary view (and the view of the majority) presented positively, constructively, and without the laughable condescension. I hope you're in management or public relations.
 
Old May 16th, 2002, 07:10 AM
  #59  
another
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Bravo,<BR>Whether you agree with Pam or not is not the issue here. If your visit to Italy was wonderful, great. But this is a forum for opinions and ideas. I go to Italy yearly. I have been ripped off by taxi drivers, I've had not so pleasant hotel experiences. At the time, it seems like the end of the world. I now laugh it off. Italy in many ways funtions as a third world country. If Pam gives Italy another chance, she may have a different opinion. There are lots and lots of people scamming in Italy, especially toward tourists. I look at it as a learning experience and try to look at all the positives. Usually they much outweigh the negatives.
 
Old May 16th, 2002, 08:00 AM
  #60  
amy
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Hess... I don't find coperto something evil I have to get over any more than I find a 5% meal tax here in Massachusetts something I have to get over. I don't see why something that happens all the time at home is something "awful that ripped me off" when I'm on vacation.<BR><BR>And to anonymous who posted that while she had a wonderful time taking 19 rolls of film on her trip, but still managed to get ripped off by an unmarked/unmetered cab in Rome as s/he came out of the box . You proved my point again...all 3 guidebooks I read on Rome said under NO circumstances should you take an unmarked or unmetered cab there. A little research would've saved you that...
 

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