Silly Lil Questions about Italy

Sep 26th, 2007, 11:15 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 31
Silly Lil Questions about Italy

Train tickets - purchase in cash at the station? Rome/Florence/Venice. Same day or in advance? Are there vending machines for the tickets?

Tipping policies for cabs/restaurants?

Bring some Euro's with us before hitting the ATM's over there?

Should we bring binoculars to check out the details on the Duomo, etc? Trying to travel light, thanks!
gipsyali is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 11:21 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Train tickets - use automatic ticketing machines with American credit cards if a yank - idiot proof machines, all in English when i played around with them a lot last Jan

Buy in advance if possible but should not have problem generally getting on as they run so frequently

also others suggest that travel agents in Italy make train reservations without additional fee and many are happy going that route
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 26th, 2007, 12:21 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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I always take binoculars, small enough to fit in a pocket or bag. They don't have to be terribly powerful; you just want to be able to see the details in those beautiful ceilings, although you may find many outdoor things you want to check out as well.
Albany1624 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 12:46 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Hi gipsyali, I too like to pack very light but a pair of binoculars is good and useful to have in Italy. I have two pairs, known as Opera Glasses so they are not heavy and do not take up much room at all. Both are Nikon's.

Some people like to get around 100 € before arriving in Italy.

Tipping..lots of thread here on Fodor's regarding tipping in Italy. The Italians tend to just round up so to speak. They do not tip as we do in the states (assuming you live in the US). Give a cash tip to your waiter, if you add it to your bill that you are paying by credit card the restaurant will probably keep it. Taxi's, a small tip will be sufficient. Do note that evidently some very tourist oriented restaurant waiters expect a higher tip from Americans than they do from Italians and other Europeans. Don't worry about it..when in Rome. Italians that I know prefer Americans do not tip as we do here in the states as they do not want their tipping policy to become Americanized.

I would think you can still pay cash for train tickets if you go to the ticket window at the train station versus using the vending machine which would require a credit card. Not sure about travel agencies but no doubt they would accept cash.

Reminder, be sure to validate your train ticket at one of the small yellow boxes before boarding the train.

It sounds like this is your first trip to Italy. If so, how exciting.

Keep in mind if you stop for coffee/espresso whatever..you will pay one price if you stand at the counter and drink/eat.

If you desire a table (either inside or outside) indicate that to the staff. Most travellers do so that they can relax and get off their feet for a bit. The price will be higher for a table. So don't feel "cheated" if you see someone say paying one price for their espresso while standing at the bar/counter and you get billed more because you sat at a table.

Enjoy your time in beautiful Italy!
LoveItaly is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 12:50 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 169
I bought my train tickets same day at the credit card kiosks.

There will be ATMs at the airport. I find that the easiest way.

I think binoculars are worth their weight and space. I used them in the Sistine Chapel, to see the mosaics in Santa Maria di Trastevere, and to look at fine details on the outsides of buildings as well.
nicegirl512 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 01:28 PM
  #6  
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Thanks ya'll for the info, I have actually been to Italy 4 times, once almost 20 years ago as a backpacker/Eurail, once with a friend driving the coast, once with a non-profit group staying with families in the Lugano area, and then based on a cruise ship working out of the port near Rome, so we'd just go for the day week after week! This time is with my hubby who has never been, and I'm 7 weeks pregnant (have you heard pregnant and Stupid?) So I'm trying to cover all the bases!
Ciao!
ali
gipsyali is offline  

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