Spain and Italy

Nov 14th, 2005, 05:43 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Spain and Italy

I am a NOVICE traveler. Except for a trip to Canada when I was 7, I've never been out of the U.S. I am going to Spain for a Spanish Immersion class and would like to visit Italy while in Europe. Is Eurorail easy to use? Will someone who has NO international travel experience be able to use it without getting lost - or should I just stick to Spain for my first outting outside the U.S.? Any help, suggestions, etc. would be greatly appreciated!
lostteacher is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 06:51 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I think a little more information is needed to assist you or to make any reasonable recommendations. When is the whole thing transpiring? Are you male, female and how old? Will you be traveling alone? Do you speak Italian as well as Spanish? How much time do you have on this adventure?

Overall, I'd suggest you stick with Spain and learn a little more about the culture besides the language. You'll be better off for it. Italy can be done on another day.
Robert2533 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 03:20 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,021
Teach - Have you considered flying between Spain and Italy? It would save you time and might even be cheaper.

Budget airlines to consider include:

www.ryanair.com
www.vueling.com
www.alpieagles.com
www.myair.com

Hope this helps ...

Steve
Steve_James is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 03:57 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,154
If you've made yourself reasonably fluent in Italian or Spanish, you'll have little difficulty understanding the other language (though you'll have terrible trouble speaking Italian after a Spanish immersion course).

What's Eurorail?

If you mean are Europe's trains easy to use, the answer's yes: that's why a couple of hundred million people use them evey day. And long train journeys by ourselves were how many people on this board first started travelling around Continental Europe. If we could do it 30 or 40 years ago, it certainly hasn't get any more difficult and you're no doubt far more resourceful than we were. It's virtually impossible to get lost. And, in spite of the myths forever being put about on this board, trains are no more dangerous now than they were in the 1960s. Every 60 year old woman I know spent a large slug of the years she looked her best riding Europe's rails in perfect safety. None have hesitated for a second recommending their 18 yo daughters to do the same thing. Not that it matters to the daughters what their mothers think about this anyway, of course.

BUT Spain's a big country, and it's hard to get a train to central Italy from central Spain in much less than 36 hours. Booking is messier than planes (though not always essential), and you need to change several times from most of Spain to most of Italy.

But it's still a great deal more educative to get the night train than to hang round an identikit airport to get the same 737 you use back home.

Best information: www.bahn.de for detailed timetables: www.seat61.com for colour and general advice
flanneruk is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 06:24 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 169
We took cheap ($100 - E80) from Barcelona to Rome last Dec with Iberia. I think you surely can consider this as recommended by another poster. If you are going to Barcelona anyway (usually on people's list in Spain), it's an hour flight to Rome. You could easily visit Rome and Florence in a 4-5 day break.

I don't know if all the usual demographics matter (age, sex, language). I guess more than anything is your ability to adapt...and of the above mentioned demographics language is most important. BTW, you can speak Spanish slowly in Italy to make yourself understood better than in English
holakjs is offline  

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