The best part of your 1st trip to Italy?

Jul 30th, 2006, 04:59 PM
  #1  
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The best part of your 1st trip to Italy?

My husband and I and another couple are taking our first trip to Italy in June. I would love to hear about the absolute best part of your first trip. That jaw dropping, awe inspiring-let's sell the house and never leave here moment...

thanks!!
Italybound07 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 05:22 PM
  #2  
 
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Italybound07-See our trip report
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34699548
We are off to the Lakes Region, the Dolomites and romantic Venice in a mere 40 days! This will be our second trip to Italy and I know in my heart there will be many, many more to that glorious, old and beautiful country. Enjoy the planning, truly one of the greatest aspects of European travel! Shirley
LuvToRoam is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 05:25 PM
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I had been to Italy several times prior, but the incident that stands out is when we took our then 13 year old daughter and the vaporetto made a turn and approached San Marcos and the expression on DD's face! Oh my. And then, every time I hear Andreaus Bocelli singing it reminds me of the first time we heard him in a piazza in Venice.

P.S. DD went on to spend 6 months in Italy last year and is in Roma as I write this (having a blast!)

Believe me, I doubt your first trip will be your last...and take it in that way...slowly, with plans on returning again and again.
artlover is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 05:50 PM
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I have three small snapshots-in-time that are very fond memories of our September 2004 trip to Rome and Venice. They might each seem like small things, and they are, but once you have been to Italy you will understand the significance.

1. The view of the Forum, at night, with the tinted floodlights illuminating the ruins...very cool.

2. Eating gelato, every day without fail. We often concluded our day in Rome by sitting on the stone benches that surround the French Embassy, on the Piazza Farnese, and eating our last gelato of the day while watching the activity on the piazza.

3. Walking the nearly deserted and narrow streets of Venice, after dark and after the day tourists had left for the nights. Hearing the click-clack sound of the footsteps of others walking nearby, resonating off the stone walls of the adjoining buildings, was really neat.

Like I said, simple things that made for great memories.

One last word of advice: slow down and enjoy Italy. Do not rush - the fun is in just being there and doing nothing for at least part of each day.
dwzemens is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 06:04 PM
  #5  
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Thanks so much for your posts. I am glad to hear it was the small moments that were the most memorable. This site is very intimidating-it has made me question if I have bitten off more than I can chew. I am a fly by the seat of my pants, go with the flow kinda girl-I think I would be fine sitting and people watching all day long! All the talk about buying tickets in advance and planning for 8 months before we go is completely lost on me!

Dwzemens-your moments sound like a slice of heaven...
Italybound07 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 06:20 PM
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I'm sure you'll find many moments of your own, but here are a couple of mine -

1. In the Academia in Florence, coming out of the gallery room and turning to the right to see the David. Took my breath away!

2. Climbing to the top of St. Peter's in Rome, wondering if all these steps are worth it - yes they are! What a spectacular view!

3. Driving in Tuscany, seeing the hill towns in the distance and just feeling like they are pulling me in for a visit.

4. Sitting anywhere on Lake Como and seeing the towns on the lake side, Bellagio, and the snow covered Swiss Alps in the distance.

I need to figure out a way to get back to Italy, I think! Have fun!
cls2paris is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 06:27 PM
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1. Finding out that it was great to travel with my parents.

2. Meeting up with my husband in Rome.

3. Deciding to return soon -- the 4 of us. (Which we did, as often as possible.)
Tries2PakLite is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 06:41 PM
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1. Exiting the train station in Venice. "Wow!" is an understatement.

2. Narrow winding streets of Rome at night: unexpected little niche to the Virgin (with its tiny bouquet), beautiful old light fixture over an arched doorway...little things that burrow in the mind's photo album.

3. The PIZZA! And the wine.
JeanneB is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 08:53 PM
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1. The duomo in Milan. Truly an awe inspiring building. To think that of all the hundreds (thousands?) of steeples and spires on that building, there are no two exactly alike!

2. Being in Venice and sitting at a table by a small bar in a neighborhood and watching children walk home from school. Surrounded by the beauty and history of a wonderful city unlike any other city in the world was simply breath taking!

3. Walking through Eutruscan ruins and knowing that you're walking in the footsteps of people who walked there thousands of years ago.

4. Seeing the collesum just appear as we were walking down a street in Rome.

5. Going to a restaurant on our last night for one of the most memorable evenings of our lives. The wait staff were absolutely phenomenal! They took care of us like we were family and all the while putting on a Marx brothers routine which kept us in stitches! Even though our flight left early the next morning and we hadn't finished packing, the experience was so much fun that we couldn't bring ourselves to leave till well after 11:00.

You will have so much fun making your own memories. So many times I have looked forward to something only to be dissapointed. With Italy, not only was I not dissapointed, but I was so pleasantly awestruck with how beautiful it is and how easy it is to fall in love this wonderful country.
vickio is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 02:18 AM
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1. Venice
2. Driving through Tuscany
3. Waking up my first morning in Tuscany and looking out the window at the countryside. (we had arrived in the night)
4. St. Peter's in Rome. I was so moved when I walked in that I touched my fingers to the holy water and crossed myself....I'm not Catholic....I was just so overwhelmed.
5. Seeing the works of Bernini at the Borghese Gallery in Rome. Oh my!
6. The drive along the Amalfi coast.

My first trip to Italy was three weeks long. I felt like I was in sensory overload the entire time. My jaw dropped when I arrived and it stayed that way for three weeks!
granbury is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 10:25 AM
  #11  
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I am enjoying this so much! More please!
Italybound07 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 10:30 AM
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I agree with the Bernini's at the Borghese, but those angels of his on the Ponte San Angelo, especially at dusk, are thrilling.

The Duomo interior in San Gimignano.

The Baptistry interior in Florence.

Both knocked my socks off.

Bellagio. Died and went to heaven.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 10:32 AM
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1) The views of Tuscany from the walls of San Gimignano.

2) Just BEING IN Italy (Venice) the first day!!!!!!

Tom
TRSW is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 10:38 AM
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Venice is truly amazing. The first glimpse, getting off an overnight train, exiting the train station, and riding the vaporetto to my hotel was jaw dropping for me.
suze is online now  
Jul 31st, 2006, 11:03 AM
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Wandering the streets of the historical center and seeing a column or two of the Pantheon from one of the side streets, and then approaching it for full view - I felt like a kid on an Easter egg hunt.

Also just how I FEEL when I am in Italy, and that glow and skin clarity that exists nowhere else I travel to.
tonianyc is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 11:08 AM
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A year ago in late April was my first trip to Italy and the highlight of the trip was to spend a week with my former exchange student and his family. Yes, what the showed me of their country was great, but they were the best part of the trip and their exceptional hospitality.
Randy is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 11:18 AM
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Standing in Piazzale Michaelangelo on a bright March afternoon, looking over Florence and towards the Snow covered mountains, and thinking that this was an even better view than the view from the Duomo's belltower.
willit is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 11:20 AM
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1) Seeing Michelangelo's David in Florence, and realizing for the first time why Michelangelo was (and is) the standard by which all other sculptures are compared.

2) Seeing St. Peters Basilica in the Vatican and realizing where all that Catholic money goes. (Not to mention reliving #1 as Michelangelo's Pieta' is there as well).

3) Going to see the Pantheon in Rome, then getting to go back a second time so I could drink it in again.

4) Waking up in Venice after taking the night train from Paris. I walked out of the train station and saw the city for the first time -- and it was like a post card just popped to life.

I will warn you about one thing with Italy -- especially Rome -- I expected people to be friendlier than they were. Perhaps it's just the dissolution of stereotypes, but I found the French to be friendlier and the Italians less so -- and Rome is noisy and rougher than I expected.

None of it is a bad thing -- It's just a matter of expectations when you go. I know I would have had a better time if I'd just expected less hugs from the Italians. Then I wouldn't have been disappointed at first. Once I adjusted my Rose-Colored-Glasses, all was well.

Happy travels,

Jules

jules4je7 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 11:23 AM
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The view of the ocean from Villa Cimbrone at the top of the Amalfi Coast in Ravello! Wonderful gelato shop there to enjoy along with the scenery.
Tra6 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 11:25 AM
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Traveling from Lake Como to the Dolomites and staying in the little walled town of Glunns.On sunday morning the entire town turned out to parade thru the streets enroute to the church for a first communion.All were dressed in their sunday finest.
tune is offline  

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