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Where do you start to organize an independent visit to Italy?

Where do you start to organize an independent visit to Italy?

Old Mar 10th, 2001, 12:39 PM
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Where do you start to organize an independent visit to Italy?

If you get air into Rome, how do you get transfers from the hotel to your hotel? How do you find a clean, but reasonable, centrally located hotel? What is the best way to get around? Do a lot of people speak English there?
Old Mar 10th, 2001, 01:05 PM
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Either train or taxi, to get to hotel.
People here say the train is easy.
look at recommendations on this site, or

Or do a search here,
Type in some key words, such as Hotels, Rome in the Text Search Box at the top of the page, wait a few mins, search is slow.
Apparently many people do speak English in Rome, but it never hurts to learn the please, Thank you, welcome, good day, excuse me, etc.
Walking is easy and so is the bus system, from what I have read.
Old Mar 10th, 2001, 01:09 PM
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There is a wealth of information on all your questions if you do a search under the individual topics, but. . .
The best way to find a hotel as you describe is to read the many posts and descriptions on this website or to get a couple of good travel guides and start with their suggestions. (You may be able to borrow these from your library and save some money). The best and simplest way to get from the airport to your hotel is taxi, but if you want to save some money you can take the train which goes right from the airport to central Rome and then take a taxi from there. If you are staying central in Rome the best way to get around is walking. It is a great city for that. Taxis are not very expensive, and there is a rather limited subway or metro system depending on where you are going. It is very easy to navigate. I have been to Rome four or five times now and still speak no Italian, other than a poorly pronounced hello, good bye, and thank you. It is not a problem.
Old Mar 10th, 2001, 01:41 PM
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Go to the bookstore and sit in the travel book aisle browsing for hours. Then, buy a Fodors, a Frommers, or Rick Steves guidebook. On this Fodors website, or in the books, you can also get hotel recommendations. Then use the internet. I like this website ( because in each city they map the hotels - if you look in the travel books you'll see the most central areas to the major attractions. For example, if location is important in Rome, stay in the "centro storico" or historic center say, near Pizza Navona or the Pantheon. The Spanish Steps is also nice, but the hotels a little pricier. The taxi from the Rome airport into the city is about 75,000 lire, or $35 to $40 dollars.

You sound a little new at this, so one approach many have recommended is to go with a 'hosted tour' such as They help you with hotel reservations, airport transfer, orientation tour and rail tickets between cities, but otherwise you're an independent traveler. In Rome, the following companies offer 3 -4 hour orientation tours, in English, by tour bus, which I always feel is the best way to get the feel of a new place and get inspired as to what you want to back to see again. Besides on your first day, you're a big jet lagged so this is a way to make maximum use of your first day when you're tired. If you don't speak any Italian, at least learn to ask "Parla Inglese?" (do you speak english?_ Best of luck.
Old Mar 10th, 2001, 01:45 PM
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That's "Piazza Navonna"
Also, I forgot to list the orientation tour companies: American Express at Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps), CIT Tours, Enjoy Rome tours ( For walking tours, the favorite is
Old Mar 10th, 2001, 05:14 PM
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I was pleasantly surprised to find four answers to my query. Thank you so much for taking the time to help me.
Old Mar 11th, 2001, 11:13 AM
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I have files on Rome, Venice, and Florence; if you'd like to see them, email me. good luck
You will find enough English-speakers to make your trip convenient and welcoming.
If you want to learn just a few words of Italian to enable you to add
"good day" or "please" or "thank you" to your smile, this Fodor's website
offers some basic phrases, assuming your computer has sound.
Old Mar 11th, 2001, 01:19 PM
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Italliatour the travel arm of Alitalia has some good packages and reliable hotels from 3-5 stars. You can arrange airport pickup, tours, etc. Despite what people on this forum say about Alitalia, we've never had any problelms.

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