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COSTraveler80903 Dec 9th, 2015 01:39 PM

First-Time Traveler to Italy
My daughter will be studying in Florence next semester. I have never traveled to Europe and neither has she. She flies from Denver to Frankfurt and then has a flight from Frankfurt to Florence. The layover in Frankfurt is 1 hr 30 min. What will she need to do between flights in terms of showing her passport? From reading other messages, it looks like her bag will be transferred to the Florence flight automatically. Should she get a new (and cheap) phone once she arrives in Italy? I know that she and I can communicate via FaceTime and Facebook, but I think it would be good for her to have a phone for calls within Italy. Any other advice for a first-time traveler? Thank you!

janisj Dec 9th, 2015 02:23 PM

Welcome to Fodors COSTraveler80903; See the "Change Forum" pull down menu? Click that and go over to the Europe Forum and re-post your questions there.

But the quick and dirty answer ;) is she will go through Immigration (passport control) which can take a while, at Frankfurt and Customs at Florence.

sparkchaser Dec 9th, 2015 11:51 PM

She'll have to clear immigation in FRA. 90 min is tight because she won't be the first one off the plane, queues can be long, and the lines may be moving slower than usual because of extra scrutiny by immigration officials (I suggest she have all of her paperwork in order). The Polizei with the su-bmachine guns are there for her protection.

<i>Should she get a new (and cheap) phone once she arrives in Italy?</i>

If she can buy a cheap UNLOCKED GSM phone before she leaves, she should do that (look on eBay or Amazon or a local 3rd party cell shop). It will be one less thing she needs to worry about when she lands.

maxima Jan 4th, 2016 06:15 PM

She will need to show her passport in order to pass through immigration, and then will need to proceed to her next flight. The airport is large, so she should look on the website for the airport and determine where the next point of departure is located. Depending on where her flight arrives she may take a bus, walk or a air rail type of train between her arrival and departure gate. she shouldn't worry, but make sure to put off any tempting stops along the way, as that 90 minutes will go by fast. She will need her passport in order to board her flight to Florence.

Generally, for study abroad students there will be someone who assists the incoming students who can tell them where to buy a phone.. she can either get a cheap one in Italy or an unlocked gms one before she leaves Denver. In Florence she can go to a cell phone store and get a sim card for her phone, its much cheaper to do that, though messages from the phone company will be in Italian and she will have an Italian phone number. TIM is an Italian company, but there are others too.

If you want to call her and do not want to bother with an added cost to your calling plan, you can buy a prepaid calling card for international get a lot of minutes, and can use any phone, though you will have to plug in a lot of numbers that are printed on the card, as well as her phone number. Check you current plan for the cost of texting.

janisj Jan 4th, 2016 06:39 PM

The OP has never returned -- like all the other newbies who register, post and disappear. Probably thinking no one ever responded . . .

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