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Thread: Italy question - Not dive related

 

  1. #11
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    lulubelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyDan View Post
    Thanks to all.

    She is studying in Florence. We plan a week in Rome - a week in Florence and surrounding area and a week in Venice/Slovenia. Everyone wants to go to Venice but me - I want to go to Slovenia - so we will split the difference. OF COURSE THIS WILL ALL CHANGE!

    Fortunately we have over 300,000 Hilton points so at 30,000 a night we have 10 days covered as I type!
    Your daughter is lucky, I tried to talk my parents into that, it was a no go.

    I'm right there with you on Venice. On any given weekend in the summer, there will be 500,000 tourists and maybe...75,000 Venetians. There are some cool neighborhoods off of the beaten path. See if you can spend some of your "Venice" time elsewhere in the Veneto region which is quite lovely. They make some darn fine wine there and of course you have the lakes (Sirmione is very nice) and the Dolomites. I'm gunning for Croatia next time I am in that neighborhood. Problem for me is I go to Italy to see friends, and they are where they are, thank goodness the Milan set meet me in Liguria.

    If you have time, get to the hill towns in Lazio when you are in Rome, charming, charming.

    Duh, just noticed that you are in Raleigh, have I met you at any NC Divers things? I have gobs of native Italian friends here and there is an Italian language club for all levels. PM me if you are interested. Also have some language materials I'd be happy to loan you.

  2. #12
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    herman's Avatar
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    Yea DUH, I was about to ask if you guys realized you were both local...I can't get him to any of the NCD events. Nice to see you here LLB.
    herman

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  3. #13
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    lulubelle's Avatar
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    Good to be here Herman, hope all is well with you. DD, let Herman talk you into an NCD dive/gathering sometime, they are good folks.

    I totally missed that we were having a little neighborhood gathering until my last post

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyDan View Post
    ....We plan a week in Rome - a week in Florence and surrounding area and a week in Venice/Slovenia....
    The areas you mentioned are flooded by tourists (I don't know about Slovenia ....) and very likely you will find someone that speaks just enough English.

    While in Toscana (Florence area ....) make sure to visit SIENA .... my preferred city in the world!

    Alberto

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    Language in Slovenia is not a problem, a large proportion of people speak passable English, as it's taught in schools for about eight years in regular schooling.

    What were you planning to see? A few pointers: lake Bled, the Postojna cave, a nice seaside town Piran, the old part of Ljubljana...

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lulubelle View Post
    Your daughter is lucky, I tried to talk my parents into that, it was a no go.
    They're wise. Everything you've ever heard about Italian men is true!

    DeputyDan, don't sweat it. Italy gets a LOT of tourism and you'll be able to get around just fine. Just buy a guide book and get orientated a bit before you go. On the whole traveling in Europe is pretty easy.

    A couple of tips:

    - don't make yourself look *too* much like tourists. Especially in the bigger cities pick-pockets have sophisticated technique and if you're carrying something like a fanny pack you run a big risk of getting it stolen. I've traveled a lot of places and Rome still rates the highest of any city I've ever been to on my watch-out-for-pick-pockets list. (and I've been to some pretty scummy places).

    - If you want to bring a camera then I would suggest a compact digital one that you can tuck away in a back-pack. Nothing shouts "tourist who wants to get robbed" more than people wearing loose colourful clothing, broad brimmed hats, sun glasses that are too big and with a brick sized camera hanging around their neck. Add a fanny pack to that and it will be like a magnate for problems. Google around a bit for pictures of what people actually wear in Europe and try to blend in. You'll avoid a lot of problems like that. (hint, bright colours are bad. Blue jeans, t-shirts, a leather jacket, darker colours will all blend in. Also, don't come looking like Indiana Jones).

    - Carry only small amounts of money in your wallet and keep credit cards and important papers well hidden in a money belt under your clothing. Don't leave important stuff in your hotel room. If you *must* leave it at the hotel leave it in the safe.

    - It's less conspicuous if you only carry one bag per person. Like a small back pack OR a purse but not both.

    - If you have a debit card then check before you go if it will work in Europe. If it does it saves you a lot of hassle. You won't need traveller's cheques and you can get money directly from the bank machines as you need it.

    - smile, be friendly and don't be afraid to ask people for help. It's my experience in Europe that even if people know you're lost (for example) they won't offer to help you but they'll go out of their way for you if you aks them first. Remember this if you're standing at a metro station and have no idea what to do.

    have fun.

    R..
    Last edited by roturner; December 2nd, 2009 at 12:27 PM.
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lulubelle View Post
    Your daughter is lucky, I tried to talk my parents into that, it was a no go.

    Actually I am the other way round. My wife and I told both our kids that we expected a summer of study abroad to be part of the college experience.

    Our older child chose not to study abroad - the younger one can't wait.
    BUT - the older one is looking at getting a PHD in computer science so the unused money will be used for that !

    DD

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by roturner View Post
    They're wise. Everything you've ever heard about Italian men is true!
    Tell me something I don't know, I have an ex fidanzato who was the only son of well to do Italian Mother. I think the pedestal she put him on was slightly higher than the one she put Jesus on.

    As for Rome, I walked around just as I do here. I never had a bit of trouble. But I was very familiar with the city, didn't dress "American", and could speak a little of the language. I'm sure I didn't pass for native, I am too tall really, but I blended.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyDan View Post
    Thanks to all.

    She is studying in Florence. We plan a week in Rome - a week in Florence and surrounding area and a week in Venice/Slovenia. Everyone wants to go to Venice but me - I want to go to Slovenia - so we will split the difference. OF COURSE THIS WILL ALL CHANGE!

    Fortunately we have over 300,000 Hilton points so at 30,000 a night we have 10 days covered as I type!
    You will not have ANY problems in Rome. English is widely spoken. I found that most of the people were only too happy to try and help even if their English was limited. A week in Rome will only scratch the surface.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyDan View Post
    Thanks to all.

    She is studying in Florence. We plan a week in Rome - a week in Florence and surrounding area and a week in Venice/Slovenia. Everyone wants to go to Venice but me - I want to go to Slovenia - so we will split the difference. OF COURSE THIS WILL ALL CHANGE!

    Fortunately we have over 300,000 Hilton points so at 30,000 a night we have 10 days covered as I type!
    You mentioned three wonderful towns.

    I'm sorry you don't like Venice: when I want to breath beauty, I go to Venice and I walk in the small streets (the 'calli'), far from the main stream of tourists moving from the railways station to S.Marco, passing through Ponte di Rialto. Take a walk in Dorsoduro, or Cannareggio, and you'll probably get the real soul of Venice.

    In any case, don't worry about language: italians knows well they speak a language spoken by 60 million people in the world, no more. So, even though you are not able to explain yourself in our language, we will do our best to help you. And in Rome, Florence and Venice, English is spoken everywhere: it's normal given the number of tourists visiting these cities.

    Ciao.
    A.

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