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Thread: Trip to Italy, Paris and London

  1. #1

    Default Trip to Italy, Paris and London

    Hi all,

    I will be going for my honeymoon Free and Easy on February to Italy (Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice), Paris and London for 20 days. Was wondering if anyone can share their personal positive or negative experiences. I have heard quite abit about pickpocketing or scams in europe. Do feel free to share about any must go places for photo taking as well as equipments.

    I have just bought a Konica Hexar Rangefinder recently, will definitely bring it along for the trip.

    My other concern now is whether if I should bring my Canon 7D along with Tamron 17-55 F2.8 or Canon 24-70 F2.8? I will probably walk around quite abit, therefore weight and camera bag is pretty crucial for me.

    Some may ask why bring 2 camera. Well.. basically both act as a backup for each other. And I do like the feel of both analogue and digital.

    Maybe I can just break down some of my other enquires into the followings:

    1. Any good itineraries to share?
    2. Things to bring?
    3. Camera Equipments to bring? (Tripod, yes no?)
    4. Honeymoon tips? (lol)
    5. Where for the best currency exchange?
    6. What to buy from there?
    7. Should I bring a laptop to backup my photos everyday.

    Thank you for viewing and sharing your experiences.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Trip to Italy, Paris and London

    20 days with so many places?! works out to be 3 days each ... you sure u can walk alot?
    I went for about 18 days to paris, strusbourg, rome, florence, venice and naples.

    Some things i like to share:
    get yourself a pair of good and light walking shoes.
    get yourself a GPS on the fone as well... i used tomtom on my iphone ... it helps me get to places cos we didnt take cabs...mainly trains
    in paris... you shld download the apps for trains if you are using iphone. its is very convienent and within a day ... i am a expert with the train. the train is very dirty but convenient
    3days aint enuff for paris for sure... the famous lourve museum will eat at least a day if you wanna see everything

    in italy ... the train is almost null ...
    florence is quite a small place which u can walk ard most of the time. there is factory outlet which you have to take a bus. be prepare to bleed from your wallet! else alot of branded stuff you can get in florence.
    in rome... i didnt take the bus at all... train or walking but the train is out of the way to most tourist attraction... hell lot of walking... but i did get some nice pics.
    there is a vatican city by the stars tour ...which opens up at nite ... you have to buy way ahead to get your place. supposedly it wasnt as crowded as the day cos there are limited tix...
    rome is pretty big and i walked from my hotel (near the main train station) to Colosseum to vatican and trevi fountain ... not much of shopping accept at the street at trevi fountain.
    in venice... no trains as well... and the boat ride is pretty ex if you dun get the daily tix. den again it only bring you to certain places... so alot of the exploring i did with walking. Explore this isle call burano... its a nice place simple and colorful

    becareful of your belongings!! ask your wife dun use a bag...
    i have seen a lady lost her wallet while going in the train when there was a distraction. be warned

    for photography... tripod is a must... depends on how adventurous you are cos i went out alone in the morning and evening to take pic. My frenz is not much of a photographer
    know the timing and catch the sun rise and sun set if you wanna get some nice shots.
    there are a lot of churches and stuff... some do not allow you to take pics...
    its dark in the church and usually they dun allow you to use tripod... so i suggest you get a wide prime lens with you.

    and i took this in the evening
    Last edited by Majest1c; 28th December 2011 at 01:07 AM.
    40D 50mmF1.8 17-85mm 24-70L

  3. #3

    Default Re: Trip to Italy, Paris and London

    oh yeah to your question...
    1 cam is enuff... i taken 5dmkii with 24-70 and 135
    how i wish i can have the 35mm prime with me !!

    1. Any good itineraries to share?
    Do your own...its much more fun when u go there
    2. Things to bring?
    xtra memory cards, tripod, ziplock bag in case it rain, lip gloss to moisturise your lips, lens filter, laptop, extra bat for handfone... 1 batt is nuff for my cam ... it can last for more than a day worth of shooting
    3. Camera Equipments to bring? (Tripod, yes no?)
    yes
    4. Honeymoon tips? (lol)
    porn?
    5. Where for the best currency exchange?
    check ard with the indian $ exchange and the bank... i did my exchange at the bank and they offer better rates
    6. What to buy from there?
    LV, GUCCI, BOTTEGGA, HERMES
    7. Should I bring a laptop to backup my photos everyday.
    yes... i sure did and no regret... i have about 8 dvd worth of pictures.
    Last edited by Majest1c; 28th December 2011 at 01:15 AM.
    40D 50mmF1.8 17-85mm 24-70L

  4. #4

    Default Re: Trip to Italy, Paris and London

    Before answer your question, is this your firs time to Europe?
    Have you been for a long trip before?

    1. Any good itineraries to share?
    2. Things to bring?
    3. Camera Equipments to bring? (Tripod, yes no?)
    tripod got the advantage: night scence, self portrait (of both of you)
    It can be heavy especially if you are going to walkaround for 3 - 4 hours (imagine after breakfast, you bring out your tripod, then usually, you only back (for a short rest) after lunch or even after dinner)

    Bring less, perhaps. When we are tired, we may not able to truly enjoy the trip


    4. Honeymoon tips? (lol)
    Well I have not honeymoon before, but I believe spending quality time with love ones is crucial.
    Maybe you can cut down your itinerary - say spend more day at a city - so you can take your time in walk around and photo at the same time.
    someone told me before - "not to worry, if you not cover that city / place this round, one day you definately able to go back agin"


    5. Where for the best currency exchange?
    You may want to try The Arcade at Raffles place

    6. What to buy from there?
    7. Should I bring a laptop to backup my photos everyday.
    again if you are going for a "not back packing at all" trip, lap top can be good - not just to back up photos but also do some minor PP and share it.
    "Not back pack" means when you transfer from 1 point to next point, all transport has been almost / roughly confirm, and you know your room will be waiting for you there. If not, weight isssue again.
    Netbook may be a good alternative.


    Thank you for viewing and sharing your experiences.

  5. #5
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip to Italy, Paris and London

    I personally detest Florence. It could be the schedule during my sole trip there, but it appeared to be full of nothing but museums, which was boring to say the least. Rome is fine, so is Venice. If I were you, I would concentrate my efforts in Venice out of all of Italy - I enjoyed myself the most there. Milan is so-so, I guess. It's just another city.

    Paris and London are just Paris and London, given that you're on honeymoon, you'd probably be sticking to the beaten path... If you want something slightly different I can give a few recommendations but I doubt so... More familiar with London, having spend 3 years of my life there.

    For pickpocketing, I never had any of that. It's a simple principle - you remain alert, and you always make sure that you know where your belongings are and are aware of them when moving through crowds. The people whom I know who got pickpocketed are always those who lose things all the time, do not know where they are when asked, and have to rummage through their bags. Pickpockets choose and pick their prey as well, that's something to keep in mind.

    Scams wise, I think the only thing that sticks out was in Italy I guess. The infamous friendship band nonsense, you can easily google about it.. Other than that, I don't recall having encountered any scams beyond what one would normally experience in cities.

    Equipment wise, that's up to you to decide. I'd bring the whole set of gear anyways, since my fiancee is a photographer and can be coerced into shooting scenics. Just need to set aside some time for good food, some shopping, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by asidie View Post

    1. Any good itineraries to share?
    2. Things to bring?
    3. Camera Equipments to bring? (Tripod, yes no?)
    4. Honeymoon tips? (lol)
    5. Where for the best currency exchange?
    6. What to buy from there?
    7. Should I bring a laptop to backup my photos everyday.

    Thank you for viewing and sharing your experiences.
    Planning a trip is one of the best parts about the trip. My suggestion is to read up happily about the place, decide what you want to do, get excited about things. Even if you get disappointed in the end, it's still going to be fun in its own right. Better than going through someone else's experience without knowing what you're in for, or getting hyped up..

    Things to bring - you should ask your mother. Jokes aside, something you need to take note of is to get a travel adaptor. Everything else, well, you can easily buy, though perhaps at an increased price.

    Camera equipment - up to you as mentioned earlier.

    Honeymoon tips - up to you, no couple is the same.

    Best currency exchange - do your own homework, places I normally do - City Plaza, Suntec Fountain?

    What to buy - I won't know your budget, but I think branded goods like Longchamp, going up all the way to Louis Vutton can be significantly cheaper. Do your homework before going and do the maths to consider the potential points that your credit card company will charge... Do note that there are VAT policies for tourists, so you can probably claim it back, but find out how first before you go if you're intending to buy.

    Laptop- suggest not to bring. I brought one for my last trip and hardly used it - a whole load of weight which was useless. A netbook should suffice, if you must... Next trip I do, I'll probably just bring an iPad to remain connected, and a portable hard drive for the purposes of backup.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Trip to Italy, Paris and London

    Quote Originally Posted by Majest1c View Post
    20 days with so many places?! works out to be 3 days each ... you sure u can walk alot?
    I went for about 18 days to paris, strusbourg, rome, florence, venice and naples.

    Some things i like to share:
    get yourself a pair of good and light walking shoes.
    get yourself a GPS on the fone as well... i used tomtom on my iphone ... it helps me get to places cos we didnt take cabs...mainly trains
    in paris... you shld download the apps for trains if you are using iphone. its is very convienent and within a day ... i am a expert with the train. the train is very dirty but convenient
    3days aint enuff for paris for sure... the famous lourve museum will eat at least a day if you wanna see everything

    in italy ... the train is almost null ...
    florence is quite a small place which u can walk ard most of the time. there is factory outlet which you have to take a bus. be prepare to bleed from your wallet! else alot of branded stuff you can get in florence.
    in rome... i didnt take the bus at all... train or walking but the train is out of the way to most tourist attraction... hell lot of walking... but i did get some nice pics.
    there is a vatican city by the stars tour ...which opens up at nite ... you have to buy way ahead to get your place. supposedly it wasnt as crowded as the day cos there are limited tix...
    rome is pretty big and i walked from my hotel (near the main train station) to Colosseum to vatican and trevi fountain ... not much of shopping accept at the street at trevi fountain.
    in venice... no trains as well... and the boat ride is pretty ex if you dun get the daily tix. den again it only bring you to certain places... so alot of the exploring i did with walking. Explore this isle call burano... its a nice place simple and colorful

    becareful of your belongings!! ask your wife dun use a bag...
    i have seen a lady lost her wallet while going in the train when there was a distraction. be warned

    for photography... tripod is a must... depends on how adventurous you are cos i went out alone in the morning and evening to take pic. My frenz is not much of a photographer
    know the timing and catch the sun rise and sun set if you wanna get some nice shots.
    there are a lot of churches and stuff... some do not allow you to take pics...
    its dark in the church and usually they dun allow you to use tripod... so i suggest you get a wide prime lens with you.

    and i took this in the evening

    Hi Majest1c,

    Nice photo and nice sharing. Really helps in giving me a better idea on planning the trip

    Can I find out more if you bought a data plan sim card there? or did you activate your 3G with you iPhone in Italy?
    We figured that everything will be pretty rush, but i guess we want to explore as many places as possible.
    So far, we have book all our accommodation, flights and train tickets.

    Hey, can we also share about what Tripod did you bring there?

    I don't think with my cropped canon 7d with 24-70mm will be wide enough for most landscape scene.
    So I am leaning more towards the Tamron 17-55mm instead (lighter and wider)

    Hopefully all will turn well

  7. #7

    Default Re: Trip to Italy, Paris and London

    Quote Originally Posted by Shen siung View Post
    Before answer your question, is this your firs time to Europe?
    Have you been for a long trip before?

    1. Any good itineraries to share?
    2. Things to bring?
    3. Camera Equipments to bring? (Tripod, yes no?)
    tripod got the advantage: night scence, self portrait (of both of you)
    It can be heavy especially if you are going to walkaround for 3 - 4 hours (imagine after breakfast, you bring out your tripod, then usually, you only back (for a short rest) after lunch or even after dinner)

    Bring less, perhaps. When we are tired, we may not able to truly enjoy the trip


    4. Honeymoon tips? (lol)
    Well I have not honeymoon before, but I believe spending quality time with love ones is crucial.
    Maybe you can cut down your itinerary - say spend more day at a city - so you can take your time in walk around and photo at the same time.
    someone told me before - "not to worry, if you not cover that city / place this round, one day you definately able to go back agin"


    5. Where for the best currency exchange?
    You may want to try The Arcade at Raffles place

    6. What to buy from there?
    7. Should I bring a laptop to backup my photos everyday.
    again if you are going for a "not back packing at all" trip, lap top can be good - not just to back up photos but also do some minor PP and share it.
    "Not back pack" means when you transfer from 1 point to next point, all transport has been almost / roughly confirm, and you know your room will be waiting for you there. If not, weight isssue again.
    Netbook may be a good alternative.



    Thank you for viewing and sharing your experiences.
    Hi Shen siung,

    Thanks for your advices as well, I have been to Egypt, Hongkong and Taiwan with my wife(gf back then ).
    So far we have not been travelling with a tripod, most of the time I will just leave my camera on my camera bag or bench and use my wireless remote controller to take photos of us. I guess it should be safe in Europe as well.

    Well... we are not really back packing as we are using roller luggage so I guess in term of weight isn't that bad.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Trip to Italy, Paris and London

    Quote Originally Posted by edutilos- View Post
    I personally detest Florence. It could be the schedule during my sole trip there, but it appeared to be full of nothing but museums, which was boring to say the least. Rome is fine, so is Venice. If I were you, I would concentrate my efforts in Venice out of all of Italy - I enjoyed myself the most there. Milan is so-so, I guess. It's just another city.

    Paris and London are just Paris and London, given that you're on honeymoon, you'd probably be sticking to the beaten path... If you want something slightly different I can give a few recommendations but I doubt so... More familiar with London, having spend 3 years of my life there.

    For pickpocketing, I never had any of that. It's a simple principle - you remain alert, and you always make sure that you know where your belongings are and are aware of them when moving through crowds. The people whom I know who got pickpocketed are always those who lose things all the time, do not know where they are when asked, and have to rummage through their bags. Pickpockets choose and pick their prey as well, that's something to keep in mind.

    Scams wise, I think the only thing that sticks out was in Italy I guess. The infamous friendship band nonsense, you can easily google about it.. Other than that, I don't recall having encountered any scams beyond what one would normally experience in cities.

    Equipment wise, that's up to you to decide. I'd bring the whole set of gear anyways, since my fiancee is a photographer and can be coerced into shooting scenics. Just need to set aside some time for good food, some shopping, etc.



    Planning a trip is one of the best parts about the trip. My suggestion is to read up happily about the place, decide what you want to do, get excited about things. Even if you get disappointed in the end, it's still going to be fun in its own right. Better than going through someone else's experience without knowing what you're in for, or getting hyped up..

    Things to bring - you should ask your mother. Jokes aside, something you need to take note of is to get a travel adaptor. Everything else, well, you can easily buy, though perhaps at an increased price.

    Camera equipment - up to you as mentioned earlier.

    Honeymoon tips - up to you, no couple is the same.

    Best currency exchange - do your own homework, places I normally do - City Plaza, Suntec Fountain?

    What to buy - I won't know your budget, but I think branded goods like Longchamp, going up all the way to Louis Vutton can be significantly cheaper. Do your homework before going and do the maths to consider the potential points that your credit card company will charge... Do note that there are VAT policies for tourists, so you can probably claim it back, but find out how first before you go if you're intending to buy.

    Laptop- suggest not to bring. I brought one for my last trip and hardly used it - a whole load of weight which was useless. A netbook should suffice, if you must... Next trip I do, I'll probably just bring an iPad to remain connected, and a portable hard drive for the purposes of backup.
    Hi edutilos,

    THanks for your advice on Florence as well, i guess it might be alittle to late to know as all our tickets have been booked.
    Museums is fine for us actually

    Anyone have any suggestions on where or which websites for buying museums tickets?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Trip to Italy, Paris and London

    Quote Originally Posted by asidie View Post
    Hi Majest1c,

    Nice photo and nice sharing. Really helps in giving me a better idea on planning the trip

    Can I find out more if you bought a data plan sim card there? or did you activate your 3G with you iPhone in Italy?
    We figured that everything will be pretty rush, but i guess we want to explore as many places as possible.
    So far, we have book all our accommodation, flights and train tickets.

    Hey, can we also share about what Tripod did you bring there?

    I don't think with my cropped canon 7d with 24-70mm will be wide enough for most landscape scene.
    So I am leaning more towards the Tamron 17-55mm instead (lighter and wider)

    Hopefully all will turn well
    i try researching to buy sim card there but it turns out to be expensive and since we are jumping from places to places ... i didnt get any sim card
    the wifi in our hotels are free so i chosen to use that.

    i choosen a carbon fiber tripod... a bit lighter. I usually take the tripod when i am shooting at nite or early morning. but u may need it when you wanna shoot with your wife.
    i suggest u get a prime wide angle to shoot churches... cos you cant use tripod inside the churches most of the time.

    yap 17-55 is good.
    40D 50mmF1.8 17-85mm 24-70L

  10. #10

    Default Re: Trip to Italy, Paris and London

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all the advices.
    Any visas needed for those few places?
    How about Vatican City?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Trip to Italy, Paris and London

    1. Any good itineraries to share?
    Depends on what you like. I'm quite familiar with Paris and London. If you give a bit more details on you and your wife's interests, then it'll be easier to recommend?
    Pickpockets or thieves are quite common in Paris. Have encountered them (typically gypsy kids) on each trip I've been... Be super observant! If people start squeezing against you on the metro, don't go and squeeze with them. Keep bags close to you and make sure they're not easily accessible (i.e. have zips, don't hang your bag on your chair at restaurants). Do NOT leave valuables on tables.

    2. Things to bring?
    Would definitely bring lots of extra memory cards (or laptop to backup)!
    3. Camera Equipments to bring? (Tripod, yes no?)
    I would not bring a tripod because it's a bit too mafan. Plus it's your HONEYMOON!!! I would be quite pekchek if my husband is fiddling around with setting up shots on tripod on my honeymoon... but maybe your wife is different!
    4. Honeymoon tips? (lol)
    Focus on your wife!!! Wife first, photos later.
    5. Where for the best currency exchange?
    Mustafa or Change Alley quite good.
    6. What to buy from there?
    Depends on what you like. London's Nespresso capsules very cheap. Luxury products super cheap in Paris/Italy--obviously, buy French brands in Paris, Italian brands in Italy. Paris also has good chocolates!
    7. Should I bring a laptop to backup my photos everyday.
    I'm kiasu and I bring my laptop. Also helps for surfing web (and plus sometimes I need to do work...)

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by ataraxia; 4th January 2012 at 09:55 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Trip to Italy, Paris and London

    Quote Originally Posted by asidie View Post
    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all the advices.
    Any visas needed for those few places?
    How about Vatican City?
    Vatican City is awesome! Definitely worth a visit (but cannot take photos inside FYI). Please go superduper early to beat the ridic queues.

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