Travel Talk: Italy - Rome/Venice/Florence/Pisa/Milan/Pompei


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rochkoh

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#1
Planning for a trip to Europe this Spring/Summar.

About 8-9 days in Italy and hope to cover Rome (4 days), Florence (2 days), Milan(2 days), Venice (2 days).. with day trips to Pisa, Pompei etc.

Travel Tips anyone?

Places to visit, transport, lodging, photpgraphy tips etc..

Reference photography sites:
http://www.jimtardio.com/italy.html

Mucho appreciateo.

rOCh
 

Silverelf

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DARN! the whole world is going on trips! So jealous. What are your expectations on lodging and the like? you have preferences or you can do with naything?
 

beeryguz

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When in Florence, try to take a side trip to see the Tuscany countryside. There are 1 day tours that you can take. The countryside is quite nice. There are vineyards and castles to visit. Florence is also a very nice city.

You can take a side trip to the Italian Lakes too when in Milan. The closest town is Como (I think) which is about an hour or so by train from Milan.


/beeryguz
 

S

Sin

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#4
Frankly speaking, you're trying to cover too much things with only 8-9 days.

When you factor in the time needed in traveling from city to city and then the time you need to look for lodging, check-in, inspect room, etc...you'll find that you really will have no time to do too much in between.

Your memory of your trip will probably consist of alot of train stations, budget hotels, and restaurants.

2 days in venice and 4 days in Rome is frankly too short (well, that's just me, ymmv). And if you're going there for photography, then you might even take longer at each sights, since you'll be scouting, setting up, shooting, waiting for the right moment, etc...

My suggestion with 8-9 days is to just target 2-3 places with 1-2 side trips.

Either Rome and Florence. Or Florence and Venice (and perhaps Milan if you wish). Because distance between the pairs of cities are closer (iirc).

Florence - Pisa, countryside (as mentioned by someone else)...
Venice - Too many darned things to do and see. Other islands for their specialties too.
Rome - Ruins aplenty. Churches. Vatican. Sistine Chapel.....

Of course, if you're comfortable with touch-and-go style tour, then your time frame is acceptable. But you'll probably only get to see the major tourist sights and see the cities on it surface, like guided tour. My first trip was one like such and wasn't fulfilling at all.
 

Dec 12, 2002
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#5
Allo,
imho, pompei isnt worth a day trip, if you want ruins, rome itself has enough.

also, beware of pick pockets, especially on crowded buses, take note that they do not operate alone.

cheers,
tt.

ps. hope u manage to get a nice pic of some chio italiano chick on a vespa!! lol
 

SMM

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#6
I am also going to Italy in October :rbounce: . Someone actually suggested to me to take up packages offered by Insight Vacation or (can't remember which is the other famous). Are these packages of any good?

Personally when I go for holiday, I prefer to take my own sweet time and rather not go with any tour group. And that's exactly what I did with my Paris trip (even had a chance to pay a visit at Picasso's House). I planned my own itinerary, got lost in foreign city, tried speaking broken french, all these added up to very enjoyable and happy memories.;)
 

Jun 2, 2002
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hErE lAh
#7
Originally posted by SMM
I am also going to Italy in October :rbounce: . Someone actually suggested to me to take up packages offered by Insight Vacation or (can't remember which is the other famous). Are these packages of any good?

Personally when I go for holiday, I prefer to take my own sweet time and rather not go with any tour group. And that's exactly what I did with my Paris trip (even had a chance to pay a visit at Picasso's House). I planned my own itinerary, got lost in foreign city, tried speaking broken french, all these added up to very enjoyable and happy memories.;)
When I went to Italy - I was supposed to do free & easy but I found it so difficult to ask for directions ie alot of Italians don't speak English & when they try to tell me in Italian & when they found that I didn't understand, they ended up speaking louder - thinking it might just help :p

In the end I gave up & joined a tour group there.
 

#8
i think that a full day trip in venice should suffice. ie. go in the morning, and finish off at saint mark's square at night.

personally didn't think that rome had much to offer (other than the touristy spots) after i'd seen florence and venice.

signing up for a tour is an option only if you want the convenience of not having to plan on how you are going to get around from place to place. i learnt my lesson when i went for my 9 day tour with Cosmos tours. not only expensive, i also felt that the trip was not fulfilling.

incidentally, the tour started out and ended in rome. among the places covered were san giginano(forgot spelling), toscano, the tivoli, sienna, pisa, assissi, florence and venice. quite touristy in my opinion, but most first-time trips are just a reccee of a place :D

don't forget to try their yummy gelatos there. made with real fruit!

forgot to add : rome is rather dusty! or is it cos it was summertime?
 

Silverelf

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#9
I guess that's all part of the fun.. the figuring stuff out part.

When I planned for a trip last year, I planned to stay in the same city for 10 days... :) surely that's enough time to get lost there.....
 

#10
Originally posted by lavenderlilz


When I went to Italy - I was supposed to do free & easy but I found it so difficult to ask for directions ie alot of Italians don't speak English & when they try to tell me in Italian & when they found that I didn't understand, they ended up speaking louder - thinking it might just help :p

In the end I gave up & joined a tour group there.
oh ya, they speak german and spanish too ;)
german, cos there seems to be a lot of german tourists there, and spanish, cos the language is similar to italian. i managed to get away with a mix of german and english.

sign languague might help. hehe...
 

#12
Originally posted by Silverelf
You can sneak by with German there?? *idea*
Hehe... guess where I'll plan to go next.....
the shopkeepers on that bridge in florence (forgot the name) were beckoning to the german tourists in german.

there're a lot of germans travelling around nowadays. i met quite a number of them throughout during my stays in the youth hostels in the US. the younger gen germans speak good english, so it isn't a problem ;)

anyone wanna volunteer organizing a trip to greece? D
 

#14
Italy watch out for the pickpockets as well as the over-friendly types esp in/around the tourist landmarks..(the coloured-thread on finger trick, card games, etc)... don't presume that anyone is David Blane Street Magician :D

Also take note that Italy tends to have more strikes and stoppages than most and most trains are not on time.

Florence has lotsa narrow streets so watch out for the numerous scooters and mad compact cars. Leather products and belts etc are a speciality in the bazaar around the Dome but buy only what you want as much of the stuff is not much different from the stuff you can by at the pasar malam downstairs...other than the "Made-in-Italia" stamp :D

The historical bridge Ponte Vecchio has a concentration of gold and jewellery shops. Art buffs must visit the Uffizi Galleries near the bridge but be prepared to queue for hours to get in and even enter each of the many galleries within. The Academicca (sp?) is another art treasure trove. The sculptures of David and Batistuta :D are two of the city treasures.

There is this castle or villa on the hill overlooking the city that is a photo-taking spot too.

Venice is very safe... when we strolled in darkness in the pedestrian streets, most of the people were fellow tourists. The fabled canals stinks though. The main concentrations will be the Piazza St Marco and the Rialto bridge. Photo opportunities everywhere! Day and night! Murano Island nearby is accessible by watertaxi/bus for Venitian glassware but get only what you will wear/use. One of my friends actually considered buying a big Venitian glass chandalier(they provide shipping rates as well) Most of the glass-blowing factories provide a basic demonstration but will ask for tips/small fee at the end...worth it for the insights. Burano for lace etc.

Rome can stink from smoke pollution and also watch for the notorious mad drivers. The Vatican is one of the many photogenic attractions and a good place to send your postcard (postmark from Vatican etc).. a must visit for Catholics so don't be surprised by a sense of "Lucky Plaza" hor :D. The Olympico is also a good visit (Roma, Lazio :D) Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Colosseo, Palace, etc...

Again, be extra vigilent... one of the biggest pickpocket places around.
 

rochkoh

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#16
hey Sin,

I agree! 8-9 days in italy is hardly enough. if i had a choice, i'd like to spend 2-3 months there. ;) but i don't have such a choice (not unless i q*it).. hehe.

plus, it's my first trip to europe. and my friends and i intend to cover the major attractions in central europe.. you know, paris, london etc...

so the question is, if you only had 8-9 days, what would you do! like authoring, the challenge is always deciding what to leave out. heh heh..

enjoy!
 

S

Sin

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#17
Originally posted by rochkoh
hey Sin,

I agree! 8-9 days in italy is hardly enough. if i had a choice, i'd like to spend 2-3 months there. ;) but i don't have such a choice (not unless i q*it).. hehe.

plus, it's my first trip to europe. and my friends and i intend to cover the major attractions in central europe.. you know, paris, london etc...

so the question is, if you only had 8-9 days, what would you do! like authoring, the challenge is always deciding what to leave out. heh heh..

enjoy!
True true, especially if you or your friends are there for the first time, it's normal to want to cover the major sights. Go ahead, and maybe can even take this as a recce trip for returns next time ;) .
 

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