Vacation in Italy Tips?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Predakwon, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. Predakwon

    Predakwon ...Green Lantern's light!

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    Anyone have any personal experiences going to Italy? I'm going to go to Rome and Florence in late April and just going for any opinions for anyone on this board who's ever been there. The main thing I've read online to be wary of pickpockets..... :mad 
     
  2. Primus

    Primus Beware, the modelers. Veteran

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    I've been to Rome, Naples, Trieste, and Venice. How long will you be there?
     
  3. Erector

    Erector I ruined the Hall of Fame

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    a) Pickpockets, especially on the underground
    b) If you're a god-fearing type, utter a little prayer each time you try to cross the road. I think that TECHNICALLY there are traffic laws, but I'm not sure if anyone at all observes them, it's pretty much a free-for-all, and pedestrians are definitely the bottom of the food chain!!
    c) Have fun, cos it's an awesome place :) 
     
  4. Soundblaster1

    Soundblaster1 The Heisenberg of Toys

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    Also, don't use the postal system and expect the item to arrive at the destination, much less in a timely fashion.
     
  5. Lance Halberd

    Lance Halberd oh hai

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    Especially in Rome, beware roving bands of small feral gypsy children, as they will rob you blind. Their usual tactic is to set upon you as a mob, demanding candy and attention.

    Watch your hand gestures and body language very carefully. To be on the safe side, try not to be very animated.

    Appropriate dress is an absolute must if you are visiting churches. You will be refused entrance if you are wearing shorts, t-shits, hats, etc.

    The hike up to the lantern at the top of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City is well worth the price of admission.

    Find the church in Rome named Santa Maria dell'Orazione e Morte. It's well worth the visit if you can get there during the public viewing hours.

    Although tempting, don't buy any porn from the street vendors unless you have have a region-free DVD player at home. Several Italian television channels broadcast hardcore porn late at night, which many three- and four-star hotels show for free.

    Hotel bathrooms are different from American ones. In addition to a toilet, there may also be a bidet as well. Do not confuse it for a drinking fountain. More often than not, there are no shower stalls, either. Just a tub with a shower attachment. You have to pay extra for a shower curtain, too.
     
  6. Predakwon

    Predakwon ...Green Lantern's light!

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    Wow, everyone thanks. I'm going to be in Italy for 6 days. 3 days in Rome and the last couple in Florence and Venice (whatever she wants to do).

    Lance, the St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City will be on top list.

    I really want to go the the Colosseum. Has anyone ever been there?
     
  7. Lance Halberd

    Lance Halberd oh hai

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    Yes. The place abounds with street cats, local guys in gladiator costumes trying to make a Euro posing for tourists, and the aforementioned packs of thieving gypsy children. Personally, I thought it was kind of a let-down.

    If you do go to Venice, see if you can take a water taxi out to the island of Murano to see a glassblowing demonstration. Other than that, there's the gondola rides, the Rialto Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs, and the basilicas of St. Mark and St. Mary of Health, and that library from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
     
  8. RHansen

    RHansen Sir. Ranbotnic Veteran

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    when in Florence, set aside some time to take the train to Pisa, you can't miss the Leaning tower man, awesome site, and about a 2 hour train ride or something like that if I recall

    Try and hit Naples as well if you can and go to a serious pizza place, they invented pizza and know their shit haha

    have fun man
     
  9. Primus

    Primus Beware, the modelers. Veteran

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    The Colosseum was pretty cool but when I was in Rome there was a ton of scaffolding around it because they were repairing some of the damage.

    Venice is kind of cool but way dirty. Also, that big clock tower in the main square is interesting but there's a ton of pigeons and you will most likely get crapped on.

    You will absolutely love Italy though and I can't wait to go back.
     
  10. Brownstreak

    Brownstreak Banned

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    Don't drink the water in Venice.
     
  11. llamatron

    llamatron Shut up, Nigel. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Lots of good advice here. Just to echo a bit: watch out for the traffic. There's no rules. If you're going to Florence then take a day trip (or even a half day trip) out to Pisa. Lance's advice is gold and accurate. Venice is great especially if you're there when it floods a bit. Get real pizza from little bakery / deli places (the stuff they cut up with scissors and then fold in half). If you're in room make sure you do all the museum stuff at the Vatican. Be warned though, most of Rome is a horrible, crowded, filthy and rundown dump. Try to learn some basic Italian phrases (yes, no, thanks, one two three). A lot of places won't take too kindly to English speakers - especially if you have an American accent. Saying you're Canadian will help.

    If you're in Florence and want to see "David" be warned that the little museum it is housed in is total crap and lame. It's worth it for David, but there's nothing else in there that's good. Also, make sure you go up to the big lookout in the city (where there's a bronze replica of David) for a sunset.
     
  12. Jarodimus

    Jarodimus the guy with that scan Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    In Italy, I've only been to Florence and Siena. No problems with pickpockets/gypsies when I went, but that was 5 years ago.

    Both places were AWESOME.

    - Siena (a town that was the most influential in Tuscany during the Middle Ages, but then was essentially bypassed by the Renaissance) is worth a side trip. It's about a 50-minute train ride from Florence, IIRC. It's quite unspoiled by modern conveniences, and gorgeous. It's good to know a bit of Italian if you go anywhere but the main sites, though. Had the most amazing gnocchi in the universe there -- just stumbled onto the restaurant, and damned if I can remember the name or exact location now.

    - Climb the bell tower next to the Duomo in Florence. Great view at the top.

    - IMO, don't bother with shopping on the Pontevecchio. It's great to look at from the outside, but the stores all seemed to have the same junk that can be found elsewhere, and the crowd was oppressive even at off hours.

    - It may sound odd, but consider the Egyptian Museum in Florence. Lots of cool stuff to see and learn.

    - Eat here: http://www.ciroandsons.com/ The website is considerably more fancified and annoying than the last time I looked, but it's obviously still the same family running it. Our waiter -- again, from 5 years ago -- is pictured on the site today. :) 

    EDIT: Llamatron speaks truth about the Uffizi gallery.
     
  13. Primus

    Primus Beware, the modelers. Veteran

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    Here's a couple more notes.

    regarding traffic...Here in the US (for the most part) if you want to cross a fairly busy street you can stand at the edge of the street and cars will eventually stop so you can cross. In Italy, they will not stop if you just stand at the side of the street. I swear this is true, but you have to just walk across the street. The cars *will* stop if they see you crossing the street but they will not stop if you are just standing there.

    Funny story: The first time I went to Italy I was in Naples. We were at this busy street by the piers. We were just standing there waiting for someone to stop. In the mean time, a moped rode by with 2 adults, 2 children, a dog, and a love seat on it. How the hell they fit all that shit on a moped is beyond me but it's a true story.

    Also, don't take anything that anyone on the street is offering. They will make it look like they are trying to give you a flower or something for free and then when you take it they will demand money and make a scene if they don't get it.

    The trains: When you go to the train station you will probably be thoroughly confused. There are people standing around that will help you but they will expect a tip in return.
     
  14. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    Sounds like my kind of hotel!

    If I ever go to Italy, I plan to eat, eat, and eat some more. So much so that my chest will explode from heartburn.
     
  15. Primus

    Primus Beware, the modelers. Veteran

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    In my experience, the pasta was actually better in Greece then in Italy. Go figure.
     
  16. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    Really? That's weird. Then again, if you want the best Peking Duck, don't go to Beijing. :lol 
     

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