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Old 11-05-2003, 03:23 PM   #1
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I'm planning my first trip to Italy in a few months. I'll be going alone, most likely and am wondering if anyone can offer advice. Are there places I should absolutely avoid? Are there places I should absolutely go to see? What I'd like to do is fly into Venice, stay for a couple of days, then rent a car or take the train to Florence, then to Rome, then to Naples and to Pompeii. Does this sound doable? Any ideas of cost for hotels, etc? HELP!!
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Old 11-06-2003, 08:00 AM   #2
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Ciao Vanessa!

I love Italy, having been there 3 times, so think you're going to have a fabulous time. And in my opinion, Venice is the most beautiful city in the world. It is also very expensive, you'll find. I recommend that you don't scrimp and save money by staying outside of town, though. It is only when the tourist hordes have gone, in the evening, I think, that you can really appreciate Venice. Lots of the tourists come off of cruise ships for the day, so it will thin out in the evening.

Both times in Venice I was with a girlfriend, so I splurged and did the hotel thing. So, I can't recommend budget accomodations -- hopefully others can. The internet is great for hotels, though. Just make sure of their location so they don't stick you outside of town and call it "Venice."

Depending on what it is you want to see, I would say you can easily skip the rental car. Italy's train service is fine. Expecially, if you're just planning on hitting the major spots. The train service from Venice to Florence to Rome to Naples is fine. Unless you're a fan of big cities, I'd recommend actually staying in Sorrento when you're down there to see Pompeii and Herculanaeum. There is a local train from Naples to Sorrento called the Circumvesuvia (because it goes around Mt. Vesuvius), that stops in both Pompeii and Herculanaeum. I also rented a moped in Sorrento for a drive down the Amalfi coast, which I also recommend highly. It is one of the most beautfiul coastlines in the world, particularly when you get a great panorama of seaside towns like Positano. Bella!

Anyway, check out my website below for a travelogue on one of my trips, and feel free to post any questions you may have.

Prego!
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Old 11-06-2003, 08:49 AM   #3
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To Travelpunk.com vanessa-princesa!!!!!

Something you should be aware and you might already know is that Italy is a VERY high testosterone driven country. Guys in every part of the country will try to pick you up, and it will happen everywhere. Spain and Greece are very similar to this and as well South American countires...its not that these men are trying to harass you, they can just be a little pushy...this is just the way things are. Italian women are used to it i guess, but when a women from over seas experiences this, it can be a bit overwelming...

Italy is still a very traditional country, so what will cut down on the cat calls, and pick ups would be a fake wedding ring on your finger...when men see that most should let you be...its not for sure going to work, but its start.

I loved Italy, I did the regular tourist cities, Rome, Venice, Florence, and I had a blast!! You will really enjoy your time there!!!

Hotels will cost you an arm and a leg, if your looking for privacy than I would recommend private rooms in youth hostels, here are some link to check some out...

Rome
Florence
Hotel In Venice

I hope this helps you some!!!

PS...What is the car rental costing you???
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Old 11-06-2003, 10:12 AM   #4
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I appreciate the travel advice, especially about wearing the wedding ring...hadn't thought of that. Another question I have is about money. I know Italy uses the euro - is that roughly equivalent to our dollar? Someone had said they were about the same.

Regarding Canadian Dude's question about the rental car, I don't yet have the rental $$ information...it was just an idea but WorldWideMike suggested I take the trains as they're safe and economical. I'm considering that option. I would like some amount of privacy in my lodgings, and I've heard from several people that hostels don't offer that...what do you say? Also, what about bathrooms and such? I notice the majority of the hotels advertise they offer towels but I haven't yet seen anything about private baths. Are these sanitary? Would I be better going with a private hotel and bath?

What hotel in Venice do you recommend? I don't want to stay in the outskirts but don't want to spend an arm and a leg either. I do have a certain amount of discretionary income so I'm not completely poor but I would like to spend my money on food, wine, tours, etc. than lodgings. There are so many hotels to choose from - I'd be happy with your recommendations.

I will probably badger you all with questions so be prepared, and I apologize in advance if I ask stupid-sounding questions. I went to Spain a few years ago but that was part of my university program and I was always with a group of students and our arrangements were basically made for us in advance. so this really will be my first time out alone.
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Old 12-26-2004, 11:56 AM   #5
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you MUST go to sienna.This is a day trip. It is a little place between rome and florence (Tuscany area) Don't be fooled though, take the bus to Sienna from Florence, NOT the train. The train station is a rediculously long walk from Sienna (they don't allow traffic), and some how... it takes longer. The florence bus runs regularly, except on the weekends (not so often) and is a little over an hour, but completely worth it as a day trip. Also- they have the best gelato in the world. Good luck.
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Old 12-27-2004, 10:51 PM   #6
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cinque terre--if you miss this part of Italy your missing paradise.
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by dttraveler@Dec 27 2004, 10:51 PM
cinque terre--if you miss this part of Italy your missing paradise.
Although its a huge tourist trap I'm going to agree with you. That was one of the highlights of my trip.

Make sure you do the whole hike!! The further along you go the less tourists are on the path.
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Old 01-05-2005, 01:41 PM   #8
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I just got back from 3 weeks in Italy in December and I was alone. I did meet people in hostels along the way and sepent a few of my days with them.

I only had two negative experiences with men being persistant. I had many other people approach or say things but usually ignoring them was fine, or just saying "no, not interested" when you're asked for coffee is enough. With the two who were persistant depite me repeateadly walking away, I just kept ignoring and insisting I didn't know what they were saying even if I understood with my very limited Italian. I also found that it was helpful to not let them know I spoke English because they could and it would only simplying them talking to me. I considered the wedding ring thing but just didn't get it together before I left.

I stayed mostly in Florence and Rome and didn't feel unsafe in any areas. I am not into the nightlife scene though so was rarely out alone at night, and if I was it was in crowded areas and getting back to my hostel. I heard many warnings about Naples but didn't end up spending time there for other reasons. One of the things I was told by several people is that if you're going to Naples to see Pompeii and that area, stay in Sorrento instead. It's just as close and safer, if more touristy, and much prettier.
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Old 01-05-2005, 01:45 PM   #9
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One other thing about renting a car. This would be really nice to get around the countryside, in Tiscany for example, but I could not at all imagine trying to drive in Rome. There's no lanes other than the center dividing line, the scooters are everywhere, the pedestrians are everywhere. People park wherever they want. I spent 11 days there and was constantly amazed I didn't witness at least a few accidents.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Canadian Dude@Nov 6 2003, 08:49 AM
Guys in every part of the country will try to pick you up, and it will happen everywhere.
hopefully the ladies are like that too!!
I'm leaving for Italy next week. my grandma always used to tell me i need to find a good Italy woman
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