Author Topic: Anyone been to Italy?  (Read 35480 times)

Offline serious crayons

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,684
Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #50 on: October 14, 2011, 11:22:45 am »
Ballet flats and what I used to call "Nixon shoes" (those little Mary Janes, usually made in China) are great for house wear, but people with flat feet in particular need to be careful about wearing them for much walking or being on your feet for a long period of time.

Oh, definitely. They're "hotel slippers" -- or "out to dinner slippers," at most -- exclusively.

For extensive walking you need a substantial, sturdy but flexible, athletic-shoe-type sole and a top that doesn't pinch or rub. Since the days of the little old ladies in Miami Beach, though, they've developed shoes that offer those comfort features yet are still relatively attractive -- or at least don't call attention to themselves as unattractive. These are all Privo brand (photos from Zappo's).

              

Keens are another brand that are pretty reliably comfortable. I got a pair for my first trip to Italy and wore them for years after that. Mine were lace-up, but here is a pair http://www.zappos.com/keen-golden-ballerina-potting-soil?zlfid=111&recoName=zap_brand_page that appear to be decent for walking but are also reasonably attractive, or at least inobtrusive, depending on your taste -- I know there are some women who only find delicate high-heeled shoes attractive, but I'm not one of them.


When in Italy, I constantly saw women at tourist sites -- including places with long lines, extensive walking, rough terrain -- picking their way around in delicate, high-heeled shoes or boots. They didn't look fashionable to me; they just looked pathetic. It's also pathetic to bring so many shoes (or clothes in general) that your bag is really heavy as you're lugging it through train stations, a mistake a couple of my friends made on the last trip. My formula has been two pairs of good walking shoes, one lace-up and hike-worthy, and the other also sturdy, flat and comfy but slightly dressier, like the Keens above. Plus the hotel slippers.

But even lace-up, sturdy, comfy shoes can be tricky. Years ago I brought a pair of lace-up walking shoes to Prague. I'd only worn them once or twice before that. My feet got so blistered I either had to pass on certain things I wanted to do, or do them but in total agony. The moral: wear the shoes around for at least a few weeks before your trip, have a shoe-repair place stretch them out if any parts are tight.





Offline delalluvia

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,289
  • "Truth is an iron bride"
Shoes
« Reply #51 on: October 14, 2011, 02:46:28 pm »
I've bought a pair of Mephisto oxfords, Softspots and a pair of Keens, but they look almost hiking bootish, though they're shoes, for rough terrain visiting archaeological sites and climbing volcanoes.  I'll be walking around in them to see if they can stand up to long days.

For my birthday, I'll find out Sunday, someone bought me a pair of Timberland earth keeper ballet flats in red.

And I have a pair of low-heeled Ecco Mary Janes and Jambu closed-toed sandals on my birthday/Xmas list as well.  Not sure about those. 

I'll be visiting the mall this weekend and see if I can find any Clarks etc., that I can stomach.  Yes, I know they're comfortable, but yes,they make you look like one of the geriatric set and I refuse to look like that before I have to.  Luckily I have no foot problems.

Offline serious crayons

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,684
Re: Shoes
« Reply #52 on: October 14, 2011, 08:20:19 pm »
a pair of Keens, but they look almost hiking bootish,

That's how my Keens were. And they were dark red. So they looked like hiking boots that a clown might wear.


Offline delalluvia

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,289
  • "Truth is an iron bride"
Anyone read Italian?
« Reply #53 on: October 29, 2011, 12:39:10 pm »
Anyone read Italian?

I sent out emails looking for rooms in various hostels, B&Bs and convent/monasteries.  I used an online translator and sent out an English/Italian message.  But sometimes, they answer in Italian.  :P

I got an answer from a convent in Venice this moring and I THINK it says something to the effect that my e-mail is my confirmation, but I'm not sure.  Guess I'll have to run it through the translator.  It doesn't bode well that they don't write English, but maybe they speak it.  :-\

Offline Jeff Wrangler

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 27,366
  • "He somebody you cowboy'd with?"
Re: Anyone read Italian?
« Reply #54 on: October 30, 2011, 03:06:59 pm »
I got an answer from a convent in Venice this moring and I THINK it says something to the effect that my e-mail is my confirmation, but I'm not sure.

You are gonna stay in a convent?  :o  :-X  ;D  ;)
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline delalluvia

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,289
  • "Truth is an iron bride"
Re: Anyone read Italian?
« Reply #55 on: October 30, 2011, 06:54:26 pm »
You are gonna stay in a convent?  :o  :-X  ;D  ;)

Hey!  Whaddaya trying to say!?!  >:(  ;)

It's not like I'm going to wear white or anything.

And it's just in Venice.

I'm staying at a monastery in Florence.  ;D

And I HOPE a convent outside Siena (where they filmed the English Patient) but I haven't heard back from them.  They may be booked.  :(

Sheesh, I'm planning 6 months out and many places are already booked.

The lady in Venice is a nun and she said my e-mail was my confirmation and didn't ask for any money or credit card to hold a room, so I have zero confirmation other than her word and e-mail.  I HOPE they're legit because the location is ideal, two blocks from the Grand Canal, across from St. Marks square.

But I don't know what to do about lack of a solid reservation that except to maybe put in a reservation elsewhere?  Or just hope to find a place when I arrive if they fall through?  The B&B in Pompeii is the same.  They pretty much said just show up and pay in full.

Is this normal?  Does anyone know?

Offline Andrew

  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,087
Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #56 on: October 30, 2011, 08:12:18 pm »
If you are willing to type in the Italian, I am willing to confirm your translation of the letter! 


Offline Andrew

  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,087
Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #57 on: October 30, 2011, 08:23:47 pm »
Also, I don't know if you happened across this site but it gives you a little comparison and some outside confirmation of your place.  It listed several convents so at least you could decide if you wanted to double book.  If you heard back from them it is probably enough - they probably just don't have the resources to do the full hotel-style reservation confirmation or translation.  Italy can be very homey and personal which can be a good thing!

http://www.monasterystays.com

Offline delalluvia

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,289
  • "Truth is an iron bride"
Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #58 on: October 30, 2011, 11:09:46 pm »
If you are willing to type in the Italian, I am willing to confirm your translation of the letter! 



The convent said this:

Carissima ,
                  per la prenotazione basta inviare conferma via e-mail .  Si paga all ' arrivo .
Saluti  . Suor  Francesca


Any help would be appreciated!

Offline delalluvia

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,289
  • "Truth is an iron bride"
Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #59 on: October 30, 2011, 11:19:22 pm »
Also, I don't know if you happened across this site but it gives you a little comparison and some outside confirmation of your place.  It listed several convents so at least you could decide if you wanted to double book.  If you heard back from them it is probably enough - they probably just don't have the resources to do the full hotel-style reservation confirmation or translation.  Italy can be very homey and personal which can be a good thing!

http://www.monasterystays.com

Thanks.  That is helpful.