Author Topic: Anyone been to Italy?  (Read 34550 times)

Online Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #110 on: March 24, 2012, 09:07:29 pm »
You WILL NOT get sick before or during this trip. You WILL NOT get sick before or during this trip. You WILL NOT get sick before or during this trip. ...
"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 ifyoucantfixit

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #111 on: March 26, 2012, 02:29:50 am »



   You are going to go to Italy and have a wonderful time.  Meet lots of interesting people, and see a whole country, that
has beauty and culture to share.



     Beautiful mind

Online Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #112 on: March 27, 2012, 09:23:11 am »
   You are going to go to Italy and have a wonderful time.  Meet lots of interesting people, and see a whole country, that
has beauty and culture to share.

And don't forget the food. ... The food. ...  ;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

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #113 on: March 27, 2012, 06:35:33 pm »
And don't forget the food. ... The food. ...  ;D

And wine  8)

Offline delalluvia

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #114 on: April 27, 2012, 08:06:32 pm »
I'm back!  ;D















I never got sick!  :)

Despite the one thing I could not control and was a disappointment - the weather - it was a marvelous, life-perspective changing trip.

I was about 3 weeks too early for a sunny Italian spring.  Except for 5 gorgeous sunny days, the weather was cold, rainy and/or overcast.  I only saw the sun in Tuscany the day I was leaving.  Easter Sunday in Tuscany, a violent storm blew through.  Most days it was clear at sunrise and sunset, but the majority of the day it was cold, windy and overcast.  Some days, it was pouring cold rain.  I should have mailed all my summer weather clothes home.  I was in sweaters, pants, boots and leather coat 98% of the time.

Note:  most places in Rome do not have private heating, therefore they get it from government sources and during the springtime, despite the fact it's 40 degrees outside, they only give you 3 hours of heat a day.  Needless to say, at night I was covered in blankets.  

I was out of my hotel/convent/monastery every morning at 8:30 - 9 am and didn't get back until 8-9 pm at night (except for my Tuscany stay).  I was gratified that I was able to walk and stand 12 hours a day with a short sit down for lunch.

And don't let anyone tell you otherwise, Rome is built on 7 hills.  It was up and down anywhere you walked.  

I don't know how the gray-haired retirees handle tours of Italy.  Do they drop them off at the door of sites so they don't have to walk much?

My goodness, why aren't I living in Rome?

I could walk down the street where my convent was located, turn left and then at the next corner, look up the road and see the Colosseum.  Bella, bellisima.

I would, in a second, live in Venice or Rome and be happy the rest of my life.  While undeniably gorgeous, Tuscany is too remote, the towns too small.

Naples is the armpit of Italy though.  Reminded me of not-so-great places in Mexico I've seen.

I instantly got a couple of traditions going the minute I landed:

1) eating gelato in every city I was in

2) getting lost

In each city I was in, I spent on average 2 hours lost.

Italy, like France and England, put street signs on the corners of buildings.  Unfortunately, especially in Italy, they don't tend to put them on EVERY street corner.  You could walk a quarter mile before seeing a street sign and realizing you were on the wrong street.

So a lot of those hours were spent in frustration, precious touring time lost while being lost.  But I did see some truly magical places while lost - a row of blooming orange trees on the Via Consular in Rome and almost anywhere on the islands of San Polo, Dorsoduro and Cannregio in Venice.

Venice, maddeningly enough, doesn't have an address directory.  Their addresses are written down like someone from New York City telling you to come visit them at 108 Manhattan Island.  

 ??? ???

WHERE on the island?  

Many shops in Venice I saw that I made plans to return to I was never able to find again.

I also had adventures - missing trains, getting on wrong trains, getting ripped off by taxi drivers, bus ticket sellers and postage stamp sellers, not having a ride to catch my train (I didn't realize the Monday after Easter is a holiday in Italy) sitting in the warm sun in the square of the town of Pienza wondering how the heck I'm going to get to Siena to catch my train to Rome with no bus service in a town with no taxi drivers.  Sitting on the train 15 minutes outside of Rome one evening while coming back from a day trip to Pompeii, wondering why we're not moving.  Eerily, like my train trip to Chicago, they made announcements as to why we were stopped, but they didn't say them in English and no one in my class spoke English or Spanish.  I understood 3 words "Person", "ambulance" and "50 minutes".  So either the train hit someone who needed an ambulance or someone ON the train needed an ambulance.  We sat on the track for 2 hours before making the final 15 minutes into Rome.

Food was excellent no matter where I went.  Wine was fresh fresh fresh.

Because I look Italian, people didn't cut me much slack as they probably would have a white tourist.  But Spanish and Italian are so similar, I didn't have much problem with the language issue, even when nuns and taxi drivers spoke neither English OR Spanish.

I ran into austerity protests on the Piazza della Repubblica in Rome, dodged businessmen from Capri and Siena who tried to pick me up (if they had been better looking I'd have more of a story for you there), swooned over the art and scenary and good looking men of Rome.  I even lusted over a cute priest and Swiss Guardsman I saw.

I'll post more as I go through more of my pictures.

Online Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #115 on: April 27, 2012, 09:44:47 pm »
Welcome home!  :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 ifyoucantfixit

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #116 on: April 28, 2012, 02:36:23 am »

   Seems like you had a wonderful trip, and took in most of the things you were looking for..
I suppose even getting lost in a city like Rome, or Venice can be rewarding...sounds like you had a great trip.

   So glad you didn't get sick...    :)



     Beautiful mind

Offline Kelda

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #117 on: April 28, 2012, 04:24:13 am »
Welcome home!
Sounds like you had a real adventure!
I have some very similar pictures from my trip to Italy back in 02.
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Offline Penthesilea

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Re: Anyone been to Italy?
« Reply #118 on: April 28, 2012, 05:26:48 am »
I'm back!  ;D


Welcome back home! :-*

Quote
I never got sick!  :)

Seems our mantras have worked. ;)


Quote

Wonderful pictures, all of them. The above looks like a postcard.




Quote
Despite the one thing I could not control and was a disappointment - the weather - it was a marvelous, life-perspective changing trip.


At least you weren't supposed to control the weather, nobody got all over your behind for it. ;) ;D

 :D
Glad to hear you had a wonderful time.



Quote
I instantly got a couple of traditions going the minute I landed:

1) eating gelato in every city I was in

2) getting lost

In each city I was in, I spent on average 2 hours lost.

Italy, like France and England, put street signs on the corners of buildings.  Unfortunately, especially in Italy, they don't tend to put them on EVERY street corner.  You could walk a quarter mile before seeing a street sign and realizing you were on the wrong street.

So a lot of those hours were spent in frustration, precious touring time lost while being lost.  But I did see some truly magical places while lost - a row of blooming orange trees on the Via Consular in Rome and almost anywhere on the islands of San Polo, Dorsoduro and Cannregio in Venice.

I also had adventures - missing trains, getting on wrong trains, getting ripped off by taxi drivers, bus ticket sellers and postage stamp sellers, not having a ride to catch my train (I didn't realize the Monday after Easter is a holiday in Italy) sitting in the warm sun in the square of the town of Pienza wondering how the heck I'm going to get to Siena to catch my train to Rome with no bus service in a town with no taxi drivers.  Sitting on the train 15 minutes outside of Rome one evening while coming back from a day trip to Pompeii, wondering why we're not moving.  Eerily, like my train trip to Chicago, they made announcements as to why we were stopped, but they didn't say them in English and no one in my class spoke English or Spanish.  I understood 3 words "Person", "ambulance" and "50 minutes".  So either the train hit someone who needed an ambulance or someone ON the train needed an ambulance.  We sat on the track for 2 hours before making the final 15 minutes into Rome.


All the little adventures and misadventures make traveling so rewarding, even if they can be frustrating at the time.


Quote
I'll post more as I go through more of my pictures.

Looking forward to more pics and stories!
WB again :)