OK you are in Italy, have a great room and know where to eat. What do you want to do? In the big cities there are Dumo (Cathedral) and museums that are a must see. Even if you are not a museum person, some museums are a must see. The Duomo and museums get VERY crowded so plan ahead and go early in day or later just before closing. Most cities have city tour tickets that get you into the museums fast and free. These tickets are usually very expensive and have a time date expiration. They are worth it only if you will visit most of the attractions they get you into within the expiration period. This is seeing many museums and churches in a day or two. This is not our choice of hope to see Italy. Some cities like Florence have a reservation system that gets you into major attractions with no line for a small fee (in addition to the entrance fee).
By now as a reader of this BLOG, you know that we are in favor of being like Italians while in Italy. Take it slow and enjoy your visit and time there. Don’t try to do too many cities in a week or two. It is better and more memorable to see one or two places well than ten cities in a rush. We also do not believe in organized large tour groups. The food you get is not real Italian food but fast prepared for a large group. Get on a tour that gives you free days to do your own thing. Take small tour groups of 10-12 people in a small van. These can get to interesting mountain cities that the larger busses can not get to. The best way to see Italy is to plan your trip and go by yourself or with friends. We do this all the time and have had the most memorable trips.
Sit and have a coffee, gelato or a drink and watch Italian life around you. Engage the Italians around you. If you are speaking English, speak very slowly and clearly. Avoid idioms and contractions or slang. You will be amazed how interesting it is to speak with the locals. They are as interested in speaking to you as you are to them.
Tomorrow we will talk about leaving Italy. Yes it is unfortunate but all vacations do come to and end but the memories created do not!
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Duomo, Europe, Florence, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Italy, Museums, Planning a vacation, Traveling without a tour
Tags: Duomo, Food, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italian people, Italy, museums, No Tour Touring, Romance, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism
We were pondering this question and determining if we might go for Christmas (this year or next). There are many reasons we go to Italy and they are all positive. in fact we have no negative reasons for not going.
Reasons to go to Italy:
- The country is beautiful. The beaches are among the best in the world and the mountains are spectacular.
- The food is fantastic. Italian food in Italy is nothing like Italian food here in the US. It is so much better. Fresh ingredients cooked to perfection. Forget Fettuccine Alfredo and chicken or shrimp parmesan. They don’t exist in Italy except in tourist places (and you don’t want to eat there). The bread is to die for! Don’t forget gelato, chocolate or the famous Italian white truffles.
- The wine is top-notch. Italy produces some of the best wines in the world. Everyone in Italy drinks wine and understands it. From the greats like Chianti to Barolo and Brunello. Even the local wines are fantastic. Try them!
- The people are friendly. Italians love Americans and are very friendly. You find great people from small cities to the largest cities.
- There is little crime in Italy. You do find pick pockets in the larger cities but violent crime is almost nonexistent. We felt safe walking small streets in Rome at midnight.
- Tradition exists here. Everyone was brought up on Italian tradition and pass it on to their children.
- Art exists everywhere. We describe Italy as an open air museum. The art and architecture are everywhere you look. Yes the museums are still important to see but Italy is a huge museum.
- The language is beautiful to hear. It is like hearing a song when they speak.
- Italy is about relaxing, family, friends, food and wine. Enjoy it!
- Italy is romance. Get reacquainted with the one you love and be romantic.
Take your pen out right now and add Italy to your bucket list. Don’t just add it, VAI (GO)! When you go don’t be an American or think like one. This is not America. Be an Italian and enjoy your vacation like no other you have taken. The long trip home on the airplane will find you with a smile and many good memories.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Beaches, Bread, Europe, Gelato, Italian language, Italy, Museums, Small Towns, Wine
Tags: Cooking, Food, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italian language, Italian people, Italy, museums, No Tour Touring, Romance, Rome, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism, White Truffles, Wine
Europe in general is having some weather related problems. Italy is mostly under a warning now.
Yellow being a warning, gold a stronger warning and red the most severe warnings. All but a small part of northern Italy is under warnings for rain, lightning and in some areas hail. If you are going to Italy in the winter (rainy season and snow season in the north) check the expected weather conditions. Dress appropriately.
Rain doesn’t ruin a vacation, especially to Italy. On bad days plan your museum trips and be inside. Normally you will have days that are not raining or times in each day that are not raining. adjust your planned schedule to accommodate the weather. This is another reason big tours are bad. If it’s raining hard and you are headed to Tivoli Gardens, you will be outside in the rain.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Hail, Museums, snow, Weather in Europe
Tags: Hail, Italian, Italy, museums, No Tour Touring, Rain, Snow, Weather in Europe, Winter in Europe