a good ol’ f/u.
…as in follow up.
……from my previous post.
Some tips I discovered while traveling around Italy
- Well, there’s a language barrier. There’s that.
- Learn basic phrases in Italian or the language of any foreign country you’re traveling to. Even if you sound stupid, at least it sounds like you’re trying.
- I feel it would be useful to learn the phrase, “Can I pet your dog?” I realize it’s not for everyone, but it really would’ve came in handy for me.
- Venice is expensive. Gondola rides are 80 euro per person (around $120) during the day and 100 euro at night. You may be able to find cheaper rates, but on worse canals. Just do it in Vegas. 🙂
- Venice is a complete tourist trap… but it’s very beautiful and definitely worth seeing.
…But maybe only for a day. You can hit all the big things in Venice in one day.
- Venice has TWO train stations. Make sure you book your trains for the right one. Sounds stupid, but worth repeating.
- You WILL wait in line for approximately 2 hours to see the Vatican. It is 15 euro, 31 for a guided tour (and they will sell out quickly). If you’re feeling risky, street vendors offer you tickets and a tour of the Vatican, St. Peter’s, and the Basilica (free entry on the last two) for 45 euro and you can skip the line. It’s your call. It could be worth it.
- Just assume people are going to try and steal your money (pick pocket) on the bus. It won’t make you the most friendly, but it won’t get you robbed either. Bus line 64 is the infamous line for gypsies and thieves. Both 64 and the 40 will take you to the Vatican.
- ^ Speaking of the bus lines, you can pick up bus tickets at any tobacco shop for 1 euro.
- Also, the pick up and drop off spot for the buses are not usually the same place. That doesn’t make ANY sense to me.
- Stay at the B&B Smart. It is located in a decent area by the train station, it’s cheap, and Isa is the most hospitable person I’ve ever met.
- It’s important to figure out how to get to your hotel/destination ahead of time. I’m learning the value of this. It makes Jessica much less upset.
- Be aware of culturally respectful things – some cathedrals have dress codes. You can’t wear too short of shorts and you can’t wear tank tops. They will make you buy a shawl. They made me buy a shawl. It cost euro and it felt like a thin paper towel.
- Um, gelato. It’s delicious, try it if you’ve never, savor it if you get the chance.
- It happens in touristy places in the US too, but there are people in costumes who will encourage you to take pictures with them. They WILL charge you, this is not just for their enjoyment. They will also charge you if you take a photo OF them, so if you do… well, be sneaky.
- Public seating is scarce. A lot of restaurants will have a place to rest, but you need to eat or drink there to use their facilities. Also, restaurant owners, waiters, etc will heckle you (in a fun, good natured way) for you to eat at their restaurant.
- Grappa. Oh gawd, grappa. It’s an Italian alcohol that’s anywhere from 35-65% proof. It tastes like gasoline and burns even worse. My European co-workers keep assuring me that “aged grappa, colored grappa” is delicious. I don’t know if I believe them.
- Limoncello, on the other hand, is delicious. But should be sipped. It’s usually served chilled and after-dinner. The first time I had it I took it like a shot. My mouth went numb immediately after.
- If you ask for water with your meal, it will come in a bottle and you will have to pay for it. A LOT, as they jack up the prices at meal time. Best to just get a pop or a glass of wine. 😉 Or a couple glasses of wine. Hey, you deserve it.