My children, 11 & 14, and I are just about ready to go and I still have some questions. We're traveling for pennies and don't have any to waste.
1.Should I get our euros here or there.
2.Are atm's safe.
3.should I let someone else use my camera to take my picture?
4.what about those gypsy kids, pick-pockets, etc.
- *I've already heard to take baby wipes, the water is safe, the roads are rough, buy gillato etc. and leave is cheaper.
I'ld love any comments or suggestions. thanks in advance.
How long left before you leave?
Rome is probably the place where you need to be most vigilant about pickpockets, but it's no worse than most major cities. Be particularly wary of your bag/purse/wallets on crowded buses and trains, or standing at traffic lights.
On a totally unrelated note, when youre crossing the street over there, there are pedestrian crossings which are marked with white striped lines. But if you want to get across the road, especially in Rome, you have to just walk out under the traffic. Otherwise, the crazy drivers wont stop and you will never get across. You have right of way but it can be a bit unnerving at first, especially if you have kids....the cars will stop but you will have to make the first move. Just popped into my head.
Anyway, Ive let ppl take pictures of me with my camera. I suppose jsut choose ppl very carefully. Older couples are always a good bet!
ATMS are safe - its like anywhere, dont use them too late at night. Be careful of whos standing behind you when you're entering your pin. Get one of your children on sentry duty while you're taking out your money
Venice, Florence and Rome are all very safe cities - you have no reason to worry. As long as you stick to the main tourist areas you will have no problems.
There are plenty of Bureau de Changes so you could wait until you arrive to exchange your dollars. You might get a better exchange rate.
The water is completely safe, the roads are only rough in the rural areas, if you want to-die-for gelato go to Tre Scalini in the Piazza Navona in Rome......seriously yummy ice-cream!!
Things that pop into my head about Italy:
Train travel is relatively cheap - if you are taking the train you need to validate your ticket at a little machine on the platform before you get on the train. no-one tells you this, but you will get fined if its not validated (i did...grrr)
There are mirrors everywhere in Italy. and I seem to remember that the men stood in front of them more often than women.
Make sure to go for a night-time walk around each city. They are different places in the evening.
Venice smells like bad fish, but you dont care because its so beautiful and different.
"Brego" seems to be something you can say in lots of different situations. Lol!! If you're in doubt in a restaurant, "brego" usually gets you out of an awkward silence.
Watch out, in Rome, you might get your ass pinched. but it doesnt mean the guy is gonna follow you down the next dark alleyway
Have a great time. I hope you will love Italy as much as I do.
I got euros there with my ATM card. as long as you take a lot out at a time, you should be fine (you get a flat fee for everytime you use it with most banks).
Not too fond of Venice, mostly because of the smell, high prices for food, and the fact that i get seasick on the docks and boats. Spent 2 and a half days, and wish we'd spent more time in Florence instead.
Both Venice and Florence are very safe. Rome is considered more dangerous, but we spent a week there, and never felt like it was unsafe. Favorite place to eat was the Trastavere area, just south of the river (many buses go there). The metro is a pain because it converges in one spot at the train terminal, but we still used it as our main form of transportation.
Yea, look for old people to take your picture. :D
If you have enough time, take a small trip to the Naples/Pompeii coast area. Pompeii is amazing, the archaelogical museum in Naples is fantastic (better than the one in Rome), and the pizza in Naples is the best I had in Italy.
zezee: I agree with everything samsara2 wrote especially about gelato at Tre Scalini at Piazza Navona, a great late night spot where people seem to congregate. I also encourage you to learn a few Italian words that may help; say PREGO not brego (it means you're welcome), grazie mille (thank you very much), salve (hello), ciao (hello & goodbye), arrivederci (goodbye), buon giorno (good day), buona sera (good evening), mi scusi (excuse me) and per favore (please). The food in Rome is very good (molto bene). Near Piazza Navona is Campo dei Fiori, an interesting open air food market in a piazza that also houses several small restaurants. Visit the Trevi Fountain at night since it looks better with the lights on. Throw 3 coins over your shoulder into the fountain and legend has it that you will return to Rome. I was only in Florence for a day trip to the Uffizi and I have yet to visit Venice.
Have you booked accomodation yet? As there is a good camp site about 20 minutes outside of Venice with little cabins (so no need to take a tent!) and a pool. It also has a shuttle service to the city and works out far cheaper and nicer than staying in Venice. As you have two kids I'd recommend only staying in Venice for a few days max. Its a beautiful city but you can see it in two days and then there isn't very much left to do.
Florence and Rome on the otherhand have lots and lots of amazing sights to see. Oh,must start planning to go back to visit beloved Italy.
agree with samsara2 that u have to be cautious of pickpockets and the traffic in Rome... also, in Rome, u may need to do quite a bit of walking since the major sights like colusseum (sorry if spelling is wrong, it's the place where the gladiators used to fight..) and other ancient ruins are quite closely located.
U may want to consider staying near the trains stations as they are more convenient.. there are private-run hotels (they call pensione) that are affordable.. so u can have the privacy of a room with your children..
If u have any problems in Italy, u can approach the locals as they are friendly ppl...
Enjoy ur trip!