Travel Tips

Here's things i learned from the trip to Italy
  • Best Place (outside) - Trevi Fountain
panorama Trevi Fountain, italy, rome

  • Best Place (inside) - St. Peters Basilica
st peters basilica, italy, rome, vatican

  • Best View - all of Florence from Michaelangelo's Hill
michaelangelos hill, florence, great view, italy

  • Best Square - St. Peter's Square at The Vatican
st peters square, the vatican, great view from tower

  • Best Cheap Food - Panini's at many corner stores. €3 for a great grilled sandwich. As you can see Karrie and Jeff liked them as well, they are great food to eat and walk.
florence, panini, eating on the street

  • Best Restaurant Food - Spaghetti. €8 from most everywhere

  • Best Fancy Food - Ciampini Restaurant in Rome. Near the Spanish Steps
ciampini restaurant, rome italy, near spanish steps

  • Best Place for a Drink - all of the public drinking fountains scattered across Rome
rome drinking fountain

  • Best Bus (for us) - #62 - all around downtown Rome. Also the #175 which took us to the Termini train station and back.
fermata, tritone, bus route board, rome italy
on the bus in rome italy

  • Most Fun - feeding pigeons in St. Mark's Square in Venice
feeding pigeons in st marks square, venice italy

  • Biggest Surprise - A 3-way tie between the cooking class in Florence, the Catacombs in Rome and the Accademia Gallery to see the Statue of David in Florence.
florence pasta cooking class

rome italy catacombs
The Statue of David, Accademia Gallery, florence italy

Things i'm glad i brought:

  • 2 camera's - especially in Venice when i took hundreds of pictures and my first camera battery died, luckily i had the backup.
  • Backpack's - i had the backpack for carrying all the food, water, maps... I also packed the cloth backpack for other people to carry things they bought. Karrie also had her leather bag that held the important items.
Florence Fountain, bring backpacks when travel

  • Money belt - i wasn't so sure when Karrie bought this but it was great. I kept the money and passports in there and i didn't have to worry about any pick-pockets. I really liked it.
  • Power converters/adapters - Karrie and i each had our own 220v to 110v power converters and plug adapters. We would have had to buy them there because the plugs in the hotel were the weird Italian kind. The converters weren't perfect though. Lots of things like hair dryers and curling irons ran like they were on Low. But lots of things like my phone and camera chargers had writing on the back that said "working range of 220 to 110 voltages" so all i needed was the plug adapter, not the converter.
  • Although most people spoke English, i'm glad we learned the first 4 or 5 chapters of "learn to speak Italian." It was just a few hours of a book-on-tape but it really helped knowing the basics. It was pretty easy and we weren't completely clueless when we got there.

Things i didn't like:

  • Having to pay €3 for bottled water at every meal. They said they weren't allowed to serve tap water.
  • Having to pay for bread at every meal. You didn't know that until after you received your bill.
  • Having to pay to sit outside. The restaurants charged an additional "outdoor seating" fee.
  • Tipping was also weird, no restaurants wanted tips. They all said that the tip was factored into the price of the food.

Things i wish i had brought:

  • A watch - at home i don't wear a watch because i have my cell phone. But in Italy i either left my phone at the hotel or it was turned off, so the whole time i had no idea what time it was.
  • Gel insoles - we did a lot of walking and my feet got sore after day 6 or 7.
  • Better Maps - our maps were ok but it would have been nice to have one really good map with greater detail and bus routes in the 3 cities, Rome, Florence and Venice.
  • It probably would have been better for us to buy the 7 day bus pass for €16 instead of having to buy individual tickets every time we decided to ride. It was a pain having to find a euro for every person, every time we rode.

1 comment:

lindseyshifley said...

We went to Italy in October of 2011...these pictures brought back so many memories. And yea, that money belt...we needed that...we got pick pocketed on day 2!!! Thanks for the sweet comment and love your blog!