Travel

Ask me anything about Italy

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 4th, 2018 5:00 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 2, 2012
1595 posts
942 upvotes
GTA

Ask me anything about Italy

Thought I could provide some insight... if this thread already exist please delete!
I spent just over 3 weeks in Italy "Honeymoon"
Place we visted... in no exact order
Florence, Rome, Milan, Salerno, Capri, Pisa, Venice, Lombardy, Vatican
That's all I can think of right now..

Some advice..

Buy a TIM Card "Sim Card" - https://www.tim.it/tim-visitors-en
Take Business Class on Trenitalia - Yes it cost "a bit more".. but you can get single seats across from each other "great for a honeymoon"
Download mytaxi - Works great in rome "taxies are expensive" but can be very convenient..depending where you have to go..
Budget for water - Average is 3 Euro for 750ml at any resturant
Grocery stores have 1.5l bottles for .50cents etc... to 1 euro, convenience stores are usually 1-2euro "They will be cold compared to grocery stores"
95% of people you will talk to speak english
Do not leave any tips for anyone. Some will actually joke about leaving a tip or they will have a spot on the bill....
If you want a cheap food in florence - 5 Euro you can get an amazing sandwhich at All'Antico Vinaio.. went 3 times.. do not go during regular hours as the line up is nuts.. but it still moves quick. You can go to either one on the street "two are across from each other"
same place one just makes bread.
Gondola Rides are a waste of money, it's not something you have to do once in your lifetime.. Maybe in another country..
Be carefully of Jelly Fish on the coast...Ask me how I know lol
St peter's basilica - Is AMAZING - The view from the top is amazing
The line up is always long, so line up when the sun is not to bright or it's cloudy
Climb anything your allowed to "churches etc"
Anytime your see a drinking fountain in Italy, Drink from it.. you won't get sick and it's free
The peddlers or hustlers "whatever you want to call them" selling water and rose and toys and umbrellas and shit"
An aggravated NO, will get them to leave you alone.. You will understand what I mean, because they become annoying as f.... after awhile

Edit 1:
Reminded about the following to budget for
Cover charge at restaurants..2 euro per person "average"
City tax.... varies by city & hotel rating.. average
3-5 euro per night/person...
This stuff adds up..

Edit 2:
If your going to florence - http://www.firenzecard.it/?lang=en
It will save you so much time, also even if it's not posted you can usually go up to the guy at the front of the lines and ask if you can get in and show the card.
Sometimes they will say wait a moment, sometimes they will say no..
I think it was the Florence cathedral, that had no sign but we got in right away

Edit 3:
Cheap way to get to the Marco Polo airport from Venice, is the Alilaguna
It's 15 euro a person or so
Last edited by GSpeed on Aug 15th, 2017 1:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.
65 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36455 posts
10770 upvotes
Ottawa
But did you have a good time? :)
Good offer, lot of people always wanting to know about Italy and the most recent information is always best.
Sr. Member
Sep 22, 2005
825 posts
220 upvotes
BC
Chime in on 2 restaurants in Florence,

TRATTORIA DALL OSTE: if you arrive by train, exit on your right hand side, crossing the street, it's there. It's always busy. Sometimes, there is a line up. Famous for Florence beef, steak for 19.5, T bone, 55 or 70 for 2 people, 1.2kgs

The other one is fishing lab.
http://www.fishinglab.it

Except for 3 euro 750ml water(still or gas) at restaurant, you also need to budget cover charges like 2.5 euro per person.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 2, 2012
1595 posts
942 upvotes
GTA
Pete_Coach wrote: But did you have a good time? :)
Good offer, lot of people always wanting to know about Italy and the most recent information is always best.
I had a wonderful time, and would recommend it to anyone :)
lambertbob912 wrote: Which city has the best food in your opinion?
Hard to say, I like fish so the coast was amazing..mmm fresh sea bass :D
Rome probably had some of my fav pizza
iceage wrote: Chime in on 2 restaurants in Florence,

TRATTORIA DALL OSTE: if you arrive by train, exit on your right hand side, crossing the street, it's there. It's always busy. Sometimes, there is a line up. Famous for Florence beef, steak for 19.5, T bone, 55 or 70 for 2 people, 1.2kgs

The other one is fishing lab.
http://www.fishinglab.it

Except for 3 euro 750ml water(still or gas) at restaurant, you also need to budget cover charges like 2.5 euro per person.
That's true I almost forgot! You get used to that extra charge after a few days :(

Also don't forget CITY TAX..

I HAVE NO CLUE WHY it's not include in the price of the hotel, it makes no sense WHATSOEVER since you have to pay it anyways.. put in the cost!

I'm going to update my original post with that
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 31, 2006
5009 posts
887 upvotes
Toronto
they are not supposed to charge the cover charge but they are so used to it that they just leave it on the bill, you can ask for it to be taken off. For me the gondola ride is worth it. Yes it is on the expensive side but you are supposed to enjoy yourself during your vacation so why not. there's nowhere in the world you can do it. For the Vatican, you can buy the tickets from the hop on and off bus info desk. then you can just skip the line for the museum and Sistine chapel. if you do the guided tour then they will take you to St. peter's without lining up again outside. All those skip the line tickets are well worth it, you don't want to waste your time standing in line where there are so many things to see.
HEATWARE 18-0-0 since 2006
EBAY 38-0-0 Since 2003

IG: mkdrone_
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36455 posts
10770 upvotes
Ottawa
marktang wrote: they are not supposed to charge the cover charge but they are so used to it that they just leave it on the bill, you can ask for it to be taken off. For me the gondola ride is worth it. Yes it is on the expensive side but you are supposed to enjoy yourself during your vacation so why not. there's nowhere in the world you can do it. For the Vatican, you can buy the tickets from the hop on and off bus info desk. then you can just skip the line for the museum and Sistine chapel. if you do the guided tour then they will take you to St. peter's without lining up again outside. All those skip the line tickets are well worth it, you don't want to waste your time standing in line where there are so many things to see.
Actually the coperto (cover charge) can be charged at will and can vary and is per person charge and is perfectly legal. http://ciuitaly.com/blog/files/coperto- ... charge.php

I agree with the gondola ride, if you are in Venice for the first (and possibly the last) time, it is an experience you should take. I have mentioned this before but it is worth repeating. There are many gondolas in Venice. There are also many gondoliers in Venice. Not all of them take care of their "ride" so, it is up t you to look at the gondolas and decide which one you wish to ride in. There are nice ones, there are dirty dingy ones and there are spectacular ones. The price is the same for them all. Same goes fo location, you can take them at Rialto, Piazza San Marco or a side canal. The route is different and you see different things at each one of those spots so, walk around Venice for a while before deciding where you want to go. A couple hints, do not take on on the Grand Canal or San Marco during busy times as it can get quite choppy in the water when all those boats go by. Also, don't take one during low tide as when in the back canals ou see and smell all the green slime.

It is always wise to get skip the line tickets and for place like Vatican museum, St Peters, Colosseum. It is smart to get a guided tour because there is much more to these places than what you see and what a recorded device or Rick Steves guide book can tell you, especially if it is a one time visit. You get so much more out of a guide by asking questions and listening to the stories surrounding the display instead of just the facts in books or recordings.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 2, 2012
1595 posts
942 upvotes
GTA
Some guided tours are good, some are useless..
Skip the line, all it means is skip waiting in a line for a ticket.. you still have to wait in line for security "yes groups have quicker access" but we never had to wait more than 2-5 mins to get inside.
When we got to the Vatican... the line up to the museum was all the way to the basilica... my guesstimate.. 1-2h wait time..
We just went right to the entrance, showed our ticket waited 2-3 mins for security and we were inside..
Sr. Member
Sep 22, 2005
825 posts
220 upvotes
BC
City tax: we paid in Venice last year, so it's not a surprise for us this year. What surprised me was when we checked in a hotel in Milan, the receptionist asked me to sign a piece of paper, then they wouldn't charge kids under 18. So I was thinking we got scammed in other cities. It's not cheap, like Rome is 6 euros per person per night.

It's not like the hotel didn't know the age because every hotel we checked in, they either made copy of all our passports or entered the info on their computer.
Last edited by iceage on Aug 16th, 2017 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
15097 posts
11832 upvotes
Think of the Childre…
Which city is the best to visit? Want to try avoiding busy crowded touristy areas with scam artists.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Deal Guru
User avatar
Apr 26, 2004
12721 posts
3162 upvotes
Mississauga
Cheapo-Findo wrote: Which city is the best to visit? Want to try avoiding busy crowded touristy areas with scam artists.
As long as you keep your wits about you, you shouldn't have an issue with those kinds of things. And the busy touristy areas are that way because they have a lot of interesting things to see there.

Rome, Florence & Venice are the Big Three of Italy for very good reason. Tons to see and do in each city. The Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre are also very popular as they have that small town coastal atmosphere. Tuscany (the area surrounding Florence) is also very beautiful and is filled with numerous small hill towns and rolling countryside. But there are many areas that aren't as visited, but still have lots to offer. I was watching the 2nd season of Master of None, which filmed a few episodes in Modena. Beautiful looking city with some awesome food. It's not a famous tourist city, but is best known as the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari. You'll have to do your research to figure out what your interests are and go from there.
Member
Apr 26, 2016
200 posts
30 upvotes
I have 4 days for Tuscany - well for Siena and Florence. Would you be stationed in Florence and do Siena as a day trip or vice versa?
p.s. I am not too big on arts
Also l, any hotel recommendations for Florence/Rome/Siena? Something central and around 100 CAD per night?
Deal Expert
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
15097 posts
11832 upvotes
Think of the Childre…
Gracias!

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Member
Apr 26, 2016
200 posts
30 upvotes
Also, what would you recommend using to get from the airport to the Rome city centre ? I am going with my family so I am inclined to take uber but I am not sure if there are smarter choices or how reliable Uber is in Rome.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 2, 2012
1595 posts
942 upvotes
GTA
Cheapo-Findo wrote: Which city is the best to visit? Want to try avoiding busy crowded touristy areas with scam artists.
No scam artist per say, just annoying people selling you stuff...
Every tourist area, will be busy... unless you go end of fall/winter/spring
iceage wrote: I would suggest Venice!
There is two venices.. the day time and the night time....
The day time is super crowded, for multiple reasons..
It's expensive to stay, so people will come into the city by day and leave by night.. as the moment you leave the island it becomes cheap again..
Cruise ships same thing.. they dock.. people explore and leave by night...
After Dinner, it's pretty quiet "quieter" no crowds in the alley ways etc.
ArsenalFanatic wrote: I have 4 days for Tuscany - well for Siena and Florence. Would you be stationed in Florence and do Siena as a day trip or vice versa?
p.s. I am not too big on arts
Also l, any hotel recommendations for Florence/Rome/Siena? Something central and around 100 CAD per night?
I would stay in florence, you have wide range of things to do..

Florence - Relais Hotel Centrale
10 Star..... x 10 Star
Rooms are clean and updated, hotel is clean... a 5 minute walk to the train station... right beside the cathedral.
Breakfast is AMAZING... AMAZING!
You just have to ask.. Crepes, Omelet, fresh hot chocolate "actual melted choclate", fresh oj
The girls at the reception are all cute, and friendly.. the whole staff is really good to be honest
Now.... here is the icing on the cake..
FREE GELATO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
During the summer months "when it's hot" they have a cart in the middle of the lobby, just ask someone at the reception or at the bar.. and they will give you how ever much you want.. usually 4-5 flavours lol
Let's just say we had a fair amount lol

Rome we stayed in suite della vite, rooms were fine... free bottled water which is nice.. breakfast was pathetic.. free wifi "Yeah free wifi, but with no internet thanks"
6 days a solid signal with no internet.. oh we will fix it..
Was f-king noise, garbage pickup at like 5am like everyday fml
ArsenalFanatic wrote: Also, what would you recommend using to get from the airport to the Rome city centre ? I am going with my family so I am inclined to take uber but I am not sure if there are smarter choices or how reliable Uber is in Rome.
http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en/Servi ... no-Airport

Direct Airport to train station, Uber like we have here doesn't exist.. it's the high end service and it's expensive NEVER USE UBER in ROME
Download MyTaxi.. My driver gave me a $20 promo code, make sure if your taxi bill is under $20 to give the driver the rest.. as it's a one time credit only....
If your close to your hotel walk from train station if not go to a taxi stand from the train station they are all regulated "white taxi" so same price no matter which one you get in" go to the one at the front of the line, as the others won't allow you in.. as it's first come first serve.. "great system actually"
Sr. Member
Sep 22, 2005
825 posts
220 upvotes
BC
Take train or airport express coach to Rome termini.
Don't use Uber. Uber Pop is not legal in Italy, only Uber black, which is very expensive. Mytaxi app is a good choice instead.
At termini, every cell phone carriers booth are there, Tim/Vodafone/Wind+3(merged). Don't buy sim cards at Rome airport.

In Rome, most attractions are within walking distance except for Vatican city.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 2, 2012
1595 posts
942 upvotes
GTA
iceage wrote: In Rome, most attractions are within walking distance except for Vatican city.
That's up for debate....
We took a taxi to the Vatican City early am.. did the museum/chapel... had lunch
Then did the hike up the basilica, came back down.. checked out the basilica..
We were thinking of getting a taxi but decided to walk back "40 mins" it ended up taking us 4 hours...
Went to Castel Sant'Angelo chilled at the top.. crossed the water... had a bite to eat.. then went to pantheon... then checked out the trevi fountain at night .. damn that place is always packed.
Then back to the hotel, if you can plan things on the way.. the distant doesn't seem that long...
also if your fit it helps too lmao
Member
Apr 8, 2017
362 posts
224 upvotes
Great thread!!

I just started a thread few days ago as i am planning my honeymoon and Venice was one of the destinations so i will ask my questions here:

1- Do you have any hotel recommendation?
2- I was planning to stay in JW Marriott instead of staying in the busy city all day
3- Do you recommend any 1 day trips from Venice? I am thinking of renting a car and tour Dolomite mountains. I am not a fan of guided tours
4- How many days are good for Venice? I am planning 5 days including 1 day in Dolomite mountains

Thanks
Deal Guru
User avatar
Apr 26, 2004
12721 posts
3162 upvotes
Mississauga
iceage wrote: In Rome, most attractions are within walking distance except for Vatican city.
Eh, I'd say that it is quite walkable. It's about half an hour walk from St. Peter's Square to Piazza Navona, and it's a very nice walk, with lots of cool things to see along the way.

Top