Really want to see where these outlets are!
thanks Swankymama! Did you find the same items from Murano and Burano on the mainland as well?
That would probably be possible to take a charter from Rome to some of these places actually. I would LOVE to do this! But DH would roll his eyes and say something sarcastic like "we didn't come to Italy so you can shop" LOL
Very good to know!! If I find something on the mainland - how do I ship it home?
Wow fantastic recommendations!! Ricky I will definitely be PM'ing you...if you spent a semester in Rome...I need a lot of evening / dinner recommendations there!!
I want to go now! haha
Thank you~I wonder where non-touristy shopping is. I don't want to get ripped off LOL...those 2 restaurants...when do you make reservations? When I get there or from home?
I knew I came to the right place!!
How AWESOME are you guys!!??!!??
Seriously, I'm printing this thread out and putting it in my carry-on.
I have just a couple more questions (in addition to my responses in bold above ^^^)....
What kind of bag should I wear in Italy? I always wanted to carry my most fashionable designer bag with me but I've been reading that I shouldn't be wearing anything that draws attention to myself as a person w/ expensive items on me (ie: the bag)....I heard there are a lot of pick-pockets and thieves...wow! Guess I'll have to go bag-less...I'm interested in hearing what the bag-obsessed wear while in Italy!
What kind of carry-on did you bring?
Where are the best dollar---> euro conversions ? The bank?
Hey, it's true that in tourist locations there are alot of thieves/pick-pockets w/e you want to call them. Just make sure your bag is one with a zipper and always closed. I would say an LV speedy or anything like that is good. I had a medium sized coach bag, you can throw in all your papers, maps, etc. as well as when your carrying around water bottles or snacks.
I go to Italy every summer, been to almost all of the places you are going to. You will have a great time. And just to let you know, no matter where you go you will find great restaurants and ice cream as well as shopping. I went to Venice once and I regret not buying more things. I absolutely loved all the glass figures, other items, masks(hand panted!), souvenirs. All so beautiful! I didn't buy more because I didn't have space in my bags and didn't think of shipping it home. Shipping would be a better option.
Basilica di San Marco in st. Mark's square is one of my favorite churches. The way the granite floors shifted from the flooding. Ponte dei sospiri.. kiss your love while under the bridge at sunset.
Make sure u have a lot of empty space in your bags!!! Rome, Venice, Florence, Capri.. allll places you will want to bring home souvenirs especially If you don't plan on going back for a while.
At night in the center of Florence, many of the piazzas have delicious restaurants and funny acts to watch.
Someone mentioned this already, in Capri, the grotta azzura is so beautiful, you have to go in the morning before the high tide. Take a taxi ride around the city, it's really cheap and you can ask them to bring you to nice spots for pictures. If you want to go to a beach, probably amalfi would be the best place, if you are going there.
In Florence, climb the steps to the top of the duomo! Check out the gorgeous jewelry on Ponte Vecchio but it is extremely expensive.
hm.. in Rome, since you have soo much time make sure you go to EVERY tourist attraction, from vatican, pantheon, coloseo, roman forum, piazza di spagna, villa borghese, and lastly fontana di Trevi.. throw a penny over your shoulder, supposed to bring you luck that you'll return to that very place. It has worked for me for many years..
have a great time!!
after many years of begging my family, I'm finally going to Milan in June.
yep, outside of Florence there are huge outlets, it is called The Mall, and lots of designers have outlets there. I have been wanting to go for ages but never seem to go below North of Italy/Lago Maggiore.
Loved all the places you are going to, but my favs are Rome and Florence, you will be pretty busy but I am sure you already figured that. ENJOY!
Have a fantastic time on your trips, all the lovely ladies heading off to Italy!!
I second Vivoli for gelati in Florence...hands down the best gelati I came across in Italy! For the major attractions in Florence, try and get tickets in advance (like...now). Otherwise, you may be wasting time waiting in line for the museums.
Speaking of attractions - remember, the churches are not only tourist attractions, but holy places of worship. Therefore, most require that women do not wear "short shorts"...and women and men cannot wear bare shoulders into the churches. They will hand out (or sell) paper shawls so you can adorn yourself while viewing churches, but I'd recommend just bringing a nice little shawl from home for such occasions, should you find yourself wearing a tank top.
As for safety...I witnessed my first pickpocketing in Rome. I was on a crowded bus (most buses headed down to the tourists areas are incredibly packed), and right before a stop, a man leaned down, grabbed a wallet from a woman's open tote bag that she had rested at her feet, and sprinted out the back door of the bus. It's not really violent crime that's a problem, it is more "petty theft" that could stand to waste a few days of travel. I took a tote bag with a zip top, and kept it at my side at ALL times. It's not so much that the tourist attractions in Italy are dangerous, it's just that there are a number of tourists heading through, and you won't believe the precautions that tourists fail to take.
If you do carry a backpack, make sure parts with zippers have locks on them. My dad did that with all the major parts of his backpack, but someone stole his blackberry charger from a side pocket that was not locked. IMO, train stations are the absolute worst places for this.
Oh, if you want to go on a gondola ride in Venice, the prices are cheaper during the daytime (after sunset, the prices skyrocket). Our gondola rider was amazing - he was hilarious, and took us on a lovely tour of some of the side canals, along with a lot of the historical facts about the buildings. It was one of the highlights of my visit to Venice. And if you have the chance, you have to have a Bellini at Harry's!
to answer some of your earlier questions:
the Mall is the best outlet around Florence, never been there but hoping to go soon....
as for pick pockets - I guess these are common in all major tourist attractions, like in any other country. I usually don't visit a very touristy area and never had any problems. except Milan, every time they try to open our car boot, because we have a foreign number plate.
I'd say avoid anything too flashy and you will be fine but everyone has their own experiences. for sure keep your belongings close to you.
I am only going for a week and plan to bring my Chanel 2.55 and my Bottega Veneta bag. I don't think thieves target a person due to an expensive-looking bag, but rather, they target people who don't seem that alert. Also, they will CUT the strap of your bag and run away with it... my Chanel has a chain strap, and my BV's is very thick leather and one cut definitely isn't going to do anything to it.
I don't even own any bags that aren't designer except one large Longchamp Pliage which is too big to carry around day-to-day while touring.
Wouldn't worry about it if I were you.
Yeah, in my experience, random pickpockets don't really target expensive bags in big crowds; they target inattentiveness. Use common sense - I'd probably not carry a tote bag without a zip top (or if I did, I would put my wallet on the bottom), and I usually walk with a hand clasping my purse strap (it's a natural NYC tendency I've developed over the years). Don't put your bag down on the floor of a crowded bus, etc., etc.
I have spent a ton of time in Milan ... so I'm not sure if this problem is unique to Milan or universal in the main tourist areas. When you would walk up from to the Duomo square, there would be a number of men with friendship bracelets, maps, etc. They will claim that it is for free, and then after they give it to you, the men (usually men...I've never seen a female one) will follow you around, asking you for money. I've found that avoiding eye contact, while perhaps rude, is the best way to avoid this problem.
We have never had a problem getting a table at either place booking the same day but it wouldn't hurt to call ahead. RE: shopping in Venice, Antique Venetian fabrics byMario Bevilacqua, located at Santa Maria del Giglio near the Gritti Palace hotel. I had a wall hanging made. They do pillows, small handbags, anything you want. For gorgeous gilded lamps and shades made by a couple of lovely ladies, walk the main drag from San Marco toward the Accademia bridge. The shop will be on the right. Sorry, I can't find their card. There are also many wonderful perfumes available in Italy that are not available in the US and many perfume stores located throughout Venice. Ditto for lingerie. In Rome and Venice there are several shops that carry antique prints that can be framed when you get home.
In general I wouldn't bother buying anything in Italy that is available in the US given the exchange rate, duty, the vat hassle, etc. For good info on Italy see www.slowtrav.com. Have a wonderful trip.