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Report 111: 3 Weeks In Italy

By GoldenGate from California, Fall 2001

Trip Description: Rob and Tom spend three weeks traveling through Italy, staying in vacation rentals, with one week based in Cetona, one in Florence and the last week in Venice.

Destinations: Countries - Italy; Regions/Cities - Cinque Terre, Florence, Tuscany, Venice

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Vacation Rentals; Cooking Classes; Foodie Trip; Sightseeing; Wine Trip; Independent Travel; 2 People

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Page 1 of 4: A Few General Comments

Rob and I are carnivores so we did not consider vegetarian options (sorry Pauline) when choosing/rating restaurants. We also sought out Mom and Pop type restaurants, usually avoiding the more expensive establishments. Our opinion of certain towns/places was affected by many different things - the weather, what time we got there, whether we were hungry or not, what we were in the mood for at the time (lots of shops vs. a quiet deserted areas), etc. Everyone responds to things differently so your reactions may be quite different from ours. For instance, we didnít really care for Cinque Terre, for several different reasons, but thatís not to say it is not beautiful or that others would not love it. I was a bit nervous about driving in Italy but actually came to enjoy it. The small 5-speed Fiat we had was fun to drive, particularly on the Tuscan back roads. We found that there were many Italians who drive very fast and many who drive very slowly. We were somewhere in between. In general, the roads were in very good condition and the signing was amazing. We didnít get lost the entire trip ... and Iím prone to getting lost. About 2 months before leaving, I bought some Italian language tapes and listened to them while in the car and sometimes at home. I learned enough to get by and enough to be appreciated , although Iím sure the Italians thought I sounded like a 3 year old flapping my hands around saying , "Me to want the beans that be white." In spite of this, every single word of Italian that I learned was put to good use on a daily basis. Actually, I take that back, I didnít find much use for the word "apicultore", Italian for beekeeper. We spent a good portion of our trip trying to avoid other tourists and touristy places, but Rob and I are aware that we too are indeed tourists. We do, however, take a certain amount of pride in being able to say that we never paid money to have pigeons land on our heads.

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