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Those who have been to Italy
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FaithTruth
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Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 am      Reply with quote
Am planning a holiday there in June. Can those in-the-know help me with a couple of things?

1. What's the weather like in June? As in, what kinda clothes to wear/pack?

2. If I'm not interested in buying designer labels, should I not bother with going to Milan at all?

3. This sounds stupid, but, is there H&M stores in Italy?

Any help would be appreciated TIA!
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Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:23 am      Reply with quote
The only thing I can help with is weather - in June, it'll be HOT (well, it was in Rome)!! cool comfortable clothes would be best, lots of sunscreen. I wore slacks and a tshirt... some places like if you wanted to visit the Vatican frown upon shorts I believe (?) - someone correct me if I'm wrong.
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Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:28 am      Reply with quote
1. What's the weather like in June? As in, what kinda clothes to wear/pack?
Depend on where you go. It is quite a difference between north & south. In general it about 25ฐ.

2. If I'm not interested in buying designer labels, should I not bother with going to Milan at all?
No. In this case it is better to travel in Tuscany.

3. This sounds stupid, but, is there H&M stores in Italy?

Yes (18)There are situated in the following cities
• Bergamo
• Bologna
• Cremona
• Genova
• Mestre
• Milano
• Montebello della Batt.
• Padova
• Parma
• Torino
• Udine
• Varese
(a swede living in Italy since 11 years)

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nicky1
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Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:04 am      Reply with quote
Hi Becks

well i was in Italy at the end of June 2006 and we initially were in Morzine where my hubby was mountain biking and i was complaining because it was overast and on 19 degrees but once we got the train up to Italy - Lake Garda - the town was actually called Peschiera it was 38 to 40 degrees as they had a heat wave and the locals said it should usually only be around 28 to 30 so still hot. The town we stayed in was like a mini Venice it was so beautiful and i am not a secenery person but i thought it lovely. You can then get the boat to any of the around 20 towns on the lake or day trips on a bus to Venice or Rome. During the day the beach we walked to at the side of the lake had wee ducks and their babies and they would climb up rocks and would eat out of ur hand as would the swans. There is also a good adult water park if u wanted a bit of fun which we went to. The food was excellent and i thought prices are reasonalble.

I dunno which part u are going to Becks but i would highly reccommend stopping here, as where we were wasnt over run with tourists and also it was interesting watching at night the men in their 60's in their ferraries with their 19 year old girlfriends.

Hope this helps or maybe i just rambled!!

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:12 am      Reply with quote
I wasn't at all impressed with Milan either. There are far lovelier, more welcoming places in Italy, I think.
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Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:27 am      Reply with quote
Well, Italy is pretty big ("long"). I guess, you most probably won't have the possibility to see the entire country. Could you let us know where you plan to travel more precisely (at least like north, middle or south...).
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Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:45 am      Reply with quote
I'm still in the midst of figuring all that out. Thank you so much for the very helpful responses.
Me and my friend would actually like to travel around ourselves, the other option being a group tour that's basically like rushing around seeing each tourist destination for an hour. However, if we do travel around on our own, not only would it be more expensive than the tour package, we are also worried about people there not speaking english. Since it's our first time, we're also worried about getting around/traveling. Also, it's only us two girls, not sure if safety's an issue?
As for where I want to go, I think I've ruled out Milan, and so far am interested in Tuscany, Capri and Rome. Any other suggestions?
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Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:27 am      Reply with quote
I really love Milan (been there twice), it has the most magnificent Duomo and I also enjoyed to "The Last Supper".
I also absolutely love the Lake Como area, it is so beautiful and peaceful.
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Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:57 am      Reply with quote
I traveled in Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, and the Cinque Terre region for three weeks by myself when I was about 22. Safety should not be an issue as long as you are alert and smart about your surroundings. I felt perfectly safe traveling by myself. You will probably receive a fair amount of attention from Italian men, though - they can be a bit aggressive. I found the best strategy was just to ignore them and keep walking, as when you try to be polite you just find yourself being draw further and further into a conversation that may start out innocuously enough ("what's your name, where are you from") but soon moves on to "what hotel are you staying at" and "what's your room number"(!). I do not speak Italian and it wasn't a problem, though I do speak Spanish and that helped a fair amount. I also carried a phrase book.

As for weather, I was there in June and it was quite warm. I generally wore skirts or capri pants and tank tops, and brought a light cardigan to throw on when visiting churches (the rule that someone alluded to is "no bare knees or shoulders"). I found them to be slightly flexible on the knees - a skirt stopping right at or slightly above the knee was fine - but not at all flexible on the bare shoulders, so while the guy with ripped dirty jeans and the Homer Simpson t-shirt will get in (literally, saw this in St. Peter's), you won't, unless you have a cover up or buy one of the shawls that are often sold by conveniently located vendors.

As for where to go, I can only speak to the places I visited, but I was glad I went to Rome, Florence and Venice. Of the three probably Florence was my favorite, and I would have liked to spend more time in Tuscany. Pisa was fine but I could have done without it. I LOVED the Cinque Terre (five small towns on the Ligurian coast linked by train service and a hiking trail) - the hike on the cliffs along the ocean was fantastic, there are beaches, good food, and plenty of reasonably priced accommodations.

Enjoy your trip! I'm jealous. Very Happy

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:57 pm      Reply with quote
We were there during the first week in June and I'm just backing up previous replies: it was hot. That was Naples, Florence, Rome areas. Linen pants are a cool alternative to shorts and skirts for visiting the Vatican, for instance. I made sure I had a very thin wrap in my bag to cover my shoulders if necessary. Pompeii was very interesting, by the way, and worth a visit. Also a boat trip to Capri - there's a bar on top of the island; fantastic view. I'm envious too - have a lovely time! By the way, Florence is great for leather goods and jewellery.

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:40 pm      Reply with quote
I drove through the Italian Dolomites and into Milan many years ago as part of a road trip that started in Amsterdam. My time there was short so I did not have an opportunity to see other area's of Italy. I was also there near the end of October and it was rainy and cool. Though Milan was fun and interesting, there are much nicer area's to see first (IMO). I am hoping to go back to Italy this September and have my heart set on seeing Tuscany, Florence, Rome, Naples and the Amalfi Coast. I began my research into these area's last year and found a lot of helpful information within the forums of TripAdvisor.com. You can search the forum based on region and/or city and find lots of info regarding historical places or things of interest, accomodations, restaurants and trip itinerary help. I found it a great place to start if you are uncertain where you'd like to begin and end your trip. HTH's Smile

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:06 pm      Reply with quote
I was in Italy in July 2005 and it was very hot and SUNNY....Lote of sunscreen will be a must and certainly cotton T-shirts and shorts/capris and nice walking shoes with lots of cushioning as you will be walking a LOT.and there is nothing worse than unsuitable shoes on streets made with stones after a couple of hours.

We went to Milan(hubby goes there for work regularly so knew a little) solely because I have a degree in fashion designing and have a lot of interest in that area....but the Duomo there IS the most beautiful I have ever seen. Also its good for shopping if you hit the sale season...not only for designer clothes.. We loved rome and venice the most. Our last stop was Venice and we soooo didnt want to leave.
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Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:39 pm      Reply with quote
Ditto about better places than Milan, although it has some allure, like others have mentioned.

ScotsLass -- I'm so impressed you drove from Amsterdam through the Dolomites!!! Wow!!! I'm a wuss and too scared to drive in Italy (especially through small towns with narrow, winding streets), but my husband loves to! I hope to see the Amalfi Coast someday too -- I haven't been there yet. FYI, some friends visited a couple of years ago and hoped to avoid driving through Naples to get there, but inadvertently ended up in the middle of town. While stopped at an intersection, a pedestrian reached through their passenger window and grabbed my friend's handbag! She struggled with him and held on, but tore an expensive jacket while doing so.

And I hate to say it especially because I'm part Italian, but Italy's the only place in Europe where we've routinely been shortchanged at times -- particularly buying train or ferry tickets. So FaithTruth, be sure to carry plenty of small-denomination currency when you're there! This may sound like I have reservations about Italy but that's not really the case -- I love it!!! I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time!!!
ScotsLass
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Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:37 am      Reply with quote
Hi m.April - No doubt about it, I was a driving *dare devil* back in my 20's! One of the greatest thrills during that trip was my experience driving on the Autobahn while traveling through Germany to Italy. To this day I have never reached such speeds on any type of road or highway - what an amazing adrenaline rush that was! I also love the challenge of driving along narrow roads and coastal highways. This is probably due to the tricky road conditions I mastered when I received my * spam * at 16. I became an expert at navigating along one-lane highways in northern Ontario (even in the pitch black), all at speeds exceeding 100 KM's! I've tamed down significantly over the years, but not to the extent that I don't indulge in a little *pedal to the metal* when no one is looking ( Wink ).

Even though I consider myself a bit of a "road warrior", I have heard that it takes a very strong heart and steady hand to drive along the Amalfi Coast - it is simply that dangerous. Though the trains are expensive, I will likely break down and take one into that region in order to save myself the hassle of driving along some treacherous roadways. I have a friend who was born in Naples, but moved to Canada as a teen, and he did the same thing upon a recent trip to the AC in Italy. He said it really is that harrowing of a drive.

Like your friends, I have heard of others who encountered the darker side of Italian hospitality - having your rental car broken into and all your possessions stolen is very popular (it's amazing what people will do when they detect a moment of opportunity!!). Yet, I cannot wait to go back and experience the country further - there is just so much to love about the place as a whole! Italy is very addictive, don't you think?

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Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:21 am      Reply with quote
Fabulous country, can be very hot June /July.
You should cover up in any of the churches.Vatican City a must see.I loved Rome.
Food is generally great.
Watch out for 'pick-pockets', especially the small children.One will try to show you a book or something and the other/s will pick your pocket/bag.
Have a FAB time.
Mo Smile Smile
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Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:27 pm      Reply with quote
I went to italy last year in the end of june- boiling hot!!
We went to Pisa, Florence, Cinque Terra and Rome.
It was beautiful- but extremely hot (one day in Rome it was 42C)
Make sure that you buy lots of water from the grocery stores there cuz the local street vendors will rip you off. I spent $60 CDN on 3 bottles of coke and 2 bottles of water in one day!

And Yes at the Vatican you must have your knees and shoulders covered.
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Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:35 pm      Reply with quote
Am a little confused about something, hope you guys can help me out. Tuscany is the general region, and Florence is the capital city? What's there to do/see in the Tuscany region other than the capital Florence? I heard it's a wine-drinking place similar to Napa Valley? If I don't drink wine, should I still go there?

Also, if you were given a choice, Tuscany OR Cinq Terre?
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:08 pm      Reply with quote
Tough call, FaithTruth. They're not that far apart -- can't you visit both???

The Tuscan countryside is beautiful and Florence, well... Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, etc. are also popular Tuscan destinations.

Cinque Terre is along the gorgeous Ligurian coast and you can walk from one end to the other in a [maybe long] day. It's fairly easy hiking -- only a few stretches are a bit arduous, and the rest is a stroll. If you get tired you can always bail out and take the train back to your starting point.

And just to complicate matters for you even more, there's a beautiful little town up north of Milan -- Bellagio -- at the point where lakes Como and Lago meet. I hope to get back to that region again. It's absolutely exquisite, with the Alps in stunning view to the north.

Ditto what hlg22 said about Italian men -- they're p***yhounds -- and I'm old!

Like ScotsLass said, Italy IS addictive!
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:17 pm      Reply with quote
Definitely the Lakes Region (northern Italy) for unequalled beauty.Limon sur Guarda: Bellissima! Nice&Cool too. right across the border from Switzerland.
In Tuscany we liked the city of Verona (Romeo&Juliet); lots smaller than Florence but still plenty of art/architecture/food/romance/scenic views and THE BEST gelato! Venice is an experience but not laidback beautiful like the lakes at ALL! Enjoy! Anywhere you go will be beautiful. Very Happy

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Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:19 pm      Reply with quote
Yes Florence is in Tuscany and it is gorgeous there.
The cinque terra region is nice- I hopped from town to town via the ferry there, no need to hike if you don't want to, and viewing the towns from the water is much nicer.
How much time do you have in Italy?
Personally I would pick Florence over Cinque terra- more history and places to see, the city is amazing and you don't have to be a wine drinker to appreciate it. You can see David as well- I was completely blown away when I saw it.
Also if your a shopper like me there are designer outlet stores tours that leave from Florence- pick you up at your hotel at 8 am and take you out to the outlets for shopping (Gucci, Prada, etc). They take you out for the whole day.
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Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:55 pm      Reply with quote
I love Italy. First trip was a few years back in January. I had friends living in Germany so we (three young 20 somethings) drove and visited Cinque Terre. I fell in love with it. Even in January the weather was mild and we walked the trails between the towns. My husband and I visited Italy 2 years ago; he attributes this trip for my pregnancy shortly after. We didn't plan anything just the first night and last. Flew in to Florence then rented a car and drove thru Tuscany areas and into Cinque Terre. I talked so much about Cinque Terre he had to see it for himself. We were there in September and weather was mild. Tuscany is primarily wine country but even if you are not into wine it's beautiful scenery. We stayed at a lot of agritourimos (farm houses) which helped the budget. Food is amazing all over Italy and it seemed there were plenty of shopping opps everywhere. As for safety, I think the main concern is theft. I'd recommend blending in and keeping your * spam * close. Men can be aggressive but not in a physical way, they are more vocal and seem to think foreign women are loose. Don't entertain their talk and you should be fine. Common sense is the best defense.
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Sun Mar 04, 2007 4:38 am      Reply with quote
Florence and Cinque Terre are only about two hours from eachother so you should be able to see both. Once in Cinque Terre it's very easy to travel by train from village to village. Siena, Cortona, San Gimignano, Volterra, Montepulciano are also lovely cities in Tuscany and are worth a visit as well. There is really so much to see in the Tuscan region, ancient cities, beautiful countryside, agriturismos (working farms that in many cases offer accommodations, usually incredible meals, and sometimes even classes in cooking, food and or wine tastings, etc.)

Rome and the Amalfi Coast, including Capri are wonderful places but it would really depend on how many days you plan to stay here to know if it's tracking to pack too much into an itinerary.

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Sun Mar 04, 2007 4:44 am      Reply with quote
Quote:
I heard it's a wine-drinking place similar to Napa Valley? If I don't drink wine, should I still go there?


Oops sorry, I missed that part about you not drinking wine. Definitely, there is still plenty to do in the area. The food and produce is fantastic and a lot of agriturismos offer Olive picking, tastings, cooking and jamming classes (as in jams, not as in music. Laughing )

There are also really nice trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, etc.

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Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:05 am      Reply with quote
I really have to visit Italy. Can you get around (restaurants, site-seeing and transport), without speaking the language?
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Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:11 am      Reply with quote
Its very hot. And it will be very crowded!
If you plan to do some site seeing, for example go to the vatican ect, be prepared for very long lines, like 3hr waits. I would hit these sites very early. (It took 2 hrs wait to get into St Marks in Venice).

Milan has some cheaper stores too, La Galleria in the city, very exclusive. But I bought some great pants and other clothes from like an outlet mall type store. They do have thoes too, just better clothes than you would expect in an outlet type store.

Remember, during the day, about noon until 4pm shops are closed for Siesta. It means stores close and everyone goes home for a nap. So, dont go shopping at these times.

I would bring as less as possible. It's really difficult with a lot of lugage on trains and busses.
Also, most Italians speak english. Especially the younger generations. Usually they speak a couple of languages. They also like to practice their English a lot, so you'll have no trouble finding language help.
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