Friday, November 7, 2014

Travel: Italy

Travel: Italy

a beautiful church we discovered while walking around Rome

an amazing street performer

Cacio e pepe pasta

Enjoying cocktails in St. Mark's Square-my bellini cost 30 euros
(about $40)

the view from a water taxi

The first time I went to Italy seven years ago, I was in culture shock.  I mistakenly assumed Italy would be just like Southern California but with better food, art and architecture.  It wasn’t-there are major differences in work/life balance philosophies, attitudes about time and concepts of personal space.  When we went back this year, I was cognizant of these differences and truly able to appreciate Italy.

To better navigate Italy, here are a few of my tips:
  • Embrace the slower pace of life-be prepared to wait in lines and know you must ask for your meal check
  • Enjoy the shopping and barter with street vendors
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Guard you wallet and purse; pickpockets are ubiquitous
  • Be aware of when the tourist attractions are closed-If possible buy tickets ahead of time for the more popular attractions
  • Eat pasta and gelato and drink wine
  • Take time to enjoy the beauty of Italy-there are many hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered

When in Rome…
  • Splurge on a guided tour of the Vatican-You will bypass lines and gain much more insight and knowledge
  • If it’s affordable, stay in a hotel in the center of town

For Venice
  • Know that everything is expensive in Venice
  • Treat yourself to a gondola ride
  • The seafood in Venice is amazing
  • Enjoy drinks in St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco)

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