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75

I was in Venice in summer 2013. It didn't smell bad, even though it was hot. We asked some locals (who we were staying with) about the legendary smell. Historically, raw sewage was simply dumped into the canals and (eventually) washed out to sea. This had been the status quo for centuries, with some improvement over the years but there was still lots of old ...


31

I have heard this "fact" many times. Another version states that this is especially true in the summer. I was on a trip to Italy only last month and visited Venice as part of it. I spent three days there, took vaporettos (ferries) and walked most of the time. The water ways and canals do host a wide variety of algae and water-weeds and it is indeed true ...


20

"3 Hours" is a very common recommendation for international flights at many airports around the world - and it's almost always far more time that you need. Airlines like to get passengers to the airport early, not only because it gives more buffer if there are any problems, but also as it spreads out the "rush" period before the flight - you can imagine what ...


20

From Saint-Peter's Basilica site:


18

It's common practice in Italy. It's called "coperto" (cover charge). Even though it's sometimes phrased as "pane e coperto" (bread and cover charge) but even if you don't touch the bread you are still required to pay for it. It is usually stated somewhere on the menu, although in some cases not very prominently. So this does not only happen to tourists. To ...


16

The two main public transportation are ACTV and Alilaguna. You have quite a few options Murano: from Piazzale Roma or from Venezia Santa Lucia train station, take the ACTV line 3. The trip takes 20 mins. You could also take line 4.2 but it takes almost 40 mins. From the airport you can reach Murano in 30 mins using the Alilaguna public transportation. If ...


13

I'd want to hire it as far from busy big cities as possible. The idea of damaging one, even if insured, would be so upsetting. So to maximise this, you'd want to do it during term time (kids in school, less people on holiday), when there's good weather. You'll want to pick up the car outside of rush hour, so around 10am, and still have a couple of hours ...


13

Depending on where you are staying, the cost of a train trip for 3 may be comparable to a taxi ride. Going with the latter will be far less stressful and you can leave as early as you want, as long as you organize a dispatch with your hotel concierge. Good luck, and with a 3 hour buffer, I wouldn't stress too much even if you have to ride the train.


13

Wikitravel.org has some ideas, which I've collected and grouped together below. It covers mainly respect, religion, clothing, and advice for women. Italy has a reputation for being warm and welcoming and Italians are uncommonly friendly and laid back, as well as very used to interacting with foreigners. If you are polite and civil you should have no ...


12

In your individual case, this could of course have been a ripoff. However, historically, it has been quite common practice, particularly but not only, in south western Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal), to charge a small fee for sitting down at a restaurant. In essence, you could argue this is to cover, say, the bread and butter you receive but did not ask ...


12

There's no point in bringing US$, Euro is what you need. You can change from CAD before leaving or on arrival. You'll get slightly better rates in the business district (whether in Toronto or Rome) than in the airport. In most countries in the Eurozone, notes up to €20 are in common use. Larger notes may be slightly awkward to spend (you might not be able ...


12

I went straight to Wikipedia for this. Their article David (Michelangelo) states: David is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created between 1501 and 1504, by the Italian artist Michelangelo. It is a 5.17-metre (17.0 ft) marble statue of a standing male nude. The statue represents the Biblical hero David, a favoured subject in the art of ...


11

I would not only recommend sunglasses, but also suncream and clothes that protect you from the sunlight. UV radiation is generally lower during the winter months, but snow reflection can double your overall exposure, especially at high altitude.


11

You can obtain train tickets online on the Trenitalia website. It's better because you block the seats. There is certainly a high-speed connection between Florence and Rome. It's called Freccia Rossa. It takes 1.5 hours and starts every 30 minutes. The 22nd I would do Florence-Pisa-Florence-Rome. Florence-Pisa takes more or less one hour and you have ...


11

It depends. If your ticket comes with a seat reservation ("PRENOTAZIONE POSTO") then you do not need to cancel your ticket: just board the train. Shorter range tickets with no seat reservation, on the other hand, must be canceled. Your ticket probably reads "DA CONVALIDARE" somewhere at the top. Trenitalia personnel typically doesn't cut tourists much slack ...


11

This is, for a 3+ hour drive, pretty much as easy as it can get. It's a drive 100% over Italian and swiss highways. It is also pretty much one straight line north - on the same road, with only one single fork in the road. If you print out a google navigation beforehand and stick to the road, you basically cannot do anything wrong. If you are willing for ...


11

Yes. I went there in September and there was a consistent whiff of stagnant water more or less everywhere. It wasn't exactly oppressive, but I didn't get used to it either and I noticed it regularly. I was however only there for two stints of two days each which I accept isn't a large amount of acclimatisation.


10

I personally recommend just getting money out at your destination with an ATM. Quite often you can get debit cards or travel cards that let you pre-load from your home country, and then withdraw over there, fee free. However, I suspect they'll make their money other ways (ie worse rates). My tactic - on arrival, get cash out at the airport ATM or bus / ...


10

It is common practice in Italy to charge for the dish on top of the dinner. It is common practice in Portugal to charge for water, bread, olives on top of the dinner. It is common practice in the USA to charge for service and taxes on top of the dinner.


10

What I can tell you about northern Italy (anywhere between Milano and Venice) is that the cities basically closes down in August (except for tourist destinations such as museums and churches), and even more so in the afternoon. If you will be walking the streets of any town in that area (Modena, Padua, Ravenna, Verona, etc), it will be like in a Zombie movie ...


10

Tap water is always drinkable in Italy, especially in the cities (of course, it may be a little bit different if you are talking about a cottage in the middle of nowhere). The real question is how good is that. For instance, in Rome the water has a very strong percentage of limestone and it taste doesn't very good. For this reason, several people tends to ...


9

I was in Venice last year on 27th Nov. Based on my experience on that day : You definitely need to wear jacket. It was around 6-8 Celcius. I put some of my photos below. As you can see, all the people wear jackets. On that day, it was sunny. I love photography as you do, and my photos in Venice were my best photos during my trip in Europe. However ...


9

I'm Italian and I visited Rome as a tourist myself about one year ago. The image which mouviciel so usefully linked is self-explanatory, but it is not true for Rome or Vatican City only, all the churches in Italy have something similar being displayed IF they are regularly visited by tourists (otherwise, the same rule holds but there is no specific ...


9

I agree with you about the fact that Venice is the place which should not be skipped if one happens to be in the area. I also know that Venice may be expensive compared to other places. Having said this, I'd surely go for a Venitian accommodation rather than one at Lido. Venice is a town which should be enjoyed on foot. People do take vaporetti or motoscafi ...


9

Both Turin and Genova are two big cities able to provide you a lot of attractions, the choice of the best one really depends on what you are interested in and what kind of cities you prefer in general. As a personal point of view I consider Turin far more elegant than Genova: nice streets with elegant buildings, the possibility to climb (by car or by a ...


9

You can book this train on my website, loco2.com: http://loco2.com/journey/rome-paris-1q0w3dk Unfortunately we can currently only ship this ticket to a UK address. If you cannot book elsewhere, I would recommend trying http://raileurope-world.com as they ship globally.


9

Taxi is not a common solution in Italy, at least not common as in other european countries like Ireland, England, Germany and Spain (just to mention those I visited). It is mainly used by businessmen and tourists who doesn't want to waste time studying the other public transport solutions. It is still a highly regulated/restricted field and there has been ...


9

As shard said there are several locations you can compare with St. Tropez. Let me add some to the list he already gave (in no particular order). Porto Cervo (Sardegna) Porto Rotondo (Sardegna) Capri (Campania) Amalfi (Campania) Positano (Campania) Portofino (Liguria) Taormina (Sicilia) Panarea (Sicilia) I would add some towns near Lago di Garda, like ...


9

I can't speak for France, but here in Italy it is normal to have a small amount / fee added to your bill when you eat in restaurants. As Mouviciel says correctly, it is something you pay to have a seat at the table, with all the necessary things. Although it is true that normally it is just 1.50 / 2 euros, it is also true that the amount of the "fee" ...



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