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il prossimo viaggio in Italia our next trip to Italy.
In addition to the places on the map, we will travel from Treviso to Roma where we will spend 10 days. Our plans include arriving on 20 September when temperatures have moderated. September and October are comfortable times to be in Italy. Of course, airfare is much lower in these months and places are less crowded.
Milan is a wonderful city to visit and easy to get around with buses, subways, and trams all over. Google maps works were well with mass transit. Gives numbers, and times. Can not travel without it.
More to follow in next post.
We have visited Rome several times and always enjoyed our visits. Location is one of the most important factors. If you have a favorite neighborhood such as Trastevere, Testaccio, or Campo Dei Fiore base yourself there. Save time and money by being able to walk the areas. In 2017 we stayed near Campo Dei Fiore. It was a perfect place to explore the neighborhoods and walk to some many places. The Vatican and St. Peters was walkable. Restaurants abounded and shopping for food was close by.
When we booked it, the description looked great. The fact that it was on the Second Floor sounded doable. Keep in mind the Italian way of numbering floors is quite different from ours. The ground floor or piano terra which is what we in the US would call the first floor. The next floor is the first floor, or primo piano, then on to the second floor which piano second but you are really on the third floor.
Keep this in mind as elevators in the older ( but beautiful) buildings are not prevalent. This is a time lapse of the descent which makes it look easy
52 Steps each time you go in or out
Here are photos from Rome in 2017. Not bad, reasonable space and would return if not for the steps ( 52)
This year I began my search by indicating the dates I needed, the number or people and I specifically searched °Campo Dei Fiore°. This reduced the number of locations and I then searched from the map.
Viewing each listing VERY carefully, I looked for WIFI, KITCHEN, A/C, and NO SMOKING. When I found all of these I looked at all the photos, and at least the first four pages of reviews. It is important to evaluate a review. As some one who has stayed in Airbnb in the US and Italy I check carefully and recheck with my wife. One bad review does not make a place unworthy of staying. Keep in mind that the map prices shown do not show what the prices really are if you did not fill in your dates of travel. The time of year makes a big difference.
This is a review I posited after a stay in Rome for 18 days in 2017″
“Overall we enjoyed our stay with Marzia. She was very quick to respond to our requests. The location is amazing. Walk out the door to restaurants, shops, a wine bar, and Campo de Fiore. Vatican is about 7-minute walk, save with Piazza Navona. Bus stops on Via Vittorio Emanuele. There is a restaurant on the other side of the building is excellent, Polese, we spent several evenings there. Also,check out the Suplizo on the same street as you head to Campo de Fiore. Great for take out. Kitchen is small but fully stocked with pots pans etc. Small frig but grocery store and the market are so close you will always have fresh food. The bed is comfortable. Hot water works well. WiFi good for browsing and email. AC works, but we arrived in mid September and found building comfortable with out it. The rear has a small terrace which was nice for dinner and wine. It does not have a view, but it was very pleasant. This is an older building and you have 52 steps to get to the room. It was not a bother to me at 74 years old, but my wife took a break going up the stairs. Neighborhood is good and safe. Only problem was major construction going on next to us and loud banging on walls starting at 7 am. I believe this is now finished as far as the wall banging goes. My wife and I enjoyed our stay.”
I would add that I was give a refund of 300 Euros to compensate me for the noise. I would return there again, if I could not find something on a lower floor.
For this years trip, we found a great place on the Primo Piano which will make things much easier. Located steps from the Campo Dei Fiore, I look forward to walking to so many sights and attractions. The bus stops are close by and the neighborhood is very safe.
The photos below are of our Airbnb for this year.
This is a decent sized apartment and we are looking forward to it. I will review it in full when we return from Italy in October.
ROSCIOLI, A TRADITION
It sure is not July or August. In July everyone goes to Italy. Everything is HOT. Unless you can take the heat, wait a bit. August has many shutdowns. Italian shops close for vacation. You may consider a beach vacation, but temperatures will still be sweltering. We spent 10 days in Cefalù several years ago, but our day times were submerged in refreshing water.
The top photo shows Rome hovering near 100 degrees for the week.
Below Cefalù on a hot August day. Evenings were very pleasant.
September through November bring cheaper airfares. We leave for Milan on September 19 and fly nonstop from Miami for the ridiculously low fare of $369 round trip. Carryon is the only way to fly when you will be schlepping your bags. Keep it simple and light.
Last year I arrived in Milan on September 29th and returned on October 8th. No crowds and great weather.
Back in 2014 we went with family to Sicily and arrived in late April. Some days were great and others cool and some rain. It never stopped our enjoyment of the uncrowded streets in Palermo and Siracusa. Later we spend 10 days in Paris but rain and cold temperatures sent us to the shops to buy some extra clothing.
Mt Etna snow covered from the previous day. April 2014 Taken from Taormina
Save money and time. When possible travel the shoulder and off season times. Use Google Flights to see how much you can save on flights. Buon viaggio.
Lonely Planet who publishes a number of very good travel books has made the map sections available on line. These are a free download.
A partial view of the Lonely Planet map of Roma.
You can save these to your tablet or smart phone, or do a screen shot like the one above to help you in your travels. There are hundreds of maps.
Here is the link
Here is a link to the Lonely Planet guide books.
it Italy it is all about food. The calamari above brings back fond memories. In 2017 we spend 18 days in Rome and ate at ristoranti about 14 times. Our days were highlighted by going to the various markets.
We had an apartment in the Campo di Fiore which is not too far from Piazza Navona. This was a great area with shops, markets, restaurants everywhere.
Fresh produce was all over. You can see this is not Stop and Shop , or Kroger. This is fresh as fresh can be. We loved the market in Campo dei Fiore (Field of Flowers) and the indoor Testaccio Market. The Campo dei Fiore is a bit commercialized, but still a great place if you live in the neighborhood. The new Testaccio Market has many vendors of fresh produce and meats as well as clothing and assorted other items. Sandwiches made to order are amazing and watching the show is well worth the time.
Roscioli is a well known bakery , fornaio , with all kinds of baked goods and an aroma to encourage buying.
Volpetti is a pasticciera with outdoor seating so you can watch the Roman world go by.
The sheet pizza is priced by the pound in this little pizzeria neat the Campo dei Fiore. It is located very close to the “tiny” church Santa Barbara dei Librai which is a must see if you are in the area.
Pizza is everywhere and Roman pizza is buona. Wood fired pizza is typically ready in 3-4 minutes. No twenty minute wait.
A boar “cinghiale”, La trippa tripe below. I have tasted the sauce made with boars meet and it is great. I am not a fan of tripe, but my wife loves is.
Learning Italian is an ongoing project of mine, The first time we visited Italy was in the mid 1980’s. My wife and I spoke little of no Italian. My mother inlaw spoke well, but with a Sicilian dialect which some Romans resented and preceded not to understand, These days my wife and I can manage fairly well. I am better than she, by choice and hard work. She can grasp the language more quickly than I, but has many other interests that keep here occupied. That said I have used several different methods to learn Italian.
Pimlseur is one of the best methods if you commute or do not have time to sit down and practice writing and reading.
Now it is an online subscription, but you can still find lessons as MP3 or audio book on Amazon, Ebay, or Audible. Levels go from 1 to 5 and do a good job on basic conversation. Problem with the recordings is that you get no spelling exercises and that does not help reading comprehension. Their accompanying booklets do not use vocabulary from the lessons.
Rosetta Stone never did it for me I tried and now my DVD is out of date for the next operating systems. My feeling is do not waste your money. They are also on a subscription program.
DuoLingo is a great way to learn using your tablet, phone, or PC. It is free, but there are options to learn without ads or being interrupted because you made too may errors and the program will not allow you to continue (with the exception of practice sessions) until the next day. You learn with written and audible lessons. One listens and is asked to translate as well as read and translate English to Italian and Italian to English. There is a lot of repetition and that helps learning. Here are some examples from various lessons,
Yes, I really love DuoLingo. But there is no one on one with a teacher. I always have questions and Googling does not always get the correct one,
Italian Pod 101 has extensive resources for learning. Hundreds of lessons from beginner to advanced. It has good grammar instruction and various resources. Those include Video, Audio, flash cards etc.
The differentiating factor is the you can get your own teacher. I find this very helpful and it has made me renew my membership for another year.
Sample screen shots
The one on one instructions read like a book, You send a message back and forth and it continues so you always have a record of your instruction. You are able to send audio clips, photos,
My teacher, Valentina, is very helpful and instructive. She is what makes Italian Pod 101 so effective.
SAT, JUN 01
Ciao Greg, come stai? Spero bene! Ecco un nuovo esercizio per te. (Fammi sapere se questo l’hai già fatto in passato, non mi ricordo) youtube.com/watch?v=_hnPAciqG_U&list=PL71wtqaYwBCJXAzxWhq44UQzlHhvw0-Ru&index=3 La casa Feng Shui 1. Perché Laura è stupita quando torna a casa? 2. Cos’è il Feng Shui? Qual è il suo scopo? 3. Fai un elenco dei cambiamenti che ha fatto Marcello, facendo un confronto prima/dopo. Divano: Prima il divano era… Adesso è… Parete: Comodino: Tavolino: Mobile con giradischi: Poltrona della nonna:
4. Scrivi tutti i commenti positivi che ricordi di Laura sul nuovo arredamento. 5. Perché Laura preferiva il tavolino di plastica? 6. Completa le regole del Feng Shui che spiega Marcello. (1 o più parole) “Il divano deve favorire la ……… e dare un …….. di ………. Per questo non deve trovarsi vicino ad ……… come porte e finestre e deve ……….. a una parete.” “La parete del divano deve essere libera: niente …… , …….. o …….” “I mobili e gli oggetti di plastica bloccano il ……. …. …….. I materiali migliori sono quelli ……. : legno, …… e ……. 7. Secondo te, qual è la vera ragione per cui Marcello ha tolto la poltrona della nonna?
SUN, JUN 02 My answer to questions
Ho riso. Lui è come mia moglia]
TUE, JUN 04
WED, JUN 05 My answers to questions
1 1 Laura è stupita quando torna a casa perchè lui ha cambiato I mobili, i quadri, i colori. Niente è lo stesso.
2 Feng Shui è un modo di organizare una stanza e una casa. Il suo obiettivo è massimizzare la vita, l’energia, e il fluso della casa.
La lista di cose cambiati: Il divano era vicino della finestra. Adesso è accanto la parete. la parete era gianca e adesso è roso le mensole mancano anche i libri Adesso sono spostati. Perchè il divano dovrebbe libera. il tavalo di camera da letto è in in sogiorno adesso. Gli incensi è sopra il tavolo (il comodino) il tavolo era plastica adesso é fatto di legno I mobolie con grandischi da il toco vintage. Non sono certo che era li prima. La sedia della nonna no è qui, Sembra che era molto grande. Ma adesso ćè una sedia moderna, senza le bracia
To sum up, no one method will suit everyone. I am able to hold a reasonable conversation when in Italy, ask directions and order a pizza without anchovies vorrei una pizza senza acciughe
Buona fortuna a tutti.
Last year I flew to Milan for a bike tour. Because of all the stuff I needed to bring, I had to have luggage in both directions,
It was not a bad price, $488.00 from Miami, non stop. I spent about $60 for better seating so I could get off the plane quickly, and that was worth it.
This year my wife and I are traveling light, carry on only,
Basically the same flight with out the extras. I purchased these tickets on Sept 20, and $389.00 Non Stop Round Trip from Miami is excellent.
Today that same ticket is $$$610.14. That is a $120 increase, still not a bad price to Italy during the shoulder season.
Plan ahead and shop early when you see a good fare. Use Google Flights, or Google Flight Matrix from ITA. Here is the link http://matrix.itasoftware.com
Keep track of prices and when you see a reasonable price, grab it. In 2016 we flew to Florence vis Dusseldorf on Air Berlin (now defunct) and tickets were $900 each. Air Italy offers many deisitnations and origins. Miami, New York, San Fransico, Los Angeles. Check it out. Keep in mind there are VERY low fares in Italy to other cities. Alitalia is offering €39 one way fares from Milan to Catania, and €46 from Milan to Rome. Compare a cost of $747 on Air Italy direct vs the $483 plus about $90 for the Milan to Palermo/Catania flights.
Air Italy and Miami Inewrnational
Ristorante da Mariano in Siracusa is a small space with all the right things. A short walk from the center of Siracusa or the waterfront this is where you can find local Sicilian cooking.
I first went there in 2014 and came back again 2017. Same great food and excellent service. If you are in Siracusa, you will enjoy this restaurant.
Here are some photos which I hope do the restaurant justice. The osteria is less formal than the ristorante, but with excellent local specialties.
The appetizer went quickly.
I poured another carafe of the house red. Delicious.
Here is a Yelp review with the address
Oh yes do not forget the docle.
The Duomo Orvieto
If you plan on visiting Orvieto, that incredible hilltop town, and you are arriving by car, plan ahead. Like many town in Italy, traffic is restricted. The “zona limitato” means you are subject to a multi or fine. Traffic cameras are present throughout Italy. I can attest to their effectiveness. Orvieto maintains a public parking lot at the bottom of the hill where you can take the funicular to the top and catch a bus for the short tine into the centro. Tickets are 1.30 Euro one way and good for 90 minutes.
Here is a link to the short video of the ride and bus trip.
There is a parking area at the base of the funiculare. Look for spaces that indicate parking is allowed and there is no charge.