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Author Topic: Italy- information, impressions ckmk47s Trip Report  (Read 1274 times)

Online ckmk47

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Re: Italy- information, impressions ckmk47s Trip Report
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2017, 08:48:07 PM »

Car Rental
Theres a lot on line about bad drivers in Europe, Italy in particular, and Rome especially.  I wonder how many of those commenters are NYC drivers. My cab drivers were aggressive in an admirable way. But you and I are not going to drive in the city center anyway.  The center of many cities, such as Rome, Florence and Sienna, is off limits except for those with permits. Its called a ZTL (Zone of Traffic Limitation). So you'll be using a car between cities.  But between cities, the high speed rail is quicker than driving.
But, if you want to go somewhere that trains wont take you, you may want to rent a car. Highways have speed limits as high as 140 km/hr (85 MPH). The roads are not too curvy and are overall well maintained. I felt very comfortable driving in Italy.
I rented a car in Rome, at the central train station, Rome Termini. There are several things to keep in mind when renting a car there.
-Although there are 3 people at the Hertz counter, only 1 can service customers at any time.  (I spotted 2 working simultaneously a few times during my hour there, but it was for only a few minutes at a time.)
-A reservation is only a wish list. It doesnt guarantee that an actual car will be available at the time of your reservation.
-They believe that paperwork should involve paper. The information that they put in the computer seems to be printed out, hole punched and stored in binders that are kept in closed-door cabinets. 
-The communication from the garage as to the readiness of cars is done on cell phones the information doesnt seem to be in the computer.
-The garage, when they finally have a car available, is a long block away. Remember you may be rolling luggage.


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Re: Italy- information, impressions ckmk47s Trip Report
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2017, 09:10:19 PM »

Season/weather
There was a heat wave in Rome and Florence when I was there. Temperatures were over 95 F.  If the temperatures were in the 70s or even 80s, we would have been more comfortable, and perhaps less wiped out at the end of the day.  We walked all over town day after day. We felt like we were melting into puddles.  But we used sunscreen, wore hats, drank like fishes, and ate an occasional salty snack and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. So if you can choose to come to Italy during nice weather, do so.  But going in the heat VS not going? Go anyway! 
Venice was significantly cooler.  I think its usually cooler than Rome, and the heat wave was breaking by the end of the week.



Air conditioning Their idea of the ideal A/C temperature is to keep you from dying of heat stroke.  When you walk in from an outside temp of 101 F, you feel cool.  But after a small while you realize the temp inside is at least 85.   This is not American air conditioning. 

The Great Synagogue - They daven nisoch Italia- which is not Sefardi or Ashkenazi.  My husband found it too hard to follow and was uncomfortable.  Some in this thread have found it really nice and not too confusing.  For mincha, they play to the Jewish tourist.  The chazzan puts on a special hat and robe and they make a production.  Theres always a guard and metal detector at the door, but the line to get in for mincha can be long (and the guard slow) so my husband once missed mincha because of it.  Shachris is a regular crowd thats there to daven.


In Rome, taxis  are supposed to be picked up at a taxi stand or called. We frequently were able to hail one, although technically not allowed.


The bathrooms often cost a Euro or 2. Even at the Central Train stations.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 09:40:08 PM by ckmk47 »