Author Topic: TR November 2 weeks: Italy+Paris  (Read 5040 times)

Offline Mtl18

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TR November 2 weeks: Italy+Paris
« on: December 13, 2012, 11:04:13 PM »
Before I forget my trip even happened, let me jot down a bit about it. First, thanks to the DD members who helped me prepare for  this trip which I planned last minute. It was a solo trip and my first time to Europe. My first tip, based on my experience. Rick Steve's guide books and/or his free audio guides are a must. They saved me countless money plus time throughout my trip. I bought one for each city and upon arrival in said city, I opened the book and decided what to do. In each museum, I used his self guided tours. Even when I rented audioguides, I ignored those and just used rick steve.
Sun evening Nov 4 Departed YUL with KLM. Arrived in Amsterdam Monday morning at 9am with 6 hours layover. A attendant in the airport told me I only need to be back 1 hour before my flight. Took under 30 minutes from landing to get to town centre. I walked to the Great synagogue, passing through the red light district. Very quiet at that time of day, although there were a few window occupants. Davened in the Synagogue. Walked around some more, ended up back at the train station and took a 1hour boat tour of Amsterdam. Definitely a must do when in Amsterdam for limited time. You really get to see the architecture and life of the city from the canals. I made it back to the airport with barely time to spare for my connecting flight to Rome.

Rome: Arrived monday evening - Thursday Morning. Stayed at Hotel Arenula, a short block from Yotvota and the Jewish quarter. Was a low budget 60Euro/night but quite comfortable and a 20 min walk to coliseum. The hotel clerk was very helpful. The first morning I did a VIP Access - Colosseum Underground, Arena & Top Tier tour from Walks of Italy ($100). It was the only tour I paid for (aside from a bike tour in paris) but highly recommend it. The Colosseum aspect is phenomenal. In the afternoon I visited the jewish museum and Great Synagogue. I went to the Borghese Gallery that evening and then did the obligatory visits to the fountains, spanish steps and large piazzas during the late night. The second day: Castel St angelo followed by Vatican museum. It was Wednesday morning, so I had a magnificent view from the top of the castel of the pope addressing the mass in St Peters Square. I arrived at the square towards the end of the Pope's audience. I spent about 2.5 hours in the vatican. Apparently I did not exit early enough, because I ended up at the very entrance to the sistine chapel with no exit. I turned to a guard and asked him how to get out. He said, through the chapel. I said that Im jewish and am not permitted in there. He nodded his head as though he was quite familiar with this and he turned and unlocked a door for me. I went through it and ended up right in front of the door to St. Peter's basilica. I did have to circle back to the Vatican entrance to return my audioguide though. I did a night time walk/self guided Rick steve tour of Trastevere and a day walk through old jewish rome. My final night there, I went for a long run, running a few miles along the tiber river before heading to Piazza del Popolo and from there running down Via Del Corso, making stops at all the famous sights for pictures. I firmly believe the best way to see a city is by running through it. For food, I ate at Yotvota several times. It is reasonable priced and the food is delicious. My pre-trip research warned me against queues even though it was the off season. They were all wrong. Aside from the Borghese gallery, which I bought tickets in advance and it was sold out the whole time i was there, there were NO lines and no masses anywhere. This held true throughout my trip. November is a great time to tour if you hate crowds and wasting time on lines. Hotels are much cheaper as well.
To be continued...

Offline mochada

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Re: TR November 2 weeks: Italy+Paris
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 11:35:58 PM »
The hotel clerk was very helpful. The first morning I did a VIP Access - Colosseum Underground, Arena & Top Tier tour from Walks of Italy ($100).

I highly recommend the Walks of Italy tours.  I went on a few of them in Rome- the main tour guide, Jason, is American. 

Offline Ergel

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Re: TR November 2 weeks: Italy+Paris
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 11:53:49 PM »
Thanks for the report. Try adding paragraph breaks. Makes it easier to read
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline Chai

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Re: TR November 2 weeks: Italy+Paris
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 12:45:48 AM »
Would love am updated italian itinerary if you have the time. Thanks

Offline moish

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Re: TR November 2 weeks: Italy+Paris
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 03:55:30 AM »
kudos to you for not going through the sistine chapel

Offline damaxer91

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Re: TR November 2 weeks: Italy+Paris
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2013, 07:47:16 AM »
kudos to you for not going through the sistine chapel

#DDFMashgiach

Offline moish

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Re: TR November 2 weeks: Italy+Paris
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2013, 08:00:39 AM »

Offline efflpetzel

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Re: TR November 2 weeks: Italy+Paris
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2013, 03:47:32 PM »
passing through the red light district.
ummm i hope you had a nice time  ;D

Offline dbel23

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Re: TR November 2 weeks: Italy+Paris
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2014, 07:21:02 PM »
Interesting. Good for you! what is the deal with the vatican? I thought we weren't supposed to go at all to the vatican city.

Offline moish

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Re: TR November 2 weeks: Italy+Paris
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2014, 07:32:26 PM »
Interesting. Good for you! what is the deal with the vatican? I thought we weren't supposed to go at all to the vatican city.
for what reason?

Offline dbel23

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Re: TR November 2 weeks: Italy+Paris
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2014, 11:55:21 AM »
for what reason?

Halachically. I am just not very familiar with this. I know not to go into a church but I don't know what exactly in the vatican city constitutes a "church" for halachic purposes.