First time abroad, and I'm going at it alone.
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Oct 12, 2012 2:43 PM Last Post By: gawkabout
Oct 4, 2012 11:24 PM
First time abroad, and I'm going at it alone.In late May until mid June I'll be in Italy for three weeks. I land at FCO and I'm thinking of heading north from there. It's going to be my first time abroad and I will be on my own. The only plans I thus far are spending the last week in Rome, hiking Mt. Vesuvius, and possibly scuba diving (I've never dived before, but I read somewhere that Sorrento has diving). I'd like to do and see more than just average tourist. I'd also like to do some shopping while I am there, manly quality foods and clothes. Any advice from what to do, to where to go would be greatly appreciated. Knowledge or just simple suggestions would mean a great deal to me.
Oct 5, 2012 12:49 AM
1Good man! Solo is the absolute best way.
Where are you from? Airline tickets are the biggest cost. That and drinking alcohol.
Don't buy a ticket from home till you talk with us about it.
There's a how to getting cheaper tickets. One stop or plane change can make a big savings too.
Welcome to the coolest addiction; travel. You get more than memories from it.
You've got friends out there, you haven't met yet.
Oct 5, 2012 6:05 AM
2I'm slightly confused about you mentioning going north from Rome, while the only two other places you plan to visit are south of it. Not that it matters much, at this stage.
Since you are obviously still in the early stages of planning this trip, I think you should first get a guidebook or two (if you haven't done so yet) and take a look at some other travellers' proposed itineraries (and the feedback by other travellers!) on this forum. Think of this preliminary research as part of the fun of your trip - even though by the time you've gone through your guidebook a few times you'll have more places on your wishlist than you could ever hope to visit in 3 weeks. Doesn't matter: just write them down, perhaps try to classify them into "must", "would be nice" and "could go if I'm in the area" destinations. Then look at a map, check train timetables (http://www.trenitalia.it for Italian Railways) to see how long it takes to travel around. And while you're doing so, always keep in mind not to cram too much into those 3 weeks, and build in some slack to allow yourself a day "off" from being a tourist - sightseeing gets tiresome after a few days, and while there's hundreds of beautiful churches and monuments to see around the country, there are only so many one can enjoy in a limited period of time.
Feel free to post a tentative itinerary here to get feedback.
Oct 5, 2012 7:05 AM
3As Aribo says...first thing to do is read a guidebook and look through the itineraries on here.That will give you plenty of ideas.
Then post some specific questions on here.
There are so many possibilities in Italy.....almost endless.It has more Unesco World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world.
Oct 5, 2012 7:11 AM
4Street sense and serendipity rule.
My Rick Steves money belt saved passport and all 3 times that I know of.
I'm old merchant marine, so I'm noot too proud to use one.
They're washable. I've used mine for ten years.
Not many people get robbed. But the pros can spot a newby a block away.
He hands off the goods to his buddy, who disappears into the crowd. Nothing can be retrieved or proven.
Cops can do nothing for us. Police reports are only good for insurance claims.
When you put your pack on the ground, put a leg through the strap. Map reading and schedule checking, are the snatcher's friend.
Don't let anybody Insist on helping you with your stuff. While you're arguing with him, his buddy is gleening your blind side.
At table put your valuables under the center...of the table. Not just by your chair.
Oct 5, 2012 7:12 AM
Oct 5, 2012 7:15 AM
6On the diving..it is possible,but Sorrento (indeed Italy in general) would not be my first choice for learning to dive.
The sea can be really nice here,but it is far less interesting in terms of marine life than the reefs of the Caribbean,Asia or australia for example.
Those places are also much better set up with diving courses etc.....and much cheaper to dive (and get your certification).
Best bets for an open water course (low cost and great diving for beginners) would include Thailand (esp.Ko Tao),Malaysia (esp.Perhentians),Indonesia (loads of places),Philippines,Honduras (Bay Islands)........etc.
Oct 5, 2012 10:16 AM
7Thank you for the advice. I failed to mention that I have already have my ticket. I was thinking heading north for the first week or so then hop on a train to go south, making a loop from and back to Rome. Once again thank you for the help.
Oct 5, 2012 10:42 AM
8Welcome to the world of travel. Solo is great and you will meet other travellers.
Maybe try Perugia, Cinque terre.... I'd skip the diving and go for other things.
Oct 5, 2012 11:53 AM
9Apart from shopping and food the only other items you mention which are of interest to you are hiking and diving. One possibility for the hiking might be to go east (rather than north) into the Apennines - avoid L'Aquila as the 2009 earthquake is still much in evidence, but somewhere like Sulmona, for example ( you can get there from Rome both by train and ARPA bus and it's on the way to the Adriatic coast) might be of interest. Most first-timers to Italy do Rome - Florence - Venice, but if you were looking at a different approach, this might just fit your plans. However, you are a bit early in the season for the beach crowd - only a few north europeans will be brave enough to sample the waters in June!
Oct 5, 2012 12:55 PM
Oct 5, 2012 1:58 PM
Oct 7, 2012 4:57 PM
12I have dived in the Red Sea (Egypt), snorkled and swam in the mediterranean sea and I think Italy has beautifull places to do so.
Elba would make a nice island for you to visit. Nice clothing shops and diving centers.
We went to Capri this year and I would recomment this island also to you.
I think a tandem flight paragliding will be something for you.
I did it in France, but you can do it in most country's.
For example http://www.flyandsmile.ch/parapendio/
Most of the time on our trips we make a combination of nature, rivers, the see, lakes, villages, cities, culture and art.
Oct 8, 2012 12:27 AM
13Are you old enough yet, to get a curiosity about history?
Europeans have only been in American soil for 300 hundred years. Many, because they had to.
It happened in Europe too. When big cities, were city states.
I have a great book on medieval lifestyle in Italy.
Most wars were over bastard sons and the boss's son.
For the loot and power.
Why go to Florence?
Have fun. Don't just look at ancient stuff. Fet a handle on who some stuff looks more primative than others. Centuries apart. Developement of technology of castle design. And a why suits of armor changed.
And nice foreigners to learn from while you're having coffee.
Oct 8, 2012 9:21 AM
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