Traveling to Italy, Spain, and France for three months with $5000 (US).
Replies: 59 - Last Post: Oct 22, 2012 1:00 PM Last Post By: lucapal
Oct 19, 2012 12:04 PM
30ONLY GO TO ITALY IF YOU WANT TO COME BACK WITHOUT YOUR PURSE OR WALLET OR CAMERA.. YOU HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF COMING BACK FROM LAS VEGAS WITH YOU MONEY THAN YOU DO COMING BACK FROM ITALY.. IT IS NOT IF THEY ARE GOING TO STEEL FROM YOU BUT HOW SOON AND HOW MUCH.. WE WENT WITH A GROUP OF 10 COUPLES, TWO OF THE LADIES GOT THEIR PURSE STOLEN, ONE OF THE MEN GOT PICK POCKETED AND ONE COUPLE GOT THEIR CAMERA STOLEN.. THERE IS TRASH AND RUBBISH ON THE STREETS, PROSTITUTES ALL OVER , WE WATCHED A S TOURIST BUS PULLED UP TO A CHURCH AND AS THE TOURISTS GOT OUT THERE WAS A POLICE CAR NEXT TO IT.. WHAT KIND OF COUNTRY HAS TO HAVE A POLICE ESCORT FOR TOURISTS.. IF YOU ARE ROBBED OR MUGGED JUST GO ON WITH YOUR VISIT BECAUSE IT IS A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME TALKING TO THE POLICE SINCE MOST OF THEM DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH AND THE MAJORITY OF THEM DO NOT CARE .WHEN THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER COUNTRIES TO VISIT WHY GO TO A PLACE LIKE THIS.. I WOULD NOT RETURN IF THE TRIP WAS FREE
Oct 19, 2012 12:27 PM
Oct 19, 2012 1:16 PM
32Gosh, I didn't get a police escort. Maybe it's a courtesy service provided to people who are obvious fools and thus easy pickings.
I've been to several different destinations in Italy multiple times and have never had a problem, Nor did my 73-year old mother when she visited.
The dirtiest streets always seem to be in the most heavily touristed areas. Coincidence?
I saw more prostitutes over a long weekend in Las Vegas than I've seen in months of travel in Italy. Makes me wonder what kinds of hotels your tour provider booked for you.
Love the caps--they're so manly.
You wouldn't happen to be American, would you?
Oct 19, 2012 11:37 PM
Oct 20, 2012 6:13 AM
34Lol, this trip report is so funny and helpful... I have been to Italy 3 times, never had any problem nor did anyone in my group. We had some problems with the "do not speak anything but Italian" thing, but that was 10 years ago and hand gestures work just fine^^
I remember thinking Rome was incredibly dirty, especially around the coliseum, with hundreds of errand cats looking for food, even compared to Paris, but as I said, it was a long time ago. Florence and Sienna were fine and almost tourist free (in February). Definitely cold and rainy though.
Italians were very friendly and helpful, even if I couldn't speak any Italian, you just had to get them to slow down when speaking. Stayed 3 days with a retired couple near Rome (who only spoke Italian) and they had us taste different specialty food for every meal.
Oct 20, 2012 6:19 AM
35The gravest allegation is that the police in Italy do not speak...English.
All of those polyglot American police must be feeling shame and embarrassment for their Italian colleagues....
Oct 20, 2012 4:51 PM
36Update! I contacted my Wwoofing host and have confirmed a two week stay! She said that the timing was very 'ironic' because she was just about to tell somebody else that the guest room would be available after I left. Instead, she rescheduled their stay. It looks like I got a bit lucky thanks to the urgency that all of your replies inspired. Thank again.
Oct 21, 2012 12:07 AM
37Great. An extra week that your travel insurance won't cover you. Because you're technically circumventing the provisions of your visa wavier--which is to say, you're breaking the law. In order to save money by working in the middle of nowhere, far from the places that you actually came to Europe to see.
Here's hoping your host's neighbors aren't jealous of her popularity with cheap, illegal labor and sick the police on her. Unlikely, but a possibility. Bye bye Europe.
I don't travel in order to work. Quite the opposite in fact.
Just be aware that however slight the risk, the consequences can be significant. Sort of like playing Russian roulette with a gun with 100 bullet chambers.
Plus, you're still trying to gloss over the fact that even if you don't spend a penny during these two weeks, you've now raised your daily budget for your remaining 10 weeks to a bare subsistence level. My guess is that's going to get really old by about week 5. At the latest.
Don't sprain an ankle walking those fields.
Oct 21, 2012 2:39 AM
38Thanks, clementis_fur_cap. Your positivity in this forum has really helped me out.
I don't travel in order to work. Quite the opposite in fact.
I travel to learn, experience new things, meet people with interesting perspectives, challenge myself, and to remove myself from my comfort zone. We just have different styles, I suppose. I'm probably not as interested as you are in sipping 10€ espressos or living 'high on the hog.' I don't think it's necessary to spend every night in a crowded, overly populated city; in fact, relaxing with a book and some tea in the Italian countryside after a long day of turning soil sounds wonderful to me. I don't think I'll mind being able to look up and see the stars. To be honest, I'm more interested in working on the farm than I am in seeing the Vatican. Odd, isn't it?
Oct 21, 2012 5:06 AM
39Not really... Though a working vacation in a farm isn't exactly my cup of tea, mostly because I already work all year long and don't want to when I'm travelling, I understand what you mean. I didn't get bored in a month in the country side in the US (west coast, Canadian border), but I did at the end of two weeks in Moscow and St Petersburg. I got tired of seeing churches and museums every day...
That said, it's not like this is a trip you'll be able to do every other day, so coming to Italy and not seeing Rome seems a bit.. sad. Keep some time (and money) to see the "big cities". You don't want to come back wondering what Rome, Venice, Florence... look like.
The comment on your Wwoofing plan are something to take into account though. Technically, it's not work, it's volunteering since you don't get paid. Most website I visited say you can volunteer under a tourist visa, but I would call the embassy and inquire about it. If it's illegal, you would be considered an illegal migrant and may get deported out of Europe. Good luck then getting a new visa. Your assistance wouldn't cover you either...
Oct 21, 2012 7:10 AM
40Uribee, don't shoot the messenger - the info in #41 is very valid; there is always a certain, albeit probably relatively small, risk involved when you work abroad without the right visa. And should you get hurt while you're at work, there is a real chance that your insurance company will point out the clause in its policy where it says your coverage is cancelled when you participate in illegal activities.
Oct 21, 2012 9:17 AM
Oct 21, 2012 9:33 AM
42Aribo, this is understood. Thank you.
Ansileran, I won't be in the countryside the whole time. The trip is 89 days, and only 14 of those will be spent on the farm. I land in Rome, already have plans to stay with a friend in Florence after Wwoofing, and will definitely check out Venice from there. I also really want to check out Naples, and might do so if I manage to buy a Select Rail Pass prior to departing.
Oct 21, 2012 9:35 AM
43And yes, I think Wwoofing is technically volunteering, though I don't care to get into an argument over its legality without really knowing what I'm talking about.
I don't doubt that you're right, meats.
I will say that I'm a pretty young, resilient, and healthy young man, and feel confident in my ability to work the farm without an injury.
Edited by: uribee
Oct 21, 2012 10:10 AM
I'm glad that you're confident that you won't get injured however that doesn't change the fact that by undertaking wwoofing you are in breach of your visa conditions as you are working and not volunteering.
To give you an example, let's say that I went to the US on a tourist visa and got myself a job working in a bar. I didn't get paid and in return I was given free accommodation. Do you think that that would be considering volunteering? The IRS and US immigration certainly wouldn't considering it as volunteering and I'm sure that the Italian tax authority and immigration wouldn't considering your it volunteering either if they got wind of it. Probably even moreso now considering the state of Italy's economy right now.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$171.47 per night