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#1: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: johnlabarberaLocation: Katy Texas USA PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:55 pm
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Ok, so I am now thinking about the BIG TRIP...my first to Italy/Sicily. I am looking for advice on booking a tour that will be convenient for me and my family (we don't speak Italian) that also allows time to visit family members that I hope I will find.

My cousin has gone many times using "affordable tours" dotcom and he says he has had very good experiences.

Anyone????

We will likely have to travel during the summer since the kids will be out of school then.

#2: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: Poipu04Location: Connecticut PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:24 pm
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In my opinion, don't do a tour, do it yourself. My Dh and I went to Rome, Florence, Foggia and Benevento on our own. We spoke marginal Italian...like Berlitz type...although he could understand more than he could speak. We used www.tripadvisor.com to pick out hotels and used recommendations from friends. All our travel agent did was book our flight and rental car and we did the rest. We took day trips with tour groups once we got to Rome and Florence. You can book them when you are there. I have taken the organized type tours to Paris, Beglium, Netherlands, England, Ireland...You don't get a lot of freedom and you are always on the go..exhausting...you only get an afternoon here and there of free time. Plus, these escorted tours are very expensive. Some older folks rave about Perillo. We like our independence though.

#3: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: johnlabarberaLocation: Katy Texas USA PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:58 pm
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thanks for input!

#4: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: CaroleLocation: Valtellina - Near Lake Como PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:23 am
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Oh John - if only you were visiting my neck of the woods I would delight in showing you (and yours) around... You would see the real Italy that tourists rarely see, and eat the food Italians eat - not tourist trash!

I did that for some friends from New Jersey (Debra - she is a Gente member, but isn't working on her research at the moment) last year and they're coming back next year with some others, and I'll be doing it again.... so why not see if one of your new family might do something like that for you too?

#5: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: johnlabarberaLocation: Katy Texas USA PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:06 am
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Carole where is your neck of the woods???

#6: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: JB5150Location: Florida PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:05 am
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John,

If you decide to go the "do it yourself" route, you might want to check out couchsurfing.com. Granted, it seems to be geared more towards younger folks, but it appears to be catching on with other age groups as well. I have not personally surfed anywhere yet, but I found a couple of hosts in my grandfather's town of Modica. We hosted a couple from Switzerland several months ago, and they were really nice. Even if you aren't looking for a place to stay, it seems to be a wonderful resource for finding people to meet and show you around in a place that you aren't familiar with. Most people that I have encountered (we have a local group that meets up too) are all very enthusiastic about showing people "their" town.

#7: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: CaroleLocation: Valtellina - Near Lake Como PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:45 am
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johnlabarbera wrote:
Carole where is your neck of the woods???

I'm in a valley in the north called the Valtellina - it runs from the top of Lake Como right through the heart of the Italian Alps.
>The Valtellina<

Lake Como is 1 mile from me and Switzerland is 25miles.... all in all it's a nice place to live and to visit.

#8: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: johnlabarberaLocation: Katy Texas USA PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:42 am
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wow...my wife is from Germany and one day we will visit northern italy for sure not far from germany...but the next trip is to Sicilia!

#9: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: johnlabarberaLocation: Katy Texas USA PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:43 am
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i looked at the couch surfing very interesting....ny friends son did this and loved it..

#10: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: johnlabarberaLocation: Katy Texas USA PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:23 pm
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well we are booked heading to sicily June 17th, my cousins there will host us...I plan to stay in Bagheria and visit Gibellina and Salaparuta where I also have found cousins...mama mia!

#11: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: Poipu04Location: Connecticut PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:35 pm
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Buon viaggio! Start brushing up on your Italian...fast! I like the Drive Time Italian CDS by Living Language. They teach you the basics and enough grammar that you can have basic conversations.

#12: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: nucciaLocation: Toronto, Ontario, Canada PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:01 pm
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John,

Good for you! I'm sure you will have a wonderful time. As Poipu says, brush up on your Italian .. you may need it.

#13: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: Cathy PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:08 am
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John, Have a great trip (like I really need to tell you to do that! Shocked ) and take lots of pictures! Don't forget to come back and share a few with us!

#14: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: BillieDeKidLocation: Illinois PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:58 am
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Have a great time John and enjoy your new found family. YESSSSS take lots of photo's to share.

#15: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Author: johnlabarberaLocation: Katy Texas USA PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:02 am
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ringraziarla, i miei amici!



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