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Community Forums › General › General Discussion Groups › Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice???

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Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice???
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johnlabarbera
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:55 pm    Post subject: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

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.
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Poipu04
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

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.

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johnlabarbera
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

thanks for input!
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Carole
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:23 am    Post subject: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

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?

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johnlabarbera
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

Carole where is your neck of the woods???
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JB5150
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:05 am    Post subject: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

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.
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Carole
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:45 am    Post subject: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

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.

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johnlabarbera
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:42 am    Post subject: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

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!
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johnlabarbera
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

i looked at the couch surfing very interesting....ny friends son did this and loved it..
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johnlabarbera
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

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!
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Poipu04
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

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.

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nuccia
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

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.

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Cathy
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:08 am    Post subject: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

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!

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BillieDeKid
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:58 am    Post subject: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

Have a great time John and enjoy your new found family. YESSSSS take lots of photo's to share.

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johnlabarbera
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:02 am    Post subject: Re: Best Travel Plans - USA to Italy/Sicily - Advice??? Reply with quote

ringraziarla, i miei amici!
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