one of our newsletters we announced that we welcome members' female-friendly
tips for our latest online cyberguide, GIRLTALK Italy. Your response
was immediate and it was huge.
We now know that, without a
doubt, Italy is one of your favorite destinations. Those who've
been there enjoyed it so much that they can't wait to go again.
Many other women wrote in to tell us that they are right in the
midst of planning their dream Mediterranean holiday and can't wait
to read other womens' tips.
Here is a sampling of the countless,
helpful bits of advice we received. Don't fret if your contribution
isn't here yet. These Journeywoman GIRLTALK guides are ever expanding
-- works in progress -- we keep adding all the time.
Feel free to send your special
tip -- tell us about
your favorite Italian sightseeing secrets, restaurants, hotels,
books, movies, safety tips, things that kiddies will enjoy, etc.
Don't forget to include contact information for this advice so that
others can easily make plans based on the data you provide. Also
let us know your first name and the city you are writing from. We'd
love to hear!
Everyone will probably
tell you this. You must go to the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
It's fabulous to see the carvings of those rearing sea horses!
And although I am not a church going person, we went to see
Saint Peter's Basilica. Oh my goodness! It was breathtaking!
The workmanship on everything in all those buildings is unbelievable.
Brenda Mento, Hebron, New Hampshire
note: Before I left for a one-month stay in Italy,
I took an art history course that covered the paintings, sculpture
and historical architectural sites of the country. Later in
Italy (armed with my notes), I sought out all the treasures
that I had only viewed before on slides in the classroom.
Seeing the "real thing" was absolutely incredible
and best of all I didn't need anyone to explain the art to
I also packed "The
Agony and the Ecstasy," Irving Stone's biographical
novel of Michelangelo and read it as I travelled through the
country. It helped me to understand the man, the artist, his
work and the history of Italy.
offer accommodation in Italy...
like women travelling to Rome to know that along with welcoming
pilgrims, many convents are now opening their doors to international
tourists. Some convents offer regular hotel-type accommodations
while others remain very basic -- no TV, bar or telephone.
Breakfasts are often included and some convents even serve
lovely budget dinners cooked and served by the nuns. Chances
are you'll be meeting very interesting travellers from around
the world. Of course safety, spirituality and reasonable curfew
reign supreme at all of these establishments. For further
information see: (1) http://www.santasusanna.org/comingToRome/convents.html
Evelyn, Toronto, Canada
Maggiore & a seaside village...
place in Italy that is very beautiful is Lake Maggiore, bordering
the Swiss Alps. I stayed at the Hotel
Splendid in Baveno and it was true to its name,
right on the edge of the lake with stunning views of the snow-tipped
(even in the middle of summer) mountains. The hotel runs a
boat to the middle of the lake to the historical Borromee
Palace. This is a beautiful building on it's own island with
stunning gardens and views from every aspect. The architecture
and interior designs are a sight to behold. Graceful pure
white peacocks parade around the gardens. It's well worth
I also went, by bus from
Rome through the beautiful Appenine Mountains to the east
coast and the seaside village of Pescara. This is not a touristy
village but a beautiful spot to soak up some sun and do some
sightseeing. I truly would love to return to this spot one
Gillian, an Australian citizen and
midwife working in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
trips from Florence...
took a bus trip out into the countryside - highly recommended
- to Siena (our favourite) and San Gimignano, a beautiful
little Medieval village (where part of the movie Tea
with Mussolini was filmed). When planning your
Italian itinerary, be sure to include these two gems.
Judy, Ottawa, Canada
Ed. Note: And, of course,
before leaving on your travels immerse yourself in a little
Italian ambiance. Rent the video, Tea
With Mussolini starring Cher, Maggie Smith, Judi
Dench, Joan Plowright and Lily Tomlin. Open a bottle of red
wine, order a pizza, watch the film and dream.
tip about coffee...
Coffee in Italy is
wonderfully strong, delicious espresso. Be aware, it costs
much more to have a coffee sitting at a table rather than
standing at the counter. I've learned, however, that IF
the restaurant isn't busy, you can ask if you may sit
AFTER you have ordered and paid. In my case, usually,
the waiters said 'yes' to my request.
Heather, New Zealand
note: Thought you'd be interested in knowing
a bit more about how to order your coffee in Italy...
Cafe coretto: espresso with a dash of spirit (often
Macchiato: espresso with a little milk.
Cafe Americano: weaker (than espresso) black coffee
served in a large cup.
Latte macchiato: hot milk with a dash of espresso.
Cafe freddo: cold, black, sweetened coffee served
in a long glass.
(Source: Fast facts, MetroToday)
before you go...
you have the time or the inclination to click, click,
click, please remember that every banner in this GirlTalk
Italy Guide leads to a different woman-centered
Italian adventure. There's walking tours in Rome, solo
holidays to study Italian, cooking classes, biking and
hiking trips, wine tasting excursions, trail riding in
Tuscany, women's books, interesting travel products and
lots more. As you visit each new page of our guide, glance
up at the banner and if it interests you, we suggest you
take a little side trip. It could be the first step to
a wonderful journey!
for moderately priced Italian underwear in Rome? The cheapest
underwear, believe it or not, is bought on the street
at vendor's stalls -- an especially popular shopping place
for this is Viale Trastevere.
It's also available in the Sunday flea market at Porta
Portese. Fun underwear tends to be expensive
in stores. But there's a limitless number of underwear
shops in Rome. Someone once told me that the only thing
Rome has more of than churches is underwear stores. I
guess we could say that there's underwear on every corner.
(Source: Laura Flusche, www.urban-iconography.org
offering exciting women-friendly tour itineraries in Rome)