Readers Tell Readers
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 me.
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.
& 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 a
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 day!
Gillian, an Australian citizen and midwife
working in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Two trips from
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
A tip about
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 grappa).
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
(Source: Fast facts, MetroToday)
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!
Bonus tip ...
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
(Source: Laura Flusche, www.urban-iconography.org
offering exciting women-friendly tour itineraries in Rome)
Cheap eats and sleeps and more...