Travel Information in Italia

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Euro Scam

Post by Roby »

Italian Lira Scam Continues to Dog Sloppy Tourists

By Rick Steves
For a generation, tourists were being ripped off by Italian merchants who rightly figured we couldn't keep track of all the zeros. We all celebrated when Italy's miniscule lira was replaced by Europe's dollar-like Euro. But the ghost of the lira remains to haunt us — not only in Italy but now, all over Europe.

Here's the scam: The old 500 lira coin (worth about $.25 before the Euro made it worthless in 2001) is the same size and design (silver outer ring with inlaid copper middle) as the new €2 coin (worth $2.50). Countless tourists are finding the old 500 lira coins in their pockets. I did — just last month. Each one you take costs you $2.50 and the only person dumb enough to take it from you is another tourist. Europeans never touch a coin the size of a €2 without verifying that it is actually €2. Study the photos here — the lira was passed off on me on my last trip. You are now warned!
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Rick's Top Ten Tips for Traveling Smart in Europe

Post by Roby »

Rick Steves' Top Ten Tips for Traveling Smart in Europe

When the economy is jittery and the dollar is down, there is no need to put your vacation plans to Europe on hold. Americans need to travel smarter in order to turn their trip into a safe, smooth, and affordable reality, says Rick Steves, author of 31 books on European travel and host/producer of Rick Steves' Europe.

1. Fly "open-jaws" (into one city and out of another): Save time and money by avoiding a costly return to your starting point. Try to start your itinerary in "mild" countries (such as England) and work into the places with greater culture shock (such as Turkey) to minimize stress. Save countries offering the cheapest shopping — and greatest health risks — for the end of your trip.

2. Use ATMs rather than travelers checks: You will get your cash cheaper and faster using an ATM. Just keep in mind that while ATMs give the best possible rates, they do come with transaction fees. Minimize fees by making fewer and larger withdrawals. Store the cash safely in your money belt.

3. Shop cheap and interesting: Do most of your shopping and gift buying in the cheaper countries where gifts are more interesting and your shopping dollar stretches the farthest . The difference is huge: for the cost of a pewter Viking ship in Oslo, you can buy an actual boat in Turkey.

4. Adapt to European tastes: Cultural chameleons drink tea in England, beer in Prague, red wine in France, and white wine on the Rhine. They eat fish in Portugal and reindeer in Norway. Going with the local specialties gets you the best quality and service for the best price.

5. Consider driving as a group: Four people sharing a car travel cheaper than four individuals buying four railpasses. Even at $5 a gallon, cars get great mileage and distances between sights are short. A single two-hour train ticket can cost you the price of a full tank of gas.

6. Pay with local cash: While credit cards get you a good exchange rate, many places offering Europe's best deals — from craft shops to bed & breakfasts — accept only cash.

7. Explore no-frills flights: Europe's highly competitive no-frills airlines (i.e. Ryanair, Virgin Air) can get you from one city to another faster and cheaper than the train . You generally book the flights yourself by phone or Web. Beware though: cheap airlines often use small airports located far from the city center, which can cost a little extra time and money.

8. Go business: During summer and weekends year-round, you can get a fancy business hotel room at a cheap one-star hotel price . It's not unusual to score a $300 double room for $100.

9. Don't over-tip: Only Americans tip 15 to 20 percent in Europe, even tipping when it is already included or not expected. Ask locals (who are customers rather than employees of a restaurant) for advice.

10. Buy museum passes: Passes save time and money. The Paris Museum pass, for example, pays for itself in three visits and saves you hours by letting you skip long lines. With a pass you can also pop painlessly into sights that might otherwise not be worth the expense.

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Email, Blogs and Technology

Post by Roby »

Email, Blogs and Technology

RoadNews (Laptop Advice):
Yahoo! Mail:
Cybercaptive: Directory of cybercafes in more than 160 countries.
Cybercafe Guide: Another worldwide cybercafe guide.
Euro Cyber Cafes: Hundreds of cybercafes throughout Europe.
Voltage Valet: Electrical converters and transformers.

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Helpful Travel Links

Post by Roby »

Hi All,

Here are some helpful links.

Telephone Cards/ Cell Phones

The prefix for Italy is 39, the prefix for Rome is 06. NEW! The phone company has changed things - even when making local calls you must first dial the area code (06 for Rome) and when calling Italy from abroad you must place a zero (0) after the 36 for the country code. Public phones take tokens, coins, and phone cards which can be bought at tobacco stores (don't forget to remove the card before you leave).

Restaurants ... uction.htm




Trying to locate a country code check out this link

To search for cheaper calling card rates , check out this link
Last edited by Roby on Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Roby »

Updated travel Security measures from London to America. If you have a connecting flight through London to America , please read this for travel tips for your flight.

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Post by Roby » ... dance.shtm

News & Happenings
Agency Adjusts Liquid Ban, Aviation Threat Level Remains High

On Tuesday, September 26, TSA Adjusted the Ban on Liquids, Aerosols and Gels
Travelers may now carry through security checkpoints travel-size toiletries (3 ounces or less) that fit comfortably in ONE, QUART-SIZE, clear plastic, zip-top bag.
After clearing security, travelers can now bring beverages and other items purchased in the secure boarding area on-board aircraft.
At the checkpoint travelers will be asked to remove the zip-top bag of liquids and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt. X-raying separately will allow TSA security officers to more easily examine the declared items.

In addition, larger amounts of prescription liquid medications, baby formula and diabetic glucose treatments must be declared at the checkpoint for additional screening.

It is unlikely that additional changes in the liquid, aerosol and gel policy will be made in the near future.

This security regimen applies to all domestic and international flights departing U.S. airports. Travelers should, however, check with transportation security authorities in their country-of-origin for flights originating at non-U.S. airports.

For more details on how these measures affect you read our questions and answers on the new measures. Security Measure Questions and Answers

Travel Tips To Make Your Screening Experience Hassle-free
The secret to getting through security smoothly is to de-clutter your carry-on bag. This lets our Transportation Security Officers get a clear, uncomplicated X-ray image of your carry-on.
When possible, keep packing liquids in checked baggage. You will get through security faster.
Limit quantities to what is needed for the duration of the flight.
Items purchased in the secure boarding area are for use on the immediate flight. If you must leave the secure boarding area and re-enter through the screening checkpoint, items exceeding 3 ounces that are not in the zip-top bag will again be prohibited.

Before you fly, understand what you can and cannot bring and how these security measures impact your trip . Permitted and Prohibitted Items

To effectively communicate important security information, we translated these changes into a variety of languages. Security Information In Other Languages

The ban on liquids, aerosols and gels was implemented on August 10 after a terrorist plot was foiled. Since then, experts from around the government, including the FBI and our national labs have analyzed the information we now have and have conducted extensive explosives testing to get a better understanding of this specific threat. These changes are intended to enhance security and balance human needs because we have a better understanding of the threat and security risks associated with liquids, aerosols and gels.

In addition, TSA will be enhancing security measures throughout the airport environment – more random screening of employees, additional canine patrols, stronger air cargo security measures, more rigorous identity verification, deploying more trained security officers in bomb appraisal, and screening by observation techniques.

Know What To Expect
Make your screening experience as smooth as possible. Select a video to help you understand the screening process.

Step-By-Step Screening (WMV 3 MB)
Female business traveler (WMV 3 MB)
Male business traveler (WMV 3 MB)
Traveling with a baby or small child (WMV 3 MB)
Travelers with special needs (WMV 3 MB)
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Post by Roby » ... fined.shtm

Why The Quart-size Plastic Bag?

What is the significance of putting the bottles in a zip-top bag, especially if the liquid has to be segregated in its own bottle?

TSA and our partners conducted extensive explosives testing since August 10 and determined that these items, in limited quantities, are safe to bring aboard an aircraft. The one bag limit per traveler limits the total amount each traveler can bring. Consolidating the bottles into one bag and X-raying separately enables security officers to examine the declared items. By reducing clutter in the carry-on bag, security officers can more easily find prohibited items within the bag.

How many zip-top bags can each traveler bring through the checkpoint?

Each traveler is limited to ONE, QUART-SIZE, clear plastic, zip-top plastic bag of travel-size toiletries (3 ounces or less).

Did DHS/TSA take the proper and necessary precautions when it banned all liquids on August 10?

Knowing what we knew then and what we have learned since, banning all liquids was a prudent decision. Since the initial ban, we now have a better understanding to say with confidence that small travel size liquids are safe to bring through security checkpoints in limited numbers.

What additional security measures are being put in place at the airports?

TSA has enhanced its security measures through the airport: more random screening of airport employees, additional canine patrols, stronger air cargo security measures, more rigorous identity verification, more highly-trained security officers.

Can we expect additional changes to the ban?

It is unlikely that we will make changes in the near future. These changes represent a sustainable level of security for the TSA, passengers, airports and airlines.

For any further information , please visit
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Post by Roby » ... t_security

New rules go into effect at EU airports

Mon Nov 6, 4:50 PM ET

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Passengers were allowed to take only small amounts of liquids on board airplanes Monday as strict new security measures on hand baggage went into effect across the European Union.

The new EU rules limit passengers to carrying 100 milliliters (a fifth of a pint) of liquid per container on board planes — part of regulations imposed after British police said in August that they had broken up a plot to bring down U.S.-bound flights with liquid-based explosives.

New restrictions on the size of carry-on luggage will be introduced in April.

All liquids — not only water and soft drinks but also soups, creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, sprays, gels, toothpaste and shaving cream — are subject to security checks before passengers board their planes.

The containers must fit into a clear re-sealable plastic bag to be presented at security checkpoints, officials said.

The new rules do not affect liquids packed in checked luggage, or drinks and perfumes bought at airport shops after passengers clear security.

Baby foods and medicines also are exempt but can be subject to inspection, officials said.

"All airports in the European Union must apply the new regulations to protect civil aviation against the threat of homemade liquid explosives," EU spokesman Ferran Tarradellas Espuny said over the weekend. "Liquids in hand luggage have to be put in a separate bag."

The rules went into effect Monday at all airports within the 25-nation EU and in Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

Passengers also are required to remove coats and jackets at security checks, and remove laptop computers and other large electrical items from bags for inspection.

Starting April 17, new rules on cabin baggage will limit hand luggage to a maximum 56 by 45 by 25 centimeters (22 by 17 by 10 inches) — with exceptions for some items, such as musical instruments.

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Post by Roby » ... urope_dc_1

European airports bring in new hand luggage rules

By Catherine Hornby and Patricia Nann
Mon Nov 6, 9:45 AM ET

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - New rules forced air travelers to pack perfume, toothpaste and other liquids into small plastic bags in their hand luggage before going through security checkpoints at Europe's airports on Monday.

Queues were longer than usual at terminals in Frankfurt and Paris as passengers got to grips with the new European Union regulations, though most travelers seemed reassured by the tougher measures.

"It's a bit cumbersome ... but I have a good feeling that things will be much safer now," said Alketa Vaso, 34, on her way to Chicago from Germany.

The rules limit the amount of liquids people may take on board planes and reflect efforts to standardize measures put in place in Europe after London authorities said in August they had foiled a plot to bomb flights bound for the United States.

Passengers flying out of Britain on the other hand will be able to carry more items onto aircraft from Monday, as Britain has agreed to partly lift its ban on liquids in hand baggage on flights under the new rules.

Most travelers in Frankfurt were well-prepared for the new security regulations, which will apply throughout the 25-nation European Union, as well as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

"It's alright when you know beforehand, because then you can adjust to the rules," said Friedrich Bischoff, 50, as he headed to London from Frankfurt.

Paris's Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports mobilized 500 extra people to cope with the changes and ordered over a million plastic bags, a spokeswoman for Aeroports de Paris said.

"Some early morning flights experienced takeoff delays of less than 30 minutes but as of mid-morning the situation was back to normal," she added.

Before the main security point at Frankfurt, airport staff examined each passenger's plastic bag during the early morning rush to check its contents kept to the specified rules.


Toothpaste, shampoo and shower gels in small hotel-size packages tended to make it through.

But a tube of Gillette shaving gel, a large tub of Clarins face cream and bottles of fizzy drinks were among items headed for the rubbish bin.

"It's irritating. Although I understand it's important for security," grumbled Mladen Galic, 38, as some of his items were confiscated from the plastic bag he wanted to take to Zagreb.

Another passenger, Elmar Pickhardt, was forced to down two sports drinks on the spot or leave them behind. "I'm all for controls, but this is going a bit far," he said as he prepared to gulp down the drinks.

But he added: "I would prefer strict controls to another terror attack."

From Monday, passengers at Europe's airports can bring on board one re-sealable transparent plastic bag with a maximum size of 1 liter to store liquids. The liquids have to fit in individual containers of 100 ml (3.5 fl oz) or less.

(Additional reporting by Dominique Vidalon in Paris)

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Post by SporTraveLanguage »

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Al momento, in cui il progetto sta nascendo, è stato inserito un primo strumento (forum) di ricerca/offerta di partnership, informazioni, alloggi, veicoli, ….

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Grazie in anticipo.


P.s. Se volete scrivere in italiano, è a Vostra disposizione la sezione “Italian”, all’interno dell’area “Language”.
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Post by Roby »

Health Insurance while traveling or for extended stays.

I think that Americans should always get travel insurance since many times your own personal health insurance will notreimburse you or cover you. It's a wise precaution and usually doesn't cost much.

I get it everytime I travel overseas.

This is the one I use :

Last edited by Roby on Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by charlene »

Ciao Roby,
É difficile ricevere un rimborso da queste dite?
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Post by Roby »

charlene wrote:Ciao Roby,
É difficile ricevere un rimborso da queste dite?
These agencies have their own reimbursment policies. I must say that I have never had to cancel my trip. Therefore, I have never dealt with being reimbursed.
I know that Access America states on the policy that you purchase their cancellation rules.
Last edited by Roby on Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Location: Rome, Italy

Post by keithatengagedthinking »

I've used IMG Global before (one of the links Roby provided). The time that I got sick, they paid the Italian hospital directly, and I didn't have to pay a dime so it wasn't a hassle.

For information on Italy/travel, check out this site:

It's a little...odd at times, but it does have some good info in it too.
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Post by Rolly »

keithatengagedthinking wrote:\
For information on Italy/travel, check out this site:

It's a little...odd at times, but it does have some good info in it too.
As are most things in Italy that are bureaucratically driven.
Translations from the italian take on a life of their own resulting in them becoming either totally incomprehensible or quite misleading.
It seems to be a combination of the practice of "raccomandazione" and the dreaded "bella figura", where the purpose of any task is to please whoever it is that will be responsible for effecting your next promotion and to present a good 'face' to your peers.
Usually, of course, the information provided is biased heavily in favour of whoever or whatever is in the best interests of the writer, often leading to blatant promotion of vested interests and to some of the more interesting/useful material being deliberately omitted because it might give a competitor some perceived advantage.

End user? What's an end user???

Ciao 4 Nao

---- Ne ammazza più la gola che la spada ------
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