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For whatever reason, I lately am strongly considering traveling and visiting Italy. The spark came from an unlikely source. I was watching PBS (Public Broadcast) the other day and happened upon a fund raising concert given by Il Volo. This a trio of Italian singers all under the age of 20. Their voices and performance are superb. They are being labelled a pop/operatic style of music. To make a long story short, they revived my interest in foreign places and people. Lately, I am considering travel and Italy sounds like a fine place to go.
This summer, I will be reading Persephone's Island, A House in Sicily and Italian Lessons. When I get an idea, I love to read before I go any further.
I do not know the language, have never traveled outside the U.S. and as yet haven't the foggiest on where or when.I do love good food and am not shy about travel. When I get the spark I have a fine time. My guess is a tour would be the best option as I am a single woman, good health in midlife. Has anyone traveled to Italy? Where would you go? Why did you go? What's the worst that could happen?
At this point, it's a fantasy but I am ambitious enough to make it into a reality within perhaps a year.
If you were planning on staying in Rome you could probably do this solo. By staying in a central location and having a good map and simple phrase book you could enjoy the city alone or join the individual local tours recommended by the hotel. Most people speak English, at least those that must interact with tourists.
If you want to visit other cities/areas..Venice, Florence, Tuscany, etc I recommend you talk with travel agents and get in with a tour. One with a smaller amount of people(30 or less) is usually less hectic (but will cost more). The actual planning of your vacation will then be done for you and at least you'll be assured of hitting the "highlights" of this beautiful, welcoming country.
We have used Durgan Travel with great success. http://www.durgantravel.com/
Friends have used Grand Circle Cruise Line with great success also http://www.gct.com/
Ask them to send you information, use the internet to check reviews, and apply for your passport ASAP if you don't already have one!
Make it happen....you won't regret it !