travel time

11:41 a.m. on January 6, 2004 (EST)
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ok, thanks for all your replys to my previous post but this is a totally new one.

i am looking foradvise on how long will be suitable or is average for a lightweight back packer, i will be continiously exploring from rome to the far south of italy. is 2 weeks enough time or is it too long or too short?

thanks

4:53 p.m. on January 6, 2004 (EST)
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Depends

on what you want to see and do. For my interests, 2 years would not be enough. The typical "if it's Tuesday, it must be Rome" tourist, 2 weeks is plenty. You can spend 2 weeks just exploring the famous Fountains of Rome, or the ruins (from the Coliseum to the Catacombs), or the museums, or, ... There are hundreds of wonderful hikes (including a couple of exciting volcanoes in the far south of Italy, if you take your asbestos suit, since they are very active). Pompeii and Herculaneum are worth a full day each at a minimum. If you are into the battlefields of WWII, you have another month or two at least.

Rome southward? You are missing Florence, Venice, the major centers of the Renaissance, some of the most important cultural history of European civilization.

If you are backpacking and not going for the culture (which in my view is the major reason for going to Italy), Northern Italy is much more interesting - Lakes district, Dolomites, southern side of the Alps. And 2 weeks is rather short there as well.

Well, we all have limited time for any given trip. So if 2 weeks is what your time and money budget allow, get some of the books like the Lonely Planet series another poster recommended, pick 5 points of interest (interesting to you) and concentrate on those. You will enjoy it more if you do a few places in some depth than if you do the "if it's Tuesday" type of quick glance tour. "Seeing" the Coliseum is not the same as exploring it for a full day. Read some history of the Roman Empire, for example, and seek out some of the key locations. Or read up on Pompeii. Or WWII and the major battles on the Italian peninsula.

7:24 p.m. on January 6, 2004 (EST)
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I agree with Bill about time. I would rather spend more time in a few places that a few minutes or hours in a lot of places. This is why I never took to bus tours or anything like that. Fine for some folks, but not me-no room for spontaneous side trips for example. I can spend all day in a museum or hiking. If I don't get to everywhere, that's okay, at least I'll remember where I was instead of it all being a blur.

Quote:

ok, thanks for all your replys to my previous post but this is a totally new one.

i am looking foradvise on how long will be suitable or is average for a lightweight back packer, i will be continiously exploring from rome to the far south of italy. is 2 weeks enough time or is it too long or too short?

thanks

11:58 a.m. on January 7, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

Not know anything about your situation, I would say stay there as long as you can and until your money runs out. Try to get a job there and stay even longer. While there are many exceptions to the general trend (Bill S. somes to mind), most people get bogged down in life as they get older (spouses, kids, jobs with only 2 weeks vacation, mortgages, credit card bills, etc.) and can't do the type of traveling that you are thinking about. Its a depressing thought but this is a wonderful opportunity for you and maybe a once in a lifetime experience. Make the most of it.

Another suggestion is to travel by yourself and NOT with a girlfriend/boyfriend or friend. Here's why. See what you want to see. Go where you want to go. No negotiations or compromises. Also, and more important, traveling alone forces you to meet other people. OK, so you hit a new town, found your lodging, and its time for dinner. If you have a freind with you, you will get socially lazy and have dinner with that person BUT if you do not have a friend with you, you will look around and ask someone to join you who you met at the hostel (or on the hike/tour that day). Or, you might ask to join another group as a tag along. The conversations I had with travelers from other countries was fascinating. Its as easy as "Hey, did I hear you're gonna see the Coloseum today? Mind if I tag along? Maybe we could share a cab?"

1:42 p.m. on January 7, 2004 (EST)
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Paul makes a very good point about traveling alone. I did some bike touring and hiking alone some years ago and met a number of people, including a woman who became my girlfriend for a few years. Had I been with a group, I doubt she and her friends would have invited me to chat with them when they met me camping. Plus I got invites to stop by and see people I met on the road who were local folks out camping on the weekend. Going solo isn't for everyone, but it does open up a lot of opportunity. I don't consider myself particularly outgoing, but don't worry about that either. Traveling and sharing a common interest seems to bring out the best in people, at least most of the time.

Quote:

Not know anything about your situation, I would say stay there as long as you can and until your money runs out. Try to get a job there and stay even longer. While there are many exceptions to the general trend (Bill S. somes to mind), most people get bogged down in life as they get older (spouses, kids, jobs with only 2 weeks vacation, mortgages, credit card bills, etc.) and can't do the type of traveling that you are thinking about. Its a depressing thought but this is a wonderful opportunity for you and maybe a once in a lifetime experience. Make the most of it.

Another suggestion is to travel by yourself and NOT with a girlfriend/boyfriend or friend. Here's why. See what you want to see. Go where you want to go. No negotiations or compromises. Also, and more important, traveling alone forces you to meet other people. OK, so you hit a new town, found your lodging, and its time for dinner. If you have a freind with you, you will get socially lazy and have dinner with that person BUT if you do not have a friend with you, you will look around and ask someone to join you who you met at the hostel (or on the hike/tour that day). Or, you might ask to join another group as a tag along. The conversations I had with travelers from other countries was fascinating. Its as easy as "Hey, did I hear you're gonna see the Coloseum today? Mind if I tag along? Maybe we could share a cab?"

2:03 p.m. on January 7, 2004 (EST)
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I should have added that I am certainly not against traveling with people I meet along the way, but that is different from going with someone from the start. When I was in Australia, I met people at hostels looking to share car expenses or wanting to do side trips to local sights, that type of thing. I still have friends I met years ago while traveling so just enjoy the trip and don't be afraid to chat up people.

Quote:

Paul makes a very good point about traveling alone. I did some bike touring and hiking alone some years ago and met a number of people, including a woman who became my girlfriend for a few years. Had I been with a group, I doubt she and her friends would have invited me to chat with them when they met me camping. Plus I got invites to stop by and see people I met on the road who were local folks out camping on the weekend. Going solo isn't for everyone, but it does open up a lot of opportunity. I don't consider myself particularly outgoing, but don't worry about that either. Traveling and sharing a common interest seems to bring out the best in people, at least most of the time.

Quote:

Not know anything about your situation, I would say stay there as long as you can and until your money runs out. Try to get a job there and stay even longer. While there are many exceptions to the general trend (Bill S. somes to mind), most people get bogged down in life as they get older (spouses, kids, jobs with only 2 weeks vacation, mortgages, credit card bills, etc.) and can't do the type of traveling that you are thinking about. Its a depressing thought but this is a wonderful opportunity for you and maybe a once in a lifetime experience. Make the most of it.

Another suggestion is to travel by yourself and NOT with a girlfriend/boyfriend or friend. Here's why. See what you want to see. Go where you want to go. No negotiations or compromises. Also, and more important, traveling alone forces you to meet other people. OK, so you hit a new town, found your lodging, and its time for dinner. If you have a freind with you, you will get socially lazy and have dinner with that person BUT if you do not have a friend with you, you will look around and ask someone to join you who you met at the hostel (or on the hike/tour that day). Or, you might ask to join another group as a tag along. The conversations I had with travelers from other countries was fascinating. Its as easy as "Hey, did I hear you're gonna see the Coloseum today? Mind if I tag along? Maybe we could share a cab?"

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