Der Amerikanische Urlauber

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Ho fatto la mia prenotazione!

La Piazza di Spagna Posted by Hello

I'm starting to get really excited. I finally booked my hotel accomodations for Rome today, and I wound up getting a beautiful hotel a few hundred meters away from la Piazza di Spagna and the Trevi Fountain. Location is important to me, and so this is really absolutely fantastic.

As a matter of fact, yesterday on TCM they had La Dolce Vita, which I recorded on my wonderful Philips DVD Recorder (I don't think I could ever go back to recording on a VCR) So now I don't have to rush to buy the DVD off Amazon. I probably will anyway, since it's a special edition, but someday. No rush now. Anyway, there's a scene in the movie when Anita Eckberg goes tromping through the Trevi Fountain with Marcello Mastroianni. It really struck me to think that I'm going to be there myself in less than a month's time. Though I don't think I'm going to be able to actually go swim in it...

So yeah, that's a really cool thought.

Additionally, last night I stumbled upon a Blogger "how-to" article on my sign in page about posting pictures to your blog from your cell phone. This is in addition to posting text.

So I got myself all set up and have the addresses in my cell phone. This is fantastic. Now I can go around snapping a picture or two each day of my trip and send it to this blog and post some commentary or whatever. I'm going to turn this thing into a little travel journal. Follow Joe's travels through Italy... Oh man that's really cool! Yay for modern technology!

Now I'm also trying to figure out what I'm going to wear. We've already been advised to wear shorts as little as possible. Italians don't like shorts. That just figures, I'm going at one of the warmest times of the year, and shorts are a fashion-no in Italy. It's pretty much forbidden to enter churches there with uncovered shoulders and knees (this is something they really don't observe much of in the US) It's like law at St. Peter's Basilica, I read today they have like a guard outside the place that prevents you from entering wearing shorts.

I actually don't even have that many pants in my wardrobe. I love my khaki shorts. And jeans are way too heavy to wear, so I guess I'll have to pick up some khakis and other lighter pants before I go.

Tell me, is this how fashion goes in the rest of Europe as well? Because you might as well tell me now so I can get a whole European clothing line up ready.

See, I care about that kind of stuff. I mean I know I'm uno straniero (a foreigner) but I don't want to stand out like a sore thumb. So it always surprises me when I hear stories of families who go to these countries and wear bright Hawaiian shirts and have the camera around their necks and the flip flops and all that. Nothing quite says "Please pick my pocket" like the obnoxious American tourist look, does it?

Hmm, though if I go decked out in this stuff from Dolce and Gabbana, something tells me I won't exactly blend in any easier... Unless Italian guys really do dress like this, in which case, God Bless America...


  • At 6:22 PM, May 08, 2005, Blogger KissMyA$$ said…

    Luv that pic!! glad ur having fun and all

  • At 6:26 PM, May 08, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There's no big issue about shorts in Europe. You might not see great numbers of the locals wearing them, but it's certainly not a problem for us.

    It's correct you may not be allowed into churches wearing shorts or sleeveless t-shirts, but I'm sure there will be more to your trip that churches so just make sure you wear appropriate clothing on the days you will be church visiting and on other days wear what the heck you like :-)

  • At 7:35 PM, May 08, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hey man I wouldn't worry about the wardrobe stuff... It may be hard to imagine, but around the tourist sites there are far more Americans than Romans. Everywhere in Italy save the small towns are full of Americans, and mostly college students. I went to Italy over spring break, hoping to bring clothes that would "fit in"... useless. Bring a few pairs of pants for when you want to see the churches, but otherwise just wear what makes you comfortable.

  • At 8:38 PM, May 08, 2005, Blogger Joe said…

    You're right, because I think no matter what I wore, walking through with a backpack or a camera, it's pretty much a dead giveaway you're a tourist.

    I can sort of imagine what it's like to have a place with as many or more tourists than locals. I live in Florida, and we're huge on tourism, but the bulk go to Orlando and Miami. Tampa isn't as deluged with tourists, but come the winter we get our share.

    I always dress tastefully anyway, I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't stand out like a sore thumb. Though I should know from the tourists here that most tourists don't particularly concern themselves with blending in...

  • At 8:04 AM, May 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ahahahahah The Dolce e Gabbana outfit! Horrible! But... er... yeah, some guys here (hey, Milan here! :-)) dress something like that. Well, maybe you won't find anybody sporting fur boots in summer, but the jeans look is pretty diffused. Anyway, don't be worried about shorts: it's not so true that in Italy we do not like them. We maybe have different kind of shorts, but you'll see plenty of guys wearing knee length slim fit jeans or maybe kendo baggy pants. You'll maybe even discover that some people dress in a pretty crazy way, yeah especially in large cities like Rome; anwyway: just do not be afraid: it really is not a problem looking like a tastely dressed american :-)

    For what concerns churches, yey, you are not allowed to enter with an "inappropriate" look, but if you're wearing a tank top just bring a tee-shirt in your backpack, so if you'll want to go in a temple you can wear it.

    Ah, and when in Rome stand before the Trevi Fountain but don't face it, then launch a coin over your shoulder and make it sip in the fountain's water: that'll make sure that you'll come back to la città eterna somewhen ;-)

    Take care.


  • At 8:07 AM, May 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Forgot to say:

    don't even think to swim in the fountain or you'll get a really heavy fine...



  • At 1:23 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger Joe said…

    Ha, grazie Marco, è buon consiglio!

    Mi piace il tuo blog, ma non capisco molto l'italiano adesso!

    I'm assuming the water in the Trevi is cleaner than the standard European fountain. I have a friend who often goes to Austria, who tells me he's seen numerous people relieving themselves in the fountains...

    I read May and June aren't the hottest times in Italy anyway, that belongs to July and August. I've been advised in fact to bring cool-weather clothes because I'm going to be in the Italian Riviera for much of the trip, and apparently it must get chilly at night?

    See, in Florida, once you hit May, it's hot until October or November.

  • At 2:11 PM, May 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Uhm, I guess it depends on what you mean with *Italian Riviera*: there are many Riviere, but - anyway - I guess that being near the sea it would pretty chilly at night. Yeah, lately it's raining quite ofteen, if you need you can check the weather here. As you can see we have warm temperature right now, so you'll feel as warm as at home! :-)


  • At 2:17 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger Joe said…

    La Spezia, Cinque Terre, that vicinity in Liguria. It's by the sea so that usually cools things off a bit, but it all depends.

    Thanks for the link, very helpful!

  • At 2:56 PM, May 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow! I love le cinque terre! They're very beautiful and I love the food there: cool you!

    Oh, and if you need some special clothing you'll find a Prada outlet in the nearby of La Spezia ;-)

    Marco - la guide Routard :-)

  • At 4:51 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger PTA Mom said…

    You're going to have a great time. I'm glad you found a nice hotel. The Trevi Fountain is so romantic.. like so many places in Italy.

  • At 12:37 AM, May 11, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi, Joe,

    what a great photo of the Spanish Steps. I was your age in the mid-60s when I first travelled to Europe. It was magic, and the memories have stayed with me for all these years. Thanks for reminding me of some of the places I visited. BTW, in Rome I stayed in a little penzione right across from the Trevi Fountain.

    All the technology at your disposal didn't exist in those days and phone calls were so expensive. In the year I was in Europe I spoke with my parents only a couple of times. So enjoy the benefits of being able to keep in touch with family.

  • At 2:51 PM, May 12, 2005, Blogger The Yankee said…

    Joe don't worry about what people say about what you should wear in Italy. Yes shorts and tanks are frowned upon in the churches but I was in Rome a few years ago and wore cargo shorts everyday and didn't feel out of place. Of course, avoid wearing hot pants and shorts to dinner, but during the day its hot and you want to feel comfy. Everyone wears such a wide variety of clothing that you will hardly feel out of place. The are also wild about any type of jeans in Europe.

    I see you are going to try and blog from Europe, I did this on 2 recent trips using my Blackberry (without posting pics) and it was great. Be sure you have international roaming activated on your cell phone before you go.

    FYI, here is a websight I did after a trip to Rome a few years ago. Its an amazing city and one of the most exciting in Europe. If you have any questions, let me know.

    My blogs from Paris and Australia are posted below--

    Have a blast!

  • At 3:57 PM, May 12, 2005, Blogger Joe said…

    Fantastic blogs, Richard! So you're wrapping up a trip to Australia eh? How fantastic.

    I've always said, if I was to live in any other Anglophone country, it would be Australia. I love the Aussie accent. And it's just so great there. Every Australian I've ever met has been so great!

  • At 2:53 PM, May 17, 2005, Blogger Josh Martin said…

    I spent three weeks in Europe last May, and the best advice I can give you is to leave your white tennis shoes, blue jeans, and white t-shirts behind. It's best to look as un-American as possible, not because people are rude or unfriendly, but because you will be less of a target for that small slice of society that preys on tourists. Try to wear brown, green, and black, and avoid polo shirts and t-shirts from home.

    When I go back to Europe, I intend to carry a lot less stuff than I did last year. There's no reason to bring soap, shampoo, towels, hair brushes, toothbrushes, and that sort of thing. You can buy new items in any convenience store in Rome. Then, not only will you have a lighter load to carry on the plane, you'll have a bunch of momentos, as well. You might also consider waiting until you're there to buy clothing. There are markets and stores everywhere, and it'd be hard to not blend in if you're buying your clothes from the locals.

    Make sure you go see the Coliseum at sunset and the Vatican on a Wednesday (the Pope speaks in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday at like 10 or 11 a.m.).

  • At 10:32 PM, May 18, 2005, Blogger Joe said…

    I wanted to attend the Papal Audience, however you have to notify them in advance, and also, on that day we'll be in Rome, but I'll still be with the group and I have to go where they go.

    Now, is it possible they have some big surprise planned and are taking us to the Papal Audience? Yes; but I'm not counting on that; of course I have no idea what we're doing yet, and it's driving me crazy!

    I actually wound up getting a lot of stuff just the other day from Armani Exchange, because it was actually really well priced and nice. And I also don't think you can get more Italian than Armani. I also got this really great pair of Pumas, they're black so they go with pants and jeans as well. Anyway, I think in terms of clothes I'm set.

    I'm always on guard anywhere, I've seen way too much in my short time traveling to not be. Plus, I grew up in NY and I used to go into the city frequently, and you had to be the same way there.

  • At 2:00 AM, January 25, 2006, Anonymous coin stores said…

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  • At 3:23 AM, August 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah well I was looking for people who have gone to Roma and it sounds really interesting from what all you have said. Good info for sure, I'll be there for about 3 months for a study abroad program.

    Do a lot of people speak English in Rome, or are you kinda outta the loop if you don't know Italian? I took an italian class and I'll take one again while I'm there but yeah I was just wondering.

    Awesome blog! And I hope your trip to Rome was fun and exciting as I am hoping mine will be!

  • At 11:17 PM, March 29, 2010, Blogger evision said…


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