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Which country / island do you want to visit


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15 hours ago, Hlitner said:

But you can easily get to Italy without flying as long as you have the time.  And Italy is a country worth visiting :).  We have traveled to Europe, several times, using ships both ways.  Once in Europe you can get around with trains or a rental car.

 

Hank

Thanks but long distance traveling is only a dream for me at this time .

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14 hours ago, ldubs said:

 

Lenny, Did you happen to work with guys named Clemenza or Tessio?  Never, mind.  I don't want to know! 😄😄😄

 

14 hours ago, ldubs said:

 

Lenny, Did you happen to work with guys named Clemenza or Tessio?  Never, mind.  I don't want to know! 😄😄😄

The brother of one of my co-workers had a very small part in Godfather I.

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4 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

And, on top of the history, architecture,and food there is the beautiful countryside and, perhaps as significant, the people who are probably the warmest, happiest and most welcoming in Europe.

 

One problem is that most people in Italy don't speak and understand English or maybe they feel that they aren't good at it and pretend that they don't speak and understand.

 

I guess that it can be different in different parts of the country. Maybe more people speak English in the northern parts of Italy?

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32 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

One problem is that most people in Italy don't speak and understand English or maybe they feel that they aren't good at it and pretend that they don't speak and understand.

 

I guess that it can be different in different parts of the country. Maybe more people speak English in the northern parts of Italy?

I have been to Italy multiple times......I found most do speak English (somewhat) or maybe I just got lucky? And 

the places I visited did.......I do know those who run/work in restaurants normally speak it🙂

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We have been to Italy numerous times, often for as much as three weeks at a time.  Last trip was three weeks in Sicily and the Aeolian Islands.  Traveled by rental car and train, and ferry.  Never had a language issue.  Not everyone speaks English of course, we do not speak Italian.  But you can communicate.

 

 It is the same is so many other countries that we have traveled through.  In Italy, about the last place we want to eat is a place full of english speakers where the menu is in four or five languages.  Far better to go to a small place and figure it out yourself or have them take you into the kitchen.

 

 

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42 minutes ago, iancal said:

We have been to Italy numerous times, often for as much as three weeks at a time.  Last trip was three weeks in Sicily and the Aeolian Islands.  Traveled by rental car and train, and ferry.  Never had a language issue.  Not everyone speaks English of course, we do not speak Italian.  But you can communicate.

 

 It is the same is so many other countries that we have traveled through.  In Italy, about the last place we want to eat is a place full of english speakers where the menu is in four or five languages.  Far better to go to a small place and figure it out yourself or have them take you into the kitchen.

 

 

I ate at a family run place in Venice last year........there was only one menu but many of the diners were English 

speakers....it was a recommendation from my hotel concierge and was fabulous.😃 It is called VINO VINO........

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59 minutes ago, iancal said:

Never had a language issue.  Not everyone speaks English of course, we do not speak Italian.  But you can communicate.

We've found young people are generally learning it in school.

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2 hours ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

One problem is that most people in Italy don't speak and understand English or maybe they feel that they aren't good at it and pretend that they don't speak and understand.

 

I guess that it can be different in different parts of the country. Maybe more people speak English in the northern parts of Italy?

I picked up  a little bit of Italian when stationed in Naples with the Navy - certainly not a conversationalist, but I have found that Italians everywhere are delighted if you make the effort, no matter how stumbling - unlike the French, many of whom (especially in Paris) pretend to have no idea of what you are trying to say - when you are able to use it very successfully in Normandy, Gascony or Provence.

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43 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

but I have found that Italians everywhere are delighted if you make the effort, no matter how stumbling 

I find the same in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. And my pronunciations in those languages is decent so that helps.

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3 hours ago, Lois R said:

I have been to Italy multiple times......I found most do speak English (somewhat) or maybe I just got lucky? And 

the places I visited did.......I do know those who run/work in restaurants normally speak it🙂

 

I have a sister who lives in Italy and know that you are incorrect but as I said it may depend on where in Italy you are. My sister lives in Perugia. 

 

I once took a bus from the airport outside Rome to Perugia and the busdriver couldn't speak any English. (On the bus from the airport!) 

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28 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

I have a sister who lives in Italy and know that you are incorrect but as I said it may depend on where in Italy you are. My sister lives in Perugia. 

 

I once took a bus from the airport outside Rome to Perugia and the busdriver couldn't speak any English. (On the bus from the airport!) 

We found English widely spoken in most tourist areas , but in our couple of stops in Sicily had really some issues trying to be understood but people were extremely friendly.

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We have been to many areas in Italy where English was not widely understood or spoken.   We just get by as best we can. In the restaurant we see what others are ordering and point.  Sometimes we just let the server bring whatever.   There have been countless times when buying wine in a small grocery store I have held up a bottle in each hand.  The clerk or owner instinctively knew what I was asking and pointed to one or made a sign that they were both good.   No different that travelling in South America, Turkey, where ever really.    No point staying home or not going where you want to go simply because there may be a slight language barrier.

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2 minutes ago, iancal said:

In the restaurant we see what others are ordering and point.

I'm so into food that I can order in lots of languages. At least to point to the menu if I can't pronounce it. You'll never go hungry or thirsty with me in most of the world. LOL.

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1 hour ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

I have a sister who lives in Italy and know that you are incorrect but as I said it may depend on where in Italy you are. My sister lives in Perugia. 

 

I once took a bus from the airport outside Rome to Perugia and the busdriver couldn't speak any English. (On the bus from the airport!) 

Well,  in my case, I was not wrong.  The times I was Italy and needed to communicate,

the folks who helped me did speak English. Not sure where your sister lives has anything to do

with my experience though.

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7 hours ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

One problem is that most people in Italy don't speak and understand English or maybe they feel that they aren't good at it and pretend that they don't speak and understand.

 

I guess that it can be different in different parts of the country. Maybe more people speak English in the northern parts of Italy?

 

We know only a few words of Italian and have never had a problem communicating in English in Italy (north or south).  All it takes is being polite and patient and applying the golden rule.  

 

Perhaps our perception of the wide use of English is because we primarily visit tourist places where speaking the tourist's language is good business.   

 

When I still worked in San Francisco I used to love helping tourists, some of which spoke no English.    

Edited by ldubs
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38 minutes ago, ldubs said:

When I still worked in San Francisco I used to love helping tourists, some of which spoke no English.    

Whenever I saw someone on a corner, looking at a map, I would always ask.

PS: Where (physically) did you work?

Edited by clo
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Then there is the other problem, we as Americans do not speak or understand Italian. On our very first cruise we were going to do Florence on our own. And I really expletive deleted it up as reading things wrong at the train station, I got us on the train heading the wrong way!!!!! Luckily, DW figured it out and we got off the train and waited for one going back to the port. We did not get to Florence that trip (a disaster when your DW is an art teacher), but did manage to have enough time to go to Pisa.

 

Ten years later for our 35th anniversary we did a cruise with many of the same ports. This time even though we were more experienced than before and probably could have done it on our own, we took the cruise lines Florence on Your Own excursion as we were not going to take any chance of missing this experience again.

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1 hour ago, ontheweb said:

Then there is the other problem, we as Americans do not speak or understand Italian. On our very first cruise we were going to do Florence on our own. And I really expletive deleted it up as reading things wrong at the train station, I got us on the train heading the wrong way!!!!! Luckily, DW figured it out and we got off the train and waited for one going back to the port. We did not get to Florence that trip (a disaster when your DW is an art teacher), but did manage to have enough time to go to Pisa.

 

I have to say this is one of the reasons I am grateful for travelling in an era of Google Translate😜. Yes it is not always perfect but it has definitely helped us in many a situation. Also it is sometimes just interesting when visiting a local attraction with no English signs to finally be able to read what is on those infromation boards😆.

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When I'm traveling somewhere where English is not the primary language, I don't automatically assume that others will speak it, although the reality is that many have a few basic words.

 

If I am going to be doing something like taking local buses or trains, I walk myself through the entire process, including writing down key words in the local language like "Where is this train going" or "Is this my stop?"  !!!!  It has been helpful a few times. I also look up info such as "Where is the train number/carriage number posted" (e.g., on Italian trains it is on the door of each carriage).  Or I try to figure out if I need to get my ticket validated.

 

That kind of thing may seem tedious but believe me, when you are on the ground, you're happy that you did the advance work. 

 

I'll also say that the more you travel independently, the easier it gets to figure things out. Most metro/subway systems are not that different in terms of maps, tickets, etc.

 

 

 

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We have traveled to many parts of the world.  Independent travel for weeks at a time.   We speak English.  I have some French that can become just barely passable once I am immersed in it for a few days.   We have always managed to get by with very little difficulty.  I would hate to think of some of the wonderful places we have been had we not gone because of a language challenge.

 

I really think that it comes down to one's attitude, flexibility , and a sense that our language and our customs are not the standard for the rest of the world.  Accept people as you find them.

 

 More than once we have seen frustrated travelers make complete fools of themselves and embarrass themselves and their fellow countrymen through their arrogance and their  heightened sense of entitlement and superiority.   Seems to me those that do well are the ones who are not afraid to venture out, try new things,  and roll with the punches. 

Edited by iancal
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