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Bonnie Says: I've Fled To Italy! Take Advantage Of The Low Euro Like Me & Take A Vacation

Wed, August 11, 2010 3:57pm EDT by 6 Comments


I admit it — I’ve escaped for 10 days to Italy and I highly recommend it. Here’s why!

There’s maybe one bonus to the still-slow world economy: The high priced Euro — which made it impossible for all but the richest among us (and Lindsay Lohan) to visit France, Spain, Italy, etc. for years — has finally dropped into an affordable range. Hotels, restaurants and shopping are all reasonable!

Here are four major reasons why YOU should get yourself to Italy ASAP:

  • You need a brain break. And you can really get one if you don’t just escape from the office, but also from the world of wi-fi. I didn’t actually mean to do it. I had every intention of staying connected to UNTIL I discovered that the specially purchased, supposedly “Italy-friendly” SIM card for my iPhone that I pre-purchased in NYC didn’t work. Then, the wi-fi promised at all our small, family-friendly pre-booked hotels was totally sketchy. I tried to buy a local Voda-phone but the phones were ALL sold out in Venice, and the stores closed incessantly for siestas in Florence. When we did find one open, the salesgirls were so gum-chewingly rude, they practically refused to sell us a phone. When we insisted, they demanded a passport before we could make a purchase. Do you carry your passport everywhere? Neither do I. No phone. The result — I’m forced to be on a techno brain break… except for this one dispatch to you guys!
  • Here’s what your brain break does: You sleep more, you read more, you walk more. That means — you look better, you can eat more (which is a BONUS  because the food is so good in Italy) and your mind wanders more. And mind-wandering means fresh ideas for when you do get back to the office… next week.
  • Here’s why to go to Venice: It’s quiet. No cars! The only way to get around is to walk or take the water buses. Buy a water bus day ticket and cruise your way around the entire place. Best views on the planet! Then, eat at Restaurant Riviera overlooking the water at night. Have the branzino ravioli with artichoke sauce. Yum!
  • Definitely do Florence: Find your most comfortable sandals or shoes. Get ready to walk, walk and then walk some more. Walk up to Piazzelle Michelangelo and then to Chiesa di San Miniato al Monte (it’s a church), and watch the sun set over the city. Avoid the Uffizi Gallery, where you’ll be herded in lineups like cattle. You can stay at charming, affordable Hotel Loggiato de Serviti, where Chiari can recommend totally yummy restaurants. And after Aug. 25, make sure you eat at Gilda Bistrot — the best, homemade family restaurant. Gilda’s on her own vacation until Aug. 25, so see what doable air-fare you can find and give yourself permission to ESCAPE before Labor Day for that genuine time out that you’ve earned and deserve!

Let me know how it goes. Ciao!

— Bonnie Fuller