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Back in the States, or the Italy Chronicles, part I


June 4, 2013 by Dan

Well, we’re back in the States after two weeks in Italy; we were there for a wedding and decided to make a Real Vacation out of it. I’m still a little woozy and headachey from the jet lag (it gets worse as I get older. Like pretty much everything except for my judgement and capacity to overanalyze things), but I thought I’d do the same thing here that I did for our Japan trip last year, and talk through where we went and perhaps give some advice

Getting There
We did a two-step with miles this time around, flying coach with AirBerlin from SFO – JFK – DUS – FLR, then back in AA business class MXP – JFK – SFO. This time around there wasn’t any lounging with celebrities or ridiculous airport bourbon tastings, just a bit of oddities with doing flights on one airline with miles from another. Anyway, the flights were fine. We got there.

Places to stay in Europe are expensive, full-stop. Not quite Japan-$200-for-a-hostel expensive, but not great. We did a mix of things, using Airbnb in Florence for a wonderful experience, staying mostly in two-star and three-star little boutique hotels, and burning points on our final night for an airport place. No real splurges, but no dumps or dives, and one real standout.

Getting Around
We used the train, mostly. Efficient, cheap, gets you there. If you’re going places that aren’t big cities and aren’t on a train station, there’s usually a bus, and you’ll probably screw up at least one of the busses. But it’s not too bad – schedules are generally online and sometimes in English.

So that’s the start of it. More to come, in typically exhaustive fashion.


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