Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Info on some of my blog entries (URLs) for Tuscany/Toscana, Italy


Here are some of my blog entries (URLs) for Tuscany/Toscana, Italy:

GUEST HOUSE INFO – for those individuals either planning to stay with us or traveling to Italy:
+ = Blog entry has a "Sound clip". Please turn on the speakers on your PC.
* = Blog entry has been updated.

  • You will want to have change (coins and small Euro bills) for the tolls roads in Italy. Every now and then, you may run into a automated toll booth that will not recognize your American credit card. The credit card is valid and you may of used it to charge your fuel (gas/diesel) fill up just a few kilometers back and now it is not working. I cannot explain why this happens but it has happen to us in our travels in France and Italy. BTW, at the Monte San Savino Autostrada exit, we only have unmanned and automated toll collection booths.
  • Try to get a rental car that uses regular diesel fuel. Your refueling costs will be less. You do not need a vehicle that uses premium diesel either and it costs more.
  • Please check for the closing times for lunch at the rental car company at non-airport locations you plan to use. Unlike in the States, many of the rental car counters in Italy are closed for lunch and/or the afternoon break.
  • Be sure to find out BEFORE you leave the rental car office, what type of fuel: diesel (AKA gasoil) or benzina (gasoline: lead free) is required for your rental car. We have had two separate sets of guests recently that did not know which type of fuel to use and we could not help them because there was no indication anywhere on the car about what type of fuel was required.
  • Since you may be renting a car, be sure to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Italy from AAA/CAA. Depending on the car rental web site, it may not mention this fact. But in the event of an accident or being pulled over and stopped, you may be asked by the police to show a copy of one. Failure to show an IDP and a valid driver’s license may result in a traffic fine on the spot or be issued a traffic citation payable in Euros – NO credit cards are accepted for payment!
  • Consider booking your flights into one airport into Italy and returning to the States from a different one. This is called open-jawed booking and while you will read only about round trip airfares from the same cities, this is a valid option and sometimes it can cost less.
  • Consider leasing a car instead of renting one, if you or any of your friends will be in Italy 18 days or longer. The rates are better, insurance coverage for multiple drivers and you get a brand new car. Here is a blog entry with more details, Info About Leasing a Car for Italy, dated Tuesday, September 19, 2006
  • Depending on where you are, please be aware when refueling the rental/lease car on Sunday and after 7:00 PM (19:00) or there abouts at night, your American credit may not work. If you are on the Autostrada (Italy), there should be no problems. The fuel pumps at the small to medium size town gas stations switch over from a international credit card validation method to a local one. This has happened to us when we have traveled in France and Italy. However, these pumps usually have a central payment device that will accept Euro bills and local credit cards only.
  • Will you or any of your traveling companions, be traveling with an unlocked, GSM and quad/tri-band cell phone? You can buy a SIM card in Italy from a cellular network provider, e.g., 3, TIM, Vodafone or WIND by showing your respective country’s passport and not be charged minutes for incoming calls, only outgoing ones – on a pay as you go type plan. I would not recommend getting an international cell phone plan from T-Mobile or AT&T because you will be charged .99/minute for incoming calls and $1.99 for outgoing calls or something in that neighborhood. Most cell phones from Verizon and Sprint uses CDMA technology which is incompatible in Europe except for their international phones but their international rates are as bad as T-Mobile or AT&T. Please read the blog entry, Info for Cell Phones in Italy and Europe *, dated Monday, November 14, 2005
  • Distances (re: driving time) between towns and cities in Europe are not easy to determine. While using an on-line mapping service or even maps, you may encounter unexpected delays due to road construction, accidents, weather and/or time of day.
  • Be sure to bring: wash cloths, a few ziplock bags (various sizes) and a small, bright flashlight for each traveler.
  • There are 2 thermal (water) spas within 20 – 30 minutes of the Guest House. The best spa of the two is Terme San Giovanni Rapolano and it has an outdoor heated pool with access from the inside of the spa. If you are interested in going to one of these spa, please bring one of your old swimming suits. There are minerals in the water.
  • You will need electrical plug adapters for AC adapters and/or battery chargers for dual voltage (110V - 220/240V) items, i.e., digital cameras, iPods, MP3 players, cell phones, hair dryers, GPS units, etc. Depending on the age of the electrical outlet or the building, you may need an 10A (thin male plug) or 16A (wider male plug) plug adapter. In Italy, the 10A (thin male plug) and the 16A (wider male plug) may have 3 poles and are incompatible with the electrical outlets in continental Europe. The electrical plug adapters that you buy is the USA are usually the 16A size and will NOT fit into an Italian 10A electrical outlet. Please read the blog entry, Info about electrical plug adapters, power strips and voltage converters for Italy, for further information.
  • One last thing, it is recommended and suggested to buy travel/trip insurance with medical, trip delay, etc. coverage. Here is a blog entry with more details, Info on travel insurance for Italy and beyond *, dated, Friday, October 26, 2007.

or your specific interest, please search the web for further information using Google .

The above links as of this date are/were current. If anyone has any suggestions for any other additional web sites and/or links for reference, please feel free to post your comment and I'll update this blog entry.

Please note: If you want me to reply to your comment or request any further information by email, please include your email address in a separate comment. I will NOT publish any comments with an email address in it.

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Broken links: Since November, 2005, I have written over 300+ blog entries with 1,000's of corresponding links/URLs for Moving2Italy2, covering a varied and wide range of topics. In the event if you come across a broken link or a non-functioning link/URL, please post a comment and report the non-functional link. I wish to thank you in advance for assisting me in the ongoing maintenance and the updating of this successful and informative blog.

Please note: I do NOT represent or endorse any of these links nor do I receive payment for listing them in my blog.

That's it for Wednesday, 22 July 2009: mercoledì, 22 luglio 2009

Ciao, Ben

Moving2Italy2 – #1 source of links About, For or On Italy for those individuals moving, traveling or already living in Italy.

Today’s quote is an Italian proverb, author unknown.

"Chi ama il suo lavoro lo fa bene."
"Those who love their work do it well."

hen you have a free moment or two, please read my wife's interesting and entertaining blog about our life in Italy with photos:

Friends and Family in Italy

Going to Spain, read my new blog:

Info About, For or On Spain – a source of links About, For or On Spain for those individuals traveling or already living in Spain.

Please note: The time listed below for this posting is Central European Time (CET)/ GMT+1.


© Benjamin H. Licodo, 2005 - 2011, All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

Peter @ italyMONDO! said...

I just discovered your blog... and these links you post are priceless! What a great archive you have.