Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-24-2015, 11:04 AM   #2061
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,440
We use money belts inside our clothes and I wear a travel vest with deep inside pockets for passport and other vital stuff. DH keeps his wallet with not much cash in it in a deep cargo pocket.
Having said that, we've been in some theoretically dangerous places and the only robbery attempts we've ever seen are from the local police and customs agents.
__________________

__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-25-2015, 09:24 AM   #2062
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Lsbcal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: west coast, hi there!
Posts: 5,546
I hope people readng my last post don't decide to stay home. As others here have mentioned, there are good ways to protect yourself from most theives. We've never lost anything yet to pickpockets or scammers.

We'll be in Italy this year and have read there are plenty of pickpockets there in some of the bigger cities. Have redesigned our money belt methods for convenience. I'll be wearing buttoned shirts so that it's easy to access a neck pouch when I need money or documents. Also have a Pacsaf messanger bag with my art stuff plus some cash in a wallet and one credit card. We also travel pretty light so only one roller suitcase to watch over. DW will be using a waist type money belt and rotating it to the small of her back when not needed -- she says that feels comfortable for her. She bought a Travelon purse with special safety features built in.
__________________

__________________
Lsbcal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2015, 12:28 PM   #2063
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,533
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsbcal View Post
I hope people readng my last post don't decide to stay home. As others here have mentioned, there are good ways to protect yourself from most theives. We've never lost anything yet to pickpockets or scammers..
When we got to Hotel Modigliani, a couple related that they lost 600 euros in the Paris train station, their first stop in Europe.

We have never lost anything but we go native and keep anything valuable away from creeping hands. We never carry much cash, preferring to use our Chase CC and ATMs.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2015, 12:35 PM   #2064
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,533
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Quote:
Originally Posted by explanade View Post
Wow, you're going from the north to the very south, Sicily.

Are you traveling within Italy by train or plane?

Will you have a car in Sicily?

On the east coast of Sicily, I don't believe there are as many antique ruins. You have have to get out to Agrigento to see the temples.

I didn't visit Etna while in Taormina.

I liked the Baroque duomos in Siracusa, Noto and Ragusa. They are all beautifully restored, the ones in Siracusa and Noto looked immaculate when I saw them in 2010.

A car would make getting down to Siracusa, Noto and Ragusa easier, though my understanding is that there are good bus services, but not so much the train, as in the rest of Italy.

But they would be long drives from Taormina.

Another thing I didn't get to do is to see the Aeolians. There might be tour operators which run packages of coach to get you out to the NE coast and then ferries or hydrofoils from Taormina. I know they offer them from Palermo, which is much further away than Taormina.
Yes we use the train around most of Italy (and the Milan-Rome train is excellent).

From Positano south we are really open at this point. We know there is a train/bus combination to get to the island. Then a short bus trip down to Taormina. We have 5 days there and then are open.

We have to get to Rome to return after a month. So all the names you supplied could be potential destinations. There are 4 of us so car rental is a possibility. Or renting a driver.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2015, 02:19 PM   #2065
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 402
We spent 6 weeks from Paris to Rome, Milano, Interlaken (Switzerland), a week along the Midi Canal, Spain, Portugal, and Morocco and never once lost any money despite taking public trains, buses, ferries, walking etc. But we didn't dress like tourists. Until we opened our mouths we blended in.
__________________
folivier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2015, 02:28 PM   #2066
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 4,170
Quote:
Originally Posted by folivier View Post
But we didn't dress like tourists. Until we opened our mouths we blended in.
Since a large percentage of people almost everywhere now wear ball caps, T-shirts, and jeans, that might not be so difficult.
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2015, 02:53 PM   #2067
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,301
Or you think you didn't look like tourists but the locals know.
__________________
explanade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2015, 04:48 PM   #2068
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,573
Planning to go to Greece in late August and spend Sept in the islands.

Somewhat concerned about the financial issue and how it may impact businesses (ferry and air out) and ATM withdrawals etc.

We may wait until mid June to book air...by then two payments will have been made to the IMF or they will be in default. Not too concerned about demonstrations...we have been there during past periods of trouble. Very little to zero of it spills over to the islands.
__________________
brett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2015, 05:13 PM   #2069
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Lsbcal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: west coast, hi there!
Posts: 5,546
We had signed up for a Rick Steves tour of Greece for September. But in January we switched it to Italy. Reason was that it might play out OK for tourists but we didn't want to go through what promised to be a back and forth news event. It's suppose to be a fun vacation, not a foreign affairs ping-pong match.

Anyway, hopefully tourists will not be affected. Might even clear out the weak willed ones (like us). Southern Italy will be enough of an adventure for our tastes.
__________________
Lsbcal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2015, 05:32 PM   #2070
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,566
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
We are headed to Italy again, this time focusing on the south, in September. Arrive in Milan then make our way to Rome to meet with friends. Then Positano (5 days),Capri (2 days), Pompeii, Taormino (5 days) returning home from Rome one month later.

Looking for recommendations for Sicily. Hoping the avoid the refugees in Catania!
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
Yes we use the train around most of Italy (and the Milan-Rome train is excellent).

From Positano south we are really open at this point. We know there is a train/bus combination to get to the island. Then a short bus trip down to Taormina. We have 5 days there and then are open.

We have to get to Rome to return after a month. So all the names you supplied could be potential destinations. There are 4 of us so car rental is a possibility. Or renting a driver.
Taormina is a beautiful city... but not car friendly. We stayed at the south end of the main pedestrian street - and enjoyed the nightly paseggiata. The closest train station to Taormina is at Giardini Naxos - just down the hill. It's a short taxi ride up the hill. There are buses also. We took a public bus up the hill to Castelmola, then took the foot paths back down to Taormina. There's also a fununcular down the hill to the beaches below.

As far as the ruins - the Greek Theater is right in town and truly stunning. If you want more of the same, take the train down to Siracusa - they have another theater - and quite a few ruins right there in the Ortigia part of the city.

For options from Pompeii to Taormina we've taken the train (the train is loaded onto a ferry to cross the straits of Messina) and we've taken the ferry to Catania. From the Ferry station it's almost walkable (depending on your luggage) to the Catania train station - then you can take a train up to Giardini Naxos.

We'll be in Sicily next month to start off our trip. We're flying into Catania, taking the Alibus from the airport to the train station, then taking the train north (we're staying north of Acireale, south of Taormina in my husband's ancestral village of Riposto.) We'll take the train north to Milan at the end of that stay.

We plan to do a day in Taormina while we're there this time. Our first trip to Sicily we stayed in Taormina.

Not sure if you're a hotel type, or a rental apartment type... We stayed at Residence Schuler (the brother of the guy who runs the high end Schuler Hotel). Highly recommend this accommodation.
Vacation rental - Taormina - Apartments - Residence Schuler - Holiday Accommodation - Villa - Terrace on the sea
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Another trip!
Old 05-25-2015, 06:15 PM   #2071
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Sacramento area
Posts: 444
Another trip!

First, THANK GOD we are retired. If I still had to go to w*rk everyday, I think I would seriously consider suicide. Shudder.

ANYWAY, the NEXT trip is in the fall, an NCL cruise out of Venice to Greece. We will take our two German grandchildren with us. Should be a blast!

While visiting daughter in Germany, I ABSOLTELY am renting a car and driving up to Bastogne, Belgium. @ 61 I have wanted to go for YEARS.

Couple of years ago we took an American grandson and stopped in Amsterdam (stayed away from THAT part of the city... lol), and did visit the US cemetery in Luxembourg.

Still to come.... Normandy.
__________________
AWeinel is offline   Reply With Quote
Safety in Europe
Old 05-26-2015, 06:25 AM   #2072
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 289
Safety in Europe

Having just returned from Paris, staying two blocks from the Eiffel Tower during our 10 day visit, we followed the recent shutdown story with some interest. The threats mentioned in the articles appear to have been directed at Eiffel Tower employees attempting to thwart the pickpocketers, not at tourists.

Because of where we stayed, we passed by or through the Eiffel Tower about a dozen times during our stay, I can only say that while it had a different energy than the rest of Paris seemed to (more frenetic, more touristy, more of the 'survey' people attempting to distract people as part of a pickpocketing scam), we never, ever once felt unsafe.

Just as one would experience anywhere that they are not a local (and this applies to visitors in our own country), some common sense needs to be applied. Otherwise? Most crime stats I see point to Europe still being considerably safer than the USA.
__________________
ElizabethT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2015, 11:23 AM   #2073
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Florence, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 1,993
I was once victim of pickpockets in Paris. One perp tripped at the bottom of a crowded escalator in the subway, and a bunch of us started falling in a pile. Their associates swooped in to pick us up--and sticking hands in pockets at the same time. They were very good at what they did--only going after cash.

Now, I never travel with billfolds, and all money and credit cards are hidden. My wife follows me closely in busy places. And at 6'3" and 235 lbs., I'm a complete jerk to anyone that gets in "my space." You have to be proactive in your safety when visiting places pickpockets are known to frequent.

What really gets me is that security cameras are all over the place, and the gendarme know who the pickpockets are. I guess they're accepted members of society over there. Nobody ever seems to do anything about the problem.
__________________
Bamaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2015, 11:34 AM   #2074
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,533
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Taormina is a beautiful city... but not car friendly. We stayed at the south end of the main pedestrian street - and enjoyed the nightly paseggiata. The closest train station to Taormina is at Giardini Naxos - just down the hill. It's a short taxi ride up the hill. There are buses also. We took a public bus up the hill to Castelmola, then took the foot paths back down to Taormina. There's also a fununcular down the hill to the beaches below.

As far as the ruins - the Greek Theater is right in town and truly stunning. If you want more of the same, take the train down to Siracusa - they have another theater - and quite a few ruins right there in the Ortigia part of the city.

For options from Pompeii to Taormina we've taken the train (the train is loaded onto a ferry to cross the straits of Messina) and we've taken the ferry to Catania. From the Ferry station it's almost walkable (depending on your luggage) to the Catania train station - then you can take a train up to Giardini Naxos.

We'll be in Sicily next month to start off our trip. We're flying into Catania, taking the Alibus from the airport to the train station, then taking the train north (we're staying north of Acireale, south of Taormina in my husband's ancestral village of Riposto.) We'll take the train north to Milan at the end of that stay.

We plan to do a day in Taormina while we're there this time. Our first trip to Sicily we stayed in Taormina.

Not sure if you're a hotel type, or a rental apartment type... We stayed at Residence Schuler (the brother of the guy who runs the high end Schuler Hotel). Highly recommend this accommodation.
Vacation rental - Taormina - Apartments - Residence Schuler - Holiday Accommodation - Villa - Terrace on the sea
Thanks Rodi. That fills in some key gaps in our knowledge. It confirms my resolve to use the train whenever possible. We will probably take the train from Pompeii to Taormina. (I had already confirmed that the train station is handy to Pompeii on cruisecritic.com)

We have already booked the Schuler Hotel (too bad as there are four of us.) We are also going to a restaurant that the brother of a PV chef runs a couple of blocks from the hotel (La Giara?) where he goes every summer to help out.

Anyway, any other tips that anyone thinks of would be welcome.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2015, 11:41 AM   #2075
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
JoeWras's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by brett View Post
Planning to go to Greece in late August and spend Sept in the islands.

Somewhat concerned about the financial issue and how it may impact businesses (ferry and air out) and ATM withdrawals etc.

We may wait until mid June to book air...by then two payments will have been made to the IMF or they will be in default. Not too concerned about demonstrations...we have been there during past periods of trouble. Very little to zero of it spills over to the islands.
You'll love it. Just got back. People were so friendly. No trouble with crime, even in Athens. And even though I tried to not look like a tourist, "they knew" as someone above said. Nobody taking scam-surveys either, like I've read about Paris. No fake cops. All in all, a very enjoyable trip. And despite the recent economic news, the tourist sites were plenty crowded with people from all over the world.

As for demonstrations, we saw one live in Athens that was on BBC news. BBC made it up to be some big deal. The only thing we saw as a little peaceful gathering and short walk. The kids were annoyed by it since it interrupted their skateboarding time and were relieved when the crowd disbursed and they could get back to fun.

As for cash stash, I used something strapped to my leg. Problem there is in the summer when you want to wear shorts. I'm sad to say with the economic turmoil there, you may have to bring more cash than normal. For instance, if the govt. creates an "ATM holiday" or something. It could happen. But no merchant there is going to turn down Euros for any time in the forseeable future -- but you'll have to have the Euros.

EDIT: I should add upon rereading, I made it sound like Greece is crime free. Of course it isn't. You have to be aware anywhere in the world. At the acropolis, word spread of a lady who's purse was stolen, just yanked off her shoulder. It happens. Aside from that grab-and-run, we heard of no other bad instances, and we spoke with many of fellow tourists in our time there. Experiences were overwhelmingly positive.
__________________
JoeWras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2015, 11:59 AM   #2076
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,566
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
Thanks Rodi. That fills in some key gaps in our knowledge. It confirms my resolve to use the train whenever possible. We will probably take the train from Pompeii to Taormina. (I had already confirmed that the train station is handy to Pompeii on cruisecritic.com)

We have already booked the Schuler Hotel (too bad as there are four of us.) We are also going to a restaurant that the brother of a PV chef runs a couple of blocks from the hotel (La Giara?) where he goes every summer to help out.

Anyway, any other tips that anyone thinks of would be welcome.
Hotel Schuler looks fabulous. It was just a bit too pricey - and we were travelling with kids - so having space and a kitchen was important. The hotel can probably shuttle you up from the Giardini Naxos train station. The hotel has a fabulous overlook of the ocean below.

Are you staying in Pompei or just doing it as a day trip? The town of Pompei is a stop before the one you want if you're going to the ruins. You want the Pompei scavi stop if you're going to the ruins. Wear clothes you don't mind getting dusty - the site is full of ash/dust and we were covered in white dust at the end of the day. The train that takes you to Pompei (both the town and the ruins) runs on a different track than the one run by Trenitalia that take you north to Rome, or south to Sicily... But they're both in the Naples train station - just on a different floor. The whole process of the train being loaded onto/off of the ferry to cross Messina was really neat. And you can go up on deck during the crossing.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2015, 12:09 PM   #2077
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,301
I stayed in town, right where the passagiata passes.

But I parked at a garage near the exit from the freeway.

Don't remember how much it was but it wasn't bad. There is also a shuttle bus service from the garage to the town, because it's above Taormina.

I walked down to the beach and on the way, saw a couple of hotels with parking. Only problem is to get up to town, you'd have to hike up a bit. Maybe there's bus service up to the town.

When I got to the bottom, I looked around and then took the cable car back up.
__________________
explanade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2015, 12:27 PM   #2078
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,566
Oh - if you decide to rent a car for a day or two, while staying in Taormina there is a car rental agency at the south end of Corso Umberto - just outside the Catania gate. (Corso Umberto has two gates - the Messina gate to the north, and Catania gate to the south). We rented from them. No need to rent a car for the entire time - especially if you are arriving/leaving by train.

Taormina is truly one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. There's a really good book called "A House in Sicily" that is set in Taormina - it captures the feel of this town (and is an easy read). It's by Daphne Phelps.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2015, 05:13 PM   #2079
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,026
We spent our 25th wedding anniversary in Taormina, sitting on the balcony of our hotel room watching the rivulets of lava flow down Mt. Etna on a cool clear night. We actually drove there from Siracusa, drove up the mountain and into town to our hotel. It was a very narrow squeeze in some spots, but we made it just fine. We enjoyed walking up and down the Corso Umberto and ate dinner at a place called the Grotta Azzurra, which was good. In my notebook, I observed that the atmosphere in Taormina was one of cossetted vacationers seeking a romantic spot. We certainly fit that bill.

P.S. - here is my trip report from 2009 My Trip to Sicily

P.P.S. - In Taormina, go up to the Greco-Roman theater to see this view, painted by Thomas Cole in 1843. It hangs in the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Thomas Cole.JPG (259.0 KB, 14 views)
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2015, 04:41 AM   #2080
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: North Bay
Posts: 1,025
I love the painting with all the subtle browns and greens. And you can't beat volcanoes and ancient ruins!
__________________

__________________
scrinch is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned? glen12 Life after FIRE 39 08-12-2012 01:34 PM
Planned Age at Retirement kyounge1956 FIRE and Money 41 07-07-2010 09:31 PM
Planned Medical Expenses smjsl FIRE and Money 21 11-02-2009 09:59 AM
Earlier than I'd planned! piano13 Hi, I am... 15 06-10-2008 07:08 AM
Return more than planned bobbee25 FIRE and Money 65 12-11-2006 02:42 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:57 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.