I am in Europe for five months, going through 25 countries. (Only 90 days in Schengen, no need for advice about that) Planning/executing this has been overwhelming.
I am starting out in Italy. Rome was awful, so I moved on to Florence because everyone told me it was better. My camera was stolen in Rome, so in Florence I headed out to Media World, which seems to be a Best Buy. I bought a ticket, and took the bus to the tram. Media World had the exact phone I had from the US. Happy day! I did not follow Rick's advice that travel insurance is optional, so I will be reimbursed the $450 for the camera.
To return to the hostel, I bought a ticket and took the tram to the station to catch a bus. I knew to take #17, but there are a lot of #17 (A, B, C) and it was trial and error "asking" drivers if I had the right bus. I finally found the correct one. When I was nearly to my stop, a ticket inspector checked tickets, and apparently tickets are only good for 90 minutes, and I was 15 minutes past that. He wrote me a ticket for 50+ Euros. He was a jerk (I am finding that par for the course in Italy) and said tickets were not for all day. I showed him my ticket to the camera shop as well as the return ticket and explained, he did not care. I did not buy one ticket and try to use it all day.
When I returned to the hostel, the staff said not to pay the ticket. They are Italian and have these tickets, nothing happens. I looked online, and other Americans said not to pay them, Italy can do nothing. I have tried to know/follow all the rules here, this was an innocent mistake. While I would normally pay fines, this one seems extreme. Has any other American left one of these tickets unpaid? Did anything happen?
Since Rome was awful and Florence is not much better, to be safe I canceled my time in Florence and Venice, I'm headed to another country tomorrow. Yay!
No need to lecture me about safety. I am wearing a money belt, cash in a silk pocket in my bra, my daypack is a Travelon that latches up so tight I have a heck of a time getting things out. In some ways it is the extreme security measures I took are part of the problem, it is difficult to get things in/out.