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October N. Italy

Not really a trip report, that will come later but just a few observations while the memories are still fresh.
First I guess it goes without saying but boy oh boy is it busy! Venice and Milan were to be expected but Ferrara, Padova and Pavia were hoppin. Not that many tourists but lots of young Italians, no surprise as they are university towns. Val Gardena was definitely shutting down for the season and Varenna may have been slightly down from peak. All in all shoulder season ain't happening in mid October.
Mask and distancing are a distant memory. Vaping..lots of vapers I guess it's better than smoking, still disgusting.
Money..tapped whenever possible, just like Fred Astaire. Hotels required cash for local tax. We needed cash for 1 B&B. Loved the exchange rate! Great to check my bank and see a charge of $97 for a €100 debit, first time for that!
We had a great time and had the best Tiramisu of the trip at.... get ready for it...... McDonalds in Milan

Posted by
1092 posts

Wow. I continue to be thankful that I was able to go last November, when protections were still in place and numbers were definitely lower than usual.

Glad you had a great time, though. (And, yeah, I love the croissants with Nutella pumped into them from the McDonald's near the Spanish Steps in Rome. And given the number of Italians stopping at the McCafé counter, so do the locals.)

Posted by
1214 posts

OMG, the McDonalds near the Spanish Steps is still there. I remember taking my two young boys there back in the early 90's & if I remember it had a nice set up w/a fountain or water feature when you entered. Forgot to see if it was still there when I was in Rome back in 2014.

Posted by
1092 posts

Yup, still there, and there is a sign stating that it is either the first McDonald's in Italy, or the first in Europe. I forget which.