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 Post subject: Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi e Positano
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:39 am 
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Ciao Amici! I will be traveling to Roma(Rome) , Napoli (Naples), Surriento (Sorrento), Capri (this one is a maybe), Amalfi and Positano.

Except for the first couple days in Roma, we will be with a local tour guide but we still fend for ourselves in terms of finding restaurants. The tour is a bit... loose so mostly a lot of freedom on what we do and restaurants are on our own so any recommendations would be appreciated. Some of our hotels provide breakfast (especially in Rome) so that isn't a big deal.

Also, I would like to bring a couple bottles of wine back and wonder if I can wait until we go to Amalfi? or is it better to buy in Rome or Naples?

Any hints/tips/tricks/etc are appreciated.

I also signed up for an immersion class for travelers to Italia and I've been listening to podcasts like crazy so I hope to be able to say some simple phrases at least and I also have a small travel dictionary that will go with us :)

Grazie mille!

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 Post subject: Re: Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi e Positan
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:37 am 
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Nooch of Earl
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Duolingo is a pretty decent app for learning basic Italian I've found, with limitations of course (namely: it's very translation intensive from English, which I find makes me able to understand things but not REALLY learn, but)… Anyway, it's free, the iThing app is pretty nice, and I've found it the best way to motivate myself to chug along a little each day. Of course, I also haven't touched it in a month or so but we've been crazy busy so that's why.

When will you be in italy? We just got to Naples; it looks like we'll be living out in town and hopefully settled somewhere within a couple of months, but we find out more about that during the orientation next week. Would love to meet up, though we've got a busy few months ahead between finding a place to live, settling in, and with baby Euclid due in early June.

Un Sorriso Integrale is the main restaurant I've been able to find out about online, but I actually haven't eaten out here at all yet since at the moment we are stuck on a military base in kind of a rural area. Hoping to take the bus to Aversa today and explore a little! It looks like the main natural foods supermarket (NaturSi) is just east of the big park in the Pozzuoli area, though again I haven't been there. When I do go, I will certainly take some photos of my vegan finds to post in the Naples thread. I'm probably one of the only people on earth who gets weirdly excited about new natural food grocery stores in new countries!!

If you can extend your trip by a few days, we're not very far from the Country House Montali in Umbria (Lake Trassamino) and I *highly* recommend staying there. it's a vegetarian hotel that does breakfast and fabulous, multi-course fancy dinners, within day trip distance of Siena, Perugia, and other towns. Their dinners were some of the best meals I've had in my life (they are very good at accommodating vegans and you don't have to constantly remind them or anything, there's just a set meal and they remember you since they don't have very many guests). It's just an incredible place, and for the meals included a big bargain too!


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 Post subject: Re: Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi e Positan
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:20 pm 
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We are coming in May. I think we will be visiting Italy again in the future, I'd like to visit other parts as well. I almost made a huge mistake and almost booked us arriving on good friday and staying through Easter.. in rome... oops. I don't think my husband would've forgiven me for taking him to Rome during the biggest Catholic holiday of the year.

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 Post subject: Re: Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi e Positan
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:45 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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I would invite you to stay with us but I have no idea whether we'll be settled in a house by May! But anyway, I'll try to report back on the Naples and area situation a little better in the months ahead. We just got here Thursday afternoon, so I still am very clueless about the veg situation beyond what I've found online. I've been living off Amy's and Gardenburger food from the commissary the last couple days, so I'm failing at international living at the moment ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi e Positan
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:19 am 
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No worries, we have all our hotels paid up for now. I'm a bit excited. I like the tour we are doing as basically, they just drive us between major cities(or book the trains and manage transfers) , book the hotels, and give us a few 'must see' tours and then let us work with the local travel guide on what else we would like to do.

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 Post subject: Re: Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi e Positan
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:31 pm 
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So I looked at Happy Cow and there are 5 or 6 vegan restaurants listed in Rome and a ton of vegetarian which is what I would've expected, more or less.

Naples and surrounding area seemed to be less but I found this website that listed a few finds for where we will be:
http://www.venere.com/blog/campania-veggie-10740/

The restaurants listed aren't vegan and some aren't vegetarian but seem like may have good options. I'm not lying though when I say I just plan to eat bread when I go to Italy.

And I found a blog entry for a vegan who went to Positano
http://keepinitkind.com/vegan-travel-positano-italy/

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 Post subject: Re: Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi e Positan
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:45 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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I got excited reading the description of Umberto but looking at the menu, I am definitely not seeing a vegan friendly or even vegetarian menu: http://www.umberto.it/index.php

We haven't really done much eating out, though, unfortunately.


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 Post subject: Re: Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi e Positan
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:48 pm 
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Oh and another thing I just found, despite the annoying background here, check out the last picture with the pizza... hell yeah
http://whativegan.wordpress.com/2012/10 ... -in-italy/

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 Post subject: Re: Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi e Positan
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:54 pm 
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Oh yeah, at first glance it doesn't but it seems workable if you get a margherita pizza senza formaggio and one of their side dishes. Unless they have a separate vegetarian menu that isn't on the website.

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 Post subject: Re: Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi e Positan
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 5:42 am 
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I wanted to report back. We had a great trip.

In Rome, we ate at 2 vegetarian restaurants, Il Margutta and Ristorante Taverna Vegetariana. Both were great, Ristorante Taverna Vegetariana was a bit more price friendly or a lot more price friendly. We did the 7 course meal at Il Margutta which was absolutely wonderful but also probably more than I've ever spent on a meal in my life. I didn't seek out the coconut milk based gelato in Rome but I think if we had more time, I would've. We had plenty of gelato throughout the trip though. For lunches, we kind of settled into deli lunches with marinated vegetables and fresh bread. For dinners, we navigated as best we could at the various restaurants. For breakfast, I was glad I brought some peanut butter to add to bread because standard included breakfasts were just not really an option outside of the toast offered.

Outside of Rome, Sorrento seemed the most vegan friendly. We found dairy free chocolate gelato there as well as a small vegan/vegetarian grocery market that served food as well. They had a large vegan section in the refrigerated case. We bought salami there one day.

Restaurants were very accommodating although a bit confused by our lack of desire for cheese or anchovies. My husband did get anchovied one night, the first night with the group after going over with the waiter about no cheese, no meat, etc and then his pasta came and tasted fishy. They said they only added 2 anchovies while sauteeing. They gladly redid the meal.

One thing that surprised me was the lack of beans. Many restaurants had bean soup and we found 1 restaurant with a bean/pasta dish. I guess I expected a bit more. The pizza was wonderful, the fresh fruits and veggies as well as the marinated veggies and bread at the grocery stores was great.

As for towns, we loved Rome and Pompeii. Both of which let me practice my shaky Italian with reckless abandon. Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Capri and Revello are towns/areas that seem to cater specifically to tourists and see more tourists than Italians. It is fine if you want to be spoken to in English and see restaurants offer "English breakfast". We had a lovely hike in Amalfi and Revello was beautiful, quieter than the other tourist specific towns and offered a great location for our picnic lunch. Revello was a fairly quick bus ride from Amalfi and quicker ride back. I think of the areas visited, I'd like to go back to Pompeii and Rome. Ravello and Sorrento would be a maybe but I'd probably skip Amalfi, Positano and Capri.

So that is a quick run down.

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 Post subject: Re: Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi e Positan
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 5:49 am 
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Oh and a quick summary of the airlines. Both United and Lufthansa did pretty well on vegan options. United offered us an Indian style meal on the way to Rome and back from Munich, Lufthansa had a funny/weird triple decker sandwich with hummus, cucumber and tomato and also a tomato/tofu/potato dish. All things were edible. We also found a place to get rice and stir fried veggies at the Munich airport. The flight from Naples to Munich on Lufthansa was generic and no specific offering for us, so we politely turned down the cheese sandwich which was offered.

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 Post subject: Re: Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi e Positan
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 6:07 am 
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And I forgot to mention Naples! So our quasi-guided tour originally had us staying in Naples but they had changed the itinerary. The guide, who is from Southern Italy, is not a fan of Naples due to all the pick pockets. So Naples was kind of a whirl wind tour with us getting pizza (YUM), visiting a museum and getting a drink in a cafe. I saw our small group being scouted by at least 1 pick pocket but our guide told us afterwards that there were 3 different times where we were scouted by pick pockets.

On the flip side, I never noticed my husband nor I being scouted in Rome (during our 3 days there). We went on busy busses, busy subways, etc and had no problem at all. I think we also just had a general awareness and also there were a lot of other tourists in Rome so I'm sure others who may have been better targets.

I would potentially go back to Naples in the future because we saw so little but the pizza was so good.

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 Post subject: Re: Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi e Positan
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 6:39 am 
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linalil, I'm so glad you had a great time in Italy. I went there four years ago (on a cruise, unfortunately) and can't wait to go back. We're thinking about a possible trip for next spring. How was the train travel? I see from above that you had a guide, but do you think it would have been pretty easy to navigate the train system without one? Also, I'd love to hear more about your experiences communicating in Italian. I took a semester of community college Italian in the fall and am trying to advance on my own with the fluenz computer program. It's fun to practice, but when I listen to Italians speaking in online videos or real life, my comprehension is awful. I'm very determined, though, and hope another year might be enough to attain a passable communication level!


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 Post subject: Re: Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi e Positan
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 7:04 am 
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We went on subways and the airport-city train on our own but then long distance and local trains with the guide. Overall, the train system seemed well marked and pretty easy to navigate. The local trains were very very crowded at times but the long distance train was a bit more open.

As far as Italian, I have a quasi background in Spanish (not fluency), took 2 years of Italian 20 years ago and then prepped with a month of Italian going there. I think as long as you learn the basics, you will do well. I thought the Italians we met that I tried to speak with were very willing to do so but so many Italians understand english that even if you can't, it isn't a problem. It was fun communicating in their language though and if it hadn't been such an impromptu trip, I would've studied for longer.

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