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Facts about Italy
Stuff to See and Do
Try taking the ferry from Italy to Greece. They travel from Bari, Ancona, Brindisi, or Venice Italy. To Corfu, Igoumenitsa, or Patras and vice versa. All ferries are atleast one night and there are different companies for each route with different times. If you have a Eurail pass it will cover part or all of your ticket, but will only give a ticket for the deck which means no bed or room, so be prepared.
Italy has a very good reliable public transportation system especially in the big cities.
I used many times in Rome and Milan and it was up to my standards.
You can buy a day pass from many newspaper stand or inside the subway for only EUR 4 and it's valid from that time until 11.59 PM the same day. You can use it unlimited on any subway (called metro in Italy) and most inter city buses. Another good thing about using a day pass instead of single tickets, which would be EUR 2 each way, is that if you get on the wrong subway or bus you just get off and return to your initial destination without costing you anything.
During rush hours the subway might be very crowed especially in Rome and you might need to wait for a few trains. And keep an eye on your belongings especially when you ride a crowded subway or bus.
3 Weeks Or More
I'm originally italian so I'd like to share a few important tips for backpacking this magic country.
1) transportation in italy works pretty bad, often train arrived late so plan in advance.
2) don't skip the south and don't be scared of trying to get to know italians, but beware lots of people will try just to get as many money as possible from you (taxi drivers first)
3) bring a dictionary:) not a lot of italian will be able to efficiently speak with you in english (especially in the south)
4) visit the main touristic site if you want to but if you have time don't skip, Calabria, Sicilia and Piemonte to see some more traditional italian culture.
let me know if you need a tip, there's so much to say:)
What To Do
Donīt buy bulky soveniers or a fat bulky travel journal!!! Instead pick up 2 postcards from each place you go to!! Use one postcard to write down and summarise all the things you did in that location, and you can put it in a flip book later and the other one you can use for a collage e.t.c. This will save you HEAPS of money and you wont have to worry about your luggage being weighed down!!!