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One summer my friend and I decided to go to Italy during the summer holidays. Having read information about the tours we decided to do without travel agencies. We didn't want to stick to strict programs, to be in the crowds of tourists, losing lots of possibilities to get acquainted with the country more intimately so we started to think over our trip.
We managed to do quite well: six days in Rome with a day-long journey to Florence. Italy took us by storm! We'll try to go there again! We spent less than we expected. Of course, we spend nerves and time to arrange the trip, but Italy was worth that! Of course I was afraid lest something goes wrong, I was especially anxious about the visa. But everything went quite smoothly. So here's my story.
The most difficult was to get a visa without an invitation. In the Italian consulate one must hand in the documents confirming the hotel reservation and also a certificate about your income. Then we had to solve the ticket question. Airlines often sell discount tickets. We bought ours good in advance. The next step was to find and book a hotel. We searched the Internet and particularly liked the site hotelsrome. There are many lodgings in Rome, from big world-famous hotels to small private boarding houses (Bed and breakfast), so everyone can find something to his or her liking. We decided to book a lodging in thirty km away from Rome. And in fact that was the right choice.
Every day we took a train that delivered us to the heart of Rome, to Piazza del Popolo. After hustle capital our spacious house surrounded by the forest was a rare gift. Fresh air and absolute silence, interrupted only by the songs of the birds, breathtaking views, hospitable hosts, comfortable living conditions, tasty and hearty breakfasts - these are our impressions of "Selva Grande". Besides we were very lucky that our mistress was Russian. She gave us a lot of pieces of advice that were of great use. She told us what transport to choose, where to go, etc.
The last pain in the neck was a certificate about our income. Luckily one must not necessarily be a millionaire to be allowed to enter the country so we didn't have any problems.
Don't be afraid to arrange the trip by yourself. It's not difficult! Even the visa question is easily settled. All you need is time (and nerves)
Italy shook me, I'll certainly write about it next time. The only thing I'll say right now is that we really enjoyed to travel by ourselves. We walked with a map and a guide-book wherever we wanted. And we met our fellow countrymen just two or three times. So if you're also planning such a "single" trip, don't forget to take a Russian-Italian phrasebook as people in Italy are not that fond of English preferring to speak only in their native tongue.