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Old 08-05-2008, 07:36 AM   #1
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Angry SHITALIA - worst place on earth!! (and still going down)

First off: italy sucks, period! The cities are filfthy dirty, the people are as rude as can be and the monuments are falling apart. Why am I saying that? Because what I've experiencied there I don't wish upon my worst enemy. rome is so dirty it's disguting, the water in venice smells like sewer, italians don't have any concept of waiting in lines, at any moment somebody will jump in front of you and when I tried telling the guy that there was a line the attended just signaled for me to wait, oh then of course, they speak no english at all, or at least refuse to speak to you, and even though I know how to speak spanish and understand everything they say, they still pretend they can't understand you. they lie to you in the information centers, they lie to you about train times, oh and the strike, priceless! Everywhere we went, I could hear people talking behind my back, in the train this one guy was standing in the middle of the isle, I was the only who said "excuse me" to go by, and then this guy starts yelling at me in italian, I lost it! when we went to a restaurant (which they tried overcharging us with things we didn't order) the guy called out the order and at the end added: "this is for the americans". Yes, I AM American (by choice not by birth) and PROUD OF IT!!! So you know what? FUCK YOU ITALIANS! There, I said it..
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:43 AM   #2
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Ouch....That'll be controversial.
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:48 AM   #3
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Sorry to read you've had such a bad experience ! Fortunately (for them), other tpunks have had better luck in Italy.

Is the rest of your trip going well?
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:53 AM   #4
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Ouch! loks like an experience from hell... lol, too bad you feel like that though, I loooooove Italy. And yes there are strikes, and yes they try to overcharge, and yes they don't speak English (or dont care to... that's the beauty of it).

Seriously, too bad you had to go through that in a negative way... but u see that everywhere. There's rude people everywhere, and they try to con u everywhere... I mean... look at Canada you can't even ride the bus without getting stabbed... (I know Canada is one of the safest places on Earth... or I feel like it is, but I just had to mention it). So perhaps you just run into a series of stuff that happened all in one trip... some things you can't change, but what really matters is your attitude towards it. For example, when I was in Greece with my parents there was a port strike and we COUNDN'T SEE A SINGLE Greek island!!! Instead of hating all greeks alike we decided to take a tour of the Peloponese and is one of my happiest memories while travelling with my family!

Hope you have better luck next trip!
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:07 AM   #5
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I totally empathize. Sometimes we just don't have a great experience in a country or city. I feel the same way about a certain other country but I'm not naming names because I'm willing to give it a chance to redeem itself.

Where are you headed next?
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:34 AM   #6
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^^We know it's not Ukraine.

I believe it's ok to complain about countries, without losing the perspective that it was our experience.

I too have a will-never-return country and when I give advise about it on the boards, I do warn travelers against what they might encounter. I do so, because I feel it is helpful, as a lot of travelers I've met in that country, were also unhappy for the same reasons as mine.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:41 AM   #7
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^^We know it's not Ukraine.
hahaha, now that you mention it...I strongly advise the OP not to go there. In fact I advise the OP to go to Germany.
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:11 AM   #8
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I had similar thoughts on Venice, however Rome/Florence were amazing. Venice just had to many tourists, and I got sick of getting lost lol.
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:33 AM   #9
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Sorry to hear about your experience bro.

I must ask you, when you encountered all of these things, how was your overall demeanor? This is important because if you appear to have a chip on your shoulder, then you will attract negative energy.

If you let one thing affect you in a negative way and don't resolve that mentally, you will carry that energy subconciously and it will affect the way you think, feel, and act.

When other things happen to you after that, and you don't feel right about those as well, these things will just compound on top of each other and all you will begin to notice are the negative things around you, until the "lid blows off the pot," which is kind of what we're seeing right now.

This is the law of attraction. What you focus on- E X P A N D S.

Understand, I am not trying to give you a lecture, just something to think about.

I too had some negative things happen to me. I was ripped off by a train reservationist in Amsterdam by about $80. I was ripped off at a post office for $60 in Paris. Encountered rude waiters, train operators, taxi drivers, sales people, street vendors, etc...But you know what? I learned to look past all those things and focus on the positive things like mainly, I'm finally in Europe and not in my cubicle!

Many people on here have been to Italy and saw what you saw, but their overall experiences were opposite of yours.

There is a good old saying that goes- "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."

I would encourage you to reprogram your mindset to always seek out that which is positive, no matter your circumstances and or environment, and you will attract positive things and experiences.

When this happens, you may experience Italy in a different light .
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:26 AM   #10
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I think we have all had experiences like jorgino's at some point along the way. Check out the thread called "Dumbest things you have heard tourists say" toward the back I talked about a Venetian Restaurant that pissed me off royally. Customer service isn't a European strong suit (especially along the Med).

Traveling makes you appreciate your country all the more. Let's face it, as nations go, the US is pretty awesome, but we don't have gelato everywhere, the Trevi fountain, the Pantheon, the forum, the colloseo, David, St Mark's square, the Uffizi etc. When you see Andre Rieu play at a local arena it doesn't quite have the majesty of his concert in Cortona.

Unfortunately the experience will likely make you never want to return to Italy, but at some point in the future, I urge you to give it another try.

If you do decide to go back let me recommend three things:

1.) Keep a loose itinerary. Having things to do things on a tight time table make for stressful trips in Italy, the land that punctuality forgot (actually I think that pretty much applies all over the Med)

2.) Go in off season. Since off season coincides with cooler weather, you will get a double benefit of not being sardined into Venetian alleys going in circles following the Per Rialto signs and have it be more pleasant to be outside if you do get turned around. Hot weather makes for hot tempers.

3.) Learn some Italian. This goes for every country you go to actually. Few people expect you to be fluent or even functional, but learning grazie, prego, per favore, scusi, parli inglesi and the like will probably endear you to locals and make them feel more comfortable speaking their second language to you. Moreover, it makes you feel more independent. In as little as 4 weeks you can really hit a language hard to get up to a very basic level (I did that with Japanese, so pretty much any Western language will be comparative cake).

Be extra friendly to tourists here in the states. Chances are they did not have the best first impression with US Immigration officials. Anyone who had an experience like yours, will at the very least be able to say "Yeah I had some negative experiences but I did meet this one extra friendly guy"

Believe it or not, Italy is a wonderful country. I wish you better luck for the rest of your trip

--Joey
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:39 AM   #11
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3.) Learn some Italian. This goes for every country you go to actually. Few people expect you to be fluent or even functional, but learning grazie, prego, per favore, scusi, parli inglesi and the like will probably endear you to locals and make them feel more comfortable speaking their second language to you. Moreover, it makes you feel more independent. In as little as 4 weeks you can really hit a language hard to get up to a very basic level (I did that with Japanese, so pretty much any Western language will be comparative cake).
To add to that, when I said parli inglesi to a store worker near the Vatican, he was shocked... He didn't speak English however. He then shut down his store temporarily, and took me to the nearest person he knew that spoke English. I couldn't believe all he did, that just goes to show you, people respect your attempts at speaking their language.
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:50 AM   #12
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Great advice in here, TPunks !
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:47 PM   #13
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To add to that, when I said parli inglesi to a store worker near the Vatican, he was shocked... He didn't speak English however. He then shut down his store temporarily, and took me to the nearest person he knew that spoke English. I couldn't believe all he did, that just goes to show you, people respect your attempts at speaking their language.
That's awesome Andrew. It goes to show you how wildly varying experiences can be. I had the same thing happen in Bari.

There is also an unintended benefit of learning another language. You learn how to talk to people more effectively. For example, if I am speaking with someone whose first language is French, Spanish or Italian, I will use words like intelligent instead of smart, fantastic instead of awesome, automobile instead of car etc.

Native English speakers are largely awful at doing this since they don't study languages. Using slang, speaking quickly, using contractions etc are all things that make you tougher to understand.

Even if altering your language becomes difficult you will, if nothing else, feel a lot more sympathetic towards someone struggling with the language since you have been there too.

--Joey
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:19 PM   #14
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^^ Totally! Not to mention that you improve your own language by using all those latin based words!!
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:06 PM   #15
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I met the rudest people, and also the nicest guy, in Rome.

Some of the cutest girls I've met were also from Italy, but ironically not while in Italy..

And their pizza was nowhere as good as I would have imagined.

Kinda hard to make consistent sense of the place, i guess.. :D
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:45 PM   #16
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It's also very interesting when talking to people who say they don't speak English well, and yet they can put together way more coherent sentences in English than I can in say French or German.

I met a French guy in Spain and while he did not have perfect English, it made me feel like I really needed to learn another language and work at becoming more fluent because he knew enough to hold a decent conversation.
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:13 PM   #17
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Yeah I traveled with a German girl once who moaned about how terrible her Spanish was, but she could easily carry on 10 minute conversations with random strangers.

I suppose it is all relative, she spoke nearly accent-free English and told me she was almost as good at Swedish. There was another language she was "pretty good" at but I can't remember which anymore. French maybe? With language skills that advanced in several languages I guess anything short of fluent is disappointing to her.
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:50 PM   #18
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Haha, I feel I should weigh in to defend mi famiglia! Italians are self-conscious about their English, especially if they aren't highly educated. I took one semester of community college Italian and my relatives INSISTED that I speak to them in Italian even though they take English pretty much every year of school. I've also met Americans who took Spanish through middle school and high school and can't speak the language.

Not standing in line is definitely a cultural thing you have to get used to everywhere. Very few countries in the world actually "queue," and it drives me nuts because I'm not aggressive at all, so I have to muster courage to fight my way to the front. And I agree with Tony. You met one or two genuinely nasty people, and then your attitude is shot, and people feed off that energy and respond in kind.

Italians are pretty weird. I'll be the first to admit we are way more "third world" (as nasty as that phrase is politically) than most Europeans, and there's a reason people trying to make anthro/cultural points refer to it as "Southern European." It's slower, more laid back, less service/efficiency oriented and more service/peer curiosity leaning.

If you're just bitching and moaning, that's great. It's good to vent, and the boards can be a good place to do that within reason. But it takes a LOT to hate a whole culture (and by a LOT, think genocide, slavery, colonialism etc. etc.) and try to think about what separates that from "Oh, I had a bad vacation."

Also, just for giggles, monuments falling apart = Roman ruins!
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:14 PM   #19
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Just hopped in on the thread... A few things to add on top of what other tpunks have said:

1. Were you expecting a modern skyline in Rome or something? The Parthenon isn't exactly going to be the Sears Tower, you know? That's the beauty of traveling to see ruins, its a break from the modern stuff we see as Americans every day in places like NYC or Chicago. You learn about another culture, that period/style of architecture, etc. So... Of course the Colleseum and whatever else are "falling apart"! They're only a gazillon years old! (Well perhaps not that old, you get my point).

2.I hate when English speakers (I want to say Americans but maybe others do too, I just see Americans do this more) travel somewhere and get pissed when folks there don't speak any English! Travel to the UK or Canada or Oz if you have such an aversion to language barriers. I am a language barrier-phobe and I was able to have coffee with this 80 year old man in Germany who thought my tattoo was cool. He didn't speak a lick of English and I don't even know conversational German but we had a nice visit and convo thanks to hand motions and a ohrasebook. You have to make the effort. This is part of the reason why everyone thinks Americans are such assholes. We go places and get pissed when things aren't like back home. Well, that's the point of travel. NEW things, people, culture. If you don't want that, save your money and stay home. Don't blame an entire country of people!

3. I'm with the crowd, rude folks are everywhere. Just roll with it.
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:26 PM   #20
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I hate when English speakerstravel somewhere and get pissed when folks there don't speak any English!

I'm gonna get pissed now because in the boards we only got ONE Spanish thread!!

I thinkk it's terribly stupid to go to another country and expect the people from that place to speak any other language than their own!! I was at a terrible loss in Vienna (I almost got on a train that was going to Poland when I needed to go to Prague...) and the train operator didn't speak English, Spanish, Italian NOR French... I got pissed by he's lack of tolerance towards me... but never at his innability to speak a second language...
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