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Take a walk, smell the roses. Any topic is fine, save people bashing.

As I mentioned to tinear below...

My only suggestion would be to learn as many basic words in each language as possible to communicate necessary things (in lieu of having an interpreter along). Quite a few Europeans speak English, but not all and some words and phrases don't translate clearly. Be sure to pack as lightly as possible. There's no baggage checking on trains, it's all carry-on and space is very limited. Expect lots of walking. If you're not in shape, you will be after the trip; comfortable tennis shoes are a must as most Europeans walk or ride bikes/scooters just about everywhere.

We would've also visited Italy as part of my wife's book tour, but her Italian publisher, or rather an employee of that publisher, dropped the ball by failing to follow-up on our scheduled appearance. One thing I've heard repeatedly about Italy is that scheduling activities can be very complicated for international travelers (lot's of paperwork, red-tape, etc.). This may or may not be your experience, but it'll be interesting hearing your report either from the road or after you're back.


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