Subject: Re: Italy
<< For a 1st time traveler do you think it unrealistic to try to travel by train and find lodging when we show up? >>

Going in September, I do not think this unrealistic. It's not how I prefer to do things for my own travel, as much of the enjoyment for me is researching charming places in advance, booking, and then eagerly anticipating my stay there. Plus, I always need to leave phone numbers for family members. But I know it works fine for many people.

Most European rail stations will have a tourist desk of some sort -- or there will be a tourist office located in walking distance of the rail station; you just tell them what you want and what price and they are very helpful. However, this won't work if you are arriving at night by rail, so do plan ahead for that.

The reminder that 2000 is Jubilee Year and that Rome will probably be extra-full of tourists all year is a good one, so you might want to book in advance there.

Sally Watkins, CTC