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  1. #1

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    I'm looking online at a pair of Merrells walking shoes and the reviews from people who've worn them hit both ends of the spectrum. They either really really like them or they just plain hate them. Maybe they didn't get their feet measured correctly.

    I want comfortable shoes but something that doesn't really look like a running shoe. (Try wearing some nice slacks and a nice blouse with a pair of gawdy looking walking shoes.) Do you know if shoes like Birkenstocks are comfortable enough for walking around 4 miles a day? Or maybe I should look for the more stylish type of walking shoe. For evening activity I will wear lowflat heels since I'll be close to the nightlife where I'll be staying. But daytime wear I'll need to really look good for a comfortable pair. I want to break them in before I go in June.

    Also, are hats in Italy out of fashion? I sometimes wear a plain black beret to keep the hair out of my face. It's too short to clip back yet long enough to get in my face. I wonder if they sell berets in Italy, they're so comfortable.

    Any feedback would be nice.

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  2. #2

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    I'm looking online at a pair of Merrells walking shoes and the reviews from people who've worn them hit both ends of the spectrum. They either really really like them or they just plain hate them. Maybe they didn't get their feet measured correctly.

    I want comfortable shoes but something that doesn't really look like a running shoe. (Try wearing some nice slacks and a nice blouse with a pair of gawdy looking walking shoes.) Do you know if shoes like Birkenstocks are comfortable enough for walking around 4 miles a day? Or maybe I should look for the more stylish type of walking shoe. For evening activity I will wear lowflat heels since I'll be close to the nightlife where I'll be staying. But daytime wear I'll need to really look good for a comfortable pair. I want to break them in before I go in June.

    Also, are hats in Italy out of fashion? I sometimes wear a plain black beret to keep the hair out of my face. It's too short to clip back yet long enough to get in my face. I wonder if they sell berets in Italy, they're so comfortable.

    Any feedback would be nice.

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  3. #3

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    Hi Cynde,
    I haven't been to Italy yet(that's coming in April) but I do work on my feet all day and after years of looking for the best footwear I have found that Men's shoes are IT. I admit I have a wide foot which makes almost all womens shoes difficult for me but for comfort, support and fit I have found that a boys size 6 or a mans (small) size 6.5 or 7 fit my wide (womans) size 8 perfectly and they are more attractive than a running shoe, you just have to look for the right style. If you have a narrow foot this probably won't work for you but I think even a average foot would find more comfort in these... after all men's shoes are made first for comfort then "looks" and women's shoes are the other way around - when they even bother about the comfort part. Hope this helps.
    (I have tried almost all the specialty shoes for women available in Canada. Ronsons, Birkenstock, Red Wing, etc.)

  4. #4


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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Cynde:
    Do you know if shoes like Birkenstocks are comfortable enough for walking around 4 miles a day?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I have come to restrict the range of shoes I buy to only two brands, so that I spend the whole winter in a pair of Dr. Martens boots and the whole summer with a pair of Birkenstock sandals, and I walk a lot whenever I can. At times, I have been walking for over 10 km per day with my Birkenstock. Also, if you are looking for stylish but comfortable shoes, as you arrive in Italy check out Valleverde or Melluso shoes.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Also, are hats in Italy out of fashion?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    They are not, but do not worry about fashion too much. Mani foreigners coming to Italy are somewhat convinced that Italians really care about fashion, but it is NOT TRUE. Most people just wear whatever happens to be available (clean and decent) and just do not give a look to what the others wear.

    Alice Twain
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    Sciur capitan, questa che l la verit,| Mr capitain, this is the truth

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    Se te voret scriv te regali la mia pena,|If you want to write to me, Ill give you my pencil

    se te voret sparam questa l la mia schena.|If you want to shoot me, heres my back.

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    [This message was edited by Chris on 12 March 2003 at 07:32 AM.]
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  5. #5

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    Cynde -
    there is a good thread on the fodor's board (look under the Other Topics section) about this very subject. I am also interested in a not too clunky looking but good support walking shoe. I went out yesterday afternoon after reading the posts and looked at some of the recommendations. Frankly, some where just too expensive. I don't want to spend $250 on a shoe for travel. I continue my quest but I did check out the Nordstroms selection on line and liked the look of one of the Rockports (had a stabilizing bar which I find to be VERY supportive) and there was a Hush Puppy worth checking out. I notice on the Fodor's thread that a lot of people seem to like clog type shoes for travel and lots of walking. I just can't think you would get enough support for a long day on your feet from a clog. I have always presumed that an oxford was the best support. What do you folks think?
    I am so interested in the wide foot post. I have the same problem and have often wondered about trying a men's shoe. Think I'll browse thru today and see how they fit! Great idea.
    Cynde, if you find something great, let us all know.

  6. #6


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    Hi, Cynde, this question is (nearly) at the top of my list, since I'm off today for my Sicily trip. I haven't read the thread because it seems to me there's hardly anything more individual than feet, but I have Ecco (Scandanavian) shoes in many permutations and love them. About $100. Consider some Dr. Scholl's insert cushions as well. Last trip I took some of the Land's End mocs ($29.50, see the website) which were great and so cheap that I left them behind on the trip home. No shoes like mules. Stairs/steps are steep with no railings (often); going up is ok, but only mountain goats and Italian women can make the trip back down. I have narrow feet, men's shoes out of the question; your feet metacarpels will hate you and revenge themselves. Thanks for the hat reminder, I had forgotten to pack one, and there are great crushable styles available. And thanks for not considering athletic shoes. From first cousin, spiritually, of Imelda Marcos, remember that there is no such thing as too many shoes, just too few closets, Carol (My dorky hat is cuter)

  7. #7
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    The one and only true love shoe these days is Mephisto. They fit my wide feet and are incredibly comfortable and stylish enough that I wore a pair to the opera last night with my tux (I just wish I could get the tag off!!!). The problem with Ms are the price! But you can buy them for half price in Italy. I have bought them and worn them out of the store and walked for hours but you cannot depend on that for a trip. But do think about trying a pair when you're over there.

    I am a former Birk and Rockport lover but I actually bought all new shoes and gave away all my old stuff when I discovered Mephisto.

    Now that I have revealed my innermost Mephisto fetish, I also wear New Balance at work. They ahve a few city walkers that are actually very attractive shoes.

    If life is an opera by Puccini... I want to be Calaf!
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  8. #8
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    I say Mephisto, she says Ecco...

    I have Mephisto religion and I buy them whenever I am in Europe. The best selections are to be found in Paris, but I have been found buying them in Granada, Dijon, etc. Just not in Toronto, where they cost twice as much as in Europe, and that before taxes.

    On the other hand, my better half -while having Mephisto shoes and sandals- finds her Eccos more comfortable for travelling.

  9. #9

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    Alice,
    Italians are slaves to fashion...so much addicted to it that we don't even realize it and think that we're not.
    There are obviously exceptions, especially in the cities but these exceptions are becoming rules of their own.
    ...but what can we do about it, hate it or love it it's part of our culture as much as many other things

  10. #10

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    I took two pairs of Mephisto sandals to Italy last June, and lived in them. They were comfortable even after hours of walking. The sandals are in the $125-150 price range. There is a Mephisto store in Como which was closed for afternooon when we were there. The prices were about 1/2 those in Austin. Elizabeth

  11. #11
    Good news/Bad news --

    The good news -- Am glad to hear the positive review of Mephistos 'cuz after looking at a lot of walking sandals, I just bought a pair of black ones that -- while they aren't going to rival the Manolos on Sex In The City -- are relatively attractive and seem very comfortable.

    The bad news -- sounds like I could have bought them for half as much if I waited 'til I got to Italy!

    I'm hoping to get by on three pairs of shoes for our month trip -- running shoes (for running, not for general sightseeing); the Mephisto walking sandals; and a comfortable pair of black (low heeled) mules for when I want to look nice but won't be hoofing it for miles. Will this leave me with any major gaps in the footwear dept.? (I'm a bit of an "Imelda" so only taking three pairs of shoes for a month is a stretch for me -- mentally at least!)

  12. #12

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    Thanks all.

    I think I'll go shoe shopping this weekend. I'ver heard alot about those Mephistos so hopefully I'll find a store that carries the brand. I don't want to go over $125 for a pair of anything though. I'm sure they're worth it.

    Then when I'm in Italy I'll buy shoes there to bring back since ya'all say it's cheaper. Just a few sandals and a hat maybe.

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  13. #13


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    Imelda piping in again -- I'd take a second pair of casual but better than running shoes, and some very crushable slipper-like thing (I take flat espadrilles) for nocturnal forays in the house and breakfast coffee. Remove some I-might-need-this item to make room. No more than 1 pair of dress shoes. From the peanut gallery of firmly-held opinions.

  14. #14
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    Cynde,
    If you can, take two pair of walking shoes with you on your trip so you can trade off. (They don't have to be expensive!) Different shoes hit different pressure points in your feet, so a break between wearings keeps your feet from getting over-stressed. I think we can all agree, if you can keep your feet comfortable - you'll be much happier!
    {Just posted, and I see that Carol M and I share the same firmly held belief! }

  15. #15


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    Cynde, Nordstrom's here in Hawaii carries Mephistos, and also a small shoe store in Ward Warehouse, downstairs on the makai Diamond Head end. But I think the advice to wait till you get to Italy is great -- you'll find them much cheaper. And for those of us with narrow feet who haven't been able to find Mephistos to fit, I was told last fall in Bordeaux that they're coming out with a narrow width for women in several styles, probably this summer.
    Aloha, Ann



  16. #16


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    Another brand to try - Naot. I love these shoes made in Israel.
    I have worn Naot shoes for years and took two new pair to Italy
    last fall. It is the only brand I have found that I can wear
    immediately without breaking in.
    "I am a Southerner. I like the feel of these words. I could no more be otherwise than I could shed my outer skin or change the color of my eyes." Willie Morris


  17. #17


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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Posted by AKO
    Alice, Italians are slaves to fashion
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    My Italian teacher told me a story that, I think, confirms AKO's post. My teacher (now living in the U.K.) had his cousin come to visit for the weekend. At the end of the weekend, the (male) cousin remarked that these English women didn't look after themselves very well. "What do you mean?" says my teacher. "well" says the cousin, "for instance, their handbags don't match their shoes"

    So.... my advice would be to follow Colleen's advice and pack at least 2 pairs of walking shoes, one pair to go with your brown outfit and one to go with the blue outfit (not forgetting the matching handbags, of course).

    Beebee
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  18. #18


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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by beebee:
    "What do you mean?" says my teacher. "well" says the cousin, "for instance, their handbags don't match their shoes".<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You think the story confirms the myth because ythe Itlaian cousin of your Italian teacher had notiched this detail, I think it doesn't mean a thing because your (Italian) Italian teacher had not noticed anything. Yes, sure, some people are like that, but most people are not.


    Alice Twain
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    <table cellspacing="3">
    <tr>
    <td><font size="-3">Sciur capitan, questa che l la verit,
    adess ghe nhoo piee i ball, Giovanni el turna a c.
    Se te voret scriv te regali la mia pena,
    se te voret sparam questa l la mia schena.</font></td>
    <td><font size="-3">Mr capitain, this is the truth
    Now I am sick of it, Giovanni goes back home
    If you want to write to me, Ill give you my pencil
    If you want to shoot me, heres my back.
    </font></td>
    </tr>
    </table>
    <font size="-3">Davide Van De Sfroos, Sciur capitan</font>

    [This message was edited by Amy on 12 March 2003 at 12:04 PM.]
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  19. #19
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    Great story, Beebee! LOL
    Cynde, regarding hats ... When I travel in summertime, I usually carry a straw hat with me. Being outside all day - even with sunglasses - can get overwhelming. Try to find an inexpensive one that you wouldn't mind leaving behind, or buy one there!

  20. #20
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    Remember Pauline in her hat? Very stylish!

    But to both Cynde and Tracy, be sure to have extra room for the return trip to get some Mephistos over there. They are priced similarly to other shoes yet here in the US and in canada it seems, the mark up is extroadinary.

    And Tracy, in a month you can break in a whole bunch of Mephisti!

    If life is an opera by Puccini... I want to be Calaf!
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  21. #21
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    I have tried several over the years--Mephisto, Clark, Rockport, etc. I finally found the brand that works best with my feet--ECCO. Now I have several styles, including sandals and I never, ever have a tired foot problem. I have worn ECCO's for hours on end, climbing ruins,Tuscany hill towns, etc. and walking in the Serengiti, the Great Wall and more. But---the key is that you need to find what works best for you. It will vary from person to person. I should add that ECCO has a variety of styles so that you can find ones that are good for evening wear.
    Jane
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  22. #22
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dean:
    But to both Cynde and Tracy, be sure to have extra room for the return trip to get some Mephistos over there. They are priced similarly to other shoes yet here in the US and in canada it seems, the mark up is extroadinary.

    And Tracy, in a month you can break in a whole bunch of Mephisti!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'm saving room in the suitcase for, hopefully, some bargains from the Prada outlet!

  23. #23
    I am (briefly) coming out of self-imposed exile (if I don't get caught up on my accounting and baby book this week, I will have to turn my Working Mom license right back in to the authorities) to respond to Alice...I think the vast majority of Italians are extrememly fashion and image conscious, though as Ako pointed out there are certainly exceptions.

    My husband, like millions of other Italians, can pin down a person's tax bracket to the last Euro based on a complex equation of (a+x)x(y+j)=bucks where a=shoes (brand, style, and year), x=wristwatch (as above), y=car (value is lowered if owned by salesman, who get a significant tax break on car purchases), and j=either wife's purse or child's stoller (depending upon the situation). He has never fully recovered from seeing a news photos depicting Bill Gates (richest man in the universe) shaking hands with then-president Bill Clinton (man with finger on Red Button), wearing a pair of gym shoes and a black plastic sports watch, respectively.

    To say that most Italians simply throw on what they find at hand (and take no notice of how others dress) undermines one of the cornerstones of Italian culture: "la bella figura" which, for better or for worse, is essential in understanding why children are usually spotlessly turned out and housewives wear lipstick and heels to the greengrocer.

    Fashion is important not only on a cultural level, but on an economic one as well. Just as those who work in Silicon Valley keep up on the latest gadget that enables them to simultaneously check their email, dry their hair, and communicate with Mars wirelessly, because hey, their livelihood depends on these things getting sold, so do many Italians follow the fashion business and participate actively in it. Even here in backwater Umbria, where an elegant night out is often eating pasta off plastic plates in the middle of a recently cut hayfield on long tables packed with hundreds of others, all to the background strains of "Mario and the Peasants" doing a nice polka on accordian, triangle, and screechy microphone, the seasonal fashion shows are followed closely. Textiles are huge business here, and if Valentino has a good show, things go well. If he doesn't, people lose their jobs, like last year when Hemmond Textiles in Bastia Umbra closed affecting thousands of people in a region of less than a million.

    Again, of course there are some exceptional Italians who couldn't care less, but there are also some Italians who don't eat pasta, follow football, or eat at their mother's every Sunday. But they don't define the culture. To tell poor, unsuspecting Tilley hat and Rockport donners that their attire won't stick out like a sore thumb is doing them a disservice. This doesn't mean that travellers should waste too much time trying to fit in at the cost of comfort, but what to pack is a personal decision that must be made based on an accurate view from the ground.

    Rebecca

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  24. #24
    Great post Rebecca -- thank you! Love the observations from "on the ground." As you noted in an earlier post, all of us Americans won't look "Italian" no matter how hard we try. However, in my opinion it's worth making an effort to avoid looking like "American Tourist" (with a capital "A" and a capital "T") if possible! In part, I think this fits in with the "Slow Trav" mentality of "living" in a place you're visiting. Part of that for me at least is making an effort to be cognizant of the standards or practices of the locale you're visiting and to try and conform (to some extent) one's dress, as well as one's dining habits etc., to those standards and practices. When in Rome. . .

  25. #25

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    Rebecca, I've been following this board for a while but don't post much as I have, for many years, been a moderately speedy traveler (but moving into the slow category) and feel that I don't have much to contribute yet. I'm learning a lot here, though, and we're doing our first vacation rental in Tuscany this spring!...with 5 other couples and I've made the arrangements. Your posts are always so entertaining while making a statement. I enjoy reading what you have to say.

  26. #26

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    Rebecca, I just had to laugh at your post because I'm getting visuals of it all. Although I will be with a tour group I wanted to blend in a little with the Italian crowd by not wearing shoes that scream 'Yes, I'm a tourist, that's my excuse, what's yours?'. So wearing inconspicuous yet very comfortable shoes will be my focus of shoe selection this weekend at Nordstrom and Ward Warehouse (thanks, Ann).

    I did want to wear my straw hat because it has a nice wide brim but thought it too 'Hawaiian' looking so I'm leaving it behind. My beret I will bring because it is pliable so I can throw it in my bag and not worry about it being scrunched.

    Now I feel like shopping tonight. You guys are good incentive.

    mephisti.....good one

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  27. #27
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    I think perhaps Alice has not spent that much time in the US to realize how we can give new meaning to "casual". Steve and I like to say that you can tell when an American is on vacation - because he/she is wearing shorts! Even if they are in Santa Fe in the winter - if on vacation they are frequently in shorts!

    I love the casualness of the US - but then I am fashion-challanged. I would much rather communicate wirelessly with Mars than wear something more dressy than jeans. I have assimilated completely with this US "culture". But even I, dorky traveler, do not where my Tilley hat in Italy (only in Switzerland).

    Pauline from Slow Travelers

  28. #28
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    One of my co-workers loves the fact that one so mephistophelian alwyas weears Mephisto. Thanks for catching the pun Cynde.

    If life is an opera by Puccini... I want to be Calaf!
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  29. #29


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    I tried so hard to love Mephistos. I shopped, I tried on and, finally, I bought. Then I was miserable. The blasted things rubbed here and there, and finally contributed to my Italian vocabulary when I had to learn the words for "blister" and "band-aid".

    I have transferred all allegiances to Naturalizers. They make some reasonably stylish, comfortable shoes that don't cost an arm and a leg and are easily available at practically every mall in the US.

  30. #30
    Cynde, you -- and most of us, apparently -- are far more Italian than you thought, and I wouldn't worry overmuch on that account: to my increasing wonder and amazement, this whole discussion of the merits of various walking shoes has centered, except for a blip, on how they !

    B

  31. #31


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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Brigolante:
    I think the vast majority of Italians are extrememly fashion and image conscious, though as Ako pointed out there are certainly exceptions.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In my expereince, the vast majority of Italians are NOT fashion wise, rather they are criticism vise. What I mea is that housewives wear lipstick and high heels for the groceries not just because they want to look fine, but rather because they do not want to look different. It is a completely different concept, Italians (in partciular the vast majority od Italians who live in the medium-sized towns) do not care directly about fashion, they care about what oother people will think of them. It is what we call being "provinciale". They wear high heels because everyone does it. If everyone would start wearing sandals in winter, they would no because they felt it is good-looking but simply not to look different from the others. It is mere conformism. most people, just do not care if what they are wearing is nice or ugly (or nobody would wear those laughable boots with their long and narrow points!), they just care about waering what everyone else wears. personally I have seen the worst dressed (Italian) people in prato and Como, two of the main textile production areas!

    Alice Twain
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    <table cellspacing="3">
    <tr>
    <td><font size="-3">Sciur capitan, questa che l la verit,
    adess ghe nhoo piee i ball, Giovanni el turna a c.
    Se te voret scriv te regali la mia pena,
    se te voret sparam questa l la mia schena.</font></td>
    <td><font size="-3">Mr capitain, this is the truth
    Now I am sick of it, Giovanni goes back home
    If you want to write to me, Ill give you my pencil
    If you want to shoot me, heres my back.
    </font></td>
    </tr>
    </table>
    <font size="-3">Davide Van De Sfroos, Sciur capitan</font>

    [This message was edited by Colleen on 13 March 2003 at 09:42 AM.]
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  32. #32

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    Dean, you say the mephistos are 1/2 the price in Italy - do you know where I can purchase in Venice as this is our first stop. Thanks

  33. #33


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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by terir:
    do you know where I can purchase in Venice as this is our first stop.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    <disclaimer>I do not like Venice at all.</disclaimer>

    For this kind of thing I would take a few hours off Venice itself and head to Mestre, the mainland part of Venice. mestre is justa plain, modern industrial city, but it is where people live, while Venezia has little or no resident population (just a few elders and some very rich people who bought apartments on the lagoon). Mestre is supposed to have the shops with the best prices, prices lower than in Venice. As a matter of facts, the elders that still live in Venice go to Mestre for shopping groceries, there are buses departing from Vice that stop right in front of the supermarkets in Mestre!

    Alice Twain
    --
    <table cellspacing="3"><tr><td><font size="-3">Sciur capitan, questa che l la verit,
    adess ghe nhoo piee i ball, Giovanni el turna a c.
    Se te voret scriv te regali la mia pena,
    se te voret sparam questa l la mia schena.</font></td>
    <td><font size="-3">Mr capitain, this is the truth
    Now I am sick of it, Giovanni goes back home
    If you want to write to me, Ill give you my pencil
    If you want to shoot me, heres my back.
    </font></td></tr></table>

    <font size="-3"> Davide Van De Sfroos, Sciur capitan</font>

    [This message was edited by maureen on 13 March 2003 at 01:07 PM.]
    Alice Twain
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    A Typesetter's day 3.0: Blog.

  34. #34
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I do not like Venice at all.

    For this kind of thing I would take a few hours off Venice itself and head to Mestre, the mainland part of Venice. mestre is justa plain, modern industrial city, but it is where people live, while Venezia has little or no resident population <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    As a Venice lover, I hope Terir does NOT take your advice to leave magical Venice for ugly Mestre. NO amount of potential savings could be worth it!
    As far as population goes ... with 60-70,000 permanent residents Venice hardly qualifies as having 'little to no' population.

  35. #35


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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Colleen:
    As a Venice lover, I hope Terir does NOT take your advice to leave magical Venice for ugly Mestre.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Than she may as well buy her shoes in the Usa. If she want to biy cheaper (up to a 30% less) she needs to get off touristy area.

    Alice Twain
    --
    <table cellspacing="3"><tr><td><font size="-3">Sciur capitan, questa che l la verit,
    adess ghe nhoo piee i ball, Giovanni el turna a c.
    Se te voret scriv te regali la mia pena,
    se te voret sparam questa l la mia schena.</font></td>
    <td><font size="-3">Mr capitain, this is the truth
    Now I am sick of it, Giovanni goes back home
    If you want to write to me, Ill give you my pencil
    If you want to shoot me, heres my back.
    </font></td></tr></table>
    <font size="-3"> Davide Van De Sfroos, Sciur capitan</font>

    [This message was edited by Chris on 14 March 2003 at 07:32 AM.]
    Alice Twain
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    A Typesetter's day 3.0: Blog.

  36. #36
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    My friend's family lives in Venice, and has a supermarket about 5 minutes from his house. To say the 'elders' go to Mestre for groceries is false. Perhaps some do, those who buy in bulk and have to watch their prices closely.

    Personally I wouldn't buy ANYTHING in Venice you can find elsewhere. The prices there are just insane. I was looking for a piece of camera equipment there one day, prices were 2 x's what they should have been. If you want to buy those shoes, take an afternoon and go to Mestre for them.

    As far as fashion goes, I agree with Rebecca AND Alice. It really depends on where you are, and what age group you are talking about. I live in Bologna, where 1/4 the population is a student at the university. Unibo students tend not to conform to Rebecca's idea of High Italian Fashion, but instead more to Alice's definition. However, the middle age and elderly people of Bologna definitely ALWAYS are looking their best when on the streets. I see VERY few exceptions to this statement.

    Lastly, one thing has had me laughing in the last week. It has been quite warm here, with afternoon high temperatures getting close to 70 degrees. Despite this, you STILL see the Italians out in jackets. I know they have to be sweating under those jackets, yet they do not take them off! I attribute it to their vigilant attitude of having to wear winter clothes while it still is technically winter fashion season.

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    Rar
    Transplanted into Italy
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    -----------------------------------
    <a href=http://insomma.wordpress.com>Blog o' travels</a>

  37. #37
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    My absolute favorite pair of universal shoes to walk, trek, and hike in our my trusty 2 year-old pair of tempest low's by Lowa. Durable enough to handle rugged terrain. Yet, they are mild enough to enjoy day long city walking. Not the most casual looking shoe on the market, but still not bad. Mine, after two years of backpacking the appalachians and trekking through europes cities and countrysides are still in great condition.

    Tony Polzer
    Tour Operator
    3 Millennia Tours
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    tony@threemillennia.com
    Tony Polzer, Tour Operator
    3 Millennia Tours - Tours of Rome

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  38. #38

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    Okay, since we cannot decide on a shoe store in Venice, how about Florence which is our next stop. We will be staying at the Hotel Duomo, is there much shopping in that area (for walking shoes). Actually Nordstoms is holding their big shoe sale now, I should just be done with it and go there!

  39. #39

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    That would be Hotel Duomo in Siena which is were we go after Venice! Just a tad fixed up!

  40. #40

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    Brrr, if using jackets at close to 70 degrees makes you smile you should see us here in Hawaii (can't speak for Ann). 70 has me still wrapped in a blanket when I get up. It's a cool brisk temperature. I just wish it lasted longer than the winter months. Can't stand those high 80s, especially in my dry area.

    Tonight I go shoe shopping. Wheee!!

    <A HREF="http://www.cynde.ws" TARGET=_blank>^*^*^*^*^*^*Cynde^*^*^*^*^*^*
    Amo Italia</A>
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    Clayfan!
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  41. #41
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    70 degrees feels REALLY warm and nice when the low temperature at night is still in the upper 30's I've been walking around in short-sleeves this week, it's been awesome.

    --
    Rar
    Transplanted into Italy
    Fino a July 03
    -----------------------------------
    <a href=http://insomma.wordpress.com>Blog o' travels</a>

  42. #42

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    Well my 2 cents on shoes---Mephisto's if you want to spend the money. My husbands has them and loves them. I do very well with Clarks. I found a pair of black sandal type, but you can wear socks if you want, that have a velcro strap---great for the swelling feet on the plane! I also wear alot of Clarks mules, as i have a heel spur and can only wear closed in shoes for a short time. I find that changing shoe in the middle of the day helps too. Oh, and Tracy, i hope you find better deals at the Prada outlet than i did. I bought nothing, felt most of it was dated in style and no bargain.

    Stephanie dogma to Rosco and Sedona
    Stephanie dogma to Rosco and Zoey

    Flint River Ranch Dog Food

  43. #43
    I vote for Clark's. I brought two pairs to Italy and loved them. Also brought my Doc Martens for the muddier and more casual days. Last trip I wore Birkenstocks and though they are comfy I felt they were a little too casual and bulky and didn't "grip" the cobblestones as well as Clark's. I always bring some sort of foot lotion (Burt's Bees, Body Shop etc.) and foot scrub along also to revive the feet after all those long walks. Good luck and I wish I didn't have flat feet!

    Callie S.

  44. #44

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    Okay, I've been following this thread for a while (great post, Rebecca), but no one has chimed in on my relatively recent discovery: Taryn Rose. She is an American designer who manufactures in Milan (although the shoes are currently only available in America). Her shoes are orthopedic in comfort, while still being stylish (thereby concealing their intent, which is to be insanely comfortable). A salesman pressured me into buying my first pair, and I went back a week later and bought a second. They are available at Nordstrom's, and there is a Taryn Rose store in Beverly Hills, where they can barely keep the stuff on the shelves. I have walked for miles all over Italian cities without blisters, and most gratifyingly, without that little flicker of shame as I enter a restaurant "Oh my God, these tennis shoes scream 'Ugly American!' The big caveat? They're EXPENSIVE. However, they really last.

    R.G.

  45. #45
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    Great, just what I need to know about - another kind of expensive shoes! One of my many weaknesses!
    http://www.tarynrose.com/

    I have a pair of Cole Haan leather slip on flat loafers that I took on 5 trips to Italy (taking them back to their homeland). I loved them so much when I saw them at Nordstrom years ago that I bought two pair. Just started wearing the second pair this year. I also like Tods - but only the styles that I bought in NYC 5 years ago. Really comfortable loafers. Steve has worn his same Doc Martins for the past 5 trips. That guy never wears out shoes.

    Pauline from Slow Travelers

  46. #46

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    Well, I bought a pair of Merrell Jungle Mocs yesterday for $78. Now I need a bunch of thick socks. That's one pair of shoes crossed off my list. My next stop will be Taryn Rose. Thanks for the link! I just LOVE the Bridget (the model is wearing them), they are so gorgeous! I will absolutely go to Nordstrom to search for my dressier night time shoe. I found out that some of the dinners that are offered on tour include an evening walking tour so now my evening shoes have to look good and comfortable. I went to the Taryn Rose shoe site but I couldn't find any prices. I guess they don't want you to faint from sticker shock.

    <A HREF="http://www.cynde.ws" TARGET=_blank>^*^*^*^*^*^*Cynde^*^*^*^*^*^*
    Amo Italia</A>
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    Clayfan!
    |:|:|:|:|:

  47. #47


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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rar:
    My friend's family lives in Venice, and has a supermarket about 5 minutes from his house.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well. My informations come from my friend Paolo who lives in Mestre...

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>[Fashion in Bologna] However, the middle age and elderly people of Bologna definitely ALWAYS are looking their best when on the streets. I see VERY few exceptions to this statement.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Do not forget that Bologna (a city wich I love, mind you!) is VERY "provinciale". People do their best to make the others think that they are up to the standard, or rather that tehy are ABOVE the standard.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I know they have to be sweating under those jackets, yet they do not take them off! I attribute it to their vigilant attitude of having to wear winter clothes while it still is technically winter fashion season.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    YOu have not still enought experience of italian weather. The reason you saw most people still wearing jackets (including me) is that in italy weather and temperature can vary very fast, We are used to it, but we still guard ourselves against walking out in the morning with 20C and finding the temperature droping to 5-6C in the afternoon. It is what happened this week-end: I was swating Friday morning, but I felt miserably cold on the evening as I arrived in Pistoia. I ended up missing scarf and gloves for the whole week-end!

    Alice Twain
    --
    <table cellspacing="3"><tr><td><font size="-3">Sciur capitan, questa che l la verit,
    adess ghe nhoo piee i ball, Giovanni el turna a c.
    Se te voret scriv te regali la mia pena,
    se te voret sparam questa l la mia schena.</font></td>
    <td><font size="-3">Mr capitain, this is the truth
    Now I am sick of it, Giovanni goes back home
    If you want to write to me, Ill give you my pencil
    If you want to shoot me, heres my back.
    </font></td></tr></table>
    <font size="-3"> Davide Van De Sfroos, Sciur capitan</font>

    [This message was edited by Pauline on 17 March 2003 at 08:51 AM.]

    [This message was edited by Pauline on 17 March 2003 at 08:52 AM.]
    Alice Twain
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    A Typesetter's day 3.0: Blog.

  48. #48


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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by terir:
    how about Florence<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Prices in Florence are slightly better than in venice, THis means stil substantially highier than in the rest of Italy If you are headed to Rome, buy them there! Rome has probably the best prices of the whole Italy, including Milano: I have friends who make trips every few mohts to Rome (for visiting friends) and buy everything in ROme!

    Alice Twain
    --
    <table cellspacing="3"><tr><td><font size="-3">Sciur capitan, questa che l la verit,
    adess ghe nhoo piee i ball, Giovanni el turna a c.
    Se te voret scriv te regali la mia pena,
    se te voret sparam questa l la mia schena.</font></td>
    <td><font size="-3">Mr capitain, this is the truth
    Now I am sick of it, Giovanni goes back home
    If you want to write to me, Ill give you my pencil
    If you want to shoot me, heres my back.
    </font></td></tr></table>
    <font size="-3"> Davide Van De Sfroos, Sciur capitan</font>

    [This message was edited by Pauline on 17 March 2003 at 08:51 AM.]
    Alice Twain
    --
    A Typesetter's day 3.0: Blog.

  49. #49

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    Is there a particular area in Rome for this type of shopping. We will be staying in the Piazza Navona (sp) area.

  50. #50
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    If there is one thing that is not overpriced in Venice it is shoes. The residents sort of go through a lot of them. I bought several pairs of both boots and shoes and got some pretty amazing deals there, at least compared to the U.S.

    Having said that, I think the best thing to do, Terir, is to buy them here and break them in for a couple of weeks, and that way you won't have to worry about it when you get there.

    Shannon
    www.chowbellabooks.com

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