Should I go to Italy?
October 8, 2008 9:30 PM   Subscribe

Is it a good time to plan a trip to Rome?

I'm USian. I have frequent flyer miles that will expire soon, and I was considering traveling to southern Italy in November. Knowing that nobody has a crystal ball re the economic crisis threatening to pull down western Europe's banks that are closely tied to US banks, is it a good time to go? (I would fly a US airline, and what if I can't get cash at the ATMs because the US banking system has plotzed?) Any suggestions on where to find out more about the situation?
posted by Pocahontas to Travel & Transportation around Rome, Italy (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Deposits in the "US banking system" are backed by the full faith and credit of the US government. So, if the US banking system "plotzes" to the extent that you can't get your money for an extended period of time come November, I think you'll be in almost as much trouble if you're at home as you will be if you're in Italy.

I guess if you really think things are going to get bad enough in November that you'd be in trouble in Italy, you should take the money that you would have spent on the trip and use it on stockpiling food and water.

In other words, if you can afford the trip within the constraints of a wise financial plan for yourself, I don't see much of a reason not to go.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 9:37 PM on October 8, 2008

Only downer is the Euro is 1.3 to the US 1. So it's like being Canadian coming to the US about 10 years ago. lol
posted by axltea at 10:16 PM on October 8, 2008

The Euro is dropping like a rock relative to the dollar, because the European banks are in as much trouble as the US ones are and the ECB can't muster the sort of international cooperation it would take to bail them out.

So it might actually be a pretty good time to plan a trip to Italy.

But don't call Rome "Southern Italy." I can think of more offensive things to say to a Roman, but not very many.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:37 PM on October 8, 2008

You say 1.3 like it's a bad thing. I went last fall at 1.46 (at the time, the worst rate ever), and people this year were dealing with 1.60.

Now that it's down to 1.3, I was actually thinking of going to Europe again.
posted by hwyengr at 10:37 PM on October 8, 2008

If the economies of the US and Europe were to completely collapse.... I'd put the Mediterranean pretty high on my list of best places to be stuck.

As J-W says above, the kind of serious, world-changing collapse you're talking about isn't very likely in the next month, and even if it did happen, the place you happen to be won't make much difference. More civilized is better, I suppose.
posted by rokusan at 11:24 PM on October 8, 2008

It is always a good time to plan a trip to Rome.

November is particularly nice though. It's still warm enough to be able to wander around the city without bundling up like a snowman, but the city isn't so full of tourists as to make it unpleasant like it is in the summer.

I'd definitely go.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:48 AM on October 9, 2008

Why haven't you packed your bags already? Fab time to go regardless of major economic crisis.

A few days in the vibe of Rome and you won't care.
posted by gomichild at 2:38 AM on October 9, 2008

But don't call Rome "Southern Italy." I can think of more offensive things to say to a Roman, but not very many.

More offensive: call it Northern Italy. just kidding ;)

If you're really so concerned about not being able to get money out of the ATM, I'd say your alternative is cash in hand and/or traveler's checks.

Personally I always try to stay away from US airlines (and Alitalia), simply because the service is generally better on Air France/British Air/KLM/Lufthansa, plus I usually don't have to sprint through Homeland Security, reclaim & recheck my bag, then sprint across the entire airport to catch my connecting flight.
posted by romakimmy at 3:50 AM on October 9, 2008

In case its not obvious from her username, romakimmy lives in Rome and, obviously, the world is not collapsing there or she would have let us know.

Likewise here in London. If you didn't read the screaming headlines it wouldn't be obvious that anything dramatic is happening over here. Everyone's working and eating. The streets are still full of tourists, shopping for knick-knacks and eating at overpriced restaurants.

The dollar is the strongest its been in the past year. November is one of the best times to visit any city in Southern Europe. The package tourists and serial sunbathers are mostly gone, but the cities are still full of art and architecture and great food. My wife and I are tenatively planning a trip right now either to Lyon in France or to Bologna/Firenze in Italy for this winter.
posted by vacapinta at 4:59 AM on October 9, 2008

it's cool. have fun!
posted by matteo at 7:24 AM on October 9, 2008

Rome is not southern Italy.
posted by Zambrano at 10:46 AM on October 9, 2008

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