So, you make it through the paperwork, the flight and have managed to settle into your cramped hotel room in Vicenza. There are so many things to get used to when you arrive, but if you are anything like I am all you can think about is getting some wheels so you can learn about your new city. Unless you shipped your car early, you probably have a few weeks without your POV. That leaves you with the options of using public transportation, walking or renting a car. There is nothing wrong with the first two, but most Americans are not used to living without a vehicle, so the third option is pretty attractive.
Get A SETAF Driver’s License First
First of all, you run to the lovely yellow in-processing building by the Ederle Inn and take a class for your driver’s license. Then take the test. If you are here because you are military, you need to have the SETAF Driver’s License before you drive a car on post. It doesn’t do a lot of good to have a car and then be forced to park it outside of post each time you have to be on post. Even worse if you are staying in the Ederle Inn for obvious reasons.
Car Rental Options
Occasionally, I read a blog post that is just too good not to share. When I read this post on the Fodor’s travel blog, it struck a chord with me. We hear a lot about how to act when in Italy, but sometimes it is good to hear what we should avoid doing!
My two favorite tips is “Don’t wear a tube top to Vatican City.” and “Don’t expect things to happen on time.” They are all good, though. Visit the blog to read the article.
I stumbled upon this video some kind person did to show others what the post housing looks like here in Vicenza. I thought it would be helpful to anyone moving. If you want to know more about housing, you can check out this post or this post. I am past due for writing another post on housing, so that is coming soon!
Here is the video:
Every time you move, one of the challenges is finding someone to cut your hair. That challenge is even bigger when you move to another country. Where is the best place to go to get your hair cut in Vicenza? Just like any other place, it depends on your personal preferences. However, there are several options.
There are two places to get your hair cut on post. First, there is a beauty salon in the PX. The beauty shop is open when the PX is open, even Sundays and holidays. The phone number is 0444-71-5619. I think sometimes you can walk-in, but they prefer you have an appointment. They provide the standard services. If you don’t want to worry about scheduling an appointment off post and want to speak English, the salon is an easy option.
I have heard mixed reviews about the beauty salon, but lately people seem to be pretty happy with hair cuts and color. (They have changed management a couple of times since I have been here.)
Not interested in the beauty salon in the PX? You can still get a haircut on post. The Family Hair Care Center or spa is located across the street from the post office. It provides more of a full-service salon experience. It has hours similar to the beauty salon, but provides a few more services, such as massages. The contact number for the Family Hair Care Center is 0444-71-6097.
The Family Hair Care Center seems to be the more popular option if you want to have your hair styled on post instead of venturing out in the community.
The place that most people mention as a place to go for a hair stylist off post is Salon Lisa. Lisa formerly worked at the salon on post for many years. She speaks English and is located near Villagio. I get my hair cut here and Lisa is a very nice lady. Her shop is easy to get to and has plenty of parking, so it is convenient. She does a good job both on hair cuts and color. Her prices are reasonable, as well. She has another stylist working with her, so it is a pretty small shop.
Salon Lisa’s address is Via Zamenhof, 825, Vicenza. Her number is 0444239127. She is open 10-? Tuesday through Saturday. Lisa is very flexible and I have seen her come in for established clients will come in when she is scheduled closed.
Another place many Americans get their hair done, as well as other salon services, is Beauty Secrets Salon. I have not been here, but this salon is popular with many people. They do reasonably priced waxing and facials. They cut men’s hair, which is great for those guys who aren’t military and want more of a style than the barber
Beauty Secrets is just outside the pedestrian gate on Viale della Pace, 232. (It is across the street past the traffic circle.) The phone number there is 0444305584.
There are a bunch of other places, but these are the most common answers I have gotten when talking to ladies about hair!
If you get your hair done someplace fabulous, leave the information in the comments so that others may benefit!
One of the hardest things about moving overseas is figuring out whether or not to ship your car. If you decide not to ship the car; then you need to decide how you will get from place to place. You can choose to take public transportation (i.e. the bus and trains) and walk a lot. Your other option is to buy a car once you arrive in Vicenza. Here are some thoughts about deciding where to buy a car in Vicenza.
New or Used Car?
Only you know your budget for purchasing a car. There are places you can buy new vehicles. You can find some decent used cars for sale by people. There are also plenty of “hoopty” cars available. In case you have never heard the term “hoopty”, it is a less than impressive get around car. These cars often need repairs or are not meant to drive on your exploration trips around Europe.
New Car Dealers
There are several places to get a brand new car here in Vicenza. If you don’t plan on keeping your car when you go back to the states, you can go to any of the local car dealers. Most of these will not sell cars with U.S. specs. There are a couple of places that do sell new cars that are legal to drive in the U.S. Pentagon Car Sales sells both new and used cars and is fairly close to post. If you want a BMW, this is a good place to get it. The other place that is easiest to get to is AAFES Auto Sales. It is on post and you can browse the tiny lot of a variety of car makes. Or you can order a new car if you are in no hurry. Auto Exchange sells Audi, Toyota and Volkswagen. If you go in the main gate, you have to drive right past Auto Exchange to get there.
Finding a good used car can take a bit more patience and a lot more searching. The three ways people typically find used cars are by cruising past the used car resale lot, word of mouth, or by looking online. If you are lucky, someone you meet will be wanting to sell a reliable car prior to PCS. That does not happen to often, but put the word out so that you are the first person that comes to mind when someone is selling a car. The car resale lot is tucked back in the middle of post. Sometimes there are a lot of good cars other times, none. It is worth a drive by, though. There are several online sites that you can find used cars. Vicenza Bookoo, Vicenza MWR Marketplace and the Facebook Yard sale groups are the ones I can name quickly.
Hopefully this gives you a place to start in your search. Usually you can find cars that fit all budgets, but as always if you plan on buying the cheapest car you can find plan on making repairs! Happy Car Shopping!
Before coming to Italy, I was not brave about stepping outside my comfort zone and trying new things. Here in Italy, it is not really an option to stay with the familiar. At least not if I want to fully experience life here. I haven’t traveled much by train in Italy, aside from the hop on in Vicenza and hop off in Venice. It is time to change that and learn how to use the trains here in Italy.
I am planning a train trip for one of my mini-vacations. While I was reading up on Trenitalia, the Italian train system, I found this guide to train travel in Italy. It was written on my level… very basic. Unfortunately, you have to just keep scrolling and scrolling to get to all the good information. I am trying to link to the sections that were most useful for me!
Here is how to use the automatic ticket machines at the train station.
This is a description of the different types of trains with pictures of how they look.
Here is a tutorial on how to use the Trenitalia Website.
And finally, here is a bunch of general travel tips!
Thank you so much to The Man in Seat Sixty-One or http://www.seat61.com for sharing what you know! It was a great guide and very helpful!
playing researching on Facebook the other day and came across a post from Laura. Laura is an incredibly helpful participant in several of the Vicenza groups. She always is willing to share what she knows with others in a positive way. She is a pro at visiting Venice and loves to share it with everyone.
She shared a link stating that this is what she would tell everyone over a cappuccino. Normally, I would not have clicked on an outside link, but I was just curious enough to do so. I was happy I did. Laura summarizes many of my thoughts about living in Vicenza, but she does so in a much more eloquent way!
Please click on the link to her blog: Scarred but Victorious and then read her letter!
***Link has been updated, Thanks for letting me know it was not working Amanda!***