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Darling Nikki

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Darling Nikki

Darling Nikki

USA

Sep182012

Tour/Activity

Foxtown Outlet Shopping Tour

Milan, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Self-explanatory - it's simply a shuttle bus trip to the outlet. Best deals were at Gucci and Lacoste. We walked away with several bags from Fendi, Gucci, and Lacoste. Dior prices weren't that discounted and matched the same rates offered at the Dior outlet located in Southern CA. You must spend a minimum of 300 CHF at one store if you plan to claim a VAT Refund. This wasn't too hard with the goodies we bought at Fendi and Gucci. However, our total at Lacoste was only around 230 CHF. The minimum is quite high compared to other regions. In Italy, the minimum is only 154.94 EUR and in France it is 175.01 EUR to qualify for a VAT Refund.

TIP: Be sure to get your refunds stamped at the border on the way out. The shuttle bus will stop and allow time to get this done. Once this is completed, you can obtain your refund once you're back in Milan (or any other city) at any of the refund locations. Just make sure they accept Switzerland vouchers. Some refund offices will only accept the local vouchers. They really try to make it difficult for you to get your money back! You will NOT need to show these items once leaving EU. The only items you need to show at the airport are the ones that still require a stamp from customs.

Sep162012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Venice Walking Tour with St Mark's Basilica

Venice, Italy

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review

We stayed in Venice for 3 nights starting on SEP 14. Our Walking tour was scheduled for Sunday, SEP 16. On Saturday, my husband and I walked around Venice on our own and stumbled on many sites without using a map. It was actually quite easy to get lost, without worry, and we found many historical sites on our own. There are signs everywhere and Venice is a small place.

When the Walking tour started on Sunday we were very excited only because we had not been inside St. Mark's Basilica. That was the only reason we even booked the tour. We briefly walked passed the church and our tour guide didn't explain why we weren't going in. Her stories were scattered and extremely difficult to follow. She attempted to crack jokes that NO ONE on our tour understood. Our tour group only had 7 people so we expected the intimate number would make it easier but the guide was terrible.

After leaving the site of St. Mark's Basilica we made our trek to the Rialto side. Looked familiar because we've already explored the area. My husband asked the guide why we didn't go inside the basilica and she said that there was some event happening so we could not go in. So he asked why other tour groups were going inside - we saw a line of them entering! Turns out that this tour only gets you INSIDE the Basilica. The Terrace was still open for ALL guests but this particular tour does not cover that part of the Basilica. TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY!! We left the tour prior to reaching Rialto. DISAPPOINTING TOUR.

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