Now a Schengen Italian visa requires you book and pay for your flight, you need a trillion Euros worth of travel insurance, ALL hotels need to be booked, e-mail confirmation from the hotels is required:
(DEAR SIRS/MADAMS I AM CONFIRM YOU WITH PLEASURE YOUR BOOKING RESERVATION OF 1 DOUBLE ROOM FROM FOR 2 NIGHTS AT THE RATE OF EUROS x PER NIGHT INCLUDED A RICH BUFFET BREAKFAST AND PARKING UNTIL AVAILABILITY.RESERVATION NO IS BEING XYZ IN OUR SYSTEM, RESERVATION IS BEING ABCWE WAITING TO WELCOMING YOU AS OUR BEST GUEST WE REMAIN FOR THE MOMENT WITH OUR KINDEST REGARDS MARCO)
as well as needing everything bar a blood test and my bra size - THEN you may apply to reserve a place to have your visa reviewed! And I have 24 hours to do it! But at least I will be the best guest - thank you Marco!
I am now an expert on the various cities in Italy that we are visiting, the proximity to landmarks and train stations (Oh yes I have to CARRY my own luggage - *GASP*) Hotels range from the flea pits we can afford, to the luxury we desire and about a bazzion in between - so I put a pin in the computer screen (which is never a good thing for the computer screen) and book us the lower-mid-range-pray-for-no-fleas-and-more-than-a-stodgy-roll-for-breakfast Hotel and pray. But I think HEY it's ITALY is there such a thing as a bad hotel? Dodgy, sure but bad? Anywhere in Italy is going to be wonderful (such an optimist!)
But I do these things along with finding passport photos that vaguely resemble me, to getting out my passport with a photo that is so hideous that I just hope that the immigration staff just think I REALLY need a holiday, to booking hopefully undodgy hotels, to getting a flight to.....the list goes on along with looking after the offspring, having the hubby overseas for the 27000th time this year, having some in-laws arriving and having my two kitties "fixed", baking for a cake sale, booking hair appointments and seeing a dear friend out from the USA - oh yes and having to organise the kids for the time we are away remember, I got the crazies and said to the hubby "Shoe! But this is stressful!!" to which he replied from the comfort of the 5 Star hotel in which ever city he was in at the time "Oh this is supposed to be fun, so relax!"
I may be speaking to him by the time we board for Turino!