ABOUT THIS BLOG

Welcome to Excuse me, where is? A blog dedicated to helping you find the nearest public loo, supermarket, drugstore, laundromat and more to wherever you are located while on vacation.

We are Jessie and Alice, two Aussie sisters with over 20 years experience in the travel industry. During that time, we have noticed that the most frequently asked questions related to basic services. Unable to find the answers in the usual guidebooks and calling upon our local knowledge, we began to compile lists for our travellers and they proved invaluable. Use this blog as a reference tool. You will find maps, addresses and practical tips that focus on the reality of travel. After all, vacations can be carefree when you don't have to sweat the small stuff!

Monday, 15 July 2013

NEW WEBSITE!






NEW WEBSITE

Hi all!

We have finally made our new website a reality. It is more intuitive, easier to navigate and it makes expansion much easier.

From now on, all updates and new city directories will be on the new site. 


http://www.excuseme-whereis.com/

Feel free to continue to leave  comments for us here until we get the comments boxes posted onto each page on the website. An epic task in itself!

***Paris has been uploaded we have also updated Venice  Florence.We are now in the process of uploading the Cote d'Azur ****

See you over there!

love

Alice and Jess

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Naples Public Toilet Updates



NAPLES PUBIC TOILET UPDATES

18/7/13

NEWS: Click the following link to be directed to our new website.Same information,easier to navigate. All updates & further new directories will be found there


Naples Toilets Updates

As regular visitors to the city probably know, Naples is woefully lacking in public facilities. Perhaps it is not so hard to understand given the petty crime rate. However, things are starting to change for the better. The Naples City Council has joined forces with Linea Citta to install fifteen fully automated self cleaning and vandal proof public toilets in downtown  Naples and along the major tourist routes.

As with all things in Italy, the wheels of change move slowly and we have only been able to confirm five operating facilities. They are located as follows
*Piazza Cavour

*Piazza del Gesu

*Piazza del Plebiscito aka Trieste e Trento

Outside the city

*Parco Virgiliano

*Piazza Carlo III

These automated toilets offer

Unisex accessibility

Disabled accessibility

Washing and disinfection after use

Walls, floor and toilet bowl disinfection

Basin and automatic hand dryer

Automatic toilet paper dispenser

Vandal proof

Automated public toilets are being added to the public train system. The train stations along the line of the Naples No 1 Metro System are the first to offer these facilities. There are no attendants in these facilities.

One more thing….when the toilet attendants go for lunch, they lock the gates to the facilities. They lock the gates without checking that anyone is using the automated toilets.  As a hapless Spanish tourist found out last year, if you are using the toilet while the attendant heads off for her lunch break, you will be trapped for one hour. The poor guy remained locked in despite the best efforts of the Police and the Fire Department!  Relief was only given when the nonchalant attendants waltzed back for their afternoon shift. Always check when you need to use these automated toilets around lunchtime. Better safe than sorry.

If you are visiting the city or have visited recently, please let us know if you have spotted any others. For example, is the automated toilet in Piazza Dante operating yet?  We look forward to hearing from you.

Below is a link to a video of the facilities in the Piazza del Plebiscito. Don’t panic, it is family friendly J





Monday, 15 April 2013

Florence Toilets Updates




FLORENCE PUBLIC TOILET UPDATES

18/7/13

NEWS: Click the following link to be directed to our new website.Same information,easier to navigate. All updates & further new directories will be found there


CLOSURES

Sadly the Edison Bookstore on the Piazza della Repubblica has closed. Apple is rumoured to have taken over the lease.

Pretnatal Maternity store has also closed, making it even more difficult to find a place to change your baby in the city.

The public toilet that was located next to San Lorenzo Market on Via del Ariento has closed owing to drug dealing and the homeless taking over the space.


DIRTY, BROKEN OR CLOSED

If you have visited the city recently, you may have noticed the decline in standards of Florence’s public toilets. For example, the recently refurbished Fortezza da Basso toilets are frequently closed because of vandalism.  They have been replaced by portable toilets.  Cross your fingers that the public toilets are open because the portable toilets are dire.

In Piazza del Grano, the public toilets outside the Uffizi exit are still closed with no sign of re-opening.

For those who took advantage of the public facilities in parking stations; forget it. They are now equipped with numeric keypads. You will need a parking ticket to access the code.  This illustrates the break down in the gentleman’s agreement between restaurants, parking stations etc that existed between the council and private enterprise. From now on, you must be a provable customer to gain access to the bathroom.

The public toilets on Lungarno Picori Giraldi in the Santa Croce area, are usually closed. They have been replaced with portable toilets. Busloads of tourists use this area, so you can imagine the state of the chemical toilets.

On a brighter note, the public toilets inside the Borgo Allegri Garden are free and run by Ronde Diella Carita charity.  They also run the toilets in the Piazza d’Azeglio.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Magi Market Closure/Alcohol Sales




MAGI MARKET CLOSURE/ALCOHOL SALES


18/7/13

NEWS: Click the following link to be directed to our new website.Same information,easier to navigate. All updates & further new directories will be found there




SUPERMARKETS/ MAGI-MARKETS


In yet another reflection of our changing economic times, a number of convenience stores across Florence have closed. 

For now, it seems that the situation may be temporary as new owners are being sought. Word is that Pam, or Sidi’s are interested but nothing has been confirmed.  As far as we know the Meta/Magi Market in the historic centre has been unaffected by these changes.

The impacted stores are

Piazza Pitti

Via Borgo Ognissanti

Via Santa Monaca

Via dei Renai

Corso Tintori

Via Alamanni may still be open at this stage.

THE SALE OF ALCOHOL

Alcohol has now been prohibited from sale in convenience stores (alimentari) and supermarkets after 9.15 pm.  Fines for suppliers of alcohol after this time can reach 1000 Euros. The only exception to this law is on New Years Eve.

 This new law does not to apply to pubs,clubs, restaurants and hotels where the consumption of alcohol takes place inside the business.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

European Emergency Number-Italy




EUROPEAN EMERGENCY NUMBER - ITALY

18/7/13

NEWS: Click the following link to be directed to our new website.Same information,easier to navigate. All updates & further new directories will be found there




If you find yourself in an emergency situation, call 112. The call is free and available via cellular, fixed or public pay phones. Unfortunately the SMS service is only available in Varese for disabled callers.
112 is accessible via international and national roaming. You do not have to be

covered by your own network in the area you are calling from to access the

service. You can also call 112 from a cell/mobile phone that does not have

a SIM card.

All calls are answered promptly in English,French, Italian and German.  Emergency services will be able to locate you in seconds even if you are unsure of your location.

In Italy the 112 emergency call services is handled by the Carabinieri.

For further information regarding the 112 emergency number, please contact:

Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico-Dipartimento Comunicazioni or Ministero

dell’Interno -Dipartimento della Pubblica Sicurezza




Saturday, 2 February 2013

Venice Toilets Sant'Erasmo Island







VENICE TOILETS SANT'ERASMO ISLAND



View Venice Intentionally Blank in a larger map





18/7/13


NEWS: Click the following link to be directed to our new website.Same information,easier to navigate. All updates & further new directories will be found there


http://www.excuseme-whereis.com/Toilets_Sant_Erasmo.html


Sant'Erasmo Island



Torre Massimiliana






Wednesday, 23 January 2013

24 hour Pharmacies Italy



24 HOUR PHARMACIES ITALY



24 hour Pharmacies & Farmacie di Turno

Some pharmacies will open 24/7 continually while others will be open 24/7 one week & be closed completely for a few days the following week.  Farmacie di Turno are  pharmacies which are open late night and on weekends as part of the rotational system in Italy.

You will find general hours noted in our directory but for specific times and dates please follow the link below.


From here, click the label entitled “Farmacie di turno”. The default setting for location is always “Roma” but you can type in whatever city you need. E.g., “Firenze” if you are in Florence. Be sure to use the Italian spelling for the cities you require.

Some cities will offer additional info such as the ability to find the closest pharmacy to your location. Look for the box on the left of the screen entitled “Vicino a”. This means ‘nearest to”. For example, if you are in Piazza Navona, type in “Piazza Navona” and the closest pharmacies will appear with their hours and dates of operation.

Hopefully this helps, if you need really specific information about a late night pharmacy. Some base hours change constantly so it helps to stay up to date.
For further information see our original post “Italian Pharmacies”


*Update 14/04/13

Rome, Florence , Venice , Naples, Capri & Ischia have been updated with direct links from your chosen pharmacy to paginegialle.

From there ,you will learn the most recent opening & closing hours of the pharmacy you require








The difference between Parafarmacia and Farmacia.

A Parafarmacia sells over the counter products. You will find regular headache tablets, beauty products, band aids etc.  Some also sell certain medications that may be prescription only in your country but are widely available in Italy.  It always helps to ask if you need a strong headache medication for example.

A farmacia is a normal pharmacy. It offers prescription services, medical advice etc. Always choose a farmacia if you are unsure of your requirements. Parafarmacias are mainly used by locals who know each parafarmacias ‘speciality’.