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You've Pushed the Magic Button!

The single kind of e‑mail I enjoy most receiving from total strangers is the request for advice as you plan a trip. Who doesn't love giving advice?

But seriously, I find it very satisfying to help people avoid some horrible pitfall, or find the ideal location suited for their particular wants or needs; and for a few small parts of the world, my advice is usually very good. On the other hand, there are plenty of things I don't know, am not in the least embarrassed to admit it, and more often than not, will send you to someone who does know.

Finally, whatever I tell you, you know you don't have to go along with it: so fire away! I'll be glad to help.

The "maybe"?

Well, if you've poked around even a bit onsite, you'll realize that I'm the wrong person to ask about luxury villas for two couples with a jacuzzi and a butler; but mostly that I don't believe in going to see some big place in a day or two because it's famous, then moving on, having "done" it. What's more, if you're going to do that, you don't need any special advice: you'll be doing what millions of people do, and the obvious things, repeated by endless guidebooks, will be just fine for so very short a visit. So if you tell me you're planning on staying three days in Florence, and using one of them to do Assisi, Spoleto, and Perugia as a day trip, I'll almost certainly suggest you slow down and see where you are; judging from my e‑mail over what is now more than ten years, you in turn won't want to hear that: but it really does spring from a wish to help you maximize your hard-earned vacation trip.

My e‑mail address is
My e‑mail address is given here as an image. It is 'billthayerchicago' followed by the 'at'-sign, followed by 'gmail.com' 

As of February 1, 2013, you must include my name in the e‑mail address. If you do not, your e‑mail will be automatically deleted, and I will not even be aware that you sent it; nor will it be bounced back to you.

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Page updated: 11 Apr 07