So my wife and I just got our tickets to go to Rome and are starting to think of what we want to do. Any suggestions, places to stay etc, etc. I think I am definatly taking some time to go to France while we're out there.
You're going to have a great time. Be respectful, learn some basic words or phrases in each language including; please, excuse me, sorry I don't speak ____, do you speak english?, etc etc etc. I suggest pimsleur, they have cd's which let you hear how things sound and practice. Helped me pick up a dozen or so russian phrases in about a week.
In Rome, Watch for pickpockets!!! Everyone has told me about major european cities bringing pickpockets from all over europe for the easy pickings.
I'm pretty intimidating looking and when I was riding the subway in barcelona and the bus in valencia, I got felt a couple times to see where my wallet was. When it's super crowded, there's nothing you can do except keep your hand gripped tightly to your wallet until you get out.
Spent 9 hours in the french airport and most people were extremely friendly when I said bonjour and merci. They really appreciate you at least using some of their words, they get pretty testy when you just walk up and start speaking english rapid fire.
Another great thing about europe, bargaining. In open markets things other than food and drink can be negotiated for price, even if you don't speak the language. The euro will own you, it's crazy expensive, so when you're buying souvenirs, write down how much you'll pay, lowballing the hell out of them and they'll offer back. They don't get offended easily and it's a great way to save money.
Tipping is not at all expected but greatly appreciated, even it's the coinage from your meal. Pay attention to the coins, small ass coins can be worth a bunch.
Eat as much as you can everywhere you go. In every country I've been to I make it a habit to ask a random old guy who looks like a friendly local, where's a good place to get something to eat. I havent' been steered wrong yet. Their food owns over there...except maybe in france. I'm kinda nervous about snails and the entrails of stuff.
Enjoy man, europe is awesome!