I have been wanting to share about my trip to Italy for some time now. While I can sit and talk about it to no end (seriously!), I just couldn’t decide where to start writing about it. Then it hit me. What better place to start than at the very beginning!
It was around this time last year when I said yes to the opportunity to travel to Italy and we started to make our plans. By we, I mean myself and our family friend, Paul. He is retired and was planning his third trip to Italy. Hubs and I were in Florida visiting family when the subject came up and Paul invited me along on his trip. With Hubs’s encouragement I said yes!
Initially it was planned for 10 days but soon morphed into 2 weeks. The thinking being that since we traveled all that way I may as well see as much as possible. While it was worth it it was a long time for me to be away from home. For me to make the flight to Milan I had to fly to New York (which I did the day before) and then had an overnight on my way back. This meant I was gone for 17 days and it was the longest I had been away from Hubs and Kitty. If you ask Hubs now he will tell you I was gone for 4 months. LOL!
Since Paul had traveled to Italy before he was very gracious with his time and made it so I could see all the well known sights even though he had seen most of them before. He loves it so much there that he was just happy to be in Italy again. I kept this in mind and was able to find some good places for us to check out that he had not been to before. Things like an actual pyramid and authentic Italian eateries.
Before I get to the itinerary we set up I want to share a couple of tips. First, try to book and purchase tickets as far in advance as you can. For sites like the Last Supper this is imperative to avoid paying through the nose for a ticket or missing out entirely. We rode the train between cities and by purchasing tickets in advance we saved quite a few euros. Now you can still get train tickets while there if say, you decide on a day trip after you arrive (like we did) but you may pay a bit more or you may not. It’s just like airfare. One day it’s $100 the next it’s $200 and then back down again.
Day 1 – Travel Day. Flew into Milan then took a train to Venice. Even though it was a long travel day (and we got in after 7p), we took a quick stroll from the apartment to Rialto Bridge and got a gelato before turning in for the night.
Day 2 – 4 spent in Venice where we visited all the main attractions including St Mark’s Square, Rialto Market, the Jewish Ghetto, plus went to Isola di San Giorgio, Libreria Acqua Alta, did a free walking tour, had a day trip to Padova for a cooking class and sightseeing, and went exploring off the beaten path in Venice.
Day 4 – Travel Day. Took a train to Florence.
Day 4 – 7 were in Florence where we visited the Statue of David, the Duomo, Mercato Centrale, Piazzale de Michaelangelo, Giardino Bardini, Scuola del Cuoio, did a pizza making class, had a day trip to Parma and Bologna, and wondered the streets of Florence.
Day 8 – Travel Day. Took an early train to Rome.
Day 8 – 11 were in Rome where we visited the main attractions of the Colosseum, the Forum, the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, St. Paul’s Outside the Wall, Ostia Antica, the Pyramid of Caius Cestius, Cimitero Acattolico, with a day trip to Naples and Pompeii, and more exploring of the city.
Day 12 – Travel Day. Took an early train to Milan.
Day 12 – 14 in Milan where we visited the Last Supper, the Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Arco della Pace, Sforza Castle, plus roaming Milan and a day trip to Turin.
Day 15 – Travel Day. Flew home!
Stay tuned as I will be sharing a breakdown for each part of the trip and all the sites, well known and lesser known, that we saw and all of the places we ate at!