Italy in ten: PART 1 #MMTravelDiaries

Hi guys!

So one of my most awaited posts is here:: MY ITALY TRAVELOGUE! PART I  As most of you may know, I went to Turkey, Italy and UK this summer when I graduated from my Masters. Though most part of the trip was with my parents, I did spend a few days alone as well {check out my travelling solo post} to know more about that!

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Before I move on to talk about all the places visited, I thought it would give you guys a better idea if I would write down my Itinerary for you! I hope it helps you if you want to plan a trip to Italy :)

DAY ONE:

Arrival in Venice// Spend the day in Venice

DAY TWO:

Leave for Florence// Spend the day in Florence

DAY THREE:

Day trip to Cinque Terre

DAY FOUR:

Tuscany day trip {Sienna, San Gimignano, Pisa}

DAY FIVE:

Leave for Sorrento// Spend the day in Sorrento

DAY SIX:

Day trip to Capri Island

DAY SEVEN:

Leave for Naples from Sorrento // Lunch in Naples // Train to Rome same evening

DAY EIGHT:

Rome Full day

DAY NINE:

Rome Full day

DAY TEN:

Leave from Italy

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Venice:

Venice is absolutely picture perfect and seems like a painting with its little canals and pastel buildings. Venice is one of those places on everyone’s bucket list as a one time visit. If you haven’t been, you must. If you have, you’ll know what I mean when I say you can skip it for round two. This was my first time to Venice was it was obviously on my list. Since its way too crowded, it can be an overwhelming experience, especially if walking is pretty much the only way to navigate.. As you may know, there are no roads in Venice, and there exist only little streets for walking or waterways and canals for water buses, water taxis etc. This also means, that you need to lugg your bags from stair cases, streets etc all the way to the hotel and nothing could escape that. Private Water taxis are crazy expensive you might want to take water buses. When it comes to Venice, it really doesn’t need more than 1-2 nights but then that’s my opinion. In fact, it’s one of those places that you could easily do a day trip from Florence as well!  Since we was there in Venice for half a day and a night we tried to make the most out of it as we walked through the city and take in as much as we could. A cafe that I knew I wanted to visit was Cafe Florian- the oldest cafe in the world! Sitting down in the outdoor seating area with a drink while listening to the cafe’s live orchestra in St. Marco’s square has got to be one those unforgettable experiences. If you’re going to Venice with a romantic partner, you don’t want to miss out on this. Other than the gelato (YUM), pizzeria’s hidden in every nook and corner; you would also find a lot of shopping. And I mean A LOT. Venice is a luxury shopping paradise with almost every designer store with stunning window displays lined up one after the other in the endless maze that the city as to offer! Also, just skip the Gandola ride. I am being very honest when I say that it’s simply a money making business which really pissed me. The gandola drives or whatever one can call them try and act honey sweet and will lure you in and charge you an exorbitant amount- but it’s honestly not worth the money.

Quick tip: Private water taxis are VERY expensive. They make sense if you’re a bigger group and can split the cost. If you’re a couple or a solo traveler, you can definitely save money by taking the waterbus to commute

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Florence/ Firenze

 The next day, we head out to Florence or Firenze. I’m pretty proud of this segment of our trip since I knew exactly what I wanted to see and when. So, for the Tuscany region our base was Florence. We left Venice fairly early in the morning and were in Florence by 12 noon- checked into our lovely airbnb apartment by 1 pm. We had the whole day our selves to explore the city since the next we decided to go in for a day trip to Cinque Terre. We wanted to visited the Uffizi Gallery,but decided to skip the same and instead soak in the city by simply walking around and of course eating yummy food! We did visit the grand Duomo, checked out Piazza Michelango and sit down at the Loggia dei Lanzi and watch the beautiful Piazza della Signoria. Another smart move was to take a pass for a hop on hop off bus. Initially I thought that it looked a little foolish but trust me, you can do a lot with that bus pass. There are a couple of routes that the bus service has where it takes you through all the must see spots. If you want to get off, great. If you don’t, you can simply keep sitting. We also enjoyed a lovely pizza meal at Piazza Republica (see picture below) – one of the prettiest squares in the city, defined by its opulence.

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Cinque Terre

For the next day, we had booked a day trip to Cinque Terre (Pronounced as CHIN-QUAY TERE- literally meaning: 5 villages) and this has to be the best decision of my life. Google the prettiest places on the planet, and it’s on the list. Cique Terre is not that accessible on your own as it involves hiring a car plus a 2-hour drive from Florence. Also, no cars are allowed inside the 5 villages so the car you hire/drive must be parked outside the 5 village gates. To commute between the villages, there are local trains and even ferrys!

We decided to take a semi-private tour using www.viator.com and it was amazing! I really don’t like group tours much maybe cause of past experiences but trust me when I say this was so worth every single penny. This tour consisted of about 8 people in the minivan (including you) and is fairly expensive but makes sense cause less people means you have your own space. The good part is that there isn’t really any “guide” as such but basically the driver of the luxury car who’s super knowledgeable and will give you as many details as possible/answer your questions. This trip also gives you tons of free time. At every island (village) we got atleast an hour or two on hour to do our own thing- eat/swim etc. Click here to see the entire itinerary of our Cinque Terre day trip. If you don’t have Cinque Terre on your list, you must add it. It’s one of the most charming places I have ever been to.

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Tuscany tour Sienna, San Gimignano and Pisa

Happy and satiated from our Cinque Terre day trip, for the next day we booked our selves a Tuscany day trip. YES, we took another tour and I have no regrets whatsoever. If you don’t have time on you, and really want to explore a city ,have a look at these tours and you won’t be disappointed. To be very honest, I realized that it’s impossible to truly manage to explore a place like Italy in a short time span without making using of these tours. We took a tour that was called Tuscany in One Day itself, and it was so worth it, again! It took us to Sienna- we were there for a few hours, then took us to a local vineyard where we had a little wine tasting and followed by unlimited glasses of wine and a traditional Tuscan meal. This had to be the most generous tour ever. After the meal, we went to Gimignano to explore the little town and had the “world’s best gelato” from the award winning Gelateria del Dondoli- Finally, from San Gimiano, we were takento Pisa to see the leaning tower of Pisa! The trip does sound rather hectic and I wouldn’t lie – it was. But, it was also worth every penny and I can confidently say that I did get the feel of the tuscan cities, gothic architecture, and food!

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Part II of the trip will be up soon where I will talk about the second of the trip: Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, Capri Island and Rome!

Untill, then lots of love x