July 17, 2019
Oh, how I wish we had all the time in the world to explore this elusive, picture-perfect country. There are so many places I wanted to include in our itinerary, that honestly, I almost ended up canceling our plans because it was just too overwhelming.
I mean, of course, we wanted to see the usual suspects, but how about those little towns and villages we see splashed all over Instagram and Facebook? I possibly could not do my trip justice if I left those out? But time being our biggest orchestrator, we had to really narrow down the playing field. I mean really narrow it down. After all, we had only 8 days to make the magic happen.
After I simplified the cities, things started falling in place quickly.
ROME: Of course, Rome wasn't built in a day, neither can it be seen in one day. Since we decided to land in Rome, we kept in mind the unescapable jet lag, so we decided to do 3 nights in Rome and indulge in all the things a proud tourist does:
The larger than life, Colosseum, (we will be doing the night tour), the legendary Pantheon, the ruins of the Palatino, sacred St Peter's and the sacred Vatican Museums. Of course, we plan to hang around the Spanish Steps, toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain, (which I heard has now been cordoned off!), shop in charming lanes and indulge in our favorite pastime: eating and people-watching.
The Colosseum: Photo by Braden Collum
The Spanish Steps: Photo by Ilnur Kalimullin
We have also decided to take a day trip to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius, to bring my son's school chapter to life. He was totally fascinated by this city buried under the ashes and he cannot wait to see what they found underneath. Nor can we. We used Viator.com to find great deals for this trip.
Pompeii Archeological Park: Photo by Andy Holmes
FLORENCE: We are catching a train from Rome to Florence because we want to see as much of the countryside as we can. From what I hear, buses are even better for that, but no time, remember?
Here is a quick laundry list of our must-do in Florence.
Larger than life art in the Uffizi gallery, the frescoes in the Duomo and, much to my 12-year-old's amusement, we will be admiring the anatomy of Michelangelo's David. We will do this at leisure, wake up when we want, indulge in some cappuccinos and try to behave as local as we can. Ya right!
The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, called the Duomo Cathedral of Florence, Photo by Oleksandr Zhabin
We will also take a day-long tour to check off The Leaning Tower of Pisa, and soak up the Tuscan sun at Siena and San Gimignano. Another tour we booked via Viator.
VENICE: Again a short train away and we will be in Venice. Everyone has warned me! Once you go to exotic Venice, no other place will be good enough. I am taking my chances and staying here for 3 nights!
We plan to put our tourist hats on and glide down the Grand Canal, by gondola, hopefully, serenaded as we cruise along. Next, we will feast our eyes with the treasure-laden Basilica di San Marco and take selfies and Instagram the heck out of the extraordinary offerings of Venetian architecture. if our son allows it, we will indulge in cicheti (Venetian tapas) and play tag along the 400 bridges and 150 canals of this unforgettable city.
Venice Bridge. Photo by Tj Holowaychuk
Venice, Photo by Candré Mandawe
Like before, we plan on hopping onto a water taxi and visit Murano and Burano, known for their artisan glassware, fishing village, and little homes, dripped in charm.
Burano, Photo by Antonio Molinari
If we had more time, we would've included many more gems like Cinque Terre National Park, entire Southern Italy, Lake Como, and so much more. but that will have to wait. Because what better excuse do we have to come back again?
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