First time in Italy, Short and La Dolce.

July 17, 2019

First time in Italy, Short and La Dolce.

My dream of visiting this boot-shaped country is coming true! We (my husband and 12-year-old son) are off to Italy in less than 10 days! Whoop! 

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 a lot of deliberation and angst, I decided that we will be the unashamed tourists for the first time around in Italy. And we will traverse the holy trinity, Rome, Florence, and Venice and leave the rest for another trip. Because you can't go to Italy only once in your life can you? 

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. 

Photo by Braden Collum

The Colosseum: Photo by Braden Collum  

Spanish Steps

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

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!

Florence, Italy

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.

https://www.viator.com/tours/Florence/Tuscany-in-One-Day-Sightseeing-Tour/d519-5070TUSCANY

Siena

Siena church ceiling: Photo by David Siglin

 

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

Venice Bridge. Photo by Tj Holowaychuk

Venice

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

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? 

Till then we will have to make do with a short but sweet Italian affair to remember.




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