When In Italia
Italy Travel Blog› entry 1 of 19 › view all entries
Italy this time of the year is in Winter (Dec - Feb) which is far from what we are experiencing on the other side of the world in Australia. Not having experienced a European winter before I was a little unsure of what to expect and let me say now I wish I had packed my nice warm ski jacket! Needless to say I boarded the plane full of enthusiam (Singapore Airlines are the best)....and set off on my adventure! I arrived early Sunday morning on the 9th of Dec in jeans, a t-shirt and a pair of thongs - big time TOURIST! :)
Whilst in Italy for two weeks and a bit I visited most of the popular places you'd want to see on any trip to this beauiful country. We started in Rome, drove down to Naples and visited Pompeii - you need a good day or more to see this place.... it is HUGE! But a must see on any Italian holiday! We were only there for about 2 hrs (and it rained the entire time), and we only managed to see a coupe of blocks - pencil in a whole day here, grab a map and enjoy!
SORRENTO : We stayed a couple of days in Sorrento at Giosue A Mare- right on the beach (which was black and the water was a little chilly - got thrown in fully clothed :( !!). From Sorrento we caught the ferrry over to the Isle of Capri & Anacapri for a day trip, which was so breathtaking and beautiful. Most of our group caught the Funicolare up to Capri Cento from Marina Grande where the boat pulls in, but I recommend climbing the hundreds of Roman stairs up to Capri - the views you see from these homes are amazing! You also have to visit Giardini Augusto (Augustus' Garden) it sits on the cliffside and has the most breathtaking views I have ever seen! We didn't venture to the Blue Grotto but it's something I'm definately doing next time, along with catching the chair lift up to the top (near Anacapri) or you could walk if you feeling energetic!
FLORENCE : We then drove back up north to Florence, making a scheduled stop in Tuscany to taste test Chianti wines - not bad at all! Florence was so amazing........ I could definately live there! And the male talent was definately something to see....mmmmm! Whislt in Florence we went to the Red Garta Kareoke bar and Space nightclub....If your going out visit these places! You also have to ride the carousel (it has a bar on it...........Yep it was good, and in Christmas there are many christmas markets about!
PISA : We then drove on to Pisa and saw the leaning tower - just a warning now it costs 15 euros to climb the tower! At the entrance to the duomo on Piazza del Miracolla there is a door with a little golden head - apparently if you rub this head it is good luck!
LA SPEZIA & CINQUE TERRE : We then continued on to La Spezia, where we stayed and also caught the train out to Cinque Terre (Five Islands) and walked around Monterosso al Mare and Riomaggiore......... deserted in winter but still beautiful to see! We didn't stay here long enough to wander round and find things, so I'm definately going back there!
MILAN : We spent a day shopping in Milan and sightseeing, and there is just so much to see in this beautiful city! We stayed on the outskirts of Milan at the Holiday Inn Express which was the best!
SIRMIONE : We headed on to Sirmione on Lake Garda - also an amazing place. We didn't have long here and most were nursing hangovers from our night out in Milan, so we didn't see a great deal but what we saw was just spectacular.......
VERONA : We also wandered around Verona.....apparently the most expensive city - everything is made of marbel even the drains! You have to visit Guilletta's balcony, walk through the markets at Piazza del Erbe, see the Scalgiere tombs, Dante's statue, walk through Arena di Verona Ampitheatre and wander around Piazzo Barbiere and see Ponte Bra.
VENICE : this water surrounded place was also amazing - very cold wind though! We spent a whole day just wandering the streets........don't use a map it only makes it worse. Take a Gondola ride, walk around the Doge's Palace and inside the Basilica di San Marco, walk over the Rialto Bridge.
ROME : fter we left Venice we drove back down to Rome..............all I can say is WOW! Get yourself a map....most of the sites a within walking distance although it doesn't look that way on the map! The metro system is really easy to navigate and if you want to go shopping, visit Via Del Corso just down the street from the Colosseum and the National Library. There is also the best little Pizza place just outside the Vatican City......If you catch the train to the Vatican (stop Ottaviano) you walk from the metro straight towards St. Peter's Basilica down Via Di Porta Angelica..... there is a little newstand just of this road on a side street with no name - just opposite it is Alice the pizza place - I seriously recommend it! You won't regret it, its the best pizza ever! We spent a couple of days here and saw the Spanish steps & Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Navona, Fontana di Trevi, Pantheon, Castel Sant'Angelo, Roman Forum, The Vatican Museum, Piazza San Pietro & Basilica di San Pietro, Colosseum, San Giovanni in Laterano, Colonna Traiana, Capaccino Monks Museum (near Barbeirini Metro stop), the Roman walls, Foro di Augusto, Antiquarium Forense.
Just a couple of things to REMEMBER:
1. watch your drinks! My friend had herdrink spiked in a Milan night club and spent the night in hospital......she continued with the trip the next day - she was lucky!
2. Always travel in groups! My friend got separated from friends after walking home from a nightclub in Florence and was grabbed by a guy, she screamed and he freaked out, she was in hysterics!
3. If you go in winter take a warm jacket - ie. a ski jacket (you will need it)!
4. Watch your personal belongings! If you take a bag, hang it around the front of your body and keep hold of it, especially in larg crowds and the metro systems - pick pocket and gypsie heaven!
5. and the most important rule to remember: HAVE FUN