Overlooking the ruins in Rome
This past June, I traveled to Italy and Slovenia on business, but was luckily able to work in some great sightseeing and vacation time along the way too! We started in Rome
, which was so amazing. The history and architechture there is incredible....from the Colleseum and the ruins, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Vatican City (Sistine Chapel is definitely worth the wait.....just get there early!!), the Castel St. Angelo (really interesting, and great views of Rome from the top) and soooo much more! Pretty crowded in June, and quite hot, but very nice overall.
From there we took the train to Venice
, actually stayed on the mainland, as we were traveling on to Slovenia the next day.
View of St. Peter's Basilica along the Tiber River
We took a quick trip in to Venice for dinner and some exploring, and returned the next morning as well. We also came back to Venice on our way out of the country, so we ended up having about 2 and a half days there total.....definitely not enough to see everything!
I absloutely LOVED Venice. The tide was at the perfect height.....I hear it can get pretty smelly if it gets too low, and floods when it gets too high. The water taxis are relatively easy to figure out and a great way to get around. We did some exploring and shopping around the Piazza San Marco (lots of cool glass shops) and then got kind of lost trying to find our way back out! The buildings are all so tall and the streets are so narrow that it's sometimes hard to find your bearings.....started to feel like I was trapped in an Argento film! But, luckily, every road eventually leads you back to the canal.
Inside the Colleseum
I really want to return to Venice.....so much more to see!
The next day we were off to Slovenia. We stayed in Ljubljana, which is a very quaint and beautiful city. We were visiting some clients there, so the first night, they took us on a tour of the city and to dinner (I can't remember the name of the retaurant...I'll have to look it up in my travel journal, but it was really good!). It was really nice to have a local to show us around. Pretty much everyone speaks English there, which was a nice surprise! I didn't even get to use my "Dober dan's" that I had been practicing :) On our way out of town, we stopped at the Postojnia Caves at the suggestion of our client. This is one of the largest underground caves systems in the world. The tour takes about 2 hours, but it is definitely worth it! You get into these little trams that take you about a mile or 2 underground, then it lets you off and you walk back through the caves.
Walking through the ruins
Really amazing sights down there, one of which is the famous "Human Fish" a freaky flesh colored salamander-looking creature with no eyes....weird! The caves are between the Italian border and Ljubljana, worth a look for sure!
From there we headed back into Italy and on to Milan
. We stayed at the amazing Four Seasons Milano (score one for business trips!!) which is very pricey, but incredible! The hotel was originally a monestary 100s of years ago and has now been restored, but they left a lot of the original art, sculptures, etc which are now a part of the hotel.....really cool! Only had one day in Milan, so we visited the Duomo, and went to view The Last Supper. You need to get tickets for The Last Supper way in advance....I sent an email to the concierge at the hotel and they arranged it for us.
I think the tickets were only about 8 euro.....so worth it!!
The next day we headed to see another client in Bergamo
, which is near the lakes....very scenic drive! From there we were headed for Asolo
, a small town about 2 hours north of Venice to see our last client. Another really nice drive, aside from the scary detour which got us pretty lost for awhile! Asolo is a very small, charming city. Cobblestone streets, lovely little cafes and shops.....loved it!
After two days in Asolo, we headed back south towards the airport in Venice, had one more day there and then flew home. Overall, it was an absolutely incredible trip! Can't wait to go back!