La Dolce Vita
There's a ton of reasons I can think of to visit Italy; Its definitely a dream destination and a unique location. If I had to describe Italy I’d describe it as pretty much an unending tangible history lesson, bible reference, living art gallery and modernized society all wrapped in one. It’s exceptional how it merges but in its unique way it all truly does.
So we visited mid-March, which is supposedly spring but feels like winter by my Floridian standards. It’s comfortable for the most part but comfort is subjective so don’t quote me on that . It's also supposed to be a good time to visit because it’s low season and less touristy but boy let me tell you I CANNOT imagine peak season. There were droves and droves and hundreds and hundreds of people. Take a look at my pics in front of the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain- we didn’t even attempt to find an empty spot because it was literally impossible . I felt like Where’s Waldo posing in the sea of people and honestly you’ll save yourself a lot of time, headache and frustration if you just accept the fact that there will be people in virtually all your photos. What I loved most about Italy is the cafes and shops that lined the streets. Theres no mega-marts or superstores. You want some meat you go to the butcher, wants some coffee and pastries go to the cafe, want some gelato, head on over to the Gelateria.
So I hashtagged, (yes i used that as a verb) Trevi Fountain and found this IG’er who was there with no one else in her background. Needless to say I swore her pic was photoshopped so I DM’d her and asked how she managed to have both locations all to herself. Her response, she visited at 2AM. Not gonna lie, her pix were stunning but as beautiful as Rome is it’s equally as sketch so I wouldn’t advise, unless you’re with an entourage. There’s tons of peddlers and pick pockets and overall suspicious behavior going on in the daylight hours so please beware should you decide to do this for the #gram. I wish you could add audio on blogs because I'd tell you about the night I almost turned my umbrella into a machete on this one guy following us on the street and sizing us up. Thankfully theres no real story to tell there except that I forgot all about the weather and decided it was more important to use my umbrella as a weapon than to protect myself from the elements.
If you're still reading along, thanks because I totally went off on a tangent there... Back to subject at hand.. Italy.
Its a cool place. Go visit.
But no seriously , if you only have a week like me these are the places and things I'd suggest.
Seven Days in Italy (my initial itinerary)
Day 1 & 2 : Venice
Day 3&4: Head to Florence (hub) and explore
Day 5: Day trip to Pisa & Cinque Terre
Day 6 & 7 : Rome
What ended up happening is that we cancelled Venice due to rainy weather since the sole purpose of us going was the gondola ride , I know smh ! We decided it wouldn't be ideal in cold, rainy weather and vowed to return under more pleasurable weather conditions. We opted to stay in Florence for the two extra days. I'd strongly suggest the above itinerary if you want like most folks to get the most bang for your buck in a week. We lost one whole day in Florence since we decided to rest up on giorno uno (day 1). We dedicated one whole day to Pisa and another full day in Cinque Terre. Again, I'd suggest the above itinerary as we ultimately realized we really didn't need one entire day in either location.
Get in , take your obligatory Leaning Tower of Pisa pose and get out. Spend under 2 hours in Pisa and head straight to Cinque Terre to spend the rest of your day. We went back to Florence and leisurely explored a bit and dedicated the next day to do more site seeing in Florence.
Days 6&7 remained the same. It rained on our 6th day so our tour was cancelled and we only went out for food. :-(
In Rome be sure to visit:
- The coloseum
- Trevi Fountain
- St. Peter's Basilica
- Roman Forum
- Vatican/ Sistine Chapel/St. Peters Square (I didn't but I wish I made the time)
- Only because Rome is very easy on foot and near all these other locations- you can stop through the Spanish Steps, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Spagna, Arch of Constantine and Palatine Hill
Cinque Terre: Believe me when I tell you Cinque Terre is a must see. Do a google image search to whet your appetite.
- Try to see all 5 villages but if you can't def see Monterosso, Manarola & Vernazza
Pisa: Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore)
- Uffizi Gallery (or just take your pic of David outside)
- Mercato Centrale
- Ponte Vecchio ( but from St. Trinity Bridge- view is way better)
- Piazzale Michelangelo
- San Lorenzo Market (skip if you're pressed for time)
- Basilica di Santa Maria Novella (if you get off at SMN station you may as well)
- Piazza della Signoria
So yea, eat as much gelato as your stomach can handle and enjoy La Dolce Vita !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!