Time of Year: December 2018-January 2019
Places I Visited: Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice
Hostel Names: Palladini Hostel Rome, New Hostel Florence, MEININGER Milano Garibaldi, Airbnb- Rome and ‘Design Room 10 Min from Venice by Michele’.
Highlights: Rome-(Pantheon, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Foro Romano), Florence- (Cathedral Di Danta Maria Del Fiore, Gucci Museum, Wine Tour), Milan-(Palazzo Reale and Church ), Venice- (Venice Canal)
Rome: This was my first trip with my boyfriend and another one of our New Years’ Eve abroad trips. We decided to do Italy and a long layover in Switzerland on this trip. We started in Rome. We started at a lovely Airbnb hosted by this couple who would play a beautiful piano in the mornings. The only downside was the place was a bit far from all the action for New Year’s Eve. We decided to take a taxi to the Colosseum. We had pizza and wine while awaiting the countdown until midnight at a place called Pizza Forum-probably the best pizza we had in all of Italy and cheap! We wish we were a little more prepared for the night. We didn’t know that you could drink out on the streets with open bottles so we would bring a bottle of champagne in the future if we were to ever go back. The area was very LGBTQ friendly as many people were standing on cars waving flags and dancing and singing outside the clubs along the street.
The next days consisted of walking around Rome and check out all the hidden places along the way. Vatican City had many historical buildings, little shops, and vendors along the sides. We explored the Pantheon (do a wick Google search prior to going to learn the cool stuff about it prior to going), Trevi Fountain (Bring a coin and make a wish), and Foro Romano (Ancient Ruins of Rome). The Colosseum aka most known thing about Rome, we did not do the inside tour. The lines were MASSIVELY LONG. Get your tickets in advance and make sure to get there early. To get to our next city, we bought train tickets online. There were options for train or bus, the bus was longer than the train obviously but cheaper so it is up to you the best route for you to take.
Florence– We stayed here for only a few days but this was one of our favorite places in Italy. Some of the highlights here:
Cathedral Di Danta Maria Del Fiore:
Wine Tour: We took an amazing wine tour and met some really cool people. It was us and about five other couples from all around the world. We went to a few wineries and were even taken to this castle to walk around the local shops and take in some scenery.
Milan– This city was just about as bougie and fancy as you would think. Everywhere you look on the streets is high end shops and unique buildings. There were so many pretty builtins along the streets that you didn’t care mindlessly walking up and down the streets for a few hours. There was a gigantic Church at one of the main plazas-Palazzo Reale and Church.
Venice– By far, this was our favorite city, maybe because I love the water but also because it was so interesting. We stayed in a gorgeous Airbnb off the main island of Venice. There was a grocery store across the street so we made our own food and bought some wine for at night. To get to the main little Island of Venice, we had to take a local bus over a long bridge. It is amazing once you immerse yourself into the tiny streets and stumble upon antique shops, food, and lovely little homes. The best part is you can turn any corner and find a gorgeous view of the Venice Canal through someone’s apartment with old bricks and the sun shining in just the right stops. Truly amazing. We also brought a lock to put on the big bridge in Venice and wrote on it prior and threw the key in the water. This is also the spot where you can do the Gondola Rides- one fo the most touristy things to do probably, it is cool to say we did it but honestly wasn’t totally worth it. If you walk towards the outskirts around the water, not the canal, you’ll find lots of vendors, markets, and small antiques.