Matty and I first visited Italy with my parents back in 2011. We traveled to Florence, Tuscany, Venice, Cinque Terre and Rome, and each place delighted as much as the one before. Next week, we will be back in Italy celebrating our birthdays, and we will be exploring new towns along the Amalfi coast. In advance of our upcoming trip, I wanted to share some favorite memories from our previous one.
When: September 2011
Stayed in Florence: Hotel Santa Maria Novella
Stayed in Rome: Hotel Eden
Florence and I fell for each other right away, and it remains one of my most favorite cities. I could spend every afternoon in the Boboli Gardens, and I still dream of the truffle pasta from La Giostra. We loved wandering the streets, gelatos in hand, and we embraced all of the museums and duomo-steps our tourist hearts desired. Matty and my dad are methodical museum-goers – they like to start at the beginning, and see every, single thing. In every, single room. My mom and I are more of the window shopper variety – we like to leisurely stroll and stop when something catches our eye. One thing we all agreed on was wine and pizza after each museum!
Watching the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo was stunning. The entire city was bathed in the most perfect golden light, and it was an incredibly beautiful experience that I highly recommend.
Tuscany was a dream, albeit way too brief – we only spent one day there, and I am already plotting our return. We loved loved loved what little we were able to see and taste!
Venice is what paintings are made of, with so many colors meeting the canals. My favorite part was getting lost on the narrow streets, away from the crowds, as we meandered back towards the train station. I also loved our super touristy stop at Harry’s Bar, for four tiny glasses of peachy bubbles – when in
Rome Venice! One thing I recommend is hopping on a gondola – I was stubbornly against it, but eventually gave in. It was SO MUCH FUN! And so neat to see the city the way it is meant to be seen, from the water.
Cinque Terre was too beautiful for words, and we cannot wait to return one day. Walking through each of the charming villages, vertically constructed and right on the ocean, was truly something. The pesto was mouth watering, the colors were dazzling, and the ocean was clear and cool as glass. What an amazing place.
Rome was our final stop, and it was so neat to spend time in the modern neighborhoods, as well as to explore the infamous ruins. The juxtaposition of old and new was remarkable. Some of our favorite meals were had in Rome, and of course we all made wishes at the Trevi Fountain. What struck me about this city was seeing and experiencing firsthand so many pieces of art and architecture that we had previously only read about. It was a tremendous way to end an already tremendous trip.