It has always been a dream of mine to go to Italy and specifically go with my husband! Movies always showed Italy to be Romantic and Rome to be the city of love. I found extremely cheap tickets to go after our wedding. So we booked our $150 ticket on Air Portugal from Miami to Rome and head off to Italy before our week in Greece.
I would recommend this airline and we paid for extra legroom since Ryan is 6’3 and needs all the room he can get! Luggages, Food and wifi were all included in the price for economy.
Our flight to Italy was a breeze! We had one quick lay over in Lisbon, Portugal and then landed in Rome, Italy. When we got to Rome, our luggages were in a whole separate terminal so we had to walk and try to figure out where our luggages were and after an hour we found them! We took our taxi to our hotel into the beautiful Vatican city. The hotel we stayed at was Suites Giulia and was in an amazing location.
Our first day we spent the day napping and getting adjusted to the time change. We went out for Dinner and Gelato and went right back to sleep.
The next day we started our Journey of exploring! We took an uber which I believe is now illegal in Europe but was the easiest way for us to get the train/bus station in the heart of Rome where we needed to get to our Bus. Which fun fact we found out even though it says you have to get on the bus for the first time at the Bus station you actually can start at what ever stop is closest to you. We got on the Bus went to the colosseum and waited for our tour time! We decided to do a tour because you can skip the LONG lines and when I say long it was hours long and we went during the end of season travel. So extra money is so worth it. We waited and we showed up 30 mins early to check in and found out you had to be there 45 mins early and they wouldn’t let us on the tour. They rescheduled our trip and we got an even better tour as they added the Palatine Hill and Gladiator Area and Walk through the Loser gate. We began to wait for the next tour time which was only an hour and a half later but I began to feel extremely sick. I have never felt so fatigue and sick to my stomach. I have never wanted to faint or felt dizzy in my entire life. We went to the check-in counter and explained to them how I felt and they reschedule us again for the next morning. We quickly called an uber and headed back to our hotel. We ate Tums, ate a meal and slept for hours. After sleeping I began to feel like myself again and we decided to continue exploring. We walked to our closest bus stop and headed to the Spanish steps, Fountain of Trevi and walking around the whole city before we went to Dinner.
The next day we spent going to the Colosseum and the Vatican. We did not do the Skip the line tour for Vatican or the Sistine Chapel. The line looked long but it was only because no matter where you go in Italy you will go through extreme security. Most places you have to be wearing proper clothing, can not carry weapons, can not bring in liquids, must take jackets off and go through metal detectors. We waited in line for 20 mins and the line moved extremely quickly. We then walked to the Sistine chapel to go and see the famous Michelangelo painting. Which is about a 20 min walk from the Vatican that turned into a 2 hour walk for Ryan and I as we got lost and because of the language barrier it hard to ask for directions. Once you enter the Sistine Chapel it was hard for us to get around the crowds and explore in our paste, also the Museum is HUGE!!! Bring your student IDs, yes even from America or any country, as you can get a discounted ticket. Once you make it to the famous painting at the end of the museum, You can not take photos of the famous painting and they will have security everywhere watching and yelling at people who do.
… Now for my favorite part of Italy Florence!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Florence! It has romance, kind people, shopping on every corner. It is a city where you can feel safe walking around and exploring. Amazing foods and views! We stayed at Palazzo Alfieri Residenza D’Epoca Alfieri Collezione and they kindly upgraded us when they found out we were on our Honeymoon to the Executive Suite and gave us free Breakfast! I mean it when I say the SWEETEST PEOPLE WORKED HERE! The room had an amazing waterfront view and was the perfect location to be in it was directly in the middle of the city! We were able to walk everywhere!!! We also found out that Florence is where Gucci is made, which is the reason they have so many Gucci stores and the Gucci Museum and Cafe! Ryan and I obviously had to purchase and when I say that I mean Ryan convinced me that we deserved it for all the work we have done and as graduation gifts haha Gucci as it is also cheaper since it is where it is manufactured and since we are Americans we get our Tax money back as they include tax in all their prices.
No matter what you buy in Europe… SAVE YOUR Receipts! once you are at the airport about to leave any place in Europe to go back to the states you can go to the exchange desk and get back your Tax money. We got back $300 and we didn’t even save everything. Pro tip is though they will ask to see the items you want to receive money back on.
We decided to go on a Wine tour!!! The tour was a small group, on a small private A/c Tour bus and it was the best! The bus was comfortable, had wifi and the tour guide Leo was extremely entertaining and knowledgable! We learned that almost everyone in Florence speaks english and Rome is one of the only places that speak Italian. Every city is almost a different language speaking city.
We also visited the Duomo and the Accademia Gallery where we got to see the Statue of David!
The whole city is literally beautiful and filled with restaurants that are authentic and beautiful unlike Rome where you mostly eat outside under a tent.
We were only in Venice for a day. We got off the train and walked to our hotel (A/C Marriott) which was only a one big bridge and one small bridge from the train station we did not need to take a water taxi or walk miles of stairs and bridges to get there. I spoke to a friend before going to Venice and did not realize how it is not easy to get around venice. So be aware where you book your hotel because you will have to carry your suitcases up and down stairs/bridges for miles to get to your hotel. Venice is like one big circle as well! We arrived in the morning, checked into our hotel and walked around the big circle till we got back to the hotel and got ready for Dinner. We went to an “exclusive” reservations only restaurant called Hostaria Osotioosopra and it was delicious!!! We noticed it was raining which is why we bought an umbrella from Rome with us as it was rainy there as well. However, we noticed that earlier in the day we saw EVERYONE with bags on their feet and rain boots on and they have a portable elevated flooring kind of like a stage but literally throughout the WHOLE city. We did not realize, nor were we told by anyone, that the city was about to FLOOD! As we were walking back to our hotel, the same route we just took to get to Dinner was completely flooded!!! We had to take a different route with bridges and such and made it back but… We spent the next hour in our hotel blow drying our shoes dry so we didn’t have to pack wet shoes. So the next morning we decided okay the city is flooded we saw what we came to see.. besides go on a gondola which I was SO excited about until I saw it in person and realized it was nothing like the movies due to the weather the water was extremely rough and you can see the captains were struggling and no one seemed to be enjoying the experience so we decided to use the cash we took out to buy souvenirs for our family. We decided to book a last minute trip to Milan, Italy. We booked a stay at the Milan Airport which we were flying out of to go to Greece anyways so we decided let’s explore the city a little!
Milan is filled with stores you would see in America. It was a little bit of fresh air. Starbucks and Uniqlo and the beautiful Duomo !!! We ended the night of shopping by getting gelato and then headed to the Hotel which was an hour train and bus ride back to the hotel. While we got on the train I was randomly selected by Italian police, 4 Military members and a cop approached me and asked for my passport and questions of where I am from and where am I going and what I am doing in Milan. Once they got word from their boss that I was cleared they got off the train and we were off to our stay at the Moxy Hotel in the Milan Airport! This is a Marriott hotel and was extremely clean, up to date with technology, modern looking and had good quick food that you can heat up and eat!
What I learned about Italy and would suggest to anyone going to Italy.
First tip: Study and ask anyone if they have been to Italy and ask what they suggest to eat in that city! Trust me you want to find these authentic restaurants. Do not waste your time just going into a restaurant to eat just because trust me it is not worth it!
Always carry your passport with you! They literally have military everywhere and like stated before I was randomly selected to be checked, don’t know why but I was.
Do the HOP ON HOP OFF BUS in Rome!!!
and Have Fun!!!
Hope you enjoyed the Blog about my trip to Italy!!! Hope it helps you on your next Italy trip!
Up next is our Blog about Magical Dream of a Trip to Greece!