History, world renowned cuisine, and incredible views are what wait for you in this magnificent country.
I was fortunate enough to visit a few years ago on a Trafalgar Tour. The itinerary included London, Paris, Lucerne, Venice, Florence and Rome. The Venetian waterways and bridges were absolutely breathtaking. We took a guided walking tour through San Marcos square and a glass making shop. Also, I opted to take a tour to the island of Burano. Burano is home of beautiful pastel homes, lacemakers and incredible Italian seafood. I could not help myself and bought two (very reasonably priced!) handmade lace scarfs. I also indulged and ate my weight in seafood pasta while I visited this charming island.
Brilliant Journeys tip for Venice: It is more expensive, but stay on the Island of Venice.
It is worth the extra cost to not have to water taxi from the mainland to Venice.
After the beautiful visit to Venice, we made our way to Florence for a night. My friend and I walked along the river and took in the beautiful piazzas at night. The next morning, we were treated to a walking tour of Florence and did see the outside version of the David. We did not have time to see the Uffizi Gallery or the Academy.
However, we did have time to go find a very specific kind of gelato that is only available in Florence. The shop is called Vivoli and they are famous for their anise (licorice flavored) gelato. My friend was really into this, I was not. I enjoyed a pear and caramel scoop. If you have the time, go visit! It is pricier than other gelato places and you do not receive as much gelato. However, it is known to be very fresh and they change their flavors regularly. www.vivoli.it
Brilliant Journeys Tip for Florence: Stay more than 1 night!
I wish I would have. I do plan on going back in the near future, however, I wish I did have some more time in the Tuscan area. If you would like to splurge on a hotel in a fabulous location, I highly recommend the Hotel Brunelleschi. The hotel is built within a 6th century church and is very charming and beautiful.
As I am sure you have guessed, Rome is an incredible city with a ton of things to see and do. You could spend a lifetime in Rome and I’m sure still find things to see and do. Our hotel was located near the Vatican, which keeps prices down. However, it is a decent ways away from a lot of other attractions. We had “skip the line” access into the Vatican and had a wonderful guided tour first thing in the morning. This was wonderful because we weren’t shoulder to shoulder with a lot of other people when viewing the Sistine Chapel. We also went inside St. Peter’s Church and then on to the Colosseum. We went all over the Colosseum but didn’t get a chance to go to the Foreum. We flew out the next day and Italy left me wanting more!
Brilliant Journeys Tip for Rome: Stay near the Spanish Steps or Trevi Fountain.
If you plan on going to the Vatican or to the Colosseum, go with a tour, you will save a lot of time!