My trip to Italy consisted of moving luggage to new locations every couple of days. In the midst of it all, we were in a heatwave the ENTIRE TIME, so you can only imagine how hot and sweaty we all got. I didn’t mind because there was gelato that was almost always within reach! In my opinion, it was very worth it, though. It’s so cool to think about how far back the history of Italy goes… with the Romans and all.
Enough said. I hope you enjoy reading about my experience!
Took a fast train from Switzerland to Florence, Italy (7-19)
We stayed in Florence for 3 days (July 19 – July 21).
My very first meal in Italy was Margherita Pizza… and obviously, it was TO DIE FOR. I also had lots and lots of gelato. There were so many small gelato places around the city! Whenever I was craving gelato, it would always be right around the corner. Not to mention there were soooo many choices for dining.
Side note: Next time I would LOVE to see David. haha
On Saturday, July 20th, we climbed up Florence Cathedral! 463 steps later, we made it to the top of the dome and saw an amazing 360-degree view of Florence! Everywhere I looked there were the classic red-orange rooftops, and hills in the background. In my opinion, the climb was well worth it; but of course, we had to climb 463 steps down! Also (side note) I was very thirsty that day because of the heat. Nonetheless, we went to church after we climbed down… which was also a great experience! Check out the pictures we took! Take a look at this link if you want to learn more.
After Florence Cathedral, we visited Porcellino Fountain! It’s literally a bronze fountain of a pig. All you have to do is rub the pig’s nose, put a coin in the pig’s mouth, make a wish, let go of the coin, and see if your coin falls into the grates! If it does, then you’ll have good luck! Luckily, mine landed. Making small visits to places like these really add some fun to your time walking around the city. It takes 2 minutes! Here’s a link to a website if you want to learn more!
Later that night, we watched a beautiful sunset at San Niccolo. You could see a stunning view of the whole city… once again. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves! *Check out this link*
Took a train from Florence to Pisa (7-20)
I’m sure you can already guess what we visited in Pisa… The Leaning Tower of Pisa! Of course, I took great pictures, including the generic “holding up the tower” picture. It’s mind-blowing to think that it was a part of history. And of course, we climbed to the top and saw Pisa from above. Once again, it was VERY HOT. Again, here’s a link!
Tuscany and Vineyards
Took a car from Florence, drove through Tuscany and Vineyards, and arrived in Cortona (7-21)
All in all, we went through Poggibonsi, Asciano, Cortona, Avignonesi, Montepulciano, Assisi, Paciano and Umbria.
In Poggibonsi, I had tiramisu FOR THE FIRST TIME… and I fell asleep on the car ride.
In Asciano, we stopped at a beautiful sunflower field; and trust me, there were SO MANY sunflower fields. I couldn’t believe it!
In Cortona, we stayed at a farmhouse for 3 days. It was a dream. The views were stunning, and we had the privilege to watch a gorgeous sunset over the vast fields every… single… night. Wow! Not to mention, there were the most adorable cats that lived around the farmhouse, and they came out to play every night. This is the farmhouse we stayed in!
In Avignonesi, we witnessed the wide-open farmland of vineyards and hills.
Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi
On Monday, July 22, we visited the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi. The basilica was very neat and wonderful. Inside, I lit a special candle and said many prayers. The tall walls, architecture, many paintings, statues, and stained glass windows were striking. Even the town of Assisi was so amazing to walk through. I enjoyed every second of it. Here’s a link!
After our visit to Assisi, I ate a delicious dinner in Montepulciano. Also, I tried many kinds of cheese, including pear cheese (my favorite one). This is where we ate! Shortly after the cheese tasting, Leah and I met an ADORABLE Chow Chow (dog). I want one now! It looks like a bear.
On Tuesday, July 23, we drove to Paciano and Umbria, where we attended a cooking class! I’ll insert a link to Alina’s cooking class HERE! We made ravioli, spaghetti, and had a shot of olive oil. We even learned about olives and about how olive oil is produced there… olive oil is very good for you!
There was a great view of Il Fontanaro Organic olive and wine estate from the class. Alina told us about where Ed Sheeran’s house was nearby as well! Overall, I highly recommend trying this cooking class, as you get a great taste (no pun intended) of what true Italian life is like.
Train from Tuscany to Vatican City (Roma Termini) (7-23)
I have decided to make a separate blog post for Rome because there’s just SO MUCH that I would love to talk in-depth about! I also didn’t want to bore you with a long, dragging blog post because there’s already so much that I’m talking about in this one. ROME BLOG POST COMING SOON!
Naples & Coast
Train from Vatican City to Naples (7-25)
On Thursday, July 25, we went to Pompeii. We walked through Pompeii and saw the ancient ruins INCLUDING real preserved bodies of humans and dogs that were found. You could see the foundations and walls of most houses that are still up today! The houses and gardens were very cool to look at.
Something that I thought was interesting was that there were raised sidewalks and steps in the middle of the street for anyone to stand on while walking the streets! This was because the villagers flooded the streets every day to clean them… so if you didn’t want to get wet, just stand on the sidewalk!
I also noticed the old carriage tracks engraved in the streets, which I thought was pretty cool as well.
Lastly, there were tiles on the sidewalks that were used for light at night because they reflected the light of the moon. Not to mention the grand Mount Vesuvius was standing tall in the back.
Side note: I had a slushie from a place right across the street from Pompeii that really hit the spot after a hot and tiring day.
After Pompeii, we had a personal driver drive us to Massa Lubrense; nestled between Sorrento Gulf and Amalfi Coast. On our way there, we went through (I believe) 3 km and 1.5 km long tunnels through the mountains. At one point, I could see Sorrento Coast and Amalfi Coast simultaneously.
There were tiny cars due to the narrow roads, some stray dogs and cats, and the busses have to honk every time they turn the corner so that they don’t crash into another vehicle. All of this was very fascinating to me.
On Friday, July 26, we went on a private boat tour of Capri! It was stunning, and probably my favorite place to be. Before cruising off to Capri, our personal driver took us to look at 2000-year-old ruins and a waterfall that emptied into the sea. I got to touch it! During our day trip to Capri, everyone swam in the sea, including the blue grotto, green grotto, and white grotto (a secret of the locals).
On our tour, we saw a rock that resembled Mary, went through arches, and zoomed right past a gorgeous lighthouse.
Lunch on Capri was phenomenal!
Sorry that I just threw all of what we did at you in just a couple of sentences, but the whole trip was really fantastic! There was just so much that we got to experience while we were there. It was incredible.
On Saturday, July 27, we took the same private boat tour, but to Amalfi Coast instead! Just before we left for the coast, we visited Sorrento Coast and gazed at it from the sea. Of course, you could see Mount Vesuvius in the far background. As we were on our way, I deeply enjoyed relaxing upon the front of the boat… it was nice to feel the mist from the sea once in a while… true relaxation.
Our stop at Amalfi Coast was Positano. We ate lunch there, and let me tell you… what an experience! I ordered a grilled cheese, expecting the kind of grilled cheese you would normally get with bread. MY MEAL WAS LITERALLY A GRILLED PIECE OF CHEESE. WHAT?!?! It was not that appetizing to me. After that, we walked up to a hill and through the town of Positano to come out to this wonderful view. It was stunning. Check out these pictures of the colorful buildings!
Train from Naples to Rome (7-28)
The next day, we had a leisurely evening in Rome and I will include it in the “Rome” blog post! COMING SOON!
Pin it for later!
On Monday, July 29, we flew home out of Rome… and I’ve been reminiscing the trip ever since. When I think about it again and again in my mind, this truly was the trip of a lifetime. I still can’t wrap my head around every spectacular thing that I got to experience. I learned A LOT about the world around me, and I became more appreciative of the Italian culture; because I am in fact very Italian. I know I’ll be back someday!
If you get the chance to go to Italy, I highly recommend you go. You deserve to have the experience that I had… maybe even try some of the things that I did!
If you haven’t already, you should totally check out my last blog post on my trip to Switzerland! In fact, I visited Switzerland just before I went to Italy. Click HERE to read it!
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Planning a trip to Italy? If you have any questions or need advice, feel free to email us HERE! We would love to chat!