Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Trip to Italy

There was a lot of restlessness in the choice of the destination for our perfect holiday. After some research and decisiveness of weather coming into play, we decided to head Italy. The Northern European countries, like France, Germany, Austria were expected to be quite cold in The chronicle of the Italian trip is what follows:

We aren't skiing or snow enthusiasts in particular, so Italy being already high on our list (right from the beginning) , the idea just got substantiated. Its Mediterranean climate, large coastline that annulled the cold continental wind , divine food, and shopping opportunities, all were simply too good to be missed out. Next on the task, distributing our time in magnificent country. And should say, we were spoiled for the choice. While our Trip map lays here, the chronicle of the trip, that made the contours of the map is as follows.

The delight (read trip) began from Rome. As we went south to unearth the treasure of Naples and Sorrento. we then headed to Florence and Pisa, followed by Venice and finally ended at Milan. Depending on the availability of the air-tickets you can also have a trip beginning from Milan and ending in Rome as well.
Or for that matter to nearby cheaper European countries, if so.

If not a leisure traveler, and not travelling through car, the following distribution of time, may be helpful for you to design your trip itinerary.

Rome -        1.5 days
Naples -      1 day
Excursion from Naples -  Sorrento -       1 day
                   Amafli Coast - 1 day
Florence -   1 Day
Pisa -          0.5 day
Venice -      1.5 Days
Excursion - Burano/ Morano - 0.5 day
Milan -        1 Day
Total - 9 Days excluding days you are flying

(Additionally, yes, there are some wonderful quaint cities in Tuscany region, worth visiting for learning the Italian cuisine, visiting vineyards etc. So you can add another day for either of them. Capri Islands would also be a great option for spending a day.)


A brilliant tourist location, Rome can well be  the first city on your trip. It's tailor-made for tourists. A lot can be covered through feet, and others through 'Hop-On and Hop-Off' buses. The city albeit a bit expensive, one can easily save if you have your meals around the Vatican and staying around the Roma Centrali station.

Colosseum, Rome

St.Peter's Square, Vatican City

You can read my earlier post on Rome and Vatican City for more information.


The most under-rated cities of Italy, Naples is a definite must on the tour. The Historical center is a world of its own, quite different from what could be anticipated from the impressions drawn from the market or Napoli Centrali station. A definite must for tasting the divine pizzas and shopping around.

Castle Nuovo, Naples
Castle Nuovo

Souk, Naples
European Souk

Pizza at Naples
Experience Divine Pizzas at Naples

You can read my earlier post on Naples for more information.

Sorrento/Amalfi Coast:

Not often does it happen that the icing gets better than the cake. But it does happen, and happens for sure in Naples. The excursion from Naples sometimes are arguably better than the city itself. Sorrento, bit nearer is a compact scenic own. Amalfi Coast, that is bit farther can also be covered as a day trip from Naples. Capri Islands, is expensive to stay, but quite beautiful in itself.

Hydrofoil for Sorrento

You can read my earlier post on Sorrento for more information.

They are two different cities, Florence in day and Florence in night. Florence is a small city but there is a lot to see. Be it the creations of  Michelangelo, its famed Duomo or the famed ponte across river Arno. It can hold you by its charm. If you start early for Pisa, you can come back to Florence easily by the noon. Or even better, head straight to Venice from Pisa. That can save you some precious time which you can use in Venice. You can also visit Siena if having an additional day.

Arno through the ponte

Leaning tower of Pisa
Leaning tower of Pisa

You can read my earlier post on Florence and Pisa for more information.

The more you'd stay in Venice, the more you'd soak in its charm. If you avoid the tourist and summer seasons, you'd soon come to know why Venice is metamorphosis of romanticism. Nearby Austrian region of Tyrol and Vorarlberg can also be covered, provided you have another 2 days by your side. But then, they are worth the skiing and the peaks they offer.

Vaporetti, Venice
Venice through Vaporetti

One of the several canals, donned by Gondolas

You can read my earlier posts on Venice, Venice through the day and Venice, through the night for more information.

The most European of all the Italian cities, Milan is the most cosmopolitan as well. A fashion paradise, Milan also has a lot on offer through its historical center as well. You can go to Geneva, or Nice in France also, but then you need to have another day each.

Snow capped mountains, Malpensa
Snow Capped Mountains silhouetting the Blue sky -

You can read my earlier post on Milan for more information.


Authentic and delicious Italian cuisine can turn out to be a feast for the taste buds. Vegetarian food is not at all difficult to find by and there are a lot of choices too. If you begin with some cues from your Hotel about their favorites about the city than g light on the wallet, then you'll end up treating yourself for a meal of a lifetime. Food isn't expensive, but do put in some research form locals and you'll be duly rewarded for that. It's suggested to carry a lot of snacks. Tipping is generally not followed.

Bottom Line
  • Don't buy city cards, they'll turn out to be almost always, more expensive than individual tickets.
  • Different cities have their unique identities. That's the best part about Italy. Things won't get repetitive.
  • No point in going for Eurorail passes.Anyways as one needs to compulsorily pay reservation charges in Italian trains, so better to buy sector tickets that turn out to be far cheaper.
  • Stay close to stations and travel early morning after having breakfast in the Hotel.
  • Save costs on your meals by eating out in the old part of cities.
  • Make use of the cheaper airports (even in neighboring countries), and plan in advance.
  • Carry snacks and adequate medicines.