With it being our first time in Italy, we did the big three. Rome, Florence and Venice. While there were other places I would have loved to see, you have to make a decision based on time.
Rome was incredible. While intense and busy, it ended up being our favorite stop of our whole trip. So many jaw dropping moments. The incredible size of these monuments blows you away.
We did a half day bike tour around the city and it was the best decision we made. There are people and scooters everywhere so biking can be intimidating but you get comfortable quickly. We had a group of 8 with a guide and it was cool to hear some of the history of these places. We saw the entire city including crossing the Tiber into the old town and narrow streets.
Mind bending artwork and history. That’s the only way to describe it. After doing research, I was expecting a very crowded visit but luckily, this was not the case. We did a night tour and there were no crowds. We walked through whole museum on our own in an hour or so. The Sistine Chapel is worth the admission in itself. Some of things you see can never be described and do justice with a picture. I’m not religious but it was a really cool place to visit. Saint Peter’s Basilica was spectacular at night.
We took the train from Rome to Florence and it was great. Termina Roma was nuts but much better than flying.
We did a AirBnb in Florence and it may have been the best one I’ve had yet. It was right in the heart of Florence and had it’s own private outdoor space. That’s unheard of in the city.
Florence has this huge leather (or fake leather) market close to the Duomo. It goes on forever and it’s hard to tell the difference between any vendor. We were told if we want authentic, we need to go off the main drag a bit. Some of the leather pieces were incredible. I’m not a leather guy but felt an urge to get something they were so nice. We tried to go up to the top of the Duomo but tickets were sold out for all the days we were there.
We walked everywhere including up the hill to Michelangelo’s Park where you get this spectacular view. Florence is full of small streets with amazing colors and architecture. We loved the market place restaurant in the upstairs of the market building. It’s some sort of Co-op where all the restaurants worked together.
Venice was our last stop and was the only time we had crappy weather. The rainy weather seemed fitting for this wild water city. It’s the most unique place I’ve been. No cars in itself feels weird. We got lost a lot as Google maps didn’t function unless you used off line mode.
Really narrow, dark alleys are considered streets. This pic is the “street” to our hotel. We kept seeing these platforms everywhere and couldn’t understand what they were. We thought there was a concert of something happening lol. It ended up being platforms for when the streets flood. Lucky for us, that didn’t happen.
We used the water bus which was great. It got us from the train station to our hotel in 45 minutes or so. Really cool to see the sights of the Grande Canal along the way. To get to the airport, we had to take a one hour water bus to the airport. It crosses the large lagoon as the airport is technically outside the city of Venice.