Theresa Schultz and I used to work together. She is now on a working holiday based in London. Stalkbooking her travels, I asked her to share with us some of her wanderlust highlights. Thankfully Theresa agreed and tonight shares on her eight days in one of my all time fave destinations, Italy …
This European summer I was lucky enough to spend eight days in Italy! On a whirlwind tour with Expat Explore, I managed to visit a lot of the iconic monuments and UNESCO world heritage sights Italy has to offer.
I always thought I would love Italy – the great weather, delicious and indulgent food, fantastic scenery, history, fashion and shopping. It has something for everyone and far surpassed my expectations.
Our tour took us by coach from Rome to Venice, stopping in Verona (a little town which is home to Juliet – of the Romeo and Juliet fame). Then from Venice to Florence, via Lake Garda, with a wonderful day trip to Cinque Terre and lastly to the beautiful rolling fields of Tuscany.
As our trip covered so much ground I thought I would just share with you the highlights and some of the beauty we found along the way.
Rome – there is SO much to do in this old city. One full day and 28,000 steps later we visited the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Vatican, and Spanish steps to name a few. Lastly we visited the Capuchin Crypts, something quite enthralling and equally creepy. It contains the bones of 3,700 Capuchin Friars. With a sign that reads “what you are, we once were, and what we are, you will become”. If that doesn’t pull you back into being present I don’t know what will!
Verona – Totally worth a stop if it’s on your way. This little town is just gorgeous, the cobblestone streets lined with brightly coloured terrace houses is quintessentially Italian.
Venice – to me Venice has it all and is so uniquely beautiful. Made up of over 100 islands with canals running between the beautiful yet old terrace houses, with no cars or roads just cobblestone alleyways and boats to get around.
Of course, you have to take a classic gondola ride. You can also catch the waterbus to the various islands, each with something different to offer. If you would prefer to just relax – take the waterbus to Lido and visit the beach, on the Adriatic Sea. We finished the day indulging in seafood pasta at an amazing restaurant Trattoria Bar Pontini, situated on the canal whilst being serenaded by an accordionist. Can you get more Italian!
As a stroll the streets I ponder what it would be like to live in such a magical city. For those interested in exploring Ventician culture more, you can sign up to a cooking class, glass blowing course or demonstration, or even make your own Ventician mask.
Florence – noted for its art and architecture and filled with museums and galleries. My favourite part of this city is the cathedral. It is the fourth largest in Europe but it is the detail and colours of this cathedral make it so specular. By far my favourite in Europe!!!
Cinque Terre – A truly unique spot of the world with vibrant coloured houses nestled in the cliffs overlooking the Medertarian Sea. Cinque Terre, which means five lands in Italian is exactly that – five fisherman towns all with their own unique charm. You use to be able to walk between them all but due to earthquakes you can only walk between the third to the fifth currently. Cinque Terre to me is all about the hike. The views at the top of the cliffs are just magical. The hike itself is a little hard but the trails run along the ocean, through beautiful greenery. It is just gorgeous. They take about 2 hours between each town.
Italy could be a strong contender for my favourite European country. The people are so passionate about thier country and love to share their culture. Each city and town is so different with their own unique charm.
*All images by Theresa Schultz
Have you ever travelled to Italy? What was your favourite location? Let us know by leaving a comment!