Hello and happy 2019 to all my friends, followers, and readers! I have been a little MIA since Thanksgiving due to the holiday season and trips to Buenos Aires, Uruguay, Santiago, and, most recently to Rome to celebrate the New Year!
I’ll be posting a lot about my recent trips and general travel information, but for now, here are some of my favorite pictures from magical Rome!
While Milan is not a super touristy city, the area surrounding the Milan Duomo and the Galleria Vittorino Emanuale II will make anyone think otherwise. This area is Milan tourist central and a great place to get pick pocketed, scammed, or just overcharged for food and drink. Enter, Liuni Panzerotti, a tiny, local restaurant jammed into the center of touristy Milan (just a block away from the Duomo). You should definitely plan to grab a snack here.
Me, Dan, and Aunt Di at the Doumo – tourist central! But also my favorite cathedral ever!
The Duomo Complex is home to one of Florence’s star attractions – its massive cathedral , the Duomo, and its surrounding buildings! Also called the Duomo (duomo means cathedral in Italian), the Duomo Complex includes the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral, the Baptistery, the Campanile, the Dome, a crypt, and a museum!
Every visitor to Florence, whether religious or not, should spend some time at the Duomo. However, planning a trip to the Duomo Complex can be a bit daunting, especially on a first trip to Europe or when traveling with a large group! So, here’s my suggestions on visiting the Duomo!
The Duomo Complex, in black and white.
The Duomo is located right in the heart of Florence and is home to six attractions – (1) The Duomo; (2) The Baptistery; (3) the Bell Tower; (4) the Museum; (5) the Dome; and (6) the Crypt. I recommend seeing each attraction but if you are short on time, I would prioritize the Baptistery, the exterior of the complex, and the Bell Tower, in that order!
A big challenge in Venice is finding good (or even mediocre) food in Venice. You can pretty much forget about authentic (unless you take the Venice Bites Food Tour!). On my trip to Venice last November, I was determined to find a decent meal, and I think I did fine with Ai Garzoti!
Venice, Italy. A magical, fairytale, must-see destination that is completely overrun with tourists! I first visited Venice almost 10 years ago, in the Summer of 2008, while studying abroad in Rome. Of course I loved Venice from the moment I arrived, but the crowds were trying and the food was probably (no, definitely) the worst I had in Italy.
I flew all the way to Tuscany, Italy for San Miniato’s famous White Truffle Festival last November! Now, while the San Miniato White Truffle Festival is very well known and totally amazing, there is a surprising lack of information on the festival and San Miniato online! I tried to remedy that with my previous post on San Miniato! However, I did not review the most delicious restaurant – Osteria L’Upupa!
We visited Venice last year over the US Thanksgiving holiday. I was a tiny bit nervous when planning, as November in Venice has been known to be terribly rainy and grey. However, our trip was absolutely lovely and Venice was magical, as always. Plus, we missed some of the crowds that can ruin Venice during high season!
Since Venice is SO stunningly photographic, I decided to share a post of my favorite photos – happy holiday planning!
Milan is a really popular Italian airport for international flights, and unfortunately many people fly in or out of Milan without leaving any time to see the city itself. They travel in from Lake Como or Florence (on the fast train) the day of their flight. While this is convenient and allows time to see more bucket-list sites in Italy more touristy destinations, I think most tourists should spend at least 24 hours in Milan. That way, getting to/getting off your flight is not as stressful, and Milan is a pretty fabulous Italian city that is completely different from any other!
Not New York modern, but certainly more modern that most Italian cities!
As you may know from reading my previous posts, I visited Italy, specifically Tuscany, Venice, and Milan, over Thanksgiving last year. In planning my trip, I went back and forth in trying to decide whether to do a wine tour in Tuscany. On the one hand, we really love wine and we have never done a proper Italian wine tour. On the other hand, the vineyards would be bare and the wine production would really be at a standstill. I finally decided not to stay in wine country, but I did go on a “Winter Wine Tour” with Grape Tours out of Florence. Grape Tours was one of the only companies (if not the only company) offering wine tours in late November (and throughout the Winter) and I’m not sure why, as our tour certainly booked up!
I spent Thanksgiving in Venice last year, which was absolutely fabulous! Since Italy does not celebrate Thanksgiving, I signed up for a cicchetti food tour through Venice’s Cannaregio neighborhood to celebrate Thanksgiving!