Time for some Easter eggs!!! But we opted for pizzas pastas cheese cheese cheese and some yummilicious wines…Yes !!!! Italy it had to be. With my expiry visa on hand this had to be my last and most memorable trip I had to go on. Last minute booking did cost way more than it would have costed, but everyone is here for business. So over the post I have given some tricks and tips of how well to utilize your time and money and have an Italian holiday you always wished for.
For starters, I think April May is the best time to visit Italy mainly due to the weather. Which is very pleasant considering other parts of Europe (Try Copenhagen for say).
This being a last minute booking, i am not quite sure if it will match with the actual expenses if you plan it way in advance.
Copenhagen to Milan Bergamo:
Its about 2 hrs flight from Copenhagen to Milan(bergamo) and would cost you 70 Euros. Ryanair is the low fare flight that can be chosen. One important tip, while booking with Ryanair is that, make sure you have filled the passenger information correctly. If in case of mistake, do contact them within 4 hrs of booking. Name change or any change to the data or flight would end up being very expensive! Ryanair also provides discounted tickets (50 %) from airport to the city center. The same can be checked in Autostradale.
Milan to Venice:
Traveling within Italy tends to be very easy and convenient with the wide network of trains, and to my surprise not very pricey! We opted for the evening train that would reach Venice by late evening around 10 PM. The journey takes about 2 hrs by train and would cost you approximately 20 Euros. Ticket prices and schedules can be checked in Frecciabianca.
Venice to Rome:
We booked a early morning train from Venice to Rome, at around 6.30 AM (Its a 3hr journey and you can still catch up on the left over sleep 😉 ). The journey was a bit expensive when compared to other, however it was a convenient way to travel. It costs us around 60 Euros. We booked the tickets from Italo.
Rome to Florence:
Its a 1 hr 30 minutes of journey by train and we took a evening train. The journey costs around 25 Euros.You can also opt for the Euro rail card depending on your stay days and the travel frequency.
We had a return flight from Milan Malpensa, as it was providing a cheaper tickets compared to other cities in Italy. Easy jet has a frequent flights that fly out of Milan. Tickets can be checked with the suitable timing of your trip.
Plan well in advance and you could book yourself a train from Florence to Milan with the journey time of 2 hrs. However sadly for me it was a bit too expensive for the last minute booking. So as a cheaper option we went for the bus journey which sadly is not a very good option as there could be delays due to road traffic. Would not suggest this if you have other options.
Things to do :
Milan : Its a very beautiful city in itself. Do not dose off in the flight when arriving at Milan. The scenary from the flight is just mesmerizing and picture perfect. Since we just had a couple of hours in Milan (Delayed flight 😦 ) we just visited the Duomo cathedral which is at a km walking distance from the central station and about 5 minutes by metro. The central station in itself is something you need to look for. beautiful structure and yes lot of marble.
Venice: Beautiful water-city as its known, is one of the must visit places ever in your list. It takes beauty to its extreme at night.The transportation is a bit on the higher end with a day pass costing around 20 Euros and a single journey costing around 7 Euros. Since we were staying near San Marco, we just opted for a single journey from the station. Once in San marco everything can be visited by foot. make sure you look for a good accommodation, as most of them would be congested and claustrophobic. We booked our rooms via airbnb and it was not satifactory and when requested we were given with other accommodation near the central station. We did a free walking tour which is pretty famous among the tourist. We also did other touristy stuff like the over hyped Gondola ride. However they have a standard price of 80 Euros and cannot be bargained for. However for our luck we met 2 lovely people from Germany who were more than happy to share the ride with us. There are couple of museum in the San Marco which can be visited as per your interest. If you like some Indian food on the go, there is a pretty nice restaurant “Ganesh ji” which probably has the best Indian food in Italy. Must try in the lot is the Garlic naans. really tasty.
Clockwise: Milan Central station – Venice – Venice- Venice (Gondola ride)
Rome: Rome has a lot of things to do and see and frankly 2 days is not enough to cover even 1/4th of it. We were staying at a bed and breakfast “Imperia Suites” which is about 3 metro stops from the main station, Roma termini. Hospitality was at its best. They served a very yummy tummy filling breakfast and would anytime recommend this place to anyone visiting Rome. The room costed us about 100 Euros (3 persons).
As a day 1 in Rome, we had booked our self a guided tour to the Vatican City, which takes you through the Vatican museum and then the much awaited Sistine Chapel. However be prepared for some shoulder rubbing and pushing. Its that crowded. Make sure to get your tickets in advance so that you can skip the line at the museum. There are various scheduled tour timings which can be chosen from a variety of languages. The tickets costs around low as 23 Euros . The guided tour which we had been to was majorly on the museum paintings and the artist who created the masterpieces. Tickets can be booked from the authorized Vatican Tour sites
After the Vatican, we visited the Colosseum. During the peak seasons this too has a long waiting periods for the ticket and entrance. We were lucky on that front. We got an immediate entry. Colosseum is one of the major tourist attraction which needs to be on your wishlist. Do take the audio or the video guide (A little tip, if you are 2 members, take a single audio/video device and you can take turns listening to it.)
The second day in Rome was more of the City visits like Pantheon, Trevi fountain(sadly was under construction, but Yeahhhh I threw a coin right through 😛 ) Spanish steps, the old ruins etc… One of the things you will love about Rome is the little taps which till date has fresh water pumped. Also do visit one of the local eateries to enjoy the pastas and the wine. I would not recommend Pizzas as it a bit different from any other part of Europe and not in a good way. And Definitely definitely avoid the Veg Pizzas.
Clockwise: The aqua ducts , Pantheon, Roman Ruins, Steps
Florence and Pisa: Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. Though not my main point of interest, it had a very different aura around it that holds your attention firm. We visited the Duomo cathedral in Florence on the day we reached. luckily it was in a walking distance from where we stayed. For the next day we planned a half day trip to Pisa to see the leaning tower of Pisa. Things to see in Florence is the Gold Bridge which has the Jeweler store on the bridge.Apart from that a walk through the city is more than enough. Art loving people can visit the David museum , however be prepared for the crowd.
Pisa is about 30 minutes by train from Florence and cost about 14 Euros round trip. once off the station, the Pisa tower is at a few meters walk and the Pisa tower is not visible unless and until you are really close to it. Its a white marble structure which is actually leaning a lot. A few photo sessions with the tower is the next thing on the check list. It may be cliche thing to do. but then who cares!
Clockwise: Pisa. Pisa tower, Duomo Cathedral (Florence), The Florence bridge.
On the note, Definitely a 5 day trip is never ever sufficient to explore the beauty this country holds. Will be back for sure. However would visit the southern part of Italy from Naples to Sicily 🙂 But worth having it experienced.