Ciao da Italia!:

Hello Friends!

Hope you’re all well! I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted in awhile, I was traveling, then I became sick, and am still a bit poorly, but slowly and surely getting better! Anyways I thought what better than putting me in a better mood than reminiscing about my travels to Italy, so let’s do this! — Once again it’s going to be a long one, so grab yourself a cheeky snack and let’s get on with it shall we! 


Our trip to Italy was quite jam-packed as we planned to visit three cities in 4 days! and I’ll tell you it’s definitely doable, but you need stamina! And if I’m being honest, the reason why I ended up getting sick was because of this trip, but it was worth it, Italy is beautiful!

We travelled to three cities, Rome, Venice and Verona! And once again I thought I’d explain my trip in the form of an itinerary, as it might help you guys plan your own trips to Italy!


March 5th – March 6th: Rome, Italy

Day 1:

  • Colosseum [$]
  • Roman Forum [$]
  • Trevi Fountain [Free]
  • Spanish Steps [Free]
  • Pantheon [Free]

Day 2:

  • The Vatican [$]
    • Sistine Chapel
  • St. Paul’s Basilica [Free]
  • Trastevere
    • You can get some of the best food and wine here!
  • Piazza Navona [Free]
  • Bus to Venice 

Our time in Rome was definitely the most jam packed and tiring as we were seeing most of the touristy things in only two days, however we managed to do it despite having very little amount of sleep!

We ended up walking everywhere, which was doable if you have the time, but once again you have to have the drive and stamina to do it! We managed to walk around 15 miles in a day running on only two hours of sleep, but we pushed through as we wanted to see all of Rome during our time there!

One thing I noticed was that, even the small express cafes and restaurants have delicious food! We didn’t research too much about which restaurants to try, but rather avoided restaurants that didn’t have too many neon lights/logos and images of their food on the menus, as those restaurants are not as authentic!

For the colosseum and the forum we ended up going on a tour! You get to learn more about the history of the place and our tour guide was hilarious which made the experience even more enjoyable! We ended up getting our tour package from a vendor outside the venue! Be careful because sometimes you can get a good deal or you could potentially get ripped-off. I’d recommend doing your research online first, checking out the prices, so that when someone offers you a price you can determine if it’s a good deal or not!

For the Vatican I would recommend buying your tickets online as it allows you to skip the line (although when we went the line wasn’t very long at all!). Also, if you’re a student you can get a discount so make sure to bring your student ID, because they’ll need to verify it! — The Vatican is massive, we walked 2 miles inside the Vatican itself! You may not be able to explore everything in the Vatican unless you shell out a few hours  or even an entire day just for that!

However, the line for the Basilica was extremely long and took us close to two hours to enter, but it is free and I would highly recommend visiting it as the architecture is stunning!

I’d have to say my favorite thing about Rome would have to be the Trevi Fountain! It was lovely to just sit there both in the day and night time and just take it all in! My second favorite thing would have to be the gelato! We went to “Gelateria del Teatro” which is located quite close to the Trevi! I had both the hazelnut gelato as well as the white chocolate & basil gelato! I was not expecting to like the white chocolate and basil, as it was a combo that I’d never imagined together, but it was ah-ma-zing, I still dream about it today!


March 7th: Venice, Italy

Day 1:

  • Ponte di Rialto
  • Ponte di Guille
  • Canals & Gondola
  • Museums
  • Walked the city
  • Bus to Verona

Venice was our more chilled and relaxed exploration day! We didn’t have any set things that we wanted to do apart from visiting the Rialto Bridge and going on a gondola ride! Unfortunately we didn’t manage to go on a gondola as we did not realize that they did not do them in the night! They are also a bit pricey, ranging anywhere from 80 euros or more so keep that in mind! Despite not going on the ride however, we enjoyed the canals by siting by the docks eating yummy desserts and just chatting! I loved just sitting there and having conversations, it seems to have become a tradition between me and my friend now haha! It was also nice to have that time to relax which we didn’t really get in Rome!

Venice is known for there Risotto, one of my favorite Italian dishes. I did my research on some recommended places to try Risotto and found one, Antico Panificio! Many people go there to try their pizzas, but I’d recommend trying their risotto. We had the shrimp risotto and it was amazing, so so good and filling! — Most authentic restaurants in Italy will have limited menus depending on what ingredients are in season, so keep that in mind!

Venice is quite a small city, and there isn’t any transportation apart from the boats, gondolas, and your legs! I’m pretty sure we walked the entirety of Venice! It’s so nice to just walk and take in the city!  We also found some free museums and some cute shops to browse through as we walked around! — As I’ve said before sometimes not having a scheduled plan is better because you can learn more about the place from simply exploring the place for yourself!

In terms of our stay, we ended up trying a hostel this time around and boy was it a terrible experience! If you’re going to visit Venice stay in an airbnb or a hotel, don’t stay in a hostel. It could have just been our experience but our host was rude, they didn’t provide an accurate address or explanation on how to find the hostel, they didn’t let us check in for a few hours, and I could go on and on, but the moral of the story is that if you’re going to visit Venice don’t go for a hostel!

Overall, I’d have to say Venice was beautiful, the food was great, just wish we had warmer weather, and had met better people during our time there!


March 8th: Verona, Italy

Day 1:

  • Juliet’s House
  • Romeo’s House
  • Piazza delle Erbre
  • Ponte di Pietre
  • Duomo
  • Torres dei Lamberti
  • Arche Schaligere
  • Corso di Porta Borsarie

Once again, our time in Verona was much more relaxed than in Rome! Verona is quite a small city, and we managed to visit all of the touristy things listed above in just a few hours! Verona is mostly known for Juliet’s house, and definitely should be on your lists for things to do! In the past you could actually write letters to Juliet, and I believe that you could even get a response back! Unfortunately you can no longer write letters as it’s beginning to ruin the structure of the house, however you can buy a love lock and put it on the gate there if you’d like! You can also enter the house and balcony if you pay an entry fee (we decided to just explore the courtyard)! — It’s also said that if you touch the left breast of Juliet that you will have better luck finding your soulmate, so if you see people touching the breasts of Juliet’s statue, that’s why haha!

Apart from Juliet’s house, we once again walked throughout Verona, and saw all of the places listed above! Verona is quite small, and everything is quite nearby so its incredibly easy to walk and see everything in a few hours! I really enjoyed the walk to Ponte di Pietre. I loved hearing the water, it was so relaxing!

One of my favorite things about my time in Verona was actually the airbnb we stayed at! It was exactly what you’d imagine a home to be like in Italy! It was so comfy and cosy and well decorated, which makes me happy as I love interior design! It definitely made up for our terrible experience in Venice and it’s always the little things that make you happy! After our day of exploring Verona, we just decided to chill with a cup of tea in the bnb and chat!


Overall I really enjoyed my time in Italy! The food is amazing, its absolutely stunning, and honestly a dream come true! There is still so much of Italy to explore and I definitely will be visiting again in the future! I would like to visit during warmer weather next time around! I don’t know about you, but whenever I used to imagine myself visiting Italy, I always thought it’d be during the summertime! But I still had an enjoyable time despite the colder weather, plus it is a bit less busy as it’s not as touristy! — Can’t wait to go back someday!


Tips:

  • Traveling from city to city will be the cheapest if you use the bus!
  • Watch out for the street vendors, they will trick you! They’ll give you something for “free,” then when you’re about to leave they’ll ask for something in return — $$$. Try your best to ignore them or pretend that you don’t understand them!
  • If you need directions or help do not ask locals rather ask a fellow tourist! [This was actually recommended to us by our tour guide!]
    • Also Google Maps “Offline Areas” will be your best friend for directions! It allows you to use maps without using your data! I seriously would not have survived my time abroad without this tool!
  • Don’t eat at any restaurants or cafes that have a lot of neon lights/signs, display their food, or have images of their food on the menus. These restaurants are not authentic as they are more catered towards tourists!
  • Don’t be afraid to walk to places! You’ll get a workout, save some money, and experience the city in a different way!
  • For places that you need to buy tickets ie: Colosseum, Vatican — check online for prices before buying from the people who sell the “value packages” outside, they might trick you, or you end up finding a good deal, but you won’t know unless you check prices online!
  • For your stay I’d recommend airbnb! I haven’t had a problem with any of them so far, all of the people have been extremely helpful and kind! We had a bad experience with our hostel although they are very affordable! Do lots of research!! 

Hope you got a taste of Italy through this newsletter! I’ve definitely got a lot more newsletters planned so keep your eye out for that!

Hope you had a lovely day! Cheers!

– Varsha

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