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2 Weeks In Italy
One year ago today, I had just arrived home from an epic 15 day tour of Italy. We visited 9 cities (18 if you count the 5 little towns we visited along the Amalfi Coast and the 5 individual towns comprising Cinque Terre). Every day my phone sends me my photo memories and, needless to say, I’ve spent these last two weeks wishing more than ever that I was heading back! It’s all my wishful thinking that has brought about this post commemorating our trip. Here is a round-up of some of my favorite photos to show you what it’s like to spend 2 in weeks in Italy.
A Photographic Journey Through Italy
Day 1-3 (2 nights): Venice
Venice is dreamy and full of surprises at every turn. One day in Venice is hardly enough to soak in the beauty and history of this unique city, but I am so glad it was part of our 2 weeks in Italy.
Days 3-6 (3 nights): Rome and Vatican City
Ah, Rome. Rome is rich in history and full of hidden gems. Tourists flock to this city for it’s ancient monuments and to, of course, pay a visit to the Vatican. If you’re building an itinerary for two weeks in Italy, three days in Rome is enough time to cross the major items off or your bucket list. However, it’s easily worth an entire two weeks on its own! If you love history & architecture, extend your time here. The things you can do to immerse yourself into Rome’s history and culture are endless. If you need a moment away from the crowds, explore one of Rome’s beautiful neighborhoods such as the Trastevere.
Day 6-9 (3 nights): Pompeii/Vesuvius, Sorrento, Capri plus the Amalfi Coastline (Praiano, Conca dei Marini, Ravello, Positano, Amalfi)
On day six, we continued our journey south. First, a stop at the Mt. Vesuvius National Park to hike the famous volcano and then a stop to marvel at the remains of the city it destroyed in 79 A.D. Be sure to wear appropriate shoes and have plenty of water on hand for both of these activities! Hiking Vesuvius is not too difficult for most to enjoy but it’s no walk in the park either. If you’re up for some physical activity, the reward is well worth it. Pompeii, while easy to explore, is much more vast than many people realize. Plan to spend at least three hours in Pompeii. If you prefer an easier day, plan to spend half a day to a full day exploring the ruins. Both of these places are easy day trips from Rome, Naples or Sorrento.
After a full day of exploring Vesuvius and Pompeii, we finally arrived at the beautiful coastal city of Sorrento. Sorrento is an excellent city to base yourself for a visit to the Amalfi Coast and Capri. The smaller towns along the Amalfi coastline are more difficult to access with steep and narrow passageways. From Sorrento, you can hire a driver or skipper to safely take you anywhere you’d like to go. Alternatives are guided tours by bus or, of course, self-guided if you’re up to the challenge! We chose to hire a driver for a very reasonable cost to make the drive along the Amalfi coast. We absolutely loved this experience. Our driver from Aldo Limos was amazing, attentive and personable. He taught us about local trades, shared local delicacies, and taught us how to find high-quality Limoncello, one of the best souvenirs from Italy.
Day 9-11: Florence
Though we traveled to many places in Italy over the course of 2 weeks, I believe Florence was my favorite. When I imagined Italy, I must have been dreaming of Florence. Timeless beauty, artful wines, the unmistakable smell of Florentine leather, rich aromas escaping from Tuscan kitchens; it all collides to form the living work of art we call Tuscany. It is as if the city is a reflection of her many masterpieces.
Florence is a cornucopia of history, elegance and deeply rooted culture. The city, though teeming with tourists, doesn’t adapt to them. You’ll find most shops shut their doors by 6:00 PM for the most important meal of the day. Family life and customs such as sharing dinner among your loved ones are not up for debate. Similarly, you will find restaurants closed after lunch and reopening in the evening as they prepare to serve you and yours. There are so many wonderful flavors throughout Florence, it can be as difficult as it is easy to choose what and where to eat. If in doubt, ask a local!
We spent two nights in Florence and found that to be only enough to scratch the surface. One can easily spend days here and not run short of things to do. The Uffizi Gallery alone can easily occupy an art enthusiast for an entire day. Of course, you will want to make time to visit David in the Academia and book a ticket to climb the Duomo. For wine lovers, a Chianti wine tour through the countryside should find a place on your itinerary. Finally, if you’re visiting Florence with kids, be sure to take a ride at the Antique carousel in Piazza Della Repubblica.
Day 14-15: Milan
To finish our amazing trip to Italy, we spent our last 24 hours in Milan. While Milan is known as the fashion capital, there is plenty of history and culture all throughout the city. We took the train from La Spezia and arrived in Milan early afternoon. We walked to the famous Duomo, Milan’s gothic cathedral before spending some time shopping in possibly the coolest mall EVER. We also stumbled upon a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit as we were exiting the mall and spent a couple of hours exploring his life and works. The grand finale to our Italy experience was viewing the Last Supper the following morning before heading out to the airport.
We did a LOT! I’m still amazed at how much yet how little you can actually see and do in 15 days. We managed to visit all of the main tourist sites (we’re suckers) and also get a taste of life like a local. What I do know is that we couldn’t have done it without a plan. Coming soon to the blog will be our full itinerary covering our entire 2 weeks in Italy but in the meantime, you can check out our Venice Itinerary and Rome Itinerary!
Don’t forget these MUST-HAVES for your trip to Italy.
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