Milan was super urban I loved it. Not only did we get to attend mass at the Duomo we also got to hang out in the park behind the castle with all the locals. There were these dogs chasing ducks around in the pond there and it was so adorable. Also huge shoutout to my friend Allison for giving us an awesome suggestion for where to eat. Oscar’s was delicious and everything we’d expected an Italian restaurant in Italy to be.
Venice was breath taking. Around ever corner was either a stunning view or a dead end, lol. Our gondola ride was everything you’d expect it to be, although I wish our driver (not sure what you call them…) sang to us. I thought them singing was supposed to be a thing. Guess not. Also, the city is full of mas vendors and the masks are exquisite. It was a city full of life even after dark and I loved every minute of it.
Florence was my least favorite city in Italy. It was the one place I did not fell safe or comfortable. Don’t get me wrong it’s a beautiful place with some great vantage points for views of the city but that doesn’t make up for the fact that you couldn’t walk down a street without bumping into someone at least 10 times. I almost broke down and had a panic attack becasue it made me so nervous. But, we did enjoy one of our favorite meals of Italy there and the leather goods were top notch. So it wasn’t all that bad. Just not the city for me.
Pisa and the leaning tower of Pisa is pretty much everything you’d expect it to be. Seeing the tower in person it looks exactly as it does in photographs. Unlike the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben which pictures can’t accurate capture, the with the leaning tower of Pisa, what you see in pictures is what you get. Still a cool thing to have been able to see in person though.
The two towns we visited in the Cinque Terre region blew me away. Monterosso and Vernazza were everything you’d expect an Italian coastal city to be. Breathtaking views, beaches and brightly colored buildings. We got to hike from Monterosso to Vernazza and at the beginning it was like climbing the stairs to heaven. At least that’s what it felt like becasue there were so many. But once we got up to the trail the views were unreal. The stairs were definitely worth it for the views. One day I’d like to go back and hike all five villages becasue it was that beautiful. The hike was probably one of the top activities we did on the trip. And it was nice to dangle our feet in the water once we reached Vernazza.
Rome was kind of a big let down. And not just becasue the Trevi Fountain was under construction (I don’t even want to talk about it much less think about it). I guess in comparison to the other places we’d seen in Italy leading up to it Rome just didn’t do it. I mean the Colosseum was cool as was the Parthenon but other than that it was just ok. I really like hanging out on the Spanish steps and the Piazza Navona was probably my favorite place as it was full of artists and performers and just life in general…but I guess at that point we were all pretty much ready to get back to Leeds.
Seeing the Basilica and the Sistine Chapel was cool. The city is a pretty massive place and I would have liked to explore it more…and also it would have been nice to see the Pope. But I’ll live. There’s this great shop there run by the nuns that sells a million different religious things that I quite enjoyed. Overall it’s a nice place.
P.S. If you click the city names it will take you to all the photos.