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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Italy Trip Day 1

Eric and I took a fabulous vacation to Italy in May with another couple from our family - Eric's twin brother Keith and his wife Megan. Italy was a place we had been wanting to visit for awhile. I won't lie, it took a TON of planning and research since we did the trip on our own and stayed at apartments instead of hotels but everything went pretty smoothly.

No flight delays/complications. No lost luggage. No bad weather. No illness. No injuries. No theft or scams. Of course there are always unexpected things when you go to another place but nothing major... I'll just attribute that to all my organization :)

May 3 and 4- We left Charlotte in the evening on a direct overnight flight to Roma. We honestly could have just done carry-on if we hadn't intended on bringing anything back so we just checked one suitcase that was mainly empty just in case it did get lost. We arrived at FCO around 9:30am Italy time and got our luggage and found the train area. We had a few difficulties with credit cards but finally got tickets and took the Leonardo Express to Roma Termini.

Then after finally finding the ticket machines, we took the Eurostar train to Firenze SMN. It was only 1.5 hr ride and we were all pretty tired still. Wish the US had a nice extensive rail system like that!

It was just a 10 min walk from the train station to our 2 bedroom/1 bath apt in Florence, called The Flora. It was right behind the Duomo, like literally you could see it out the window 20 feet away and there were no buildings in between.

out the skylight in the living room/kitchen

Luca, the landlord, showed us everything in the apt and was so easy to deal with. The apt was clean and compact.

K&M's room

E&E's room

living room/kitchen

We did a little exploring and ran errands to the atm, the tourist information shop to get maps, and the grocery store- Conrad. One happy accident was a bag of pretzels that turned out to be pretzel shaped cookies similar to those ones you get in those blue tins around Christmas time but even better! Did I mention the apt was on the 4th floor up steep concrete steps... talk about a workout!

practicing some italian phrases
with my awesome cross shoulder bag made by my godmother

A little later for dinner we went to a panini shop, Antico Noe, where they cut all the meat in front of you recommended by Luca. It was good and we were all starving.

Later we went for our first gelato at Grom. The cinnamon and vanilla Eric and I had were good but Keith and Megan didn't like their flavors as much... good thing we had MUCH more gelato tasting ahead of us!

We stopped off at the atm again since we had since figured a few things out with our banks. We went to bed early to recover from jetlag. It was quite noisy outside the apt at night since it was right by the Duomo but earplugs helped.

love this candid at the atm
Bell tower and duomo in the evening. It was wonderful staying right by this!

That concludes our first day (short day due to the flying in, jet lag etc.) in Italy... more to come!!


  1. YEA! i'm so glad to see pictures. i can't wait to read more. the apartment looked awesome, that view out of the skylight is so cool. i'll stay tuned....

  2. Awesome!! If Eric and I ever decide to head over there I'm so calling you to get your itinerary :)

  3. Can I please tell you how great it was to read this today? It totally brought me back to all the fun we had! What a fantastic trip with some of my favorite peeps! :-)


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