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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Italy Trip Tips

Day 12 - May 15th - Leaving Italy

Our bags were all packed for our departure. We had scheduled a van service at the suggestion of the person we rented the Rome apartment from. She was nice enough to set it up for us and it was a great price for the 4 of us to get from Trastevere to the airport. It was a bittersweet goodbye. Farewell Italy, hope to see you again one day! These smiles are happy and sad at the same time.

After planning a fabulous trip to Italy and spending 11 days there I wanted to sum up some helpful tips that come to mind.

If you want to read the details of each day visit the links below. There are more specific tips in those posts too.

Florence: Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4
Venice: Day 5Day 6Day 7
Rome: Day 8Day 9, Day 10, Day 11

Spending 4 days in Florence, 3 days in Venice, and 4 days in Rome was a good allocation of days in those cities. I really liked that we did Venice in the middle because there was less to do there in between Florence and Rome where we did a lot.

Most importantly DO YOUR RESEARCH. Since we weren't part of an organized tour or anything, I did lots of reading about Italy and the places we were going.
I mainly used Rick Steves Italy 2011 book, Rick Steves, Ron in Rome

Use VRBO to stay in apartments and not have to stay in hotels and you get a kitchen and could get a washer. Read all the reviews closely and don't stay somewhere that doesn't have any reviews.

Take trains between cities. Use the mini discount described on Ron in Rome.

Learn this key phrase: Dov' e (Where is ...). You will definitely use it.

Get museum tickets ahead of time for Uffizi and Accademia in Florence.

Don't eat right near attractions, going a block or two off of main streets can make a big difference

Wear comfortable shoes, very comfortable shoes. A pair of tan Keds was an excellent choice for me and went with pants, capris, skirts, and dresses. I also had a brought a pair of black Clarks privos that velcroed on but the Keds were the best.

A cross the shoulder bag is a must. Megan got a Vera Bradley one and I needed one to fit my DSLR so my godmother was kind enough to make me one that was the perfect size for what I needed and in fun fabrics. Keith and Eric ordered messenger bags off zappos.

Pack lightly. Bring items that are versatile and things you can layer with. Stick to a certain color pallete and make sure everything either goes with black or with brown so you don't need shoes and purses for both. Mine was mainly pinks, purples, and blacks. If you stay in apartments you can wash out some items too.

Bring earplugs for the plane and you may want them if the place you stay has noise around it at night.

The first thing you should do when you get in to a city is to get a good map at the TI (tourist information booth/shop). Often they have these at the train station which is convenient.

Make sure to get some foods at the local markets.

Personally Florence was my favorite of the places we visited! I would love to see more of Italy one day like Cinque Terre and some of the coastal cities because I have heard those are beautiful.

Hope you have enjoyed our journey through Italy as much as we did! If you have any questions feel free to ask. Can't wait for our next adventure...

Linking up at these fun parties:


  1. I spent over 3 weeks in Italy last summer traveling around by train. I think my biggest tip would be to dress well.(I wore cotton summer dresses).

    The difference in service that my daughter and I got compared to people that were in ratty t-shirts and shorts was amazing. They would be seated at the back of restaurants while we got the best seats in the house time after time.

    Everyone seemed to take extra time and effort with us.

  2. I'd love to visit there! I found your blog from the Just a Girl Party. I'm your newest follower! I'd love you to stop by my blog if you get a minute too!

  3. what a fabulous trip! i love that you had another couple to do this with-my boyfriend and i really don't have that, so i am hesitant to go where we don't know the language or even the best way to get around on our own.

    rick steve's is my travel guru! when we went to holland 2 years ago, i think all of my sentences started with "rick steves says _________". too funny. i wish the man had books for U.S travel-i desperately wanted rick steve's guide to hawaii, but there wasn't one!

  4. Ciao Emily!

    Glad my blog helped you ( and it sounds like you had a wonderful time in Rome. I read all your reports and enjoyed your views of some of our favorite spots - like Dar Poeta and Gelarmony! We've lived near the Vatican and headed to Trastevere often to meet... and eat!

    Ah, but then I say you're a Clemson fan... I attended USC - a Gamecock from 1979. I did live on Lake Keowe for 2 years and the Clemnson area was wonderful... except when we started discussing football at someone's house! Those "discussions" alway ended with one side saying, "wait till next year!" Should be a great game this year. OK, I have to say it: GO COCKS!

    Loved your articles on Italy and I hope you get a chance to return and visit the hill towns and smaller villages. Get a car and get lost in the country. We did often!


  5. jealous ;-)

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful excursion!



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