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.
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 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4
Venice: Day 5, Day 6, Day 7
Rome: Day 8, Day 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.
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...
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