Italy, a country that I would visit over and over again! It is special for me as we got married in Rome and went on a road trip for our honeymoon. The cities we visited were just stunning and each had its own charm.
Even though all cities are accessible by train, having your own car is more fun, you get to enjoy all the beautiful landscapes and stop wherever you want. Spending two full days in each city is a great choice but if you have more time, adding one day in Florence and in Rome would be perfect.
Rome was our first stop. The Capital has so much to offer and you can easily spend three full days there. The best city center walk would be from Piazza Venezia to Piazza Del Popolo passing by Piazza Di Spagna! Along the way, you will be passing by all the important sights of Rome such as Fontana di Trevi.
On our last day there, we rented the car as we didn’t really need it inside the city.
Visiting the Vatican is a must! St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world and the residence of the Pope, is just impressive. Climbing its Dome may become difficult at the end of the staircase but it is totally worth it. If you are not bothered by narrow spiral stairs, you better not miss it!
Not to forget the Colosseum which is one of the most visited sights in Rome! This huge Roman Amphitheater hosted Gladiators fights and prisoner’s executions. Even though it suffered from several attacks, it’s still imposing and beautiful.
Around three driving hours will take you to Florence! This is the city for art and ice cream lovers. Italian ice cream is the best ice cream you will ever taste and I still remember how good it was in Florence. The hop on hop off bus is a good choice to make. Start at Piazza del Duomo and its famous Basilica of Santa Maria de Fiore. It’s impossible not to fall in love with the beautiful architecture around every corner.
The view from Piazzale Michelangelo is on another level! It leaves you speechless and makes you dream. I personally adored the stop there.
Fiesole, a gorgeous village, is around 30 minutes away from Florence. Its archeological site includes remains of the Roman temple, a roman bath complex and an Amphitheater that still serves as a stage for many events. At the top of the hill, the perfect panoramic view of Florence awaits you.
We had a one-day trip from Florence to San Gimignano, a small lovely village that offers great Tuscan wine! If you choose to do the same, make sure to spend three full days in Florence.
On our way from Florence to Cinque Terre, we passed by Pisa to take the famous shot with the Pisa Tower! We didn’t think that it was necessary to spend more time at this place but since it was on our way we made a quick stop!
When you reach La Spezia, look for the parking near the train station. It is best if you park the car and take the train to the Cinque Terre as there is no use of cars in these towns! The train is very frequent, the ideal mode of transportation. You can spend two days discovering the five villages while enjoying their great food.
We stayed in Manarola, my favorite, and I still remember how good the food and the views were! Try Trattoria dal Billy for the perfect sea food pasta and stuffed mussels and Nessun Dorma restaurant for the perfect view of Manarola.
All five villages are beautiful with their colorful houses, harbors, shops and cafes.. You can have breakfast in Riomaggiore, spend the day on the beach in Monterosso Al Mare, have a small hike in Corgnilia and try street sea food in Vernazza!
Monterosso Al Mare
I don’t really need to convince you to put Venice in your plan. The city of Love is something else. It will leave you wanting more..
We parked our car at the nearest parking, took the train and then the water taxi to reach our hotel! As it is the city of canals, you can either walk or take water taxis. I was amazed by its small bridges, its canals, St. Mark’s square and the high level of water.. The gondola ride is a must, I really enjoyed it specially when we were in the middle of the grand canal. It is commercial but do you see yourself visiting Venice without enjoying the Gondola ride?
Lake Como is where you will find peace and serenity. We just wanted to walk by the lake and discover Bellagio’s tiny streets. There are boat rides and helicopter rides to discover the area. A picnic at one of the amazing parks would be a great plan. Staying at a hotel by the lake is the perfect choice, and choosing a room with a balcony is even better as it grants you a wonderful view when you wake up! The village will allow you to take a break from tourism and enjoy the scenery.
Our road trip covered the center and the North of Italy, which were truly amazing. Stunning landscapes everywhere! I can’t wait to visit the south which is excitingly different, and I’ll definitely make sure to tell you all about it!