Whenever I go abroad to new places, it’s important to me that I make the most out of the trip by packing the days full of sight-seeing. Since I have such a long list of places I want to visit in the world, it might be a while before I’m able to return to some of the places I travel to, and therefore I want to make the most of the trip whilst I am there. This includes making detailed itineraries so I know what I am doing each day and I know I am seeing all the major attractions that the place has to offer.
Therefore, I have detailed below my itineraries for my recent trip to Florence and Venice.
Day 1 – For our first day in Florence, we decided to visit the Palazzo Vecchio, which is the town hall of Florence. It consists of a tower which offers incredible views over the entirety of Florence, as well as a Museum, which has rooms set up as they would have been in the Medici era. Be prepared, the walk up to the tower is not a short one! We then decided to check out the Boboli Gardens, which was advertised as a statue garden. One has to pay for entry which covers the cost of maintaining the garden. Honestly, I was prepared to be bored, but the gardens surprised me! The statues were incredible to look at and there were also fountains and museums including a porcelain museum to admire too. There was also lots of green grass to sit and talk on or sunbathe on depending on your preference and I could have easily spent a day there, reading my book and exploring as the gardens were massive!
Day 2 – Today we decided to walk up to Piazzale Michaelangelo which is a square offering a panoramic view over Florence. It was honestly spectacular. There were lots of ice cream vans up there too so we all got an ice cream, or gelato as the Italians call them, to enjoy whilst we admired the view. We then decided to buy a 24 hour ticket for the hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus to explore Florence further. Unlike Rome which one can explore by walking alone, Florence takes up a bigger area and another form of transport is required in order to explore it all. There are 2 routes that the bus takes and we did Line B today, which includes a place called Fiesole which is a small town on top of a hill which offers a different panoramic view of Florence.
Day 3 – Today we decided to continue with the hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus since our tickets were still valid for the morning. We did the second route today: Line A or the City Route, which includes Santa Croce Church, the home of many famous artists’ tombs. I was actually sick for the second half of this day so couldn’t explore any further, but my family decided to go out for lunch at a sushi restaurant down the road from where we were staying, because why eat Italian food when you’re in Italy?!
Day 1 – For our first day in Venice, of course we had to go see St Mark’s Square including the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Belltower! The Doge’s Palace was incredible and the attention to detail honestly amazed me. The only downside was that it was crowded with tourists so it was hard to get a photograph that really captured its beauty. We didn’t go inside the Palace but we did go up the belltower which offered a panoramic view of Venice. From here, I was able to get better photographs of the Doge’s Palace as well as the Grand Canal which encompasses Venice. In the afternoon, we decided to take a short trip on a gondola, because one must whilst in Venice. It is 80 euros for one trip lasting between 20 and 30 minutes, but for a family of 5 that works out 16 euros each so it can be justified and a gondola can take up to 6 people. I think a gondola ride is something that must be done for the experience, but having been canoeing and kayaking in the past, I did not find the experience particularly different, except that I did not have to do any of the hard work!
Day 2 – We decided to get a 48 hour hop-on, hop-off sightseeing boat tour for our last two days in Venice. Whilst the previous bus tours had both had commentary, this boat tour did not, which I was disappointed about because I think it helps to understand what you are seeing. The boat tour also only had 7 stops, 3 of which were ports or the train station, whilst the bus tours had up to 30 stops! However, as boat is the main form of transport in Venice, it was the easiest way of getting around and cheaper to use when hopping between places rather than getting public transport. For today, we decided to check out the lido, which is the name of the barrier beach enclosing the Venetian Lagoon. I was expecting a small area of beach but was surprised to find public showers, beach umbrellas and sun loungers and cafes selling both hot food and snacks. It was a commercial beach rather than the community beach I had been expecting. We also had a look at several exhibitions on the walk back from the nearest stop to our accommodation, including an Illy exhibition of tea cups and saucers displaced in various wacky ways, including in a tiger’s mouth!
Day 3 – Today we continued with the boat tour, deciding to travel to Murano, which is a series of islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon. It is famous for its glass making, of which we had seen several beautiful designs in shops in Venice, so we were excited to see where it is all made. I had managed to find a free glassmaking demonstration online which I had booked tickets for the night before, so we went to watch that first. I was amazed at how little time it takes! Hundreds of designs could be made within the day easily. We then got to look around the shop which had a range of products from glass rings to glass horses. Following the demonstration, we decided to explore the islands further, stopping only for slush in a small café overlooking the Canal. As it was so hot in Italy the entire time we were there, reaching at least 30 degrees Celsius, I had somewhat gotten addicted to slush. My favourite was coke if you are wondering.
That’s all for my recently trip to Italy – I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures. Comment below if you have ever been to Florence or Venice and if there are any places that I didn’t go, that I should go if I go back. Check out my previous post for my Rome Itinerary or the one prior to that for photographs of my trip.