It’s hard to believe that we leave for Italy in a little over a month! This trip is a dream come true for a couple reasons for me: 1. Dane has never been! This is his first time to Italy, which is equal parts shocking and exciting to me. Shocking, because his entire childhood was spent traveling, since he spent a good chunk of time living in Egypt. He’s been so many places that it always surprises me a bit to learn of places he hasn’t seen or visited. 2. While I get to show Dane all my favorite spots in the only European country I’ve visited a few times, we are actually going for a work trip for me! I’m so excited to be collaborating with HomeAway for a fun international project. We used HomeAway for the first time over New Year’s Eve for our trip to Scottsdale (read all about it here), but this is my first time using their amazing company abroad. Aside from giving us a more authentic travel experience, I’m pretty excited to be working with a company who offers travelers more than 2 million unique listings worldwide, including tons of pet friendly options. Can you imagine Bill + Judy getting wild in Italy?! Dreams!
In any case, I’ve been busy mapping out our itinerary for while we are traveling through the country. I have a tendency to be incredibly Type A when we travel (and always), so I really like to have a loose plan in place, particularly because we will be moving and shaking quite a bit while we are there.Today I’m breaking down our full trip itinerary – where we are going, how long we are staying, what we plan to see and more. If a trip to Italy is in your future or if you’ve been in the past and have amazing suggestions – today’s post is for you 🙂
Our Italy Itinerary
We are flying from Honolulu to New York and then New York straight into Venice, arriving around 9AM into Marco Polo airport. If you’ve ever tried to book travel from Hawaii, you realize what a freaking sweet flight path this is. I was amazed! In any case, our itinerary includes 3 days in Venice, heading south for 6 days in Tuscany (splitting our time between a friend’s agriturismo and Florence), 2 days in Rome and then taking the train back up to Venice for our flight home.In Venice, we have plans to see the Grand Canal, Piazza San Marco, Saint Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace and Rialto Bridge. Of course, we want to enjoy a gondola ride, too 🙂 Since I’ve done Murano and Burano previously, we are skipping them on this trip in favor of time in Lido, an island adjacent to Venice that is a barrier island between the Adriatic Sea. I’ve never been and I’m excited to explore the shops + restaurants together! For some reason, the thought of pigeons is imprinted into my brain about Venice and even after digging through every single photo I’ve ever taken there – I don’t have a single one with pigeons, so I suppose on this trip I’ll have to scope them out and see what that memory is all about!From Venice, we will head south to the region of Tuscany. During our time in Tuscany, we will be splitting our stays between our friend’s farm and downtown Florence, where our home rental peeks out over a church…I’m so excited! During our time in Northern Tuscany, we have plans to visit Siena, Bologna and Pisa, plus just enjoying some relaxation amongst the olive groves and vineyards with friends. Dane and I are also huge fans of the show ‘Chef’s Table’ on Netflix and may or may not have plans to check out Chef Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana. ::insert all the heart eye emojis!:: Once we venture into the heart of Florence, we are going to be on the move with planned stops in museums and shopping districts. I know Uffizi Gallery, Piazza della Signoria, The Duomo (can you visit Florence and not check out this masterpiece?!), Ponte Vecchio + Santa Croce are on the list, but if I’m missing a “must” be sure to throw it out there in the comments! During one of my first trips to Italy, I brought home a beautiful pair of leather shoes from Florence that have held up so well through the years (the quality is second to NONE!) and so hopefully I can snag a few good leather goods while we are here this time. Now taking souvenir requests…. 😉After Florence, we are heading to Rome by train and if there’s a city where I feel like we will be go-go-go, it’s Rome. With only a short amount of time, we have plans to hit all the hot spots of the city – the Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican City. Basically, we will be falling into bed each night with tired feet, full bellies and happy hearts…I hope! We’ll take the train back up to Venice for a day before catching our flight back to Honolulu. I honestly don’t mind sending out our trip with a city where we will be hustling, because let’s be honest – I have about 24 hours on a plane back to Hawaii to get my rest in 😉 Of course, through all of this, there will be tons of food, wine, pastries and gelato – would it be a Hanson family vacation without scoping out delicious food spots?! There’s no shortage of them in Italy, that’s for sure. Plus, I have every intention of getting my fair share of shopping in – can you blame me?
So let’s chat – Have you been to Italy? Are there places you would highly recommend? What was your favorite part? Now taking any and all recommendations for places you’ve loved, restaurants you are still dreaming about, shops you wouldn’t mind living in and anything else worth nothing 🙂 I’m all ears!