How long was your stay?
How did you travel?
Tell us why you traveled to this destination.
I wanted to go to Italy for the music, food, art and history! I ended up not getting to dive into the music part because in 2021 Covid restrictions were still very prevalent.
What was your itinerary?
Day 1: Arrived Florence, had dinner at Trattoria Za-Za.
Day 2: Visited Avery perfume gallery.
Day 3: Explored Gucci Garden.
Day 4: Went to Uffizi Museum then travelled to Milan
Day 5: Visited Duomo Event and clubs.
Day 6: Explored Boboli Gardens and shopping places.
Day 7: Travelled to Venice and explored.
Day 8: Visited gondola
Day 9: Went to Bologna
Day 10: Went back to Florence and got a tattoo by William.
Give us all the details! Tell us where you went and what you did on your trip.
I centered my trip around northern Italy, as it takes quite a while to get down to the south. I wanted to travel slowly as well and try to get to know people and places better than just briefly and quickly seeing everything I could.
I started off in Florence which I soon decided would be my home base. I flew into the Florence airport (its really small) and took the train into town. It was super easy and a very common way to travel there!
My first day in Florence was my birthday. I got in late and treated myself to dinner at Trattoria Za-Za which was very delicious and worth the wait. It’s a great first spot to dine – trattoria vibes, amazing pasta and wine, centrally located!
The next few days I spent in Florence as well. I noticed that everyone there smells AMAZING, so I had to buy a perfume of some sort. There are so many different places to get fragrances, but I ultimately made my purchase at Avery perfume gallery. They have a very wide horizon of scents and you will feel like royalty once you find one you love – I am so happy I did this also because now every time I smell this perfume, it reminds me of happy times in Florence.
Alongside perfume, there are so many incredible museums to visit! I went to Gucci Garden (amazing and insightful as to why Gucci is so big in Italy) and the Uffizi. The line for the Uffizi was outrageous and took probably around two hours to wait in. I’m glad I got to see all of the beautiful art there, but if you’re in a crunch there are better ways to spend your time.
Another huge line that I waited in was for All’Antico Vinaio sandwiches. I will say this was truly worth it. I still think about this sandwich today…
After I was done exploring in Florence, I took the trail to Milan. The Santa Maria Novella is the train station out of Florence and it isn’t a place you want to hang out in, but everything runs very smoothly there and there are many people to help out if you run into any issues.
The Duomo in Milan is definitely the main event. It is huge and if you’re into gothic architecture it is well worth going to see. Milan overall is a pretty business centered city, but if the clubs were opened I would have loved to go! I had a pretty good time regardless of that aspect. I stayed in a hostel that looked like a castle and met a bunch of really great people (all girl rooms offered in most places in Italy which was a huge plus for me). But I did get my passport stolen.
Which lead me back to my favorite place, Florence! There are multiple US embassy offices in Italy, but that was the closest one to me. I just had to get a photo taken at Santa Maria Novella and spend a bit of time at the embassy. I got there super early and it was a very easy process – I had a new passport by 4 pm that day. While I waited I went to Boboli Gardens where there is a beautiful view of the city and some really sweet nature escapes and great shopping nearby. I highly recommend doing this! Also make sure that you see both sides of the river as much as you can, I initially didn’t go past the bridge my first few days and missed out on a lot.
I decided that I would go to Venice and Bologna after this. I bought a gondola trip for the next day and was very surprised by what I saw in Venice – it is nothing like its portrayed to be. Just arrive prepared to take multiple busses and boats as the waterways are not on the main part of the city. You really have to put in some elbow work to get there and with that said, I totally missed my gondola trip because I couldn’t figure out how to get to the location. I would not recommend going to Venice at all, it was a huge disappointment and tourist trap.
After Venice I headed to Bologna. I had heard this was a town full of younger people and beautiful art. While I wish I had an amazing experience here, it was clouded by a slew of harassments from men in the city. I did not feel safe here and it seemed like the girls in my hostel felt the same way. I would maybe go back if I was with friends, but being there alone and relying on public transportation was scary. I went home early that day because I couldn’t catch a break.
I headed back to Florence where I would fly out, and on my last day I got a tattoo. I had this appointment scheduled the whole time but it was awesome to do it at the end of my trip because it has so many memories attached to it. If you are looking to get tattooed I recommend Bold Will Hold tattoo in Florence and my artist was William. He did an amazing job and we had great conversation, truly an unforgettable experience!
I flew out of Florence with a temporary passport and had no issues. I was extremely sad to leave this country and still think about this trip often. I would recommend traveling Italy solo for sure as you can meet so many people doing the same thing – don’t be scared!
Would you recommend this trip to a friend?
What was the highlight of your trip?
The highlight was finding myself in so many parts of Florence. I am from the US but have Italian heritage, and it was cool getting to learn Italian as the country isn’t known for speaking English. The people in that city in particular were so warm and welcoming, and the art, food, and fashion made it one of the best experiences of my life. It is truly a city that will leave a lasting imprint on you!
If you were to take this trip again, is there anything you would add or do differently?
I did get my passport stolen in Milan. It was a stupid mistake on my end – but a life lesson to keep money in multiple places and always have a backup plan if your bag gets stolen.
If I went back this route again, I would be sure to make some time to go to Lake Como. I am super sad I didn’t get to do this the first time around, but I will definitely be back to see this lake.
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