It was a hard choice deciding on the cities we wanted to visit. We had Rome, Pisa, Milan, Florence and Venice in mind but six days was just too short to enjoy each city which included travelling days, so we settled for Rome, Milan and
Venice. We arrived Rome on Wednesday evening by Vueling Airlines from Paris. On arrival, we quickly took a cab to Hotel Aureliano. The hotel was not our best choice, it was quite a distance from the train station and the lady at the reception was not the warmest person. Coincidentally our room number was 419 but I’m going to be a good sport (flips hair, chin up) and not read any meaning to it…lol
As soon as we got to the room we dropped our luggage and dashed out of the room to quickly get to our reserved spot for our walking tour. We made it in time for the tour which lasted about an hour after which we went to the Trevi Fountain (Italian: Fontana di Trevi).
A little bit of history, the Trevi Fountain was built in the 15th century to mark the ending destination of the Aqua Virgo, the manmade channel erected in 19 B.C. that brought fresh water to Roman bathhouses. The water comes from Salone Springs, eight miles outside of the city, but the length of the aqueduct is about 14 miles.
After that, we went to the Pantheon, which is the best preserved building from ancient Rome and was completed in c. 125 CE in the reign of Hadrian. Later on, we explored the city and were fascinated by the history and my friend suggested we get some leather bags. I told her I already had enough bags and was not doing any bag shopping. To my surprise, I bought five bags (3 for myself, 1 for my sister and 1 for my dad). Who can resist high quality leather bags with great finishing and price? She also got about 3 bags. I absolutely have no regrets. In fact, I am always putting my ear on the ground looking for anyone going to Rome so I can ask them to get me one of those bags…lol
The next day, we started our adventure to the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hills. They are all within the same vicinity. We got our colosseum tickets some few months earlier online so we didn’t have to stand on a long queue. We paid for a group tour and waited for about 10 minutes for our group session to start. It was fun and enlightening and was like re-watching the gladiators in real life, after which we went to the Forum and then the Palatine Hills. It was a whole day of pure amazing adventure.
The following day was a full day for the Vatican City. However, as the chronic shopaholics that we were, we decided to take a detour to the city center to buy one more bag we couldn’t get the day earlier because we hadn’t converted enough money to Euros (dollar to euro). We ended up getting to the Vatican City by past 6pm but sadly, the Saint Peter’s Basilica was closed *sadface so we didn’t get to enter. We only saw the amazing structure and went on to the Vatican museum which was also an incredible experience with a lot to see and learn.
I am a major Lindt chocolate fan so we walked around the city of Rome till we came across a store with so many amazing varieties of Lindt chocolates and LINDT ICE CREAM. That was the most mind-blowing and expensive ice cream ever. There was a variety of homemade pastas to try and every corner has an ice-cream store with amazing flavors – my oh my, we had so much pasta and ice cream!
The next day we went to the train station to catch our train to Milan. We had just one day to spend in Milan. By now I am sure you can tell that we were constantly on the move. So having arrived at Milan, we took a bus to our hotel which had quite the noteworthy customer service. Best Western Hotel Blaise & Francis was a great hotel, the only issue being that it was difficult getting a train or bus ticket around the hotel.
As expected, as soon as we got in we dropped our luggage and started our new adventure. We couldn’t make our walking tour because we arrived late so we just took a map and toured by ourselves. We went to Piazza del Duomo where we saw the Gothic cathedral -dedicated to St. Mary of the Nativity (Santa Maria Nascente) which is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, currently Cardinal Angelo Scola. It took nearly six centuries to complete and it is the fifth largest Christian church in the world. Later that day, we went to Sforza Castle and Milan’s Quatrilatero d’Oro/Rectangle of Gold which houses some of the world’s top designers. Styles sold here are straight from the runways and boast high-fashion names like Missoni, Versace, Prada and other top international designers. I kind of felt expensive and posh at this point.
The next day we were on the train to continue our adventure in the amazing city of Venice and ended up staying at two hotels. Hotel Principe was directly at the center of it all. We got right to the adventures as soon as we got to our hotel. We had a great time on the first day taking in the whole scenery of the city. It is such a picturesque city with beautiful structures all on water. We wanted to have the gondola experience but it was a-bit pricey so ended up skipping that adventure.
The second day we bought a full-day water taxi ticket (it is all water, so transportation is on boat) and went to the Doges palace and St. mark’s Basilica. We paid for a private tour of the hidden place in the palace which was lovely. Our tour guide took us through a lot of secret entrances and backdoors and we later went to Murano (Murano glass is glass made on the Venetian island of Murano, which has specialized in fancy glassware’s for centuries). Later in the evening, when we had explored as much as one could in Venice we went to the bus station through the water transport to get to our hotel (Best Western Titian Inn Hotel) next to the airport to catch an early flight the next day.
Things to note if you are planning a trip to Italy,
- Homemade pasta is a must
- The leather bags are absolutely lovely and affordable for genuine leather.
- Ice cream!!!
- The trains are reliable and clean
- Be ready to walk around
Editor: Modupe Sowunmi and Womiye Ojo