10 days in Italy
"Wherever you go, go with all your heart"
My interest in Italy longs back to childhood days, Grade IX or X, to be exact. Inspiration - Increasing interest in Roman empire when I read Julius Caeser as part of English syllabus back then. Description of the roman empire, their monuments, wealth, politics was intriguing. To add to it, I loved the TV series Spartacus and Russel Crowe's Gladiator. So while deciding where to go, Italy topped the list.
Each historic place I went to, I couldn't help but imagine the gladiator's arena cheering up with thousands of commoners gathered for the gigantic fight, soothsayer cautioning Julius Caeser - "Beware the Ides of March". It was indeed a visual history revision for me. Enough of history lesson I guess. Coming over to the fav place for most - beach baby ! Well beaches always are awesome, but what makes Italian coasts and beaches extraordinary is the scenery which comes in the background.
What I love most about Italy is the diversity it offers. There are places known for history, architecture, religion, exquisite scenic beauty, beaches, fashion. You get to explore so much in one trip.
Below is the itinerary we followed along with the duration of stay, in order
We booked a multi city flight arriving in Rome and returning from Venice.
Rome (3 days)
Major attractions - Vatican City , Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain
Rome stands true to its own popular quote - 'Rome wasn’t built in a day'. The capital provides a vivid picture of Italy’s astounding history, prosperous Roman empire, religious power, great churches and saints. You will discover ancient ruins here, from the Colosseum to the Pantheon to the ancient Roman forum.
Pop quiz - World's smallest country ?
We started the trip in Rome by going to Vatican City, which technically is a different country, but is actually adjacent to Rome (1/2 an hour by taxi). Irrespective of your religion, it is a must go. You can book tours and your time slot online before arriving there. Beware to wear clothing covering your shoulders and knees to enter the Basilica. This is one of the most popular places people of all countries and religions go to. If you are lucky, you will get to greet the Pope.
Since I watched Spartacus, I always wanted to see how gladiators arena looks like. I was so excited to see this in real and hear about all the stories by the local guides. Its like you can actually hallucinate and imagine the fight going on in the arena. Though the stories are not really pretty. It must have been a tough life for some people.
Florence (1 day)
Major attractions - Duomo Cathedral, Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery
Florence is the home to exquisite art and architecture in the form of grand Museums and Cathedrals. It is a good idea to buy guided tours of the cathedrals or galleries.
While in Florence, do not miss on the world famous Italian leather shops at San Lorenzo Market .
Cinque Terre (2 days)
Cinque Terre is a group of five villages located very close to each other. You can visit every village through local trains which run every 15 minutes. For the beach lovers, Cinque Terre has really beautiful beaches with the best scenery in the background. You can stay at any village and travel to other villages via the trains. This place is very peaceful and astoundingly beautiful.
Milan (2 days)
Major attractions - Milan Cathedral, Galleria Vittorio
After Cinque Terre was Milan. Milan is the fashion capital of Italy. Compared to all other cities we visited till now, Milan looked very developed and rich.
Fashion lovers - good news ! Milan is the place to go ! :)
Gallaria Vittorio is one of the oldest shopping malls in the world (150 years old). It is not just known for the best brands, but also the great artwork with which it is built.
Venice (1 day)
Major attractions - Gondola ride, Piazza San Marco, Rialto Bridge, Doge's Palace
Venice was our final destination. Venice is also called the city of water. You feel as if you are in a painting in a different era. Venice is designed very artistically. You have to take water taxis to go to most of the places around the city. It is known as the most romantic city in the world.
Last but not the least -
Special credits to the man behind the lens and my all time travel partner, Utkarsh Shrivastava for amazing pictures !
I hope I inspired you enough to plan your trip to Italy ;) I am nostalgic while writing this blog and want to go back !