(continued) Check part 6 hereOn the 9th day of our trip, we moved from our Hotel Galileo in Padova towards Rome, the capital city of Italy, a distance of about 500 km. We had a city tour of the capital planned for that day.Rome is a Mecca for history buffs. It has a history spanning 2500 years. Among the most-visited cities in the world, Rome also surrounds the smallest country of the world, Vatican City from all sides. It has great monuments - the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain etc. But more than that, what catches people's interests is the little details of this historical city - cobbled lanes and streets, vivid colours, hidden corners, and the aroma of freshly ground coffee coming from the many cafes that are dotting the roads. Apart from playing the host to some legendary events in the past, the city also serves you great food through its various piazzas, eateries and food joints.
When I was flying to Milan I had to literally pinch myself to believe, that I am going to a foreign land all by myself and living my dream.It was around 11.30 pm when I landed in Milan and divulged myself with some serious pep up talks because I felt a tad bit lost.Amidst all the battles in my head, I saw a young woman walking towards the train station and befriended her. To my surprise, she was warm and very helpful. She expressed, “I will come with you till the hostel and grab a drink. I am very upset coz my best friend has moved to another city.” And that’s how her melancholy saved me the despair of finding my way.The walk towards the hostel was fascinating as all I saw around me were stores thriving to get my attention and at the end of the long stretch was the hostel — Ostello Bello.The moment I set my foot in the hostel, it seemed like I have entered a high-octane resto-pub. The place played electrifying music and I could hear tons of chitter-patter with copious amount of laughter coming from every corner.Amidst all the initial formalities of checking-in, my eyes were searching for my friend (Sigh! Struggling to remember her name). That’s when Helder (from the front desk) said, “Hey! Your friend just went and left you a kiss,” and I couldn’t do much but smile and thank her from all my heart. The ‘happy’ me chit chatted for a while with everyone before calling it a night.
After a joyful week at the school, I then flew Italy loosing my favourite peach lotion and some nervousness, back at the Bremen airport. I remember the long cab ride to the hotel located around the coast of Naples, cold wind and a fast pumping heart and eyes scrolling through the buildings, people, their vehicles and every tiny thing that I could notice and try to remember. A walk to the seashore in the late evening and passing my time with the beautiful view of the city on hills was a soothing end for that day. A big thank you, Celine Lavisse for joining me here. It wouldn't have been this good without you.
Palermo, the regional capital of Sicily, is one of those cities with its own very distinct, almost tangible atmosphere, a place of mystery where reality often outperforms the traveller’s imagination and preconceived stereotypes. Visiting Palermo is still somewhat of an adventure in a world where so many places have become tourist-friendly to a fault. You won’t find many restaurants with menus translated into 5 different languages, you may have trouble communicating in English in many places, and some parts of the old town center have remained untouched since they were bombed during the war.
6. A walk through the land that created Parmesan
3. A bread, bean and biscotti feast in FlorenceEvery turn in Florence will greet you with people feasting on bread and bean soup, and the mandatory Chianti wine.Eating Italy's food tour starts from Oltrarno, Italy's answer to Paris' Left Bank. Take delight in the region's Bohemian vibe, abuzz with students and artists in hipster cafes and an all-round vibrant culture. The tour is bound to give away a number of local food and restaurant secrets. Among the multitude of food and wine tastings, you'll also learn to make Italian cantucci (biscotti), sample locally made fennel salami or Finocchiona, Tuscan cheeses and crostinis, and stop at an authentic Italian trattoria (restaurant) for steaming hot soups. Don't leave before having Florence’s famous steak, Bistecca alla Fiorentina, and of course, end the tour with gelato.
Before leaving Treviso, I certainly fulfilled my promise to myself of going back to the places that I had visited on my first stroll through the city. Treviso fulfilled all my expectation of what Italian nightlife should be like. Crossing bridges across flowing waters and watching twilight change into evening in the city was a magnificent experience. In the evening we saw some tango dancers on the roads and despite being close to midnight the piazza was teeming with people having fun.
Day 13: Check out of Hotel Castello Vicchiomaggio in Chianti. Take bus/car from Chianti to Florence. Take train from Florence to Verona. Check in Hotel Giulietta e Romeo in Verona. Opera at Arena - Romeo and Juliet was magnificent; get seats closest to the stage
Sicily’s second largest city is Catania, and is where a majority of European flights land in to. It lies on the Eastern side of the island along the Ionian coast, sitting in the shadows beneath Mount Etna. In 1669 Catania was covered in lava from Mount Etna and then, just 24 years later in 1693 an earthquake shook the town down to its foundations. Most of the old town was rebuilt, and as ever resourceful was rebuilt using lava, therefore Catania is describe as being a rather dull and grey city. There are a couple of nice piazzas and the Duomo is worth a visit. The atmosphere is what really brings you to the city, the bustling fish markets, the people and the smells. There is a place in the city that is also renowned for horse meat if that’s your thing! Or if not give it a try..although the signature dish of Catania is Pasta alla Norma, that consists of fried chunks of aubergine, a rich tomato sauce and salty ricotta cheese….. Buon appetito!
Next up is the Acetaia, where you delve into the secrets of the illustrious 12-year old balsamic vinegar or Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena produced by a solitary family. Starting from ageing grapes in oak barrels, the entire process behind producing the vinegar is shown in detail. You will also be fed ricotta, balsamic jelly and ice cream, all cooked using a 6-year old balsamic condiment. Then comes Prosciutto and its manufacturing. Here you get to see the careful craft that goes into creating one of the world's finest pork products.
Towards the southern tip and nestled in its curved bay is Sardinia’s capital and largest city – Cagliari. Besides flying in, the rich and famous drive their cars straight onto ships that dock at the sea harbor. It is quite the Italian city as Vespas whiz down the streets and locals hang out at cafes tucked around the Seafront Marina District. Sunset is best viewed at the open piazzas as one can watch the sky change color over the city. As you wander around, you see the city’s rich history defined in Roman ruins, museums and churches. Cagliari has a very cosmopolitan feel with the fancy shopping streets adorned with Italians holiday dwellers along with their pet pooches. Besides being an economic and industrial hub, it is home to one of the biggest ports in the Mediterranean Sea. Remember, there are hardly any cabs on the island so one should ideally rent a car to get around the city.
Como is a city and commune in Lombardy, Italy. It is the administrative capital of the Province of Como. The buildings with medieval architecture will draw you in instantly.
On Day 8, we made our way towards the city of Pisa. Here, we straightaway went to the main attraction of the city, the Leaning Tower of Pisa.The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the seven wonders of the world, making the city of Pisa, among the most visited, the world over. The monument, is actually a bell tower and took almost 200 years to be built. It started leaning once the construction reached the fifth floor, (out of eight in total). Due to the leaning, the top of the tower is 17 feet away from the vertical, making it a marvel to look at. Several attempts have been made to take it down, and rebuild, or restore at another location. Several people have tried to understand the reason behind the leaning. But no concrete scientific reason has been found so far.
Day 5: We rested during the morning before heading to the train station to take a 12:10PM train for a day-trip to Siena. Since it was a Sunday we got to know there would be lesser transportation in terms of buses. Siena was about an hour and a half from Florence. It is recommended to travel by bus as you get to pass scenic vineyards on the way. We walked from the station to the city center through the quaint little streets; there we visited Piazza del Campo which is a huge square. Siena is a walled city and the entire city has medieval brick buildings. Given it was a Sunday, most shops were shut which also meant lesser tourists. We then had lunch at one of the cafes in the streets and then went to the Siena Duomo, Cathedral of Siena. Then headed to the bus station and took an express bus back to Florence passing the picturesque vineyards. We later strolled through the streets of Florence and then had our last dinner in Florence.
We had Eurail passes for 3 months which also included almost free Ferry services(10 euros) from Bari (Italy) to Patras (Greece). Had overnight journey from Milan to Bari. After 45 days, we were quite used to such long journeys. We also gained expertise in several odd things like eating McD burgers at the slowest pace to pass around our nights at stations in cold European weather.Reached Bari around 8 am and first usual thing we did - Find a McD or McCafe (Savior or 4th friend). Necessities done (Nice feeling) and Cornetti plus Cappuccino (Heavenly feeling)
Being an Italian, I can't tell which part was the best but this one was quite awesome, You will be loved and adored with the beauty of hills, rivers and the people around here, The first thing that hits you about the location – it is literally in the middle of nowhere. The journey starts from where I live( trento, ITALY) - to a place called RIVA DEL GARDA,
Close to the sea, amazing prices for renting apartments, with brilliant views. The cost is subjected to when the apartment is booked. Air BnB is recommended to book for the best houses.