Rome is Italy in a nutshell. Universally agreed upon as one of the most romantic and inspiring cities to live in, Rome is an exhilarating blend of historical ruins and vibrant streets. The city's artistic heritage is paralleled by only a few across the world; some reasons for this are the Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica and the Byzantine mosaics throughout its geography. A trip to Rome could also be either religious (a day at the Vatican) or completely dedicated to fashion owing to its dolce vita culture. You can randomly sit at any roadside cafe or bar and watch the sun go down with your partner by your side, or you can follow the hordes because when in Rome...Free things to do while here: Pay homage at St. Peter's Basilica where you can find the iconic Pietà statue by Michelangelo. Visit the Bocca della Verità and tell a lie – legend has it that the huge face will bite you if you fib, so keep your fingers out of the way. You must already be aware of the iconic Trevi Fountain in which you throw coins and seek a wish; that's a must-visit place.
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.
Food and wine, and everything fine – Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance Movement. Hence, there is no dearth of world-class art, history and tradition in this little town. Its narrow cobbled pathways are reminiscent of romantic Italian movies of the yore, and are perfect for aimless evening strolls with your loved one. Don't be surprised if you come across architectural masterpieces around every corner though, the town is replete with medieval chapels and museums all over. Florence is also famous for its hyper-stylish indigenous fashion being the hometown of world-renowned designers such as Guccio Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo, you'd find family-run boutiques everywhere.Free things to do while here: San Miniato Al Monte is an eerie but gorgeous church about Piazzale Michelangelo which you should visit. Take a stroll at Piazza Della Signoria and enjoy the collection of sculptures in the arcade nearby; there are also plenty of great roadside restaurants where you can sit and people-watch. However ridiculous it may sound, but you can also take a free walking tour of Florence; many guides just want to share their adoration of the gorgeous city with others and hence organise walking tours without charging anything.Where to eat: Here are the three cheap but outstanding places to eat in Florence: 1. SandwiChic at Via San Gallo, 2. Panini Toscani at Piazza del Duomo, 3. I' Girone De' Ghiotti at Via dei Cimatori. All three serve vegetarian food as well.Where to stay: What makes Florence a must-visit is its gorgeous yet affordable stays. Here is one fantastic option.
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
After experiencing the peaceful canals of Venice and carefree days of wandering through Florence and the Tuscan countryside, it is natural to think you should head straight to Rome to complete your tour of Italy. If you are able to, however, hold that thought and take a small detour to the sleepy little town of Assisi. Located in Umbria, it is home to the infamous Basilica de San Francesco. If you are seeking a cathedral that stands out from the crowd, then this is the place for you. The cathedral is actually comprised of two separate buildings on top of each other: the one on the bottom, which contains the tomb of St Francis, is older and adorned with frescos. The top of the cathedral juts out of the mountain in a dramatic display of beauty. Of course there are many other things to check out in this city, but if you are able to make it there on a short stop, you will be rewarded with a single visit to this cathedral.
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