Under the Tuscan Sun and More - A Roadtrip in Italy
I was going to break these posts down by places we visited but based on feedback, a suggested itinerary of my full trip it is!
This itinerary is a little fast paced for my liking, even though I came up with it...but it takes you through a lot of Italy's highlights. Though there are MANY more than didn't make the list. I don't think I could ever get tired of traveling Italy. Most of our days were spent walking with the goal to hit up a handful of must-see sights, but in general and in between, we did so aimlessly to enjoy the architecture and people.
Day 1 - Arrived in Rome in the morning. I spent the day wandering alone and photographing neighborhoods as I awaited Candace's delayed arrival.
We had a terrific dinner at the really stylish Mama's restaurant in the back of the
Day 2 - We went through the same walk as I had done the previous day so Candace could enjoy the same sights in the daylight. Here's a little map to help if you're interested:
My Rome photos were previously posted here.
Day 3 - We visited St. Petersburg Cathedral in the EARLY morning and it was so beautiful. We were practically the only ones there - see the pictures for yourself. After the cathedral, we walked to the Vatican Museum. We arrived 30 minutes prior to opening so no need to buy reserved tickets. The people selling those reserved tickets on the streets aren't scamming you but they are making a small profit from them, so if you do want to visit the Vatican later in the day and didn't book tickets in advance, it's worth it in my opinion to save time. But I recommend either arriving early or booking tickets ahead of time.
After checking out of the hotel, we picked up our rental car in Rome then drove to Siena, one of my favorite places in Tuscany.
Day 4 - After checking into our adorable B&B Il Corso. (Which is SMACK dab in the middle and perfectly located for walking around). We spent our morning wandering around Siena some more and then drove to Montepulciano for lunch. It was an eerie visit. I've been in the past where it was packed with crowds. On this occasion, we were almost alone. Our lunch was one of our highlights. The Antico Caffè Poliziano is an absolute treasure and we had prime real estate with a dining table facing their largest window. Beautiful service and a magical view.
Day 5 - Drove to Venice! This part of the trip was a stretch due to the drive roughly 4 hours with stops. My last memory of Venice included trash and smells, but this time, my entire opinion of the city changed. The weather was so lovely and the city was pristine. I was really surprised at the difference.
Our Bed and Breakfast experience really topped our visit to Venice, but the cherry on the cake was our dinner at ... Superb service, superb wine, superb food.
Day 6 - We really spent the day aimlessly walking in Venice, hitting the major sights, but also indulging in lots of shopping. We stopped at the famous Caffè Florian which is akin to Cafe de Flore in Paris, but with far better cappuccino.
Day 7 - Drove to Florence! Our arrival came with the most unexpected surprise. I spent a lot of time choosing our B&Bs and Inns for this trip, but the most exciting one was here in Florence. I cannot recommend this place enough and sincerely hope you get a chance to stay at Canto Degli Scali. As luck would have it, the family that had booked the tower suite didn't feel like climbing the spiral staircase everyday, so we received the option of a free upgrade. Our original room was beautiful, but neither of us could skip out on the chance to stay in a tower with a stunning two floor suite!
We grabbed lunch on the rooftop of the Rinascente at La Terraza to enjoy the views.
Day 8 - Explore Florence. Eat Gelato and Recover! lol Seven days non-stop has a toll especially when walking miles and miles every day. We took the opportunity to really enjoy our stay at our B&B and veg out a little.
Day 9 - Early, early, early departure. Ciao Italia!