With only 40 days until I make my way across the pond for my vacation in Italy, I am in full planning mode. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am definitely a planner (and some might even say an over planner). While I love going with the flow just as much as the next person (okay well maybe not quite as much), when it comes to vacations I am of the opinion that planning allows for spontaneity. I know that sounds completely counter intuitive, but if you don’t plan at all you may spend hours of your actual vacation trying to find that church that everyone says you have to see in Milan or end up wasting time taking a local train instead of an express. I find that planning out all your must-see’s and transportation logistics beforehand makes it much easier to see everything you want to while still leaving plenty of time to just wander and explore. And so for the past few weeks my aunt (and travel buddy) and I have been slowly plugging away at finalizing all the details of our vacation. Below you’ll find the places we are most excited to visit.
We’ll be starting out our trip with a long layover in Brussels where *fingers crossed* our flight will be on time and we’ll get a chance to venture into the city to see a few sights such as the Grand Place and Galeries Royales St. Hubert. We also hope try out some of the food that Brussels & Belgium are famous for like mussels, waffles, fries, and of course chocolates!
We knew from the start that we’d be flying in and out of Milan and spending at least some time there visiting with my cousins who live and own a restaurant just outside of the city. Other than getting a chance to spend time with family, going to the Milan Expo is definitely at the top of my list of things to do while in Milan. I also hope to visit a few places I went to on my last trip to Italy (which coincidentally was for my cousins’ wedding) like the Duomo.
I’ve been dying to go to Cinque Terre ever since I first saw a picture of it. I can’t wait to explore the five towns, admire the gorgeous views, and try the delicious pesto, focaccia, wine, and seafood they are known for.
While we went to Rome, Venice, and Milan on our last trip to Italy, we didn’t have time to fit in Florence. I’m a huge history and architecture buff and I can’t wait to explore the city and learn more about all it’s beautiful buildings. Plus, since Florence is fairly centrally located, it will be the perfect home base for exploring one or two Tuscan or Umbrian towns and maybe checking out a winery or two!
No trip to Italy for me would be complete without a few foodie adventures and so when I found out that Bologna is home to the Gelato Museum in addition to being the birth place of some of my favorite foods (who doesn’t love tortellini) I knew it had to make it onto the itinerary. As if there wasn’t enough great foods to try in Bologna it’s also less than an hour train ride to Parma and Modena the homes of Parma ham, Parmigiana Reggiano, and Balsamic vinegar.
Be sure to keep an eye out in September for posts with #ItalianSoiree2015 to learn more about my trip and all the amazing places, food, and people I meet! In the meantime, I’d love to hear your suggestions of what should make it onto our must do & see list for Brussels, Milan, Cinque Terre, Florence, & Bologna!