Planned 6 Day Trip to Italy
May 21, 2009
Few more hours to go and we are off to Italy…the excitement is just killing me. Words cannot express the anxiety of travelling to a place you only see in magazines, books and movies. Speaking of movies, we watched Angels and Demons (based on Dan Brown’s famous novel) last night. Since I haven’t read the book, I found the movie interesting. I would give it 8/10. The setting of the movie was in Rome, the eternal city. After doing my month long research of Italy, the places in the movie became familiar to me. “Hey, this is in my itinerary!” I said to myself in delight. Hahaha!
What are the places I plan to visit in Italy? I am blogging about it now to see how close I can stick to it when we are actually there. Considering how easily I get tired and how late I wake up in the morning, it will be a great feat if I complete my trip based on my plan below. I will need to wake up 30 minutes before 6 everyday during my stay in Italy!
We are flying Emirates because dear hubby is collecting his Skyward miles and we will be landing in Fiumicino around 2pm, Italia time. From there, we will ride a train to our hotel which is on the other side of Rome. I will write my review of the hotels after the trip.
Our first itinerary from the hotel is the Baths of Caracalla. From there, we will take a bus going to the Aventine and Circus Maximus. I will test my honesty in the Mouth of Truth in the Aventine and take pictures of Circus MAximus, one of the vast chariot race tracks of all time.
Italy is like heaven for photographers. Everywhere you turn is said to be photograph-worthy. The whole country is full of character and rich in history that’s why I do not how I could squeeze all the great places into 6 days. hmm?
Going back to day 1…After Circus Maximus, we plan to walk to the Colosseum. Everybody who goes to Rome has to see the Colosseum and the Vatican. We are going to take pictures of the place when the sun had already set as there will be more drama with street lamp lighting. Coolio! My friend also recommended to have a nice relaxing dinner in one of those restaurants along the Tiber River. That will wrap up our first half day in Rome.
Day 2 – Early breakfast at 6:00am. Just for your information, I checked the sunrise and sunset timings in Italy during my trip and it’s 5:45am-8:45pm. Long day isn’t it? After breakfast, we’ll head off to Campo di Fiori, where the market place will be alive with colorful flowers according to what I have read from the net. From there, it is just a stone’s throw away to Piazza Navona where local painters show off their talents to the public. The Pantheon isn’t too far away also. This will remind me of my college days when we were studying architectural history in my Interior Design classes. From Pantheon, we’ll walk to Castel St.Angelo passing through Piazza Navona again. Castel St.Angelo, like most of the structures in Rome, had a checkered history. The bridge of Castel St.Angelo leas to St.Peter’s Square in Vatican. We need to be here before 12pm for our guided tour. We booked online from the Vatican website. Our tour will cover St. Peter’s Basilica and Sistine Chapel (I think). Note to self, photography is not allowed inside the Sistine, therefore hide the camera when taking pictures of the Sistine Chapel. Hehehe.
Hopefully the Vatican tour finishes early so we can go to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Capitoline Hill for our Roman history backtrack. Take note that we will be having snacks while walking to save time. It will involve lots of water and cereal bars. After our Capitoline Hill, then we will have our first genuine Italian pizza in some highly recommended restaurant. No, not Pizza Hut. Another must-do in Italy is to try their gelatos.
Well, if we have successfully cramped all these destinations from 7am until 7pm, then we will head to the Spanish Steps and toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain which is a few blocks away. Interestingly, I wikied the Trevi Fountain and found out that if you throw one coin, you are ensured a return to Rome. Two coins will give you a new romance and three coins if you wish for marriage or divorce. Yikes! Better make sure I only throw one.
Down the street from the Spanish Steps is the Piazza del Popolo where the two symmetrical churches were built. If we are fast enough to still have time in our hands or feet, we will wander on the cobbled streets of Rome before we head off to our beds.
Our itinerary on our 3rd day will depend on our abiltiy to cover the places on the 2nd day. If we are satisfied with our 1 1/2 days in Rome, we will check out early in the morning and go a little south to Amalfi Coast through Naples. I googled Amalfi Coast and it’s a stunning place based on the images I saw. Three hours here will be enough for us to bask in the beauty of this town.
From here, we will go back to Rome to catch a train going to Firenze or what we call now as Florence – where Renaissance was born. It will be night time when we reach our B&B; accommodation so we will just roam the nearby streets and rest for the night.
Unfortunately, most historical places in Florence like Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia are closed on Mondays. So we are left to visit the oldest bridge, Ponte Vecchio and Brunelleschi’s Dome. We’ll cross the Ponte Vecchio to reach the Pitti Palace where the beautiful Boboli Gardens lie.
Afterwards, we will check out and catch a train to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Our trip to Italy will not be complete without a photo of us leaning with this famous structure. Hihihihi!
From here, we’ll be off to the romantic city, Venice. If we stick to our plan, we will be checking in our hotel while there is still daylight. We will have time to roam the streets of Venice until midnight. I see it to be picturesque place perfect for photographers like us. We will try to take the last vaporetto ride along the Grand Canal for a picture perfect evening.
After breakfast on our 5th day, we will go directly to St.Mark’s Square. There are a lot to see in this vicinity only – St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, Grand Council Chamber, Giant Stairway, Golden Staircase and much more. No need to walk far. We also have to see the Rialto Bridge.
After visiting all the must-see places in Venice, we will try to find our way to see the Dolomites. There are websites suggesting that the place ain’t too far from Venice and there even day tours available. The Dolomites is last in our checklist before we retire to our hotel in Venice.
Day 6 will be like the saddest part of our Italian journey. We need to catch the train back to Rome early in the morning because it takes about 6 hours to get to Rome and our flight back to Dubai is at 3pm. This is the time we will say “Arrivederci to Italia“.