In this next post of my Best and Worst Holidays Series here on the blog I have the pleasure of welcoming Della who blogs at Della Loves Nutella. Today she will be sharing one of her best holidays to date with us. Over to Della.
Best holidays ft Della Loves Nutella- An Italian adventure
Well hello to you my reader chums!
I’m a self confessed travel addict, who absolutely adores Italy. There’s just something about the Italian culture, delicious food scene and rustic vibe that always leaves me wanting more. My most recent Italian adventure included Rome and Venice. Prior to this trip, I had already visited Rome and loved it that much, I couldn’t wait to return. I chose both Rome and Venice as a birthday adventure for my boyfriend because he hadn’t been to Rome and I thought Venice would be a romantic trip for us both.
How I planned it
They say the best things aren’t planned, however when it comes to trips, planning is half the fun. When I knew I wanted to plan this Italian adventure, I began researching straight away to find the best deals and places to stay. The first stop for any trip is Skyscanner, and finding the cheapest flights available. I wanted to fly to Rome, train it to Venice and then fly back to London from Venice.
I booked a single flight to Rome through Skyscanner with EasyJet and a flight returning from Venice with Monarch. Unfortunately, Monarch went into administration prior to the trip, so it meant booking an extra night in Venice and different flights home – despite the extra cost, who can complain about another day in the canal capital of Italy? For the trains, it took a little bit of research to get a reasonably priced ticket – and I managed to bag a bargain €20 ticket on Trainline.eu. The cheaper rate however did account for a longer train journey to Venice, by two more hours. With the change in circumstances, the trip was 5 days long: 2 and a half days in Rome, half a day travelling to Venice (5-6 hour train journey) and 2 days in Venice before a late night flight home. And they were the best 5 days ever soaking up all things Italian with my other half.
In terms of accommodation, I always sway between Booking.com and AirBnB, depending on which is the most affordable for each location. For Rome, I found a charming guest house, Casa Herbart, located just five minutes from the Spanish Steps and nearby to all the local attractions (very convenient). In Venice, as everywhere is pretty pricey, it was hard to find something in budget, however AirBnB came to the rescue with the cutest apartment, situated in the backstreets of the city. The apartment was in the San Polo area, in walking distance to the best sights and plenty of tucked away charming canals. I also had to book an additional night elsewhere, due to the flight change and managed to find Hotel Airone for a reasonable price. It was located nearby to Piazzale Roma as well – which is the only access point to cars in Venice. This helped massively, as we only had to walk down for a transfer to the airport, and made the trip home very easy.
The city of Rome: historic sights, pizzeria’s galore and a charming ambience, is a location everyone should see at least once. Although just being in the city is the main highlight for me, there are many things to do that I’d highly recommend to Rome newbies and even those who’ve seen the city many times. It seems obvious to head straight to the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum, but that’s exactly what you should do.
There’s no better way to soak up Rome’s history than learning all the ancient facts at the Colosseum, and then making your way to the Roman Forum. Then after an afternoon at the these sights, visit the Trevi Fountain just as the sun is setting. The atmosphere is a lot calmer and the water glistens up under the night sky – a perfect romantic setting.
Another highlight has to be Piazza Navona. The piazza is home to bustling restaurants, locals selling their paintings and two beautiful fountains. It’s particularly pretty in the evening as the restaurants and bars light up, whilst you enjoy a bite of pizza. St Peter’s Basilica, the Spanish Steps, Piazza Venezia, the Pantheon, Piazza di Spagna (for upmarket shopping) should also be on your must-see list.
I’m still in awe of Venice to this day; the picturesque canals, characteristic back streets and rustic restaurants were everything I’d thought they would be – and more. There’s a charming, non-tourist appeal about Venice, despite the flock of tourists it sees each day.
It goes without saying that the gondola ride has to be amongst my Venice highlights. However, what I especially liked about it was the route we chose – our gondola ride went under the famous Rialto Bridge and around its surrounding area, soaking up the very best sights. Personally, I’d recommend to anyone visiting Venice to book their gondola ride on arrival, so they’re able to choose the route.
Canals are undoubtedly the main highlight of Venice, whether you’re on a gondola or passing down the backstreets just admiring the beauty, it’s something you can’t get over. I loved exploring the tucked away areas of Venice and seeing what off-the-beaten-path has in store, away from the main tourist hubs.
The tourist spots were also a massive highlight however – I loved walking through St Mark’s Square, visiting the St Mark’s Basilica and walking over the Rialto Bridge. My favourite ‘tourist’ thing was the canal cruise we took on our last day in Venice. It took us along the Grand Canal and the guide explained the history of Venice and I learned so much. The boat was small, hosting only 11 people making the experience much more intimate – which I preferred.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Whether you’re a family, couple or solo traveller, both Rome and Venice are two locations that will open your eyes to Italian culture, the very best food and some of Italy’s best sights. These are two places to go at least once in your lifetime!
Thanks so much to Della for sharing her best holiday in Italy. Hubby and I have been to Rome but are yet to visit Venice.