Travels

When in Italy

April 14, 2015

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What is the first thing that pops into your head when you think about Italy?

Pizza? Pasta? Architecture? Fashion?

Well those are all for sure very accurate descriptions of Italy’s culture and this is exactly where I went to discover all of the above, and more. Italy was such a magnificent dream it barely feels like any of it happened.

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This trip involved mostly going around Italy’s coast. We started off in Milan, known to be one of the fashion capitals of the world. I had already visited Milan before but I was with my parents instead. Most of the time traveling with your parents is a plus because you don’t have to worry about the planning of the trip. But going to Milan this time was different and more liberating since we could do whatever we wanted. So the first thing we did was visit the famous Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral) in the historical center. It was absolutely remarkable. We mainly walked around all of Milan aimlessly basically withkut a map which turned out to be so much fun. This is what I usually like doing because you get to find the most obscure and wonderful places that no one really knows about. Also, it’s a much more pleasant surprise when you run into randomly run into the more famous attractions (take a map with you though, just in case). Obviously we had a few things to tick off our bucket list though, so we fit that into our schedule.

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Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II, next to the Duomo

Our next stop was Genoa. We took the train which was really cheap and is actually one of the most efficient ways to get around to other cities in Italy. If you’re on a tight budget, I definitely recommend booking tickets on trenitalia, the national railway line. If you still don’t really know how to get from one city to the other (like the smaller coastal towns), then use rome2rio, which greatly helped me on this trip.

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Panoramic view of Genoa

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Genoa

I just absolutely love the buildings around Italy! They are so beautiful and charming, which really makes the experience of walking around the cities so much more lovely and exciting. The food is also succulent and delightful – gelato, pizza, biscuits, coffee, pastries, pasta, the list is endless. Have a good list of all the foods you want to try before you go and don’t stop yourself from buying something if you see it on the street or in a café, you will hardly never be disappointed! However, by the end of our trip we gained a few kilos…

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San Margherita Ligure – Portofino, Cinque Terre

Later, on our way to Pisa, we decided to stop by Portofino and spend the afternoon there. This place was wonderful and we were quite disappointed we couldn’t stay the night since we had already booked a night in Pisa. Another town we were considering visiting in Cinque Terre was Manarola (a definite must, I might add). These two towns are quite small and are easy to explore within a day or so. If you’re visiting Italy, you need to go visit Cinque Terre, trust me, you won’t regret it.

Traveling on a student budget can be sometimes stressful and restricted, so our main choice of accommodation were hostels. Thanks to hostel world we were able to find reasonably priced rooms that allowed us to sleep, shower, and travel easier!

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Tower of Pisa

Pisa was a small and cute city. The main attraction here was obviously the tower of Pisa and it was exactly what we expected (with a lot of tourists). We mainly walked around all day in the sun, which was great.

Our next stop after that was Positano on the Amalfi Coast (another must!) This town was absolutely breathtaking. Every minute we spent there was not wasted. It’s quite of a hike if you’re staying far up, but there are so many little alleyways that have the most magnificent view of the sea and the colored houses. The good thing about Positano is that you can stay there for a long time and take day trips to either Capri, Amalfi, Praiano, Sorrento, and other place among the coast.

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Positano

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Our last and final stop was Naples. Home of the pizza! We had the most delicious food here, beating any other city we had previously visited. Il Dominico and Sorbillo are two old and very traditional pizza restaurants in the middle of the city, and incredibly delicious. They’re a little small so if you’re having a hard time looking for them then you can ask a local and they will be able to tell you exactly where it is.

We later spent a day roaming around the old ruins of Pompeii, another incredible experience. It takes at least three hours walking around the ruins, so if you’re planning on going, give yourself a good day and bring a large bottle of water – you’ll get thirsty! And that was the end of our wonderful trip. Next stop: summer!

Enjoy and ciao

Pompeii

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