• Destination Focus – Venice, Florence and Rome

    by  • July 18, 2017 • City Breaks, Florence, Rome, Venice

    Are there any better cities than these three to introduce you to the exquisite country that is Italy. Experience all three in one week with Cities Direct and a tailored itinerary.

    Day 1 – Fly to Venice
    Spend your first day getting acquainted with the narrow passageways and getting lost among the bridges and waterways. The phrase “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” is reused under a new meaning; just keep crossing bridges and you’ll find something interesting.

    Don’t miss: You simply must donate some time to St. Mark’s square and the Doge’s Palace, you can cross the Bridge of Sighs from the inside and see what the prisoners really saw as their last view of Venice, with a few hundred added tourists of course!

    Something different: I think the islands of Murano and Burano are essential viewing when visiting Venice. You may have heard of Murano glass, well it’s made here and you will find multiple opportunities to see the craft coming to life, it’s an incredible sight. The island of Burano is known for it’s fantastical colour, all buildings are painted in the most marvellous vibrant and fun hues, don’t forget to take a camera, you’ll want to capture everything. Catch the number 12 waterbus and spend a full afternoon exploring both islands.

    Burano Island, Venice

    Top tips: Download a good map and use the GPS system on your phone, even though getting lost is inevitable and even encouraged by some, this could at least help you get home.

    Day 3 – Travel to Florence
    Florence has a bit more hustle and bustle. It feels a bit like a small version of Rome but it’s smaller and almost cosy.

    Don’t miss: Up first has to be discovering the Duomo, it’s one of the most attractive I’ve seen, walk in it’s general direction and gasp at its size and decoration as you open out into the square. A €15 ticket lasting 48 hours grants you one entry to the dome, bell tower, baptistry, crypt and museum.

    Florence

    Eat here: Florence hosts a fabulous food market, it’s near the train station, goes by the simple name Mercato Centrale; the downstairs is home to clothing and the many leather bags you’ll find all over the country, but the upstairs hosts dozens of food stalls. Even though this market isn’t exactly a secret it feels more authentic than other eateries in the centre; like a place where locals gather after work, where the food is cheap and the Aperol is flowing.

    Top tips: I found the best gelato I’ve ever had around the corner from Piazza di Santa Croce in Florence. It’s called Vivoli and it’s the creamiest most luxurious gelato I’ve tasted. The tiramisu (my favourite) even had coffee soaked cake in it, perfection.

    Day 5 – Travel to Rome
    I hope you’ve saved some energy this week, because Rome is going to be a busy one. Another step up from Florence, it’s bigger, louder and more exciting. Rome holds a hectic grandeur that’s still full of charm.

    Look out: I would recommend walking as much as you can because even between the points of interest, you are guaranteed to stumble upon another worthwhile chunk of history. There’s something awesome around every corner.

    Don’t miss: My highlight from Rome would be St. Peter’s Basillica, it’s the most awe inspiring religious place that I’ve been, the detail and grandeur cannot compare anywhere else.

    Other highlights include the Coloseum and Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Sistine Chapel, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Vatican City, and everything in between. Couple this with eating as much pasta as you can you’ll have more than enough to fill your time.

    Top tips:  Try to book tickets for an early slot at the Vatican, the mid afternoon crowds and tour groups can really get in the way. Also visit the Trevi Fountain by night as well as by day, there will be (marginally) fewer crowds there and by night it’s lit up like a magical grotto.

    Day 8 – Fly home
    Return home to tell your stories to jealous ears and share unbelievable photos from a whirlwind week. But if this isn’t enough you can easily tag on a trip further south to the Amalfi coast before going home.

    Contact Cities Direct on 01242 536900 to discuss this holiday experience.