In September I visited Norway, Italy and France. I had been looking forward to my trip to Italy for a long time. My father grew up there and I never had the opportunity to visit. This was such a rewarding experience to see where my father was born! I was there for 7 days and tried to fit in as much as I could in that time.
On my trip to Italy I used Hotels.com to research and book my accommodations. I love that they have reviews written by previous guests to read, which always helps me to narrow down which hotels to book. All these hotels that I stayed in on my trip to Italy are bookable through the Hotels.com mobile app or online.
My trip started with me flying into Milan from Oslo. I was planning on focusing on northern Italy, which is the area that my father grew up. From Milan I was going to take the train to Parma, but I decided to hire a driver instead. The cost was more, but it saved me a lot of time and took me from door to door.
Parma is the city that my father was born, and he lived in that area until he immigrated to Canada. I stayed with a family friend for a few days in Parma and she showed me around the city. We rode bikes one day as it is a great way to get around and see everything. We also ate a lot of food. I even tired horse which was quite tasty (once you got past the horse part of the experience) and the coffee there was just to die for. It was nice to see my family, try new things and explore Parma. It wasn’t as busy as the other cities I visited in Italy and less touristy. I hope to get back there soon and stay for longer.
From Parma I took the train to Venice early one morning. I spent a couple of days in Venice and met Nicole my photographer there. We spent the rest of the trip traveling together. In Venice we stayed at the Hotel de Codega. Venice was so pretty but incredibly busy and jampacked of tourists. That isn’t really my thing.
We went to all the iconic locations and of course ate amazing food and way too much gelato. I highly recommend doing stuff early in the morning because it gets very busy and crowded. The highlight of my stop in Venice was a gondola ride but it was expensive. For an hour it cost $80 Euros…which is about $120 Canadian. You only live once though…right!?!
Nicole and I then rented a car and made our way to Florence where we spent one day. I stayed at Tornabuoni Suites Collection in Florence. Florence was a fast stop, but we did manage to see all the hot spots and enjoy the amazing weather we had there. Florence is full of beautiful buildings and the walkway along the Arno River is just breathtaking.
From Florence, we then drove to Cinque Terre where we spent two days exploring the area. I stayed at Appartamenti e Camere Edi in Riomaggiore which is one of the villages in Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre stole my heart for sure. There was so much beauty and colour in one place. I couldn’t help but just fall in love with all 5 towns in the region. We stayed in Riomaggiore but took the train to the other towns to check them out. They are all just a little bit different but so pretty. We also did a boat tour around sunset and it was just breathtaking! Nicole and I had the boat to ourselves with the captain. Our boat captain was so funny and told us all about east place we passed on the tour. The boat tour was $70 Euros for two hours and I would say it was worth it. The views were out of this world.
I used rewards to book the places that I stayed, which is always a great way to keep trip costs down. Hotels.com Rewards are awesome! You collect 1 night for every night you stay at an eligible hotel. Once you have collected 10 Rewards nights, you’ll get 1 free night at an eligible hotel, and there are more than 297,000 worldwide. The value of your free night is equal to the average rate of the 10 nights you collected to earn it. It is as easy as that!
Thanks to Nicole Autumn Photography for all the images.
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Thanks for following along on my travels! I will be back to Italy soon. There is so much more that I want to see and do.
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