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 yet. This was such a rewarding experience to see where my father was born!
My Trip to Italy
My trip to Italy lasted 7 days and I tried to fit in as much as I could in that time. I spent all of my time in Northern Italy this trip.
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. This trip I didn’t spend any time in Milan, but I hope to get back because there are so many things to do in Milan. 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.
Northern Italy Vacation
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. Having a hometown city guide was a great way to start my trip to Italy.
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.
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.
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 jam packed of tourists. That isn’t really my thing, but I am still glad I made time to get to Venice.
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. We stayed at Tornabuoni Suites Collection in Florence. One day was not enough to fully experience all that this beautiful city has to offer. From the moment I arrived, I was struck by the city’s stunning architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture. I spent the day exploring the city’s many museums and galleries, marveling at the works of art by some of the world’s most famous artists.
But what really stood out to me was the city’s food and wine. I sampled local specialties like ribollita and bistecca alla fiorentina, and enjoyed a glass of Chianti while taking in the stunning views of the city. Of course, some gelato was in order, too! The flavors and aromas of Florence’s cuisine left me wanting more, and I knew that one day was simply not enough to fully explore all the culinary delights this city has to offer.
As I left Florence, I promised myself that I would return one day to spend more time exploring this incredible city. There is so much more to see and do, and I can’t wait to experience it all again. Perhaps with some Tuscany wine tours from Florence, I could spend a full week enjoying the area. Florence truly is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Italy, and I can’t wait to go back and discover more of its wonders.
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.
We went to Riomaggiore Beach which was quite secluded but a rocky beach. It was perfect for some sunbathing. There are many beaches in Northern Italy which deserve a whole separate trip to visit them all.
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.
My Trip to Italy Vlog
You can watch my trip to Italy vlog below or directly on YouTube for better quality.
Thanks for watching my trip to Italy vlog and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel.
Thanks for following along on my trip to Italy! I plan to be back in Italy soon and would love to visit Naples or see all the famous buildings in Rome. There is so much more that I want to see and do!
You Might Also Like
This blog post is brought to you in collaboration with Hotels.com . Thank you for supporting the brands that support me.
Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.