We visited Venice, Florence, and Rome, in that order and wouldn't have had it any other way. We got lost in Venice, literally. We didn't get international cell service so we relied on offline phone maps, but they were constantly delayed, so we never could figure out directions. We did however figure out how to order 2 cafe's (aka espresso) and 2 pastries in Italian quite successfully, and that's what's most important, right? We also ended up purchasing a selfie stick for 5 euro (suck it $30 selfie stick in the JFK airport), and we ended up with some great pictures! There are no cars allowed on the streets in Venice, so we could walk in the middle of the roads at our leisure and pop into shops and bars for a snack on just about every street/bridge/canal, you name it. We took an infamous gondola ride, visited the rainbow colored island of Burano, and even had a professional photographer take our pictures so that we would have something other than selfies or pictures of just one or the other. Husband of the year, people!
Florence proved to be my favorite city of the 3. While there are cars allowed there, the people were so warm and inviting. We stayed at an adorable AirBnB just outside the city centre, but close walking distance to the Duomo, Uffizi, and Accademia museums. We spent one whole day traveling to Cinque Terre, which I have been dying to see for as long as I can remember. 5 little fishing villages off the cliffs of the sea with colorful homes as far as the eye can see, and gorgeous ocean views. Only 5,000 people live there, but they had over 10 million tourists visit last year. We spent another day with a small group, shopping for fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats at the local markets before heading to a private Tuscan villa to learn how to make a 7-course meal from a professional chef. Such a fun day learning about local and culinary history and how simple it can be to make classic Italian dishes in your very own home. Plus, Florence had the best gelato in my opinion, so it won in the dessert department.
you might think that's snow, but it's actually Carrera marble!
Last stop, Rome. Ah, Rome. Your crazy drivers, militia with rifles on just about every corner, and gorgeous architecture will never be forgotten. We spent 5 days in Rome, being sure to see the sights like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Forum ruins, the Vatican, and all the other usual suspects. It was in Rome that Andrew surprised me with dinner reservations at La Pergola, Rome's only 3-Michelin star restaurant. And at the end of our culinary 10-course adventure we even got to meet the Chef Heinz Beck, himself. Something I will surely never forget! We also met up with Andrew's cousin and her daughter for an afternoon of sightseeing and local shopping.