First Leg: Italy
At the end of September I fly to Frankfurt to start my 3 month trip to “Europe”, which I have been aching to do ever since I visited Germany over 5 years ago. I put Europe in quotations because it’s easier to say that to most people. In reality, I am spending extended time in Italy, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and Spain. This post will cover the first leg of my trip and where I am going. For most places, I plan on staying at least 3 nights unless it’s a transition city.
Italy has been a place I have wanted to visit my whole life. Whether is was through animation, Dan Brown books, The Thief Lord, or blogs like Wandering in Italy, my fascination with this country has grown exponentially throughout my life and I look forward to exploring it.
I chose to do a round trip flight from Frankfurt. I realize I could’ve done an open claw ticket, but I liked the idea of starting and ending in Germany. Also, I am sure it will be easier to adjust to spending this length of time on my own by starting in a country where I can at least speak the local language (to a sad….sad extent).
Ahh, Switzerland. Your expensiveness deters me from your borders, but I thought it would be nice to use you as a base before I stop in Milan.
Milan is another stopover city. I may spend 1-2 nights here. If anything, I am more interested in the expo than much else.
The only time I had ever heard of Turin is when they hosted the winter Olympics. Most likely because Canada did so poor in hockey that year. However, Turin has a lot of cultural significance, is supposed to be home to a lot of great food and some really good views.
Most people tend to skip over Genoa for more time in cities like Rome or Florence, and I’m not sure why. Anyone I have spoken to has said they thoroughly enjoyed their time in Genoa and there is a lot of history that gets overlooked here. Also, SEAFOOD. A short day trip from Genoa can take me into Portofino, which seems overly costly to stay in… Genoa will be my first hostel experience since Berlin, in 2009.
The first time I was exposed to the Cinque Terre was on a Canadian run travel show in junior high, and the desire to go there only grew once reading all of the blogs and stories about this place. Cinque Terre is made up of 5 towns built into the hills of the Italian Riviera. I plan on exploring the trails between the towns on foot, hopefully the rainy season hasn’t set in by then…
Lucca was another small place that gained some of my interest and is probably well worth the 2 night stay. I’ve been told to bike around the large walls of the city and to wait until night to stroll through the town.
I already knew about Florence. It’s art and history are the reason why tourists maul this town throughout the year. But lets be honest, I am really going there to re-trace Robert Langdons footsteps.
Bologna stood out to me originally because of where it’s located (between Florence and Venice), so it was an easy choice. I have not booked any accommodation here in case I decide to go to Verona instead. However, Bologna stands out because of one major thing: FOOD. The porticoes don’t look to shabby either.
By this time in October, I am hoping the tourists boats reduce a little bit. I am merely coming here to see how many times I can get lost over 3 nights. I managed to snag an Airbnb in a great location as it was booked up every other night in October, so I should be in for a good time. Anyone who has had anything negative to say about Venice hated it for the same reasons:
- it’s hot and busy all the time
- I only spend the days here and stayed over night in nearby towns on the mainland
Whelp, I hope I can avoid that by going out earlier in the morning and being able to stay out later at night after all the cameras leave.
After Venice, I plan on trekking back to the most convenient airport to start the second leg of my trip to Spain and Portugal.
Yes, a lot of you probably think I am over planning, but considering this is a country I have wanted to visit for so long, I see no problem with booking accommodation in places I have to see before I go. “Why aren’t you going to Rome?” is a question I will most likely ignore until I get back :p Also, I do plan on going back on day, and I’ll go south at that point.
Have you been to any of these places? What are your thoughts on them?
Next: More on Dresden