Italy was fantastic. It was everything I thought it would be and more. I have never eaten so much in all my life. If I didn’t walk several hours every day, I would have had to buy an extra seat on the plane for the trip home.
If you care, or if you are thinking of going to Italy, here are the places we stayed at / visited :
Milan – everyone dresses like they have just stepped out of an Armani catalogue. It is amazing. And no matter how much you try and dress up, you never look as good. Probably the most expensive place we went.
Biella – little town at the foothills of the Italian Alps. Great place but was only there for my mate’s wedding (which was unbelievable – every woman’s dream wedding).
Lake Como – I’ve have travelled a fair bit in my life and this is probably the nicest place I’ve ever been. The scenery and the surrounds are so unbelievably perfect that it doesn’t look real. It looks like a movie set and I had to pinch myself every half hour.
Santa Margherita – on the western coast of Italy. Hotel was right on the water. Wasn’t happy about paying Euro14 (A$22) just to use a bloody deck chair at their own hotel where we were paying about $350 per night. Town was very busy but it was our gateway to the Cinque Terre and Portofino – both great spots.
Portofino – nice little village on the coast. Quite famous and quite expensive.
Vernazza – great little village on the Cinque Terre coast. Much better than Portofino.
Lucca – great old walled-city. Very nice, only spent a few hours there.
Tuscany – second best to Lake Como. Once again so amazing it didn’t seem real. Amazing country-side full of vineyards and crops.
Siena – another amazing walled-city. Would like to stay there next time.
San Gimignano – another very old town, bit touristy but worth a look.
Florence – really nice place. Enjoyed this the most out of the big cities.
Rome – very busy, full of tourists, mainly Americans. Was too hot to do anything when we were there – 38 and 39 degrees for 4 days straight. Did see the Colosseum which was truly amazing and we stayed only 50 metres from Trevi Fountain (if you’ve seen one fountain, you’ve seen them all…).
If I did it all again, and if possible, I’d probably do it in a different order. I’d start with all the big cities and all the sight-seeing (Rome, Florence etc) at the start, and then do all the laid back places (Como, Tuscany etc) at the end.