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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Salve! Please critique our 2-week itinerary in Italy!

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Me and the wife are off to Italy for our honeymoon next month. We will start from romantic Venice, down to gorgeous Florence, and then spend the rest of our days in the luscious Cinque Terre, before staying a night in Pisa for our morning flight back home.

I'm going to try and write in a visual manner, so that you can visualize our trip. It will be our first time in Europe, that's why we're anxious if we can do this on our own. This might be long, so please bear with me. Here goes...


Day 0: Touchdown at Marco Polo airport around 10pm, so we don't have time and energy to do anything else but check into our room and sleep.

Day 1: After picking our jaws and eyeballs off the ground (we're in Venice!!) we'll start the day with the Secret Itineraries tour of the Doge's Palace. Then we'll get our pasta lunch from Dal Moro before using the same ticket to also enter Museo Civico Correr. Afterwards, we'll escape the crowded Piazza San Marco to climb the campanile of San Giorgio Maggiore for its amazing sunset panorama and drop by Il Redentore next door on the way back to our hotel via vaporetto.

Day 2: This day we visit the Dorsoduro district by starting with Ca' Rezzonico, walk over to a couple of cicchetti bars for a quick bite of lunch, and then we'll visit the grand churches of Santa Maria del Rosario and della Salute. We would then vaporetto across to the Basilica di San Marco to attend the evening mass beneath the illuminated gold mosaics blazing in all their glory! Then we'll melt the night away at the now-empty Piazza San Marco listening to the free concerts.

Day 3: A trip to the outlying islands of the lagoon! We'll start by going over to Murano and its Glass Museum, then to the ultra-colorful Burano and its Lace Museum. We'll have a mellowed lunch and continue on to Torcello for a leisurely pace towards the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, then we'll ride the vaporetto through the sunset on our way back.

Day 4: Today we'll skip the water buses and just walk over to the San Polo district to visit the Basilica dei Frari, Campo San Polo, and the Ca' Pesaro. Then onwards to the Ponte di Rialto area to visit the food bars and souvineir shops. Then we'll ride the traghetto across to Ca' d'Oro and spend the afternoon getting ourselves lost on our way north to Campo di Ghetto Nuovo before going on another cicchetti bar crawl.

Day 5: Nothing officially planned on this day. But we might walk off the cicchetti calories off visiting the myriad of museums all over Venice. We could have our pick from Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Casa di Carlo Goldoni, and Palazzo Mocenigo. A bite at Al Merca for lunch. Then if we manage to find ourselves in Piazza San Marco again, we might peek inside the Biblioteca and the Museo Archeologico. Or we could ditch the indoor stuff altogether and just explore the Venetian labyrinth.


Day 6: Early morning Italo Prima class seats to Florence! We'll arrive mid-morning and check into our apartment somewhere near Piazza della Repubblica. And after having lunch, we'd go to the Duomo to climb the cupola and visit its baptistery. We'll grab some gelato on our way to Santa Croce, then lounge around Piazzale della Signora after our dinner at All'Antico.

Day 7: We have a cooking tour today! After a morning exercise of climbing up the Duomo's campanile, we'll join the cooking tour at a nice cafe to get some bread and then we'll go visit a historical food market for the rest of the ingredients. Then we're off to a Tuscan farmhouse where we'll make our own lunch course (bruschetta, pasta, pizza, pork roast, herbed potatoes, tiramisu, and gelatto) all gulped down with Chianti wine. Once back in Florence, we'll attend the English evening mass at the Florentine Cathedral and have our dinner at I Due Fratellini.

Day 8: Our last full day in Florence. We'll start by drowning ourselves in art at the Uffizi Gallery and have cafe on its terrace. After crossing the crowded Ponte Vecchio, we'll mellow inside the Bardini Gardens before gorging on the lunch buffet at Il Rifrullo (for just 10 euro!). Then using the path that runs right by the Giardino della Rose, we'll go up to San Miniato al Monte to enjoy the panoramic view and listen to the Gregorian chants and Latin mass since today is Ferragosto or Assumption Day!

4 Nights in CINQUE TERRE!!

Day 9: We'll take the FrecciaBianca and arrive mid-morning in Vernazza, our homebase. After checking into our room (a small apartment with unbelievable views), we'll grab something to
eat and visit Doria Castle and the town's church. Then we'll swim the afternoon away and have wine waaay up there in La Torre.

Day 10: A day dedicated to hiking! We'll take the early train to Corniglia, go down to the town center to buy some food, and then we'll go up the trails 587, 586, and 506 thru the dainty village of Volastra towards Manarola. After exploring and eating lunch, we'll take the train to Riomaggiore for a swim, enjoy the sunset at the cliffside restaurant of A Pie de Ma, and ride the train back to Vernazza.

Day 11: It's Tuesday and I've read that Vernazza has a quaint harbor open market during Tuesday morning, so we'll browse the stuff there and maybe ride the trains or ferry to another village where we can just spend the whole day munching our way all over town and swim the calories away till sun down. Then we'll buy food, wine, and have candlelit dinner at our own terrace.

Day 12: Our last full-day in Cinque Terre, time to visit the final town! We'll rise up early and hike up the trail SVA(2d) towards Monterosso, reward ourselves with gelato once we get there, and enjoy the amazing antipasto platter at Da Eraldo. Then we'll beach ourselves completely and take the train back home to Vernazza after dinner.

Day 13: Sad as we are to go, we have to say goodbye to the five villages and ride the train to Pisa. We'll meet up with Carla and stay at her bed and breakfast, then go gawk at the perfectness that is Campo dei Miracoli. We don't plan to climb the Pisa Tower, but we'll take tons of cliche photos and visit the baptistery and cathedral to say our prayers of thanks and goodbye to this lovely country.

Day 14: After a heavy breakfast feast, we'll be driven to the airport for our morning flight back home. These last few sentences were very hard to type, I could feel the heavy sadness just thinking of the end of our trip.

Day 15: We'll unlock our door, drop our bags, sprawl on the floor, and cry ourselves to sleep full of fatigue, content, and overflowing glorious memories.

So there you have it. Our plan for a 2-weeks stay in Italy. Thank you so much for reading this far! There are still so many things we want to do and see, but we don't have time to do them all. We'll just go back for a longer stay next time!

Do you guys have any suggestions or advice? Any place we should exchange for something more awesome instead? Anything is welcome!

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