I read through this forum a lot when planning my first trip to Italy with my husband so thought I should give a trip report in case anything we did or anywhere we stayed might help someone else.
Here we go:
On july 3rd we flew from Calgary, Canada to Rome. Based on advice here we went straight to the train station and directly to Florence right away, instead of staying the night in Rome. It made for a long travel day but we were so excited it honestly went by really fast.
In Florence we stayed at the Hotel L'Orologio and would highly highly recommend it. It is right in Santa Maria Novella square. Not a lively square by any means but it was a block and a half from the train station (was really clean and safe considering how close it was) and a couple blocks from the duomo. Everything was really close to the hotel.
The hotel itself: Rooms were a nice size, very modern and very clean. The breakfast was the same every day but there was ample of it and it was always fresh and they would make you any kind of coffee drink you wanted on request which we really enjoyed.
Our first day we opted to do a Taste of Florence tour. I saw reviews on Trip advisor and thought it might be a good way to see the city. We had such a great time! Learned a lot and also tasted a lot of food in the four hours. IT even included a wine tasting.
Another tour we did that I found on trip advisor was the Tuscany Bike Tours. We did a full day bike tour that included a wine tasting, tour of a castle and a big lunch half way through the bike ride at a farm house. It was such a beautiful way to see tuscany and it was so fun!!!
We had so many great meals in Florence and did most of the other touristy things while we were there like seeing david, climbing the duomo etc. Not sure how much into detail I should go without boring people.. but WE LOVED FLORENCE.
After five nights in Florence we took the train to Pisa and spent one night there so we could see the Leaning tower. We stayed at Hotel Bologna and it was good. nothing to rave about, nothing to complain about.
We rented a car the next morning and got on the road to head to Montepulciano where we would stay the next three nights. On our way we stopped at Castello Verrazzano to do the wine and food experience tour. It was about 4 hours long and included a full meal with wine pairings after the tour. Another really fun tour!
We got to our villa in Montepulciano just after 6pm and we were wowed. We stayed at Villa Poggiano based on trip advisor reviews and we are so glad we did. Our suite was very large and very clean. The grounds were impeccable, so so beautiful and the views across tuscany were amazing. there was also a LARGE beautiful pool that was basically just for us each day or maybe one other couple. If you are looking for a place to stay in Tuscany I recommend it. Stephania was such a gracious host and so helpful too.
We did a day tour into Siena one day which was fun. We also did another wine tour at Avignonesi. Just a regular tour, good wine. And of course we spent a day at the pool and toured and went into Montepulciano for dinner. We had an amazing meal at the restaurant there at Osteria Acquacheta. They make amazing florentine steak!
After three nights at the villa we drove down the coast to Positano. We actually just drove to Sorrento and dropped the car off there b/c we heard the roads got tricky past there. SO glad we listened to that advice! We got picked up in Sorrento by a driver sent by our hotel, and he took us there. We stayed at the Hotel Poseidon and we were very happy with our choice. The rooms weren't anything special (especially compared to our florence hotel and the villa) but our view was AMAZING. We could sit for hours on our balcony staring out. We stayed in Positano for five nights. We did one tour which was a boat tour to capri. Capri was fun and we did the little chair lift ride up to the top of mount solaro (anacapri) and that was amazing. I think it was 7euros each and the views were breathtaking.
All of our meals in positano were incredible. we picked all our restaurants based on trip advisor and would go to all of them again. The ones we went to were: La Tagliata, Ristorante Scirocco, Ristorante buca di baco, Ristorante da Constantino, Da Vincenzo and Ristorante Max (art gallery and wine bar). We usually spent around 100euro a meal which we thought was not bad considering all we got and how good it was.
Finally after Positano we were driven to the train in naples and took the high speed train to Rome for our last four nights. We stayed at Barocco Hotel. Really happy with this hotel. It was in Piazza Barberini and we were able to walk everyone, with exception of the vatican which we took the subway too and it was right around the corner from our hotel. So easy. The rooms were small but gorgeous and very clean and the breakfast was really really good each day. Even made to order omelettes and eggs.
Out of all the places we visited, Rome is the one place we were glad to have seen but we don't feel the need to go back. We did the vatican tour, the scavi tour and the tour of the Colosseum. The rest of the time we walked around to the different piazzas & 'must sees' like the pantheon and trevi fountain. We enjoyed just walking around and stopping for a drink or lunch in the different squares. We ended up in the big park there in rome which was really pretty and we rented a double bike and grabbed a couple beers and drove it around for an hour. Again we picked our restaurants based on trip advisor and were happy with all of them. They were all within walking distance of our hotel.
Sorry if this is all over the place or boring to read. Its my first trip report so not sure if I really did this right. Mainly I just wanted to give the layout of our trip and the hotels we stayed at and tours we did that we would recommend. Overall our trip was from july 3-21st and we found it to be the perfect amount of time in each place (granted we could have stayed in all of them longer, but none of them felt too short).
Thanks and any questions please just ask
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Trip report - Florence, Tuscany, Positano & Rome