I returned on Sunday from Italy. This holiday was probably the best ever. I travelled alone, so it was a completely self-centred experience: I enjoy the freedom of not having to pander to anyone else’s requirements, doing exactly what I want, at my own pace. My own pace tends to be warp-speed, which is why most people would not be interested in travelling with me anyway.
I thought 17 days would be enough to satiate my desires, but it has not, and I am experiencing the usual melancholy that we all encounter on return to normal life after an exciting trip to a place we dearly love.
I thought I should start my trip report, so I can live through it all again while the memory is fresh in my mind, which might help me get over my melancholy.
Thank you to everyone that contributed to my planning. My itinerary was revised many, many times: The more I read, the more I wanted to see. I finally ended up with the following itinerary:
Fri 15th Sept: Fly from London City Airport to Venice. Explore Padua. Stay Padua
Sat 16th Sept: Explore Padua. Stay Padua
Sun 17th Sept: Day trip to Vicenza. Stay Padua
Mon 18th Sept: Explore Padua. Stay Padua
Tues 19th Sept: Day out with a guide to visit Palladio villas (Villa Emo, Villa Barbaro, Villa Foscari). Stay Padua
Wed 20th Sept: Morning exploring Vicenza. Afternoon exploring Padua. Train to Ferrara in the evening. Stay Ferrara
Thurs 21st Sept: Explore Ferrara. Stay Ferrara
Fri 22nd Sept: Explore Ferrara. Two trains to Siena in the evening. Stay Siena
Sat 23rd Sept: Explore Siena. Stay Siena
Sun 24th Sept: Explore Siena. Bus to Perugia in the evening. Stay Perugia
Mon 25th Sept: Explore Perugia. Stay Perugia
Tues 26th Sept: Day trip by bus to Gubbio. Stay Perugia
Wed 27th Sept: Day trip by bus to Assisi. Stay Perugia
Thurs 28th Sept: Day trip by bus to Todi. Stay Perugia
Fri 29th Sept: Day trip by train to Spello. Train to Florence in the evening. Stay Florence
Sat 30th Sept: Explore Florence. Stay Florence
Sun 1st Oct: Explore Florence. Late afternoon flight from Florence to London City Airport
A bit of advice on Technology:
A Smart-Phone is your best travelling companion: I used to say that the only traveling companions I really needed was a passport and a credit card. Now, I will add a Smart-Phone (iPhone in my case) to that list. I used it for navigation from A to B, as I explored the towns (absolutely vital for me, who cannot read a map to save my life); to find and book restaurants when I was on the go; to check train times; to check opening times of attractions; to download and read information on-line on towns, museums and galleries. I foresee a time, in the very near future, when I completely ditch bringing guide books with me, and rely totally on my iPhone. In addition, I download my Audible books and Netflix movies to my phone to listen and watch when on trains and in restaurants. I also use my phone to take pictures in churches and museums.
Portable Power Bank: An absolute necessity if you use your Smart Phone as much as I do during the day. Very cheap and worth the investment. I brought two with me, just in case.
Multiple USB Charger: I bought one in TKMAXX for about £12 – charges 5 devices and weights almost nothing. It was so useful. In the first hotel, there was only ONE Power outlet, so I would have been in trouble had I not had it. I was able to plug in my iPhone, iPad, camera, two power banks each night.
Next: The Hotels
Best regards … Ger
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Ger’s Italian Trip Report: Padua, Ferrara, Siena, Perugia and Florence