We love Italy! With the name Locurto, we fit right in. I hope you enjoy a photo recap and Italy travel tips from of our vacation to Venice, Florence and Rome. Italy is a gorgeous country and should definitely be on your bucket list!
Italy Vacation Travel Tips
Have you ever been to Italy? I was deleting old files on my server when I found vacation photos that I posted about 10 years ago from our trip to Italy. This was way back before I started writing about travel on my website.
Our trip to Italy… Venice, Rome, Florence and the beautiful Tuscany country side was pre-kids, when life was so much easier! LOL! My husband and I could sleep late, were young, in-shape and could go on trips when and where ever we wanted… oh… the good ol’ days:-)
I’ve gone back through this post and updated it with links and recommendations to our Italy hotels (the ones I can remember) and other places we loved. Come on and enjoy my long lost Italy trip down memory lane…
I remember Rome being so crowded and the traffic was insane. I loved seeing the historical sights, but my best memories are of the nice neighborhood cafes that we hid away in near our hotel. I so wish I could remember where we stayed! I know it was north of the city, near the Piazza del Popolo and out of the hustle and bustle of the city. That area is well worth the expense for the quiet nights. You can easily walk to the northern gate of the city, but enjoy being out of the crowds. Try searching Hotels.com to find great deals for hotels near the Piazza del Popolo. They are all very nice in that area!
Here we are ready for a night out near our hotel in Rome. Is that the “Rachel cut” from Friends?? LOL!
The Piazza del Popolo is a gorgeous landmark square which is Rome’s northern gate. This courtyard with giant lions was the first glimpse we got of Rome. I was in awe!!
The Colosseum was the most breath taking thing I’ve ever seen. We stayed here for hours and it was one of my most favorite things to see in Rome. Take a virtual tour of the Colosseum here.
This photo of the nuns was taken near the Vatican. I remember practically chasing them to get this shot. They were walking so fast! I really enjoyed our Vatican tour and seeing the Sistine Chapel. It’s a MUST see if you have the time.
The Pantheon is one of the oldest and well preserved ancient temples in Rome. It’s also a must see in Rome!
Venice was my husband’s favorite city. Mostly because there were no cars and we stayed in a wonderful small hotel next to St. Mark’s Square where everything was located. Plus, everyone said our last name gorgeous! Venice is one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world.
The photo below is of our hotel’s garden courtyard. At the time, our Venice hotel, Hotel Flora, was our least expensive hotel of the trip. I was scared of what it would be like, because it was so cheap. (that was back before most small hotels had nice web sites and photos) It turned out to be our most favorite hotel of the trip!
Hotel Flora had the cutest Leonardo DiCaprio look alike young man show us around the area and take us on a boat ride through the city. The city didn’t seem real at all to me! I felt like I was in Disney World it was so perfect. Venice is amazing!
Here we are drinking vino on St. Mark’s Square and listening to beautiful music. Ahhhh Venice! This is where I saw the actor, Heath Ledger walk by us while we were eating outside. I waved, but I don’t think he noticed. LOL
Florence and the Tuscany country side were my favorite places on all of our trip! The food in Florence is AMAZING! We did some museums, but nothing compared to the food and shopping. You only need a day in Florence, unless you are very interested in cathedrals and museums (I was more about the food:-).
I would spend most of my time in Tuscany if I went back. It’s great to see the real “David” statue, but you can walk around and see amazing art outside without even venturing inside anywhere. We stayed at the Hotel Savoy which was very nice and within walking distance to everything.
I didn’t plan anything ahead of time. When we got there, I asked the hotel concierge to find me a tour of Tuscany. The next day, a Mercedes pulled up with a driver in a gorgeous Italian suit! He drove us all around the cities of Tuscany. It was so much fun! That was my favorite day.
I highly recommend working with your hotel because they get locals to guide you around. We even had time to tour a beautiful vineyard and plenty of time in the cities. I can’t remember the name of the vineyard, but it was like a medieval city on top of a hill. It was near Volterra and I’m pretty sure this was it.
I loved Florence mostly because of the food. Even the street vendors had the most unbelievable food! All I did was eat and eat some more in Florence. This was the first time I had ever seen Gelato! Now we have Gelato stores all over America, but this photo was taken way before it was popular here. I think we went to just about every Gelato shop!
Siena is a special place to me, because I named my daughter after this gorgeous city!! We were only here a day, but it stole my heart. It’s a must see if you have time.
The ancient city of Siena was getting ready for their famous horse race called Palio di Siena. They turn the piazza into a horse track and each horse and jockey represent a section of the city. Colorful flags representing each ward covered the city. This apparently is the most insane horse race ever! They fight with each other while racing and many of the jockeys get thrown off their horses. Would be pretty amazing and crazy thing to see someday.
That’s all I have for you today. Hope you enjoyed visiting Italy for the day. I’m ready to hop on a plane right about now!
What was one of your favorite vacations?