I is for Italy: 3 Favorite Things from our Italian Vacation

As I mentioned yesterday in my reflection on the joy of being home, we just returned from vacation a few days ago. As we spent ten days in Italy, and the ‘I’ day fell just a few days after our return, it seemed fitting that I post something about the trip today. There will be more detailed posts coming, but for now, here are three of my favorite things from the trip. (Read all my subsequent posts on Italy.)

  1. Cinque Terre. My husband and I shared this Italian vacation with both sets of our parents, and I think all six of us agreed that Cinque Terre was a highlight of the trip. Beautiful, quiet, picturesque, and full of charm, the five cities that make up Cinque Terre will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a simpler (and more colorful!) world. Each city is a bit different and offers lots of opportunities to explore. We also found Cinque Terre to be much less crowded and less touristy than other places we visited, and as it’s a popular day trip, by dinner time, it was deserted and felt like our own personal seaside retreat. If you’re looking for quiet adventure, Cinque Terre is a great place to be. (Read my full city guide to Cinque Terre.)Cinque Terre, Italy
  2. Espresso. The Italians know their coffee. I’m not sure if espresso will ever be the same for me. From its fine quality to its steal of a deal (I never paid more than 1.50 euros for a shot) to the efficient Italian tradition of drinking it right at the bar and then going on your merry way, it’s going to be hard to adjust back to inferior American cups o’ joe.Italian Espresso
  3. Duomo di Milano. This cathedral is the largest in Italy, and the fifth largest in the world. But those facts, for me, were nowhere near as jaw-dropping as the terrace that you’re allowed to walk on. The fact that they let you walk all over this rooftop is just incredible to me. Construction on the church was started in the 1300s, and you can still walk on the roof like I’m sure you would have been able to when it was in constant use. And it’s not just a cupola like when you go up in Brunelleschi’s dome in Florence, it is the full width and breadth of this massive roof. It’s a unique and breathtaking adventure! (Read my full city guide to Milan, including the Duomo.)Duomo di Milano - Milan, Italy

Duomo di Milano Terrace 1

Duomo di Milano Terrace 2

Have you been to Italy? What were your trip highlights? Or tell me about your next dream trip!

THIS POST IS PART OF THE A-Z BLOG CHALLENGE, A MONTH OF ALPHABETICAL BLOGGING. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE A-Z CHALLENGE, OR CHECK OUT ALL MY A-Z POSTS.

13 thoughts on “I is for Italy: 3 Favorite Things from our Italian Vacation

  1. I went to Italy a couple of years ago with my mum. I had three highlights – Florence, Venice, and the Basilica of St Francis Assisi. St Francis is actually entombed there, and while I’m not a religious person, I was almost made into one when I went into his crypt. It had a completely unearthly feeling about it.

    Walking through Rome was pretty amazing though – you could feel the history all around you. My next dream trip (which I will be going on in August!!) is to Paris and London. My mum and I stopped in Paris for a couple of days on the way back from Rome, but didn’t get to see much, so I’m going back there for a week, and after that catching the train to London to wander around there for a week. I am ridiculously excited about the whole thing!

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    1. I, too, loved Florence and Venice, and I actually need to do a whole post on how magical Venice was. Our weekend there could not have been more perfect. I just looked up Assissi and I think I’m going to need to go there on our next trip to Italy. It looks amazing! Paris and London sound absolutely fabulous (I saw your Globe tickets on instagram — jealous!). I’ve also spent a handful of days in Paris, and it wasn’t enough, and I hope to go back some time for about a week. And I haven’t seen England at all yet…but the more places I discover I want to go there, the more I think I need to just move there for a little while. You’re going to have an amazing time, so exciting!

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  2. I studied in Italy for a summer when I was 19. By far, Cinque Terre was my favorite! I’d love to return there with Will someday. I lived in Florence, which was lovely, of course. And I was surprised by how much I liked Rome. I especially liked exploring the catacombs. I’m glad you got to visit Italy–and how wonderful to go with both sets of parents!

    ps- My book club’s consensus on “Bossypants” was “meh.” We all laughed at various points, but agreed that it was mostly forgettable.

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    1. Ah, how wonderful to study in Italy, Laura! Cinque Terre was repeatedly recommended to us, it seems it’s a favorite with many! It’s kind of a miracle to me that it still feels undiscovered and untouristy with how many people seem to love it.

      And it’s interesting that your book club didn’t love it either. Sadly not that funny.

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  3. I went to Italy when I was in college on a shoestring budget. I would love to visit again now as an adult with my husband. I did get to experience it in a beautiful way though, because we would study in the morning – literature, history, etc and then go visit sights in the afternoon. We stayed at a place run by nuns in Florence primarily, then went out to Pisa, Sienna, Venice & Rome. Beautiful! Nice post! Visiting from the A to Z – Cjswriting.com

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  4. I went to Italy back when I was 14 for a summer mission trip. I spent over a month in the south, in the city of Catanzaro. Though we got to take a couple sightseeing trips to Sicily and Rome. It was definitely one of the highlights of my life. I love Italy and Italian culture. I live in an area of New York with a lot of Italian immigrant families so I was able to study Italian for 5 years in school. Though by now I can’t remember most of it! I’d love to go back some day.

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    1. It’s a wonderful place, and I was told by several Italians that southern Italy is the best. I want to go visit that part of the country now. Hope you make it back soon!

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