As promised earlier, after giving you tips to prepare for your Italian getaway in la Dolce Vita volume 1, I will share with you the best destinations to visit, shop, eat and relax!
In order to set a planning for each day, a very practical tool was Visit a city.
So first: andiamo a Roma! When in Rome: eat, breath and talk like Romans, mingle with locals:)
Taking an early flight, we arrived around 2 pm to our hotel, we were too tired of course of our sleepless night, so we took it easy and just strolled around the hotel in Manzoni area. As per hotel’s recommendation, we had lunch in La taverna italiana, check my review here. It was not enjoyable so I don’t really recommend it!
However the major discovery that day was Palazzo del Freddo, it is a must try: fresh flavors, smiley hosts, and generous portions! It got us addicted!
Our second day started early with a visit to the Spanish steps, accessible by metro from Roma Centrale, and Piazza di Spagna. It was under renovation but still we have enjoyed a nice stroll around.
Few minutes walking from there, you can visit The Pantheon for free. The piazza facing it was boosting with street merchants and bands playing music.
Also, the famous Trevi Fountain is walking distance; though we were advised to visit it either early morning or late night, we arrived midday! It was a bit crowded but we had managed to squeeze in and get some good shots!
Another nearby place is Piazza Navona with many artists spreading their work for sale; and there are good ones to catch!
While there, we enjoyed lunch in Alla Rampa, check my review here. Generous portions and authentic food.
The third day was dedicated to Vatican museum’s visit: this time, I do recommend going like we did on Tuesday or Thursday, since Sunday it is closed, many people would go Monday, as for Wednesday: it is the day the pope welcomes people so you can imagine the crowd! Friday and Saturday are not recommended days for visits either.
Anyway we have not booked our “skip the line” tickets before, however, we tried to arrive there early and managed to bargain for 35 euros per person with this tour. The rain did not stop us from enjoying the beauty of the art displayed, our necks hurt from looking at the marvelous ceilings! Be careful though you are not allowed to take photos of the Sistine Chapel.
Lunch was enjoyed in very beautiful trattoria Bianco’s Vespette e Forchette a must visit and is just a few minutes walking from the museums.
In the afternoon, we visited the Colosseum, with one ticket you can visit the Colosseum as well as Palatine Hills and the Roman forum. And the best thing is that the ticket was available for the second day! We also enjoyed a nice stroll in Via del moro, which is a very young destination worth checking!
Our fourth day was dedicated to Naples visit. We did not manage to book the train tickets earlier but I do recommend you to catch good deals on Italo Treno.
First, we headed to Castel dell ovo, being there for one day only we couldn’t enter to visit so we can check other places too. We visited Spaccanapoli a secret gem for street art and artisan work. We enjoyed getting lost walking from there to the train station which by the way is worth checking too!
We opted for street food this time, enjoying a Calzone fresh from the oven in Pizzeria di Gennaro and it was worth it! As for dessert, we enjoyed a cone of gelato (minus the service!) in Pasticcerie Leopoldo!
For the last two days, we went to Tuscany area. In Florence, a must visit is Gallerie degli Uffizi, where you can check the art of several painters as well as sculptures. You can have a sneak peek on the Ponte Vecchio! Better would be walking few minutes to stroll by the water and enjoy the view. You can place a lock for a love yet to come! The best of the visit is the Florence cathedral and Duomo where we headed early morning to skip the crowded lines of tourists (no need to purchase tickets earlier!). From the Duomo, you will get the best view of the city. We were frequently grabbing salads to go and have not had a proper meal to mention in any restaurant.
We have booked a tour to Chianti, Siena and Monteriggioni with dinner. It is a very practical and affordable (55 euros per person) way to visit the region.
You can enjoy wine tasting in Chianti or just like me cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar tasting! Visit the fortress in Monteriggioni, and discover Siena with a guide from the area. We finished the tour with dinner in Il Bandierino, we were a bit deceived because it was a fixed menu and the tour agency did not announce it earlier so we had to stick with the options. Nonetheless, it was enjoyable since we met people coming from USA and Brasil so we had good times discussing of all and nothing!
As for shopping destination, you should definitely visit via del Corso few minutes away from spanish steps. You can find high-end designers brands as well as the more affordable ones. Via Nazionale was recommended to us too, but I did not find it a good destination compared to the first one. A practical option is within the central station too.
Do not come back home without your Obag a very creative idea where you can customize your bag from A to Z!
Looking forward hearing about your experience of La Dolce Vita in la Fa Niente land! Do not hesitate to comment if you have questions or other places to recommend!