Sunday, 15 April 2018

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List

“Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.” – Anna Akhmatova

I am back off to Italy, yet to book anything but for sure I am going back to my favourite place in the world- other than Barcelona of course!

I am first going to Milan, then Florence and to my absolute fav ... Rome! Depending on finances I may take a trip to Amalfi coast or Barcelona but I haven't quite decided yet!

I already have unfinished business with Rome, because of my bedbugs I had last year I couldn't do some of the places I wanted to visit. So I am going back to do it all over again!

Reasons why you should visit Italy? The architecture, the food and the people to name a few!

If you are planning your first trip to Italy, make sure to keep reading to check these places off of your bucket list!






Milan

First on my stop in September will be the sophisticated city of Milan, known for its grand architecture and high-fashioned shops. Known as Italy’s city of the future, I can’t wait to visit the metropolitan city home to the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.



Milan Cathedral




Also known as the Duomo, other than the fact it will look great on
insta, i am a massive fan of culture and always like to learn more about the history of different countries. Over 600 years old, this stunning building is made by pink Candoglia marble and has 135 spires - it is like something out of a fairy tale!

Originally built by Giangaleazzo Visconti in 1386, visitors can enter for a small fee of 3 euro and can visit the terrace for 13 euro - there are discounts available. The inside also just looks insane, every part of the inside is just full of detail - prepare your eyes! One of the many reasons it is on my ultimate Italian bucket list is because there is nothing like this where i live - once in a lifetime!




Visit the Navigli District





Described as a charming district and a perfect place for an aperitivo (sign me up!), this district is a great chance to admire the two canals that form this part of Milan. Fun fact - the man-made canals were made in 1100AD! Despite it being the oldest district of Milan, a burst of energy runs through it due to it’s collection of bars and millenials that go here.

Other than the bars, it is a great place to find antiques and every Sunday you will find traders lining the streets! The one thing i love about Italy is how many markets and antique stores they have. This has to be on your ultimate Italian bucket list!



The Last Supper




Italy has so many galleries with art that you simply cannot miss, that is obviously including the masterpiece by da Vinci - The Last Supper. Located at the Santa Maria delle Grazie, due to it’s fragile nature, visitors are only allowed to see it for 15 minutes - so if you go make the most of it!

Even if you are like myself and not a massive fan of art, don’t let it throw you off do something that you wouldn’t normally do! As it is one of the most famous murals, it is best to book! Tickets are 10 euro for an adult, with an added 2 euro booking fee.



Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II




Also recognized as the oldest active shopping mall in the world … yes the world! This luxe building is over 150 years old and home to some of the most high-end shops known to man. Even if you can only afford high street, go and visit the iconic building, the architecture of it is enough to amaze you!

Under a glass roof, it is the commercial connection to different parts of Milan. It boasts marble, mosaics and stuccoes that make it so iconic and well-known to people around the world. Not going to lie, I want a picture in front of a designer shop just to look sassy!



Florence


Last year it was either Florence or Rome, but I decided to go with Rome, however Florence was not off my radar. The beauty is what has swept me and I think every person on the planet off their feet! After Milan, I plan to go down to Florence for a few days and here are some reasons why!



Duomo




This was and still the selling point for me, not that you need one for Florence but my goodness I cannot wait to go here! Originating in 1296, this gothic landmark should be the first place you want to be! The interior is spacious and classic that can be appreciated by anyone, but what makes it special is it’s exterior due to its mixture of pink, green and white marble.

Entry is free but do expect a line to get it! To be honest, I think I would go in with a tour guide because I like to learn something new! You also must go and view Florence from above via the cupola! With no lift, you have to walk up 463 steps but it is worth it for the view but you do have to book! This has to be on the ultimate Italian bucket list!



Uffizi Gallery




Like I said before, even if you are not a lover of art sometimes doing something different makes your trip better! The building itself is impressive, which personally I think makes it better especially as I am not a massive art fan.

Due to its magnificent works, only small groups are allowed in at a time so that means waiting to get it. At this point I really do suggest getting a tour guide that skips the line - check out The Roman Guy (highly recommended). Anyway, when inside visitors can enjoy premier works of Italian Renaissance including Botticelli, Titian and da Vinci.



Boboli Garden




Away from the hustle and bustle of the city is the Boboli Gardens, working on placement in a travel company i got to research about different cities. Florence was my favourite and was always interested in this part.

As well as being a great place to relax, it is more than just a garden, it has history. It is an open air museum, home to statues, fountains and thousand old oak trees. Due to its prominence, is has also influenced the work of Versailles.



Piazza della Signoria




Piazza’s are easily my favourite part of Italy, yes i have only been to Rome and i only saw 2 (due to bed bugs) but on my list were at least 10 different Piazza’s to see. The reasons to visit were due to it’s open space, there are normally fountains and also great place to have an aperitivo and people watch!

That is the same as Florence, the Piazza della Signoria is an L-shaped plaza by Palazzo Vecchio. It is home to the David Statue and Uffizi Gallery and is full of political history. The feeling I got at Piazza Navona despite having bed bugs was so nice because all I wanted to do was sit and embrace being in Italy and you can do it here! That is the reason it is on the ultimate Italian bucket list.



Rome

Oh Rome… I don’t think I could put into words how much I loved Rome. It was my first solo trip and I could not have chosen a more perfect city - hence why I am returning after Florence! The people, the food and the things to do are endless and make for a great trip. I have chosen 4 things for the bucket list (some I have done) but if I chose more this post would be over 10,000 words haha!



Colosseum, Palatine Hill and The Roman Forum




Starting with the most obvious one, the Colosseum which in person is AH-MAZING! It is so surreal when you look through a side road of buildings to see it just chilling there! It is the largest amphitheatre ever built, it was completed in the year 80 AD!

I booked a single ticket for 13 euro to visit all three sites and when i saw the queue I worried because it was loooooong. However, I bumped into a tour guide for the company and I could pay 12 euro extra for a tour and to skip the line - so glad i said yes. Within 5 minutes we were inside and learning all about the history. I seriously recommend booking here!



Trevi Fountain





Despite there being tons of people when i went, if it happens to you do not let it throw you off because i was able to go down and throw coins in -- and get a selfie. The most famous fountain in the world was first constructed by Nicola Salvi and is completed with 100 LED lights for illumination at night!

Legend has it that if you throw a coin from your right hand over your left shoulder that you will return to Rome. Another legend is that if you throw two coins you will find love in Rome and a third coin says you will marry that person! (Thank goodness i only threw two haha - the 2nd coin apparently didn’t work cause i didn’t fall in love with a Paolo who drove me on his Vespa around Rome - Lizzie McGuire reference).



Vatican




I have mentioned before that I was lucky enough to be invited to the Vatican Museum last year with The Roman Guy - I seriously recommend these guys! The night before was not great for me as I had to have bed bug treatment and move rooms so I was knackered! However, bright and early i got to go to the Vatican before it opened to the public with a tour guide Elaine!

The coolest thing is the fact that the Vatican is its own state and acknowledged as its own country - i love that fact! With the Vatican Museum tour you get to visit the Sistine Chapel, an iconic masterpiece known globally. My favourite was St. Peter’s Basilica, it was STUNNING i don’t think my head ever stopped looking up! This needed to be on the ultimate Italian bucket list!



The Aventine Keyhole




The reason why this is on the ultimate Italian bucket list is because it has an amazing view of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica plus the gardens in Rome are stunning. Funny story… i attempted to find this keyhole only i went to the wrong gardens, Located on Aventine Hill … i went to the Orange Gardens… i was too knackered to go to the right place after i figured it out. I did walk 26 miles that week!

People do not know if the perfectly lined view of the basilica was planned olr just a coincidence but it is a cool thing to say you have done! Plus i didn’t know about this till i read about it as it’s not common knowledge!





That is it for the Italian bucket list, sure there are plenty more believe me but here are a few to get you started!

Now it’s time for me to plan every detail, those who know me well know that i am a obsessive planner i do it for fun! Everything from accommodation to where to eat, i have it written down! I already know that i will be having a gelato from La Romana and will be staying with my favourites at The Yellow in Rome --- go and stay with them they are lovely and wild!

Now there is only one more thing for me to say.

Arrivederci!

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