This week’s #ThrowBackThursday is Milan! We stayed in Milan for 3 nights. Our hotel wasn’t all that – we found it on Priceline – it was okay. I liked Milan but to be honest it was not my favorite. If I could get a do over I would stay the 3 nights in Venice and take the train for a day trip to Milan. I could spend days in Venice and never get tiered! Milan however was uneventful for me – the only thing I over was the Cathedral and the window shopping.
This week’s #ThrowBackThursday is Florence, Italy. Florence was the second city my sister & I stayed in during our Italy trip in May 2009. We stayed at Hotel Palazzo Ricasoli for 2 nights. This was the same hotel I stayed at when I was in Florence in 2007 on my high school senior trip. I loved the hotel and the location that we just booked the same place – it was walking distance from the Florence Cathedral.
I have been blessed to travel to Italy twice. My first trip was part of my high school spring break trip which we went to Florence & Rome. The scone time to Italy was with my sister in May 2009. This was the first ever trip my sister and I went on together as “adults.” I planned the entire trip and we both had a blast! We spent 10 days in Italy – 3 nights in Rome, 3 nights in Florence, and 3 nights in Milan. Today’s #ThrowBackTravel is Rome!
Once we arrived we checked into our hotel – which was a bed & breakfast walking distance from the Colosseum. Day 1 Itinerary included walking the Roman Forum, visiting the Colosseum, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I should add that we happen to have family in Rome and they spent the day with us and took us to all these lovely local places. It was a lovely first day in Rome!
Day 2 began at The Vatican. We went on Sunday and happened to stumble upon Sunday Mass. My sister went to a Catholic high school therefore she really enjoyed the experience After mass we climbed the Cupola (Dome) to get the best view of St. Peter’s Square. After the Vatican we hopped on the metro and went to the Spanish Steps. We bought some sandwiches from a local deli and had lunch on the steps and participated in people watching. Afterward we headed to Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.
For day 3 we booked a day tour to Capri. The tour was a great option since we had a limited amount of time and wanted to see Capri in a day. The bus left from Rome to Naples, then in Naples we got on a ferry to get to Capri. Once we got to Capri we immediately hopped on another boat to go to the Blue Grotto. Being able to visit Blue Grotto is unpredictable because it all depends on the tide, weather, and if it is safe or not. The Blue Grotto was such an experience! It was scary and exhilarating at the same time. I’m glad I didn’t think about it and just did it because in retrospect it was highly unsafe since I didn’t have a life jacket on and I really can’t swim – oops! After the Blue Grotto we spent the day in Capri and explored the island. In the evening we took the ferry back to Naples and took the bus back to Rome.
On the morning of our departure from Rome we went back to The Vatican to visit the Sistine Chapel since we weren’t able to do so on Sunday. As my sister said, “I’m not leaving Rome without seeing the Sistine Chapel!” Even though I have seen it before it still took my breath away. I’m a big art history nerd and honestly I spend half an hour just staring at the Sistine Chapel. It’s just remarkable.
After the Sistine Chapel we hopped on a bullet train and headed toward Florence.
Tune in next week for #ThrowBackTravel to Florence!
p.s. Make sure to enter the Jamberry Nails Giveaway here.
Giveaway ends tonight at 11:59 p.m. ET. Winner will be announced on Monday November 10!
This week’s #ThrowBackTravel is a special one! The first trip I ever went on – by myself – was my high school Humanities class Spring Break trip to France & Italy. It was such a memorable experience! The first leg of our trip as to Paris, France. Our stay in Paris was extremely short [Friday-Sunday] but I was able to see the highlights. Our class trip was was organized by a tour [ACIS] therefore the itinerary was pre-planned and I just went with the flow. This trip is very memorable for me because I considered it as my first trip and basically what started my travel bug.
Upon arrival to Paris we checked in to the hotel and then wasted no time with sightseeing. We first visited Notre Dame.
The second day started with an early drive by of the Eiffel Tower – jaw dropping and so surreal! I legit was skipping down the street with glee. Afterward we spent majority of the day at Palace of Versailles. I can’t even begin to describe how spectacular Versailles was. Everything was grand, luxuries, and out of control! It was nice to get a glimpse into how lavishly Marie Antoinette lived!
After Versailles we headed back to the city. Our tour guide took us to Champs-Élysées where we walked a bit and enjoyed strolling the streets of Paris. I window shopped my entire was down the Champs-Élysées – swoon! Later at night we went on a boat tour and got to see the the Eiffel Tower light up and take in Paris at night! It’s such a magical city.
Our last day in Paris – was Easter Sunday – therefore it was a split between going to Notre Dame Easter Mass or Claude Monet’s House. I opted for Monet’s House which was by far my favorite part of the trip! Monet is one of my favorite artists from studying humanities. I LOVE his paintings therefore visit his home felt as if I was walking through a Monet painting. I took so many pictures in the garden! Everything about the house & garden was just lovely! I highly recommend making the trip outside of Paris to visit Monet’s House.
After the morning sightseeing the group reconvened and headed to the Louvre Museum. Going to the Louvre was the highlight of my trip because I spent all year studying Art History in Humanities class and it was surreal to see all these paintings and sculptures in real life that I had been styling for 8 months. The Winged Victory of Samothrace [Nike of Samothrace] is one of my favorite sculptures and I was overjoyed to be up close to this majestic statue. It’s just stunning. We explored the museum for hours and it was just amazing. Afterward we hopped on an overnight train and headed to Florence, Italy. I will save my travels to Italy for another post! Have a lovely day!
This week’s #ThrowBackTravel finishes up my trip to Spain with a stop in Madrid. My family and I spent two night in Madrid. We stayed at the Hotel Barceló Torre Arias. To be honest I like Madrid – but i didn’t love it. I would have been happy only spending one night in Madrid and perhaps spending more time in Granada. But regardless we had a lovely time there.
The first thing my siblings and I did in Madrid was go to Plaza de Toros for bullfighting. I know what bullfighting is and all however I was not prepared for what happened. I kid you not we left after the second bull died. I legit could not handle it. All I could think of was my puppy and I just couldn’t handle it. It is part of the Spanish culture and it was nice to experience it but I wouldn’t recommend it for the light hearted. It’s pretty heavy stuff – hence why everyone was tipsy.
The second day included sight seeing at Plaza Mayor and Royal Palace of Madrid. We did a little shopping, had some ice cream, and just spent the day exploring Madrid. For dinner – per recommendation of our awesome hotel concierge – we went to Lateral for a traditional Spanish Tapas dinner. Honestly the food at Lateral was hands down the best we had in all of Spain. My favorite part of Madrid was honestly having dinner at Lateral – seriously. It was amazing. I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who is going to Madrid!
Madrid was short and sweet. It was a nice way to finish up our two week long vacation in Spain. We had a lovely family vacation but I will be honest when we got back to the states we legit did not talk to each other for a good solid week. Too.Much.Family.Bonding.