When we got deals for flights from U.S to Italy for $400 round trip, we booked it ASAP!
Our adventure happened the way it did, which depended on the friends we traveled with, time limit, and interests. Hopefully a recap of our itinerary with pictures will provide some tips to save you time and money.
Day 1: Arrival in Milan;
We did not know what to expect upon landing. Where do we go now? First thing’s first, find a Trenitalia ticket machine to buy your ticket if you plan on visiting another city. Now we can get out our cameras and explore by foot and see what comes along. Set an alarm and plan for enough travel time to the train station.
We knew gelato was on our must try list and it was crossed off multiple times, almost every day on the trip. (price: 2.5 to 4 euros) Eating makes roaming around by foot so much more enjoyable!
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (Free)
Architectural building and landmark with expensive shops and restaurants, but the building looks fantastic from every angle. It was not too crowded and the ambiance of high fashion is inviting and glamorous. This is right next to Duomo, so why not, you might find this without realizing it.
Piazza del Duomo and Milan Cathedral
Cathedrals and churches: most sightseeing here involves the architectural beauty that is designed and built way ahead of its time. After a while, we were taking many beautiful things for granted. The Duomo is breathtaking to look at from the outside. Tickets are easy to get to go in and if it’s a Sunday, attend the solemn mass at 11 am. Enjoy the flocking pigeons and the livelihood of the plaza too! Be ware of scammers who give you food to feed pigeons though, they appear friendly in offering to take pictures of you with the pigeons but may ask you for money afterward even though they took the pictures with your phone.
Learn to take the metro to get to Trenitalia. As predicted, food in train station is a ripe off. Avoid if possible.
Then we took train to Rome (86 euros/ticket). Fight your jet lag, instead of sleeping on the ride, look outside for a glimpse of green grass and compact cars. Might as well charge your phone too (purchased phone charger converter via amazon in the U.S before departure).
We planned for our stays in advance, probably the only thing we spent money on before arriving in Italy. We had 3 couples traveling. In our case, airbnb was a great deal with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms for the 6 of us. If you do the homework for the area safety, price, host reviews, and cleanliness, you’ll be good to go. It’s a great way to blend in and live like a local. Our place had a balcony window!
Always about the food
It might already be time to sleep, but we wanted to explore around more and possibly find a restaurant or any food we come across. There is only so much we can eat in a day, so it is important to choose wisely. Without international phone connections, my expertise in yelp did not help with this decision making process.
Our first official dine in experience at 9 pm at night. The menu didn’t have English on it and thought it was a good sign that it’s not advertised to tourists. Large bottled water was served instead of tap water, costing 2 Euros. Service charge of 2 Euros per guest was added on bill. Food ranged from 7 – 13 Euros. Portions are perfect, not too much, not too little. Enough to leave you feeling satisfied. Total was 54 Euros for 4 of us.