Thank you to everyone who answered my questions prior to my trip and also everyone who has ever posted on this website. The forums were INVALUABLE in preparing. I’m pretty tightly wound and this being my first time just traveling with my boyfriend (who has never been to Europe), I was nervous how it would turn out. As it was, the trip was absolutely amazing and life changing!
We spent 3 amazing days in Rome in an AirBnB near the Trevi fountain (highly recommend it, the hosts were superb and the location couldn’t be beat). We used the first day to orient ourselves and acclimate to the city. The 2nd day we did the Colosseum/Forum/Palatine Hill tour with Walks of Italy. Very well done and seeing the Colosseum right as it opened was amazing. The following day we did the Vatican Tour (also through Walks of Italy). It was abnormally crowded for a Monday in late October, but it turns out we were there the week of All Saint’s Day, which is apparently the equivalent of fall break time in Italy. Afterwards my boyfriend and I walked up to the Janiculum Terrace near the Vatican. The sun had already set and it was a steep climb, but we made the trek and as we were about to head to Trastevere for dinner, my boyfriend got down on one knee and proposed! It was perfect and the night time view of the city was amazing. I’m still on cloud nine!!
The next day we traveled to Florence by train (booked through Trainline.eu) and it was very smooth. I had a large checked bag, but everything worked out. We LOVED Florence. I don’t know what it was (maybe I was still on a high from the proposal), but we both just really connected with the city. We stayed at Hotel Dei Macchiaioli, which I recommend. We climbed the Duomo, saw the David and also went up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which was probably my favorite part of our whole trip. We got the most beautiful panoramic photos of Florence from up there. Other highlights were the Mayday Club (we went both nights we were there) and the Scuola Del Cuoio (leatherwork school connected to Santa Croce).
Our last stop in Italy was (you guessed it) Venice. Also took the train here, which went smoothly (however was a little more crowded than our trip to Florence). We also stayed here 2 nights. Our hotel was the Boscolo Venezia as my dad was kind enough to gift us some of his hundreds of thousands of Marriott points. It was further away from St. Mark’s but in the end I appreciated that because we got to spend more time in the “real” Venice. We didn’t have anything planned for Venice so we were really just playing it by ear. The first day we just wandered down to St. Mark’s and got our bearings (and got used to having to walk over bridges and take boats to get everywhere). The 2nd day we went to the Doge’s Palace and also went across the canal to San Giorgio Maggiore and took the elevator up their bell tower and the views were STUNNING!
The next day we took a flight from Venice to Munich. I was very stressed out about getting to the airport on time (we were going to take the Alilaguna) and it was going to be from the last stop at Madonna Del’Orto and all I read were people saying the boats were full, infrequent, etc. We were taking the first one as our flight was at 9:30 AM. Around the time we should have been picked up a boat came by that was full and said there would be another one in 10 minutes. Thankfully, that ended up being the case and everyone at our stop got on. Whatever time we lost in waiting we made up in the trip…our driver was really motoring to the airport!