Just got back from Italy/France on Oct 22nd and had some time to recover from our 3 week trip, so I thought I would do a little trip report and if anyone had questions they can fire away!! We went to Italy and France that was delayed from 2020 and celebrated our 16 year wedding anniversary and my wife's 41st B-Day
We left on Sept 28th flying out of PDX. Had our COVID test (BinaxNow Home test), passports, CDC card and DPLF Form all ready to go and had no issues checking in, everything was good, and we were on our way to the gate. We flew Delta and upgraded to Delta one which was an amazing experience.
Arrived in Venice at 9am and went thru passport control which was super easy, got our stamp and walked to our private water taxi that was waiting for us to take us to Rialto stop. It was a longer walk than expected and took a bit to get our bearings. Only thing that was frustrating was our roaming service would not connect from our phone carrier and had some issues with that but was able to use WiFi to contact our VRBO person checking us in on WhatsApp that we were on our way. Amazing boat ride to Venice and we were just in aw the whole way as this was our first trip to Europe. Arrived met the person checking us in (Still no phone service so it was hard to contact him, but found him and got settled in around 11:30am. Hit the city and went to Frari Church, Accademia, La Salute, Rialto Bridge. And just got lost in Venice our first day wandering around.
Headed to St. Marks square for late breakfast and we ate at Caffe Florian which was cool and the oldest caffe in the world so we had to. Even though the prices were a little high. Afterwards we wandered around the area as we had a tour with Walks of Italy at 2pm for San Marco/ St. Marks/ Doges Palace. We were super happy with take walks and enjoyed the history and knowing what we were looking at and the backstory.
Headed to Murano for the day to explore the island
Took and early train to Florence and checked into to our VRBO around 11am that was by the dome and visited, Uffizi, Galileo Science Museum, and Palazzo Vecchio. If I had to do it again I probably would have skipped Galileo but it was definitely interesting.
We visited Bargello in the morning, Brancacci Chapel and Santa Croce church in the afternoon. After that we walked to Piazzale Michelangelo for a late lunch to take in the view and it was breath taking. Afterward walked back thru the Ponte Vecchio and dinked around and climbed the bell tower at the dome.
This was our day trip and we took a tour with Best of Tuscany with WalkaboutFlorence and we visited, Siena, Fattoria Poggio Alloro winery for wine tasting and lunch (they have a meat and vegetarian options), San Gimignano and Pisa. This was a fun tour and I would highly recommend it if you are considering a day trip from Florence! We left at 8am and got back around 8:30pm.
Another walks of Italy tour, we visited David at the Academia, and visited the Duomo tour. Academia was one of our favorites with the history and how Michelangelo was an amazing and confident individual. His sculpture of the 3 slaves and how he made them that way were fascinating and how he made David. At the Duomo we visited and was able walk to the top of the dome and the terraces.
Took an early train and headed to Rome and we were stayed in the Trastevere neighborhood. I have to be honest when we settled in our room and were walking around my wife and I were disappointed with how dirty and rundown Rome seemed to us compared to Venice and Florence. I was so excited for Rome and when we got there we just felt letdown and underwhelmed by it. Where we stayed was great for restaurants though which was nice. But Rome was our least favorite city. Romes history of the forum, colosseum and history aspect were hands down the best but the city as a whole was disappointing to us.