Italy: The Stuff We Saw

When we were in Italy, we also saw some stuff.

Again, this is partially for me to remember what we all visited, and also to help you if you do any travel planning via blog.  If you cannot tell from what’s listed here, we are not people who relax on vacation unless you plant us firmly on a beach.  If you are the type to “wander around a city” and “spend a whole afternoon at a café,” then you might want to consider what would all be manageable in a day.

Florence (5 days/4 nights)


I have said this numerous times, but I did not plan a single second of our time in Florence and even though Mom sent out the itinerary months in advance, I didn’t actually know or understand what we were seeing until we actually saw it.

  • Church of Santa Maria NovellaIMG_1166
  • Church of Santo Spirito
  • AccademiaIMG_0268
  • Museum of San Marco
  • Museo Nazionale del Bargello
  • Uffizi Gallery
  • Capelle Medicee
  • Pitti Palace
  • Boboli GardensIMG_0311
  • Duomo  (Santa Maria dei Fiore) and CampanileIMG_1275


  • Palazzo Vecchio and Ponte Vecchio
  • Great Synagogue of Florence
  • Basilica di Santa Croce

Venice (3 days/2 nights)



This is another example of a time where I did not do a lot of planning.  Before we got on the train from Florence to Venice (and I had time to do some city research), I had no idea what we would be doing in the city besides visiting the Jewish Quarter and going to the Guggenheim.  And seeing the canals, of course.

  • The Jewish Museum of Venice
  • Accademia
  • Guggenheim
  • Basilica di San Marco (It’s worth it to pay the extra $ to go upstairs and see the antiquities, etc.)IMG_1339
  • Canal Ride (honestly, I was so obsessed with the ferries that we didn’t even hire a Gondola, we just rode the ferry a lot)

Cinque Terre (4 days/3 nights)


We arrived in Riomaggiore in the evening, we departed Riomaggiore in the morning.  This left us with two full days for hiking.  Because the 2 trail was only open in one place, our guest house advised us against purchasing Cinque Terre cards because they knew that no one was checking them and only one trail was really open.  This may change by the time that you visit!  For all that we are not really hikers, we are in shape.  These trails weren’t horrifically hard, but they were definitely challenging.

  • 531 Trail (Riomaggiore – Manarola)IMG_0524
  • 593 Trail (start/end in Riomaggiore)
  • 2 Trail (Monterosso – Vernazza, Vernazza-Corniglia)IMG_0540IMG_0564

Rome (4 days/3 nights)

Marcus and I knocked out everything on the list through the Spanish Steps on guided tours.  The Colosseum/Roman Forum tour and the Sistine Chapel/St. Peter/Vatican Museum were paid tours.  The Trevi Fountain/Spanish Steps/Pantheon tour was a free walking tour that also included a number of different churches we were not familiar with.

  • ColosseumIMG_0649
  • Roman ForumIMG_0685
  • St. PeterIMG_0715
  • Sistine ChapelIMG_1473
  • Vatican Museum
  • Pantheon
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Spanish Steps
  • Borghese Gallery
  • San Giovanni in Laterano
  • Santa Maria Maggiore
  • San Pietro in Vincoli
  • San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura
  • Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri

Naples (4 days/3 nights)


What to say about Naples.  We were really tired because it was the end of our trip.  I got food poisoning the night before we went to the summit of Mount Vesuvius.  Both Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii were 4-6 hour trips, which meant that by the time we got home each day, we were in need of naps.

Any tour guide you read about Naples will spell out how you can take the Circumvesuviana train from Naples (Garibaldi station) to the Pompeii Scavi, Villa dei Misteri stop.  Do not get off at the earlier Pompeii Stop or you will not be at the ancient ruins.  Taking the train and hiring a tour of Vesuvius/Pompeii (or simply walking into Pompeii, purchasing tickets and guiding yourself) will save you at least $60 per outing.

Also, important to note: all of the old stuff from the ruins of Pompeii worth preserving is actually in the archaeological museum in downtown Naples, so you should be sure to visit that as well.

  • Museo archeologico Nazionale di Napoli
  • PompeiiIMG_1531IMG_1534
  • Mount VesuviusIMG_0771IMG_0774

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