By now you all should know, I LOVE ITALY! I love everything about it, the PIZZA, the gelato, the wine, the people, it’s beauty. Love, love, LOVE!
I was so excited to draft this post so I could reminisce on one of my favorite countries! During this short read, I will describe in detail my venture to Milan, Florence & Venice…enjoy!
If you like, you may scroll to the bottom for a short synopsis of each city, according to me!
I stayed at the ibis Milano Centro Hotel. The rooms were nice and clean, but save your money and skip the breakfast. No variety and over-priced!
The first evening I arrived I was exhausted, in typical Kiara fashion. I did visit the Piazza Duamo the next day, and it’s as beautiful as those IG flicks you see! The Piazza Duamo is the main piazza of Milan and marks the center of the city.
Next, I partook in my first aperitivo. Aperitivos are like a “prelude to dinner” and involve the consumption of cocktails and delis.
We went to the Bvlgari Hotel Milan and loved the upscale atmosphere and lush indoor-outdoor seating.
On my final full day in Milan, I took a train up to Lake Como. Lake Como has scenic beauty and historic lakeside residences–to include one that belongs to George Clooney!
Besides soaking in the views, I got the best pizza of the entire trip on Lake Como. Apologies, I do not remember the name of the place, but I can tell you I demanded the chef come out for a kiss to thank him for blessing me!
Next, we traveled to Florence and stayed at the FH Grand Hotel Mediterraneo. I loved the location of this hotel. We walked everywhere and a decent buffet breakfast was included.
For our first night, we did a night tour that enlightened us on local customs and traditions of Florence. Of course, we ended the night with apertivo!
Amazing Architecture in Florence
My favorite part of Florence was a Wine Enthusiasts Dinner we did at a Boutique Tuscan Winery in Chianti!
We were able to create our own wine blend, enjoy a delicious 4-course Tuscan dinner and tasted five different Tuscan wines.
I am not much of a drinker, it’s a huge headache trigger for me. However, the wine in Italy didn’t leave me with the slightest headache. I’ve read online this could be due to Italy not adding sulfites to their wine.
The final noteworthy aspect of Florence was a free walking tour. I’ve mentioned my affinity for free walking tours of cities before, it’s a great way to get your cardio in and get historical information and views from a local expert, but this tour offered the most magnificent views, ever!
Do note it is a demanding walk, with steep slopes up and down, but worth it! We walked through the narrow alleys of medieval Florence to see the walls and some of the gardens of the old city.
Panoramic view of Florence…incredible!
Venice was the most romantic city I’ve ever traveled to in life. We stayed at the LaGare Hotel Venezia – MGallery by Sofitel, it was a luxurious hotel positioned right in from of the Murano waterbus taxi stop.
You know you can’t go to Venice and not do a Gondola Ride! For 30 minutes we enjoyed a privileged view along Canal Grande and minor canals around San Marco square and Rialto.
If you’ve been a follower of mine you know there are a few things I love to do on vacation. I love bike rides through cities, catamarans, karaoke and PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS!
In Venice I did a photography tour with the lovely Paola and as with all the international shoots I’ve done, I was able to get a tour while taking high quality shots. Take a look at a few of my favorites!
Those were my highlights of Venice, besides eating more pizza and gelato, and strolling through the city to absorb it’s charm.
My summation of each city…
Milan: A fashion capital, the most expensive city we visited
Florence: The best wine and local shopping
Know Before You Go:
- Plan your meals. Italians take “siesta” (naptime) seriously, and some restaurants do not open until 7pm or later. Don’t be like hangry Kiara and have a backup plan or snacks.
Actual footage of me when I couldn’t find food quick enough one evening.
2. The trains are fantastic! They travel at high speeds, are clean and have super cool technology features, you can look up and see exactly how much time is left in your trip!
3. Coperto! Coperto is a service charge for the bread placed at your table when you dine out. Don’t be alarmed and don’t try to argue it down. It’s a very normal practice in Italy.
4. Bring your walking shoes! I say this with most European trips. You will be doing a lot of walking and many historic centers are best seen on foot.