Hello you lovelies! Today’s post is all about our initial plans and an overview of our Italian road trip. We have more detailed guides on the blog, what to see, do and eat, and a detailed post of every place we visited too – be sure to check out the Italy section of the blog to see them in all their glory. We’ve also written up a guide to road tripping Italy and how to tick off the most of your bucket list possible! Now let’s get into what we got up to and where we stopped on our whistle stop tour or the beautiful Italia!
We decided to half plan this road trip. Obviously some people like to plan every detail of their holiday and others like a far more relaxed take, but we definitely fall somewhere in between. Some of our friends have been on holidays before and made actual spreadsheets with how the days should be spent! Whilst I commend their commitment and organisation, we personally find it best to have some things planned – things you absolutely neeed to do, and to leave some time for wherever the wind takes us. Each to their own for sure, but there’s never any harm in reading up on some websites and reviews to gather ideas for your own trip. (And I’m guessing that’s why a few of you are here today!)
So, we’d planned the main places we would visit, how to travel between these places and which hotels to stay at. For some countries you actually have to have a list of all the hotels you’ll stay in to get through the airport; so it’s worth checking out before travelling. As with any holiday, some things didn’t go quite to plan for us and so we didn’t get to see some of the places we would have liked – such as the Amalfi Coast, but we can definitely return and tick the rest off. We absolutely loved all the things we did cram in!
After doing some research on the most logical routes across Italy, we decided to take our road trip as a must-see journey. Jack hadn’t seen much of Italy before we travelled here, so we had a chat about all places you need to see in your life. Top of our lists were Venice, Rome and Tuscany. We had a look at the location of each place and realised it made a lot of sense to add in Florence, as it broke up the journey a good amount so we would never travel for more than two hours – usually a lot less! We also added Naples to the end hoping to venture out to Pompeii. Alas, our trip was planned to be – Venice, Florence, Tuscany, Rome and then Naples as the map shows above! We were so excited to jet off and booked a variety of air bnbs and hotels. As there are no roads in Venice (check out our Venice guides on the blog!) we got a train from here to Florence, picked up a hire car in Florence and drove all the rest of the way. You absolutely need a hire car for Tuscany, but for the other cities it required us to stay a little out of the city centre to make sure we had parking. This was never an issue for us though and allowed us to venture out in a lot of places – like finding our very own special lake just outside Florence!
Our first destination was Venice. Oh Venice, my old pal. I’ve visited Venice when I was younger, but it had been a long enough gap that everything felt pretty brand new to me. (Other than some of the iconic places like St Mark’s square.) I also think it’s really special revisiting places with friends, family, or partners as you usually have a different dynamic and get to experience different things there. It was absolutely heaving with people in Venice when we had booked to do and we would often be asked by people to sign things, buy things etc, it can be a hell of a lot more peaceful visiting outside of the peak summer season, but it was still absolutely stunning. Those summer sunsets sat by gondolas are so special too. We have so much to talk about on Venice in our Venice posts, but as an overview here, we were so obsessed with wandering around all the alleys, side streets and little bridges and canals. We had a gondola ride which was obviously very expensive but so worth it, and we spent some gorgeous evenings sat with a bottle of wine on the side of the canal, talking the night away and taking in all the beauty. Venice is one of those places that is obviously incredible, and therefore a little touristy at times. But if you take yourself away from some of the busiest areas and take in your surroundings, it is still so so special and so worth seeing.
We hopped on a train to Florence after spending a few days in Venice. Originally we had planned to actually stop in Verona as it is super close, but looking at the travel time we thought we’d head straight to our next hotel. At the time of writing this we have now visited Florence four times between us, and for good reason. Jack’s sister actually got married there, and as soon as you go you will see why in an instant – it’s stunning. Florence is one of those places that can be absolutely what you make of it. There are so many museums and beautiful architecture to fill up your gaze – including the iconic Duomo, and there are so many bars, brilliant restaurants, shops, and lakes in the surrounding areas; as it’s right on the edge of Tuscany. We had the best pizza in the whole world here in Florence, just from a cheap drop-in pizza place. So fresh, so good. Another highlight was our trek up the clock tower next to the Duomo – with the most unbeatable views. The bell even rang when we were in there which made the entirety of the walls shake – so. damn. cool.
Next up, we drove to Tuscany. We often reminisce about Tuscany and could happily spend weeks on end here! The sunsets are actually unbeatable, there are hundreds of beautiful hilly roads, natural hot springs, lakes and beauty. Get a villa with a pool in Tuscany and you’ll never eant to leave! In between our city-hopping and lots of busy areas, Tuscany felt like the breath of fresh air bang in the middle of the trip. Having added this into the trip I can fully say, if you’re looking to road trip anywhere in the world, it makes so much sense to add in somewhere like this in the middle. We stayed in a stunning little villa with a beautiful covered terrace, where we watched all the hills and sunsets. We also had access the pool, but didn’t end up using this. (Weird for us as we thought we’d be in this most of the time!) We bought a whole bunch of wine and food and explored the surrounding countryside – notably the Saturina hot springs, a naturally heated collection of rock pools. A dream for the gram I am telling you!
After blowing up the cars’ tyre driving through Tuscany (there are a LOT of potholes so look out!) We landed in Rome, we actually had to stay here an extra day because to get a new tyre on the car, but we made use of this and explored even more of the city. We saw the Colosseum, ruins, had a lot of ice cream, did some shopping and saw the sights. I had a snickers ice cream in here and I kid you not, this is the best thing I may have eate ever! It was so bloody delicious I couldn’t even try to describe it. And now I’m hungry. Damn!
After getting the car fixed and sitting in a decent amount of traffic, we ended up in Naples the night before our flight home. This was a huge shame because we would have loved to explore the city and everything surrounding it, but we did manage to spend the loveliest night on the roof of our hotel, drinking some wine and looking at the city views from above. We stayed pretty far back in Naples to be close to the airport and get around easily with the car, and seeing as we didn’t have the time to fully explore this was great – as those views were so stunning. Drinking here was such a lovely end to our trip!
Check out the travel guides on each place if you’re interested and we shall see you guys soon!!