Sunday, February 8, 2015

Italy: Questions & Answers

Where did we go?
We went to Rome for 3 days, Florence for 2 days and Venice for 3 days in October and November 2014.

Where is it and how did we get there?

We had a 2 hour and 15 minute flight from Stockholm to Munich, a 2 hour layover and then an hour and a half hour flight from Munich to Rome.
 We took a train from Rome to Florence and then Florence to Venice.  We had an hour and 25 minute flight from Venice to Frankfurt, an hour layover and then a 2 hour flight from Frankfurt to Stockholm.

How long were we there?
We were in Rome for 3 nights and two and a half days.  We were in Florence for two nights, two half days and one full day.  We spent 3 nights in Rome, two full days plus an evening and most of a full day before flying out.  I think we picked the right length of time for each city.  Spending 2-3 nights at the same place was great!  On most of our recent trips we had been spending 1-2 nights at each place so spending 3 nights at one place felt like moving in!

What language do they speak?
They speak Italian but most also speak English.  We didn't have trouble getting help or ordering food.

What currency do they use?
They use Euros.

Were things expensive?
Instead of comparing the prices to Stockholm, I thought I would just give an estimate of how much we spent on food.  Since we have been traveling we don't spend a lot on souvenirs because we don't have the space and we don't want to collect junk.  I did buy a purse for 15 Euros while we were in Florence but even if I only used it that first day it was worth it for my phone not to go swimming with Jake.  If you missed that story you can read about it here.  Breakfast was free because we stayed at Bed and Breakfasts so it was included and each place had a great breakfast.  I don't like to eat too much for breakfast so something light to start the day is great.
This was probably my favorite breakfast day because of that chocolate cake.  Definitely doesn't fit my "light" breakfast description but it was amazing!

Lunch varied between about $10-50 depending on how fancy it was.  Dinners were around $50-80 including dessert and wine.  Venice was more expensive since they have to ship everything in by boat but it really wasn't that bad.  There are definitely really expensive restaurants in each city but we tried not to eat at those since they usually have smaller portions and fancy food that wasn't exactly what we were looking for.

Would we be able to live there for a year?
I think we could possibly live in Florence but probably not Rome or Venice.  Rome was big and touristy and Venice wasn't very easy to get around in with all the bridges.  My friend Lisa lived in Florence for a little while and liked it.  Out of the three I would say Florence would be the best choice but even then I'm not sure.  I think I'd rather live in a less touristy place.

What was most memorable thing about the trip?
I think the most memorable thing was Jake falling into the water in Florence.  That still makes me laugh just thinking about it.  The next most memorable was probably our gondola ride in Venice.

What was the food like?
The food was great.  I had lots of pizza, pasta and gelato.  The pizza is definitely different than what we are used to at Pizza Hut but it was really good.  It is pretty thin but at least in Italy it isn't soggy like it is in Sweden :).

Least favorite food?
I felt like the gnocchi was hit or miss. I had it a couple of times.  It was too gummy and blah once and awesome another time.

Favorite food?
This is hard but probably the gelato :).  I also really like pasta with red sauce that I tried which says a lot because I do not care for red sauce typically.

Would we want to go back?

I wouldn't mind going back in several years but before going back to these three places we would both like to try a smaller city in the countryside.

What was I most surprised by?

I was surprised by how cool it was.  The temperature was supposed to be pretty similar to Croatia except a few degrees cooler.  I forgot that the sun would go down earlier due to daylight savings time happening right before our trip and that made the temperature drop quite a bit.

Did we do anything we thought we wouldn't do?

We didn't plan on seeing a concert in Venice but I'm really glad we did.  It was really good and a different activity that we hadn't done on other trips.

What did I learn about myself on this trip?
I learned that going on a trip with four people is more work than going on a trip with two people but we made a lot of great memories.  Taking time during the day at a coffee shop or back in the hotel room to rest for a bit is also really nice instead of just going non-stop.  I think Jake and I both learned that we might prefer less touristy cities which is good to know for future trips.  I'm still glad we went to these bigger cities because they were really beautiful.

Hope you enjoyed hearing about our time in Italy!

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