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Ciao, Italia!

Ciao! Benvenuto in Italia.

Okok, I’m not there yet. My “summer break” has just begun, and I’m actually beginning to get some serious research work done. (In the West, a summer break usually means all-play-and-no-work, but I’m attempting to all-play-and-all-work) Oh well, I have till November.

Alright, a lil’ sneak preview here (not that you get to watch it, hehe!) I shall not make you envious bore you with a detailed itinerary of my coming trip to Italy. So here’s my/our very concise day-to-day plan, but a pretty salivating one too.

  • 26 June: Arriving at Munich
  • Morning train to Bolzano, will finally get to see my dear after 9 long months. Check out some South Tyrolian stuff. Meet Otzi ?
  • Day trip to nearby Trento, probably meeting up with my ex-colleague Bee, whos doing Masters there
  • More sightseeing around Bolzano. MS should finish her exams by then. Might try taking the funivie to Renon.
  • Real tour begins! Get lost in Venice‘s labrinyth of narrow streets (calli) and bridges (ponti). Will try the gondola and vaporetti too!.
  • Short stop at Verona to see if Juliet still appears at her balcony, then Riva del Garda, a pretty little resort at Italy’s largest lake, Lago di Garda
  • Bologna. As much pasta as you could make or eat here, nothing should beat the original pasta alla bolognese and mortadella here. Here’s Italy’s finest wheat- and dairy-producing region.
  • Florence, the art and literary capital of Italy, and right in the middle of sun-soaked Tuscany. Hope to see the famous Duomo and Uffizi Gallery.
  • Siena, San Gimignano. Nope, we’ll miss Il Palio by a few days (it’s expensive btw), but we could do with medieval castles and towers, not forgetting panforte and ricciarelli.
  • 2 days in Rome. Argh, I don’t think there’s enough time to see everything there!
  • Perugia (and Assisi if time permits). Peaceful Etruscan region with beautiful valleys. Interestingly, the famous Umbria Jazz Festival happens around this time.
  • Back to Florence to pick up where we left. Central stopover before heading westwards.
  • Short stop at Pisa for you know what. Take a short trip to Riomaggiore, the 1st of the Cinque Terre villages. Must see the beautiful tower houses, square houses perched on the cliff, on top of one another.
  • Trek through the other Cinque Terre villages, a fascinating picturesque part of the Italian Riviera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then train to Milan.
  • A day in Milan. Crap, couldn’t get tickets to the Last Supper (fully booked for 3 months!). Milan is more than just fashion. Pirelli? Armani? La Scala? AC Milan!
  • Night train back to Bolzano. Make a quick stop there to “re-luggage”, then cross the borders back to Munich.
  • Look around Munich (more time this round!). Flight back at night. Reaching home 15 July

Good thing is all the dorms/hostels/hotels have been booked online (gee, I learnt so much about it), and night train tickets have also been bought (thanks my dear). Day trains are much easier to get since they are more frequent, and we’re probably gonna skip making seat reservations, and just get the tickets to the next destination upon arriving a day earlier.

I used the “Get directions” feature in Google Maps to give me a good estimation of my entire tour. 2,858 KMs! Gee, the thought of travelling almost three thousand kilometres is indeed crazy…

Am considering having a new section in Tulips, specially for the tour of Italy, and of course, future travels too. :)

With more help from Google Maps (and some self-editing), here’s a map that should give u a better picture of our tour:

I’ve labelled the places we’ll be dropping by in red and blue. The black lines aren’t highways, hehe! I connected the cities in straight lines to show the order of the places we’ll be visiting. The places in blue are our main stopovers where we would be spending more than a day there. Florence is our central stopover as we will be going down to Rome via Siena, and then back up via Perugia, before cutting across westwards towards Pisa and the Liguria region.

By the way, in case you’re wondering (and some of you would’ve noticed), we can’t possibly cover every corner of Italy since that would probably need a month or more? And, anywhere south of Rome isn’t in our plans for now (hopefully we can go back there someday for a more genuine Mediterranean “experience”). So, we’ll be missing out on the “land of pizza” Naples, the Amalfi coast, Sorrento, Sicily and more.

Could I have asked for more?

5 comment(s) to this post

I might bump into you since I may also be touring Italy at about the same time.. =D

I’m impressed by your detailed itinerary (and your map!). Your post happened to come at the right time: I was agonising over planning my trip. I blame my own inexperience for that…

#1Josiah  ::  16 June 2007, 01:28  ::  #

Hey dude! Nice to hear from you. If I were to be planning a trip to UK, you should play host and bring me around ;-)

What a coincidence! Now that you know my rough itinerary, you could make looked like you “bumped” into me, eh?

Map: Nope, not mine. It belongs to Google. :) But I drew extra lines and dots on it.

Well, I’m not much more experienced that you anyway (it’ll be my first time to Europe la). But, you can be sure I spent a good deal of time doing “research” and planning, hehe. It’s tiring, but fun.

Try booking hostels ahead of time (and I mean months) because certain popular destinations (especially Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice) may be hard to get a decent room during peak summer season. The last I checked, some of the prices have gone up quite a bit, unless you plan to go around during Aug/Sept. You can try HostelWorld. I have some more useful links that you may be interested, will try and send them to you.

By the way, my trip couldn’t cover places to the south of Rome (Naples, Sorrento, the Amalfi coast, Pompeii, Sicily etc.), the lake regions north of Milan, Como, and even smaller towns like Parma, San Marino, Turin. Need 2nd round =P

#2johnsee  ::  16 June 2007, 15:23  ::  #

Haha… I’ve barely visited enough of UK to be a host ;) Still desparate to visit Stonehenge…

Thanks for the hostel tips… still trying to find the right ones to book (months ahead? I have less than 3 weeks to go!). Out of curiousity, which part of Cinque Terra are you staying the night?

I’ll only be in Italy for 5 days (around 5-9 July). Will be travelling southwards from Milan to Rome through Cinque Terra, Pisa, and Florence (& Siena perhaps? ;)). Have to skip Venice this time around T.T So I definitely need more than a 2nd round too :P

#3Josiah  ::  17 June 2007, 05:24  ::  #

Hey john. I’m MS fren. we met during the dim sum treat by my boss, remember? Oh u’re going to see her very2 soon ya! Send my regards to her okies. Tell her that everyone here miss her so much. Have a save n wonderful journey!!!

#4sue of ABMB  ::  21 June 2007, 11:32  ::  #

Hi sue, ya i remember you, and your cute boy too. :-)

Wow, one year and you guys still miss her? Hehe ok, will send regards from you and AllianceB to her.

#5johnsee  ::  21 June 2007, 17:50  ::  #

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