How To Plan A Month Long Trip To Italy: Part One
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know the exciting news. My hubby and I are going to Europe for the entire month of August this year!!! We are so beyond excited about this trip, sometimes losing sleep over it! We will be gone from the 2nd through the 30th. If you've been a reader of my blog for a while, then you already know we have been to Italy before. We have family in southern Italy, Nick's grandma's sister... So, his dad's aunt and that entire side of the family lives in Italy, while his dad's parents moved here to the United States. Haha family trees can be a tad confusing, but none the less, he has family in Italy. We have been to Rome, Sicily and southern Italy ( Calabria). We did that trip in 2014 for our honeymoon. This trip we will be going to Amsterdam, Florence, Tuscany, Rome, Venice, Cinque Terre, Sicily, and Tropea. It will be our very first time in the Netherlands and northern Italy.
We picked August for a specific reason, it is an Italian holiday called Ferragosto. It is a Catholic holiday that is surrounding the assumption of the Virgin Mary. The actual holiday is celebrated on August 15th. Many Italians take this day off, and possibly the following days or weeks. We love going at this time because our family is off work and we get to see them more. Also, on the 15th to celebrate Ferragosto they cook an amazing meal ( you could call it a feast), and for us we would never want to miss a home cooked Italian "feast". Now I understand not everyone has family in Italy and most people traveling to Italy will not know any locals, which in that case I could see a few cons to traveling in August. You will find some shops and restaurants to be closed, since the local Italians who own them are on holiday. Also, the beaches can be more crowded around Ferragosto, that is where most Italian families will spend their off time for some R&R. If you are traveling in a major city or major "touristy" area, you probably won't have a problem with this, as most of those people will keep shops open for business.
MAPPING OUT THE TRIP
We are firm believers that travelers will have a better experience if they spend more time at each location, instead of adding more locations to the itinerary and having less days at each location. We will be in Italy for about a month, which to some people would mean seeing EVERY hot spot in Italy. Instead of adding Milan, the Amalfi Coast, a neat restaurant we saw on Pinterest that is about 2 hours from anywhere we are going, etc., we decided to pick our top must see locations and spend quality time there. We strongly feel that two nights is the MINIMUM to really enjoy each location. We don't want our trip to feel too rushed and hectic, leaving us exhausted and unable to truly enjoy each stop. Rick Steves (our travel guru) says always plan your trip with the assumption that you will be back. I think that's a great piece of advice. Last time Nick and I went to Italy we saw Rome, Tropea and Sicily. We got to see all the big sights in each location but then we also got to spend some time just relaxing and walking around with no schedule or plan. Just the intention to relax and discover the city as locals do.
This time we flew into Amsterdam instead of Rome. There were multiple benefits to booking it this way. One being it was actually cheaper to do so. And two, it gives us the chance to see a country we have never been to. We will stay there for three nights. Four days there will give us the chance to see everything that we "must" like the red light district (not tooo much of it), Ann Frank's house, etc. But it will also give us time to make random discoveries as we waltz around town.
I am going to blog throughout this trip, I will keep you all in the loop with every new travel discovery we make. Stay tuned for packing posts (and a video), individual city guides and more! Comment below if there is a specific type of post you would like to see reguarding our travels. Thanks for stopping by my little slice of the internet! Ciao!