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Italy By Train

Guest post written by SandalsTravels -

Italy is a very unique country for me as it ticks all of the boxes; the architecture, the food, the drink, the people, the infrastructure. It’s all good. For me there always tends to be one of those lacking for each country I visit. Italy, however is a perfect balance of all of those characteristics.

I would recommend to anyone doing such a voyage that you should be starting out in the home of Pizza - Naples - here you can get an authentic homemade pizza for less than €10. Once done navigating the crazy streets of Napoli here head on a short trip down the coast to the famous island of Capri with views straight out of a movie set and water so clear you won’t believe your eyes. Other day trips from Naples you can easily do is to see some living history where time has literally been frozen in Herculaneum and Pompeii following the infamous eruption of AD79. If you have extra days you can then hike up Mount Vesuvius itself and see where these eruptions originated from.

Thanks to Italy’s well built train system you can go from Naples to Rome in under 90 minutes and even better these tickets are half the price of their UK-equivalent.

Rome is an iconic European city for both history and tourism and with so much to do here I will limit to what I consider the top 3 things you simply must do. There are not many cities that are home to a Wonder of the World so you must go and see the Colosseum, it is well worth paying the entrance fee to stand inside the arena where gladiators once fought thousands of years ago. Following this, you can visit the worlds smallest “country” in the Vatican City and stand in the iconic St. Peter’s Square, then gaze at the hand painted murals on the roof of the Sistine Chapel. The final thing to do in Rome of the list of 3 is the Trevi Fountain where you can complete the years-old tradition of throwing a coin over your left shoulder to ensure your return trip to beautiful Rome.

From the capital city Milan is only a couple of hours away with a lunch stop in Florence to explore the Duomo and take a midday stroll on the Ponte Vecchio. Be sure to go to the Church of San Miniato al Monte so you can get an excellent vista of the city itself.

See your second Duomo of the day when you arrive in the fashion capital of the world and marvel at the Duomo do Milano which took more than 600 years to build - you can see why with its intricate details. Located right next to the Duomo is Italy’s oldest shopping mall which is just as magnificent with its high ceilings and glass roof, you can buy everything from pizza to ice cream to high-end clothing here.

Ending this Italian grand tour in one of my favourite cities, it may be cliched but Venice is everything you have expected and seen on Instagram and more. Visiting in summer is particularly overwhelming with the tourists so it’s best to go in April or May when spring is in full swing and the tourists aren’t as many. Furthermore if you want to take out a mortgage you can stay in Venice itself in a beautiful riverside hotel or if you’re on a budget there is either nearby Mestre which is a 15 minute train ride away or stay on the Venice Lido which offers tranquil views of the main island is a very relaxed environment from the hustle and bustle of the streets of Venice. If you’re here for a few days you can buy a 24h or 72h water pass which allows to use the boats within the region (like a Metro but for the canals) and is the easiest way to navigate the city. One of the best views is from Ponte dell’Accademia which is where I took this photo and is quite possibly one of my favourite images on Instagram and actually the first photo I posted on this travel account. I recommend Dal Moro’s pasta for some fresh pasta to go at an extremely reasonable price.

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