Italian Adventure: Venice and Milan

Monday, July 30, 2018

The last leg of my Italian Adventure was Venice and Milan in a 48 hour period. It was a marathon! 
After our time in Sorrento I was well rested and ready to complete the trip by seeing Venice and Milan. We knew we weren't going to have a lot of time, so we planned activities for each day.
We got up early on our last morning in Sorrento and took a car to Naples. Then from Naples we flew to Venice. It was such an easy flight...about an hour or so.

Once we arrived in Venice we were off! We took the shuttle from the the airport to the train station close to the center of town. Since Venice is a very small island there are no cars allowed. The shuttle dropped us off near the train station and we walked to our hotel. Now, let me explain something to you. The scenery is absolutely beautiful. But what you don't realize is that you have to WALK WITH YOUR LUGGAGE THROUGH THE CITY until you find your hotel. So there we were walking through allies, through the streets, up and down stairs, and over the canals until we find our hotel.
We had previously scheduled a tour of Murano and Burano so we were in quite a hurry to get to the pickup spot. Murano is where you go to see the glass-blowing factory. It is beautiful however, glass figurines is a very specific taste that doesn't really fit the aesthetic of my apartment. But it was very interesting to see. We also went to Burano on the second half of our tour. Burano is a very cute and quaint little town with brightly colored painted buildings. I loved that they painted the buildings and homes all the different colors so fishermen coming in could see  through the fog! So cool, right?! There were old gelato shops and restaurants all throughout this little town that were amazing. We of course stopped to get gelato...it was so hot! It was absolutely beautiful. 

Top (old): Glam Envy//Shorts: Old Navy//Sandals: Report//Hat: J.Crew
Sunnies: Quay//Handbag: JustFab

After the tour we headed back to Venice and we each explored the city on her own. I walked up and down the streets and looked in the shops and restaurants. It was nice to see how people live in the small little city. It's definitely very touristy, but I enjoyed the time that I was there. One day was plenty.
The next morning we got up had breakfast and made our way to the train station. Milan was my last city in Italy and I was looking forward to it. Milan is the fashion capital of the world so I was super excited to see how the locals lived. Were they going to be completely decked out and high-end fashion? Or would they be very casual and undercover with their labels? 

When we arrived to Milan we walked to our hotel from the train station. Again, we were early so we dropped off our bags. The receptionist at the hotel was amazing. He knew we were too early to check in so he took our bags then drew a map of the city showing us where to go. 

The first stop on our adventure in Milan was the Duomo Di Milano. It was beautiful. Throughout the trip we saw so many beautiful churches and cathedrals, however this cathedral was breathtaking. There were so many amazing pieces of art and an enormous crucifix at the top center of the cathedral. It literally brought tears to my eyes because it was so stunning and so breathtaking. Unfortunately it was covered by a big screen so I could only see a portion of it. However, with what I saw I was stunned and amazed.
We each walked around the Duomo Di Milano on our own then met up at the exit. Once we were each finished we made our way to the mall. 

Now like I said before, when you're Milan you are expecting to see nothing but high end luxury shops. That is exactly what we saw! there was Versace, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, and Prada.  You name it...the gang was all there! And honestly if I could afford to shop at each of those stores, in one session I definitely would! There's something about having luxury items that just makes you feel so special. One day I'll do a post on why I prefer buying luxury items outside of the U.S. They're always a great investment and I always look for ways to save money when I'm making the investment!
We also found a cute pastry and coffee shop to sit in and have a a cup of coffee. With all the walking we did it was nice to sit and relax for a while. We each knew we were going to be walking even more. so this rest was much needed. Plus I think this was the first time we sat to reflect on the time  we spent together over the last 10 days. Milan was my last stop, but my two friends were off to Paris for an additional three days.
Ending my Italian Adventure in Milan was perfect. It was low-key and casual everywhere we went. We even had amazing Chinese food at a restaurant that also serves Italian food? I think by the end of the trip we were a bit tired of pasta so we looked for something that offered pasta as well as something else. It was odd but it was definitely delicious!

Here is some advice when it comes to traveling.
  1. Plan ahead. It was important for us to make sure we had tickets to museums. We also paid for each of our tours prior to arriving. This will save time and you'll have something to do each day! 
  2. Try to pack as lightly as possible or find a place where you can do your laundry. Nobody wants to carry around all that luggage and you will definitely end up buying things to bring home. Make sure there's room in your luggage for the items you'll be bringing back. Hopefully it's not dirty laundry.
  3. Plan time for downtime. When you take a long trip you'll definitely want to squeeze in as much sightseeing as possible. Too much sightseeing can be very exhausting, so plan time to relax. 
  4. Don't be afraid to leave the group and do things on your own. There is something to be said for exploring and taking an experience for yourself. We all experience life differently so give yourself time to do so. 
  5. Try to live like a local! Don't be afraid to talk to people and ask for recommendations for restaurants or activities. No one can give you better advice on what to do in a foreign city like a local! Plus, most people love seeing others enjoying their city. 

Traveling to Italy for 10 days was definitely a long trip to be away from home. I wouldn't change it for the world. There's something inside me that has a strong desire to see every inch of the Earth. This was definitely my chance to cross a additional country off my list. I'm so happy with my decision to go and I'm very much looking forward to my next trip...wherever that'll be!
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