Read all about Superbreaker Graeme’s 10 day Italian adventure where he crammed in visits to Milan, Florence and Rome…
Being a culture vulture, fascinated by history and having an extreme passion for food, I decided that Italy was the ideal location for this year’s summer travel adventure. I only had 10 days for this trip so I had to cram a lot in to make the most of my visit to this culture rich country.
My journey began in the north in one of the fashion capitals of the world, Milan. It’s not the best place in Italy to see iconic landmarks, but despite this the city surely made up for it in shopping, vibe and atmosphere. To initially get my bearings around town I took part in a 4 hour bicycle city tour that I truly recommend for anyone that visits. From this I learnt all about Milan’s history, landmarks and places to hang out from the guidance of the tour guide. My favourite place in Milan had to be the Duomo (Cathedral) that was an impressive building both inside and out. It was great to climb the many stairs to its spire, where you can see fabulous views of the city and beyond. At night the Navigli canals had a great vibe with bars serving ‘aperitivo’ including a great selection of local beers and buffet food such as pastas, risottos, antipasti and breads. Mmm.
Also during my visit to Milan I visited Como which was only a 45 minute local train ride away. Famous for its fantastic scenery overlooking a crystal clear lake, it was absolutely stunning. Whilst tucking into a locally made gelato I took a lake cruise to see the whole area in minimum time and witnessed the incredible views, luxurious hotel resorts and many large properties dotted around the lake, one of which is owned by Hollywood star George Clooney.
After 4 days visiting Milan and Como I jumped on a mainline train and was en-route to Florence. I must recommend travelling using the Trenitalia if you’re ever travelling in Italy given its speed, comfort and reasonable prices (if you book online in advance). My next few days in the Tuscan capital were steeped in rich culture and history. I travelled everywhere on foot given that Florence is small and flat making it very easy to walk around. I visited the Duomo, bell tower, Ponte Vecchio, museums, galleries (one of which housed Michelangelo’s David) and numerous Tuscan food outlets which included amazing tasting pizzas and pastas all made from very simply ingredients. From Florence you can easily visit Pisa for a day to see the famous leaning tower that was very impressive close up (it does lean a lot more than I thought!)
My final stop after Florence was 3 days in Rome which was just over a 2 hour journey away by train. Now Rome… where do I begin? So many sights, so much to see and do… all I can say is that you must visit to see for yourself. If you are tight on time like I was, I would definitely not miss seeing Vatican City, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon as they were all immense. Also, the little suburb of Trastevere was great if you want to see the local vibe of Rome. It has a range of local markets, cheap authentic restaurants and plenty of bars to discover.
Overall my 10 day trip to Italy was exhausting yet amazing and I definitely want to explore more of this incredible country. Well worth it!
Have you visited any of the places Graeme managed to see on his Italian Tour? Let us know your highlights in the comments below…