Exploring Northern Italy

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My family came to visit a week ago and to travel on a budget, I rented a car for a week to drive to several cities. I soon figured out that I wouldn’t drive all over Northern Italy for anyone else other than my family.

If you have driven in Italy, you know why I say this…people here drive crazy and the roads are not that smooth in the city. Anyway, my family arrived in Milan the first day and of course I had to take them to try their first Italian pizza. Of course, it was delicious.

The next day we visited Venice. I was actually a little worried about driving into Venice because there are no cars allowed in the city, so I was curious on where I had to leave the car. Fortunately, I found a parking garage as soon as I drove into Venice where I was able to leave the car for the day. My family loved Venice (not surprised) and here is where they also tried their first gelato and fresh pasta. We didn’t do a gondola ride because it is super pricey, but other than that we caught a beautiful sunset and pictures.

After Venice we went to a small city on the coast called Portofino (pictured below) and did an amazing hike down to the colorful houses. Our original plan was to drive down into the town, but someone along the way told us we couldn’t go down with the car. My family and I like traveling the road less traveled so we decided to come here since it is not too touristy, but the way to get here was super curvy and my sister got carsick. Also, this little town had strong hurricane-like winds and I felt like I was going to blow away- but it was still fun.

Also in this area we visited a castle that had amazing views of the town, which is where I took the picture below. Next, we drove to Florence. In Florence, we stayed in a camp and ate overpriced food at the camp’s restaurant. We also visited the Academy of Art museum and saw the statue of David, which was huge and beautiful. I felt like Florence was a bit rushed and I would have liked to see more, but it is what it is. After Florence, we went to a castle in Chianti to have a wine tour where they told us about how wine is made. We all loved this tour and they gave us food and different wines to taste afterward…it was amazing.

After visiting all these cities it was time to come back to Milan and buy last minute souvenirs for my family to take home. We also went thrift shopping and found some unique pieces- I would have never gone if it wasn’t for them. The next day, I had to drop my family off at the airport and then turn in the car. I was actually a bit sad when they left because we had many good laughs and moments during their week here. All good things have to come to an end though….I will see them soon.