A How-To Guide to One Week in Italy: Part II

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What to Do

If you have two or three days in Rome then I recommend purchasing the Roma Pass, which allows you on/off access to Rome’s transportation as well as entrance into two museums or sites such as the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

The Vatican museums and St. Peter’s Basilica - While here, you will find unbelievable art and sculptures, and St. Peter’s is sure to be a memorable experience as it is one of the most beautiful, famous places in the world.

The Necropolis Under the Basilica tour. This special tour was one of our trip highlights!


The birthplace of the Renaissance still shines today with beautiful artwork, sculptures, architecture, and today’s budding artists filling the squares seeking inspiration for their own masterpieces. You can see Florence in a day but you may want an extra day to explore the leather markets and eat gelato around the small city.

Italy’s train system makes it easy to get between cities. A direct train can be taken from Rome to Florence and any other major city and have you there in just a few hours. It’s worth it!

Where to Stay

Relais Villa Antea is a former home turned bed & breakfast. Open for the past five years, it is one of Florence’s best-kept secrets. With just six rooms available, each is beautifully appointed, the bathrooms spacious, breakfast is excellent but what really sets this spot apart are the owners and staff who are overly accommodating and helpful.  Their recommendations for places to eat were focused on what is excellent not touristy from the local pizza establishment to a fine dining experience.


Best pizza in Florence: Pizzeria Spera – Go local if you dare!  My husband ate pizza every day for nine days and this was his favorite, by far.

Best fine dining: Taverna della Bronzino – Extraordinary service matched with a magnificent menu!


The Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful areas of Italy

A piece of heaven on the Italian Riviera, the five villages of the Cinque Terre are growing in popularity for their sun, sand, coastal views, hiking, wine and relaxation. For me, this was the perfect stop after visiting the bustling cities of Rome and Florence. You can travel between towns by train or boat or even hike, as many groups do, but be sure to bring along your hiking shoes.

Where to Stay

If you want to have an experience like no other, then stay at La Torretta in the village of Manarola. I can’t say enough about this upscale, 13-room place that caters to its visitors with complimentary wine and appetizers graciously offered each afternoon on the sun terrace, breakfast delivered to your room each morning, stocked mini-bars in the room, and its spectacular views – all included in the price worth spending.  It fills up fast, so book this one way in advance.

Accommodation options in Monterosso el Mare abound. Arguably the most popular of the five villages of the Cinque Terre because of its beaches, you can choose from beachfront hotels in the village’s new town or capture the old world charm of the hotels in the old town.

With this agenda, I had enough time to visit the cities on my itinerary and didn’t feel that I missed out on anything important, like eating gelato at least twice a day. It did leave me with the desire to come back again, exploring more of Italy and its cities.

If you’d like to find out more information about my amazing trip,  feel free to leave comments on this post or send an e-mail with any questions you may have – travelsmartblog@gmail.com



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2 Responses to “A How-To Guide to One Week in Italy: Part II”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Love the video tip!!

  2. Nicole says:

    Glad it was helpful, Elizabeth! Have you been to Italy before?

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