How lucky can you get? In the summer of 2016, my husband and I joined another couple on an amazing trip to Italy. The following spring, my daughter studied abroad for a semester in that wonderful country. She did not plan her semester until after we returned from our trip. Maybe our descriptions of the art and the wine influenced her just a little! The minute she got on the plane in January 2017, we began planning to visit her in late March.
You may think visiting the same place twice in such a short period of time is a little boring or unadventurous. With a place like Italy, it is just not the case! In fact, due to time constraints and a desire to spend as much time with our daughter as possible, we revisited a couple of the same cities – and saw different things each time.
On our first trip, we spent three nights in Rome, two nights in Siena, two nights in Florence, three nights in Venice, and two nights in the Dolomites. On our second trip, we flew into Rome again (cheaper) and spent two nights there, which meant we had one full day and a half day when we arrived. We spent four nights in Florence where our daughter was staying, then two nights in Orvieto.
Lessons from trip #1:
Keeping each city visit short allowed us to sample what each had to offer.
Traveling to so many different places teaches you a lot about a country’s transportation services. The trains in Italy are great!
I kept a journal and made sure to write down places we wanted to visit on our next trip, little dreaming that the next trip would be in less than a year.
Traveling with another couple is big fun; sometimes four heads are better than two when in comes to navigating a foreign country. Choose your companions wisely, as we did, and you’ll have double the fun.
Lessons from trip #2:
Staying in Florence for a longer time was a revelation! We really got to experience the culture, food, and atmosphere of the city on this trip. And we remembered so much about train travel from our previous trip that getting around was easier, and therefore a little quicker.
Using Airbnb or Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO) is a wonderful way to set up a base from which to explore. We got an apartment for four nights in Florence, visited a local market for tasty food supplies, and had the facilities for laundry.
Lesser-known places, especially in a country like Italy, are hidden gems. Orvieto was not crowded, and was a lovely place with plenty to do!
My advice about travel, no matter where you are going or for how long, is always the same. Ask around for personal recommendations, get a Rick Steves guidebook, and read Trip Advisor reviews, but in the end do what YOU want! It’s your trip, so go at it whatever way suits you best.
Freelance copywriting tips:
Travel is a boon for content specialists. It widens the mind like nothing else. Italy may be out of your budget – but there is plenty to do and see right here in the U.S. Shoot, there’s probably things you haven’t done in your own hometown! So get on out there. Take a notebook and take some pictures on your phone. Write, write, write! Turn it into a travel blog. Pitch some ideas to a travel magazine. Creativity is the key.