Venice at Night

Venice at Night

We are back from our epic summer travels, this year we took two and a half weeks to explore Italy from Sicily to Venice. Here is an overview of what is to come in this recap:

  • Layover in Paris
    • Eiffel Tour, Arch de Triomphe, Trivoli Gardens, Louvre Gardens
  • Catania Area, Sicily
    • Etna Wineries
    • Free Walking Tour Taormina
    • Hiking Mt. Etna
  • Naples
    • Free Walking Tour
    • Pizza Making Class
    • Archaeology Tour of Pompeii
  • Florence
    • Uffizi Gallery
    • Academia Gallery Tour (Michaelango’s David)
    • Duomo Complex
    • Tuscany Wine Tour
  • Bologna
    • Market & Food Tour
  • Venice
    • Doge’s Palace
    • St. Mark’s Basilica
    • Free Walking Tour
    • Murano Glass Museum
Crater in Mt. Etna

Crater in Mt. Etna

When planning our Italian odyssey, one of the biggest questions was how to travel between the dazzling cities. Renting a car seemed like overkill since we planned to spend most of our time in cities where the car would have to remain parked. So we decided to embrace the classic mode of Italian transportation – the railway system known as Trenitalia.

Our first Trenitalia experience was the overnight Intercity Notte train from Catania to Naples. As dusk fell, we boarded our private cabin, complete with bunk beds and a sink for freshening up. The gentle rocking of the train soon lulled us into a peaceful slumber…until we awoke to the realization that we were aboard a ferry! The entire train had been loaded onto a boat to cross the Strait of Messina. An utterly unique experience.

Despite the firm mattresses, there was something magical about that overnight journey. We awoke to a traditional Italian breakfast of espresso and pastries, along with an Italian newspaper – a delightful old-world touch.

Market in Bologna

Market in Bologna

For our other Italian train journeys, we opted for the high-speed Frecciarossa trains in business class. The luxurious reclining seats, complete with trolley service offering snacks and beverages, made the transits between cities an enjoyable experience in themselves.

One tip we cannot emphasize enough: pack light! The narrow aisles and corridors of Italian trains make hauling large suitcases an exercise in frustration. We marveled at the overstuffed bags some tourists lugged around, realizing that our carry-on-sized cases were the way to go, especially when walking from stations to accommodations over cobblestones.

Looking back, our decision to embrace Italy’s iconic rail system was one of the highlights of our trip. Traveling from city to city without the hassles of driving allowed us to soak in the breathtaking scenery whizzing by our window. The trains connected us efficiently while offering a uniquely Italian experience in themselves. It was an adventure getting from here to there, and we relished every mile along the way.

Thanks for stopping by! Check out our NEW Go See Do Explore Podcast, available wherever you listen to podcasts. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! For my list of gadgets to make your travels easier, click here. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.