Seven trips to Italy: the first trip to art cities Rome Florence Venice
I would like to visit Italy for a long time, but every time I had no luck. Even when I was just about to fly and was sitting in airport, even then our flight was delayed and… was the last flight to Italy — after us flights were forbidden because of Irish volcano. But we got to Italy, got to Rome — and this week no more tourists came to Italy — so it was lucky for us to visit main sights without crowds as usually. Second lucky thing was that it was Italy’s Culture Week, when just all sights have free entrance. I didn’t know about it when I planned my trip in a half year advance, so it was great present to me: the first trip was introducing and had a lot of sights, — museums and galleries. Rome Florence Venice — main cities from which one should began to explorer Italy and visit main famous sights.
Planning Rome Florence Venice trip
Before the trip I read biographical novel of Michelangelo The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone and Images of italy by Pavel Muratov — review of his Italian travel in 1924. So I made a route to see masterpieces Irving Stone and Pavel Muratov talked about. I would like make the route by myself not take a guided tour — especially to manage to visit everything I wanted, without wasting time for waiting for group gathering etc. It was my first trip by my own, without a group.
The route of Rome Florence Venice trip
Duration: vacation week (5 working days and 4 weekend days)
- Arrival. Rome
- Vatican and Rome
- Departure to Florence
- Departure to Venice
1-st day: Arrival to Rome
It was just great happiness to arrive in Rome -our flight was the last. And my dream to visit Italy at last came true also. I just felt Italy hug. ..From airport we went to Rome by train Leonardo express (32 min) and after two steps we were in our hotel already: Hotel Corot*** located just near railway station. (For this trip we didn’t chose hotels ourselves, we asked for an agency service, so we had a limited choice) The hotel had a great location, but was noisy to sleep, our room looked at a street.
Because of our flight delay we had less time so from planned National Roman Museum we could visit only Palazzo Massimo, Thermal baths of Diocleziano were already closed. Though we were great impressed by Roman sculpture collection, so alive people, it was incredible! After Palazzo Massimo we came to see The Basilica of St.Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs. First day we walked nearby Roma Termini railway station, where we lived nearby, not went elsewhere, but we felt Rome atmosphere and here: there were antient ruins and pines everywhere where we went. Even when we had a lunch at self service Gusto Restaurant at Termini (it was quickly and no so expensive) there were ruins in courtyard.
2-d day: Tivoli — as plus to Rome Florence Venice trip
Next day we went to Tivoli, unfortunately it took a whole day, because we wasted a lot of time — we had to stay in a deep long line to buy tickets: thanks Irish volcano everyone had to come back not by plane, but by train, so it was awful queue. …And a seller was very delighted to sell us tickets inside the country. Then we ran round to solve a quest where from we should depart to Tivoli.(45-75 min depends of stops, 35 min — by car) To find a departure way one needs know a destination — a finale stop of the train.
So we arrived in Tivoli, walked about a half hour to Villa D’Este. There were buses also getting to the villas in Tivoli. Villa D’Este attracted me when I saw my friend’s photos with the villa, they were marvelous! So I imagined something unreal beautiful and planned to visit. When we came to the villa we were almost enchanted. It was entire miracle and we were like in fair tail. After Villa D’Este we went to Villa Gregoriana, also about 20 min. The villa was a jungle park-canyon with waterfalls, antient caves and ruins — it look not a lot of place, but was very mystique and picturesque. On a back way on exit the villa we quickly got to the station — the railway station was nearby Villa Gregoriana.
3-d day: Rome
The rout of my Rome one day stroll
Next day we explored Rome, at least we got to main sights. I was very stunned by The Palatine Hill — by its untold atmosphere with sunshine delight, and by The Pantheon — by its huge space as enter it. Of course, I couldn’t go away from Michelangelo masterpieces. The Trevi Fountain was out of any commentary, it was very cute and itimate and in the same time — gorgeous and miracle and with timeless crowd looked like one alive organism. Of coarse, every step in Rome was unique and full of charm,
- The Basilica of Saint Mary Major
- The Basilica of Saint Praxedes
- Saint Peter in Chains church (San Pietro in Vincoli) — Moses by Michelangelo
- The Colosseum
- The Palatine Hill
- The Roman Forum
- Largo di Torre Argentina square
- Saint Mary above Minerva church (St Maria Sopra Minerva) — Risen Christ by Michelangelo
- The Trevi Fountain
- The Spanish Steps
- The Circus Maximus (Circo Massimo)
- The Baths of Caracalla (Terme di Caracalla)
4-th day: Vatican and Rome
Last day in Rome we spent in Vatican, we booked in advance a guided tour to Vatican Garden with an entrance to Vatican Museums after the excursion. Like I couldn’t go away from Michelangelo masterpieces I couldn’t go away from Laocoön too. After Vatican Museums we visited St.Peter’s Basilica, stunned by its dimensions: everything was proportionately so it looked like very much increased church with people who became very little grains of sand.
You can look useful touristic info and accommodation in Rome in an article
What to see & where to stay at Rome
5-th day: Departure to Florence
From Termini station we departed to Florence by Eurostar. In 2 hours we arrived in Florence, Novella railway station, and we made only two steps to our hotel Boncioni***. Our room had a road view, so it was noisy. But location was straight super. It was possible to reach just everything. So I did. As I planned I managed to visit every site and even more: I didn’t included Galleria Uffizi in. because it wasn’t possible to book it in advance. so It would have to waste a lot of time in a quire. But when I had walked by all I wanted I stand in this quire and passed in. Though I had very little time I was lucky to see the main. Before my sawed sights putting here I must notice, that I had to particular plane time and order of visits, because of so quite different and unexpected the sight timetables. I had to link all the rest of my trip to the days in Florence.
What I visited and what impressed me especially great:
- Church of Santa Maria Novella — the Great Cloister frescos
- Santa Maria del Carmine Cappella Brancacci — Massacio and Masolino frescos
- Palazzo Pitti and Boboli gardens
- Bardini gardens
- Church of Santa Felicita — The Deposition from the Cross by Pontormo
- The Uffizi Gallery — Venus by Botticelli and Titian
- Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore — when I came out to the square I was just stunned by this miracle of colored marble
6-th day: Florence
Next day we went to explore Florence further. On Piazza della Signoria we had a lunch — I took a giblet soup like Michelangelo did, it was very taste. We got up to opposite Arno bank hill to see Florence as also Michelangelo did. Tenderness of Fra Angelico’s frescos, Botticelli masterpieces, my favorite — Filippo Lippi’s Madonna and Duomo’s miracle marble elegance — was main motif of my florentine impressions. Of coarse, I was stunned by Michelangelo masterpieces again and also Donatello’s St George, from which it seems to me Michelangelo took a refrain for his David.
What I visited and what impressed me especially great:
- Galleria dell’Accademia — David, Prisoners or Slaves by Michelangelo
- Convent of San Marco — where G.Savonarola lived, frescos by Fra Angelico,
- Archeological Nazionale Museum — Etruscan and wide Egyptian collection
- Palazzo Vecchio — where G.Savonarola was a prisoner
- Museo Nazionale del Bargello — Bacchus by Michelangelo, St George by Donatello
- The Opera del Duomo Museum — Pieta (orThe Deposition or Bandini) by Michelangelo
- Basilica of San Lorenzo, Cappelle Medicee — the Medice family tombs by Michelangelo
- Palazzo Medici Riccardi — Madonna of Palazzo Medici-Riccardi by Filippo Lippi, the chapel of the Magi painted by Benozzo Gozzoli
You can look useful touristic info and accommodation in Florence in an article
What to see & where to stay at Florence
7-th day: Departure to Venice
Nexr day we got to Venice also by Eurostar to Venice’s Santa Lucia train station. When we came out the train we just smelt the sea. Next step — and we saw it, of tender milk
turquoise color. With a wall of beautiful buildings. We bought a vaporetto (waterbus) abonnement and sailed to our hotel along Grand canal — just like in a miracle fair tale. It was simple unreal. At least we reached our hotel Hotel Castello*** nearby St Mark’s Square. The hotel had a microscopic number room and backyard view. But interior was gorgeous and it was authentic venetian house with authentic venetian view — ordinary but true real venetian life, so we could feel it, as we lived in Venice.
So we went to explorer Venice. First we visited Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari — to see The Assumption by Titian (early work), then visited nearby glorious Scuola Grande di San Rocco. Then we came back to St Mark’s Square and visited St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. On later evening we sailed to see night Venice. There were very few lights mostly near water along Grand canal. Quite all Venice was in a darkness. It rained, and it deepened darkness Venice atmosphere. We came out on Ponte di Rialto and there was also darkness nearby, very few people and — silence.
8-th day: Venice
Next morning it was raining yet, we came to explore Venice further. Nearby Ca’d’Oro we had a lunch with a seafood in popular Old Wild West. We also got to San Giorgio Maggiore Island, visited the church went up the bell tower and took a guided tour to visit the monastery. I was stunned by elegant beauty of Andrea Palladio’s interior of San Giorgio Maggiore church and was enchanted by no less exquisite proportions of his Chiostro Palladiano (or Chiostro dei Cipressi). After all program we had a gondola glorious stroll as a final chord of our Venice trip and all Rome Florence Venice trip.
What I visited and what impressed me especially great:
- Scuola Grande di San Marco — St. Augustine in His Study by Carpaccio
- Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni and Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo (San Zanipolo)
- Santa Maria dei Miracoli
- Ca’ d’Oro — St. Sebastian by Andrea Mantegna
- Gallerie dell’Accademia — Pietà by Giovanni Bellini and Pietà by Titian — later work
- San Giorgio Maggiore Island
9-th day: Departure
Our Rome Florence Venice trip came to end so we went to depart to airport — by vaporetto too.(about 1 h 10 min from St Mark’s Square). But before departure we met the morning on St Mark’s Square and once more walked in the first sun rays — it was nice weather and nobody at the square, Venice just wake up.
You can look useful touristic info and accommodation in Milan in an article
Venice : what to see & where to stay