Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Buon Giorno Italia - Planning an Italy vacation

Yes I had a fantastic vacation in Italy with my Hubby-D in early November 2010. I guess you could call it our 2nd honeymoon :). During our wedding in Malaysia i 2007, we had so much to do and so little time we only took a short getaway to Phuket, Thailand. So, we always knew that we would do a "real honeymoon" either in Italy or Paris. My vote on Italy won this time as I have been to Paris before.

I am proud to say, I planned this whole vacation to the dot. And it was a perfect vacation. I started on a totally blank page with absolutely no idea where Italy was and what there was to see and do in Italy.

Then I narrowed it down to the basics for a first timer in Italy. Rome, Florence and Venice. A little ambitious for a 8 days vacation but hey, that's how the research started. Initially I did want to take the easy way out, just booked a tour with a travel agency and let them do all the work. We just need to follow and everything will be settled.

However, after speaking to them and looking into their various itineraries, a tour of Rome, Florence and Venice became a lot clearer to me. I first listed down the "must see" tourist spots. Then I started to form the dots. Places to go, nearby areas, where to stay, I began to have a clearer picture of what I needed to do. Thus I considered the idea of going on our own versus with a tour group. Infact it became a lot more exciting especially when I found better locations for hotels, and could figure out how to connect all the dots to the places we would like to go.

Yes, we can do it on our own and take our time to do and go where we want.

Planes tickets - booked, hotels - booked, train tickets - booked and also reservations to some museums - booked. We are set!!

Seriously I could not have done it without this person. Mr. Rick Steves. If you don't know him, you must get to know him inside out especially when you are planning a Europe vacation. Rick Steves is America's leading authority on European travel. He provided the backbone to our trip. Where to stay, what and where to eat, what to see, how to go and best audio guides to some of the museums. He really made our trip, literally!

Next, is another fantastic resource. I used it a lot to research hotels and it provided excellent recommendations. Also, the people on the forum are simply wonderful, if you have a query, there are so many people who willingly respond to help.

The good news is that Hubby-D bought us our first official DSLR camera. Woohoo!! Sony A330. It is not the super top of the line but a DSLR with 2 lenses for below US500.00, I am a happy camper. Looking forward to better photography especially on my food photos.

From the hundreds, ok more like thousands of photos taken on our Italy trip, it is an uphill task to showcase them all. I decided to make a video of photographs and once I started, I decided I should add captions so I can remember the details of each photo. I have 4 videos - 2 on Rome, 1 each for Florence and Venice. Unfortunately, it is about 8 minutes long each but if you have the time, do view it and let me take you down Italia lane.

Let's start with Rome and I will post Florence and Venice on my next postings. Buon Giorno!


Natalie Smith said...

You had a lot of fun guys. This is great. Wonderful blog and regards from Venice hotels

Little Inbox said...

Wow so nice! I'm now facing with some Italiano document which I need to translate it word by word using Google Translate. Damn boring!

mysimplefood said...

Thanks Natalie.

Little Inbox - How come you translating Italian documents. Must be a pain cos I think it is quite difficult...

Anonymous said...

What fun you had!! Great holiday.

Quay Po Cooks said...

Your post brings back fond memories of our trip to Rome. You guys look so happy and happy you had a great trip. These are memories that are priceless!

mysimplefood said...

Quay Po - Indeed the trip is beautiful and the memories are priceless. Happy CNY!!

airport hotel Venice said...

Great tips! For sure, it'a a must see place, at least once. I am glad you liked it!

planning an italy vacation said...

Nice post... you was traveled to many beautiful places in Italy. In my opinion it is always better to make some research before traveling to the new place.

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