It's cold and snowy here in Latvia, so for my kid's ski break we decided to get away. Looking at cheap flights we settled on flying to/from Milan (Bergamo). It's not warm, but it's warmer than here.
From there we will do sort of a triangle by train Milan > Florence > Venice > Milan.
The first night in Milan we are just staying in a cheaper non-Marriott near Milano Centrale since we'll be arriving in the evening by train and leaving the same way early the next morning for Florence.
We'll stay 2 nights in the AC Firenza there. Probably take a day trip to Pisa to see the tower, church, and baptistry there. We are debating whether to go to the Academia to see the original David or the Uffizi to see Birth of Venus or what as those entry prices are a lot higher than I expected and since we don't have a ton of time anyway we may rather just look around the city.
Then we take the train back up to Venice where we'll stay 2 nights. Not sure what we'll do there, but I do want to see St. Marks and the Doge's Palace. I'm sure we'll probably do a gondola ride too. My friends who went recommended we go to Murano to see the glass.
We may stop in Verona on the way back to Milan, but we haven't decided yet. This time in Milan, we plan to stay at the Boscolo for two nights since it seems to be a great location. I already have tickets for us to see The Last Supper on our last day there.
Then we will head back to Bergamo to stay at a hotel across the street from the airport since our flight is at 0655 the next morning.
Tallying up all of the hotels and train tickets, the cheap flights are going to end up costing us quite a bit. LOL But, hopefully we will have a good time.
Any thoughts and especially advice on restaurants would be appreciated.
I've not been to Italy, yet, but I'm hoping to go there in 2016 or 17. I'll be reading your responses to see if there is any info to help me plan.
I am curious though, about where in Latvia you live. My father was from Libau and my maternal grandparents were from Riga.
What are those cities like for tourism?
I live in Riga and have only been here about four months. It is nice, but small. You can pretty much see all of Old Town within a few days. If you like Art Nouveau architecture and just walking around then you can spend quite a bit of time just walking around looking for that (there is plenty of it here).
There are other cities you can go to for day trips, but Sigulda is the only one I have been to so far. If you are looking for a longer vacation you could also combine a visit with the other Baltic countries Lithuania and Estonia or possibly take the ferry across to Stockholm.
Costs are pretty low here compared to most of Europe I think.
Must take a gondola trip around Venice and go over to Murano as well, it is very interesting to have them make an article of blown glass for you to purchase. I would also recommend Lake Como and the town of Bellagio, Howevr; at this time of year most of the town is probably closed until April, but the beauty of the area is worth the trip anyway.
My friend just went over the holidays and said they spent 4hrs in line to climb the Duomo! I definitely want to see it, but I'm not sure it is worth that kind of time to actually climb it when there are so many other things to see (and I have an 8yo so that would be tough on her) so we may just view it from the outside.
flying in and out of Milan-Malpensa we stay at the Moxie. It's fun and kicky. All beds are queen and it has been full every night I've been there so no upgrades.
I like the AC hotels in Italy, however, sometimes they aren't actually close to the city centers, I always double check on a map.They have everything I need/want from a room, but I'm pretty easygoing.
You can do Verona in a day if you want. But I like it more than Milan so I'd spend the night there.
enjoy your trip!
When we've flown out of Malpensa (MXP) we have stayed at http://www.firsthotel.it/ and Crowne Plaza Milan - Malpensa Airport - Somma Lombardo (Va), Italy. While both are very nice clean hotels we like the Crown Plaza just a little more and it is closer to the Terminals. Can't go wrong with either of them or the Moxie either.
I just saw MXP was voted the Top European Airport for 2015 which I found hard to believe when compared to Munich (MUC), but then I found out it was listed in the 10-25 Million Passenger list and MUC must have far more passengers/year! Way to go MXP.
For a restaurant in Florence, you must try Buca Lapi. It's an open-kitchen, basement restaurant, five-minute walk from Il Duomo. Save room for the flourless chocolate cake.