Florence was the third city we stayed during our holidays in Europe, and I can honestly say it got a special place in my heart since the very first day.
Differently from Rome, I found the city much calmer, organised, easier to navigate around, and with a great modern vibe (even with all the historical buildings it has).
I had 3 amazing days there, which I’ll be happily sharing with you now.
If you want to get straight to the point, here you canget my Google Mapswith all the main attractions conveniently marked for you.
Keep reading if you would also like an overview of these attractions.
Mercato Centrale In case you’re a foodie like me, this is THE place to be.
Stroll along a good number of stalls feature local products and produce; and don’t forget to visit the upper level full of yummy restaurants.
Perfect place to sample the best Italy has to offer.
We decided to spend a day exploring the region; we took a train in the morning: from Florence to La Spezia, and then another train to the first city in the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore (check here my Google Maps).
Our idea was to do the complete hike from Riomaggiore to Monteresso, however, due to the bad weather on the previous days, 70% of the path was closed! Bummer!
Sadly enough, you only get this kind of information when you are already there.
But that doesn’t mean we did nothing, we did a lot and I’m about to show you what!
What we did then
Our first stop, so we decided to buy the Cinque Terre Card, which gave us access to the trail and unlimited train travels between the 5 cities and La Spezia.
As the trail was closed here, after exploring a bit of the village we got the train to our next stop, Manarola.
I remember I was super excited when we arrived and took me some time to believe where actually I was.
I simply love history and just imagining that I would be walking through so many historical sites, I just couldn’t believe it was really happening.
In this post, I’ll share with you everything I managed to do during these three days. Or you can go straight to the point and get here my Google Maps with all the places and restaurants conveniently marked for you. 😉
As a general piece of advice: Rome is full of history, as you probably already know, so to make your experience even better, how about studying their history beforehand or use Rick Steve‘s app for that, which I totally recommend.
I’m telling you that, because I think you’d be missing out a lot if you don’t know at least a bit of their history, or simply don’t have any idea what the places used to represent. 😉
Another important note about Rome: WALK!
This is a city to explore, taking the time to wander around (sometimes without destination), just enjoying the city!
Day 1 – Ancient Rome
Colosseum Buy your tickets online as lines are SUPER LONG there! (yes, even if you’re planning to go early in the morning)
Also, download Rick Steve‘s app and use his Colosseum audio tour, which was awesome and totally free.
And below a complete description of everything you can do:
Places to go
It’s a nice example of a medieval castle, built in 1279.
Entrance is paid, costing €6 per adult. 🙂
Well worth the price if you’re interested in this kind of medieval architecture.
Galleria Umberto I
This is such a beautiful building. Take some time to explore the shops, restaurants, and admire its splendid interior.
Royal Palace of Naples
This is another beautiful building to visit.
It also has a museum with ticketed entrance, but most of the external area, including the beautiful gardens, can be explored free of charge!
Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola & Piazza del Plebiscito
These two are right in front of the Royal Palace of Naples, making them a very good area to look around and admire the surrounds.
It’s a very popular street, full of shops and restaurants, ready for you to explore!
I simply loved this castle.
It is the oldest standing fortification in Naples and works today as a place for events and free visitation.
Views from up there are amazing!
Make sure to check it out!
Take some time to walk along Naples Harbour and you will be blessed with amazing views, such as in the photo below.
Not to mention the constant and inviting delicious smells from the restaurants along the way.
When I started planning this day trip to Naples (finding things to do and places to eat) something that I constantly found by reading people’s recommendations was to be aware of the areas you’re planning to visit.
It’s not that the city is totally unsafe. Not like that.
The areas I recommended above are absolutely safe and worth the visit.
However, my original personal itinerary also included things to do around the central station (Stazione di Napoli Centrale) … but yeah, when I got there, I unfortunately had to give up.
Not even the presence of the army on the streets made me safe enough to explore the area. 🙁
But overall, don’t worry too much, 1 day in Naples is more than enough to see the best things and enjoy a delicious pizza!
Make sure to follow my itinerary above and you can’t go wrong. 🙂
Three views walk
Here you have – yep, you guessed right, three easy and relatively short trails to pick from.
In case you are not in a hurry you can do all of them in the morning.
The trails are flat and don’t have much to offer along the way (just a nice walk), but the reward is at the end of each one of them, with breathtaking views.
You can see below photos from each view.
If you have to pick between one or two of the trails, I suggest picking the Shoalhaven River View (the longest trail) and/or Lake Yarrunga View (the shortest one).