Italy Recap

Hi friends!

I wanted to hop on here and do a quick recap of our Italy trip. We went for a total of 9 days and that included flying.

Dave and I had been wanting to go to Europe for a while now but it just never worked out until now. I asked my OB doctor what the max cutoff date for me flying was and she said 34 weeks. So, I figured that at 28/29 weeks I could do it.

For this trip, we wanted to go to a lot of places and see a lot of things so I made sure we booked everything in advance. That included flights over there, lodging, train tickets and skip the line tickets for major sights.

For flights we booked through Expedia. For trains we booked through ItaliaRail and it was really upfront and forward on how to book. Our flights over there were around $750 a person and then trains were around $150 a person for all the traveling we did. We also bought a 3 day metro pass which was very easy to purchase at the metro station. We did take a taxi a couple of times and that was around $10 - $15 a ride. However, at the end of the day my pregnant legs and belly just couldn't take it anymore and we had to taxi back. =)

Everywhere online recommended to purchase 'skip the line' tickets to get into major sights. We bought walking tours to the Colosseum and to the Vatican and I believe we booked through Enjoy Rome.  We also booked tickets to climb the Duomo in Florence and to climb Pisa tower. You didn't need a tour for those two places but you definitely needed tickets or you weren't climbing.

Now, somehow Dave and I went during cultural week and all the museums were free! Had I known that we would not have booked tours but would have just purchased tickets to climb the Duomo and Pisa. I honestly have no idea how someone would find that out but if you can, plan it around that time as it will save you loads of money. I also e-mailed the Colosseum tour and they reimbursed us for our ticket portion. We actually went to the Colosseum twice because of the free tickets. Also, if you follow me on IG you know this, but if you are pregnant you get marched to the front of every line of all the major sights. I am not exaggerating when I say we passed about 2,000+ people. At first I felt bad but the more I walked and stood around the more I was grateful that they were so nice to pregnant ladies.

If you are on a budget and don't want to pay for tours you should download the Steve Ricks free app. He has tours on there that will guide you through the Colosseum, the Forum and lots of other major sights in Italy. His tours are as good as the paid local ones and you don't have to wait on your group to diddle daddle around. =) We listened to a lot of his audio guides on Italy and it was really interesting.

For our trip we stayed in Rome, in Florence and in Venice. Pisa is close to Florence and it only takes about half a day to see the leaning tower so we just made a day trip out of that.

Here are a few things I noticed/loved about Italy:

1. Their coffee scene is amazing! They have walkup coffee bars. You pay in advance, show your receipt to the barista and they make your drink and you just stand at the counter and drink it. It is very affordable and so incredibly delicious!

2. Bathrooms are a pain in the rear. You have to pay for most bathrooms or buy food from the restaurants. And being pregnant I had to go 1,290,099 times ;).

3. So many people smoke in Italy. It was nasty and I could hardly believe the amount of smoking that went on.

4. Commuting and getting around is incredibly easy. The people are nice and will help you too.

5. The food! Oh my word! I'm so glad we walked 20,000+/- steps a day so I could justify eating load and loads of pasta, pastries and pizza.

6. I loved seeing people's reactions to our baby! Even when we didn't speak the same language so many people asked if it were a boy or a girl. Literally, every time a man asked he would like at Dave and shake his head and laugh but when a women asked she would smile and get really excited that it was a girl. It was fun!

7. The leather shops all over Italy are so spectacular! I went to so many in search of the perfect handbag and I found one! But even the smells of those leather shops are sublime.

All in all we had a really good time! I'm so thankful we could take this trip and see a new culture and lots of history. I will try and do a few more posts with some of the highlights and if you have any specific questions just ask me and I will do my best to get you an answer.