So. I'm halfway through my first rotation in school. All I do in my free time is look through my Europe photos because I already want to be on vacation again and eat gelato multiple times a day :( I figured I should write a blog post about my trip ASAP before I become even more immersed in the school year and forget to do this completely.
Itinerary: Cbus -> NY -> Milan -> Pisa -> Rome -> Florence -> Venice -> Milan again -> Alabama -> back to Cbus. I've already covered some of my recent eats in the US in a recent post, so this will only cover the European legs of my trip.
Must see: Milan Cathedral. Milan wasn't high on our list of cities to visit, but we had cheap roundtrip NY->Milan plane tickets, which is why we started and ended our tour there. The city doesn't have much to see, but it's worth a quick stop and it grew on me by the time we returned here. You absolutely must visit this building, as its among the most beautiful cathedrals I've ever seen.
Best place we ate: Delicatessen. This restaurant was near our hostel but it wasn't open when we tried to eat here on our first night, so I made sure the second time around in Milan that we would get to eat here. The food here is decadent (esp. my wild boar pappardelle) and the atmosphere is beautiful.
Must see: Leaning Tower of Pisa (obv). There's literally nothing else to do here, so we spent 3+ hours taking pictures.
Best place we ate: Gran Caffe Margherita. So this is a cheat, because the restaurant is not in Pisa (as I said earlier, there is nothing else to do in Pisa). So after snapping photos at the lopsided tower, we took a 20-minute train ride to the nearby city of Viarregio to hit the beach. They have a lovely boardwalk to walk around, so I ate two gelatos and then had the best seafood risotto ever at this restaurant -- check out all dat fresh seafood o.o
Must see: Vatican City. I'm not Catholic but even I was touched by its beauty and grandeur. There's a lot of other famous places that also deserve a quick stop (Coliseum, Pantheon, etc.) but don't miss this for sure.
Best place we ate: Osteria Delle Copella. We met a lady at a random bar who told us to eat here, and she was totally right. This restaurant is a bit tucked away in a square void of tourists, and is definitely a place where locals come for great food. I ordered the saltimboca (I've always wanted to try this dish) which was lovely.
And they also have a secret speakeasy through a closet in the back of the restaurant, with amazing cocktails. Corinne just saw someone walking in there, hence giggles.
Must see: Plaza Michaelangelo at night. This vantage point offers the most spectacular view of the city, and while beautiful by day, it's even more amazing at dusk or in the evening.
Best place we ate: Tuscan countryside wine & dine with Walkabout Florence Tours. Corinne and I had a girl date with a 5 course meal and wine tasting, while the guys went off to do dude things. They totally missed out.
We couldn't finish our wine, 'twas too much :(
Must do: gondola ride. I wish they weren't so expensive, I would've wanted to do this a few more times. Oh wells :( Venice is more of a laze-around type of city (rather than a sight-seeing type of city) and it was also my favorite stop on our trip overall.
Best place we ate: Osteria Alla Staffa. Call in a reservation, they are small and very popular. My pasta was wonderful, and the service is top notch.
Also amazes: YogurtCreperia Marie. I've never seen crepes made with so much attention to detail, and everyone thought their crepe was delicious. If I had a longer stay in Venice, I would've returned here every day.