Ella was invited to play soccer with a team of girls from different clubs in Utah against professional U17 girls in Italy. It was a really neat experience for her and our entire family. We had never been to Italy, and honestly don’t know when we would have made the trip if not for this scheduled event. We made the most of the trip and spent about two weeks in Italy. We went to Rome, Venice, Cinque Terre and Verona. After that experience we can’t wait to go back and see more!! Sharing everywhere we went, stayed, and ate! Get ready for photo overload after all the information!
First, I got asked how much our entire trip cost to Italy. Thought it would be helpful to share. Kevin planned our entire trip, he did a lot of research, days of research! The entire trip, for our family of 5, cost around $15K. That includes food, tours, flights, trains and hotels. You could do it cheaper if you stayed at cheaper hotels or at AirBNBs. I feel like the food prices and really everything seemed very reasonable.
We flew Delta both ways and had one stop each direction. We gave ourselves at least 2 hours for our connections, I typically like at least 1 ½ hours to ease the stress, because you do have to go through customs between each connection, which can take awhile.
Favorite Things For Italy-
TRANSPORTATION IN ROME-
- I’d say NO to renting a car in Rome. It is possible to rent a car in Rome, traffic rules are slightly different, they do require an international driving permit, parking is difficult.
- Rome does have UBER, very useful in finding vehicles big enough to transport you and your luggage.
- Taxis are easily accessible at the airport, most drivers speak English. Most hotels can set up taxi services if you ask.
- Trains are amazing in Europe, especially if you don’t have a lot of luggage. We used the Trainlin App, very easy to buy tickets and check train times
- It’s a good idea to get Euros from an ATM, very helpful for tips and some taxi’s only take cash.
HOTEL IN ROME-
- We stayed at Trilussa Palace Wellness & Spa, Rome
- Walking distance to majority of Rome’s attractions (The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, The Spanish Steps)
- Suite available for families larger
- Bring your European Adaptors for Plugs
SIGHTSEEING IN ROME-
- We used Get Your Guide to book our tours. All of our tours were so good, we learned a lot and also the tours help you skip the long lines.
- All Church buildings require shoulders to be covered and shorts to the knees. We bought a light weight summer scarf to wrap around the girls shoulders if the had on a tank top.
- Always arrive slightly early for your tour to make sure you are in the correct location.
- In Rome, we went to The Vatican, St Peter’s Basilica, The Pantheon, The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, The Spanish Steps, The Forum and Palatine Hill.
FOOD IN ROME-
- Mastro Cono Gelato by The Pantheon (caramel was our favorite)
- Pasta E Vino Osteria for lunch and all of us loved it, fun to sit outside
- Old Bridge Gelateria, right by the Vatican
- Osteria Da Fortunata, this was close to The Pantheon, delicious homemade pasta
- Fontana Di Trevi-Roma for yummy pizza and calzones, kind of close to Trevi Fountain
- Emma Pizzaria, make reservations, best pizza in Rome!
- Bonci for pizza, they cut pizza with scissors (but this is just walk up and order, long line after we left, but I didn’t like that there wasn’t anywhere to sit)
TRANSPORTATION IN CINQUE TERRA-
- We took a train to Cinque Terra, very easy to use the Trainlin App, to plot your course. We did book some trains in advance but only necessary on the longer trips.
- In Cinque Terra the regional train is super easy to use, it takes about 5 min in between each of the 5 small towns.
- NO UBER in Cinque Terra.
HOTEL IN CINQUE TERRA-
- We stayed at Sesta Terra, a town of Framura, which is a 5 min train ride from Montorosso, the first Cinque Terra town. The hotel has a shuttle service to the train station and back. There is a restaurant on site and breakfast is included in the cost of the stay. We loved this place. Fun to see a different area.
- If we were going to go back I would try somewhere in Monterosso for a fun change, right by the sandy beach!
SIGHTSEEING IN CINQUE TERRA-
- We took the train into the first town of Cinque Terra, Monterosso, the train drops you off right into town and next to the beach.
- We rented chairs and umbrellas at the beach for about 50 Euros, you get them all day and it is a little nicer (with bathrooms, and changing areas than the public beach portion).
- After the beach we did the hike between Montorosso to Vernazza. You can find the trail in old town Monterosso which is only a 10 min walk from the beach along the coast line.
- You have to purchase tickets for the hike and can do so at the start of the hike.
- I recommend Tevas to hike in, it is hot and then you can easily walk in the water at the beach!
- After the 2 mile hike we took a train to Corniglia. It was getting rainy so we thought that would be best you can hike from Vernazza to Corniglia it’s another 2 mile hike.
- We then went to Manarola via the train, it was getting dark so we thought that would be best. Manarola is what most people picture when talking about Cinque Terra.
FOOD IN CINQUE TERRA-
- The hotel had breakfast that we had each morning which was very convenient and a restaurant that we ate at one night.
- Ristorante Ciak– Cinque Terra is known for it’s seafood and pesto, which we had here! Short walk from Monterosso beach.
- Gelateria Vernazza was Ella’s favorite gelato of the trip, we had this after our hike from Montorosso to Vernazza.
TRANSPORTATION IN VENICE-
- We took a train from Cinque Terra to Venice, it is a long trip with a couple of transfers along the way. We did miss one of our connections because our first train was delayed, but the train company helped us get rebooked and it worked out.
- When arriving at the train station in Venice you have to take a Water Taxi or Water Bus to your location. We stayed in San Marco Square which was very central so it made it easy to get to.
- We took the Water Taxi, it was about 60 euros and we were the only one on it so it made it feel more like a fun activity. The Water Bus is about 8 Euros per person. You can find both right by the Venice train station.
- Once in Venice you can walk or take a gondola to all you need to see.
- NO UBER
HOTEL IN VENICE-
- When looking for a place in Venice we wanted a central location and San Marcos Square was perfect.
- We stayed at the Canaletto Luxury Suites. It was an amazing hotel and one of the few that had options for a family of five, it was pricey, but we found that most places in Venice were.
- The hotel had an amazing breakfast that comes with your stay, they bring it to your room each morning.
- They also offered the free tour to Moreno and Burano which was a fun surprise. They scheduled a water taxi to take you to Moreno, then we asked if they could take us to Burano rather than back to Venice. I will say to be prepared to buy something if you go to the glass tour in Moreno, we bought a set of glass cups. It felt like the right thing to do since they covered the cost of the water taxis and gave a great demonstration of the glass blowing.
SIGHTSEEING IN VENICE-
- Venice was so easy to catch all sights,
- We went to San Marcos Square, Gondola ride through Venice canals, shopped the stores by San Marcos Square, Went to the top of The Bell Tower of St. Marks Basilica, Burano for sightseeing, Morano for Glass Blowing
FOOD IN VENICE-
- So many places to choose from in Venice, it was nice to be able to walk the streets and find a quick place to eat. Tip- don’t go to where people are standing outside trying to get you to go to the restaurant and don’t go to where there are pictures on the menu.
- Ca’Dolfin, the lasagna was good!
- Captain Candy for some treats
- Gelato at
TRANSPORTATION IN VERONA-
- We took a train from Venice to Verona, once again very easy. Then we took a taxi from the train to our hotel.
- UBER NOT AVAILABLE
- The one place in Italy I wish we would have gotten a rental car for, because we stayed outside of Verona city center.
HOTEL IN VERONA-
- Ella stayed at Camping Bella Italia which for her and the team worked out well, it has a water park and lake for the campers.
- We stayed about 5 min away at Le Ali del Frassino, Peschiera del Garda, a really nice hotel.
- The hotel offered a free breakfast with the stay which was so amazing, worth it for our entire family to get such a great breakfast.
- They have a restaurant, Spa, Pool and Gym on site and a walking path along the lake. I would 100% go back.
SIGHTSEEING IN VERONA-
- We walked around Verona Square, shopped, saw some amazing architecture and went to Juliet’s Balcony (paid extra to go up to the balcony and Kevin took a photo of Lola and I below).
- We spent much of our time watching Ella play soccer, but we did go into the city center twice.
FOOD IN VERONA-
- Breakfast was included in the hotel stay and we ate dinner at the hotel for two nights.
- We did eat in Verona one night and we heard their risotto is wonderful there.
- Gelato in Verona Centre, Patagonia, had the Nutella biscuit on their ice cream (those Nutella Biscuits are so good).