For three incredible weeks in October I toured northern Italy and visited my family. What an amazing trip to say the least! I’ve been on a sabbatical from my university position during this fall semester. I knew that I had to take advantage of this time to roam around Italy SLOWLY and on my own terms. I recommend that anyone do this in any country that they have a passion for. During this memorable time in Italy, my senses were completely overwhelmed with the sights, aromas, and sounds of authentic of Italy.
I am sharing the complete detailed itinerary of the trip. Every day for the next few weeks I’ll write a post about each destination along with providing the names and addresses of places that I shopped, lodged, or dined in.
So come along!
Day 1: ARRIVAL and MILAN – The LAST SUPPER
- Arrived in Bologna
- Took the train to Milan.
- Checked into the Marriott Autograph in the city center.
- Welcomed with a bottle of wine and fresh fruit and cheese platters.
- Private, after-hours viewing of Leonardo di Vinci’s “Last Supper”.
- Dinner at Eataly.
Day 2: MILAN – The GALLERIA and LA SCALA
- Strolled inside the beautiful Galleria shopping center.
- Lunch at the original cafe, “Biffi”.
- Tour of La Scala Opera House and Museum.
- Took an open-top, hop on, hop off tour of the city (it was 75 perfect degrees).
- Dinner at the Galleria Caffe’.
Day 3: MILAN – The CATHEDRAL
- Rooftop and interior of tour of Milan’s Cathedral (also known as the Duomo).
- A second route of the city on the open-air hop on, hop off bus (we purchased a 48 hour ticket).
- Shopping and strolling around the city center.
Day 4: FLORENCE – The DUOMO
- Took an early train to Florence.
- Checked into the AC Marriott Hotel.
- Toured the Duomo, all the way to the TOP!
- Pizza and beer lunch at Move On Pizzeria and Bar next to the Baptista.
- Strolled along Florence’s cobblestone streets:
- Stopped in Gilli for the famous fruit flavored jellies.
- Strolled along the Ponte Vecchio and shopped.
- Dinner at Alla Griglia for Bistecca Fiorentina, Florence’s specialty beef steak.
Day 5: FLORENCE – The ACCADEMIA and the DAVID
- Viewed Michaelangelo’s famous marble sculpture of David.
- Strolled the museum and viewed mideaval artwork and marble sculptures.
- Lunch at The Four Lions ristorante: Fried, stuffed zucchini flowers, risotto with funghi (mushrooms) and lasagna.
- Took train to Bologna.
- Checked into AC Marriott Hotel.
Day 6 and 7: BOLOGNA – CITY CENTER MARKET and CATHEDRALS
- Walking Tour (my own) of three (3) of Bologna’s ancient cathedrals:
- Basilica di San Petronio, and attended Mass
- Basilica di San Domenico
- Basilica di Santo Stefano and Monastery
- Lunch at PINO Ristorante & Pizzeria : Tortellini alla Panna and Raspberry Cream Torta for dessert.
- Foodie Walking Tour (my own): The Quadrilatero district of open markets and shops.
- Dinner at Clive Clavature: Spaghetti Bolognese and Panna Cotta with Frutti di Boscolo.
DAY 8: MODENA and FAMILY
- My cousin, Silvia picked me up and drove me to my hotel in Modena (about 30 minutes from Bologna)
- Checked into Vittorio Vineto boutique hotel for 5 nights, perfectly located next to the city center, walking distance to everything.
- Visited my cousin’s new business facility.
- Dinner with all of the family for fresh, hot tigelle, served with prosciutto, lardo, or nutella for dessert.
DAY 9: MODENA – City Center Food Market, Shops and Cathedral
- Walking tour with Silvia in Modena’s famous food market and boutique shops.
- Visited Modena’s ancient cathedral.
- Lunch at Da Panino for Tortellini alla Panna
DAY 10: MODENA – PARMIGGIANO REGIANO FARM & CHEESE FACTORY
- Morning spent visiting with family.
- Toured Parmiggiano Regiano Farm and Cheese Factory.
- Dinner at a traditional Italian Bocci Ball Club, Bocciofila Modenese Ristorante for traditional Modenese cuisine of tortellino, borlenghi, wine pudding and more.
DAY 11: THE APPENINI MOUNTAIN towns of MONTECRETO, MAGRIGNANA and RENNO
- Visits to family in both mountain towns.
- Lunch at Al Focolare Ristorante in Montecreto for fresh pasta with fresh-picked funghi porcini (porcini mushrooms) and funghi crostini.
- Scenic drive of the mountains.
- Dinner at Modena’s famous OPERA o2 for Insalata Mista, appetizers, and Pasta with Truffles.
DAY 12: MODENA – PAVAROTTI’s HOME
- Toured Pavarotti’s home in Modena, his home city.
- Food shopping in my cousin’s preferred market for high quality Italian foods home to ship home to the States.
- Lunch at my cousin Silvia’s house.
- Visited my cousin’s factory in Modena.
- Dinner at my paternal cousin’s in Modena: Insalata Mista with homemade balsamic vinegar, homemade tortelloni, veal scallopini, and bracealo carpaccio.
DAY 13: VERONA – JULIETTE’s BALCONY and SHOPPING
- Visited Juliette’s Balcony (from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”)
- Shopped along the boutique lined streets of Verona.
- Lunch at Locanda 4 Cuochi of: Fried Zucchini Flowers in Cream Sauce, and Gnocchi in Pomodore Sauce.
- Dinner for pizza at Vaciglio Pizzeria in Modena: My pizza was Quattro Formaggio with Spicy Sausage and Pomodore Sauce.
DAY 14: ASSISI
- Took the train to Assisi, home of St. Francis.
- Checked into an apartment offered through Booking.com; a 1000 year old house within the walls of the city.
- Prepared spaghetti with olive oil in the kitchen for dinner.
DAY 15: ASSISI – The BASILICA OF SAN FRANCESCO
- Morning spent viewing and praying inside the Basilica of San Francesco.
- Visited and prayed in the chapel where St. Francis is buried.
- Strolled along the cobblestone streets of Assisi taking photos iDVD the beauty.
- Enjoyed a cold Italian beer at a neighborhood biratecca.
- Dinner with an American friend, Karen, at Ristorante Medivo in the City Center.
DAY 16: ASSISI – The TEMPLE OF MINERVA and SHOPPING
- Visited and prayed in the now Catholic Church, once a Roman Temple of Minerva.
- Shopped for handmade knits, handmade paper cards and recipe books, table linens and rosaries.
- Lunch in the city center at: Taverna dei Console for the most amazing Cacio e’ Pepe and Beef Tagliata with Funghi and the most extraordinary sliced pineapples with caramel sauce for dessert.
DAY 17: FLORENCE – The UFFIZI MUSEUM
- Took the train to Florence.
- Checked into an apartment in the San Lorenzo area, 2 blocks away from the Centrale Marketo.
- Visited The Uffizi Museum.
- Dinner for pizza at Camaldoli Pizzeria.
DAY 18: FLORENCE – The CENTRALE MARKETO and Eco-Car Tour of Florence
- Morning walk and lots of time spent in the famous Centrale Marketo of Florence.
- Lunch at Move On Pizzeria (a return visit since the pizza was very good).
- Took an hour long tour in a tiny eco-car all around Florence.
- Enjoyed last evening in Italy in a piazza sipping on Italian wine.
DAY 19: DEPART TO THE U.S.A.
- Arrived in the States mid-afternoon.
- Slept with wonderful memories of bella Italia!
Yes, a lot was experienced during this time in Italy. So again, for the next few weeks, I’ll be posting more specifics about each destination listed in the itinerary above. I hope that you’ll join me!