Italy is a country with a lot to offer from the rich culture, history, delicious food and wine and immeasurable beauty in the landscape and architecture! We were there for about 9 days which was entirely too short! We packed quite a lot in a small amount of time.
Are you ready for us Italia?
Emirates Airlines had an amazing deal from NYC to Milan for $899 for two. This itinerary usually runs about $1200 per person from Atlanta, our hometown. Taking the deal was a no-brainer for us – we got a rough estimate on trip costs with having to add a trip from ATL – JFK and it came at under $1000. We traveled in the Fall while the weather was pretty favorable and the throngs of summer tourists were gone.
Milan, Venice and Lake Como. We also did an overnight trip to Paris.
*Update: I have since been to Rome since our trip on a long layover to Mykonos.
Behold! The grand, the incredible Colosseum in Rome
As with any destination it’s important to learn the basics of the local language. We had a bit of difficulty getting understood but we had to overcome this barrier somehow. It helped a great deal to have friends around as it eased the frustration.
Buongiorno: Good Morning
Buonasera: Good Evening
Grazie: Thank You.
Quito Costa: How much is this?
Do not exchange your currency at the airport as you will receive the worst exchange rate and high fees. Your bank at home may have a foreign currency exchange service that will save you money. You’re better of using the ATM at your destination or using a Forex Bureau to get a better exchange rate.
P.S. Download the Currency XE app to get the most current exchange rate to avoid being ripped off.
AirBnB – Modern apartment on three levels with 3 bedrooms in Milan. It was by the metro which was very convenient.
AirBnB in Milan
In Paris we stayed at Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Center.
Return ticket from ATL to Newark on Delta: $166.20
Shuttle from Newark to JFK: $25
Return flight from JFK to Milan: $449.50
Return Trip to Paris from Milan on budget airline EasyJet: $100
Accommodation in Paris at Marriott Rive Gauche: $40 (we had two rooms and I utilized available discounts)
As you can see from the breakdown above, we were able to get all the high priced items for the trip for under $1000 for a 9 day trip! We did spend additional money on airport transfers, uber, train commute between cities in Italy, food & drink (we shopped for groceries at the local supermarket in Milan for our food items which lowered our cost considerably as we would make our own meals at our rented apartment), dining out occasionally, souvenirs and still managed to spend under $1200.
TIP: Always take advantage of flight deals and while in Europe utilize the budget airlines to travel between countries. It can be much cheaper than train travel.
WHEN IN ITALY;
These are some of the the things I would highly recommend based on our trip:
- Take a gondola ride in Venice – it was pricier than expected but while in Venice, you might as well:) Prepare to walk quite a bit and get lost in the city.
- Visit the Colosseum in Rome – think the Gladiator movie depicted this ancient structure accurately? Well think again, it’s not even close! You must see it for yourself.
- Visit Cinque Terre or Lake Como and get immersed in the most dramatic and breathtaking coastal scenery.
- Visit the Vatican – no explanation needed.
- Food and drink – you must indulge in the endless supply of gelato, pizza, pasta and drink to your fill on Italian wine. The cheese and bread tasted divine.
Caught up in a moment in Venezia
Lake Como – easily my favorite location!