Italy is my favorite European country that I have ever been because of fascinating culture, friendly people, sumptuous food, beautiful scenery, rich history and great attractions. It has 55 UNESCO World Heritage Sites tied with China more than any other countries in the world. It was on top of my list when I visited Europe for the first time. I fell love in this beautiful country right away, especially Rome, Florence and Venice are so attractive. When I visit Italy, I can immerse myself in the fascinating culture that could be found in this beautiful country. With so much to see and look forward to, it is little wonder that Italy has become such a popular vacation destination for people worldwide. 

Must Do

1. When you visit Rome, buy 48 (€32) or 72 (€52) Hours Roma Pass during you visit (Super Value - Highly Recommended!), it includes attraction admission with fast entry and unlimited city transit. 

2. When you visit Venice, buy ACTV (Venice's Bus and Boat System). Travel Cards are available for 1 Days (€20), 2 Day (€30), 3 Days (€40) and 7 Day (€60). 

3. When you visit Turin, buy TURINO+PIEMONTE Card for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days, you will get unlimited city transit and free admission in the most important museums and exhibitions in Turin, in the castles, fortresses and Royal Residences in Pirmonte. 

4. When you visit Cinque Terra, buy Cinque Terre Card:


Cinque Terre Card1 day 2 days1 day + Train2 days + Train3 days + Train
Adults (from 12 to 69 years)7,5014,50162941
(from 4 to 12 years)
(2 adults + 2 children)
Over 7061013//
(max 25 persons)

5. When you visit Florence, stay close to Santa Maria Novella Train station. All major attractions, restaurants and shops are all in walking distance. 

6. Try real Italian gelato, pizza, pasta, kiwi and peaches during your visit.

7. Take an Italo high speed train (a private company). It has very good service, nice modern train and good price. 

8. Booking for high-speed trains opens 120 days ahead for lowest price. Trenitalia has dynamic airline-style pricing, so tickets will be much cheaper if booked in advance with a cheap Economy or Super-Economy advance-purchase fare.

9. Try the Chinese Buffet Zen Garden in Rome. Super delicious with large selections of fruits, meat, seafood or desserts. The price is very attractive only (€10 for all you can eat dinner buffet in 2013)

10. Try Dal Moro's for pasta in Venice. It is a great pasta takeout restaurant for only €5 - €7, you will have fresh delicious cooked  pasta.

11. Book Museo e Galleria Borghese (amazing gallery in Rome) by telephone, otherwise, you won't be able to visit it. The phone call is for reservation only, no payment is needed. 

12. Book Santa Maria delle Grazie (to see The Last Supper by Lenonardo da Vinci) by telephone or online prior to your visit. Santa Maria delle Grazie was fully booked for the day I planned to visit, but the church has extra spots for people to call only. After 20s attempts, I spoke to the staff and paid for the admission. 

13. Put your passports and cash in hidden belt or wallet.

14. Must bring two items for your Italy vacations: Hat and Sun Glasses. I had beautiful sunny days for all my three Italian trips (February, May and September in various years). 

15. When you visit Venice, clime up the tower at Piazza San Marco for stunning view of Venice. Similarly, when you visit Florence, visit Piazzale Michelangelo for stunning view of the whole city and major attractions. 

16. Book Airbnb from the link below will save you $62 CAD/$43 USD/41 instantly for your first stay anywhere around the world


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Web resulAvoid

1. Avoid distractions from people surrounding you to prevent robbery or stealing (e.g., robbery just right before train departure, drop currency on the ground - steal your wallet in your pant pocket from behind, steal your cell phone can pass their companion, etc.). Ask for help or call police!

2. Avoid eating on the outdoor stairs (city by-law) and now incurs a fine in Venice. 

3. Watch your wallet and backpack at Metro stations in Rome and Milan. Don't hold cell phone in your hand. 

4. Avoid buying phone cards on the street. Some of them do not work at all. 


Trip Highlights (2013, 2017, 2019)

Toronto to Rome by Alitalia (Nice Italian Airline)
Colosseum is a truly world wonder (the top attraction in Rome) which was built in 70-80 AD. 
A Scene in Colosseum over 2000 years ago
Colosseum over 2000 years ago
Colosseum in the night, Rome

Palatine Hill in Rome

Roman Forum in Rome

Roman Forum in Rome

Roman Forum in Rome

Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome

White Marble in Rome

View on the stairs of White Marble

Basilica di Santa Maria in Ara Coeli

Basilica di Santa Maria in Ara Coeli is a hidden treasure. The painting is amazing. 

Trevi Foutain in Rome. It was designed by Nicola Salvi and completed by Giuseppe Pannini. Standing 26.3 metres (86 ft) high and 49.14 metres (161.3 ft) wide. It is the largest Baroque Fountain in Rome and one of the most famous fountains in the world.

The Fontana della Barcaccia is a Baroque-style fountain found at the foot of the Spanish Steps in Rome's Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Square)

The Famous Spanish Steps in Rome. I love Rome so much because the whole city is a outdoor museum. 
Piazza del Popolo (Metro Line A: Flaminio station)

Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto at Piazza del Popolo

An Egyptian Obelisk of Ramesses II from Heliopolis Stands in the centre Piazza del Popolo
Piazza della Repubblica in Rome
Basilica S. Maria Degli Angeli e Dei Martiri

Beautiful Basilica S. Maria Degli Angeli e Dei Martiri in Rome
Beautiful Basilica S. Maria Degli Angeli e Dei Martiri in Rome

Galleria Borghese in Rome

Beautiful Galleria Borghese

Beautiful Galleria Borghese

Beautiful Galleria Borghese

Beautiful Galleria Borghese

Pantheon was built in 113 - 125 AD

Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (The Fountain of Four Rivers) at Piazza Navona. It was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1651. 

 Piazza Navona

We took a train from Florence to Pisa for 1 hour 3 mins. There are 46 trains per day between these two cities. The ticket machine accepts credit card. Then we bought a bus ticket from nearby shops and took Linea 2 bus towards Maggiola and got off at Pacinotti 1 station. The Leaning Tower of Pisa (UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987) is very impressive.  It is 55.86 meters (183.3 ft) high, built in 1372. We didn't reserve a ticket online to visit the tower inside. 
Two beautiful churches are beside the Leaning Tower of Pisa: Piazza De Duomo and Battistero Di San Giovanni
The whole complex of The Leaning Tower of Pisa. It definitely worth the half day trip from Florence. 
We took a bus #12 from Florence train station to Piazzale Michelangelo (bus ticket was bought at the convenient store near the bus stop)

Stunning View of Palazzo Vecchio from Piazzale Michelangelo

Stunning View Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore of  from Piazzale Michelangelo

Stunning View of Ponte Vecchio from Piazzale Michelangelo

Beautiful Santa Maria Novella in Florence (very close to train station) was completed by Leon Battista Alberti in 1470. 

When I saw Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore, I was speechless. I can't describe it by words. It's so beautiful. 

Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore
Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence

Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore During the Daytime

Amazing Details of Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore
Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore

Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore

Walk Street in Florence
Walk Street in Florence

Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio

Santa Croce was built in the late 14th and early 15th centuries in Florence

The whole Florence is an outdoor museum

Zoom in view: Venice 

Beautiful Venice 

Saint Mark's Basilica in Venice 

Venice in the night

St. Mark's Square in Venice 

Venice in the night

Bridge of Sighs in Venice


Beautiful Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano) took nearly six centuries to complete, constructed began in 1386 and the final details were completed in 1965. It is the largest church in Italy and the second largest in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. 
Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano) 

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan 
Numerous Luxury Shops in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan 

We enjoyed seeing the painting "The Last Supper" on the wall. 
The regular train from Milan is Turin about 1 hour. The Royal Palace of Turin is a historic palace of the House of Savoy in Turin. It was originally built in the 16th century (UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997). 

Beautiful Ceiling of The Royal Palace of Turin 

Beautiful The Royal Palace of Turin 
Chinese Antique Collections at The Royal Palace of Turin 
The Royal Palace of Turin 

 Turin Tower (Constructed in 1963)

Nice View of Turin from Turin Tower

Vernazza (Cinque Terre) 

Vernazza (Cinque Terre) 
Riomaggiore (Cinque Terre) 
Monterosso (Cinque Terre) 
Leaning Tower of Pisa (Pisa)
Patterns and Details of Leaning Tower of Pisa (Pisa)
The Pisa Baptistery and The Pisa Cathedral (Pisa)

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