France | Italy Itinerary

France | Italy – Jen

This trip was my second overseas vacation. I had always dreamed of Venice so the trip took shape around that dream…

Arrive: Nice, France

via a Phoenix to NY Layover
Stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel
-honestly nothing to write home about, moderately priced, and on a European vacation that can count! It was on the Promenade which was nice, but a couple miles from the heart of the restaurants and action. We walked thousands of steps going back and forth. The hotel was clean and the view was gorgeous. I would probably look for something different next time.

*day 1
Beach. (Topless Beaches are told of, but the only people sporting the bare skin are older, so my advice, Don’t forget your top:)

In the evening we explored the city, ate gelato several times and pizza a few times too!

*day 2
Train to Cannes: (our hotel directed us to the nearest train station) NOPE, the train never showed, so we split a taxi with another couple waiting. Always Have a back up plan, its never a bad idea!

Spent the day in Cannes. We walked the marina, dreamed of a day on a yacht and
pretended to be the movie stars of films being shown at the famous Cannes Film Festival. (ok I dreamed, Jared just smiled at my craziness:)

*day 3
Train to Monaco: this day was for Jared. In the business world that my husband lives in, Monaco and all it represents was something he had to see. It was also important to get the passport stamp. This was his day to dream and think of all the possibilities being alive offers.

Arrived in Venice

via Plane, then car transfer to a private boat, to our hotel
Stayed at the Aqua Palace Hotel (Luxurious and Amazing) aquapalace.it
*This is a must!! We arrived at night by plane. The Aqua Palace had arranged a car to pick us up from the airport by Jared’s request, which swept us to the dock where a boat awaited us to privately take us into Venice. 1. We love James Bond and for a few minutes I think we were him, and his girl of choice, and 2. seeing Venice for the first time, in the dark, with the light reflecting off the water and buildings, and the stillness in the air was Magical. One of the most amazing experiences in travel I have ever had!

We wandered the city at night while the crowds were gone. (During the day it can be wall to wall people, literally!!) We had a late dinner at a small cafe, and took in the sights that first night. Venice at night is amazing!

*day 1
Get lost in Venice. This is real, It is nearly impossible to navigate the streets so don’t try. Wander with the purpose of falling in love with the city, and seeing every square inch.

*day 2
Continued to explore. Took a gondola ride, ate at every cafe we fell in love with, and walked every square inch of Venice.

Evening: We took a boat to a car to the train station to Rome

Arrived in Rome

Stayed at Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora
-beautiful hotel, perfect location, a bit pricey but worth it. the view from the restaurant on the roof top was breath taking.

*day 1
Early morning Vatican Tour w/ a private guide booked via Viator Private Guides

A Skip the line tour and private guide is a must. To be able to hear and really take in all the Vatican has to offer, I highly recommend splurging.

Evening: Dark Rome Tours Colosseum Underground Tour. This must be booked ahead of time (like as soon as you have your plane tickets) The city of Rome puts restrictions on the tour guides so if at the time you are there, UNDERGROUND, AND NIGH TIME TOUR are available, DO IT.

*day 2
Christian Catacombs Tour booked by our hotel. This was a large group tour on a
Greyhound bus. It was cool to see, but as in any large group, hard to hear and not
personal to your questions.

*day 3
Explore the city by foot. It was so hot when we were there, and it was kinda miserable. Bring an umbrella from your hotel for shade and don’t forget your water!!

Time to Travel Home…Until next time.

Travel Notes:

  • Europe is expensive. Plan for it!
  • Get a private guide for the Vatican and go on the Underground Tour of the Colosseum, MUSTS!
  • Europe has some of the best transportation in the world. Utilize the Trains, planes, and Automobiles:) But always have a backup plan.
  • Venice during the day can be crowded due to cruise ships coming in for the day. Stay in the city to get the best experience and spend a night in Venice when all the crowds are gone.