il Mio piccolo Sogno Italiano Vacanza,
… jokes, I am no Italian, but one thing is for sure, I have fallen in love with this country called, Italy.
I want to first share with you, my ideas and tips on planning an Italian Holiday by yourself.
I have SO much to share so let’s waste no time.
When thinking of our next holiday and the next country to tick off our bucket lists, we didn’t have a specific country in mind. Sometimes you need to think further and focus on the things that your body, mind, and soul is craving.
Rayner (my fiancé) wanted to specifically EAT and I wanted pastries, so this led us to Europe, of course. We are really into wines so before further discussions, ITALY was the answer. (what?!!) We watched a few Italian movies and felt so inspired. At first, I couldn’t believe that we are about to organize our first Europe trip, by ourselves! I decided not to use a travel agent as we wanted to do a self-drive trip and because there are not many set itineraries in place, this could have ended up being much more expensive than we initially anticipated, besides based on research the accommodation offers we found in travel itineraries did not meet our expectations as it was either too far from attractions or too low of quality accommodation. I googled for 4 months trying to find the perfect itinerary for us as we knew what we wanted in terms of expectations and quality.
I was very focused on the wine and prosecco regions and trying to find good accommodation was tricky as most TripAdvisor reviews were based on the touristy and popular areas such as Rome and Venice. I went with my gut 95% of the time and used Google Maps to my advantage to put the whole picture together, (and man, I did a good job 😉)
SO how we did it in short:
1.You must decide WHAT it is you want to see and experience (this includes touristy areas, points of interests, etc.)
I made a list of our needs and mine was to see the Amalfi Coast and stay in Positano with a VIEW :D, Rayner wanted to be in Venice for his 28th birthday ; ) and we wanted a hotel by the water (Rialto Bridge to be exact) we both wanted to experience Tuscany and the countryside and stay on a working wine farm in the Prosecco Valley.
2.Put things into perspective
After compiling where we want to go, I used google maps to link all the cities and towns we wanted to see, and where there were more than 3 hours in distance we added another city just to decrease long distances on the road, after all, it is a HOLIDAY and one needs to relax too. My experience with Google Maps was 100% accurate and we did not get lost by using these directions once. (only when we took wrong turnoffs by mistake 😉 )
3.Find accommodation on TripAdvisor & Judge the recommendations and photos
I used TripAdvisor for my research from the accommodation, to car rental agencies, to activities. Gather as much information as possible before you start booking. Make sure you read the reviews and that you are satisfied.
4.BOOK : – )
I can say with confidence EVERY SINGLE place we visited was exactly as expected and what you paid is what you got – really good quality : – ).
I will add our experiences and hotels in a new post:- )