Tag Archives: Florence

Where In The World Is Agnes Irvine Scott?: Episode 7

27 Apr

Flat Agnes did spring break Europe-style! She spent 2 weeks doing 9 cities in 4 countries. Check out her updated map below, as well as some of her selfies!

Map of Flat Agnes's travels

Map of Flat Agnes’s travels

France

Luxembourg

Flat Agnes's travels in Luxembourg

Flat Agnes’s travels in Luxembourg

Belgium

Italy

For a more detailed map of where Agnes has traveled so far, go to think link!

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zzJvgL802O74.kHDO49BIkIng

Tips for Travel: Italy

27 Apr

I know it has been absolutely forever since I’ve posted, but between travel, school, and my internship, things have been crazy! However, I just returned from a fantastic trip to Italy. I spent 6 days exploring Vatican City, Rome, Florence, and Venice. I saw and experienced so much, but I also learned some good lessons. In honor of the four weeks I have left in Europe, I will give four helpful hints for traveling to each of these cities.

 

Vatican City

Sign leading to the Vatican Museum

Sign leading to the Vatican Museum

1. You cannot get to St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica from the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. They have separate lines and both are crazy long (2-3 hours).

2. Definitely get tickets to get into the Vatican Museum before you get there. It is definitely worth the price to get in (8 euro for the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel for students), but the line can get a little tedious. You can order your tickets online though before you go and get to skip the line.

3. Ignore the people walking by offering to let you get in early with their “skip the line” tours. If this tour is legitimate (some of them don’t seem to be real) the groups are incredibly large and get very crowded. Better to save your money. The cheapest tour of this kind that we were offered was 25 euro a person.

4. Remember that this is a religious place. It doesn’t matter if you are Catholic or not; it is a sacred place and should be treated as such. People will get angry if you don’t treat it with respect (me included).

Rome

At the Trevi Fountain

At the Trevi Fountain

1. If you buy a ticket for the Colosseum, you are also buying a ticket for the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum. Therefore, your best option is to go to the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum first and buy your tickets there. The cost is the same and your wait time will be cut in half. Then you will feel magic when you get to the Colosseum and get to skip the hour-long line to get it (I know I did).

2. Go to the Trevi Fountain at night! It is less crowded and the lighting around it is fantastic!

3. There is a place right on the Trevi Fountain square that is fantastic for cheap dinner. They have pizza that you purchase by the weight and they have fantastic (and inexpensive) gelato!

With the Gladiator

With the Gladiator

4. There are men walking around the city dressed as gladiators and are willing to take a picture with you. Just remember that this will cost you! They may try to tell you that it is a ridiculous price after the picture is taken (ours tried to get 20 euro from each of us), but don’t pay any more than a couple euro a piece. When in doubt, negotiate a price beforehand.

Florence

Room at the B&B Guelfi e Ghibellini

Room at the B&B Guelfi e Ghibellini

1. Stay at the B&B Guelfi e Ghibellini. It is about a 15 minute walk from the center of the city, but it is in a nice area that has a grocery store and good restaurants. The rooms were fantastic, the people who worked there were so warm and helpful, and the breakfast was wonderful and consisted of breads, jams, cereal, meats, cheeses, quiche, and pastries, as well as coffee and tea. It also wasn’t any more expensive than any of the hostels would have been.

2.If you want to go see The David at the Academy Gallery, book tickets in advance. That is what everybody suggested and even though we didn’t want to go inside to see it (not enough time), we saw that the line was crazy to get in. Should you really want to see it though, I’ve heard to it worth it. If you don’t really care about seeing the real one, there is a reproduction of it right outside of the museum with a number of really cool other status.

Reproduction of The David outside of the Academy Gallery

Reproduction of The David outside of the Academy Gallery

3. Florence is a good city to just walk around. However, wear good walking shoes. The cobblestone streets aren’t the most even to talk on and the sidewalk tends to break up or slope at random places.

4. Check out the Galileo Museum. Though it isn’t advertised as much in the tourist information online, it is supposed to be fantastic!

Venice

1. Spend a day just walking around Venice. We only have 1 full day in Venice and we didn’t plan anything out. We started at the main square next to the train station and just started wondering throughout the city. We went through little alleyways, over bridges, and found some very pretty gardens. I honestly felt like I got more out of Venice from just walking around than I would have from visiting a bunch of museums and churches.

2. Invest either time or money in the masks of Venice. At least spend some time wondering through the mask shops of Venice. You can find some pretty masks at the tourist shops and stalls, but the real art is in the handmade masks that can be found in shops all over the city. They really are an art in themselves. Zach (once of my friends I travel with) invested in a beautiful, handmade mask, while I invested in an inexpensive plastic one from a tourist stall. Both are very pretty.

3. Gondola rides run around 80 euro. We just couldn’t justify the price for one. Therefore, if you’re trying to travel thrifty, try not to get your heart set on a ride. If there are more inexpensive options, I definitely did not see them.

4. Sit and relax at a cafe on the canal. Have some lemoncello, or a spritz (Italian alcoholic beverage), or just a pop (soda for those of you not from the Midwest). Just sit, relax, and take in the beauty of the city!

 

I hope those hints are a little helpful in your planning. If you have any more questions, just comment here and I’ll get back to you. Here are some more pictures from our adventures below.

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