Verona is absolutely beautiful! It’s so cute and rustic and I am definitely going to go back, as I only had the chance to spend one day there.
5. Wine Festival
I did not plan this but I was fortunate for it to be on the weekend I was visiting – I’m not gonna say no to free wine!
4. Juliet’s Balcony
This was packed! So many people crowded into a tiny space! The balcony was pretty and I was kinda tempted to pay to go on the balcony itself, but it was mainly loved-up couples going up there, so I would have felt like a bit of a dope! And, yes, before anyone says, I know it’s not the actual balcony, but it was nice to see!
3. Buy fruit from one of the stands in the Piazza delle Erbe
Only 2 Euro and it was some of the best fruit that I have ever eaten!
2. Verona Arena
This is one of the best preserved Roman Arenas in the world and is still in use today! I was highly amused that I was allowed to wander around the massive stone steps.
1. Get lost
Definitely the best way to see Verona (or most places, really!)
Milan was lovely – it’s a lot more modern than the other places I’ve visited in Italy but that didn’t reduce its charm at all! Here’s my Top 5 things to do in Milan.
5. Archaeology Museum
I mainly visited here because I walked past it and saw that it was a museum but I found it really interesting (if I hadn’t chosen to do Chemistry at university, I would have done Archaeology). There’s parts of the original city walls in the courtyard (and a really creepy-looking dummy in one of the towers. I swear I jumped about a mile when I saw it – I was not expecting it!)
4. Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II
Definitely the fanciest shopping centre I’ve ever been in – only designer shops are give the privilege of being here. Have a wander around Prada and Gucci, among others (and, like me, feel sad when you can’t afford to splash out on a fancy handbag!)
3. Sforza Castle
I loved the look of this – it’s so unusual compared to the other castles that I’ve seen in Italy. I spent a good couple hours wandering around all the little museums inside – Michelangelo’s Rondanini Pieta is a must-see!
2. Da Vinci’s The Last Supper
I was extremely lucky to see this! I booked my ticket months in advance and showed up for my scheduled time, only to find out that the museum staff were on strike and the museum was closed! Fortunately, just as I was away to leave, a member of staff came out of the building and there was, amazingly, a space left for the next day. So I got to see The Last Supper after all! It’s bigger than I thought and I loved it – I love anything to do with da Vinci, really!
1. Milan Cathedral
One of the highlights of my trip, I bought a ticket that included going on the roof, seeing the archaeological site underneath the Cathedral, and visiting the museum across the road. I showed up just after 9am and decided to go on the roof first. I’m glad I did! There were maybe only half a dozen other people up there and the roof is unlike any other cathedral roof I’d been up before. The inside of the Cathedral was also beautiful but, in my opinion, it paled in comparison to the roof! I’d definitely recommend it!
Cinque Terre was definitely a highlight of my trip – everywhere was beautiful and everywhere had an amazing view (even the train stations!). This is my list of the Top 5 things that you must do when visiting Cinque Terre (which you need to go and do now!). Be prepared – there are virtually no flat areas – it’s all hills and stairs everywhere!
5. Eat some gelato
I think I had gelato every day that I was in Cinque Terre and I do not regret it one bit. Look at the view you can have while eating it!
4. Go on a train journey from Riomaggiore to Monterosso
I don’t think I’ve ever been on a train journey with a more beautiful view before. Definitely worth travelling the entire length by train (it’s only roughly 30 minutes). I would have gone on one of the hiking trails but, unfortunately, they were all closed when I visited. At least it gives me an excuse to go back (not that I need one!)
3. Church of San Lorenzo in Manarola
This was definitely my favourite church out of the five towns (and Manarola was my favourite town!). The inside is beautiful (and there’s a really friendly cat that hangs around outside – I saw it every day I was there!)
2. Wander and get lost
Definitely the best way to see the towns – although, they’re so small that it’s almost impossible to get lost! I met a lot of cats – which I’m not complaining about!
1. Visit all five towns
This is a given if you’re visiting Cinque Terre. My all-time favourite town was Manarola – and I was lucky that Manarola was the town I was staying in – followed by Vernazza, Riomaggiore, Monterosso and then Corniglia – which I climbed a bunch of steps to get to and immediately realised when I reached the top that I could have caught a bus. I counted the steps on my way down and realised that I had climbed 382 steps in 25 degree heat – with barely any water! I was melting by the time I reached the top – but I don’t regret it!
Even though I only spent a day in Pisa, I love it (the creepy incident with the guy following me to the train station aside – see this post) and I am definitely going to go back one day! These are my Top 5 must-see things in Pisa (so far!)
5. The Leaning Tower of Pisa
The main reason so many people visit Pisa. The Tower is impressive (and it’s leaning a lot more than I thought it would be!) but I didn’t climb it, as the queue was so big and I was only in Pisa for a day. At least it gives me an excuse to go back!
4. Pisa Cathedral
There’s not much more to say about Pisa Cathedral other than that it is absolutely stunning and well worth a visit!
3. Pisa Baptistry
I loved the Baptistry and how hushed it seemed inside – being able to go up the stairs was interesting as well – they were so uneven! There’s also an amazing view of the Cathedral from one of the upstairs windows.
2. Camposanto Monumentale
I found this place fascinating. It’s a cemetery but the graves are under the marble flooring (and, I’m ashamed to say, it took me a while before I realised I was walking on graves…). The original incense lamp that Galileo used for his work is hanging in the Aulla Chapel in the Camposanto and is definitely worth a look.
1. Wander and Get Lost
This is definitely the best way to explore Pisa, with all its tiny roads. I found some really nice, quiet areas with barely any tourists, as well as some stunning buildings. I’m definitely going back one day!