The GoGlobal Blog

Fall Break in Northern Italy

Fall Break in Northern Italy

A week ago I returned from my most exciting adventure in Italy yet! Taking the opportunity of fall break to travel across Northern Italy, I visited 5 cities in 7 days!

I started my adventure in Florence, leaving Rome VERY early to make it there in time to tackle all the major sites in one day. After checking into the hostel (my first ever! And a very good experience at that), my friend and I made our way into the heart of the town, across Ponte Vecchio to our first appointment of the day at the Uffizi. From there we wandered through the old streets to the Duomo. Best church yet! And believe me when I say I’ve been to a LOT of churches in Italy. The view from the bell tower, or campanile as they say here, was definitely worth the 400 and some steps to the top! From there we hit the Accademia where the David is held and finished off our experience with the best apperitivo plate ever at a place called La Prociutteria. I’m still amazed we fit it all in in one day and had plenty of time to explore the fantastic shops and side streets! We even caught a live performance at a piazza near our hostel before heading to bed fairly early to prepare ourselves for yet another early train the next day.


The next stop was Ravenna. The average tourist in Italy often overlooks this quaint little city yet it is home to so many amazing sites (8 UNESCO world heritage sites to be exact!) We were fortunate that our hostel provided us with bikes (the best way to get around in Ravenna) which allowed us to explore many of the churches/buildings who’s elaborate mosaics make Ravenna known as the Mosaic capital of the world. While all the famous sites are great it was the environment and Ravenna’s energy that made me want to go back the second I left! Since it is less traveled by tourists, it seems more authentic than many of the other places I have been and it had a great variety of shops and restaurants. Best off all, we happened to be there when a big festival was happening! Was it not for the rain there would have been live bands all through the night! Unfortunately for us, the rain forced us back to the hostel early. All the more reason to return to Ravenna in the future!


Venice was next and it is just as beautiful as you imagine it to be! Save for the expensive gondola rides, I think we I had quite the quintessential Venice experiences and it was just as I would have wanted the visit to go. The Doges Palace was very interesting but made me realize just how little I know about the very distinct history of the city! Saint Marks was great too but honestly I preferred the gothic style of the Chiesa dei Frari better (I really wasn’t kidding about seeing a lot of churches here). One of the best parts of my trip here was the surprising run-in I had with an exhibit of the Architectural Biennale. I knew little about the arts festival before going but very much enjoyed the very modern concepts of the exhibits. Modernity was a much-needed element after having spent the last couple months exploring ancient, baroque, and renaissance dated works! I wish I had been able to explore more of the shows!


From Venice we went to Milan. As great as it was, I feel I haven’t gotten very well acquainted with the city. I saw the Duomo and I saw the palace but I hope to return to get to know the city better over Thanksgiving break when visiting an old friend that lives there.

IMG_1185  IMG_1222

Now for my favorite city: Turin! Something about this city really struck me as amazing. With so many colleges in the area it has a very hip feel and some fantastic places to eat and shop! I stayed very close to Piazza Republica, which is home Europe’s biggest market (a great place to get cheap and very delicious breakfasts/lunches)! Everything is in walking distance in the downtown area and the architecture is beautiful! One of the best parts of Turin is its location in the Mountains! Knowing that I’d be ready for some time away from the city, I stayed for two nights in Turin so that I could get out for a hike while I was there. What an amazing idea that was! Just a short train ride away from Turin is an old abbey called San Michele. It’s built on the top of a mountain and we climbed all the way to the top! Nothing could be more rewarding than the view from there! The morning before I left, my host brought me on a bike ride around the city, showing me all the best sites. He brought me to a great little café where Bicerin (a traditional Turin drink made with espresso, rich dark chocolate, and cool cream on the top) was first made back in the 1700s and it was unbelievably delicious! Of all places I’ve been, I definitively want to return to Turin most of all!

I had such an amazing trip and am so glad to have had so many great experiences! Italy is truly a wonderful place! However, all this running around has made me ready to get back to the way of the Romans. I hope to have many new adventures in Rome to report very soon!

Comments are closed.