Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Italian Extravaganza: Preface

     After Christmas week was over I took the vacation of my dreams. It was so incredible that it needs a preface. As Christmas break was starting to loom, my family and I had talked half heartedly about me heading home but what I really wanted to do was travel. A joke about my dad coming Europe became a plane ticket and thus the Italian Extravaganza was born. Since I can remember I have loved Italy. I had been there twice before on vacation and it is always the top destination on my list when I'm abroad. But this trip would be different. It wasn't a rushed weekend or a school organized trip, this was the trip that 8 year-old Maddie had planned. It was of the utmost importance for it to be perfect. There was a list of places I had to go: Florence, Pisa, etc. And then there was Tuscany. 8 year-old Maddie didn't know that Tuscany wasn't some city I could quickly visit, I had set myself an entire region in Italy to see. A beautiful region, but no small feat. So the planning began. I had about 13 days to fill. My dad had sent in some requests but all final decisions were my call. Below is my itinerary all meticulously planned. I'm quite proud of it, if I do say so myself. Obviously some of the plans changed as we went. I didn't commit us to any tours just in case we ended up not being able to go to them. Tuscany was always kind of up in the air because my father got it into his head that we would rent a car (best idea ever) and I was kind of skeptical during the planning stages. I still can't believe how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to visit Italy with my dad. He stuck out like an American sore thumb, but he's my dad, so I overlooked it.  photo IMG_1289.jpg

Italian Extravaganza Itinerary

Day 1 (23)
Arrive and Sleep

Day 2 (24)
10:30 - Guided tour of Bologna

Towers (if not before lunch)
Jewish Ghetto/Synagogue

Day 3 (Christmas!)
Sleep in
Visit the Christmas Street Market and the Santa Lucia Market
Wander some more
Enjoy the lights and the Christmas tree (maybe go skating) in Piazza Maggiore and Piazza Nettuno
Early dinner
Early to bed

Day 4 (26)
Wake up VERY early to get to Venice
We leave a the crack of dawn from Bologna in order to have a full day in Venice on the 26th. 
Day 4
Arrival - 2pm: 
Arrive at the Venice train station, 
Ride down the Grand Canal
     Piazzale Roma, Bus 1 or 82
Arrive in Piazza San Marco
Basilica di San Marco.
            Loggia dei Cavalli and the Sanctuary.
2pm - NG Pizzaria
After lunch until dinner - The stroll that NG suggests.
Pit stop at the Peggy Guggenheim collection.
          My admission is 8 and yours will be 14. 
Dinner - We'll find something

Day 5 (27)
Morning Trip to the Islands
          18 euros for a 12 hour pass to the islands
           Leaves from Fondamente Nuovo
Whatever Dad wants to do

Day 6 (28)
Guided tour of Palazo Ducale (9:55am)
Must reserve asap

Head to Florence

Dinner Sleep

Day 7 (29)
Museum Day!
Galleria Degli Uffizi
Pit stop in Piazza de la Signora to see the copy of David
Galleria dell'Accademia (DAVID)
The walk that NG suggests
Day 8 (30)
Half day trip to Pisa!
Piazza de Santa Maria del Fiore 
   Climb/visit the Duomo
Santa Croce (if we have time)

Day 9 (31)
Museo Salvatore Ferragamo
Drive to Siena
New Years!

Day 10 (1)

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