“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give, to roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live.”
-Hans Christian Anderson-
Travel is all about opportunity. It’s the opportunity to learn not only about a destination but about ourselves. It’s about taking chances, and how we choose to spend our time can deeply affect our journey. Be receptive to the fact that we all travel differently. Some prefer well laid out plans while others are completely uninhibited and free. Sometimes plans fail and other times the unplanned events turn out to be the greatest part of the experience. However you travel, whatever journey you choose, simply breathe it all in and be thankful for the opportunity and the choice to be in that moment.
We had anticipated this trip for so long, and I had put so much heart, thought and effort into each and every stop. We had faced the same questions most travel families agonize over: “We have 28 days, so where do we spend our time?” The most amazing travel aspect of Europe is that you have multiple countries at your fingertips, so many foods and cultures to indulge in, historical points to witness and cities to get lost in.
For us, we wanted to focus our time in Italy. We fell in love with the country on our first trip to Rome, and we wanted to do this amazing country justice rather than catching a cursory glance. Since the girls were dreaming of The Eiffel Tower (Miss Teenage B), and of Disneyland (Little B), we decided to honor their wander-lists and begin our trip in Paris, fulfilling what was important to them, before moving onto the remainder of our journey.
Here is what our itinerary looked like, with my available blogs detailing each, to help inspire and guide you. It easily gives you days to play with and switch up. For us we took extra days here and there in order to allow the kids to play at the beach, lay by the pool and to catch our own breath. With travel, you will never have enough time to see it all, and all you can do is focus on the quality of the now.
Day 1/2: TRAVEL to PARIS
Coming from Western Canada, this was a long (delayed) flight and we traveled overnight via Amsterdam. We arrived at CDG airport and took a private transfer directly out to our hotel near Disneyland Paris, where we spent the evening recovering and relaxing.
Day 3/4: DISNEYLAND PARIS
- Day 1: 1 Day/1Park – Focus on the main Theme Park, Disneyland
- Day 2: 1 Day/2Park – Spend time between both parks
- Enjoy the daily parades and the incredible nightly firework show.
- For details on our Disney experience, transfers and where we stayed: Disneyland Paris – Magic en Francais
Day 5/6: PARIS
- Catch the early train into the city, check into your hotel
- Climb the Eiffel Tower, stroll past the Louvre and lunch in Luxembourg
- Visit the stunning architecture of Notre Dame and take in the views from atop the Arc de Triomphe. Marvel at the feat that is the traffic circle below.
- Stroll along the Champs-Élysées, ponder thoughts on a bridge over the Seine and buy a lock. Climb up Montmarte to Sacre Coeur for breathtaking views over the city.
- I cover our itinerary in 2 parts: Our 34 Hour Love Affair With Paris…..Part 1 and The City of Paris…Part Deux
OVERNIGHT TRAIN TO ITALY
This was an adventure in itself, a bit like camping on wheels. It was unique in that we could pack breads, cheeses, meats and wine and stretch out in our own private berth as we watched the sun set. There is talk that THELLO will discontinue this service, which is a shame. Flights are inexpensive, but by going at night we had such a unique experience, plus we woke up in Italy and didn’t feel as though we gave up much travel time.
DAY 7-8: VENICE, ITALY
- Get lost in the narrow alleys of Venice
- Take a trip out to Murano (glass), Burano (lace and color) and Torcello (the oldest region of Venice)
- Get touristy and take a gondola ride or private water taxi.
- Eat gelato, do a cartwheel in St Marks Square and cross the Rialto Bridge.
- For details on Venice, visit: On the Canals of Venice…
DAY 9: TRAVEL TO FRAMURA
We took the high speed train to the Italian Riviera destination of Framura. Along the way, we had a stop in Milan, where we had 4 hours to go and see the famous Duomo. ***These few hours quickly turned into madly rushed single hour by the time we fought the crowds at the luggage storage and the ticket lineups. (We had previously booked our tickets, but you need to go to the counter and actually receive your physical tickets)
DAY 9-14: FRAMURA, PORTOFINO and CINQUE TERRE
- Fall in love with old world Italy. Read why you MUST consider a stay here: Falling for Framura
- Spend a day renting bikes, and traveling the coast thru the old train tunnels between Bonassola and Levanto. Bike must have a basket. Baskets are pretty.
- Hike in the picturesque valleys between villages.
- Visit the Cinque Terre and hike the trail between Monterosso and Vernazza. Stop to breathe and take 800 photos. Smile at older gentlemen doing it in a speedo. You can read about our adventure on: Connection Along the Cinque Terre
- Spend a day in Portofino, laze around Paraggi Beach and ride the ferry along the coast. Read about all there is to do: Unexpected Bliss: A day in Portofino, Italy
- Spend a day of downtime, relaxing on the beach in Framura
DAY 15: TRAVEL TO FLORENCE
- Catch the high speed train via PISA, allowing enough transfer time
DAY 15-21: FLORENCE, PISA and TUSCANY
- Spend a day touring the highlights of Florence such as the stunning Santa Maria del Fiore, seeing Michelangelo’s ‘David’, visiting the Uffizi or shopping along Ponte Vecchio
- Rent a Fiat, and have courage, you CAN drive in Italy. Travel the winding roads of the Chianti region and take in the postcard worthy views of Tuscany.
- Visit the stunning hilltop towns of San Gimignano and Siena.
- Make a day trip to Pisa to see the iconic Leaning Tower, and stop in Lucca to ride bikes atop the old city walls.
- Visit Piazza Michelangelo for unrivaled, panoramic city views and to test drive a Ferrari!
- Find hosts that have an ancient cellar and coax them into a wine and food night.
- For more on our time here, see my detailed post: From Tuscany With Love
DAY 22: TRAVEL TO POSITANO
- We took the high speed train from Florence to Salerno, then caught the summer ferry to Positano. HIGHLY recommend this, the scenery along the Amalfi Coast is breathtaking.
DAY 22-24: POSITANO
- Check in to a B&B. Drool over sea views and vow to never leave.
- Spend a day on the beach. Fornillo was our favorite, and loved by locals.
- Eat, eat and eat some more. Every place seems to have a view.
- Tour Positano or take a ferry to the other towns along the Amalfi coast or out to Capri
- Hike the ‘Path of the Gods’ or take a trip up the winding coastal roads.
- Read about our adventures in my blog: From Sea Glass to Sea Views, This is Positano
DAY 25: TRAVEL TO ROME
- Ferry back to Salerno. Catch high speed train to Rome.
DAY 25-27: ROME and THE VATICAN:
- Time to shop, eat, drink and immerse yourself in history.
- Spend your days exploring the historical highlights of this amazing city. You can read about our time and find tips about the Colosseum here: Pillars, Power and Performance: Visiting Rome’s Colosseum & Forum
- After touring the halls of the Vatican Museum, stand in silence under the magnificent work of art that is the Sistine Chapel.
- Walk thru the architectural masterpiece that is St Peters Basilica, making sure not to miss spending time admiring Michelangelo’s La Pieta. Take the winding, narrow stairways to the top for breathtaking views.
- Enjoy Rome during magic hour. The city truly comes to life as people stroll and chat, eat and share bottles of wine. See why it’s my favorite time of day in my blog: When in Rome, Stay and Stroll
DAY 28: BEGIN THE JOURNEY HOME
“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed, is YOU.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald-
May you be inspired to make whatever journey is calling to you, and may our experience help guide you or spark an interest. Whatever you do, wherever you go, go with your heart. Just make room for wine, new friends and opportunity.
PIN FOR LATER: