So…you’ve been in Florence and you finally find your group of friends. It’s time for those weekend/day trips and you have no clue where to start, how to start or what you’re even doing. I GOTCHU. This week’s blog post is dedicated to those little (big) tips about planning and executing some great group trips and i’m even gonna throw in my thoughts on some trips my friend group took (don’t worry many pictures to be included) and where I think you and your friends NEED to visit.
To start, let’s discuss where my friends and I went, what we did, the good and the not so good:
Pisa is a great day trip to start off your list of weekend travels. It’s easy to get to, takes little to no planning and you wont miss anything since there’s really only two things to see. My friends and I caught the regional train and once we got to Pisa, walked to the leaning tower and the cathedral, got our pictures and souvenirs and had lunch. That was our day in Pisa. I would recommend using this as a filler trip, going there early in your trip as you wont have to plan ahead and wont be stressed about it while adjusting to your new surroundings in Italy.
One word. Beautiful. My friends and I made this an overnight trip and I would definitely say that is the way to go. Venice is one of those cities where you just end up strolling and enjoying the view but for me, a must do is a gondola ride. It’s really peaceful, you learn a little bit about the city and you really get to just sit there and take it all in. If you’re into pictures, it is the perfect backdrop and for my shoppers, they have all the designer stores you could want.
She is absolutely amazing but she is A LOT. My friends and I did a day trip but this only works if you get a hop on hop off bus ticket, without it we definitely would have missed out on some things. For a more chill experience where you can experience everything at your own pace, I would recommend making this an overnight trip. Some must sees and the places I visited are the Trevi Fountain, The Sistine Chapel, The Colosseum and Spanish Steps. With an overnight stay, you would definitely be able to discover more and you might even uncover some hidden gems.
My ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PLACE. This was my favorite group trip and was also our last. Lake Como is the perfect mix of by the water and not too touristy. There are many areas to stay in, including Bellano, where my friends and I stayed. It was perfect as it was quiet but had many restaurants and a lido in walking distance. It was easy to visit other cities by ferry, which is how we ended up in Menaggio, where we did a boat tour and saw the famous Villa del Balbianello. If you want more of a city feeling I would recommend stay in Como itself, but for a more laid back feeling all the surrounding areas are absolutely stunning and not too far off.
Now for some comprehensive tips:
- The larger the group, the more and further in advance you should plan. For example, an Airbnb for three or four people will be way easier to book two days before when compared to finding one and securing it for six or more people.
- CHECK THE WEATHER. My friends and I had to switch trips around to make sure we weren’t going somewhere that would be a total washout, and still ended up visit everywhere we wanted to while each had the best weather.
- Have backup places in mind. I had initially wanted to visit the Amalfi Coast (as does everyone else), but found it hard to get the timing right, secure accommodation while making sure the weather was perfect. Lake Como was our backup and it worked out perfectly.
- TRAINS TICKETS ONLINE AND IN ADVANCE. I cannot stress how much time and energy this can save you especially when it’s an early morning trip that you just know you and your friends will be struggling to make. It makes for an easier and smoother start to your trip.
- Do some research in advance. What is it you really want to see? What could you pass up? Italy is huge and so are some of the cities. It will really help having some idea of the stuff you wanna see and do to make sure you get those done first. Time literally does fly when having fun.
That’s this weeks blog post. I hope it was helpful, and if you guys have any questions feel free to reach out! -deanna.