Enjoy guest posts from IGE readers describing their best vacations ever while I’m away on mine! Check out my Italy travel page which I’ll be updating with links to videos, pictures & posts throughout my trip!
Switzerland, and Beyond
Name, Blog: Teri, A Foodie Stays Fit
Who, what, where, when and why: Me and the hubs, 10 days, three countries, one carry-on bag each, Rome, Switzerland (Gimmewald), & Paris, September 2007. We both love to travel and we had two incomes. Ah, the good ol’ days before law school.
My favorite part of the vacation was: Switzerland. I grew up around mountains in Utah but the Swiss Alps were breathtaking.
My best travel tip for this location: Stay at a small, cozy hotel instead of an American chain. You’ll get a great feel for the neighborhoods and culture. We stayed next to an elementary school in Paris and it was so charming to see the kids every morning in their uniforms.
The thing you MUST do at this location:
Switzerland – go the Schilthorn Piz Gloria revolving restaurant!
Rome – Get the Tartufo dessert in the Piazza Navona!
Paris – visit the Sainte-Chappelle chapel!
The thing I want to do next time I return: spend more time in Gimmewald, Switzerland; go to the Almafi coast in Italy; and eat more crepes in Paris.
Venice, Florence & Rome
Name, Blog: Sarah, Going on Goals
My best vacation was definitely my trip to Italy with my mom in January 2007. I was bit by the travel bug, after leaving the continent for the first time since a child on an Alternative Spring Break to Venezuela. I vowed to go abroad once a year for the next ten years (this did not happen, but I can still dream!!!). At the time, I had only been dating my boyfriend a few months, so I decided that the best way for me to get abroad the following Winter break was to invite my mom.
My mom is an army brat who spent a great deal of time in Europe herself growing up. I decided for my first trip over the pond, her knowledge of European culture would be key. I told her that she could pick anywhere in Europe and that I would cover the flight, hotel and ground transport. She jumped at the opportunity immediately. For all of you wondering how a college kid could afford to offer to take their mom to Europe must realize that what I paid for (flight, hotel and ground transport), would have been the same as us each paying our own way.
On New Years Day 2007, my mom and I headed off to Dulles International Airport to catch a plane to Venice. I am among the lucky few who have seen the San Marco plaza practically empty on a chilly January day. After rooming the streets of Venice and exploring the various cultural spots, we caught a train to Florence.
Florence was the only location on our trip that my mom had not traveled to before and therefore her favorite stop during our trip. She was an art history major and always wanted to see David and the Uffizi Gallery. To anyone who is a lover of art, my travel tip is to visit Italy in the off season (and buy a Rick Steves Italy book). Normally, you have to pay to see David. My mom and I had the luxury of paying one price for both the museum and David and were able to see him in his full glory, walking down his magnificent arched hall with only a few other individuals!!
After Florence, we traveled south to Rome. By far my favorite and the MUST see of the vacation was climbing to the top of St Peter’s Basilica. From the top you can see the entire city of Rome in all of its glory!!
Overall, my favorite part of the vacation was spending time with my mom. This trip was a great bonding experience and has since reminded me how great she is! I am glad I was able to give her back the gift of travel after all these years of raising me.
If and when I return, I want to spend more time living like an Italian. The best part of my Alternative Spring Break was living amongst the people. I think if I travel to Italy again I want to either stay with a host family and immerse myself in Italian culture.