We have always wanted to do some sort of Italian road trip so we decided to team up with Rentalcars.com who kindly gave us a car for the week, we then started off in the stunning city of Milan and then made our way up to the Dolomites, back down to Cinque Terre a quick stop in Pisa and then home! Here are some of our favourite picks from the trip!
Milan, a metropolis in Italy's northern Lombardy region, it is the global capital of fashion and design. Home to the national stock exchange, it’s a financial hub, also known for its high-end restaurants and shops. We fell in love with this city within the first few hours of being there, the food, drinks, architecture and just the general vibe of the place was beautiful! We were lucky enough to find a stunning little Airbnb just outside of the city centre, whom the owner was very welcoming, I’ll link the Airbnb below as it’s a beautiful location within walking distance from everything, even if you’re not up for the walk there is great public transportation close by!
Milan Airbnb - https://abnb.me/UEmsNRXfiS
Lago di braies
The Pragser Wildsee, South Tyrol
One of our first stops in the Dolomites was a valley in South Tyrol.
Lago de Braies is indeed quite incredible both for its position, framed as it by the Dolomites, and especially the imposing Croda del Becco, and for its emerald green and turquoise waters, so clear it looks like a mirror reflection.
I’d wanted to visit this lake for so long and to just be there and see it for my own eyes was breathtaking! It didn’t quite hit me until we got back to the hotel and I was looking over some photographs and drone footage. I couldn’t believe I actually took these photographs of a place so perfect and picturesque. It blew my mind! An absolute must if your visiting the Dolomites.
Fam. Erlacher, Via Egger 3, I-39030 Sorafurcia - Valdaora
South Tyrol - Italy
We found this hotel last minute and we weren’t really expecting a lot. Just a quick 20 minute drive from Lago De Braies, stood this beautiful hotel situated on the side of the mountain surrounded by absolute tranquillity.
We get to see some insanely beautiful places while traveling but when ever we head out on a trip it’s usually very full on and we have little time to our selves, so when we found out Hotel Krystall also boasts a beautiful spa, we decided to spend a few hours there and we felt all the better for it! With complimentary drinks and snacks at hand we sat looking over the Italian alps, having some much needed relaxation!
Hotel Website - https://www.hotelkristall.it
The Italian Riviera
Surrounded by vineyards, cobbled streets and pastel colored houses you'll find natural beauty and a slow pace in the Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terra (also translated to Five Lands) is made up of five small towns draped around the coast. Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore make up what’s known today as the Cinque Terre, which is part of the Italian Riviera and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We arrived to the most popular ‘lands’ of the five, Manarola. After parking the car, it was a short walk down into the main town. The unspoiled town was filled with small restaurants serving freshly caught fish and traditional shops selling homemade cooking oils, vinegars and homemade wines. We hiked up a small path through vineyards until we finally reached the top of the cliffside looking over the Manarola Coast, luckily we arrived just in time to watch the sunset, which is a sunset I won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
It’s not hard to see why these five small towns are so popular with tourists, whilst being very accessible by train and boat, these villages are filled with everything you need and more. It’s truly unspoiled, making it easy to relax and even spend the whole day exploring.
Best known for its iconic Leaning Tower, Pisa was our next destination. Surprisingly, it was the only place that we weren’t initially planning on going to, but considering we had a few hours free, we decided to make the trip to see what all the fuss is about. We stopped at a small Italian restaurant for some grub before taking a look around.
We found that apart from the tower, there is little to see in Pisa (compared to Venice & Florence) and the main tourist area can be seen on foot in under an hour. Obviously, the main sight in the city is the leaning tower of Pisa. It really is the most weird and impressive structure, how it is still standing is beyond me. You can climb to the top €18 if you want the best views.
A small city but its definitely worth a visit to see the ‘Leaning Tower’ alone!