As most of you know I recently returned from a 9-day tour of Italy.  There aren’t sufficient words to describe this country, but I will tell you it was a borderline life-changing experience!  Since it seems to be on most people’s bucket lists (and I am ready to go again anytime) I thought I’d let you in on all the details of where we went, what we ate and drank, the landmarks we visited, and more!
As the saying goes, “When in Rome…” We visited all the major landmarks and I would highly suggest you do the same.  The architecture and history are not to be missed here.  A few places to put on your list: The Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica, Trevi Fountain, The Colosseum, and The Pantheon. After a LONG day of walking and walking and walking dive right into a plate of pasta and a bottle of wine.  It’s the quintessential Italian experience!
We enjoyed more sight-seeing in Florence.  My top picks here would be: The Duomo, Accademia, Uffizi, and the Ponte Vecchio Bridge. Accademia is where you can view the statue of the David which is a breath-taking work of art.  And the Ponte Vecchio Bridge was one of my favorite places from the whole trip.  It is the only bridge across the Arno that the Germans didn’t destroy in WWII. 
We took a day trip here to sample wines and olive oils.  We learned all about Chianti and met some new friends.  I would love to spend more time here if given the opportunity.
Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is a string of seaside villages on the Italian Riviera. The villages are small, quaint and colorful, with history, charm, shopping and amazing food. We stayed in Monterosso. Pesto and focaccia bread was started in Cinque Terre so you must sample those!
This felt like a home away from home and reminded me the most of NYC.  We visited the first Starbucks location to have a roaster inside and it was enormous, beautiful, and quite impressive!  And of course, we did LOTS of shopping. We went to the best shopping district, Montenapoleone where I went to Gucci and got a little something for the entire family.  It goes without saying that the service was impeccable. We had our own private area and they served us wine while we shopped.
Venice was absolutely breathtaking, but easy to get lost! When we first arrived, we got off at the wrong port and tried to walk to our hotel…with all our luggage and backpacks. It was not a pretty sight. But, once we were settled, we took on the city and fell in love with all the streets and little bridges. We did a Gondola Ride on the Grand Canal (a must do!), saw the Rialto Bridge, visited St. Mark’s Square and St. Mark’s Cathedral. We also ate lunch at one of the oldest cafes in St. Mark’s Square, Gran Caffe Quandri, which was established in 1775. And finally, we shopped for Murano Glass.
It was a whirlwind trip and 9 days flew right on by.  I was so happy to come to home to Li and my fur babies but I could have easily spent another 9 days taking in the sights and enjoying everything Italy has to offer.  I definitely plan to return so tell me what I missed in the comments!  And if you haven’t been yet, which landmark is on the top of your list?