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Travel: Italy & France - Sept 2022

Italy and France - 18 Day Trip - Sept 2022

In 2022 I went to Italy and France! I planned this trip for my mother and I to hit as many sites as possible in 18 days! Here is our full itinerary, trip cost and some photos from our trip too!We went to:
  • Venice, Italy - dinner at Hotel Bauer, brunch at the Florian Cafe and shopping
  • Naples - Quick pit-stop for pizza 
  • Pompeii - Mt Vesuvius and the Archaeological site 
  • Sorrento - Walking the town, lunch in the lemon groves, viewing Mt Vesuvius and the coast 
  • Pisa - Quick visit to the Leaning Tower
  • Milan - See the Last Supper mural 
  • Lake Como - taking the lake ferry to Bellagio 
  • Paris, France - Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumph, walking the city and dinner at Jules Verne
  • Epernay - Avenue of Champagne - house tours and tastings of Moet & Chandon, Perrier Juliet and Charles Mignon
  • Versailles - Palace and Garden Tour
Below I've laid out my full cost and itinerary - including how we got around, our hotels, activities and restaurants too! There's also links and tips on how I got activity tickets!

If you'd like more information on my trip check out my Instagram! (link in website tabs) there I have all of the photos from our adventure!  Thanks for reading! 

Total Trip Cost


*We got our flights cheap via a charity auction & stayed with our cousin for free in Sacile 

Top Italy and France Tips

Here are some of the interesting things from my trip when using local transportation - it was actually quite easy all of the staff were very helpful with questions! 
- Look out for strikes (sign up for email alerts in English when you buy your tickets to get notices)
- Ticket Validation specific to your rail line (in Venice even if you just bought your ticket 2 mins before your board you still need to validate tit with a stamp. 
- In Paris they have Day Passes for the metro - we paid 65E for 5 days 5 zone pass - they are so small! and easily lost and damaged so I kept them in a tiny zip lock bag - they can also de-magnetize - if this happens get a replacement from the station kiosk for free!  


Make sure you have a credit and/or debit card with no foreign fees for your trip. We took one of each. This will save for fees along with declining the conversion (to instead withdraw in local currency) when you use the ATMs there. 
IMPORTANT: some public restrooms, especially in Italy, you have to pay to use them. We saw this alot in train stations and other high traffic areas. They cost about 1E and rarely accept cards so break your large bills at the station convivence store and hold on to your change so you can use the bathroom.

Photos from Our Trip!

Here are some photos from each stop on our trip! We loved experiencing all of the history, culture and eating food as we traveled! Check out my itinerary below to see the stops from out photos!

It was so peaceful going to St Marcos Square early in the morning! 

The 8-course dinner here was delicious, especially with the view! We made reservations 2 weeks in advance for an early dinner so we can make the train back to Mestre.

We went to the famous Da'Arturos for the porkchop, the 1720's Cafe Florian for brunch and Harry's Bar (p.s. I prefer the gin fiz over the peach bellini) 

About an hour north of Venice is a mini Venice!

Not far from the train station we found Attanasio - Great pizza and staff!

Pomidori's was across the street from out hotel Hotel Mauri - everything was delicious!

Staying in Pompeii the night before, we entered through the Back Entrance of Pompeii's Archaeological Site - It was amazing to see how much is left! Take a hat/sunscreen, water and comfortable shoes (the stones on the street can be uncomfortable to walk through) for your visit! 

Wished we could have spent more time in Sorrento, the town was filled with great local shops and we had lunch in the lemon groves! we will definitely be back! 

Along the 8-hour train from Naples to Milan we stopped in Pisa for a few hours. The stop was perfect for us to grab lunch and see the complex the Piazza Dei Miracoli!

In Milan we had to see the Last Supper Mural - it was amazing to learn of the history and restoration work! Reserve your tickets directly via their website (in my itinerary below) about 2 months in advance to ensure you get to see it! 

Went to see the Duomo Cathedral and the little bull in the Emannuel Shopping Complex!

We to Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan - it was a great stop for lunch. The top cafe is a separate area so do not buy anything downstairs, walk up the steps and ask for a table in the upstairs bar to order whatever you'd like - including the special drinks and food they have at the top bar! 

We walked from the Como Train station to the Lake Como Ferry station - be aware of the huge steps down the hill and buy your ferry tickets via the QR code App on the side of the building - we had lunch across the street instead of waiting in the line! 

Taking the 3-hour ferry to Bellagio gave us wonderful views of the lake! 

We loved seeing the main sites in Paris! 

After an hour train ride from Paris we were in Versailles! Pre-purchase your tickets online to get an early time slot, also grab a go cart for when you explore the grounds so you can see everything line the Trianonns and Queens Hamlet - my favorite was the gardens

We took the 2 hour train to the town of Epernay to visit the Avenue of Champagne. There are hundreds of Champagne Houses here that you can get very well priced tastings. Even the tour of the cellars of Moet and Chandon were only 35E! I highly recommend a visit, but next time I'll stay a few days!

I have wanted to eat a Jules Verne for years! Make your reservations online a few months in advance. You will also have to pay a deposit of ~$250 to hold the reservation (It goes towards your bill). We went for lunch because the dinner menu was more seafood (allergy) and we wanted a nice view of the city during the day! The food and service were perfect! 

One of my favorite things about Paris is that the food was amazing everywhere we went. In every cafe and restaurant we found wonderful staff and high-quality food. The portions were also way larger than I expected, be sure to ask if you are eating alone. I'll be planning a trip just to eat in Paris for 2 weeks. 



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Trip Itinerary

Here is my full itinerary for my trip! with Date/City/Time - Activity (hotel, travel, activity, restaurant) - Addresses and websites - It also includes the Cost in US dollars (Sept 2022) and notes for when you book your travel! 

Lyd's Life Skills - Travel Planning Worksheet
DateTimeCityDetailsNotesCost ($)
2 People
Thu, Sep 01, 2022Travel12:00 PMTampa -> VeniceFlight on Delta AirlinesPurchased 8 months in Advance
Via Atlanta
$ 400.00
MealPriority Pass Lounge in Atlanta AirportFree Lunch$ -
MealPurchase Water and Snacks in the Airport for Plane Trip$ 20.00
Fri, Sep 02, 202210:00 AMArrive in Venice Marco Polo Airport-
Travel11:00 AMMenstreHotel Shuttle from Airport to HotelBooked by Hotel$ 45.00
Hotel3:00 PMMenstreCheck Into Hotel - Night 1 of 2$ 187.00
The Plaza Hotel - Viale Stazione 36, 30171 Mestre, ItalyAcross from Train Station-
TravelFlexableMenstreTrain from MENSTRE to Stazione di Venezia Santa LuciaPurchase at station via Kiosk$ 5.50
MealVeniceLunch and Dinner - Ideas: Chichetti, D'Artourros$ 55.00
TravelFlexableVeniceTrain from Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia to MENSTREPurchase at station via Kiosk$ 5.50
Sat, Sep 03, 2022MealMenstreBreakfast at Hotel - included in stay$ -
TravelFlexableMenstreTrain from MENSTRE to Stazione di Venezia Santa LuciaPurchase at station via Kiosk$ 5.50
Meal10:00 AMVeniceBrunch at the Florian Cafe in St Marcos Square$ 143.00
MealVeniceDinner - La Patatina - San Rocco 3958 Venice Italy$ 35.00
TravelFlexableVeniceTrain from Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia to MENSTREPurchase at station via Kiosk$ 5.50
HotelMenstreNight 2 of 2$ 187.00
Sun, Sep 04, 2022Hotel6:00 AMMenstreCheck out of Hotel-
MealPurchase Water and Snacks for Train Ride in the Station$ 20.00
Travel6:30 AMVeniceTrain from MENSTRE to Stazione di Venezia Santa LuciaPurchase at station via Kiosk$ 5.50
Travel7:05 AMVenice -> NaplesTrain from Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia to Napoli Centrale
Website - https://www.italotreno.it/en
Purchased ahead of time via Website/App$ 111.22
12:30 PMNaplesArrive in Naples Train Station-
MealPizza for Lunch in Naples - Attanasio - Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi 107 Napoli$ 61.00
Travel4:00 PMNaples -> PompeiiLocal Train from Naples to Pompeii
Company - EAV Line - Local Regional Train
Purchase at station via Person Kiosk - get the timetable$ 7.70
TravelPompeiiTaxi from Station To HotelHailed Taxi$ 25.00
Hotel5:00 PMPompeiiCheck Into Hotel - Night 1 of 2$ 99.00
Hotel Maiuri Pompei - Viale Unita d'Italia 20, 80045 Pompei-
MealPompeiiDinner - Pomidoris PizzariaAcross from Hotel$ 38.50
Mon, Sep 05, 2022MealPompeiiBreakfast at Hotel - included in stay$ -
Activity8:00 AMPompeiiPompeii Archaeological Site - https://www.ticketone.it/en/artist/scavi-pompei/Enter via the Back Entrance & Purchase Tickets There$ 44.00
Travel12:30 PMPompeii -> SorrentoLocal Train - EAV LinePurchase at station via Kiosk$ 7.70
ActivitySorrentoLocal Cliffside Parks and ShoppingUse phone maps to find parks$ 249.00
MealSorrentoLunch in the Lemon Groves - Ristorante 'o Parrucchiano la Favorita
Courso Italia 71 Sorrento
Reservations can be made on their website$ 99.00
Travel6:00 PMSorrento -> PompeiiLocal Train - EAV LinePurchase at station via Kiosk$ 7.70
TravelPompeiiTaxi from Station To HotelHailed Taxi$ 25.00
HotelPompeiiNight 2 of 2$ 99.00
MealPompeiiDinner$ 38.50
Tue, Sep 06, 2022Hotel5:00 AMPompeiiCheck out of Hotel -
Travel5:30 AMPompeii -> NaplesTaxi from Pompeii to Naples Train StationBooked by Hotel$ 45.00
MealNaplesBreakfast at Station Cafe - Also got Snacks for Train Ride$ 30.00
Travel7:30 AMNaples -> PisaTrain from Napoli Centrale to Pisa Centrale
Trenitalia - https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html
Purchased ahead of time via Website/App$ 57.92
HotelPisaLuggage Storage Near Train Station
https://www.stowyourbags.com/
Rented online - few days before - got the "Maxi" size for 2 carry ons and 2 personal items for 4 hours$ 15.00
Activity1:00 PMPisaLeaning Tower of Pisa - walk from train station 20 mins-
MealPisaLunch$ 47.00
Hotel5:00 PMPisaPickup Luggage from Locker-
Travel5:53 PMPisa -> MilanoTrain from Pisa Centrale to Milano Centrale Railway Station (via Genoa) 
Trenitalia - https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html
Purchased ahead of time via Website/App$ 40.70
9:53 PMArrive in Milano-
HotelMilanoCheck into Hotel - Night 1 of 2Hotel across the street from train station$ 184.80
HOTEL BRISTOL - VIA SCARLATTI, 32 - MILANO 20124Notified hotel day prior (via email) of later check in-
Wed, Sep 07, 2022MealMilanoBreakfast at Hotel - included in stay$ -
Travel5:53 PMMilanoDay Pass for Metro - ATMPurchased in Train station$ 23.00
Activity11:30 AMMilanoThe Last Supper - https://www.cenacolo.it/form2.aspPurchased ahead of time via Website/App - 2 months prior$ 50.60
MealLunch - Starbucks Reserve Roastery$ 60.00
ActivityMilanoShopping$ 161.00
ActivityMilanoVisited a few main sites - The Doumo Cathedral$ -
MealDinner$ 50.00
HotelMilanoNight 2 of 2$ 184.80
Thu, Sep 08, 2022MealMilanoBreakfast at Hotel - included in stay$ -
Hotel10:00 AMMilanoCheck out of Hotel-
Travel10:43 AMMilano -> ComoTrain from Milano Central to Como S Geovenni
Trenord - https://www.trenord.it/en/
Purchased ahead of time via Website/App$ 15.84
MealComoLunch across from the Ferry - Ristorante Imbarcadero
Piazza Cavour 20 - 22100 Como Italy
$ 88.00
Travel12:00 PMComo -> BellagioFerry - Gestione Navigazione Laghi Italia - https://www.navigazionelaghi.it/biglietti-comoPurchased THERE via Website/App$ 22.00
Travel5:00 PMBellagioLocal SEASONAL Tourist Train
Bellagio Express Train - Instagram - bellagioexpresstrain
Purchase from Conductor - is seasonal and weather dependent - does a great loop around Bellagio$ 10.00
HotelBellagioCheck into Hotel - Night 1 of 3Can walk up hill from Ferry station to hotel - It's also across the street from the bus stop$ 264.00
Hotel Silvio Via P. Carcano 10-12 22021 Bellagio (CO) Tel: +39031950322-
MealBellagioLunch and Dinner at Hotel$ 134.00
Fri, Sep 09, 2022ActivityBellagioIdeas:
Boat Tour of Lake Como - Ferry to Minnagio and Verrena
Billagio - Villa Melzi gardens
We did none of these - we relaxed in the hotel-
ActivityBellagioShopping in the town$ 167.00
MealBellagioBreakfast, Lunch and Dinner at HotelBreakfast Included$ 134.00
HotelBellagioNight 2 of 3$ 264.00
Sat, Sep 10, 2022MealBellagioBreakfast, Lunch and Dinner at HotelBreakfast Included$ 134.00
ActivityBellagioLaundry at San Giovanni - Local Laundromat - LavanderiaBring cash/coins$ 10.00
HotelBellagioNight 3 of 3$ 264.00
Sun, Sep 11, 2022MealBellagioBreakfast at Hotel - included in stay$ -
Hotel7:00 AMBellagioCheck out of HotelGave us breakfast togo$ -
TravelBus from Hotel to Como S. Giovanni Station - C30Pay cash on bus$ 8.00
Travel9:36 AMComo S.Giovanni -> Como CamerlataTrenord - Route S11Purchased in Train station$ 4.62
Travel10:26 AMComo Camerlata -> Saronno - RTrenord - Route R17Purchased in Train station$ 6.60
Travel11:16 AMSaronno - R -> Malpensa Airport - MXPMalpensa Express - Route MXPPurchased in Train station$ 17.60
12:00 PMMilanoArrive at Airport-
MealMilanoLunch at the Airport$ 35.00
Travel3:35 AMMilan -> ParisFlight from Milano to Paris - Airline : Easy Jet - Terminal 1Purchased 2 months in advance$ 107.50
Paris Metro App - 5 Day Pass Paris Visit Ticket Zones 1-5 - Purchase at AirportPurchased at Airport$ 140.00
TravelFlexableAirport -> ParisTrain from Airport to Gare del L Est StationIncluded in Day Pass-
Hotel7:00 PMParisCheck into Hotel - Night 1 of 41 block from the train station$ 185.90
Libertel Gare de l Est Francais - 13 rue du 8 mai 1945 Paris (75) - France-
MealParisDinner$ 58.75
Mon, Sep 12, 2022MealParisBreakfast at Hotel - included in stay$ -
ActivityIdeas: See the main sites in Paris - Use Day Pass to get around on the Metro-
MealParisLunch at Jules Verne - Al Cart Menu
https://www.restaurants-toureiffel.com/en/jules-verne-restaurant/lunch.html
Reserved 2 months in advance - $250 deposit at time of booking$ 330.00
ActivityIdeas:
Visit Mont Marte,La Grande Epicerie de Paris - Rue de Sevres - Upscale Market
-
MealDinner$ 58.75
HotelParisNight 2 of 4$ 185.90
Tue, Sep 13, 2022MealParisBreakfast at Hotel - included in stay$ -
Travel8:00 AMParis -> VersaillesTrain from Paris (Gare del L'est) to VersaillesIncluded in Day Pass Purchase - Versailles Station is 10min walk to Versailles Palace-
Activity8:30 AMPalace Versailles - Castle and Gardens + Audio Tour + Golf Cart Rental
https://en.chateauversailles.fr/plan-your-visit/tickets-and-prices
Purchased in Advance to get the time slot we wanted - First in the Morning$ 112.00
MealVersaillesLunch - La Flottille (on the Palace Property, bottom of the hill)$ 106.00
Travel2:00 PMVersailles -> ParisTrain from Versailles to Paris (Gare del L'est)Day Pass-
Meal7:00 PMParisDinner$ 58.75
HotelParisNight 3 of 4$ 185.90
Wed, Sep 14, 2022MealBreakfast at Hotel - included in stay$ -
Travel8:00 AMParis ->EpernayTrain from Paris to Epernay
SNCF - from Gare De L'est to Epernay
Purchased in advance via the website/app - the times are tight so I would recommend staying overnight if possible$ 68.75
MealLunch at Local Cafe - Les Gourmandises d'AmaellePacked snacks to go - to eat during the day - the houses don't typically serve food$ 20.00
Activity12:00 PMChampagne Tour - Epernay France - Moet & Chandon
20 Avenue de Champagne
Purchased in Advance via the website - Tour was 77$ + shopping$ 147.00
Activity1:00 PMPerrier Jouett - House visit for a tasting
26 Avenue de Champagne
$ 22.00
Activity2:00 PMCharles Magnoin - House visit for a tasting - $15 tasting
Rue Irene Joliot-Curie
Take local taxi up the hill - ask house staff for recommendations$ 20.00
Travel4:00 PMEpernay-> ParisTrain from Paris to Epernay
SNCF - from Gare De L'est to Epernay
Train from Paris to Epernay
SNCF - from Gare De L'est to Epernay
$ 68.75
HotelParisNight 4 of 4$ 185.90
MealDinner$ 58.75
Thu, Sep 15, 2022MealBreakfast at Hotel - included in stay$ -
HotelParisCheck out of Hotel - Left Luggage in Hotel Storage-
ActivityParisShopping and visiting more city sites$ 174.00
MealLunch - Les Deux Magots$ 58.00
Travel6:00 PMParis -> AirportTrain from Gare del L Est Station to AirportIncluded in Day Pass$ -
MealDinner in the Airport$ 35.00
Travel9:40 PMParis -> VeniceFlight from Paris to Venice - Via Easy JetPurchased 2 months in advance$ 107.50
Travel11:30 PMVeniceTaxi from Airport to MENSTREHailed a Taxi$ 35.00
HotelVeniceCheck into Hotel - Night 1 of 1$ 179.00
The Plaza Hotel - Viale Stazione 36, 30171 Mestre, ItalyAcross from Mestre Train Station-
Fri, Sep 16, 2022MealBreakfast at Hotel - included in stay$ -
HotelVeniceCheck out of Hotel-
Travel11:30 PMVeniceTrain from Mestre to visit cousin in Sacile - the RV Line$ 6.00
ActivityVeniceShopping in Venice$ 143.00
MealLunch-
Travel11:30 PMSacileTrain from Sacile to Mestre - the RV Line$ 6.00
MealHotel Bauer Rooftop DinnerMade reservations in person - the week prior$ 483.00
Travel11:30 PMVeniceTrain from Mestre to Sacile - the RV Line$ 6.00
HotelSacileNight 1 of 2 - Stayed with family$ -
Sat, Sep 17, 2022ActivitySacileExplored Sacile$ -
HotelSacileNight 2 of 2 - Stayed with family$ -
MealBreakfast, Lunch and Dinner-
Sun, Sep 18, 2022TravelSacile -> MestreTrain from Sacile to Mestre - the RV Line$ 6.00
Travel7:00 AMTaxi from Mestre to the AirportHailed at Site$ 35.00
Travel11:00 AMVenice -> TampaFlight on Delta AirlinesPurchased 8 months in Advance
Via Atlanta
$ 400.00
MealPriority Pass Lounge in Marco Polo Airport VeniceFree breakfast$ -
MealEating Lunch in Atlanta Airport$ 30.00
Travel8:00 PMBack home in Tampa!-