A Travel Guide To France & Italy

travel blog
Italy Travel Diary | Venice & Rome / Stopover Paris 2016

Ever dreamt about travelling to your dream destination, but never had the guts to book a flight? Well, I’m here to tell you to do it now! Not going to lie, I was just like you 2 year ago; surfing social media, and having an incredible urge to travel. That is, until last year, when I decided to travel to my dream destination!

I began my journey along with my younger sister, the benefits of not travelling solo you might ask? The other person can take as many pictures of you. We both decided not to go with a tour company in order to have absolute freedom. Besides the best thing about going somewhere new is to explore without a planned map, am I right? Our first visit was to …..

“The City of Love”. You guessed it is PARIS!

Despite hearing so much good about the city, I was not very keen on their mode of public transport. The train kept shutting down every 15 min, and being that we we’re only there for a day, I missed out on so many great places. However, I did get the chance to see the renowned Eiffel Tower from afar.

As we further strolled around the city taking pictures along the way, we ended in the 6th Arrondissement of Paristhis public square is crowded with tourist, luckily we had arrived early morning were able to take snaps. 

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Place Saint- Michel in the 6th Arrondissement
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These penthouse are consider one of the most expensive areas to live in.
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The famously known “Porte Saint Denis”
The very next day, we were on a flight to Venice.

This city has been on my bucket list for SO long. You would be surprised to find out how many people use gondolas, and water taxis every single day. Quick tip: Make sure to buy a ‘Venice card’. It will give you access to their public transport and entrance to many galleries, museums and churches for a lower cost.

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Did you even go to Venice if you didn’t ride a gondola ?
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The experience was just wonderful and the view while the gondoliers sang, simply magnificent.

Venice was exactly what I had always dreamt of, and I never wanted to wake up from this mirage. Filled with small streets and alleys, at times it felt like a maze! But, their colorful buildings and palaces made getting lost every so often worthwhile.

One of the places I would recommend visiting is Piazza San Marco, also known as St. Mark’s Square, even though it is the MOST touristic place. My heart couldn’t help but skip a beat when I first saw the gigantic area through the small tunnelled entrance. The Saint Mark Basilica, The Doge’s Palace, the Clock tower, and the St. Mark’s Campanile are all present in this square. 

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The St. Mark Campanile (Bell Tower) is behind me
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St. Mark’s Clock Tower

I highly recommend you to go to “The Doge’s Palace”, the landmark of all of Venice. I’ll admit I didn’t know much about this place before I visited, but by the end of my tour I was filled with knowledge! Tip: You need at least half a day to really get a proper feel of the entire palace and to do justice by its history.

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Outside of The Doge’s Palace
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The entrance to the Doge’s Palace
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The interior of The Doge’s Palace
The third day we were off to Rome!

I mean would Rome be Rome without the Colosseum? Anyone who’s ever travelled to Italy will tell you that they either adore this city or absolutely detest it. And as a matter of a fact, I loved it!

My favourite places to visit were the “Roman Forum & Palatine Hill” and the Colosseum, of course! My sister and I decided to have a tour guide during both, and it is the best way. There is so much history behind this place that a tour guide is a must! Our visit to the Forum was amazing, we were able to walk around, and imagine just what it would be like to be alive back in Ancient Roman era.

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The Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
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Clearly I had forgotten my sun glasses at the hotel again -.-

The following day my sister, and I were wondering about, with no certain agenda in mind when we unexpectedly happened to find “the Trevi Fountain”. Let me tell you it was crowded with tourists. I guess visiting here is on everyone’s bucket list. Oh! And don’t forget to bring some extra coins with you, you’ll need them to make a wish…

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Next up on our list was The Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica (all in the same area), and since our tour guide was quite the character, we had a lot of fun. It made me realise how big of a role the people you meet along the way have.

To top it all off, our trip to the Pantheon was an unforgettable experience because the funniest thing happened to us while we were there. My sister and I were  having a look around when a few tourists asked us to take a picture. At first, I thought they wanted one of them, but that was not the case! In fact, they all wanted pictures with us! Luckily, I was able to capture the moment, and share it with you all.

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The Pantheon, well at least my sister remembers to wear her sun glasses.
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We literally stood inside the Pantheon not knowing what to do while they took pictures of us.

I have to say, although the landmarks are all breathtaking, make sure you have at least one day that isn’t planned, go grab yourself some gelato, and walk around the city. While we were strolling we met so many travellers and locals alike. My sister and I created our best memories when we were lost. I had the guts to travel to my dream destination, do you?

Comment below, and tell me what your dream destination is.

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