Last week we went to Italy for the first time. Well, for me and my daughter at least. We have been planning the trip since the beginning of the year. And tried to find the best possible dates and duration, as well as accomodation and transportation. I must say that travel arranging has been the niche of mine in household management. I am becoming very good at picking affordable places to stay which equipped with all basic necessities such as private kitchen and laundry room, and also not too far walking distance to the nearest public transport stops such as metro stops or bus stops. We don’t have any car yet so all travelling must be done pedestrian style.
We decided to stay in Milano and Roma, and then have a day trip to Venezia. Our favourable choice of accomodation is once again apartment or aparthotel. We are officially addicted and a huge fan of aparthotel. The quality of service may varied, though, but so are hotels and hostels or any other accomodation types. We can now safely testified that we have been to four different aparthotel in four different cities in three different countries. We fly first to Milano airport Malpensa and then took the Malpensa Express train from Malpesa to Milano Centrale FS for €12.50 per adult, children under 12 travel for free. The train ride took 45 minutes and stopped at almost every station it passes. If you book the ticket for this train online, do not forget to print your ticket from the ticket vending machine or look for the word Bigliettera or Biglietto which means tickets, of course. The machine looks like one of these below and the ticket printed will look like the one underneath it.
From Milano Centrale FS, we then proceed with metro to our apartment. The ride took 16 minutes in total. We need another kind of ticket for this ride and it is the metro ticket which cost €1.50 per person. The ticket valid for one metro ride and 100 minutes of bus or tram ride. The machine is different from the train ticket machine and looks like one of these and the ticket printed will look like the one underneath.
We spent one night resting our feet down and getting around the neighbourhood. The next day we went to Venezia by train and this time is a high speed one which means stops infrequently and only at select stations. The journey took 2 hours and 30 minute and cost €37.50 per adult one way, children under 12 travel for free and get own seat. We don’t have to print the ticket as we can show it to the conductor on the train directly from our phone or tablet pc. Just don’t forget to download it first, naturally.
Venezia is surely a panoramic city with water divided the city and also served as the main traffic way. The color of water of Venezia or Venice is green because it is a lagoon where the sea meet fresh land water. So many organism lived there and that makes the water green. Well, not green as Kermit The Frog, but it is more like light turquoise in the bright sun shiny day and greyish green in darker days.
The weather was gloomy when we arrived and it rained. Thankfully it only lasted an hour or two and there comes the sun and it became bright and lovely. We bought the 12 hour public transport + audio tour boat called Vaporetto and it cost €28 per person. If you bring baby buggies or strollers then touring the city by waterbus is a best idea. You can first have a look what the city and its stone paths and see for yourself how would you like to take yourself from places to places. There are many bridges and stairs and all the pathways are made of stones so it is quite tricky for buggy driver like us. But we are not the only ones as along the way I saw parents, especially fathers -God bless them all, including my husband- carry the stroller up and down the stairs and bridges. Most of the time with their child inside the buggy sitting nicely. So, my suggestion is to invest on a lightweight buggy especially when your child reached the age two. Because big buggies are heavy and takes a lot of space.
Visiting Italy, it is such a waste not to try their coffee, pastries, and pastas. They put sugar or cream on their croissants and other pastry breads. If you ask for a coffee, they will serve you espresso in tiny espresso cup as well. They have wide variety of selections on how to serve your coffee. As I am currently pregnant and highly conscious about my caffeine intake, I always ordered decaf or decaffein coffee. My favourite Italian pastry is coda di aragosto loosely translated into Lobster Tail. It is made from a very thin danish pastry with cream or ricotta cheese inside, and it is very crunchy yet creamy and savoury. I fell in love with it!
After Venezia, the next day we decided to stroll around Milan since I am currently 7 months pregnant, we decided to take it easy. We went to Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II and spend the day there. The next stop is Roma and we travelled there by train in 2,5 hours journey. The cost of one train ride is €86 per adult, and again children under 12 ride for free and get their own seat. Rome is warmer in temperature than Milan and it is more crowded. We stayed nearby Vatican, about 3 or 4 bus stops from the front of the hotel to Vatican. Public transport in Roma is the same as Milano, as in pricing and validity. Go to a ticket vending machine and buy individual ticket for €1,50 for one way metro ride and 100 minutes of bus and trams.
Roma is also a panoramic city. It has a lot of Roman empire ruins and statues, but it also wonderfully built with high taste of arts. All the interesting points are for free unless you want to take a guided tour or visit a museum. But just by looking from the outside it is already a treat for yourself. What I like about this travel is that is more stroller friendly than Paris. Almost every metro stops we visit have elevators and the bus also provide spaces for strollers, despite small and mostly only fit for one strollers.