Italy Day 8 – Our Journey Home & Final Thoughts

On our last morning in Italy Bryan and I enjoyed a relaxing breakfast at our hotel. The breakfast offered here was delicious. It included a variety of fresh fruit, yogurts, cereals, pastries, bread, salami, cheese, and I am sure more that I am forgetting. They also offered made-to-order espresso and hot chocolate. After breakfast we had about an hour before catching the bus to the airport, so I took advantage of the time and walked for about 35 minutes. It was a beautiful sunny morning, providing for an excellent walk and relaxing end to the vacation.

While the trip home was long, with a connection in New York before flying into Detroit, it was uneventful. Bryan and I both watched a few different movies, read, and unwound the best we could on an airplane. Our flights were all on time and my dad was awesome to pick us up. Both Bryan and I were grateful to be home to see our family and hound dogs!

Our trip to Italy was wonderful. I will miss the simple yet delicious food that we enjoyed, the availability of soda water, as well as the morning cappuccino. I will also miss the culture of walking and the many historic buildings. I will not miss having to pay for public restrooms, water, and the difficulty finding drinking fountains! I also loved the vinegar and oil salad dressing sides – it made for an ideal salad daily.

One thing that was interesting in each of the three regions that we visited was the different varieties of bread. Tuscany’s bread was without salt and thus very bland. In fact it really needed salted olive oil to taste like much of anything. With the oil, though, it was just fine. Bread in the Ligurian region (Cinque Terre) was my favorite. It was soft yet chewy and slightly sweet. This bread, served at restaurants and at breakfast, was good on its own, with jam, or dipped in olive oil. The Ligurian region was also known for its focaccia bread. While not my personal favorite, the flavor is like garlic bread and the texture is very chewy. In Venice there wasn’t one particular type of bread. The restaurants served a bit of a variety, and most served packaged hard crostini sticks.

The food in Florence was definitely the best of these three regions, though their bread was not as good as that of Levanto. Venice is such a tourist mecca, and I think that their food reflected the fact they don’t usually see their customers very again. As such, I think it is worth a little restaurant research prior to visiting Venice.  Gelato was best in Florence as well.

On the train trip from Levanto to Venice both Bryan and I grew a little tired of the hectic travel, realizing that three cities in one week, with nonstop sightseeing, are a bit much. I was also marveling how quickly time passes! I couldn’t believe we were already on the last leg of our Italian vacation. Having such a packed itinerary makes it difficult to remember everything that you experience. While we chose such a packed itinerary to make the most of the flight and our time, with the experience of our first Italian vacation, Bryan and I would probably recommend two cities per week, so that there is more time for relaxation. We are already daydreaming of a future Tuscan villa getaway!

For more information on the restaurants we visited, check out my Yelp page, where you’ll find reviews and pictures for many places we enjoyed.

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