We’re baaack! Gaaahh!! Where do I even begin? I’m not even exaggerating when I say our 2 week trip to Italy was nothing short of ah-mazing!! From the flavorful and luscious cuisine made of only the freshest ingredients, to the crisp Prosecco after a long day of walking and sightseeing, to the rosso vino della casa (house red) that never gave us hangovers,🍷😋the architecture and the beautiful art, to the museums and cathedrals, the history, and last but not least, the incredible views (Oh the views!!). Italy will forever hold a special place in our hearts, and yes, we’re already dreaming of our next visit.
As first time travelers to Italy, we visited four cities/regions with a couple of day trips in-between for a total of 15 nights. May is typically considered the start of “high” season which goes all the way through September with June through August being at its peak with the most crowds, uncomfortably hot weather and the priciest hotel rates. We traveled between April 17-May 2, but much to our our surprise, it seemed as if the high season had already begun. There were quite a bit of students and tourists, but it was still bearable so I can only imagine the craziness that summer will bring. Also, we really lucked out with perfect weather during our entire trip with highs in the 70s and a lot of sunshine! I hate to admit it, but we slightly overpacked. Although we kept checking the weather forecast, we for sure thought it would be cooler so we brought a few sweaters, long sleeve tops and I brought 4 jackets (eek!) which of course I didn’t need. We knew the dress code in Italy was casual and laid back so we didn’t bring anything fancy. I brought one pair of wedges that I didn’t even wear, but because of how warm it was, we could’ve easily gotten away with just one large suitcase between the two of us. Now we know for next time.
For a 2 week holiday in Italy, we booked our travel package through Costcotravel.com. I know what you’re thinking. We didn’t know they had a travel agency either, but they do, and it’s the best! A co-worker had told me about it last year and before we decided to book through Costco, we compared prices on Orbitz, Expedia, a couple of other travel agencies and directly through the hotels and airlines before determining Costco was the way to go. We honestly have nothing negative to say about our experience using Costco Travel and we would highly recommend using them for your upcoming travels. I know we will.
Costco Travel offers a variety of different packages to choose from including airfare. We had been “planning” this trip for some time (almost 4 years) and after doing quite a bit of research and the feedback we received from others, we knew which cities were our top priority and so we booked the Venice, Florence, Rome and Sorrento: Your Way package. You can view a sample itinerary here. Our package included round-trip airfare, lodging, private ground transportation to/from our hotel and airport, first-class train passes between Venice, Florence and Rome, private ground transportation from Rome to Sorrento and a private driver for a day of sightseeing in the Amalfi Coast on the last leg of the trip. Our package also had quite a bit of perks such as free breakfast at each hotel (I never woke up early enough), complimentary welcome drinks at each hotel in the hotel bar, a free dinner for two at our hotel in Sorrento, plus a $40 credit towards our final bill and discounts at all the hotel restaurants, in addition to earning 2% reward on our travel package as Executive Card Members.
Costco works with a variety of moderately priced and high-end luxury hotel chains including Westin, NH Hotel Group, Sofitel, StarWood and Manniello, to name a few, allowing you to customize your trip any way you want for as many nights at the hotels of your choice (depending on availability of course) which would then determine your bottom line. Since we had pushed back visiting Italy for the past couple of years and we just so happened to travel around our 4th wedding anniversary, we splurged and flew first class (hehe). We flew Delta One on the way there and Air France on the way back. Let’s just say we can certainly get used to this kind of travel. 🙂 As for travel times and the logistics, ORD only has direct flights to/from Rome so we flew into JFK in under 2 hours with a 1 hour layover before flying direct to Venice (a little over 8 hours). We flew out of Naples into Paris (almost 2 hours) and then into ORD (a little over 9 hours). I had previously heard Naples International Airport was considered the most incompetent airport in the world, but we had no issues. In fact, I thought it was fairly easy to get around and out of, but then again, our flight was at 6:30am so that may have had something to do with it.
So now that we’ve got all of the logistics out of the way, make sure to check out my travel diaries for Venice, Tuscany, Rome and Sorrento & The Amalfi Coast. You can also read my Italy Packing List: Spring and Summer for tips on how to pack and some suggestions on what to bring.
Shop my travel outfit below: