5 Highlights of a Visit to Northern Italy and Slovenia


Favorites in Northern Italy and Slovenia are relatively easy to find.  Italy is a country that we highly appreciate, mainly for its historical, cultural and gastronomic heritage. It is a country that is dear to us because we return there whenever we have the opportunity. And this time, our Canadian friends, the Malicki family, joined us for 14 days of pure joy, as part of a road-trip along the Adriatic coast, including a visit to Slovenia and Croatia.

The Highlights in Northern Italy and Slovenia

Verona

We made a compulsory visit to Verona, the romantic city that William Shakespeare used to stage the tragic story of Romeo and Juliet. There is Juliette’s house and her balcony. But Verona has much more history to offer than a fictional story. The city has the richest collection of Roman remains in Northern Italy! Its Roman amphitheatre, built 2000 years ago with a capacity of 30,000 spectators, is amongst the best preserved.

Casa di Giulietta

Piazza dei Signori

Verona Arena

Venice

Since the beginning of our world tour, we visited the “Venice of the North” (Amsterdam and Bruges), the “Little Venice” (Colmar), the “Venice of the East” (Udaipur), the “Venice of Asia” (Bangkok). We also knew the “Venice of the Alps” (Annecy), Venice of Los Angeles and the “The Venetian” of Las Vegas and Macao. But the TRUE Venice, the “Serenissima” with its eternal reflections, the “City of the Doges”, the “Queen of the Adriatic”, the ” City of Waters “, the ” City of Masks “, the ” City of Bridges ” or the ” Floating City “, has no equal in the world. Do I need to introduce it to you? The Grand Canal, the Rialto, St. Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, the gondolas, the vaporettos and the carnival. A trip on the Grand Canal by vaporetto is a must! That’s all said and done.

Venice Grand Canal

Venice Grand Canal

Santa Maria della Salute Basilica

Rialto Bridge

Ponte dei Sospiri

Piazza San Marco

Basilica di San Marco

Trieste

Back from Croatia, we discover the quiet port city of Trieste. In the shade of its neighbor Venice, Trieste is not particularly touristic but still deserves a short stop. It has an atmosphere that is both Italian and Central European.

Ponte Rosso

Piazza Unità d'Italia

Piazza Unità d’Italia

San Giusto Castle

San Giusto Castle

Parrocchia di Santa Maria Maggiore

Parrocchia di Santa Maria Maggiore

Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas

Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas

Milan

We spent a day in Milan, a city we already knew well. Our visit was limited to a stroll around Milan Cathedral and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, while enjoying a gelato and an espresso. Milan Cathedral, which I consider to be the most beautiful Catholic church in the world, is still as magnificent and impressive as ever. It must be said that this massive mountain of marble is one of the world’s largest churches and it took 6 centuries to be completed!

Duomo di Milano

Duomo di Milano

Piazza del Duomo

Piazza del Duomo

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Santa Maria delle Grazie

Santa Maria delle Grazie

Novara, the city where we spent two nights, has a beautiful and large cathedral, whose dome reminds us of that of the Capitol of Washington.

Novare

Novare

Lake Como

Lago Maggiore

Ljubljana

To reach Croatia from Italy, we had to cross Slovenia. It was a perfect opportunity to explore Ljubljana, the capital of this small country. A tour of the city on a tourist train gave us a good taste of the city. According to the Greek legend, Jason and his Argonauts killed a dragon in a swamp near what would later become Ljubljana. The dragon is now the symbol of Ljubljana. The Dragon Bridge and Ljubljana Castle are the main attractions of the city.

Unfortunately, we did not plan to spend more time in the country. Too bad, because the landscapes we crossed were amazing!

Dragon Bridge

Dragon Bridge

Franciscan Church of the Annunciation

Franciscan Church of the Annunciation

Ljubljana Cathedral

Ljubljana Cathedral

The Ljubljana Castle

The Ljubljana Castle

For a better preparation

Itinerary

As Milan Malpensa is the 2nd largest hub of renowned low-cost airline Easyjet (after London Gatwick), our flight from Marrakech to Malpensa cost us only 21 EUR per person, and only 28 EUR per person to fly from Malpensa to Madrid.

Our final destination was Croatia, so we arranged our itinerary in order to enjoy 5 days in Italy and Slovenia. We therefore chose to spend 2 nights in Vicenza, so as to be able to easily reach Verona, Venice and Ljubljana (Slovenia), on our way to Croatia. On the way back from Croatia, we discovered Trieste, before settling for 2 nights in Novara, a few kilometers from Malpensa, where we were able to make excursions to Milan and Lake Maggiore.

In the past, we had already been to Venice, Verona, Vicenza (3 times each for me, 1 time for Jessica and the boys), as well as Milan (3 times for Jessica and me, 1 time for the boys). But we always have an absolute pleasure every time we return there!

Accomodation

We slept 2 nights at AC Hotel Vicenza, a Marriott category 1 hotel, for only 7500 points a night!

AC Hotel by Marriott Vicenza

AC Hotel by Marriott Vicenza

In Novara, we stayed in an Airbnb for 2 nights.

Transportation

In Milan, we rented a Renault Clio for the 14 days we spent in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.

Our Rental Car

Our Rental Car

Food

Italian gastronomy does not need to be introduced. But here is the recipe for happiness in Italy: two espressos and two gelatos a day.

Italy has the best pizza in the world, my favorite being the capricciosa: mozzarella cheese, Italian ham, mushrooms, artichokes and tomatoes. But don’t make a mistake when ordering a pepperoni pizza, as you may end up with a pepper pizza. Instead, ask for a salami pizza!

Pizza

Pizza

Espresso and Capuccino

Espresso and Capuccino

Gelato

Gelato

Cannoli

Cannoli

Expenses

In Italy, we had a great time and it took a hit on the wallet. This country comes first in the cost of food and second in transport expenditure, mainly due to the high costs of tolls and parking lots. But when one loves, one does not count! The cost of our stay for our family of 4 is:

  • 851,00 EUR (1,006.22 USD);
  • 213,00 EUR (251.85 USD) per day;
  • 53,00 EUR (62.67 USD) per person and per day.

In detail:

Expense Category Amount Spent
Flights 86,00 EUR / 101.69 USD
Accomodation 67,00 EUR / 79.22 USD
Transport (including gas, toll, parking) 381,00 EUR / 450.49 USD
Eating out 192,00 EUR / 227.02 USD
Groceries 67,00 EUR / 79.22 USD
Activities 58,00 EUR / 68.58 USD
Total 851,00 EUR / 1,006.22 USD

In a nutshell

Dates 2019-07-08 to 2019-07-10; 2019-07-20 to 2019-07-22
Number of days 5
Cities we visited Verona, Vicenza, Venice, Treviso, Milano, Ljubljana
Inbound Morocco by plane
Outbound Spain by plane
Mode of transport Rental car
Distance travelled (car & foot) 1351 km
Number of photos taken 2180 (436 per day)
Currency The Euro (1,00 EUR = 1.18 USD)

Conclusion

Our stay in the Northern Italy is not a reflection of everything the country has to offer. Italy has never disappointed us and has always left us with unforgettable memories. As for Slovenia, the short introduction to the capital Ljubljana gave us a good taste of the country for a possible return.

Don’t miss our next adventures in Croatia!

==> Download all our photos of Italy and Slovenia for free!

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