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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
For a better preparation
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!
We slept 2 nights at AC Hotel Vicenza, a Marriott category 1 hotel, for only 7500 points a night!
In Novara, we stayed in an Airbnb for 2 nights.
In Milan, we rented a Renault Clio for the 14 days we spent in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.
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!
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.
|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)|
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!