GUEST POST - ITALY ON A BUDGET

Hello Traveling Triplet readers! I’m Chelsey Heidorn and I’m so excited to be guest posting about my husband and my trip through Italy. As a 10-year-old girl I wanted to be a writer. I had dreams of grandeur. I wanted a little apartment on the channels in Venice with a cute little terrace where I could sip hot chocolate and write award-winning novels all day long. As a 23-year-old college graduate with a degree in Photography, my dream changed. I wanted to travel through Italy with my handsome husband and take pictures. My sweet hubs made that dream a reality! {Mind you, my husband was still in college when I graduated, so we were on a married, college student budget. But you can still tour a beautiful country (with a little luxury) on a budget.}
The channels in Venice. They are exquisite and would have been a great muse for my award winning novels.
 My cute hubsy and I in Pompeii.

My husband, Miles, served a two-year mission for our Church in Rome, Italy. We decided in May of 2009 that we wanted to spend 2.5 weeks revisiting his mission. Around that time swine flu broke out and people were traveling less frequently so airline prices plummeted. We hopped on tripadvisor.com and started watching for cheap flights. We found roundtrip airfare from Salt Lake City to Rome for $520 each.
 The lovely Coliseum.
 My husband’s favorite tourist spot from his mission was the Trevi fountain. It is beautiful, a definite must-see.


We took off for Italy on December 22,2009. We had layover in London and got stuck there for a night because the tarmacs at the airport were iced over so we got a night in London on American Airline’s dime! The plan was to start in Rome for Christmas Eve and day, then head to Napoli, Milan, be in Venice for New Years Eve (my birthday), then head to La Spezia, Cinque Terre, Florence, Pisa, and then back to Rome.

 The architecture in Italy is really quite beautiful. To the left is the famous Duomo di Milano in Milan. To the right is Duomo di Firenze in Florence. 
 The lovely Vatican on Christmas morning.

We decided that since this trip was our birthday presents, Christmas presents, and my graduation gift we would put our allotted budget for each exciting events in to getting hotels instead of staying in hostels. We booked our hotels well in advance so as to get the lowest possible price. We booked through Priceline with the “Name Your Own Price” option and saved a lot of money. We also tried to accommodate our travel time with our sleep time so that when we took the 6-hour train ride from Napoli to Milan we were sleeping at the same time, thus saving on a hotel. We also stayed a night in the mission home for free!
 On any given building you could find 10 different colors that you might never imagine putting together but they would compliment each other beautifully. There were so many textures to take in as well.

Here is our advice when traveling through Italy: go to the markets and buy fresh food. You will save a lot of money. You can get fresh mozzerella, foccaccia bread, and tomatoes for 6 euro and have a meal for two people.  There are markets everywhere. You don’t tip your waiters in Europe. However, you do have to pay a fee to sit at their tables and dine in. We avoided this by getting almost everything to go and having picnics in the piazza’s (except Christmas dinner and my birthday dinner.) Also, it’s cheaper to enjoy cities for more than two days. Public transportation is great in Italy, but it’s also expensive. We spent more money hopping on trains than if we had stayed in one central location and saw a few cities.

Florence is a great central city. You can see Florence, Pisa, La Spezia, Cinque Terre, and Tuscany for less than 20 euro. Always always always spend the one euro to buy your bus tickets. If you don’t you could be fined 45 euro each! Also, there are gypsy’s everywhere so be aware of your possessions and never leave things unattended. Pay special attention on trains. They get pretty packed and there are a lot of pick-pocketers. My hubs says the best time to travel to Italy is in October or March. The weather is great and there aren’t very many tourists. We went in December and it was rainy a lot of days. Oh, and get a canoli every day. It won’t do wonders for your waistline but it will put a smile on your face!
 To the left is the Leaning Tower of Pisa, don’t forget to take your typical tourist picture, you may feel silly in the moment but you’ll be sorry you didn’t! To the right is a view of the Piazza Del Duomo or the “Cathedral Square.”

Lastly, Cinque Terre is the best-kept secret in Italy. It’s a coastal city that consists of five fishing villages. The food is the best you will find, especially the gelato. It’s a quick train ride away from La Spezia. If you decide to go, bring a lock with you! You can take the “Lovers Walk” through all the cities and lock your love along the way.
 On the left is a view of some of the homes in one of the villages in Cinque Terre. On the right is my handsome man stopped along the “Lovers Walk.”
 A view of one of the villages called Riomaggiore.
The locks of love along the trail.

To see more pictures from our trip click here!


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Thank you Chelsey, for your wonderful guest post!
For anyone who is interested in doing a guest post for Traveling Triplets,
contact us and let us know.
Ciao!
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7 comments on GUEST POST - ITALY ON A BUDGET

  1. Ooh I have always wanted to go to Italy!Now this post just makes me want to go more!And such great pictures!Sierra♥

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  2. awesome, thanks for posting chelsey! we look forward to our trip to europe someday :) love you!

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  3. oooh i loved going to italy...my older sister's a mathematician and spends her summers there creating equations and giving lectures at smarty-arty conferences. life's rough, eh?

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  4. The pictures are so stunning. I love Italy. I can't wait to go again someday.

    Notes She Wrote

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  5. OMG i was just in Italy for 4 weeks but defiintely didn't see the villages of riomaggiore it looks beautiful! fantastic photos and advice! lovee this post.

    www.dragonnfruit.com

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  6. Hello,
    I live in Italy and what Chelsey wrote is all very exact. Her husband is right when saying that the best time to travel in Italy are October and March, and you can add September and April too, in my opinion. The only advice I could add is: if you're staying in a city more than one day, look for 3-day tickets, they are available in almost every city and you will save a lot (a lot for us students) of money!
    Another thing: be patient, because not many people know English here, but if you try using gestures and such you will probably be helped with a smile (whereas if you just speak in English they won't understand a word ^^).
    Very very nice post Chelsey and beautiful photos!

    Juliette

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  7. i dig this guest post thing :) nice!!

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