Italy by train

Just a little heads up: this was our travel itinary. There will be more blog posts following up with more detailed infos on the specific places. Also I have so many photos to share with you! So stay tuned!

 

People from all over the world gather in the most popular places of Europe such as Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Saint Tropez, Lisbon, the Algarve and last but not least the beautiful cities and costal towns of Italy. Honestly, we can’t blame them because Europe in summer is the best!

Since Switzerland is not too far away from Italy, we decided to travel a bit more environment friendly and take the train. If you haven’t been to Europe, then let me introduce you to a program called “Interrail”.  It’s basically a train pass that get you anywhere through Europe for less money. There are a few options you can choose from (check the Website here). Since we only had 11 days, we decided on the One Country Pass that would get us around Italy. Our journey started on Thursday evening when we took the train from Berne to Milan. This trip was not included in the Interrail pass, since we only got the One Country pass and we started off in Switzerland, our home country.

Thursday, July 12th

  • Berne, Switzerland to Milan, Italy
  • 3 hour train ride
  • We slept at «House Beatrice» a small hotel right next to the central train station in Milan.

Friday, July 13th

  • Milan to Amalfi
  • 5 hour train (Milan-Salerno)
  • 1 hour bus ride (Salerno-Amalfi), bus was not included in Interrail pass, but only cost like 3 Euro per person
  • We stayed at “Villa Maria Luigia” for 3 nights. We absolutely loved the Hotel, since it was a 15min walk outside of Amalfi, which means that we didn’t get the crowds.
  • The best thing was the beach that was only a 10 meter walk away from our hotel. There were mostly locals hanging out at this beach and prices for a beach set up (umbrella + 2 louges) were much lower than in town. We paid 15 Euros total.

Saturday, July 14th

  • Amalfi to Positano
  • 20min ferry ride. Not included in Interrail pass, 8 Euros per person.
  • Positano is much more touristy than Amalfi, which also means more expensive. We paid 40 Euros for an umbrella and lounges at the beach!
  • For drinks & food I recommend Franco’s Bar and Hotel Ancora. The view is amazing!!
  • Positano Amalfi
  • 45min bus ride. Not included in Interrain pass, 3 Euros per person.

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Sunday, July 15th

  • No travels
  • We decided to spend the whole day at “our” beach. Oh, did I mention that you have to climb 400 steps to get there? It’s totally worth it, though!
  • I recommend eating at Donna Stella

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Monday, July 16th

  • Amalfi to Rome
  • 1 hour bus ride (Amalfi-Salerno), not included in Interrail pass, 3 Euro per person
  • 3 hour train ride (Salerno-Rome)
  • We stayed at “Hotel Relais Monti“.
  • Since Rome was bursting at the seams we only stay for one full day. I do not recommend visiting Rome in July at all! We did do the most touristy stuff (Colosseum, Trevi fountain etc.) but we didn’t really enjoy it too much with all those people. I am sure that Rome would have so much to offer, though not in summer…
  • We ate delicious food at La Carbonara.

Tuesday, July 17th

  • Rome to Florence
  • 1.5 hour train ride
  • We stayed at “Palazzo Riblet” for 2 night and we loved the hotel!
  • Florence was less crowded and I totally fell in love with the city! I recommend “Osteria Antica Mescita San Niccolo” (best food we had in Italy!).

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Wednesday, July 18th

  • Florence to Siena
  • 1h train ride
  • 5min bus ride from the train station to the city
  • Siena is a lovely city in the Tuscany region. It’s definitely worth visiting!
  • I recommend “Vivace” for lunch. They have an amazing patio.

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Thursday, July 19th

  • Florence to Monterosse al mare
  • 2.5 hour train ride (Florence-La Spezia)
  • 30min train ride (La Spezia-Monterosso)
  • We stayed at “Hotel La Villa Degli Argentieri” for 2 nights.
  • Monterosso is the biggest of the five villages. It’s the only village of Cinque Terre with a big sandy beach.
  • Monterosso al mar to Riomaggiore
  • 15min train ride
  • Coming from La Spezia, Riomaggiore is the first of the five villages of Cinque Terre.
  • Riomaggiore to Manarola
  • 2min train ride
  • Manarola belongs to the village of Riomaggiore. This is my favorite village! It just looks amazing!

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Friday, July 20th

  • Monterosso al mare to Corniglia
  • 7min train ride
  • Unlike the other villages Corniglia is not right on the coast. To reach the village you have to climb almost 400 stairs, which is why I recommend heading there in the morning when the sun isn’t to high yet. It’s totally worth it though!
  • Corniglia to Vernazza
  • 3min train ride
  • Out of the five, Vernazza was the most touristy and crowded village. Nevertheless, it is still very beautiful! We went on the Castello Doria, which required another set of flights to climb.
  • Vernazza to Monterosso al mare
  • 4min train ride

Saturday, July 21st

  • Last but not least, we explored Monterosso al mare. We first didn’t realize that it actually is two parts connected by tunnel! The second part (not where our hotel was located) has more of an old town feel to it, and in my opinion, is much prettier that the other part. Looking back, I am glad we chose a hotel in Monterosso. It was the perfect way to explore Cinque Terre.
  • Since there was a train strike going on in Italy, we decided to catch a train from Monterosso to Milan on Saturday already. Things like that can happen when travelling by train, but hey, traffic jams on highways are a thing too, right?!
  • Monterosso al mare to Milan
  • 3 hour train ride
  • We stayed at “Starhotel Echo”

Sunday, July 22nd

  • Milan, Italy to Berne, Switzerland
  • 3 hour train ride. Not included in the Interrail pass.

 

We only booked the first two hotels of our trip (Milan and Amalfi) beforehand. Since we wanted spontaneously choose our next destination, we only vaguely knew what our intinerary was going to be. Also we got great deals on the hotels and never paid full price! I am sure that prices also drop off season, so make sure to keep that in mind.

More posts to come on our trip soon. I’m planing on doing one on every bigger stop (Amalfi Coast, Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre), so keep an eye out.

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