city guides



Today we took the train to Varenna. It's a small town off Lake Como, at the foot of the Alps. We stayed up late last night, and decided Varenna was the right amount of touristy, and it was!

The train station was difficult at first. I'm glad we asked for help. Otherwise, we would have missed our train. We were told most of Milan was English-speaking, and we were sadly mistaken. The nice man at the train station did though. We rode an hour to Varenna. The last train I'd been on was the one to Versailles. This one wasn't a commuter. It was a high speed Frecciarosa. It was nicer than most airplanes.

When we arrived, we walked towards the water. There was a really sweet hotel restaurant that faced the Alps. It was amazing. So romantic! It was the first restaurant we saw. We were so hungry! It was a full lunch because our waitress was British, and we felt comfortable ordering. Smoked salty lake fish, pumpkin gnocci, tiramisu, and a pitcher (yes), were some of the highlights. The best part was probably the parmasean. The water was so clear and beautiful.

Nick said "Milan feels real, but this didn't." He was right! We spent the day there, napping and eating gelato. By the end of the day, we were ready to be back in our cozy Milan apartment.



After a late start this morning, we took a high-speed train to Verona. It's about halfway to Florence. We booked coach for twenty-eight euros each way. It was much more comfortable than the regional train. We rode east-to-west so there were mountains the whole way. It definitely was the most touristy place we visited. Initially, it was my least favorite, but still really picturesque.

We saw the canal, the winding streets, and waterfront cafes. My favorite part was the hike to San Pietro at sunset - and also the pistachio gelato. So good!



Italy has been amazing so far! It's Nick's, my boyfriend, first time overseas. He couldn't believe how big our plane to London was. What a cool first to share with him. We arrived late on Saturday, and met our host, Giuseppe. Our apartment and home-base is on Viale Piceno. We booked through Airbnb. Can't recommend them enough! It was both comfortable and affordable. There is an unneccesary amount of light switches, which we love. The wallpaper? Also perfect.

Giussepe left champagne, water, and a nice bottle of olive oil for us. We made most of our dinners here. On our first night in Milan, we walked towards the city center. After many shy attempts, we settled on Fi.Lo. Nick ordered gnocchi, and I had a saffron and sausage situation. We were super thankful for our waiter who walked us through each item in English. Pretty embarrassing, but we were super thankful he did.

The next morning, we decided to walk to Marchesi, a patteserie I heard about online. It was St. Patrick's Day, our anniversary. The streets were quiet and there were lots of fluffy dogs. The square by Marchesi, and the Duomo, was crazy. We took a photo and left quickly. We will have to find pastires elsewhere.

Nick wanted to see the canals so we walked there. It was pretty touristy, but there were lots of street vendors and markets. We were timid to order food again. After some serious debating, we decided on a cone of fried sardines, carrots, and octopus. We paid twenty euro and walked away without our change. Rookie mistake! We shopped at Slam Jam, and it was cool - much more our speed.

We walked 13 miles that day in the wrong shoes, but it was worth it to be able to see the city. I was grumpy from all the blisters. Luckily, Nick also speaks English so I complained to him most of the night.