(Closed) What to visit in Madrid, Paris, PIza, Florence or Italy thank :)

posted 6 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
Member
7902 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

There is NOTHING to do in Pisa but see the tower. The food is just okay compared to the Florence and Rome. I would skip it, honestly. I was a huge letdown.

Florence: prebook a timeslot for the David and the Uffizi Gallery. The lines are insane if you don’t have an appointment.

Rome: If you want to go to the Colosseum, buy your ticket at the Palatine Hill. There will be no line, and the same ticket gets you into the Forum, the Colosseum, and the Palatine. You can laugh as you pass 3 or 4 hours worth of people in line at the Colosseum as you walk through the line for people who already have tickets.

I’d recommend the Capitoline Museum, the Vatican Museums (but be prepared; they are crowded and you are basically being herded to the Sistene Chapel), the climb to the top of the Dome of Saint Peter’s, and the Borghese Gardens. 

Post # 4
Member
2163 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Ooooh! MUST go see the Trevi fountain in Rome…Put your back to the fountain, with your right arm crossing over your heart, toss 2 coins into the fountain πŸ™‚ it’s supposed to ensure long lasting love. I did it 2 weeks into dating my SO….and it’s almost 6 years later.

If you can, it’s totally worth it to travel to Capri and to take a boat to the Blue Grotto. It’s absolutely incredible. The sea has worn away a piece of the side of a mountain, and you lay flat in a boat just to enter the cave, and once you’re inside, the water is sparkling, electric blue due to the limestone bottom.

this is it, and it’s exactly how it was when I went in:

Have an amazing trip!! 

Post # 5
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Madrid: Went back in ’08 while in college and one of the girls I went with actually just wrote on my facebook wall the other day saying we should have checked out el Palacio de Cristal:http://tillitbreaks.tumblr.com/post/9698573381/el-palacio-de-cristal-in-madrid 
http://www.gomadrid.com/activity/parks/palacio-de-cristal.html
Isn’t it GORGE?! So bummed we missed it. It’s in Buen Retiro Park, another must visit in Madrid. Go rent a rowboat and enjoy lounging! If you’re into museums, check out Museo Reina Sofia – you can see Picasso’s awesome Guernica. Are you and FH into clubbing? I would recomment Kapital just for the experience. It’s a seven story club with different music on each floor. Pretty cool!

Paris: EXPENSIVE haha. We really wanted to check out the catacombs: http://www.catacombes-de-paris.fr/english.htm
Unfortunately, we didn’t make it in time. They close at 5pm but last admission is at 4pm. Tip: make sure you check opening/closing/last admission times for anything you visit. We learned that the hard way! πŸ˜‰

Pisa: Agreed with PP, Maid/Matron of Honor and I were planning on visiting when we were in Florence but another backpacker had just come back from Pisa and told us it wasn’t worth it. We met many other travelers that felt the same way. Unless you are determined to get one of those touristy “pushing against the tower” pictures, save your money and enjoy your time in Florence. That was my favorite Italian city!

Florence: Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore aka the “Duomo” <— breathtaking, definitely my favorite church of the trip (and trust me, there are a LOT in Italy). This was just a great city to walk around and enjoy. Get some gelato and chill!

Tip: Don’t say no to gelato!!! Try ’em all! You won’t realize what you’re missing until you’re back home and can’t find Kinder/Nutella/Ferrero Rocher gelato anywhere haha. 

Rome: Ditto on getting tickets on Palatine Hill. The line is virtually nonexistant and the ticket works exactly the same. The other option I would recommend is joining a tour, the price will include you ticket (no standing in line!), the tour, and you get the bypass the ridiculous entrance line and go in with your group. Some tours will take you around the Colisseum as well as around Palatine Hill. Our tour guide was super knowledgeable and hilarious to boot. For example, did you know that back in the day, Romans carried around personal toilet brushes (yes, that everyday cheapo toilet brush we now leave next to our toilet) to use when visiting a public toilet? The brush was a replacement for toilet paper. Gross and educational, right? Also check out Vatican City, Maid/Matron of Honor and I are not religious at ALL but we both agreed it was a must. We certainly felt blasphemous the whole time we were there but it was still a great experience.

IMPORTANT TIP: if you plan on visiting any churches/duomos, make sure to come prepared. They enforce a strict dress code. No bare shoulders (bring a cardigan) and no shorts/skirts/dresses above the knee. I think they’re much more lax on the rules for men than they are for women, to be honest. The guards gave us so much crap (they were super judgemental, actually!) because our dresses were JUST above our knees, but we eventually got by. They were turning away girls in shorts and tank tops left and right! BUT, I later saw some random dude wearing shorts that were definitely mid-thigh length. WTF, talk about a double standard! That’s another topic altogether, though! πŸ™‚

I’m super excited for you! Hence my ridiculously long post. I hope you and FH have the best time. Just remember to ENJOY yourself! Oh and bring good walking shoes! I’ve never come across so many stairs in my life! Spoiled American over here.. 😐

Post # 6
Member
5423 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2012

I’ve only been to Madrid and I second el parque retiro.  It’s huge!!  El Museo Reina Sofia and El Museo del Prado are across the street from each other and world famous of course.  You can do tours of the Royal Palace.  It was definitely neat.  I also recommend a day trip to Segovia.  Eat something sweet at Faargi.  I seriously wish they would franchise to the US.  Foodwise, smaller plazas will have better prices.

Post # 7
Member
37 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I too would recommend the Retiro park in Madrid. You can take a rowing boat ride on the small lake. The botanical gardens are also worth a look.

The Prado is considered a must-see and is worth it, but I personally prefer the smaller Thyssen gallery. If you like modern art then the Reina Sofia is your place.

The Plaza Mayor is the most famous square in Madrid and it is dotted with bars and cafes. On a nice day it is a nice experience to sit out on one of the terraces but you will probably pay more than in any other cafe elsewhere in the city.

A day trip to Toledo is highly recommended. It is a lovely, quaint city within easy travelling distance from the capital. As mentioned by a previous poster Segovia is another option.

Enjoy designer window shopping on the city’s Serrano street and if you like soccer head to the Bernabeu stadium, home to Real Madrid football club. They do museum visits and tours.

Ah, of course, don’t forget the royal palace in Madrid. Well worth a visit.

I’m afraid I cannot comment much on the other cities. In Paris I would recommend seeing Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame. The Eiffel Tower of course!! I did a Seine river cruise when I was there years ago but I was with my school so cannot tell you what the budget was but I think it was reasonable. You also have the Louvre museum, home to the Mona Lisa. Go early to avoid queues, although that being said, you may be able to prebook. Oh, and the Moulin Rouge!

See the expensive boutiques on the Champs Elysees.

There is also Disneyland Paris if you like that kind of thing.

 

Post # 8
Member
37 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Oh, forgot to mention that the hop-on hop-off bus tours are a good way of seeing Madrid and an inexpensive way of getting around

Post # 9
Member
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Whatever you do, go to Trattoria Mario in Florence.  It’s near the Mercato Centrale and has incredibly delicious food.  If I could choose my last meal, I would go there and eat a pork chop.  it is SOOOO good.  It’s not very expensive, and you can eat all kinds of traditional Tuscan fare.  I think it opens at 11, and you should get there when it opens because a line forms.  

When my husband and I were in Florence, we went multiple times.  They will seat you at large tables that you will probably share with strangers.  It’s a fun experience.  

Go, drink wine, and if you eat meat, order a pork chop.  Thank me later!

http://trattoriamario.com/

Post # 11
Member
1415 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I definitely recommend Rick Steve’s walking tour of Pisa. Once you see the tower and the surrounding buildings it can feel like kind of a let down, but he shows the hidden corners of the city, and it’s really special. 

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