I had the most amazing time visiting Italy in April with my partner and his family, spending five glorious days staying in Milan, visiting Bellagio and Verona in between. This trip proved to be exactly what I needed before completing my final university exams, giving me a lovely few days to get away and relax.
Spoiler alert…let’s just say there wasn’t a lot of relaxing and a LOT of walking!
We stayed at the BB Hotels Residenza Biccoa, just a short walk away from Istria, a station that took us straight into central Milan within ten minutes. The rooms were absolutely stunning, though the air conditioning didn’t work for some reason and it got VERY hot at night which was a pain, but other than that it was perfect. The balcony overlooked a few old buildings but the atmosphere was incredible. A simple look out the window and you know you’re in Italy.
Shortly after we settled in on our first day, we ventured into Duomo, taking a look at Milan’s famous Cathedral and having a browse at the incredible shops around us. Unfortunately, I’m not a millionaire, so all I could do was gape at the expensive designer handbags and swear that one day, one day, I’d come back and buy one. It’s true what they say, Milan knows its fashion and there was always someone or something to look at. A few well-known high street brands were also among the high-end brands, boasting H&M and other much affordable shops in case you forgot to pack a jacket or enough underwear.
The city was bustling with people and, though we ran into no trouble, there were pickpocketers roaming the place, so I would highly advise you to keep your possessions close by and don’t wave your phone around as this attracts attention. There are a lot of food places around the area, including McDonald’s and authentic Italian restaurants. For me, I personally never knew pizza could taste so good and found it hard to leave.
On Sunday we took a train up to Bellagio to visit Lake Como, the most BEAUTIFUL place in the world. As soon as I saw the view from the train window, the picturesque houses with their colourful shutters sitting alongside the lake, I fell in love. The sun was shining down and there was a perfect light breeze drifting over the mountains, making it the most wonderful day. The crowds didn’t bother us as we were so caught up in our surroundings, managing to take beautiful photos which, despite how stunning they are, fail to capture the raw beauty of Lake Como.
We had planned to visit Verona on Monday but decided to go Tuesday instead, having a wander around Milan a bit more and visiting some old historical buildings, as well as taking a lovely walk around a nearby park. I saw a married couple have a photoshoot and I’m sure the photos will look absolutely stunning, as the scenery around was breathtaking. It was nice to have that day to relax and take a breather, as between getting up at 2am for the airport and rushing around all weekend and doing the whole tourist thing, a slow day and a cheeky afternoon nap was greeted warmly.
On Tuesday we woke up extra early to catch our train to Verona. Unfortunately for us, it was raining all day with strong winds, but I enjoyed the trip regardless. I’m a huge fan of Romeo and Juliet and seeing Juliet’s balcony in person was definitely the highlight of the trip. The historical little city had beautiful cobblestone streets, little shops scattered around the place, a LOT of Vespas, and was the most magical place I’d ever been to. Despite the weather, the bright streets were welcoming and it was a fabulous day.
The last couple of days were spent having a wander around, doing a bit of cheeky shopping, and eating all the Italian food. My boyfriend bought me a promise ring which was incredibly romantic and, in exchange, I was a good girlfriend and surprised him a couple of games he wanted. As someone who hasn’t travelled before, it was definitely an eye-opener and made me realise how much I want to get out there and explore. I think it’s safe to say I’ve caught the travel bug and am already planning a couple more adventures for this year!