The Top 5 Things To Do on our Northern Italy + Switzerland trip
Our Northern Italy trip kicks off on August 4th - 13th, 2017 and it's jam packed with drop-ins, amazing things to see, architecture, pub crawls, hikes and more.
Tony put a shit ton of effort into this itinerary and I could not be more proud of his efforts to offer the best experiences possible for our future customers.
I for one - am pretty stoked about the prospect of spending 10 days, 9 nights through the likes of Milan, Lake Como, Lugano, Bolzano, Venice, Florence and Fiesole, so I decided to break down the top 5 things to do during these ten days.
If you want to see the full trip page, you can click the image below and jump to the trip page.
Anyways, let's kick it off with our Top 5.
5. Lake Como, Italy
There are few places as gorgeous on paper as they are in real life. However, Lake Como, Italy is most definitely one of them. Every photo I've ever seen instantly makes me want to teleport and I am aching to get back there. The colorfully painted towns adjacent to the massive lake are a welcome sight for any traveler.
It's truly one of those places you look at and ask yourself, 'Am I really here?' Not only that, but our time here on the Northern Italy trip will be spent well touring around the lake, sipping on fine wines and enjoying the local eats.
Add in a drop-in to CrossFit Lario and I think we've got a winning day and a half here. And remember, you don't need to be a CrossFit athlete to join us on a trip. If you're not a CrossFitter, tour some of the local wineries, panini shops, take a boat tour or simply relax amidst the town.
If you want to take a tour of the islands in the middle of the lake, or the surrounding town, we will have plenty of free time to explore. I'd recommend bringing a camera though. You'll definitely need it, as there are countless photo opportunities.
Some fun facts about Lake Como are: It is Italy's 5th biggest lake, it is also a hotspot for celebrity sightings, one of Europe's DEEPEST lakes and boasts an impressive shoreline of 100 miles in circumference.
4. Bolzano / Dolomites Hike
I've always heard the air was better in Northern Italy and now I can understand why.
Having never been here myself...I am looking most forward to going to Bolzano with YOU. Here's why...
During our 10 day itinerary, we'll be stopping in Bolzano, Italy (known for it's German-Italian cultural fusion). Bolzano was originally part of Austria, but was ceded to Italy during the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 after WW1.
Known as, "The Gateway to the Dolomites" our time here on the trip will be well spent. We will venture up to some Level 1 + 2 Hikes (still tough and will take about 4-5 hours) during our second day in Bolzano. And I for one could not be more stoked.
As part of each of our trips, VoyEdge RX incorporates a lot of hiking to some seriously scenic locales. We believe in the power of the outdoors and you'll see why when you come on this trip.
With a plethora of trails, people, gondolas, ski lifts (and even snow storms in the dead of summer!) the Dolomites will be an exciting, historic place to be. The sheer beauty won't be realized till we're actually there, and the cable car rides will surely pump you full of adrenaline on the way up.
BOLZANO - No doubt there's never a shortage of interesting towns and villages to visit in Europe, but one that is catching my attention quickly, is Bolzano.
Known for being the cultural crosshairs of Germany, Austria and Italy, everything in the town is strictly listed in either German, or Italian. Not only that, but it's been a wine producing region since Pre-Roman times and boasts an astonishing number of vineyards, fresh fruit and meat markets.
The whole town is a basecamp for the Dolomites - and you'll notice everyone here is quite attune to the great outdoors.
Although we don't have a planned drop-in to a CrossFit box here in Bolzano, the hikes will surely be enough to tire us out. We'll also have a group dinner and more planned after the hike.
3. Venice for the day
Few cities are less traversed than Venice. And as one of the most popular cities in the world for visitors from every nation, Venezia (as it's known in Italian) is quite the popular destination.
Since we are going during the height of tourist season and it's going to be pretty packed, so we'll do another follow-up post on how exactly to tackle the packed streets of Venice. With all that in mind, Venice is one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet. The Rioalto birdge, narrow cobblestone streets, vendors, cafes, bars and of course, canals. Be sure to bring your camera as there are endless photo opportunities.
The walking will be enough to tire you out (make sure to score a spot at a cafe) and we'll head in and out as a group with set meeting times.
Plain and simple, Venice is gorgeous. It will leave you breathless, astonished, taken aback at how marvelous of an architectural gem it actually is. The worst thing about Venice? The difficulty navigating the streets. Most get easily lost and it becomes significantly more difficult after dark. The bus depot is outside the canal waterways, so your best bet back is taking the water taxi from St. Mark's Square.
But alas...the sunsets there are too epic to put into words.
Couple fun facts about Venice:
- Venice is divided into six districts.
- There are 118 islands, 416 bridges, 177 canals and 127 squares in Venice.
- The Venice lagoon is 15 meters deep at its deepest point.
Our day trip to Venice will be full of walking. You'll be lucky to catch a seat at a restaurant during tourist season, but that being said, it's a great workout. Make your way down to St. Mark's square and tour the bell tower if you can. It has been in scenes of countless movies (you'll recognize it as soon as you step into the Piazza)
Shopping is always good in Venice, but like I said earlier, the tough part is making it back to where our bus dropped you off. If you make it to St. Mark's Piazza, the best bet is to take the water taxi (10 euros) back to the main bus depot. Vehicles are not allowed on the streets of Venice, so don't count on a cab or gondola (50 euros per trip) taking you all the way back to the bus depot.
Bonus sight: Make sure you get to the Rialto Bridge, which was constructed in the year 1255 and is one of the four great bridges spanning the Grand canal of Venice.
And if you missed it earlier, the Gondola rides in Venice are crazy expensive! Of course everyone thinks its something you MUST do, it's really up to you. Obviously great for picture taking (and to get away from the crowds, but don't feel like it's a must do.
There are plenty of other ways to spend money in Venice!
Also, watch out for pickpockets! They are vicious in Venice! It's best to keep your wallet and important belongings on the inside breast pocket. Away from prying eyes.
2. Watch the sunset and sip on wine at Florence's Piazza Michaelangelo
I have personally never seen a more beautiful sunset in my life than atop Florence's Piazza Michaelangelo. It technically should be the #1 thing to do on this blog, but I'm saving one thing slightly better...
The views from Piazza Michaelangelo cannot be clearly put into words. I've seen a thousand pictures like the one down below, but none of them full capture the afterglow of the sunset in Florence. It's beyond beautiful.
That being said, take a look at this view...
We'll sit down and have some wine on our first night in Florence and once again, during our time there, it'll be the height of tourist season so plan for a packed venue.
It's going to be crowded, so a good bet is to arrive a bit early - and we'll make sure to bring wine before we get there. You can buy wine at the top of Piazza Michaelangelo, but it tends to be rather expensive...
Anyways, with a sunset like this on one of your first nights in Florence, we'll guarantee it'll be the highlight of your trip.
We will also be doing a lot more in Florence, which we'll get to in a minute, but Piazza Michaelangelo is always a highlight for anyone that makes the trek up.
Again, there are endless photo opportunities here and enjoying the warm weather with a sunset like this will certainly leave a lasting impression on you.
There are plenty of other things to do in Florence, but we'll get that to that in the next section. :)
1. Get lost in Florence
I could write a book on 'Things to do in Florence' and probably drag on for hours and hours, but I'll leave it short and sweet here.
Florence is a gem. A city you will want to spend years in. One that you'll feel right at home in.
Florence is the icing on the cake of our Northern Italy + Switzerland trip. Without a doubt, you'll want to stay. You'll want to walk down every alleyway, enter every restaurant, go into every shop, museum and piazza. It's just that kind of city that draws you in before you even know what happened.
It's full of classic renaissance architecture - and still holds many of the customs that once made it famous. From it's wars with Rome, to battles with surrounding cities, the stories, tales and history of Florence will be felt by every pore on your body.
There's just something about Florence which we can't explain!
But, trust us...getting lost in Florence, Italy will be one of the BEST things you do while on this trip. Nothing will compare. Our Northern Italy + Switzerland trip ends here for a reason and if you're bold enough to venture out at night on one of our pub crawls, you'll see both sides of this historic, party-filled city.
We'll have two drop-ins to nearby CF boxes, plenty of group dinners, pub crawls and more included on this trip. Florence will be the highlight of this trip for a reason.
Anyway, if you've got any questions, shoot me an email at: cam@voyedgeRX.com and I'll hope to see you on our Northern Italy + Switzerland Trip in early August, 2017!
Tony, Marc, Aimee and I will be guiding that trip!