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7 days in Italy


Overview Our family of four (two adults and two kids) visited Italy in February, 2015. It was a very rejoicing and memorable journey. With the picturesque view, magnificent architecture and art, friendly people, delightful food, mild and sunny days, the Italian experience is worth every bit of hype. February is not a popular tourist month, but we feel that it offers the best value for family travel. The weather is mostly mild and sunny, despite of being part of the raining season. With a little preparation, you can enjoy more scenery and interaction with locals without the summer heat and crowd. Best of all, you have lots of more options for reasonably priced hotel and flight. We flew in from San Francisco to Venice, visited Venice, Florence, Pisa and Rome, and flew back from Rome. We researched Rick Steve's travel books, YouTube videos, and trip advisor for travel arrangement. Trip advisor is very helpful for selecting hotels. Besides price, we considered user recommendations (>3.8), distance to attraction and transportation, and free breakfast. It turned out that we enjoyed every hotel we stayed in Italy (more on that in following pages). For traveling between cities, we booked train ticket from ?TrenItalia? in advance. Taking advice from a friend, whose family had to abort the train ride halfway at night due to a Union strike, we booked our train around noon?it?s much easier to re-arrange the travel during day should strike happen unexpectedly. Eating in Italy is both easy and delightful. Most food and desert items are familiar to everybody?Pizza, pasta, Gelato, etc. Somehow, they simply taste much better there. One pleasant surprise is the absence of chains stores?it?s refreshing not seeing McDonald or Starbuck everywhere. We found that the small family own local restaurants often had best food. The more spacious and richly decorated restaurants near tourist sites are just that?tourist traps. It?s a cliché but true: eat where locals eat. In general, Italian people are very friendly and helpful. However, there were some thieves in the crowded Subway in Rome. Always keep your valuables safe?zip your hand bag, zip the pockets inside the bag, and keep it in front of you all the time.