Going to Italy have always been a dream and I have been planning on this for a long time already. I originally planned just to cover Italy but finally decided to leave Venice out and added Switzerland to the trip after seeing Alps mountain pictures.
We have to go in the summer because the only time I can take my son for 2 weeks trip is during his June-July school holiday. I used to take him away from school with no worries but that has stopped since he entered year 6. Now that he is doing his middle year program, I have to be strict that we can only go on holiday as a family during school holiday. So that’s it.
Italy in the summer is not ideal as compare to the rest of west europe (Spain excluded) it is the hottest during summer. And added to my luck, the week I landed in Italy, heatwave from Sahara desert flared accross West Eurupean countries (Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland and UK) causing the temperature in North Italy raised to 39C. And because of the heat on that week, the following week temperature dropped to thunderstorm and rain for several days where I was supposed to go to the swiss mountains. Exciting right!
I also had major surprises few days before leaving we found out that DH important meeting was rescheduled to the days where we are supposed to be in Tuscany and exploring Tuscany in a rented car. I don’t have a driver license so I can not rent a car without DH so I had to scrap the original plan of renting a car and made do with Bus and hired a Chianti Taxi for 1 day sightseeing. Thankfully it was not the first time DH had a change in his schedule so after taking a deep breath I executed Plan B. Yes, I always have a Plan B in all my travel with DH. When choosing my airbnb in Panzano, I made sure that the house can be reached by bus (just in case) and has searched that there is some Taxi service which can be hired for a day (for just in case again). Honestly if I had known that DH can not join us in Tuscany, I would have stayed in a hotel in Firenze and joined a day tour to Tuscany. But I have paid for the airbnb and it does look very lovely so the Plan B just had to be executed.
This is what our itinerary looking like:
Day 0: Fly Thai airway Jakarta-Roma (Transit Bangkok) 19.05
Day 1: Landing 06.50am and explore Roma. Stay in Airbnb
Day 2: Roma
Day 3: Vatican, Castel Sant Angelo and Campo De Fiori
Day 4: train to Firenze (Freccia/High speed train) Explore Firenze then take a bus to airbnb in Panzano Chianti. (deviate from Original Plan to rent a car with Hertz Firenze in airport).
Day 5: Day trip to San Gimignano and Sienna using Chianti Taxi
Day 6: Pick up DH in Firenze, get the rental car and drive to the Mall
Day 7: road trip to Gaiole, Pisa, La spezia (to drop our rental car) and took the train to Cinque Terre. We stayed 2 nights in apartment in Manarola (Le Storie di Manarola)
Day 8: Cinque Terre
Day 9: Train to Milan (Regional train 3.5hr) and stay the night in C atlantis Hotel near train station.
Why Milan? Mainly because (1) I wanted to see my friend who lived in Milan and (2) distance from Cinque Terre to Grindelwald (Switzerland) is far and I don’t want to arrive in our airbnb after dark. Also I need to make sure my 4yo doesn’t get cranky with being on the road too long
Day 10: Eurocity train Milan to Spiez (2.5hr) Lunch in Spiez and continue train journey to our airbnb in Grindelwald
Day 11: Daytrip to Lauterbrunnen and Schiltorn
Day 12: Daytrip to Jungfraujoch
Day 13: Daytrip to Thun and Spiez
Day 14: Check out airbnb and took train to Luzern. Check in Ibis Budget Luzern hotel and sightseeing Luzern
Day 15: train to Zurich airport and fly home