Italy travel guide: part 1, the overview

Michael and I have officially been back from Italy for just over 1 week now. I posted a ton about our trip on my instagram and snapchat (username: laurenkay2), but I wanted to share an Italy travel guide with y’all via the blog, in case any of you are thinking about planning a trip to Italy soon!

I will be doing a few different posts about our trip, because we went to 4 different cities in Italy. So, I’ll be doing a travel guide for each city with lots of details and recommendations, but first I just wanted to do an overview of our trip with some of the basic information!

How long was our trip?

Our trip was 14 days total, including travel days.

All the cities we visited in Italy

Michael and I went to Amalfi coast (we stayed in Praiano), Rome, Florence, an Venice. We stayed in each city for 3 nights, except for Florence. We were in Florence for 4 nights.

lauren sims italy travel guide

leather tote | grey cardigan | baseball cap | pink tank | distressed skinny jeans | white sneakers | Delsey luggage | arrowstack necklace

Flight/transportation info

  • We flew into Naples, and from there we rented a car to drive to the Amalfi coast. PLEASE note, I kind of think renting a car was a mistake. Driving in Naples and on the Amalfi coast was kind of terrifying, and we really didn’t need a car in the Amalfi coast because of the bus. So, I would recommend maybe getting a driver to take you from Naples to Amalfi coast.
  • After our 3 nights in Amalfi coast, we drove the rental car back to Naples, and then took a train to Rome.
  • From here on out, we took a train to get from city to city. Once we were in the cities, we just walked everywhere, or took a bus/metro (or there’s also Uber in Rome. but it’s definitely not the same as the states! You can also get a taxi most places)

Where we stayed

We actually stayed in Air bnb’s for our entire trip. We found the air bnb route to be MUCH more budget-friendly than hotels, and we enjoyed having the space as well. For the most part, we had really great experiences with all of our air bnb’s. For a long trip like this, it also gives you the ability to go to the market and buy eggs or things to make for breakfast so you don’t necessarily have to eat out every meal. A few of the air bnb’s also had washer/dryers which was so nice.

If budget isn’t an issue at all though, I’m sure a hotel would be more convenient. You have a receptionist at the front desk who can make reservations for you, they obviously have more accommodations, and so forth. We were very happy going the air bnb route though!

Michael actually did all of the research looking into our air bnb’s. Reading reviews is really important, and making sure you are in the location you need to be in!

lauren sims italy travel guide lauren sims italy travel guide

This was our air bnb in Florence, which we LOVED! 

How we planned the trip/advice on planning Italy

We planned this whole trip just reading different blogs and travel guides…and recommendations from friends, family, and YOU guys! Which, I’d like to take a second to just thank each one of you who either e-mailed me or messaged me on snapchat with your recommendations. Some of our favorite restaurants or activities we did were from the messages y’all sent me on snapchat and I can’t thank you enough for doing that! More on that to come in future posts where I talk more about specifics from the trip.

When you start planning a trip like Italy, it can feel SO overwhelming. Michael and I kept putting it off because we felt so overwhelmed haha. But, I would recommend first, deciding how long your trip will be. Next, pick which spots you’d like to see. If you’re doing a 14-day trip, I think 4 cities was perfect. It was definitely packed, with not alot of downtime, but we got to see so much. If you’re doing a 10 day trip, I’d recommend picking 2 or 3 cities. Just my opinion though!

Once you know how long your trip will be, and which cities you want to visit…then you can get down into the details of making your itinerary.

lauren sims italy travel guide

Positano! One of my favorite spots on our entire trip

In my upcoming Italy travel guide (s), I’m going to be sharing where we stayed in each city, our favorite restaurants and activities and advice on getting reservations/tickets and such. So I will be doing 4 Italy travel guide posts (one for each city we stayed): Positano/Praiano, Rome, Venice, and Florence. Let me know though in the comments below if you have any specific questions or any specific posts you would like for me to do regarding those cities, or Italy travel in general!

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18 Comments on Italy travel guide: part 1, the overview

  1. Seema
    October 17, 2016 at 6:59 pm (7 months ago)

    Such great advice! I laughed out loud at your opinion on renting a car- truth! We rented a MOTORCYCLE in Mykonos bc we are crazy and my husband pretended to be calm and confident about the whole thing. He later admitted to being just as terrified as I was. ?

    • laurenkaysims
      November 8, 2016 at 2:47 pm (7 months ago)

      haha that is hilarious! you’re so much braver than I am…I could not handle a motorcycle!

  2. Arielle
    October 17, 2016 at 8:51 pm (7 months ago)

    Hi Lauren-

    Would love recs for the best places to shop for leather if you came across them!

    • laurenkaysims
      November 8, 2016 at 2:46 pm (7 months ago)

      we shopped for leather in Florence! it’s EVERYWHERE there!

  3. Sydney Frey
    October 17, 2016 at 10:09 pm (7 months ago)

    Hello! I love following your trip through Instagram I’m saving for a big Europe trip in a couple of years my biggest concern is the obvious language barrier. How did you handle that situation unless of course you happen to speak Italian lol. I’m really nervous about going to places like Italy and France where I obviously don’t speak the language and I don’t want to look like a complete idiot lol

    • laurenkaysims
      November 8, 2016 at 2:46 pm (7 months ago)

      Sorry I’m just now replying! The language barrier wasn’t an issue at all. In places like Italy and France (really popular tourists destinations), you will always be able to find people who speak at least a little bit of English!

    • Annabel
      December 4, 2016 at 6:38 am (6 months ago)

      I’ve used google translate and it worked sooo well! You can even take pictures of the entire menu/poster & have it translated.

      • laurenkaysims
        December 5, 2016 at 8:48 pm (6 months ago)

        yes we used that too! it was so helpful!

  4. Roxie
    October 17, 2016 at 10:59 pm (7 months ago)

    Can’t wait to read this series!

  5. Kelsey
    October 17, 2016 at 11:11 pm (7 months ago)

    You’re trip looks amazing and so fun!
    Kelsey |

  6. Amy
    October 18, 2016 at 12:53 am (7 months ago)

    This is basically my dream trip! It’s definitely on my bucket list! Love seeing all of your pictures and recommendations!


  7. Jamiann
    October 18, 2016 at 12:55 am (7 months ago)

    So excited for these! Will you let us know the specific Airbnb you stayed at in each city? Also,did you wait and buy all your train tickets there?

    • laurenkaysims
      November 8, 2016 at 2:44 pm (7 months ago)

      Sorry I’m just now replying! I don’t have the links to the exact air bnb’s we stayed in, but honestly (other than Florence) none of them were super amazing. they were all just “okay”. I will find the link for our Florence one though and make sure to post that!
      We didn’t buy our train tickets ahead of time, but buying them at the station wasn’t a problem for us. I’ve heard though you could save money by buying them ahead of time!

  8. Steph
    October 18, 2016 at 3:10 pm (7 months ago)

    When I saw your first post that you were in Italy, I was so excited! My husband and I just had booked our trip to Italy and were getting so overwhelmed with the thought of planning. As one of my favorite bloggers, I can’t wait to read your recommendations and suggestions! Would you mind also sharing what other blogs and helpful sites you used? Thank you! 🙂

    • laurenkaysims
      November 8, 2016 at 2:42 pm (7 months ago)

      sorry I’m just now replying! I also looked at the teacher diva’s blog posts on Italy, and a few others I just randomly found through google!

  9. judy
    November 5, 2016 at 12:02 am (7 months ago)

    thank you we will be visiting the same 4 cities in sept 2017 we would love to here about your trip

  10. Jona
    November 10, 2016 at 12:35 am (7 months ago)

    Hi Lauren! First off, love your blog and Instagram posts! I’m planning a trip to Italy next April and will be going to Rome, Florence, and Venice. I read your blog post on your Rome recommendations, but do you have any recommendations for Florence and Venice? I.e. Where to stay, eat, must see, etc?

    Thanks so much!

    • laurenkaysims
      November 15, 2016 at 7:02 pm (7 months ago)

      Hi Jona! Yes, I will be doing travel guides on Florence and Venice as well! They will both be up by end of the month hopefully!


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Lauren Kay Sims