After 3 days at Cinque Terre, it was time to move on and completing our backpacking trip to Northern Italy.
Day 4 – Moving to Pisa and Arriving at Florence
We started the day by having breakfast and preparing to checkout. Out train to Pisa is scheduled to leave at 10:50 and should be arriving there at half-past 12. We needed to change the train in La Spezia Centrale. Our next train to Florence was at 4PM, so we had about 3 hours to spend here.
Once we arrived in Pisa Centrale, there are 2 ways to get to the leaning tower of Pisa. You could walk through the city or use the bus. We opted to walk through the city, it should take about 25 minutes (2km). We passed some craftsman vendor on the way and Maurilla bought herself a vintage bracelet. The Pisa tower belongs to a huge complex of buildings – there are also a cathedral, baptistery, and cemetery. Between the buildings, there is a lot of grass that you can sit and relax.
The next on the list was food, when looking around I found this highly-rated sandwich shop. It is called L’ostellino. Naturally, there were a lot of pork products in the shop and since we do not eat pork I went for a deer meat salami. I have never had deer meat before and I have never had a proper salami before. So this was bound to be a surprise. Unfortunately, this was not something Mauriilla and I enjoy, the salami was very greasy and salty. The bread was fresh but the saltiness of the salami was really overpowering everything. I wish it had more vegetables to balance the greasiness of the meat. And I guess salami is not really the best way to taste meat since all there is is salt. We also got some ice cream from a street vendor (€2 a scoop) because why not and it was a rather hot day. We spent a few hours just laying on the grass the resting. Shortly after 3PM we headed back to the station but with a bus this time. The bus stop is on the other side of the tower. It is behind all the souvenir shops which you can’t miss.
Our train to Florence will take about 1 1/2 hours. So got ourselves some bread and drink to eat on the way. Once we arrived in Florence we walked to our Airbnb. It was a 4 minutes walk from the station. Something that surprised us that this was only a room, we did not have the entire place to ourselves. The owner was staying in the next room, so this was something rather new for both of us.
We only have 1 night in Florence and one of the things that we wanted to do was seeing the sunsets from Piazzale Michelangelo. It is on the other side of Florence from where we were staying (across the Arno River). It should have taken us only 30 minutes to walk but in the end, we were beaten by the sun. The sun went down when we’re still at the Ponte Vecchio bridge and we enjoyed the sunsets there instead.
At this point, we were pretty hungry and wanted something substantial. Upon searching we found out this restaurant – La Capannina Bistrot. The portion was definitely generous, the taste was pretty good, and the price is cheap. What more do you want right? I had seafood spaghetti and Maurilla had gnocchi. On our way back we passed Piazza della Signoria and this place is just serene in the middle of the night when no one is there. Something about a place that is usually crowded, when it is empty, it is like a totally different place. Shortly after we headed back to our Airbnb and rest.
Day 5 – Exploring Florence and arriving at Venice
Our train to Venice leave at 4.30PM so we have about until then to explore Florence. First thing that we did was to go to the Piazzale Michelangelo. It is a good 30 minutes with a few uphill but since it was the morning we were still pretty upbeat. The view of Florence from this hill was super amazing. I can’t recommend this spot enough. We spent the better part of the morning there.
When it was getting noon we headed back to Florence. Next on the list was a “local” type of thing. It is a sandwich shop behind a cathedral called Da’ Vinattieri. The place is super small and it is located in an alleyway. You see the ingredients on the counter and you can create your own sandwich with a square bread. I selected for chicken slices and Maurilla went for something vegetarian. There is no seat inside so you need to eat it outside with most people. For us, the bread was really hard and tacky, but the filling was good and fresh though.
We spent the afternoon strolling around Duomo di Firenze and Piazza della Signoria (where you see the David statue). We did not go to the tower in Duomo di Firenze, the view from above is supposed to be amazing. I had been to Florence twice and never have I done this, perhaps next time. At the Piazza della Signoria we were just relaxing with a cone of gelato from the famous Perche’ No in via de’ Tavolini. This place has been there since 1939, and rightfully the gelato was amazing. We soon headed to our Airbnb and took our bag and headed to the train station.
We bought a few loaves of bread to eat on the train and soon we arrived at Venezia S. Luzia at half-past 6.
This train station is actually located very near to the Venice island. We stayed at B&B Best Holidays Venice and we walked there for about 16 minutes. The place was nice as it sits in the center of the island. We checked ourselves in and headed for dinner. So at this point, we were pretty much low on budget. Venice is notoriously overpriced especially for those restaurants along the waterfront. And there are a lot of tourist trap kinda restaurants. So we were looking for something cheaper that only locals know. After searching we found out Del Moro. It is a takeaway place where you see the selection on the big screen. I would consider this an Italian fast food but with freshly made pasta. I went for a chicken pasta and Maurilla for a black squid pasta with extra chili. We would recommend this place if you are on the budget. The value for money was good. We then headed back to our stay to rest.
Day 6 – Exploring Venice
We started the day with breakfast from our stay, it was very basic but enough. We had a few things to see in Venice but more importantly, we wanted to just stroll around the empty streets in Venice and enjoying the feeling being in one of the most iconic cities in the world. We started walking south to the famous St Marco Square. It is a square with a giant tower and iconic basilica. We did not go up the tower and unfortunately, the basilica was closed.
On our way there we went for a quick lunch at Pasta & Sugo Venezia. It is a fast-food Italian place concept. Although this was fast food, the pasta was fresh, the price is affordable and the food is good. We continue our journey to the west of the island to the Campo Santa Margherita square. A close friend of ours from Venice suggested trying a small Venetian snack called “Ciccheti”. And for that, we went to a small cafe in that square called Al Bocon Divino. Ciccheti covers everything from tiny sandwiches, bruschetta, plates of olives, and other small servings food. We went for bruschetta with a mashed small bacalhau fish on top. We coupled that with a nice Italian dark espresso. We spend half an hour here enjoying the view of tourist and local roaming about in the square.
At this point, we were actually feeling quite tired. I guess the trip had taken a toll on us. Venice was definitely colder than the previous place we visited. And perhaps 6 days of backpacking and carrying a heavy bag was a bit much 👴. So we head back to our stay and rest until dinner. For dinner, we wanted something that is fulfilling, local, and does not cost too much. Upon searching we decided to go to Pizzeria Ae Oche S. Lucia. I ordered a nice large tuna pizza and Maurilla went for a cheese and spinach calzone. Needless to say, the restaurant was great and the food was fulfilling. We did see a lot of locals as well there and we both enjoyed our meal there. Super happy to have found this place. We then headed back to our stay and enjoy the evening walk, which to be honest was quite scary. Something about navigating through small alleys around 11 at night. Thankfully, we made it save back.
Day 7 – Final day in Italy!
Our plane to Amsterdam was not going to fly before the evening. So we have maybe half a day in to explore more of the western region of the island. We did not have anything to visit in mind. We were just walking. Thankfully, both of us were feeling better already. We went further exploring the main Canal and the western part of the island.
During lunchtime, we wanted to try one of those tourist trap restaurants, you know the one with the one menu per paper with the image and the price. To be honest, the price was not cheaper than anything we had tried here before. But most of the time their location is within a busy walking path. So we decided to try the Bar Stellina. And indeed it was disappointing. We went for a mix of 2 item lunch menu of pasta and pizza, this is how they lure you in. The taste was bland and the portion was considerably small. This was not great, I guess that is the reason why the called them tourists trap. Below are the aforementioned location in a map
We then headed back to our stay and rest before checking out around 3 in the afternoon. We needed to walk 1.5km to the bus station where it will take us to the Venice Marco Polo Airport. we thank Easyjet for their continuous support of low-cost carries and did not make a big deal of our giant backpack in the cabin. And that was it for our trip to Italy, Was a memorable trip for both of us. As mainstream as the destination gets, Italy always amazes me.
So here are the break down cost of our trip in Pisa, Florence, and Venice (4 days and 3 nights). It is about €266.8
|Train from Corniglia to Pisa||€12.50|
|Food in Pisa (Gelato and deer sandwich)||€2.5 + €6.5|
|Train from Pisa to Florence||€8.40|
|Food in Florence (Dinner, Sandwich and Gelato)||€10 + €6 + €3|
|Train Florence to Venice||€ 24.90|
|Venice B&B 2 nights||€79|
|Food in Venice (Del Moro, Pasta & Sugo, Al Bocon Divino, |
Pizzeria Ae Oche, Bar Stellina)
|€8 + €8 + €5|
+ €8 + €10
|Bus Venice to Airport||€8|
So in total our budget for 7 days 6 nights in Italy was €500,- per person. This was something that we set up in the first place. We booked everything in advanced (plane, accommodation, and train between cities) which was around €350,-
Maurilla again made a short video about the second part of our trip.
Have you guys been to been to the destination above? Have you been to one of the tourist trap restaurants? or perhaps tasted a deer meat? Let me know in the comment section below. See you again in our next trip! Ciao!