We had a great 12 days traveling through Italy during April school vacation week! It was a bit stressful with all the paperwork and figuring out tests to come back to the U.S. but all went well. We started our adventure in Florence and then visited the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, the Tuscany region including Sienna and San Gimignano and Venice. I will need to go back to visit Rome, Milan and Capri! Every trip was an adventure and the sights just got better and better. We did cover a lot of territory which meant getting on many trains at 7:00 am but I wanted to see as much as I could! Here are my tips if you plan a trip to Italy or any international destination.
- Try to fly direct – While there was no direct flight to Florence I would recommend flying direct into the bigger cities such as Milan or Rome as Florence is a few hour train ride away. While we were lucky that we had a 4.5 hour layover in Paris, due to our flight being delayed, customs, long lines we made it to the gate with less than one hour to spare!
- If you have to test to come back to the U.S bring the emed covid tests Home (emed.com) While there are many Farmacias in Italy the day we needed our tests was a national holiday. We were lucky with the help of a local friend to find the one pharmacy that was open! Brining the test just provides an extra layer of backup.
- Certain airlines have the fly ready documents – if they do download your documents before you leave. There was a lot of uploading of documents so get your COVID vaccines, passport information and if you need a negative test – have it all ready! We didn’t check bags on the way there but our airline required us to go to the ticket counter to show all our documents. Bring the original card, not a flimsy copy like my husband did! Or have a copy on your phone. We did need to show our vaccine card on trains and before we went into restaurants.
- Get global entry – We were able to go through customs on the way home very easily and with no line at all. It is a program through the trusted traveler program so you’ll have to have an account for each family member and then have an interview at an airport – the process does take time but its so worth it.
- Book any transportation or tickets to museums in advance – Because we went during the Easter holiday week most attractions were sold out – meaning that I had to see fake David and not the real one!