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On Monday, I posted a review of our first three days in Italy. This post continues with details on our next three days in Tuscany and Venice. As a reminder, I shared details of how we paid for this trip with points here and here. In summary, we paid for the most expensive component of our trip – our flights – with 80,000 American AAdvantage miles and $109 for airline taxes and fees. Meanwhile, we paid for all of our bed-n-breakfast stays with cash back from a handful of point-earning credit cards.
Italy Day 4: Florence
Having just spent several days taking in ancient Rome and the beautiful island of Capri, I thought I might be let down by the rest of our trip. But boy, was I wrong. Picture perfect Florence is stunning and alluring in its own way.
During our days in Florence, we saw most of the main sights – including the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Gallery. This meant seeing some of the world’s most treasured pieces of art – including Michelangelo’s David, which stands an amazing thirteen-feet tall, and Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci, which is Greg’s favorite painting of all time.
My favorite part of Florence was its famous Duomo and Santa Croce Basillica. The Duomo is so large you can barely take a picture of it in its entirety. We stood there and stared at it for hours. And the inside of Santa Croce is so beautiful that pictures can’t possibly do it justice. As the final resting place of geniuses like Michelangelo and Galileo, and with artwork from greats like Donatello, it’s simply unbelievable.
And in case anyone is wondering, we stayed at Hotel Globus in Florence, which is just a few steps away from the Duomo. For less than $100 per night (paid for in cash-back), we had an awesome room right in the heart of Florence – with free breakfast, to boot! The hotel also featured a nightly happy hour with appetizers and wine for its guests, but we never quite made it there.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from Florence:
Italy Day 4: Siena, San Gimignano, and Pisa
For our fourth day in Italy, I decided to do something different and book a day trip to several cities in Tuscany. The entire thing cost us around 11,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, and it included lunch. All things considered, I thought it was an excellent value. With that being said, I enjoyed some parts of the day trip more than others. We didn’t get to spend enough time in Siena to do much more than explore its famous cathedral and use the bathroom, but I absolutely loved the views driving through Tuscany on the way there. San Gimignano was a nice treat, but again, we didn’t have much time to spend there.
And I’m sorry, but Pisa is pretty dumb. Aside from taking some pictures of the leaning tower and having a good laugh over it, there’s not much you can do in Pisa with 90 minutes. The most fun I had there was posing Greg for pictures and laughing at the fact that we were so far off the mark. Also, here’s a special shout out to Peter Anderson from Bible Money Matters for the amazing special effects he added to my favorite picture. We appreciate it!
Italy Day 6: Venice
Our final full day in Italy was spent in the floating city of Venice. Despite the fact that we only spent one full day there, we had a blast and actually saw quite a bit. In addition to taking a traditional private gondola ride (cost: $80 Euros), we explored the beautiful Piazza San Marco, saw the Doge’s Palace, and got lost in the city’s maze of tiny alleys, city squares, churches, and canal-side walkways. Side note: You can catch our entire 30 minute gondola ride here. We periscoped it!
To be honest, my favorite part about Venice was just walking around. Just like Rome and Florence, every corner you turn in Venice is more beautiful than the last. I loved the smell of the sea, getting lost down narrow walkways that seemingly led to nowhere, and the feeling of just being there.
I can definitely see us fitting Venice into another Italy trip in the near future, or possibly using it as a starting point for a trip through Switzerland and Germany. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from our time spent in Venice, Italy:
Seeing Italy on Credit Card Rewards: A Bucket List Trip
By the end of our Italian getaway, we were completely exhausted but in awe of everything we saw and experienced. I just hope we get to go back someday! There are so many other places I want to see in the meantime, and I can’t wait to start planning our next big trip!
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out part one of this series. And if you need help planning your own adventure with credit card rewards, make sure to check out my free travel advice page or send me an email. As always, I am happy to help you plan your own epic journey with credit card rewards.
What is your favorite part of Italy? What destinations are on your travel bucket list?