Rome, Florence, Venice – the iconic itinerary for a trip to Italy. Almost every tour operator suggests one or more of these cities as part of the Grand Tour of European travel. Rome, the historical godhead. Florence the inspirational daughter and Venice the spiritual muse. Each is distinct; together they are divine.
The mysticism and majesty of Rome is hard to explain. The antiquities of the city, the cinematic scope of the personalities and places, the Holy See of the Vatican and the landscape of the Seven Hills and Appian Way make saying Arrivederci Roma difficult.
According to statistics produced by UNESCO, 60% of the world’s most important works of art are in Italy and approximately half of those are in Florence. This means that the sensory experience of visiting Florence is huge. On my first trip to Italy my cousin Lidia told me you cannot see all of Florence at one time, so you must choose to see what you can then you will return and see more and little by little you will discover the beauty of Florence. Dante called Florence “the beautiful and famous daughter of Rome” and as you know Rome wasn’t built in a day and Florence is meant to be savored.
And then there’s Venice, a city with such a lineage that it merits a vocabulary of its own to describe all the nuances of living in La Serenissima, beginning with the Italian word for house – casa, in Venetian ca‘. Her ruler was called the Doge and the influence of the East brought a certain exotic elegance to Venice that still remains.
There are few cities in the world that create such a mystical union of travel experiences with much more to discover.