One of the cities that I visited during my stay in Italy is Padua. This is also the place where I stayed in for majority of the time I was in Italy. I stayed with Erdal’s family in a cute little apartment which was only about 15 minutes away from the downtown area where all the shops and restaurants were. My favourite thing about Padua was the variety of stall markets in many of the squares downtown, where you could buy great quality cashmere sweaters, socks, bags, jewelry and fresh fruit and vegetables at affordable prices. I bought tonnes of souvenirs and even some clothes for myself from these market stalls. There are also lots of independent boutiques there where you can find a lot of unique items of apparel as well as other well known stores like Zara, Mango and H&M. It’s obviously a shopper’s paradise! 🙂
We took a road trip through the mountains to a little town called Cortina d’Ampezzo and stopped for lunch at Bolzano. Didn’t get much done at Bolzano except for eat delicious food and visit the Christmas Market which was really cute. There were so many interesting things to find there like ornaments, food and liquor. Something interesting about Bolzano is that the culture, architecture and language spoken there leans more towards German as opposed to Italian because it lies in the North of Italy close to Austria! This meant that there were lots of sausages and other German goods to find here.
Driving to Cortina took almost 8 hours, but a TIP for anyone planning on driving from Padua to Cortina, if you don’t want an excessively long drive through the mountains do keep in mind that there is a highway (we took this on the way back), which takes about 2 hours as opposed to 7. We learned this the hard way! The drive through the mountains was long but worth it because we got to drive through little towns and get breathtaking views of mountains though!
Erdal and I decided to take a trip to Milano together. It took about 2 hours on the train from Padua to Milano Centrale – the main train station of Milan. As you get out from Milano Centrale, there isn’t much to see so we took the metro to Piazza del Duomo where we managed to do quite a bit of sight seeing, eating and shopping. Duomo di Milano, a huge cathedral you find just as you step out of the metro station at Piazza del Duomo was absolutely stunning and is the largest church in Italy.
We had lunch at a restaurant by the square and then did lots of shopping down Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, which is where most of the ‘affordable’ shops like Bershka, Zara and Pull and Bear are located! We also managed to visit the San Siro football stadium which Erdal really enjoyed being the football fanatic that he is. 🙂
Of course I’m finishing up this travel diary with photos from Venice. We spent a day in Venice but I fell in love with it instantly. We took the train again from Padua to Venice which wasn’t too long – about 35 minutes. Upon arriving at the train station, we took a boat through the Grand Canal and got off at Rialto where we set off by foot to explore the city. Erdal and I decided not to use a map and just get lost and wander through the Venetian lanes. Erdal’s mom gifted us with a romantic Gondola ride which has been a dream of mine to go on for as long as I remember and I’m so grateful to have been on it with the perfect person. <3
As I write this travel diary post, I’m back in Singapore with a few more destinations of travel before I head back to Sydney. This holiday I only spent a short 11 days with Erdal but I’m so grateful for all the memories we created in such a beautiful country. The long distance for the past 3 and a half years has been difficult but this is also our final year of Uni. This time next year, we will both be graduated and if everything goes as planned, the long distance will be done and dusted! Can’t wait!
Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!