Take Twelve Trips February 2018 edition was one that I was very much looking forward to more than I realised. Traveling is something I love doing and my current lifestyle affords me this opportunity which I am grateful for. This year is my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary, I chose to share this travel challenge with them. Regular readers would remember I took them with me to Toulouse, which they loved dearly. They have been looking forward to this recent adventure and I am a proud daughter to see there happy faces. The Take Twelve Trips February 2018 covers our recent trip to Tuscany; Pisa and Florence.
Often people ask me how I manage to travel so often and ask if I am in debt because of traveling. To be honest the simple answer is; the only debt I have it my car and student loan. I utilize the quick but effective money saving tips and love taking Free walking tours. More often than not, all my flights are bargain flights I found via Skycanner or Expedia. I am also a planner and budgeter always searching for affordable deals to maximise my experience. I know of an easier option; *Lendgreen Online Loans to finance upcoming adventures but thankfully this little blog helps instead.
Take Twelve Trips February 2018
Looking back to when I decided I would be taking my parents with me on my Tuscany adventures I had fun. I wanted for my parents to experience what I experience every month when I travel abroad. There is so much out there that I want to show them but for now I will settle for European cities. Our first was Toulouse which they are still talking about today and we made some incredible memories. Here is what we got up to in Italy, I will be sharing more details about our holiday home – Casale Amati.
Day 1 – our flight was 9.30 in the morning, I had booked airport parking at Stansted Long Stay parking. I always use Looking4parking.com or directly via Stansted Airport parking both save me money when I book in advance. We arrived at the parking just in time to rush for the airport shuttle. The bus runs every ten minutes and takes about 10-15 minutes to the departure gates. Foodie Winsze joined us on this adventure, regular readers will know her as my weekly date night partner. Unfortunately weekly date nights are over and now we looking to reestablish our monthly ones in London. Whilst our flight has a slight delay, that did not hinder our joy of what adventures lay before us. Both Winsze and I have been to Italy before but my parents hadn’t and I was excited to show them.
We arrived in Pisa, Italy just after 12.30, took a shuttle Pisa Mover to the main train station. From there we took a 45-60 minute train to Carrara, small village in Ortonovo. Our lovely host Federica and her family kindly picked us up from the station and welcomed us at the county house. The country house *Casale Amati is a 20-25 minute drive from the Carrara Avenda train station. If you ever book the Casale Amati country house make sure to hire a car as it’s most cost effective way to travel. There is a bus system but it’s dubious at best so having a car would be a great move.
As we were so tired from the traveling and waking up early, we opted to do some food shopping locally. We spent the night cooking, chatting and getting familiar with our new home for the duration of our stay.
Day 2: Carrara and Pisa Adventures
Day 2 started out promising, weather wasn’t too bad, the taxi didn’t turn up so we took the bus. The driver barely spoke English and my Italian is very rusty so we found ourselves stranded in Carrara instead of the train station which was now a good 30 minute walk. We opted to find a taxis to drive us there but that was another hardship as there are hardly any in the village. We did eventually find one, got to the station and decided to cancel our plans and went to spend the day in Pisa.
We made a wise decision because the weather was perfect and we had an incredible time. Whilst we didn’t really have a plan and had wasted the morning away, we got to see the Leaning Tower. We took goofy pictures and then went for a meal before doing some souvenir shopping and decided to leave before the weather changed.
Day 3: Florence and Michaengelo
After our mishaps on day 2, we opted to book a taxis to pick us up from the country house to the station. We got an early train to Pisa then connected on to Florence, the entire journey was just under 3 hours and cost €22 per person. We got into Florence just before mid day and spent the day exploring the city using the Hop on Hop off city sightseeing tour bus. We experienced so much in one day and by far our favourite memory is lunch at top the Michaelangelo spot overlooking the entire city.
Day 4: Pisa it at 7 Rooms
Because I knew how early our flight was on day 5 I decided to book accommodation in Pisa that wouldn’t be too far from the airport. Luckily for me I found 7 Rooms which is a stone throw away from the leaning tower and 10 minutes drive from the airport. We left Casale Amati early so we could have time to spend some more time exploring Pisa and climbing the Leaning Tower.
After exploring, the weather changed and we rushed back to the Bread and Breakfast. We had dinner at the local restaurant recommended to us by the hotel and we loved it. It was an early night for everyone (10pm) as we had an early flight (7am) and then a long drive back home.
Overall we had such an incredible time in Italy, speaking to my parents they too have caught the wanderlust. We already planning our next adventure abroad but I am off to Luxembourg next week, hoping I will take my parents one day.