Ciao bella! Would you believe me if I said I was writing to you while enjoying a savory Italian aperitivo from a terrace overlooking the Amalfi Coast? Okay, what if I told you that hubby and I are on an air-inclusive, multi-city Italian vacation that we booked through Groupon for $1,200? You better believe it! Look, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to stop sleeping on these Groupon deals!
I’ll share more details about that in a moment, but for now, I want you to imagine yourself walking through the beautiful streets of Florence. You’re taking in all the sights, and delicious smells, and marveling at the amazing historical monuments that seem to be at every turn. After an afternoon filled with shopping, you stop for a scoop of the original gelato, and think about how amazing it is that you’re in the birthplace of the Italian language. This can be your reality. You can enjoy all of these and so much more without breaking the bank. I’m going to be sharing details about our itinerary and how you can enjoy your Italian adventure in the stunning cities of Milan, Florence, Naples, and the Amalfi Coast. Keep reading to find out how to score this amazing travel deal!
This trip was all about shopping, eating and walking, my favorite kind of trip. This may come as a surprise but I get so tired of the same old beach vacations in Mexico. Can we see the rest of the world please? Cancun has a chokehold on our people; show me some culture!
Due to our work schedule we had a limited amount of time to spare, but we LOVED Italy soo much. We’re already planning our next trip back. There is so much to see and do in Italy. You’d truly need at least two weeks to get a good appreciation of what this beautiful country has to offer. From cuisine and fashion, to a diverse culture and captivating history, there’s something for everyone here. An Italian vacation would make a great immersive history lesson for the kids, or a relaxing getaway for the grandparents. You could even plan an amazing wine-tour and shopping trip for the girls! If you’re like me and have a tendency to get overwhelmed when it comes to travel planning, check out our recap of our Italy trip for travel inspiration for your next Italian adventure!
Day 1 – Milan
Upon landing in Milan, we used the Malpensa express train and metro rail to get from Malpensa Terminal 1 to our hotel. Public transportation is quite common and far more extensive in Italy than most American cities. It’s a safe way to get around, and can help you save time and money compared to requesting a taxi to maneuver through traffic. It’s also notable that a taxi ride from the airport is a flat fee of 100 Euros, compared to the 13 Euros Malpensa Express ticket.
One of the first places we visited, and a place I highly recommend is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It is one of the world’s original and oldest shopping malls, and probably one of the best places to go shopping in Milan. I had literally been looking for the Louis Vuitton Monogrammed Bumbag for over a year. It’s the perfect essential travel/Mom bag for me to keep my hands free. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I only started buying designer products for myself in March 2021. I had been using the LV Neverfull my husband got me as a wedding gift for over seven years, so it was time for an update. For the longest time, it was sold out online and every store I would go to. When I walked into the LV store at the Milan Galleria and asked for it, the sales associate made my literal dreams come true when she said “Ah, our most requested bag, I have the last one in Milan right here”. When I tell you I squealed!!!! I seriously couldn’t believe it.
Day 2 – Florence/Tuscany
We started off our second day by embarking on a day trip to Florence by train. After grabbing some brunch we went on a golf cart tour of the city that we booked through Airbnb Experiences. Next, we rode a non-stop shuttle bus that took us directly to The Mall Firenze, a luxury designer outlet in Tuscany. Charles and I were like kids at a candy store! It was hard to contain ourselves but we stayed within budget. They had outlet stores for Fendi, Gucci, Prada, Valentino, Chloe and so many more. Compared to The States, designer items are cheaper here. When you factor in the tax free shopping plus outlet discounts, I consider The Mall Firenze to be a must-visit when traveling to Italy. If we had more time I would have definitely gone on a wine tour but there’s always next time.
Another notable thing to keep in mind while you’re shopping around, is to hold on to your receipts. You should schedule extra time before your check-in to process your duty-free returns from your purchases at the airport. This is a great opportunity to get back some of the taxes you paid throughout your trip.
Day 3 – Pompeii & The Amalfi Coast/Positano
The following day we set off on our next adventure to Southern Italy. We purchased another private tour through Airbnb Experiences and were picked up from the Naples airport before embarking on our full day tour through the Amalfi Coast (which included the towns of Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello).
Our first stop was at the Pompeii ruins. This ancient city was destroyed in 79 AD when a nearby volcano, Mount Vesuvius, erupted. It was such an amazing historical site to see. I thought this was pretty cool because I instantly thought of the scene in Loki where they popped in when the volcano was erupting.
This portion of our tour was my favorite. It was simply amazing with the colorful houses along the mountain, tiny windy roads, and limoncello everywhere. Since we traveled in March, we were met with chilly weather. However, the areas we visited weren’t as crowded as they normally are in the peak tourism months between May and September
Day 4 – Naples
The next morning we woke up in Naples at the Grand Hotel Vesuvio. I LOVED our hotel, which sits right in front of Egg Castle on the coast and has an amazing view of Mt. Vesuvio from the roof top restaurant . We took our time to explore Egg Castle and the rest of the city. I got to try fried pizza at La Mazadrona and it was delicious! We wrapped up our Naples adventure with a little more shopping, where I was able to pick up a charm for my new bag.
Day 5 – Milan
Much to our dismay, this was our final day in Italy. Although our departure was bitter-sweet, we’re certain that we’ll be back. One of the greatest takeaways from my time in Italy was how kind and accommodating the people and service were. I wish I had brushed up on basic Italian before we traveled, but overall it wasn’t a huge hindrance. I’ll never forget how special we felt during our last dinner in Milan. The hotel we were staying at, Starhotels Tourist, had arranged for our complimentary transportation to dinner at Ristoranti Sesto San Giovanni, where we were treated like celebrities. This was such an astounding experience, and the food was incredible!
Amazing Groupon Travel Deal
We had purchased the 6-Day Milan Vacation with Air from Gate 1 Travel on Groupon.com. The starting cost was $549 (which is based on a two-people per booking departing from New York City). Although you have the option to purchase the Milan, Italy travel voucher directly from the Gate 1 Travel agency, I strongly recommend you take advantage of the special discount that Groupon offers its customers. You are still receiving the same quality of service and accommodations that you would if you were to purchase your voucher on Gate 1 Travel’s website.
Once you buy your voucher, you will then contact Gate 1 Travel to redeem the voucher and make any modifications you’d like for your booking (departure city, trip duration, airline, hotel class, etc). From there you can search for local tours on Airbnb Experiences or Viator, and discover first-hand how amazing Italy is.
Leave a comment below if you have any questions about this Groupon travel deal, or our experience in Italy. If you’ve already been to Italy, where did you visit and what do you miss the most? What are some recommendations you may have for us on our next trip to Italy?