Time to plan that quintessential Eurotrip!
Day 1: Bidding farewell
Day 2: Rome
Rome In fact, I was even half-expecting to see men in togas and horse-drawn carts! Needless to say, the historic city really won over my heart the minute I stepped into it.
Day 3: Chianti & Pisa
Away from the bustling cities and into some quieter corners of Italy, I ventured into the picturesque Chianti region where the breathtaking Siena sits. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this medieval city is home to some of the most stunning art collections and spectacular architectures. A personal tip when you travel to this area: bring along extra batteries or power banks to keep phones and cameras alive! It’s truly a shutterbug’s heaven here.
To tick off my bucket list, I had to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa for an Instagram photo! It was both hilarious and challenging trying to come up with creative and wacky poses with the freestanding bell tower. I bet the Tower’s architect never imagined that his miscalculation would have resulted in a symbol of Italy’s civic pride! Savouring on delicious Tuscany fares – wine, cheese and pasta – my night in Tuscany concluded in pleasant stupor and a belly filled to the brim.
Day 4: Florence
We could all do with a dose of retail therapy whilst travelling, especially with up to 70% discounts on luxury Italian brands! The Mall in Florence is home to famous boutiques such as Prada, Furla, Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen and Burberry. I’m not ashamed to say that I thoroughly enjoyed shopping here! Plus, these affordable items (only in Italy!) are perfect souvenirs for family and friends back home.
Luxury didn’t end there! After a long day of shopping, I was welcomed with the friendliest smiles and top-notch service into the swanky 5-¬star Hilton Molino Stucky Venice hotel. This royal treatment really made me felt like a film star!
The nautical city of Venice turned out to be even more special than my imagination. At every turn, there was a picture¬perfect view awaiting to surprise me – gondolas bobbing along canals, St Mark’s Square, St Mark’s Basilica and the Bridge of Sighs.
In addition, I love the maschereri (mask shops)! The handmade Venetian masks sold in these shops were strange yet alluring. As I hopped from one shop to another, I was determined to plan a trip to Venice again during the Venice Carnival just to don on my own mask and join the party!
Day 6: Milan &
Moving westwards from Venice, I then travelled to Milan. Truly, they don’t label the fast-paced metropolis as the shopping capital of the world for nothing. I thought that I had already bought all my souvenirs, but boy was I wrong. There were simply too many things to buy here!
My next stop was Évian-les-Bains, a gorgeous town perched on the borders of Switzerland and Italy. Nestled between lakes and mountains, the natural wonder is also where Evian mineral water originates. It was an ideal stop – after visiting numerous cities in a row, I was craving to get away from all that hustle and bustle into the tranquil nature.
Day 7: Lake Geneva Region & Lake Geneva
In the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland, I experienced my first Christmas market! Known as the Montreux Marche de Noel, the Weihnachtsmarkt (traditional Christmas market) consists of over 150 stalls beside the scenic Lake Geneva. With a myriad of delicious food options and an absolutely electric atmosphere, my visit here was definitely a memorable one.
I then made my way to Interlaken, a resort town that lies in the mountainous Bernese Oberland region between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. If you are one who has little tolerance for the cold, make sure to throw on extra layers – it was really chilly here! To warm myself up, I treated myself to a classic four¬-course Swiss fondue dinner, a local delicacy that originated from the Alps. Yummy!
Day 8: Mount Bussalp
Today was the highlight of my trip – a thrilling sled run down Mount Bussalp! Admittedly, I was slightly nervous about the 7.6km sledge run (the longest in Europe!). However, I found strength in numbers and felt more courageous after seeing the number of participants around me.
What an exhilarating experience it was! There’s nothing quite like zooming down snowy slopes surrounded by a surreal ivory landscape. With the frosty wind biting my cheek, hair flying in the wind, I truly had the ride-of-a-lifetime!