Towards evening we make our way to the train station in Augsburg for the train to Munich. In Munich we quickly pick up something for dinner near the station before our night train leaves shortly after eight. We are lucky - due to the Corona restrictions, a maximum of 4 instead of 6 people are allowed to travel in the sleeping compartment. We still have the compartment for two, we eat the food we just bought and watch a film for a moment.

The conductor tells us that two more people will be joining us in our compartment in Salzburg. We stay awake until our compartment is complete and then go to sleep.

Day 1: Arrival, Pisa & Arrival in Cinque Terre

We are woken up shortly after 6 with coffee and breakfast. At 7 a.m. we arrive in Florence half asleep - here we have to change trains to cover the last few metres to Pisa by regional train.

Arriving in Pisa, we check in our luggage at the station and set off on foot to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. After about 20 minutes we reach the site. The grass is impressively green and the tower is even more impressive in real life than in pictures.

We have a coffee in the La Torre Cafe (only partly recommended - very expensive) and then get tickets to climb the tower. The 294 steps are a special experience! It feels a bit strange to walk up in the Leaning Tower. Once at the top, a really beautiful view of the grounds and of Pisa reveals itself to us.

Afterwards, we make our way back towards the train station - apart from the Leaning Tower, Pisa doesn't have that much to offer. Arriving at the station, we collect our luggage and board the train in the direction of Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore to be precise. The train ride already reveals spectacular views of the rugged rocky coastline. Once there, we meet Sabina (our AirBnB host) in her little shop and walk with her to our accommodation. The accommodation is really very nice and spacious. Especially the roof terrace offers a perfect view of the surrounding Riomaggiore!

After we have settled into our accommodation, it is already evening. Before dinner, we make our way to the Old School Barwhich Sabina had recommended to us, for an aperitif. From here you really have a beautiful view over Riomaggiore to the sea. In addition, for 10 € you get an Aperol with very tasty snacks, more like a small meal.

Day 2: Corniglia, Vernazza & Riomaggiore

After breakfast we set off for Corniglia, one of the Cinque Terre. From the train station we have to climb 377 steps to reach the centre of the town. But the walk is worth it - a pretty Italian town with impressive views of the surrounding coast awaits us. We explore the town centre a little before heading back to the station.

Our next destination is Vernazza, which is only a few minutes away from Corniglia by train. By now it is already noon, so we have lunch at the Blue Marlin Bar restaurant. Sated, we then drift through the town down to the harbour. We eat another ice cream here before slowly making our way back to Riomaggiore.

Once there, we rest for a moment in our accommodation before exploring the centre of Riomaggiore a little more. In the evening we walk to the Old School Bar for an aperitif. Old School Bar.

Day 3: Manarola & Monterosso

Well rested, we set off for Manarola in the late morning. From Riomaggiore the train takes us there in a few minutes. From the station we walk down the main road towards the water. Once at the bottom, we follow Via Renato Birolli along the rocks. From here we have a wonderful view of the colourful houses of Manarola!

We enjoy the view for a while before slowly making our way back to the station. On the way, we take a short break at the Bar Enricawhere we have a bite to eat for lunch.

From Manarola we take the train to Monterosso, the northernmost village of the Cinque Terre. From the station we walk towards the beach and stroll a little along the promenade on the sandy beach.

After exploring Monterosso a bit, we have an aperitif with sea view at the Enoteca 5 Terre before taking the train back to our accommodation.

Day 4: Onward journey to Florence, Florence Cathedral, Piazza della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio

In the morning we check out of our accommodation and head to the train station to make our way to Florence.

Once there, we first make our way to our hotel to check in. Our room is huge and from the roof terrace we have a wonderful view of the dome of the cathedral.

From the hotel, we first make our way to Florence Cathedral. The white, high walls and towers are really impressive! We continue strolling through the pedestrian zone until we arrive at the Piazza della Signoria with the Arnolfo Tower.

From here we reach the Ponte Vecchio after a few minutes. The bridge, which used to be inhabited, still houses many jewellery shops and art galleries. From the bank at the level of the Uffizi you have a wonderful view of the bridge!

After exploring the bridge, we make our way back to the city centre, where we eat some very delicious ice cream at Festival de Gelato (the queue is worth it!).

After exploring the city centre a bit more, we enjoy the last rays of sunshine with an Aperol right next to the cathedral at Le Botteghe Di Donatello Firenze.

Day 5: Shopping, Santa Croce & Piazzale Michelangelo

We use the morning to do some shopping in the city centre. In the early afternoon we make our way to Santa Croce Cathedral.

From here we make our way to Piazzale Michelangelo, a square on a hill on the outskirts of Florence. After a little more than half an hour we arrive at the top. From here there is a really beautiful view over the roofs of Florence!

After arriving back at the bottom, we eat a delicious ice cream at the Cantina del Gelato on the banks of the Arno. We stroll around the courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery, but unfortunately we don't have enough time to visit the Uffizi Gallery (one of the most important art collections in the world).

After dinner we stroll through the city centre and admire a few street artists. Before we go back to our hotel, we have an ice cream at Festival de Gelato.

Day 6: Onward journey to Naples & Naples city centre

In the morning we leave our hotel quite early to take the train to Naples. When we arrive at the station, we are met with great confusion. After a short time, we learn that due to a technical problem, train traffic is paralysed throughout northern Italy. We stand in one of the queues to change our reservations accordingly. After 20 minutes of waiting, we learn that the reservation requirement has been lifted for today and we can simply board the next train. We are lucky and find a train that is due to leave soon.

Arriving in Naples, the first thing we do is take our luggage to our accommodation. The accommodation is really small, but the whirlpool in the bathroom makes up for it!

Then we set off for the city centre, where we soon pass my favourite ice cream parlour, Valenti (not). We explore the city centre a bit more and try not to get run over by a scooter, before we stop at the oldest pizzeria in Naples (Antica Pizzeria Port d'Alba) for dinner.

After dinner, we explore the city centre a little more before heading back to our accommodation after a long day.

Day 7: Vesuvius

Today, a visit to Vesuvius is on the agenda for us. In the morning we head straight to the train station to take the Circumvesuviana train to Ercolano. Once there, we first make our way to the Vesuvio Express to buy tickets for the next bus to the top.

Unfortunately, we have just missed the bus, so we bridge the waiting time with a walk to Herculaneum, an ancient city which, like Pompeii, was destroyed by an eruption of Vesuvius in 79.

Back at the bus we arrive after about 20 minutes a little below the crater. From here, the last few metres have to be covered on foot. After about 25 minutes we arrive at the top of the crater of Vesuvius.

The path leads us along the crater rim and reveals spectacular views into the crater and of the Gulf of Naples. At over 1000 m it is quite cold, but we are most impressed by a group of Americans who seem to be pleasantly warm in shorts and T-shirts.

A little before the highest point of the crater, we take advantage of the small snack bar to warm up with a cappuccino.

After we have explored the crater extensively, we drive back to Naples. Once there, we plunge back into the hustle and bustle of the city centre and have an aperitif at jamón.

Afterwards, we let ourselves drift through the city for a while before stopping at the Pizzeria Di Matteo. Pizzeria Di Matteo (the best pizza in town, in my opinion).

Day 8: Underground Naples (Sotterranea), Via Toledo

After we have slept in, we make our way to the city centre. We stroll through the countless alleys of Naples again. As we started quite late today, we soon head again for the Pizzeria Di Matteo to eat a pizza.

Sated, we make our way to the entrance to underground Naples (Sotterranea). We are lucky and only have to wait a short time for an English tour. The very narrow corridors (partly you have to walk sideways) and the cistern are really very impressive and definitely worth a visit!

Back from the underworld, we make our way to Via Toledo, one of the longest shopping streets in Naples, where we browse a bit through the shops. We walk down to the sea via Piazza del Plebiscito before heading back to our accommodation.


Day 9: Pompeii Archaeological Park & onward journey to Rome

In the morning we check out of our accommodation and take our suitcases to the luggage storage at the train station. From here we take the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii.

From Pompeii Scavi Villa dei Misteri station we walk about 15 minutes to the entrance of the Pompeii Archaeological Park. On the way, everyone tries to sell us skip-the-line tickets, as we would have to queue for at least an hour at the entrance itself. When we arrive at the entrance, we can buy a ticket directly without waiting and go into the excavation.

It is really impressive how many buildings are still so well preserved! The body casts of the fossilised people and animals that perished in the ash rain of Vesuvius are particularly impressive.

At around 3pm we unfortunately have to make our way back to Naples station, as our train to Rome leaves there at around 4:30pm. After a little more than an hour, we arrive in Rome Termini and first bring our luggage to our accommodation, before we stop in the Momart Cafe have dinner at the Momart Cafe.

Day 10: Piazza del Popolo, Terrazza del Pincio, Spanish Steps & Vittorio Emanuele II

In the morning we start from our accommodation to Piazza del Popolo, one of the most famous squares in Rome. From here we walk up the steps to the Terrazza del Pincio. From here you have a beautiful view over the Piazza del Popolo and the rooftops of Rome!

From here we walk on to the Spanish Steps, one of the most famous outdoor staircases in the world. We then meander further through the city centre to the Piazza di Trevi with the Trevi Fountain, the largest fountain in Rome.

We continue to the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II. We pay an entrance fee of 12 euros to visit the panoramic terrace, from which we have a beautiful view of the surrounding Rome and the Colosseum!

By now it is already evening, so we slowly make our way back to our accommodation.

Day 11: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill & Circus Maximus

First thing in the morning we set off for the Colosseum. On the way there, as in Pompeii, many "Official Tourist Guides" await us, telling us of a waiting time of several hours. In fact, however, we had not informed ourselves beforehand and are grateful for the hint that the tickets can only be ordered.

We are lucky and can still buy a ticket in the official ticket shop, with which we can start directly into the Colosseum. The size of the amphitheatre is really impressive!

After just under two hours, we have finished exploring the Colosseum and make our way to the Roman Forum, which is also included in the Colosseum entrance fee. The Roman Forum (Roman marketplace) was the centre of political, economic, cultural and religious life in Rome. The grounds are really impressive, especially when you imagine how pompous the marketplace must have been back then.

From the exit we walk to the Capitol Hill and from here take an e-scooter to the Circus Maximus, the largest stadium for chariot racing in ancient Rome! We explore the grounds for a while, where the 600 m long track was located, before heading back to our accommodation.

In the evening we eat again at the Momart Cafebut this time for an aperitivo. Here, from 18:00 to 22:30, you get a drink with (very good) pizza and as many side dishes as you can eat for 14 €!

Day 12: Vatican City, Castel Sant'Angelo & Piazza Navona

Today is unfortunately already the last day of our 13-day trip. After getting up, we take our suitcases to the train station and set off from there to Vatican City. At St Peter's Square we are lucky and don't have to queue to enter the grounds.

First we go into St. Peter's Basilica, the size and all the gold on the walls are really very impressive. We even see a cardinal who is being interviewed in St Peter's Basilica.

After exploring St Peter's from the inside, we decide to take the waiting time to visit the dome of St Peter's. After about 20 minutes of waiting, we pay the entrance fee. After waiting for about 20 minutes, we pay €10 per person and are taken up to the roof of the dome by lift. From here we have to climb a few more steps through the dome before a breathtaking view over the Vatican City and Rome awaits us.

From St Peter's Basilica we walk first to Castel Sant'Angelo, which was built as a mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his successors. From here we walk on to Piazza Navona, one of the most beautiful and famous squares in the centre of Rome.

As our night train to Munich leaves at around 8pm, we slowly make our way towards the station. We make a detour to the Pantheon and have an ice cream near the Trevi Fountain before walking to the station.


Personally, I liked Riomaggiore and Manarola best.

Riomaggiore has a really nice pedestrian zone with its many small cafes, bars and restaurants and was pleasantly busy even in the low season.

Manarola is probably the most famous photo motif of the Cinque Terre and impresses with beautiful views of the rugged coast and the sea.

Florence's city centre can be easily explored on foot.

If the walk is too long, Florence also offers a dense network of buses and trams. Tickets can be purchased at official sales points, authorised sales points (tobacconists, kiosks) and ticket machines.

Tickets can also be purchased digitally via the Tabnet app or by sending an SMS with the text "Firenze" to the number 4880105 (€2.00 + the phone operator's fee).

One trip costs €1.70 and is valid for 90 minutes.

The old town of Naples can be explored very well on foot.

However, if the distances are too far, there is an underground that runs in the city centre. A single journey costs €1.60.

In addition to the metro, there are buses, funiculars and trams, but we never used them.

The Circumvesuviana train is an inexpensive and practical means of public transport to reach tourist destinations in the Gulf of Naples such as Vesuvius on Pompeii.

The lines start at the railway station in Naples, where tickets can be bought at the ticket office. The timetable of the different lines is available here.

A more comfortable but more expensive alternative to the ageing Circumvesuviana trains is the seasonal Campania Express. This also runs from Naples to Ercolano (Vesuvius) and Pompeii. The departure times can be found here.

Rome has a well-developed public transport network (bus, metro, tram).

A single ticket costs €1.50 and is valid for 100 minutes. Tickets can be purchased at metro/bus stations and at tobacconists and newsagents.

In the metro, you can also pay directly by credit card at the turnstiles.

(Multi-)day tickets are also available (24h: 7€, 48h: 12,50€, 72h: 18€), but as we were walking a lot, it was not worth it for us.