Europe, Italy, Travel Tips

2018 Italy Planning: November Edition

2018 Italy Planning: November Edition

What I want to accomplish this month:

At this point I am down to things I REALLY need to do vs. things that can wait until like the week before. Here is my list of things that are giving me anxiety that they’re not done yet:

  • Book rental car from Rome FCO airport (Will’s job)
  • Book Copenhagen airport hotel (after writing this 2 days ago, I got my butt in high hear and got this done)
  • Book Rome hostel (same)
  • Figure out what the heck we’re doing with one “free” day
  • Practice my Italian

Things that can be done later but are still on my mind:

  • Double check prices of places & opening times (this has proven difficult)
  • Save Google maps of each day’s itinerary
  • Make a packing list
  • Get euros
  • Research art historical information for the locations we are visiting

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What I am happy to say I have accomplished this month:

  • Booked our one-night in a Rome hostel (8 bed/mixed room $37)
  • Booked our one-night stay in the Copenhagen airport hotel ($190 – that price makes me want to vomit but includes breakfast & it is inside the airport!)
  • Booked our stay in a monastery in Assisi
  • Book our apartment right outside the walls of Siena
  • Finished my predictive budget (right now our estimated total, including airfare, is ~$3,600)

The biggest impact to our budget is usually accommodations and each trip I look for stays with different criteria; I truly enjoy the hunt of good hostels/hotels/apartments! This time I really wanted to stay in a monastery in Assisi, that idea planted itself in my mind and I couldn’t shake it. In all honesty monasteries were the first hostels so it isn’t much different besides being more spiritual in nature. Our monastery stay is 310 euros total (4 nights/2 people).

Read more: Travel Tips: Staying in a Monastery vs a Hotel


In Siena, I wanted to change it up and stay in an apartment for 2 major reasons: we were there for 5 nights & one of those nights was New Year’s Eve. I have no interest in bunking up with a bunch of rowdy (possibly puking people) on my decently romantic vacation. So I found a cute apartment right outside the city walls where we could park our car in peace and walk into the city; the total cost for the apartment in Siena: 456 euro (5 nights/2 people).

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The tricky part about finding accommodations for this particular trip is that we have a car with us, therefore I wanted to find FREE and EASY parking – no easy feat in historic Italian towns. So I ended up paying a bit extra than we normally do for parking perks. Well worth it!

Read more: Travel Tips: Keeping Track of Expenses while Traveling

The other hard part about planning this trip was getting an accurate budget. Many of the sites we are visiting do not have clearly posted costs, a lot of them are churches so are probably free…but not always. So to combat that I added $5 to each location that had no listed cost to cover our butts just in case. Therefore, I hope to come in under budget by estimating this extra but we’ll see. I’ve only come under budget ONCE in all of our trips lol … coffee, gifts, and snacks usually push us over but I don’t sweat it.



  1. Let me know if I can help! I’m a fellow AP Art History teacher, and I live in Italy half the year! I’m also fluent in Italian, have a PhD in Roman archaeology, and have been everywhere you are going this trip. Contact me for Assisi details especially!

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