Oh Italy! Like a Casanova you keep luring me back, only to a different city but with the same profound charm of a whirlwind holiday romance. From Dubai, there are four major international airports in Italy that you are certain to land in, namely Rome, Milan, Bologna and Venice. Whether these cities are your final destination or just the starting point of your Italian journey, there is always something to see regardless if you have two hours or twenty-four hours to spare.
Here is some inspiration for an Italian stopover in Rome, Milan and Bologna. I left out Venice as I had traveled there for my honeymoon, so technically it wasn’t a stopover. 🙂
Rome (2 hours)
When in Rome, of course the Colosseum. We had spent a dreamy week in Tuscany, and drove to Rome to arrive just two hours before checking in to the airport to catch our flight back to Dubai. Since we had already been to Rome before on a family holiday, it was enough to just set our sights on the famous landmark and grab a snack in the nearby cafe.
Milan (12 hours)
We touched down in Milan en route to Cinque Terre, so from the airport we headed straight to Milano Centrale station and took a train to La Spezia. Milan was also our departure airport so we stayed for the night at a hotel near the station. Reaching just an hour shy of sunset, we walked the streets of Milan grabbing a gelato or more along the way and ended up at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest shopping malls in Milan, and also the most luxurious. Since it was far too crowded at the magnificent Duomo di Milano, we decided to just have dinner, go back to the hotel and then went back by train the next day at sunrise before making our way to the airport.
Bologna (24 hours)
This was the first stop on our Tuscan holiday. We arrived in the afternoon, but after the long wait at the airport for our car rental, we ended up leaving close to sundown and just managed to glimpse at the sunset on the way to our hotel for the night. It was truly one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen, the sky bleeding with purple, pink and orange, which needed absolutely no filter. We were set to drive to Florence from Bologna in the morning, so we just took a stroll around the city at night and the next day paid a visit to Biblioteca Universitaria to marvel at some art history while munching on some freshly baked pastries on the way.