Our Airbnb’s in Switzerland & Italy!

Hello!

Today, I wanted to talk all about the Airbnb’s Taylor and I stayed in while we traveling around Switzerland and Italy! We’ve been using Airbnb for 5 years now, and we absolutely LOVE it. It’s super easy to use and it gives us the opportunity to travel to places we’ve only dreamt about. Hotels can be expensive and unpredictable. There’s nothing worse than over-spending on a hotel and having it be less than desirable. I think a lot of people are hesitant to use Airbnb because they’re unfamiliar with it, and they automatically assume they’ll be sleeping on a crazy person’s couch. I’m thinking about creating a Guide to Airbnb’s, because I think it could be really useful for those who want to learn more about it!

If you’re planning a trip to Switzerland or Italy and looking to stay in an airbnb, this post will be really helpful for you!

** There are two types of Airbnb listings that I’m going to be referring to in today’s post, shared and private. Shared refers to a space the host is also living in. Private, is a space that is separate from the owner’s home. 


Zurich: click here to visit the Airbnb listing

Location- You’re right downtown on a quiet street, and above a restaurant. It’s very easy to walk everywhere from here!

Wifi- The Wifi worked fine for us!

Overall Comfort- This one was a little too uncomfortable for me. The bathroom was down the hall (private not shared), and it was basically a mattress in a dorm like room with the little kitchen in the front. However, it was very clean and it served our one-night purpose. We booked this knowing about the lack of amenities and that it wasn’t going to be anything luxurious.

Owner Communication- He made sure we knew where we were going and provided us details about the location. All communication was via the Airbnb app.

Price- $106 for one night


Lugano: click here to visit the Airbnb listing

Location- This apartment was a shared space! The location was close to the train station and also close to downtown Lugano. It was in a great spot!

Wifi- The wifi worked really well here!

Overall Comfort- The apartment was very clean and cozy. Because it was shared, we slept on a pull out couch, which I wasn’t a fan of. We booked it knowing this ahead of time, but I just didn’t enjoy it because of not having my own space. I felt bad leaving my stuff all over her living room. I would rather have my own room and ability to relax. However, it is SUPER expensive in Switzerland, so the price was amazing.

Owner Communication- The owner and her boyfriend were super friendly and made us feel welcomed during our entire stay. They really made an effort to get to know us!

Price- $79 for one night


Lake Como: click here to visit the Airbnb listing

Location- This was another shared space, but more private than the last! It was within walking distance to the train station and downtown Como.

Wifi- It wasn’t the fastest, but it worked!

Overall Comfort- I felt like I was in a hotel room! We had our own room and bath and the owner provided us with waters and snacks upon arrival. This was such a neat place! The decorations made it extremely cozy, and you can tell that the host genuinely likes to make his guest feel comfortable.

Owner Communication- He met us at the front door and helped us with our bags, gave us tourist brochures, and made sure we were absolutely comfortable. He was so sweet! You should definitely check this place out if you’re visiting Como!

Price- $171 for 2 nights


Venice: click here to visit the Airbnb listing

Location- This private Airbnb was right downtown in all the action! Most hotels in Venice are outside the city, so we were super lucky to find this hidden gem. It was easy to explore Venice by foot! It was challenging to get to with all our bags, but the owner met us at a common location and helped us with our bags.

Wifi- The wifi was great here!

Overall Comfort- If you’re looking for a place to stay in downtown Venice (which is rare) this is an amazing Airbnb! The room had been restored, and it was stunning. Such a cool historical, private, and comfortable place to stay! There was also a washing machine here, which I found super convenient since we hit this place about halfway through our trip. If you click on the pictures via the Airbnb link, it doesn’t do this place justice.

Owner Communication- He was fantastic! He rents several Airbnb’s throughout Venice, so he knows what he’s doing. He gave us so many great restaurant recommendations, showed us around the airbnb, and made sure we were comfortable. He was a wonderful host!

Price- $181 for 2 nights


Florence: click here to visit the Airbnb listing

Location- Our Florence Airbnb was also private, and it was beautiful! We could walk anywhere we wanted, and we were around some amazing restaurants and a large market.

Wifi – Amazing Wifi!

Overall Comfort- This was our favorite Airbnb during the whole trip. It was so cozy and Italian. The interior was carefully restored and absolutely stunning. Seriously. Check out the photos in the link, because it’s so cool. You have to stay here if you’re visiting Florence.

Owner Communication- The host met us at the apartment when we arrived and he was so cool. He stayed and chatted with us for about an hour and told us all the ins and outs of Florence. He gave us a city map and circled everything we needed to see, and also gave us some really useful tips! He was a fabulous host!

Price- $184 for two nights


Viareggio:  click here to view the Airbnb listing

Location- This shared Airbnb was right next to the beach! It’s a little bit of a hike from the train station, but you can take public transportation. We had our own room and bath, but they were renting other rooms throughout the house. Being able to see the ocean from our window was fun! 

Wifi- The Wifi was okay here. Not the strongest, but it worked.

Overall Comfort- This was my least favorite Airbnb of the whole trip. The location was amazing, but comfort-wise it wasn’t that great. We had to carry all our luggage up several flights of spiral staircases. This was extremely difficult. The room was super small, and the bathroom was one of those where the sink and toilette are under the shower head. Does that make sense? There also wasn’t enough hot water for both of us to take a shower during the same evening.

Owner Communication- The host helped us find the house and greeted us upon arrival. We didn’t see much of them after we checked in.

Price- $176 for two nights


Rome: click here to view the Airbnb listing

Location- We ended our time in Italy with a great private Airbnb! Again, it was downtown and we could walk to everything. If you can’t tell, this is important to us. 🙂

Wifi- The wifi didn’t work well here, but that was the only setback. Only one of our devices could stay connected.

Overall Comfort- This was a wonderful Airbnb! We had a private room and bath and it was very clean and cozy! If you’re visiting Rome and want to try Airbnb, this is the place to do it! It was just like staying in a hotel!

Owner Communication- One of the best parts about this Airbnb, was that the host met us at the train station and drove us (short distance) to the apartment. Along the way, he pointed out different shops, restaurants, etc. that would make our stay comfortable. There was a café below the apartment that gave us free cappuccinos and one pastry each morning, because the host had a partnership with them. He also had a friend who owned a local restaurant just a few minutes away, so he made reservations for us and it was amazing! The owner of the restaurant took the best care of us too!

Price- $154 for two nights


 

I hope you enjoyed reading about these European Airbnb’s!

If you’re interested in trying Airbnb for your next adventure, please use this link to receive up to $51 off your first trip! www.airbnb.com/c/taylors175

Viareggio/Cinque Terre/Pisa

Our next stop on our European adventure was a cluster of small cities! Originally, we were only supposed to visit Viareggio because it was a small beach town in Italy that Taylor wanted to see. We thought it would be a great halfway point in our journey, and we’d get the chance to chill out for two days. BUT THEN Taylor found out that Cinque Terre was a close train ride and Pisa was right around the corner, and our plans to relax were quickly changed. sigh.

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We arrived in Viareggio late afternoon, checked into our Airbnb and walked across the street to the beach for a few hours. It was a little chilly and the clouds were dark, but thankfully it didn’t rain! Viareggio is a small beach town that a lot of local Italians visit during the year, not so much a tourist destination. There was a fantastic pier that overlooked the sunset and it was so beautiful!

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When we woke up the next morning it was pouring, and Taylor bought train tickets to Cinque Terre. Thankfully, the sun was shining by the time we arrived! Cinque Terre isn’t actually just one destination, it’s a whole cluster of towns within one area. We visited the city of Vernazza, which I believe is one of the most popular. After being there, I can see why.

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You can take a super short “hike” (10 minutes one way) up to the famous view of Vernazza. It looks just like a postcard.

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We arrived in Vernazza around lunchtime, so we searched for a place to eat before swimming. We decided to eat on the top of this mountain that overlooked the water. It wasn’t the best Italian food we ate, but the view was incredible. You should go here for drinks if you’re in the area!

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I wanted to swim really bad, so that’s what we did! 🙂 I can’t stay away from water! I’ll be shocked if we don’t own a home by a body of water in the future.

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Before heading back to Viareggio, we stopped at Manarola, which is just a neighboring small town in Cinque Terre. We didn’t spend much time here because we had a train to catch, but we bought a bottle of wine as a souvenir that we’re planning on opening later in life.

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The last thing we saw this day, was the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was about a two hour train ride from Cinque Terre, but in the same direction of Viareggio. There is literally nothing else in the city of Pisa except for this tower, so please don’t book a weeks’s vacation to Pisa. LOL 😉

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I didn’t want to be that person who stuck their hand out to hold the Leaning Tower, but I felt like I’d regret it later on if I didn’t!

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That ended our time on the coast of Italy! I adored Cinque Terre, and I really want to return to spend more time seeing all the towns. I think we could easily spend a few more days there in the future! Our last stop is Rome! Thank’s for following along this far. Please don’t forget to read the beginning of our journey!

Zurich, Lugano, Lake Como, Venice, Florence 

Florence, Italy

Taylor and I are officially back in China, so that can only mean one thing. Our Italian blog posts are nearing the end! If you missed the first few posts, you can read them all here:

Zurich, Lugano, Lake Como, Venice 

The fifth city we visited was Florence! After we packed our bags up in Venice, we took another train and rode to our next destination. We really enjoyed taking the trains everywhere in Europe. It’s so much easier and cheaper than flying. Florence is located in central Italy, within Tuscany.

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I’d say that Florence is known for architecture and food. It’s here where we ate the best Italian food of our lives.

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The man behind all the travel plans. 🙂 I’d be lost without him…literally. He puts so much effort into planning our adventures together.

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If I’m being honest, Florence wasn’t my favorite city that we visited during our European adventure. We were still coming off a high of visiting Lake Como and Venice, and Florence was just okay in my book. I’m not dying to go back, and I really don’t know if I’d make an effort to return. I’m glad we came, but I wouldn’t spend more than two nights here. Like I said before, the food was INCREDIBLE, but that was the highlight of visiting Florence.

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When visiting Florence, you NEED NEED NEED to eat at ZaZa’s. This place was so incredible that we ate there TWICE. This is unheard of for us. The even crazier thing about this place, is that it’s ranked in the 200’s on Trip Advisor for some reason?? I guess there’s just so many places to eat in Florence that the competition is hard. The lasagna was the best I’ve ever eaten and so was the homemade gnocchi. Seriously. You have to eat here.

We also stumbled across a unique wine shop one night called DiVino. You purchase the bottle size you’d like (or glass) and they’d fill it up with whatever local wine they had available. The first time we went, we purchased a standard 750ml bottle and filled it with cabernet. Our total was 4.50 euro and the wine was delicious! We returned the next day and it was only 3 euro since we already had the bottle! Such a genius idea!

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I felt so uninspired to take photos here. I’m not sure if it was because taking photos of architecture isn’t my thing, or that museums are difficult to photograph, or if everything looked the same. Maybe I’m crazy? If you’ve travelled all over Italy, let me know your thoughts on Florence, because I’m really curious. I don’t want to hate on Florence because we really did have a good time. If art history, architecture, and good food are you’re thing then you’d probably love this city!

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If you do find yourself in Florence, you need to walk through the gardens overlooking the city! The view gives you an incredible lookout for miles!

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The second thing you need to do is go and see the David statue, which was created in 1873! One thing to note is that there’s the real, authentic David, and then there’s a mock David. Please make sure you go see the real one, and not the fake! You can find the beautiful marble statue in the Accademia Gallery. The replica is in the Piazza della Signoria.

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With an abundance of museums in Florence, your time there can get expensive! When we were deciding which museums to purchase tickets for, we both agreed that that Museo Galileo would be the most interesting. Taylor is all about science and navigation, so this was absolutely perfect! 🙂 Tickets were 10 euro each, and it took us about an hour to see everything. We had the best time looking at all the early maps and scientific inventions!

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That’s it for our time in Florence! Next stop, the beach!

Lake Como, Italy

Another day, another great destination to write about!

If you missed the first two parts in our European Adventure click the links below to catch up!

Part 1: Zurich

Part 2: Lugano

 

Today is part 3, which is all about Lake Como, Italy! Taylor and I were already coming off a high from being in Lugano, Switzerland, and Lake Como did not disappoint! This is another place we’d really like to go back to one day. The lake is so massive, and there’s various towns surrounding it. We visited during a beautiful time because the weather was transitioning to fall, and the tourism was minimum.

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We bought full-day ferry tickets and really enjoyed it. We’d recommend this to anyone interested in visiting Lake Como, because it’s an easy way to see everything surrounding the lake! We hopped on the ferry in Como, and traveled 2 hours north to the town of Bellagio. It took a whopping 2 hours and we were only halfway up the lake! Isn’t that crazy?! We took pictures and shared a bottle of wine along the way.

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We saw so many beautiful hotels and homes! What an amazing place to live!

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Once we got off the ferry, we walked through all the narrow streets together. It was so neat to be in an old town that was built into the mountain.

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We decided to eat lunch in Bellagio, before heading to the next town. One of the biggest tips of advice I can give while traveling, is to try and find a restaurant that isn’t around a huge tourist attraction or where a lot of tourists are coming and going (aka a ferry dock). Not that these places are bad, but they’re usually tourist traps. I’d much rather spend money on a cozy mom and pop shop! It’s places like these where you have the best memories.

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We both ordered pasta and wine, and it was exactly what we were looking for!

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After Bellagio, we hopped on the ferry again and sailed to Varenna next! Since we already ate, we just walked around and shopped.

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After seeing everything we wanted to see, we loaded onto the ferry again and visited Menaggio. At this point we were pretty tired, and this was my least favorite town of the three. The views were pretty by the lake, but there wasn’t much going on elsewhere. It was very residential.

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We had to take the ferry 2 hours back to Como, so we were ready for dinner when we de-boarded the boat! We decided to eat at a local pizza place called Pomodorino and it was perfect. We were seated outside, and there were massive umbrellas and some walls to block the wind. We each ordered pizza because that was what they were known for, and we were very impressed!

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Before catching our train the next day, we got up early and bought tickets for the funicolare. It went straight up to the top of the mountain, where we had amazing views of Como below. It was only a few euros per person, and we had a great time. I’d recommend getting there early!

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Lake Como treated us well. Next stop, Venice!