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

Rome, Italy

Rome was the last city we visited during our Switzerland and Italy adventure! You can click the links below to catch up!

Zurich, Lugano, Lake Como, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre/Pisa

When I think of Italy, I immediately think of Rome. For this reason, I knew I wanted to visit the city during our adventure. Taylor was a little hesitant, because in his mind we could visit Rome when we did all of southern Italy one day. Neither of us know when we’ll be back in Italy, so we added Rome for my sake. I think it was the perfect last stop for us!

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There is so much history here, and you could spend days roaming the streets and reading about the Roman Empire.

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Obviously, we had to visit the Coliseum! You can’t miss it! If we visit Rome again, I’d like to do an audio tour of the Coliseum, because I think we would’ve learned so much more. There are plenty of signs about the history, but they can be difficult to keep up with.

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Since Rome is such a popular city in Italy, be prepared for all the tourists. There are soooo many people. If you don’t show up early to buy tickets into your favorite attractions, expect to wait at least an hour. We arrived at the Coliseum when it opened and we still waited at least 30 minutes in line. You do have some options to skip the lines with guided tours and booking online, but we weren’t planning out days to use these options. There are tons of people outside of the main attractions badgering you to skip the line… don’t fall in their trap. If you are going to skip the line its because you planned ahead!

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The cool thing about Rome, is that a lot of the debris from the past is still protected and visible to see. It’s crazy to think about how solid and massive some of these buildings were for that time period!

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We walked over 30,000 steps during our one full day in Rome! Now, you absolutely do not have to do that many because there are great public transportation options, plus tours that will save you the steps. We wanted to see places off the beaten path, so we walked everywhere. We refueled with some amazing roman pasta!!

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After eating an incredible lunch on the backstreets of Rome, we walked to the Pope’s home! 🙂

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We decided to explore the Vatican Museum, because Taylor really wanted to see the Sistine Chapel and see Michelangelo’s famous ceiling painting. Michelangelo hand painted this massive ceiling in the Vatican between 1508 and 1512. Photography was strictly forbidden in this room so I could’t get any photos, but I took some pictures all over the rest of the museum. It was gorgeous!

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The one downside to Rome was all the vendors. They were AGGRESSIVE. I’ve never been so annoyed in my life. They will try and scam you at all costs. At one point, I had to tell someone to leave me the heck alone because I was so over it. They kept harassing (yes harassing) me about my shorts, telling me I wouldn’t be aloud into the museum and I needed to buy a scarf to cover myself. Taylor and I have been to a lot of places that require special attire, but we knew this wasn’t one of them. As long as you dress modestly you’re fine. So many woman were scammed into buying these scarfs thinking they wouldn’t be aloud inside. Nobody even blinked twice at my shorts. I hate people like this that ruin a beautiful place by being pushy.

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Once we were done walking around the Sistine Chapel, we went to see the Trevi Fountain! I don’t think there’s ever a good time to go, as we went twice and it was packed both times. You have to force your way into a seat along the fountain.

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**Me being hit by someone else’s coin.

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Our time in Rome was so special, and we couldn’t believe it was the last stop on our European adventure! We are so thankful for careers that allow us to still do what we love most together. If you’ve been reading all the posts about our time in Switzerland and Italy, thank you so much!! I love writing and sharing my photos, so I hope you enjoyed it. 🙂

Lugano, Switzerland

Good Morning!

I’m so excited about today’s post! This is the second part in our European adventure, so if you missed the first part you can read it HERE. I don’t know about y’all, but I had never heard of Lugano, Switzerland before this trip. Taylor found it on the map while we were planning our itinerary and told me that he really wanted to stop here. I was hesitant at first, but I’m so thankful that we made time for this incredible city. We took the train out of Zurich, and rode 2 hours through the Swiss Alps to get here.

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It was BEAUTIFUL. If you’re wanting to visit Switzerland and have some time to spare between the major cities, I’d highly recommend Lugano. In fact, I enjoyed it more than Zurich! There was so much charm and it was the perfect escape.

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There was so much to see and do here! You could hike, eat, walk around the streets, swim, ride a boat, etc. Taylor and I were talking about how we could see ourselves bringing our kids here one day because it seemed like the perfect place for a family vacation. If it wasn’t so far away, we’d own a vacation home here!

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Literally. This was the neatest little town in Switzerland.

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During our first afternoon in Lugano, we decided to swim in the lake! Swimming in this beautiful turquoise lake surrounded by the Swiss Alps was incredible. If you find yourself here during the summer, this is a must! We paid 4 Franc a piece and rented one chair for 5 Franc. Not bad for a fun and relaxing afternoon. (Side note: the water was surprisingly warm. I thought it would be cooler.)

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On our second day, we spent the morning walking around the water until we hopped on a bus to our next destination…. but the bus never came (more on this later).

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**I do want to quickly mention that Switzerland is a very, VERY expensive country. I’m not sure why, but you will pay a whole lot of money for accommodations and food here. Thankfully, Taylor and I weren’t too picky with our lodging arrangements. However, there’s really no way around paying for food. You will pay an absurd amount of money for food and drink in Switzerland. Just keep this in mind if you’re planning a trip.

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Like I said, We were supposed to take a bus from Lugano to Lake Como, but as we were waiting (in the pouring rain) we received a notification saying our bus would be 4 hours late!! We improvised by taking the train instead. 🙂

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Next stop, Lake Como!

Traveling to Zurich

Good Morning!

We made it to Zurich!!

Taylor flew out of Shanghai, had a layover in Russia, then caught a connecting flight to Zurich. I flew from South Carolina to Newark, to Boston, to Lisbon, then to Zurich! I AM TIRED. Not only was this a lot of traveling, but I’m not familiar with traveling abroad on my own. I usually follow Taylor’s lead and feel safe and comfortable doing that. This really challenged me and put my travel skills to the test. Although I made it to my final destination, it was a bit of a struggle.

I’m so thankful that we decided to squeeze in Switzerland before diving into Italy. We didn’t have time to see much, but thought Zurich would be a great choice. It was absolutely beautiful. We’ve really enjoyed strolling the streets together and taking in the amazing views.

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Switzerland is known for their cheese fondu, so we had to stop and try some! We ate at a small table along the streets, and the cheese was exceptional. They even refilled our bread bowl so we could scrape up every last bit of cheese.

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There wasn’t a bad view in Zurich. We really took our time soaking it all in and taking photos. I felt like I couldn’t put my camera down! Everywhere I looked there was another incredible view.

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If you do come to Zurich, you can’t miss Lake Zurich! Taylor and I were surprised at how teal the water was. I know it’s slightly difficult to see in the photos, but the water was crystal clear and beautiful. I bet the mountains look stunning in the winter covered with snow.

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Although I think the pictures turned out beautiful, you really have to see it in person. Lake Zurich did not disappoint!

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Once we were done walking around the streets, we stopped at a small cafe for drinks while we watched the sunset. We were still fighting jet lag, so we had to stay up as late as possible.

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Throughout the city, they have these public drinking fountains. They are very old and look like wells. Switzerland prides themselves in being able to drink the tap water. Taylor couldn’t wait to fill up his water bottle from one of these fountains! As a water snob, I’ll admit that it wasn’t bad!

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When we woke up the next morning, we had a little bit of time to explore before our train to Lugano. We started with breakfast at Babu’s. It was highly rated and packed when we got there. We squeezed our bodies and bags into the corner and ordered an açaí bowl, croissant, iced latte and iced matcha. It was delicious!

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Once we were done eating, we strolled the city streets some more! This time, with luggage in tow!

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I truly think we chose the best time to visit Zurich. With it being the end of August, the weather was slightly cooler and most of the tourists were gone.

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We had to be at the train station at 1:30 for our train to Lugano! We stopped for pizzas along the way, and ate them on the train/while we were waiting.

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Next stop, Lugano!