You guys, I can’t wait to dive in about this green utility vest, but can we take a moment to talk about how this summer has been CRAZY!? How are we already half way through September? Seriously, HOW!? I feel like I haven’t been able to catch my breath, which I am sure you have noticed by my absence from The Flightalista.

Where have I been?

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How to spend 2 days on Lake Como, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accommodation in Lake Como, What to pack for Lake Como

Lake Como

After flying in and spending two nights in Venice, my mom and I took a fast train from San Lucia station in Venice to Milano Centrale which took about 2.5 hours. We rode business class, and for 20 euros extra, it was completely worth it. From Milano Centrale, we hopped on a train to Varenna on Lake Como. Our train had zero air conditioning and we thought we were going to sweat to death. Luckily the windows do open and it was only an hour and a half long journey. During the last 45 minutes of the ride, we were surprised with stunning views on the left side of the train if you are facing forward, as the train travels right alongside Lake Como.

Varenna

We stayed at Hotel Montecodeno in Varenna. Although the hotel did not have picturesque views of the lake, it was a 5 minute walk from the train station, a 1 minute walk to the ferries, and a 5-8 minute walk to the shops and restaurants which makes it an ideal location for the price. Our room was simple with a spacious bathroom and excellent water pressure in the shower! It’s the little things! Oh, and it had complimentary wifi. Breakfast was provided in the mornings and included a selection of meats, cheeses, yogurt, cereals, biscuits and a variety of pastries. The chocolate croissant was absolutely delicious, and specialty coffees were brought right to our table.

Once we were all checked in and had a chance to change (like I said we were literally sweating), we strolled around the quaint picturesque town of Varenna. With so many lakeside dining options to choose from, we decided to dine at Bar Il Molo which apart from a breathtaking view had a large selection of pizzas, pastas, insalates, and more, all at a reasonable price.Varenna, Lake Como, Italy, Where to eat in Varenna, Things to do in Varenna, Things to do on Lake Como, What to see on Lake Como, Where to stay on Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Italy ItineraryVarenna, Lake Como, Italy, Where to eat in Varenna, Things to do in Varenna, Things to do on Lake Como, What to see on Lake Como, Where to stay on Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Italy ItineraryVarenna, Lake Como, Italy, Where to eat in Varenna, Things to do in Varenna, Things to do on Lake Como, What to see on Lake Como, Where to stay on Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Italy Itinerary Varenna, Lake Como, Italy, Where to eat in Varenna, Things to do in Varenna, Things to do on Lake Como, What to see on Lake Como, Where to stay on Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Italy Itinerary

Touring Lake Como

The pretty little towns nestled on the cliff side around the lake are accessible by boat, ferry, car and some are connected by train, which gives you an abundance of transportation and sightseeing options. We started off the day by hopping on the ferry and taking a 20 minute ride from Varenna to Bellagio.

Bellagio

Stroll the streets and take in the views of this postcard perfect town. You’ll find high end boutiques at every corner, and cute little shops in each corridor. Lakeside restaurants line the shores and there are no shortages of gelato to get your fill. After all, how often will you be touring the lakes of Italy?!

Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accomodation in Lake ComoBellagio, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accomodation in Lake ComoBellagio, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accomodation in Lake ComoBellagio, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accomodation in Lake ComoBellagio, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accomodation in Lake ComoBellagio, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accomodation in Lake Como

Menaggio

From Bellagio we ferried over to Menaggio. I was completely enamoured with the terra cotta coloured rooftops. In Menaggio there is a line up of jet boats waiting to be hired to take you on a private tour of the lake for an hour or two. If you are traveling with other people, then this is a great option because you can split the cost! Apart from Menaggio’s beauty, I personally preferred Varenna and Bellagio. Varenna might not be as fast paced as Bellagio, however it is truly charming and much less touristy, which was a big draw for me.Menaggio, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accomodation in Lake ComoMenaggio, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accomodation in Lake Como

How to pack

We arrived in Varenna on Lake Como in the early afternoon on June 14th. The weather was overcast the following morning which was a nice break from the hot sun, but by afternoon the sun had emerged and I luckily had brought a change of clothes and changed on the ferry between Bellagio and Menaggio.

I packed:

  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 2 black bodysuits
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 top
  • 1 sweater that I also wore on the plane
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 denim jacket
  • 1 comfy pair of walking sandals
  • 1 brimmed hat
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 1 zip up purse
  • 1 pair of joggers (for on the train)Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accommodation in Lake Como, What to pack for Lake Como

Recommendations

I really enjoyed the laid back vibe of Varenna. This lake side town is relaxing, beautiful, and like I mentioned, much less touristy than it’s rival Bellagio. Lake como is somewhere that I would love to vacation longer than just two nights, because it really is a holiday in itself! With that being said:

  • Make Varenna your home base. The hotels are reasonable, it is accessible by train, car and boat making it the most convenient to get in and out of
  • Check the ferry timetable. The ferries run pretty frequently, but it will help you to plan and maximize your time accordingly as well as ensure that you do not miss the last ferry back to your hotel
  • Dine lake side! There are some really afford restaurants right along the lake which make for a perfect evening

Varenna, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accommodation in Lake Como

Websites for planning your stay

I loved Lake Como. It is the perfect spot for a lakeside vacation. If you are planning to stay a while I would highly recommend renting a car! You’ll see a lot more and make the most of your time there.

You may also want to check out my Italy Outfit Round Up, where I rounded up all of my favourite outfits from my stay in Italy!

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48 hours in Venice, Italy, Venice, Venice Itinerary, Italy Itinerary, What to see in Venice, What to do in Venice, Where to stay in Venice, Getting around Venice, Venice Travel Guide

Getting there

This past June, my mom told me she wanted to go to Venice, so we decided to plan a trip to Italy on a whim. I personally like to take my vacation and travel to Europe in June. The kids are still in school (no offence kiddos!) the weather is warm, and it is not quite overrun with tourists. When my mom and I started planning our trip to Italy, we started off by finding out where we could fly in and out of. Air Canada flies to Rome and Air Canada Rouge flies to Milan and Venice, giving us several options. We flew from Vancouver to Venice via Toronto. Once we arrived at Marco Polo airport in Venice, we hopped on the Aerobus #5 for €8 to Piazzale Roma. It was about a 20 minute ride. From Piazzale Roma, we purchased a ticket for €7.50 each for the Vaporetto (Water Taxi) at Gate F going towards Rialto and San Marco. It was early afternoon when we boarded the Vaporetto, and it was packed! Since there are no cars in Venice, it is the most convenient mode of transportation unless you hire a private water taxi. We got off at the Rialto stop and walked 5 minutes to our hotel.

We stayed at Hotel Serenissina which we booked directly through booking.com. Hotel Serenissima is a centrally located venetian style hotel with colourful and charming decor and the most exquisite chandeliers. Our room was a good size with a little foyer in the entry way. There are no elevators, but our luggage was brought to our room for us. The hotel was exceptionally quiet given its central location, and looked out onto a little courtyard. The tiling in the bathroom was the prettiest shade of turquoise. The hotel staff were extremely friendly and advised us to leave our room key at the front desk when going in and out of the hotel for safety purposes. You will find a lot of the hotels will ask you to leave your key at hotels throughout the country.Hotel Serenissima, Hotels in Venice, Where to Stay in Venice, Venice, Italy, Venice Itinerary, Italy ItineraryVenice, Italy, Venetian Architecture, Chandelier, Hotel Serenissima, Venice Itinerary, Italy Itinerary, Venice in 48 Hours, Where to Stay in Venice, Hotels in Venice Italy

Since we only had 2 nights in Venice, we really didn’t have a moment to spare. We wandered over to San Marco square to take in the views of the ornate Basilica di San Marco, the Campanile di San Marco, a cathedral clock tower and Doge’s Palace. You can enter each attraction and admire the architectural feats for a fee. San Marco square is grand and flocked with tourists and pigeons alike. We then walked over to Riva degli Schiavoni and walked along the Venetian Lagoon. We were exhausted, but the views and the breeze off the water were so worth it.Basilica San Marco, St. Mark's Basilica, Venice, Italy, Italy Travel Guide, Italy Itinerary, Vacation, What to wear in Europe, Packing For Italy, Black off the shoulder dressBasilica San Marco, St. Marks Square, Venice, Italy, Travel Guide, Italy Itinerary, Italy in June, Venice in 48 hours, Touring Venice, Things to see in VeniceVenice, Italy, Touring Venice, Italy Itinerary, Grand Canal, Venice in 48 hours

One of the hardest things about traveling is deciding where and what to eat when you are absolutely exhausted. I am the most indecisive person ever, just ask A, and I am even worse when I am tired. We found two local grocery stores within a 5 minute walk from our hotel. See what I mean about being centrally located?  There is a Coop and Ponto Simply. Both stores have everything you need, and are perfect for shopping for provisions. We couldn’t fathom sitting at a restaurant like zombies, as neither of us slept a wink on either of our flights. We picked up some crackers, veggies, a selection of meats and cheeses and wine of course and had a picnic in our room which was just what we needed.

Breakfast was included in the mornings at our hotel from 7-10am. The breakfast was fabulous and so delicious. It had a selection of fresh juices, assorted meats and cheeses, a variety of yummy pastries and cakes, quiche, mini sandwiches on a croissant, ham and cheese melts, granola and muesli, tasty cookies and biscotti, which were perfect for dipping into their excellent coffee. The wonderful staff will bring coffee to your table in a carafe with a side of milk, but you also have the choice of requesting specialty coffees such as a latte, espresso, americano or a cappuccino. The staff were so helpful, and someone was always available to answer all of our questions.Hotel Serenissima, Hotels in Venice, Where to Stay in Venice, Venice, Italy, Venice Itinerary, Italy ItineraryItalian Breakfast, Breakfast in Italy, Serenissima Hotel, Hotels in Venice, Where to Stay in Venice, Italy, Venice Itinerary, Italian Itinerary

Dining

There is a restaurant or cafe at every turn. Those with a waterfront view are more on the pricier side, but if you are willing to get lost in the maze of streets, you will be able to find a variety of picturesque and budget worthy dining options.

Must sees and things to do

  • San Marco or St. Marks square in English. There lies a stunning basilica, Doge’s Palace and a clock tower that offers panoramic views for a price. Entry is not free into any of these landmarks.
  • T Fondaco Dei Tedeshi by DFS Galleria offer up spectacular rooftop views of Venice. Entry is free and so worth it!
  • You need to take in the views off the Rialto Bridge located next to the Rialto stop on the Vaporetto
  • Tour the Grand Canal. You can hire a gondola, a private water taxi or take the public water taxi (the vaporetto) which makes frequent stops along the canal. For €7.50, you can ride the length of the canal, one way, for 75 minutes. This is definitely worthwhile, as you will be able to take in all the sights. With frequent stops, you can hop on and hop off at no additional cost.  Keep in mind that this is the main mode of transportation up and down the canal, so if a ferry boat isn’t your thing, you may want to splurge and hire a private Gondola for an hour or two.
  • Wander the corridors, admire the architecture and get lost in the city

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T Fondaco Dei Tedeshi by DFS Galleria is a department store offering up stunning views for free from its top floor. You can reserve your time on their website, or stand in line. My mom and I waited in line for less than 5 minutes which worked out perfectly. For 15 minutes take in the views, admire the beauty of Venice and take lots of pictures.

If you have two-three full days in Venice, you may want to consider the neighboring islands of Burano and Murano. Burano is home to a lace museum and brightly colored buildings making it absolutely picturesque for photo ops. The glass museum is located in Murano. Murano glass can be found in almost every store around Venice. Their handcrafted pieces make a gorgeous keepsake.

How to pack

We arrived in Venice on the morning of June 12th and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect during our stay.

I packed:

  • 2 dresses
  • 1 lightweight black sweater
  • 1 comfy pair of walking sandals
  • 1 brimmed hat
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 1 zip up purse
  • 1 pair of joggers (for on the train)
  • 1 top

I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t pick this dress to wear specifically in Venice, because of course I did! I had it all planned out!

Venice, Grand Canal, Italy, Venice in 48 Hours, Things to see in Venice, Touring Venice Italy, Floral Maxi, Summer Outfit, What to wear in Italy, Packing for Italy, Italy ItineraryGrand Canal, Venice, Italy, Venice Itinerary, Venice in 48 Hours, Things to see in Venice, Things to do in Venice

Venice came and went far too quickly! When it was time to leave, we took the Vaporetto from Rialto to Ferrovia to catch a train to Milano Centrale from San Lucia station.

Recommendations

Travel by train: On the fast trains, it’s definitely worth it to pay a little extra to ride in first class. The seats are comfortable, they recline, and you are provided with a juice or coffee as well as a bottle of water and a sweet or salty snack depending on your departure time.

Where to stay: I recommend staying in San Marco. The location couldn’t be more central. You will be so grateful to be near transportation, all the attractions, shopping and an abundance of dining options. If you can find a hotel with breakfast included, even better! This saves you time and money, and most are buffet style with a large selection. Booking.com is great, some of their hotels have cancellation polices, however I also recommend contacting hotels directly, as they may offer a better rate. I always shop around when it comes to booking a hotel!

Websites for planning your time

The next stop on our trip was Lake Como, so stay tuned for Part Two of my Italy itinerary!

You may also want to check out my Italy Outfit Round Up, where I rounded up all of my favourite outfits from my stay in Italy!

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I recently discovered the website Zaful and was blown away by their large selection of apparel and accessories for women, and at such a reasonable price point! Style and affordability?! They speak my language! Currently they have some amazing sales on their site as they are blowing out their summer stock to make room for fall must haves.

A Velvet Dress

Velvet is one of my favourite looks for late fall and winter, and right now Zaful has some gorgeous velvet dresses on sale that you may want to get your hands on one before stock runs out!

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This navy cami dress is just dreamy and can be dressed up or down which I love! Because it is so easy to style, you will find yourself getting lots of wear out of this little number. I’ve linked it here

Just wait until you see the back of this sultry red wine coloured dress! Pair it with strappy black heels or booties and your favourite black moto jacket for an edgier look, or why not take it up a notch with a black faux fur coat for an evening on the town? The best thing about velvet is that the material is comfy, soft and does not wrinkle! This dress is on sale for under $23 and you can get it here

Floral Bikini Set

Florals and palm prints are really on trend this season, so of course I was drawn to these adorable floral bikini sets on Zaful’s website. I have linked styles that are on sale for under $20! Planning on escaping south this winter? It’s time to stock up!

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This swimsuit has the prettiest print palm print and I adore the pink background. Shop it here

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Beach please! I am just swooning over this blush floral suit! Linked here

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I think these might just be my favourite! If these suits don’t get you feeling vacation ready, I don’t know what will! You’ll find them both under $20 linked here and here

Wishlist

Summer isn’t over yet, and with everything on my wishlist under $30 there is still plenty of time to shop these adorable looks!

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I have yet to bring home a cute summer set, but I think I have found the perfect one! I love neutral tones, and I couldn’t be more drawn to the tropical palm print, I mean talk about vacation ready! You can shop it here

Striped Romper, Romper, Ruffles, Blue Romper, Summer Outfit, Summer Style, Women's Fashion, Outfits for Summer, Zaful, Zaful Wishlist

If you have seen any of my previous posts, then you know I am obsessed with the colour blue! The cut of this romper is super flattering and I adore the striped detail and ruffle hem around the bottom! I’ve linked it here

Striped Dress, Blue Dress, Dresses for Summer, Summer Dress, Summer Outfits, Summer Style, Women's Fashion, Zaful, Wishlist

What I love about wrap dresses, is they look good on everyone and are perfect for summer! I’ve linked this chic striped look here

Boho Dress, Embroidered Dress, Dresses for Summer, Summer Dress, Summer Outfit, Boho Style, Boho Chic, Women's Fashion, Zaful Dress, Zaful, Wishlist

The embroidery on this boho chic dress speaks for itself! It is not super loud, but definitely makes a statement! This is a great transitional piece that can be worn into the beginning of fall. It’s linked here

What’s on your Zaful wish list?

Zaful, Zaful Rompers

It’s romper season! Click on the banner for the best ideas of floral rompers and get yourself a new romper this summer!

Use 10% off code:ZFEN01

*In collaboration with Zaful

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With August right around the corner, I am rounding up my favourite outfits from July and sharing some of the best sales you will want to hit before the end of summer!

July Outfits, July Sales, Outfit Round Up, Sale Round Up, Summer Sales, Summer Style, Summer Fashion, Women's Fashion, Women's Outfits, Summer Outfits

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This has been the perfect little romper to romp around in on the beach with bae this summer and I CANNOT wait to get home and throw it back on! I love that the material is denim, because let’s be honest, denim goes with everything and it is so easy to style!

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The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale public access starts today! With brand new fall and winter items marked down, this is a sale you won’t want to miss! The sale runs until August 6th, when all of the great deals will be marked back up to full price. I have linked my top picks so far from the sale that will be sure to have you back to school or fall ready! If there was ever a time to stock up on fall essentials, the time is NOW!

Boots + Booties

My favourite kind of shoe! If I could wear a pair of boots all year round, I would! I’ve linked some super cute ones including some for winter that you will want to get your hands on and they are ALL under $165!

Shoes + Sneaks

I love how trendy sneakers have become. To me, there is no better combination than being comfortable and stylish! My fav’s come in under $60!

Jackets + Coats

Don’t get me started on these coats, I want them ALL! My moto jacket comes with me literally everywhere! I picked up a few faux fur coats last season, and let’s just say I am mildly obsessed! My fav picks are all under $140.

Sweaters + Cardis

The fall staple. Cozy, warm and perfect for layering! I kept my picks under $60!

Lounge + Athleisure

I’m all about affordability when it comes to lounge and athletic wear. You are pretty much just sweating or lounging around in it anyway, so it shouldn’t cost you a fortune! I’ve linked some athleisure wear you’ll definitely want to work out in and kept these favourites under $60.

Bags + Purses

Any excuse to purchase a new bag, is the perfect excuse to me! These beauties are between $43-160.

Dresses + Rompers

These pieces can be worn and styled right into fall! You’ll find them under $50.

 

I will be updating my favourite products throughout the sale, so be sure to check back because things are selling out fast!

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