Euro-(Road)Trip! A Ten-Day Road Trip From Switzerland to Monaco & Italy
Being based in Switzerland was such a blessing for us; you couldn’t be any more connected to Europe than in its center! In a tiny country like this, you can’t possible drive three hours in any one direction and not be in a new country! In Zurich, we were about 40 minutes to Germany, 45 minutes to Lichtenstein, three hours to France, and three hours to Italy. You bet we took advantage of his time off of work and my 100% remote part-time job!! Off we went in his little sports car!
First, we traveled from Zurich to Monaco. Monaco is a tiny, teeny, tiny country in the south of France (but not France of course, its Monaco). We had planned to leave early in order to beat out in-to-work traffic, but someone takes too long to get ready and we were late, therefore hitting a good chunk of traffic getting out of Zurich. It took us until about mid-afternoon to arrive in Monaco and we were pumped to be there and get out of the car!
The ride there was insane, I wish I would have taken pictures but I was honestly too afraid for my life to really move... the highway that takes you through the south of France is a narrow and stilted bridge over the ocean, going in and out of tunnels dug out of the side of the cliff. If you're not a fan of driving over bridges or threw cliffs (me), this place is a nightmare. However, its also gorgeous! We were very surprised surprised by the hefty toll due at the end of this highway (if I remember correctly it was 40 euros) and thankful that we had the cash on-hand as we were not expecting this cost!
In Monaco, we stayed at an apartment style hotel, we had a balcony, bathroom, kitchenette, and parking space. There was no lobby or breakfast, but we found the receptionists helpful and friendly. Irfan is real big on asking receptionists and hotel-workers their advice, favorite restaurants, and other random questions 😉
A 10 minuted walk to the harbor edge, we ventured down (its hilly!) to check out the restaurants and the views.
We only had a few days in Monaco, so we planned out what we wanted to do. Irfan had actually been before with his guy friends so he had some idea of what was cool and what wasn't. He was excited to go back to the beach, so we made sure to do that! The beach was beautiful, with great views of the city and surrounding cliffs. There were also floating docks to swim out to and play on, which was totally our thing!
The second highest priority was to climb up the hill to see the castle!
From Monaco, we jumped back in the car to head to Italy! We had planned on going from here to Venice, but then the weather forecast showed rain in Venice, so we googled for any place in Italy where it wasn't raining and head out for there!
We ended up going to Rimini, which is a pretty well-known beach town for those in Europe but I had never heard of. Irfan scored an amazing deal on a Spa Hotel on the beach, and we LOVED it! We had an amazing time in Rimini, taking advantage of the spa, swimming in the pool and the ocean, ordering drinks at the bar, taking the bikes out to adventure and ride to restaurants. Eating pizza and seafood. Our major complaint was that the beaches are not public! There are only a couple public beaches and they're probably far away from your hotel, so in order to swim you actually have to pay for a chair to leave your towel and whatever else. We both were like, well we don't need nor want a chair, lets just drop our stuff and go swimming! But, it didn't work out all that well for us so the next day we ventured out (on our bikes of course) to a public beach.
View of the beach from our hotel room
awesome old historical columns!
We were sad to leave Rimini after three days, but excited for our next destination: Venice! Again, Irfan had been to Venice before on vacation with his family, so he knew he liked it there and thought that I would really love it. Well, well, turns out I didn't love it all that much. It's really incredible how the water and the city integrated with each other, but for me, it would be so much cooler to be taking a boat around the city.
By the time we left Venice, I think we were both getting pretty tired. It's tiring traveling and having fun all the time 😉 ! We made the drive up to Milan for another couple of nights in Italy. We explored the city the first day, and found ourselves tired of walking around a foreign city, venturing to eat random foods, and exploring. So, we decided the next day we would go check out the World Fair.
We did not expect to be at the expo for too long, but we had such a good time and didn't want to leave! We debated staying another night (as we literally did on every trip we ever went on) but decided to save the money and just make the three hour journey back to Zurich that night.
After a long day exploring the countries at the world expo, we got back to the car and made the trip home to Zurich. I am very cautious about road safety and someone (cough*irfan) has a history of falling asleep in the car, so I made sure we both took in a heavy dose of caffeine and we had a rule to both stay away the entire ride. We switched driving halfway through and made it home around midnight! We had a fantastic time on our road trip and its a super do-able and fun trek! The drive was very beautiful in several spots and I loved seeing all parts of Italy!!