Congratulazioni! You just booked your first trip to Italy! How exciting. What’s next? Don’t forget your masks (KN95/FFP2) and your vaccine card, because yes, covid still exists in Italy. Double check your baggage beforehand, 15lbs for a carry on and 50lbs for a checked bag. Because trust me, you do not want to be in the airport fiddling around with your suitcases. While sitting in the airport waiting 2 hours for your flight, you can check the money conversion rates and do some mental math and learn military time. It’s super easy once you get the hang of it. Try to sleep on the plane, you will be jetlagged, and it will make the ride easier. Welcome to Italy! 

So, you survived the flight and feel super jetlagged. The first day in Prato, take it easy and explore the town. Enjoy a nice croissant and Capuchino at Mangolfi, while looking at the beautiful San Francesco church. It was built in 1331 and was one of the first buildings in Prato built of brickwork instead of stone. Next, you can visit the textile museum and library. Prato is very famous for their textiles. The library holds loads of Tuscany history. After that, visit the Castello dell ’Imperatore. This castle was built for the medieval emperor and King Sicily Fredrick II and remains unfinished. Lastly, pay attention to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. This cathedral is Roman catholic and was the seat of the Bishop of Prato from 1954.  

Now that you’ve learned about the city of Prato, it’s time to brave the train and take it to Florence. Don’t forget your masks! Once at the train station, you can either get a ticket on your phone, or purchase a paper one and stamp it at the green kiosk. Your first stop in Florence is the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. You are going to want to spend hours looking at it. Right behind it is the Duomo, you can climb all 300 stairs if you’d like, the view is amazing. It took 140 years to build. Next, you can visit the Leonardo interactive museum, which is dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci and has been open for 20 years. Lastly, you should stop by the Pitti Palace. This Palace was purchased in 1550 and was chosen by Cosimo l de’Medici and his wife Eleanor of Toledo as the new Grand Dual Residence.