My Italy Trip Recap (and My Favorite Rewards Redemptions)

I recently got back from a ten-day trip in Italy with my husband, my best friend, and her husband. It was my bestie’s 40th birthday and they have never been to Italy before. We wanted to see the popular sights, but we also wanted to drink limoncello, do a lot of people watching, and have a ton of fun.

We definitely accomplished our goals, starting our trip in Rome and ending in Venice. While we mostly paid in cash (especially for food and entertainment), I did use points and miles to stretch our travel budget further. Here are some of my favorite redemptions we made to get to Italy and enjoy the scenery while we were there.

We cashed in 57,500 American AAdvantage miles to fly Business class from Indianapolis-Rome.

We forked over some extra miles to fly Business class for the overnight flight to Italy, hoping we could get some sleep. I don’t think I slept more than a few hours, but I know I was infinitely more comfortable flight 8+ hours in a lie-flat seat versus roughing it in economy. The food was good (I had bourbon salmon and a side salad along with dessert) and I watched a few movies before crashing until breakfast was served. I would 10/10 redeem American miles to fly Business class again.

We booked an Amalfi Coast boat tour from Rome.

We also booked a boat trip to the Amalfi Coast from Rome, mostly because we didn’t have enough time in our itinerary to spend a few nights there. The tour, booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards with a company called Walks of Italy, took us to Positano for a few hours, to the small town of Amalfi, and to an organic lemon farm high up on the seaside cliffs. This tour was around 13,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per person, and it was totally worth it!

We toured the Colosseum.

Although we’ve toured the Colosseum in Rome a few times already, we thought our friends would enjoy hearing the backstory of such an iconic monument. We cashed in 15,901 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for the four of us to tour the Colosseum with a guide, including entrance through the Gladiator’s Gate. I thought this tour was well worth it, as it also included skip-the-line entry into the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

We did an electric bike tour through Tuscany.

I absolutely loved the electric bike tour we took through the hills of Tuscany. This tour set us back around 6,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per person, and it took us through the hills of Fiesole, to an organic farm, and through the city streets of Florence. The tour also included a wine and appetizer tasting at the end, and it was one of the highlights of our trip!

Have you ever cashed in points to get to Italy? When?

 

[Image Source: Wikimedia/ Jimmy Walker]

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