Denouement Dashboard - Italy

Denouement Dashboard - Italy

This is the place I will cover the stats of each country as we go.

As usual, follow along at:

Anyway, let's get into it:

Italy: 10-19/11/23

(After we left France, we drove back through Spain to drop the car off at Madrid, before flying Madrid-Milan to start the Italian block. So I went and updated the distances and costs in the Spain Dashboard.)


Rough rules: I will count the flight (or bus) TO that country as tracks IN that country.


  • Madrid - Milan = 1,151 km


  • Milan - Manarola = 157 km
  • Trains up and down Cinque Terre = about 30 km
  • Manarola - Levanto = 12 km
  • Levanto - Milan = 148 km
  • Then probably about 15 km of metro trains in Milan


  • About 20km worth of Ubers around Milan


  • 59.2 km

Total = 1,592.2 km


Rough rules: I will count the flight (or bus) TO that country as an expense IN that country.

Total expense: $5,923.16 AUD

Total Days: 10 Days inclusive

Expense per day = $592.30 AUD/Day

Expenses Breakdown (mathematical, not emotional):

Hilarious that ‘Flights’ drops down to the ‘Others’ category for European flights.

Travel Bingo:

  • The Influencer - IIIIIIIIIIII

The little towns of Cinque Terre are absolutely ripe for Influencers, even in the off season.

An explanation of Travel Bingo is here.

Relevant Media:

  • The Disney film ‘Luca’ is effectively set in Cinque Terre

Culinary Corner by a Non-Foodie:

  • Couple of things here. Food does not magically become such high quality that you swoon and faint at the first taste….just because you are in Italy. There is good food and bad food. There is lots of good pasta. There is lots of variable quality ice cream. Some places in central Milan are just phoning it in and serving slop because they have a captive audience of tourists with nowhere else to eat. Italy is not magic.
  • A practical tip is to note that the coastal towns really shut down for the off season. So you can literally struggle to find a place to eat sometimes.
  • The only place open in Manarola when we arrived on our first night was Ristorante Marina Piccola which served excellent pasta and seafood dishes.
Google Maps
Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

Tips and Tricks:

  • We visited all five of the little Cinque Terre towns, just because we could. They are nice to walk through.
  • La Spezia is not nice. Don’t bother.
  • For Italian trains, validate your ticket. Once you have selected a train route and a time of departure and paid and literally had a ticket printed out in to your hand with those details printed on it….you still have to jam the paper ticket into the little booth that punches a hole out of it. Otherwise you’ll get fined by an unreasonable Italian woman.


  • Beware staying in a little coastal town in the offseason for too long. The towns are tiny. And…Geriatric. Practically no one lives there. So once you have done a few walks and eaten at the one or two open restaurants, that’s it.
  • After Manarola, we had about 5 days scheduled in Levanto. And we had to bug out early and go back to Milan. There was nothing open and nothing to do. Aside from one cafe which seemed to be staffed by polite gangsters.
  • Milan seems to be the Northern Italian transit hub. North to Como and Switzerland. South to the coast. But the city itself is nice to spend a few days in. It is, weirdly, the most graffitied city I have ever seen.


  • Italy is a bit like Spain in that the place, overall, is tired and aging and poor. Italians in general are not able to keep up with cost of living. So some of the places you’ll visit, if you take a peak in the off season after the facades have been taken down, are tired and quiet.
  • The trains in this place work. Even though the classic Italianism of “train is cancelled, will not elaborate” is not uncommon, there are dozens of trains a day going everywhere and, overall, they work really well.
  • Italian food is fine. It is not in a league unto itself. (Ducks as chair is thrown by foodies everywhere…)

Thanks for reading along.

The next country update will come... after the next country.

Weekly updates will come...weekly.