A few weeks ago I spent 10 days in Italy and it was as you would expect, magical. Heres a recap
I started in Rome and was able to spend a few days leisurely exploring the city. I had been to Rome and hit most of the touristy spots before, so this trip was really about relaxing in little cafe’s & wine bars, shopping and just seeing where ever the day took me!
The only downfall of traveling in late August is that Italians take their summer vacations then, so a couple of restaurants I was dying to try were closed! Don’t worry, I still managed to eat well 🙂 Luckily I have a bunch of girlfriends who have spent time in Rome so I had a great list of restaurants to try! Some highlights were Gelato Teatro for the MOST amazing gelato (luckily my hotel was 2 min away by foot, not planned, just lucky!) Tip: I met someone who ran food tours in Italy and told me surefire way to pick out high-quality gelato is to choose the shops where the gelato is fairly flat and unassuming, as opposed to the big billowy tubs you often see. The latter is filled with additives while the former is more natural and flavorful. I tested this out and it’s definitely true!
I also loved La Fraschetta (amazing cacio e pepe) and Checco er Carratetierre for a no frills authentic Roman experience. Cafe Grecco is also adorable and picturesque and is a famous cafe where John Keats & Lord Byron used to hang! Expensive but definitely worth a trip for a pastry and espresso (or champagne!)
I also HIGHLY recommend taking a cooking class at Cooking Classes in Rome. Chef Andrea was warm, funny and knowledgeable. The class was five hours and we prepared everything from scratch. At the end of the class the students sat down to the four course meal we made, complete with wine pairings.
I stayed in the Campo de Fiore area for the first part of my trip, and Trastevere for a night before my AM flight back to the states. I recommend both, Campo de Fiore was very central and conveniently located, and Trastevere had amazing restaurants and bars.
Next took a train to Naples and a ferry to Capri. I can honestly say Capri was one of the most glamorous places I ever visited. Capri is known for being the go to choice for celebrities like Sophia Loren and even the Kennedy’s and I can see why. It’s a beautiful, mountainous little island filled with designer shops, bars and amazing food. I stayed for two nights and could have spent five. Some people advise just doing a day trip from the Amalfi Coast but I disagree, as the magic of Capri is best felt when the crowds die down! During the day it’s a tourist trap so it can take a long time to get from one place to another, and you want to allow yourself ample time to explore both Capri city and the quieter Ana Capri.
Definitely take a boat tour around the island, it’s the best way to take in all the sights like the Blue Grotto, bottle of Mireval is optional (kind of!)
Positano & Amalfi Coast
Next I made my way over to the Amalfi Coast where I spent most of my time in Positano! It was even more beautiful in person, pictures really don’t do it justice! I stayed at Hostel Brikette which I highly recommend, especially if you’re a solo traveler & on a budget. The shared rooms are between 25-50 euro, and while I rented my own room and it wasn’t necessarily cheap, compared to even mid range hotels in Positano it was steal. It was clean, had a great breakfast menu, $6 bottles of wine and cheap cocktails served all day, along with a gorgeous balcony overlooking the ocean. I spent time at both Spiagga Grande & Fornillo beach and have to stay I preferred the latter as is was a bit less crowded and more peaceful.
Other highlights were a delicious lunch at Chez Black where I tried fried zucchini pasta ( a speciality on the Amalfi coast) and fabulous drinks at the Oyster Champagne bar at La Sirenusa, on the the most beautiful hotels in Positano! Another memorable dinner was the one I had at Next 2, definitely grab the meatballs and polenta cakes! Amazing wine selection as well.
I only had three full days in Positano so I wasn’t able to do as many day trips as I’d hoped, like explore some of the beaches in Praiano, but I was able to make it over to Ravello and I highly recommend making it a priority to visit! Ravello is higher up on the mountainside so it has a unmatched view of the coastline. Very quaint and serene, its the perfect day trip to escape the bustle of Positano during high season. I didn’t get a chance to dine at Belmond Hotel Caruso because it wasn’t open for lunch at the time but if you’re able to, definitely stop in, it’s beautiful historic luxury hotel.
I loved my taste of Italian summer, there’s really nothing like it. As soon as I got home I started brainstorming my next trip, because I always love having something to look forward to… open to suggestions!