Tag Archives: Italy

Italy part III: the Amalfi Coast

After Rome, we drove to the beautiful, dramatic Amalfi Coast for the remainder of our honeymoon. It’s a bit touristy and requires taking a downright terrifying road to get there, but it’s difficult not to love any place with views like this.

We were lucky to have a room with a balcony overlooking the sea in the not-so-touristy town of Praiano. Situated between the towns of Amalfi and Positano, it was calm and quiet with a gelateria, a café, and a handful of restaurants.

We spent our days here hiking through the hills, wandering down to the beach, drinking copious amounts of limoncello, and eating, eating, eating. It’s an incredibly beautiful area, with lemon groves tucked into the hillsides.

Our second day in Praiano was a bit cloudy, but we spent most of the day outside and even wandered down to the seaside where Marcus put his feet in the water. It took about 30 minutes to climb down the thousand small steps to get there, but we were the only ones on the path. We smelled the flowers, watched millipedes crawl past, and touched the numerous lemons hanging from the trees.

After we hiked back up from the seaside, we treated ourselves to an espresso and limoncello at the local café.

On our third day, we went to the town of Amalfi and toured the Cathedral and an old paper mill. We meandered through the backstreets and found a café in a cave, but left soon afterwards to see what Positano had to offer.

Gelato, clear skies, and blue water in Positano. Just down the coast from Amalfi, but somehow the skies parted during the 30-minute drive. We walked through the town, enjoyed a delicious seafood lunch on a terrace overlooking the sea, soaked up the sun’s warmth, and walked to the waterside with gelato in hand. We left the next day, driving the rest of the coast towards Sorrento and through Naples, back to Rome for one last meal of cacio e pepe.

Italy part II: when in Rome

Rome is just fantastic. We arrived on the evening after the wedding, whipped past the ruins in a taxi en route to the hotel, and promptly called it a night. We woke fresh in the morning and headed to the first sight of the day: the Vatican. Standing in Piazza San Pietro is a beautiful experience, but the long lines deterred us from visiting the basilica or museum. Instead, we set out on a meandering walk to Trastevere, where we spent the rest of the morning.

The early afternoon was dedicated to the ruins: the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, and numerous other sights that one simply stumbles upon when you round a corner.

After getting far enough away from the tourist spots, we turned down an alleyway and headed for the first restaurant that served cacio e pepe and carciofi (roasted artichokes). Cacio e pepe is basically fresh pasta with sheep’s cheese and pepper. Simple and delicious. Throw in some wine, bread, and sparkling water, and we had one amazing meal.

We returned to the hotel for an afternoon siesta, before setting out for the evening. First to the Pantheon and then to Piazza Navona. We headed into the side streets again for dinner, stopping first by a fantastic café for an aperitivo.

The night ended with a stroll by the Trevi Fountain, a magnificent sight day or night. For me, it was a great return to Rome and I was able to show Marcus most of the major sights in just one day. He loved the city and we could have happily spent more time there, but we had a date with the Amalfi Coast.

Italy part I: a return to Trastevere

The first highlight of our honeymoon to Italy has to be our stroll through the Roman neighborhood of Trastevere, where I lived and studied the summer of 2004. I couldn’t wait to show Marcus the streets I traversed, in the area I loved so much. We walked to Trastevere on a quiet Monday morning, enjoying the view of the city and then walking down into the neighborhood. There is something about the colorful buildings, the laundry hanging to dry, and the windowsills covered in flowers that just seems so Italian. We made our way to Piazza Santa Maria, where we had the obligatory cappuccino and glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. The church was more beautiful than I remembered and a quite decent band filled the square with music.

a road trip in Italy

In one month, I will marry my best friend. In one month and one day, he and I will board a plane to Rome. I can’t wait to show Marcus the Eternal City, where I once had an apartment in Trastevere and spent my mornings visiting museums with my art history class and afternoons watching Italian films. Now I will be going with my husband, on our honeymoon. Excited? Yes.

After two days in Rome, we will head out on a road trip to the Amalfi Coast. National Geographic calls it the drive of a lifetime. I just hope it isn’t too terrifying. Taking the infamously curvy road is the only way to reach the hillside villas tucked along the coastline. Well, then. We shall begin with an adventure!

Photo 1 by marin, photo 2 by julia

A Weekend Away

Feeling an itch to get away for a weekend. The only remaining question: where to go? Floating through my head are ideas of France, Italy, Spain, and Ireland. Paris is only a train ride away, the other locations probably require a short flight. Just a chance to walk over some unfamiliar cobblestones and breathe in the air of another city.

(Above: Image of Venice from here. Below: Image of Paris from here. Image of Madrid from here. Image of Dublin from here.)

Today, I Could Be…

…walking through the streets of Trastevere. Yes, I could handle that today. Trastevere, the neighborhood in Rome where I lived and studied during the summer of 2004, which prompted a love affair with the unfamiliar and the ancient.