This recent influx of posts is brought to you by my guilty conscience. Guilty because it’s 2017 and I haven’t accomplished everything on last year’s to-do list. One of those items was to catch up on my travel post backlog.
It’s not like I was completely lazy in 2016. I moved between various rentals and AirBnBs in Seattle while house hunting (ugh). I traveled back and forth to London to be with my now husband (yay!). I held down my Seattle-based career (somehow). And most importantly I spent more time with family and friends. Blogging took a back seat. I’m okay with it; I managed everything else without a mental breakdown. Yet my stubborn personality can’t let that nagging 2016 to-do list go.
So let’s talk Italy.
Rewind to July 2015. My friend Zahra visits me from Seattle on an epic farewell to Europe tour that includes six days in Rome and the Amalfi Coast. Ciao, paradise!
2 Days in Rome
We started our first day in Rome at the Borghese Gardens where we rented a golf cart to tour the expansive grounds. You can imagine the giddiness that ensued as we dodged pedestrians and slow-strolling Italians while navigating the park trails. The rest of the day was dedicated to fan favorites like the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the Trevi Fountain (unfortunately closed for repairs but since reopened). We spent the second day with Rome in a Day Tours. True to its name, we walked all over town for eight hours. The Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peters Basilica were all included. It was a whirlwind, but I’d do it again.
3 Days in Sorrento and Positano
Leaving behind the hot sidewalks of Rome we headed towards the beaches of the Amalfi Coast. We caught the train from Rome to Naples Central (1 hr) then a regional coastal train to Sorrento (1 hr). We spent the first evening wandering the narrow streets of old town. The following morning we boarded the bus to Positano for the day. As the bus rounded its tenth impossibly sharp hillside curve, we caught our first glimpse of the famed town. Homes clinging to cliff ledges seemed to be held in place by bougainvillea roots. The entire scene cascaded down to a sandy beach dotted with colorful umbrella tops, then framed by royal blue water. In short, stunning.
For our last day in Sorrento we decided not to tempt fate again with a bus ride to Positano but rather experience a beach recommended by locals. We caught the train from Sorrento to Meta. Meta’s long sandy beach had plenty of shaded lounge chairs for us to park for an afternoon.
1 Day in Capri
You’ll want to venture to the island of Capri. Who doesn’t? It’s a quick ferry from Sorrento. We joined a boat tour into the Blue Grotto and took the funicular to visit the hillside shops and restaurants in central Capri. Anacapri and its Mount Solaro chair lift also came highly recommended, but we didn’t make it before closing time.
As always, Italy left me wanting more. More beach time. More gelato. More carbs. Mostly, more time to embrace the Italian lifestyle.
Know Before You Go:
- At Italian beaches its standard to pay a few euros for a chair and umbrella, and it’s worth it. Fees often include toilets, showers and wifi. We paid 5-10 euros each for a sunbed and shared umbrella.
- Be warned, the months of July and August in Italy are hot and crowded with other tourists. Try to go outside of peak season if you can. We didn’t have flexibility in our dates, so we made it work with plenty of gelato breaks and hotels with air conditioning.
- From Sorrento many people tour Pompeii. We had to cancel due to the heat, but if you go it’s best to book a tour guide.
- In Rome, we enjoyed Hotel Roma Vaticano for the location and customer service. Breakfast was also included.
- In Sorrento, we found this AirBnB. It was a 15-20 minute walk from the center of town, but we didn’t mind.