We were both really looking forward to this section of the trip. This wasn't the first trip to Italy for either of us and I can honestly say that it was just as aromatic, romantic, charming and flavourful the second time around.
My mom's mom was Italian and (as I've mentioned on the blog before) we spent a lot of time with Italian family growing up. They were all the cliches. Boisterous, gesture-heavy in conversations and filled my childhood memories with so much laughter. I felt particularly akin to my Nana - a dreamer, a maker of amazing food from nothing, a traveler and a lover of the good things in life. Long story short, lots of things make Italy feel just like home. The smell of real, home-cooked tomato sauce, the taste of good parmesan, food made from ingredients straight from the garden - Tyler and I took it all in like water in a desert.
We flew Santorini - Athens and then Athens - Rome. From there we rented a car and drove to a spot on the coast - Sorrento. One of our favourite things on road trips is to listen to local radio. Whether you understand the language or not, it's always fun to immerse yourself in it. So with Italia-pop blasting from our little VW Up! we made our way to the water.
Sorrento is a bit touristy but really charming, with lots of streets filled with shops and food to explore and taste. We got in pretty late and we were starving! We quickly dropped our things at our wacky pastel filled hotel (booked last minute through hotwire) and made our way to the first open restaurant we could find. We were so lucky to stumble into Ciao Toto. We were a little hesitant to try it as it was super quiet and empty when we arrived. But it was late and we were hungry and tired - and did I mention HUNGRY? It was arguably one of the best meals of our whole trip! The pizza's were about $6.00CAD and were huge, thin and cooked to perfection. The owner was so lovely and kind. I often dream about this pizza now and love that it was a winner from a totally unsuspecting place.
We spent the next day just wandering and taking it all in before heading off to our AirBNB down the coast.
Gelato at Primavera Gelateria in Sorrento. This place is plastered with photos of famous people eating gelato here. At least I assume they're famous in Italy - we didn't recognize many beyond the pope. I got Creamy Lemon and Kinder Bueno and they were seriously good. Tyler wasn't as wild about his, and the place was a tad pricey, but you wouldn't have to twist my arm to get me back in there - just saying.
After the day exploring Sorrento we were ready to hit the road and head to our AirBNB on the Amalfi Coast. I was so excited to stay in this place. I had beenresearching for a bit when I booked this and l couldn't wait to see the views in person. I cannot say enough about how much it exceeded our expectations when we actually arrived. Our host was such a sweetheart too. During our week long stay we got to try out both the upstairs and the downstairs suites. The rooms were a little wacky inside, but it was clean and the views were incredible. There was even a window in the shower to watch the ocean in the morning while you washed. On top of that, you could pop directly across the street to go to Furore beach to swim. It's often hard to find places to park and get down to the water on the coast. The whole area around where we were staying was really cliffy and the driving was super crazy (Tyler aced it by the way!), so being able to walk easily to a beach was a huge plus.
So, the next few pictures are from our trip into Naples. It's funny, people kept telling us how horrible Naples is. Thieves, gypsies, crime etc. We actually had a lot fun exploring here. It's definitely a little grittier and less charming than other Italian spots, but it's also got a great city feel. Lots of great shopping, lots of quirky back alleys and it felt really stimulating after spending about 2 weeks just purely vacationing. Obviously we kept our belongings close and were careful about where we went, but all in all it was fun!
Sorry this post took so long. I have a few really cool projects in the works right now that are eating up my time and attention. Hopefully I can share with you soon!
Stay tuned for Berlin, Barcelona, Paris and Iceland!