amalfi coast

Weekly Favorites 12/07/2017 - Life Update from Rome and Amalfi Coast

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To catch everyone up with what's been going on here the past month or so, here's a photo roundup of my time in Rome, my recent trip to the Amalfi Coast and some other fun things!

Amalfi Coast

My friend Jess came to visit last week and we definitely fit a lot in. The morning after she got in, we left for a weekend trip to the Amalfi Coast. I booked a hotel in Praiano, Casa Colomba, which is along the coast between Positano and Amalfi and it ended up being the perfect spot for us. It was nice to be a bit more removed from the crowds in either location and also have easy access to the entire coast. Our room had an amazing view and we actually spent our first day lounging on the rocky Praiano beach, followed by a great seafood dinner in nearby Atrani.

amalfi coast

amalfi coast

We spent our second day exploring Positano and hanging out on the water there. I love shopping while I'm in Positano because there are so many beautiful clothing boutiques and ceramic shops. I bought a couple of things as gifts and also had to make a last-minute bikini purchase as I left mine back at the room. Thankfully I found one on sale because the prices in Positano are notoriously high!

amalfi coast

amalfi coast

We rented a boat for a few hours and took it out for a ride along the coast. It was such a fun way to see the area that I hadn't done before and we had a lot of fun. The water there is absolutely unbelievable, so swimming and boating was incredible. We didn't reserve anything in advance; to rent the boat we just checked at a few stands around Praiano and Positano, eventually taking one out from Positano because it seemed easier logistically. Prices run from €100-€300 for a couple of hours to a full day and it was relatively easy to drive without much experience!

amalfi coast

American Holidays in Italy

It's always somewhat strange to celebrate holidays like Thanksgiving and the 4th of July in a foreign country and can sometimes leave you missing home more than usual. Depending on the holiday, I'll try to do a fun event with friends and family, while this year for the 4th of July, I actually worked at an American ex-pat event. I helped out at a booth for the company I'm currently doing social media for and ended up having a fun day talking to Americans living in Rome, eating burgers and being surrounded by festive decorations. Thankfully I also had my America-loving boyfriend and my American friend visiting to make it even better.

amalfi coast

Beat the Heat

With temperatures in the high 90's in Rome, it's a struggle to go out in the middle of the day. I've been regulating my body temperature the Italian way, with cold caffe "shakeratos" (coffee shaken with ice), midday spritzes and plenty of gelato breaks. We do have airconditioning units in our apartment but compared to being back in the States, here it feels as though you'll never cool down completely. I guess it's just a great excuse for an all-ice cream diet ;)

amalfi coast

amalfi coast

Italian classics

With visitors I roll out all of the Roman classics and we end up eating out quite a lot. Last week, I made it back to da Enzo 29 and got a plate of Amatriciana and Coda alla Vaccinara. It didn't keep me cool at all but at least we were seated outdoors and I made a reservation 2 days ahead this time. We also heard people asking for the next available reservation and it was ONE WEEK OUT. So people, call ahead at this famous Trastevere spot.

amalfi coast

amalfi coast

Luckily I can learn lots of Italian dishes from Edoardo's mom, Franca. Jess was very excited to try her hand at gnocchi with pesto and I don't think she was disappointed. A little background though— gnocchi making takes a lot of physical strength and it isn't for the weak of heart. Franca assured us that it's a little easier if you mash the potatoes when they're freshly boiled. It was such a great afternoon and we learned how to make a pretty delicious dish by the end of it.

That's about it! It's definitely been busy around here recently, but everything is starting to slooow down for the hot summer months in Rome. Hopefully this means that I can get back to posting more frequently. Edoardo and I are both really excited for our trip to the States and a little beach getaway that we have planned for August, but I have a lot more to share about summer in Italy before heading out!

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Visiting the Amalfi Coast: Why Ravello should be on your list

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While I’ve written previously about the Amalfi coast (what to do in Positano, how to get to the Amalfi Coast, where to stay), I only touched briefly on the beautiful town of Ravello. Because it doesn’t have access to the beach, many people skip over Ravello and head only to Positano, Amalfi and Sorrento. I think that for this very reason (a slightly smaller number of tourists) you should check out Ravello on your next trip to the Amalfi Coast. Here are some of my reasons why to visit Ravello when you're going to the Amalfi Coast. ravello

The trip up

The trip up the mountain from Amalfi to Ravello isn’t an easy one. When I went with my friend, we tried to wait for one of the regional buses but it never came and we ended up hailing a private tour bus as it drove past us, which I wouldn’t recommend. But if you take your time and stop for the view along the way, it can actually be quite enjoyable. Our B&B owner also told us that there’s a nice walk up a small path (vs. the main road) that takes you through private land and vineyards. I’ll definitely take this way up next time, but be prepared for somewhat of a hike as those stairs are killers. Otherwise, you can always call a taxi.

ravello

The view

While all of the Amalfi Coast has gorgeous views, Ravello is another story. It sits high up on a mountain and overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea and the other towns along the coast. I didn’t get a good look at it during the day but at night it was amazing. All of the lights are visible along the entire coast and you can see absolutely everything. Go for the quick climb and stunning photos.

ravello

Full of boutiques and artisan shops

Ravello, and the Amalfi Coast in general, is well known for their artisan products. This small town was full of ceramic shops, art galleries and stores with beautiful handmade products. It’s so nice to walk around and shop before lunch or dinner and you can find a great souvenier for your trip.

ravello

Delicious restaurants and aperitivo spots

Ravello has some fantastic restaurants and cafes. Walking around, we saw so many different locations and almost all of them had outdoor seating. I had a real treat yo’ self moment with my girlfriend and had a fabulous dinner on the very top balcony of Hotel Palumbo. It really stood out in terms of location, atmosphere and quality of food, but there are so many options that it’s hard to choose a bad spot to eat.

ravello

 

More so than even the town of Amalfi itself, Ravello is a great stop along an Amalfi Coast tour and something that I wouldn't miss. Its higher elevation gives it a special feel and makes you feel like you're a million miles away from the real world. Perfect for anyone on vacation or just wishing to get away for a bit...

For more info about the Amalfi Cast, check out my other posts here:

Where to Stay in Amalfi: B&B Punta Civita

Things to Do in Positano (in a day)

How to Get to the Amalfi Coast (from Rome)

Things to do in Positano (In a Day)

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positano When people imagine the Italian coast, they think of gorgeous scenery, mountainside towns, and little houses painted in rainbow colors. Positano is all this and more. This small town on the Amalfi Coast sits between Sorrento and Amalfi and has been a popular tourist destination for ages. Celebrity sightings are common and during the height of summer, accommodations are booked, restaurants are full,  and there's barely enough room to move around.

However, Positano is a classic beach destination for a reason; it's definitely worth a trip if you're staying near Rome or Naples and have a couple of free days. After taking a trip of my own to the Amalfi Coast and Positano earlier this month, I've created a list of things to do in Positano in a day.

  • Go shopping

Shopping is an important activity in Positano, which is visible from the overwhelming number of shops that line the streets. Everywhere you turn, there is a clothing, food, or homeware store waiting for you. The regional products that Positano and the Amalfi Coast in general are known for are handmade ceramics (featuring coastal scenes, fish, and lemons), linen clothing, made-for-you leather sandals, and speciality lemon products. Whether you're shopping for family, friends, or just for yourself, it needs to be on your list.

positano

positano

  • Sample limoncello

The lemons surrounding Positano, Amalfi, and Capri are said to be some of the best in the world. Locals make entire meals featuring lemons and offer many portable alternatives for travelers, the most notable being limoncello. Specifically from this region of Italy, limoncello is a well-known Italian after-dinner drink, which Italians use to digest after a large meal. The store that we bought limoncello from was I Sapori e Profumi di Positano. They claim to have been making limoncello from a family recipe since 1986, which are good enough credentials for me.

positano limoncello

  • Have a picnic on the beach

Going to the beach is a nice way to break up a day of shopping and the view from Positano's beach is stunning. The view from the water isn't to be missed, which is why I recommend taking a ferry or  boat ride at some point during your stay. Because we were still full from dinner the night before, we decided to have a light lunch on the beach. We picked up sandwiches from the butcher's shop, filled with regional meat and cheese (always) and some drinks/fresh fruit from the market next door. Our panini were really filling and delicious and we were finally able to relax after days of train and bus travel. If you time your visit right, it might also coincide with the hundreds of American study abroad students who come to Amalfi with tour groups and you too can hear the fascinating conversations about study abroad life that I did!

positano beach

positano

  • Hike the "Path of the Gods" (Sentiero degli Dei)

This famous hike takes you from one part of the Amalfi Coast to another, with breathtaking views of the mountains and sea. While the total distance is 6 km, you can also shorten the trek to include only a portion of the path. Most people recommend walking west to east, starting in Bomerano and ending in Nocelle/Positano. If you have time during your trip, the views and experience are said to be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

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  • Have a seafood lunch with a view

The coast of Italy has some amazing fresh seafood that I always try to take advantage of when I make my way over. Seafood spaghetti, plates of mussels and clams, fried anchovies and many other delicious dishes are served daily for lunch. Many of the restaurants in Positano are perched on the cliffside, serving lunch with Pinterest-perfect views.

positano

  • Try a lemon granita

No trip would be complete without a lemon sorbet or granita. The crushed ice with lemon syrup that I tried was so flavorful and better than any other that I've tried. After lunch, shopping, and the beach, a granita is the perfect way to end your day.

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Have you been to Positano or the Amalfi Coast? Let me know about your experience or recommendations down below!

You might also like:

How to Get to the Amalfi Coast (from Rome)

Where to Stay in Amalfi: B&B Punta Civita