Italy was an amazing trip!! I went with Collette Tours, who were wonderful by the way… I traveled alone for my 40th bday as a gift to myself and I was kind of glad that I did!! Being all Italian, I needed to make sure this trip was going to be extra special to me without running into any issues! Everything ran so smoothly. I was a little nervous about the weather, as it was still winter, I was going off season. I went the last week of February into March and I must say, it really wasn’t that bad! There was 1 really cool and windy day, but other than that, the weather was perfect! Not too hot, not too cold… just right!! I was pleased about that. The nice thing about it too was that there were no crowds!
Day 1, our tour started out in Rome. We had our welcome dinner, met our group and toured the city locally.
Day 2, we went to the Vatican, St. Peters Basilica and the Colosseum where we met up with local tour guides who were very funny Italians.
Day 3, we left Rome and headed towards the Amalfi Coast. Along the way we stopped at Montecassino, a monastery perched on top of a mountaintop south of Rome. It was beautiful and had breathtaking views! As we continued on, I could not believe the drive up the Amalfi Coast! Our hotel was in Ravello which is basically at the tippy top!! I give our Italian bus driver, Pasquale, so much credit for his driving. I don’t know how they do it! Driving those huge busses about a 1/2 hour up and 1/2 hour back down through those narrow, twisted streets all day long!
Day 4, we went to gorgeous Sorrento and walked all over. It’s the land of lemons!! We stopped in Minori on the way back and went to a limoncello factory.
Day 5, went Paestum (Greek temples outside of Greece) which was a spectacular sight to see and we also went to buffalo mozzarella factory…
Day 6, we went to the port in Naples to sail off to the Isle of Capri. As the boat was departing, I couldn’t help but think about how that was the same location my great grandparents departed from as immigrations to NYC. They got in those boats with a penny in their pocket and came to America with bascially nothing! It was a very sentimental moment. Just so courageous of them. As we arrived in Capri, WOW, is all…. This place is a gem of the ocean. Some spots may resemble a floating Beverly Hills with its high end stores, but there are also little mom and pop type shops as well. We met our local tour guide as he welcomed us and said “welcome! you have the entire island to yourselves!” being off season and all. Of course in the summer, the island is packed. He took us throughout the entire island in a van, getting in and out, capturing spectacular views. We covered it all, Ana Capri as well, which is at the top. Capri is on my return list for sure!!
Day 7, we explored Pompeii. Again, I think we had Pompeii to ourselves too. The story behind Pompeii is incredibly sad. Just instantly wiped away from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Such a piece of history and to me, a must see!! After Pompeii we went to a winery near Mount Vesuvius call Cantena Del Vesuvio. This is a MUST if you are ever near Pompeii. The wine is fabulous and the food that they offer is so fresh and tasty its DELICIOUS!!!
Day 8, we sadly said ciao to the Amalfi Coast and headed back to Rome for one last night. This trip was incredible. There are so many more places to visit in Italy, I cant wait to go back!! Stay tuned for my continued adventures to the boot 🙂
Some more bites of Italy….