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!

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Happy Birthday to me! Nice little surprise from Collette tours..

Day 1, our tour started out in Rome. We had our welcome dinner, met our group and toured the city locally.

The exciting travel package you receive from the tour company.. I love these moments 🤗 Italian book was a gift from a friend..
Our road map
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Here are some pictures of my Rome/Amalfi Coast trip I did with Collette tours. Trevi Fountain at night in Rome is absolutely beautiful!!

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.

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Inside The Vatican… Need I say more?!
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The Colosseum on a GORGEOUS day!!

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!

Montecassino has gorgeous views
Breath of fresh air!
One of the largest organs out there resides in Montecassino! A beautiful visit..
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The beautiful Amalfi Coast
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Stayed in Ravello for most of my trip
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Breathtaking view of the coast
Praise to Pasquale for driving us safely around all week!

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.

The Amalfi Coast is the land of lemons
Limoncello in the making
Lemon everything shops in Sorrento
Lemons!!! Take me away!!

Day 5, went Paestum (Greek temples outside of Greece) which was a spectacular sight to see and we also went to buffalo mozzarella factory…

Amazing temples
Buffalo mozzarella factory near Pompeii
I don’t think he liked us being there 😂

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!!

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Capri is literally a gem in the ocean. It is a stunning island. Being off season and all, we had the whole island to ourselves!!
Lifestyles of the rich and famous
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Isle of Capri. I took the tour off season, end of February into March. The weather was fine! Not swimming temps, but I wasn’t there to swim.

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!!!

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Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius. Went to a fantastic winery at the base of the volcano (ok, well not that close) called Cantina Del Vesuvio. Highly recommended
Wine.. Of course
Big boys

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 🙂

Amazing view of Mount Vesuvius at night heading back up to the hotel
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This was my “must we go” shot. My view of the Amalfi Coast. Wonderful trip..

Some more bites of Italy….

This was jaw dropping to watch! They toss the hot pasta right into the cheese wheel and stir it as the cheese melts. Delizioso
Ahhhh the fresh Peroni and of course the lasagna Yummm
Chestnuts roasting all over Rome..
I have to say, the meats and cheeses were my favorite to eat! With a fresh slice of bread of course.
The taste of the fresh mozz on this sandwich.. OH MY!!! These sandwich shops in Rome were just amazing!
Lemon Gelato on the streets on Sorrento
As you drive along the coast, not only do you see lemon trees everywhere, there’s all kinds of goodies hanging on trellises all over the place! This is Cucuzza. It’s an Italian squash. I actually grow it too in the Spring. Normally it’s green but if you leave them hanging and dry them out like above, you take the seeds out and replant them. It’s delicious sautéed in sauce with chopped meat over pasta!!
Perfect pickings at Cantina Del Vesuvio. Amazing winery near Mount Vesuvius
Fresh tomatoes on top of fresh pasta at the winery!! Everything is just FRESH FRESH FRESH!!!
The fresh ricotta pie at the winery too… Oh my!!!!!
Pizza.. What to say about the pizza. I had it in Naples, of course. Now, being a New Jersey native, I must say that I think our pizza is just as good! Their pizza certainly isn’t bad, but, I can think of quite a few NJ/NYC pizzerias that are just as good, if not maybe even better. Our Italian immigrants have perfected it in the US that’s for sure! Well, in the Northeast anyway 🤭 It was still delicious!!
This looks very intimidating to eat but I LOVE octopus and this was the best I’ve ever had!!!
I think I ate more paninis than anything else. This mortadella panini was so good!!
And of course.. a Sfogliatelle Mmm