Explore Italy with me!
For choosing a hotel choose one in a central location. Venice is difficult in that it’s a lot of confusing alleys and no means of transportation to find your way back. You are on your own.
Internet: Maps are fun and all but here it’s nearly impossible and a huge time waster. I would definitely recommend at least one person in the group to get data roaming for the sake of maps!
Prepare yourself! The biggest money guzzler is transportation. There is a water bus and a water taxi to get around to different islands or the train station. The water taxi is expensive beware, but you get a private boat and it’s a lot faster. The water bus can be very crowded, and takes a longer time due to stops but is a lot more cost effective.
A Beccafico: This place has great pasta and bruschetta. Their eggplant and ricotta pasta is unbelievable!
Vecchi: This is a known gelato place with granitas and pretty chocolate displays. Sooo good and it’s pretty much everywhere.
Gritti Palace: This is a beautiful hotel set right on the water. They have a really nice dinner and a lounge area for drinks/lunch/appetizers. It’s on the pricier side but definitely delicious and a beautiful view.
Trattoria do Forni: This place was recommended by a local and has amazingg food. The vegetable risotto is out of this world and they have meat, fish, and of course pasta options.
Farini: This is a little cafe with fresh pizza, sandwiches, pastries and coffee. it’s walk up and super casual but superr delicious.
Londra Palace: Beautiful lunch/dinner place on the water. Nicer and fancier but really good food. Connected to a beautiful hotel as well.
Locanda Cipriani: Unbelieveable lunch/dinner place on Torcello island. This island has less than 20 people who live on it. This restaurant is in the most beautiful garden area and you can sit under a vine trellis. We went for lunch and adored the salmon tartar, caprese salad, the pasta! (homemade) and parmesan cheese plate. Best foodd!!
Gondola: Such a classic Italy thing to do and it’s absolutely beautiful.
Murano Island: This has the famous blown glass factories and you can take a tour and watch the process ending in a beautiful display of pieces that you can purchase. Really a cool place to see and you can reach via water taxi (private)/water bus.
Torcello Island: Beautiful island with less than 20 people living on it. There’s a really cute restaurant you can have a the besttt food at with incredible garden views. (see above)
San Lazzaro degli Armeni (Armenian Island): You can take a 15 minute boat ride from Venice to neighboring islands including the Armenian Island that is a standing monestary from the 1700s. They have free daily tours of the grounds at 3:30 and is definitely worth a visit at this hour. Make sure to see the amazing library here!
Sighs Bridge: Beautiful to see passing through the city!
Rialto Bridge: This is the famous bridge in Venice and is truly a work of art.
San Marco Square: This is the main area here to get in some high end shopping, eat at cute restaurants, and even listen to live music at night.
Basilica di San Marco: This building has the most amazing looking architecture right in San Marco Square.
Service: The service pretty much everywhere in Italy is very very slow so be prepared and stay patient. No restaurant brings the check to you unless you ask too so make sure you ask with enough time or you’ll be sitting there all day!
Gilli: This place is in prime location and has a beautiful view of the square if you sit on the patio. They have good lunch/breakfast or you can just have a drink and enjoy the view.
Buca Mario: super cute dinner spot! The salmon with butter and sage is incredible and they have great homemade pasta (ravioli!)
Irene Firenze: Set right in the main square and has a good selection of foods with a cute atmosphere. On the pricier side for breakfast at least but really cute.
Vecchi: yess againnn.. it’s a known gelato place with granitas and chocolate displays. Sooo good and it’s pretty much everywhere!
Piaza del Republica: This square is filled with cute architecture, restaurants, and shopping! This central spot as well as the neighboring streets are the main areas to shop.
Ponte Veccio: This bridge is a symbol for Florence and one of the most famous bridges in the world with the most breathtaking views!
Duomo: The architecture on this building an dome is unbelievable with the most amazing stone colors and designs. A definite must see!
Galleria dell’Accademia: This museum has a lot of beautiful sculptures and art with the most famous attraction the statue of David.
Grand Hotel Plaza: Super nice place to stay right in the heart of all the shops and action. So much happening and walking distance from everything.
Target: This is probably one of our favorite dinner spots. The salmon was absolutely amazing. Loved the bruschetta, mushroom gnocchi, and of course topped with some wine.
Cafe Greco: for a quick lunch/coffee/snack in between shopping and site seeing. the chocolate cake here is amazzingggg
The Vatican : The Vatican is probably the most unimaginable place I have ever seen in my life. It is absolutely stunning in every way. Everyone must go see this historic building! We booked a private tour early in the morning before it’s open to the public which I would recommend if you want to beat the heat and traffic but seeing it regardless is super important. St. Peter’s Basilica is the main church part is is breathtaking. You can pay for access to the top of the dome by either foot or elevator (which I would recommend elevator). You have the option to go higher via stairs to the very top of the building. CAUTION! There was absolutely no warning about this part and if you are claustrophobic at all don’t go. It is over 300 steps in the tightest space and heat. Stay calm! I had two major panic attacks so be sure to take water and be prepared. The view of Rome from the top is really pretty! The Sistine Chapel is absolutely incredible and you can take the guided tour through the Vatican Museum and see the famous ceiling and Michelangelos’ The Last Judgement.
Spanish Steps: This is a well known stairway consisting of 135 steps leading to the Trinità dei Monti church.
Trevi Fountain: Iconic tourist spot and the famous site from Lizzie Mcguire movie! ;)
Eataly: Such a cool spot with a lot of different stops for food and groceries. From meat, fish, pasta, to wine this place has it all and is a definite must stop with a new location coming to LA real soon.
Via del Corso: Famous shopping street with lots of action and shops to visit!
Via dei Condotti: Great high end shopping including Gucci, Prada, Cartier!
It’s a lot of work: There are so many different parts and means of transportation required to see it all. Prepare for a lot of boat rides to see it all.
Lots of walking: It’s all made up of a lot of stairs and walking so don’t feel bad about that pasta just yet.
Lida Zella: This restaurant is set right on the water. It has incredible views and really good food! Worth a visit
Hotel Santa Caterina: This hotel is definitely one of the nicest hotels in Amalfi. The food in their resteraunt is absolutely the best thing ever. Their ravioli in lemon cream sauce is to die for, the caprese with eggplant, and literally everything is unbelievable. The hotel and the meal is pricey but very nice if you have the opportunity.
La Caravella: This is another top restaurant in Amalfi. Their fish is to die for and worth the visit. Service is excellent and pasta amazing.
Positano is probably the most popular and picturesque part of the Amalfi Coast. The beach area is the nicest with amazing views and lots of people. Favorite spot for suree.
La Pergola: This restaurant has a killer view of the water with probably the best pizza ever!
Le Sirenuse: Really beautiful hotel with a killer view. You can have drinks or lunch here by the pool with a view of all of Positano.
The Blue Grotto: The island has famous grottos or caves that you can swim in and enjoy. The Blue one is the most well known but there are a lot of unbelievable ones including white and green. Definitely rent a boat if you can to go around the whole island and swim around. It was high tide when we went but I managed to swim under a rock into a huge cave which was terrifying but the most magical site.
Faraglioni: These two iconic rock formations are well known to Capri and can be reached and seen by boat. One of them has an arch the boat can go under and it is said if you kiss your loved one under the rock you will be granted eternal love, and you are also supposed to make a wish.
Definitely a more urban city but the airport is located here. Naples is known for its pizza!
50 kalò: This is a famous pizza spot. There’s a little wait but definitely worth it. Try the croquette appetizers and any pizza!! (I like margheritaa)(pizza is all they serve).
Really good gelato here at Casa Infante!!
Really cute city a little ways away from Amalfi. You can take the ferry here in about an hour and a half. It’s super nice buildings and shopping with gorgeous hotels and restaurants with views of the ocean.
Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria : This is a really nice lunch spot with amazing pizza. We sat outside overlooking the amazing views! It’s a luxury and historic hotel and apparently Marylyn Monroe has stayed here.
Raki: This place has a lot of great gelato options. You can take a city tour on a train for half an hour and have a guided experience as well.