When the winter is finally over and the spring is in the air, kick start the summer with a trip to the land of the living, Italy. I have been so lucky to find a wonderful boyfriend here in London and even luckier that he turned out to be from one of my favorite cities. Rome is a wonderful city that offers everything that the heart desires, from amazing shopping, delicious ice cream and wonderful architecture and history.
I spent 9 days with a Roman, which means that I got to discover all the hidden gems that the locals enjoy and I am going to share that with you.
For shopping, there is the main street next to the Spanish steps, where you can shop all the high-end brands, such as Marina Rinaldi, Max Mara and Cartier. Even though this is every girls dream, it can be difficult to afford these brands, but then simply walk down the street to reach Via del Corso where you will be greeted with some very charming italian shops, such as Max&co, Sisley, and Patrizia PePe. This street will also take you straight to Piazza del Popolo, which is the big main square, that once was the Romans main route to the north and now you will find delicious cafés and beautiful catholic churches.
From here you can walk to the Trevi Fountain, which is one of the most beautiful and spectacular fountains you can find in Rome. Walk there through the small charming streets, where you will find small local shops and two of my favorite gelato places. Della Palma offers 150 different gelato flavors, which is an experience in itself and Giolitti, which is locally known as the best gelato in Rome. A little tip; the dark chocolate and Raspberry gelato is amazing.
Even though Rome is not placed directly on the beach, it does not take more than 30 minutes to drive to some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. We took advantage of this and drove to a different beach each day. One of my favorite beaches is Santa Marinella, that simply offers it all and is easy to reach by public transportation. The restaurants offer excellent and freshly caught seafood, which you just have to try.
Italy also offers some of the most beautiful, sweet lakes with wonderful small cities packed with local goods. We woke up early one day and drove to Trevignano Romano which is a cute town right at the lakeside. Here you will find a wonderful landscape and small cafés all the way along the shore. The Italian charme was definitely shining through and we had such a great day swimming in the lake, dining at the local cafés and sightseeing and shopping in the small streets. We had our lunch at Riscio, which is a beautiful café with a gorgeous view.
You do need to look out for the swans and the birds, as they will steal your food. I myself experienced this first hand and they are faster than you might think.
We took a two-day trip from Rome to the Amalfi coast, which was one of the most wonderful and romantic trips I have ever been on. We drove from Rome to Minori, where we had our first stop. The drive itself was beautiful as we drove through the mountains and the view from there was spectacular and that is recommendable. Minori is a cute small town located right at the beach. We stopped here for coffee and some sightseeing, where you will also find small local markets. We drove from here to Mairoi, which is a bit bigger, but still very charming town, where you will find some of the pizza’s you will ever taste. We rented a hotel room in one of the local hotels and simply spent the day here on the beach and walking in the small streets. For dinner we drove to Amalfi, where we had a great night with a fantastic view of the lights from the houses in the mountain and the sound of the waves followed by a romantic walk and more gelato. The day after we drove to Positano, which is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been in. We wanted to go on a boat tour, but since the prices were very high, we rented a Pedalo (paddle boat) for 2 hours for 15€. That was such a fun experience and perfect for us, as we are both very adventurous.
We paddled around for two full hours and discovered small cities on the mountainsides, jumped in the water at the clearest spots and spotted small underwater caves. Here you will also find some of the best restaurants with a fantastic view from the mountainsides.
On the way home, we drove through Pompeii, where we stopped and took a look around. The drive from the highway is easy and quick and Pompeii is definitely worth a visit. The following day after we went to the Orange Garden, Giardino degli Aranci at Malta’s nights, where you will find a lot of orange trees and if you walk through the garden and reach the end, you will have an amazing view of Vatican City. On the other side of the orange garden, you will find a huge old door, where you can see Vatican City through the keyhole. Pretty cool if you ask me!