Leave: Aug 30
Return: Sept 7
Day 1 - Rome
- got off the plane and went through customs, was easy
- bought tickets in a long, slow line then walked across the street and go to the train station
- got on the train, just barely, after confusion about validation, train ride was smooth
- got off the train and walked around Roma termini and then to the hotel.
- we got upgraded (?) to an apartment for the hotel, it was two rooms with a kitchen
- we rested, then showered and left to meet Dom for our food tour
- We walked to Piazzo Tasso to meet Dom, about 30 min. She started by giving us waters
- she then took us to a went into a nearby church
- next she gave us two suppli (kind of like arranchini but bigger). Apparently Romans don’t eat food and walk except for suppli
- we then went into another church. She recommended a third and fourth church for us to look at on our own
- from here on all food! - We went to a desert shop where we tasted a prickly pear liqueur, cannoli, granita, and a pistachio dessert with a cherry on top castalina or similar
- next we went down the street and tasted pizza at Roscioli Forna. We got a peroni beer and a prosciutto pizza and peppers and sausage pizza (pepperoni in Italian)
- we then walked over to a hosteria and had some Prosecco, then an antipasti of Panzanella, prosciutto, then mozzarella. After we had an organic white wine (of Lazio region), then we had the three pastas of Rome: Cacio e Pepe, carbonara, pasta alla amatriciana
- we then searched for coffee without success
- finally we had gelato at Frigidarium I had the Frigidarium and pistachio flavors, Maura had fiorre di latte, pistachio Dom dropped us off in piazza Navona, we walked around for a bit and then went to the apartment to go to sleep
Day 2 - Rome
- woke up a bit late, showered and went to breakfast. I had Nutella toast, a bad cappuccino and I took a yogurt back to our which I never ate
- we left the room and headed over the pantheon, there was a mass going on so we had to do other things for 90 min or so
- we headed over to largo agentina to meet the cats there
- we still had extra time so we went to Sant’Eustachio for caffe
- we still had time to kill so we went to piazza Navona and watched Chinese women do the same walk down piazza Navona while someone photographed them. They all had heels in a separate bag. They were probably on a tour that advertised doing this
- finally it was noon and we headed over to the pantheon. It was huge and the light coming from the hole on the dome was vibrant (wc?)
- then we went to the hotel to rest
- next we went out to panino ingenoso. Maura had a panini with olive spread and buffala mozzarella, I had a panini with prosciutto and mozzarella
we started to walk over to the colosseum, we were most of the way there - near the military museum - when a big thunderstorm rolled through. It took about 20 minutes to pass, we got really wet standing in a door way.
woke up at 9:30 after sleeping poorly
went to hotel breakfast (toast with a bad cappucino)
walked around near the pantheon
tried to go to a church but it was closed
went to sant'eustracia coffee shop, an espresso for each
wandered back to the pantheon (which had reopened)
very crowded inside, but very nice. good light. very noisy
went back to room for a bit
went to lunch at panino ingensono i had a proscuitto, mozzerella and olive oil panani. was excellent
walked to the colosseum, got caught in a rain storm on the way, got pretty wet. very louad lightning
got to colosseum, waited a while. it closed for the day
tried to go to the forum but we only had a resevation and not a ticket. the line was very long at this point
went to urbana 47, had a beer and a suppli
was good but a bit touristy in an honest way
walked back to the church with thr michelangelo a d st peters chains
walked back to hotel, rested for a bit
got some wine (was ok)
left hotel at 8:00 to get granita at the previous place, i got pistachio, maura got almond
walked back to cipasso to meet friends, wait was too long
went to obica mozzerella bar. ww split a pizza and charcuterie, mauras friends had already ate so they just had drinks
walked to trevi fountain
got gelato, i got cacao with clement rhum and zaibone
walked back to hotel, drank wine ans relaxed
stayed up until 2:00
Day 3 - Sorrento
- We woke up a bit late, packed
- went to breakfast had a cornetto and yogurt, two coffees from the room
- checked out, took a taxi to roma termini. the taxi driver took a long way. It was €14, I expected €12 but the hotellier told us €18-20 max. the taxi driver only gave a €5 as change. no 1€ coin.
- got tickets at roma termini, almost got tifkets for a train leaving in 5 min but waited for a train that was 30 min
- took the train, was nice but €98
- got off at napoli centrale, napoli is mich poorer than rome (at least this part)
- walked to pizzerria a mimi, was pretty good, €17 for two waters amd two pizzas
- walked back to napoli centrale and went to girabaldi station
- took the circumvesuviana train to pompeii scavi
- walk around pompeii for four hours, very large, interesting. amphiteathee was very cool
- got back to the train went to sorrento
- walked 15 min to Deluxe Hostel Ulisse. Hotel is new, nice, very large rooms. of course all fixtures sag and are loose
- hung out at hotel for an hour
- walked down to the water and went to Bagni Delfini
- had a freat meal. had Quid SPumatne Rose. Split a grilled octopus with cannellini bean purée. i the had a linguine with tuna (it somehow worked) and maura had spaghetti with clams and mussels. both eere great. they gave us limcello afterwards
- walked back home (erroneously up the stairs to the campground) and back home. the went to bed.
Day 4 - Sorrento
- woke up early for tour
- went to corner store got a "shakerato" for me for breakfast and something else for Maura
- Waited for tour outside the ascot hotel (many tour groups leave from there... Felt like cattle standing there).
- Tour bus arrived a little late but we finally made it. Tour was all British people except us. The guide (Gus) kept making fun of Americans until we told him we were American!
- We started to drive up to Positano, though lemon groves and then down on a sea facing mountains. We drove past two islands that can we rented out for $500k a week. Apparently a Qatari Sheik was there this week.
- In Positano we stopped at the beach. Maura was lame and wouldn't go into the sand I put my hand in the water
- We walked back up the hill and got a cappi, two caffe freddos and a ricotta sfopelrettle.
- We walked up the hill further for some pictures. Then we made it back up to the bus. Positano was nice but very crowded and filled with touristy shops.
- Next we went to Amalfi. The drive over was gorgeous.
- We went on a boat ride for €12/each and got to see the coast from a boat. It was really dramatic. See photos.
- In Amalfi we bought a lot of limoncello and olive oil ($180 worth). It was in the stoelre the guide led us to so he probably got a kickback... We tried everything and it was all good. They seemed to be making at least some of it in the back room too.
- Next we wandered over to the church. I had to use the bathroom so we stopped for a quick campari/aperol soda and I used the bathroom. We went back over to the pier for pictures and then onto the bus.
- We then stopped for lunch, around 2:00 (maybe after the normal lunch rush?). The place was in a small town in between Amalfi and ravello. We had grilled vegetables (which were cold), pizza, lasanga and a profiterol in lemon whipped cream. The wine was bad.
- Ravello was the last stop. We got there a bit before 4:00. Heard the bells from 3 miles away, walked around ravello. It was very quiet and scenic. We went into a small, free museum and then a small, free church. Both were accessable by walking a long path that's too narrow for cars. There were a few motorized carts hauling stuff for a wedding though.
- it started to rain as we got back on the bus around 5:00(?). It was a long drive all the way back to Sorrento, we got there around 6:45(?).
- I drank a few beers while I did laundry.
- We rested in the hotel for a bit and then went out to eat at Accento in the main drag in Sorrento. It seemed like the least touristy reastaurant. We split a half bottle of Ischaia wine. I got pasta with pistachios, lemon and clams. Maura got ravioli with pumpkin, snapper and sun dried tomatoes. We had a burrata appetizer.
- Finally Maura got some souvenirs. We went back to the hotel, watched Italian TV for 20 minutes and then went to sleep.
Day 5 - Ischia
- Woke up early to make the ferry, we weren't totally sure where we should go. The ferry was at 9:00, we got there around 8:00-8:15. I don't think we had anything to eat for breakfast
- We walked over to the docks and easily made the ferry. The walk over went down the main drag in Sorrento and then down this huge staircase onto Via Luigi de Maio. Once we were down the stair case it was cooler and breezy. Up above on the cliffs the air was still. We then waited in line for about 30 miuntes.
- Getting on the ferry was simple, we sat on the top in the back right hand side, exposed to the elements. The ferry ride started smoothly enough but after a few moments the speed really increased and the turns the captain took were sharp. At one point it seemed like the boat rolled by about 30 degrees. The sea got a little rough and a big wave splashed up on me. The ride wasn't comfortable.
- After a brief stop in Procida we made it to Ischia around 10:30. Maura's sugar was low and we hadn't eaten anything yet so we stopped at a cafe. We ordered two cappucinos and the waitress brought us some wafer snacks. The snacks were a bit stale. The waitress seemed to have no confidence speaking English, or more precisely dealing with English speakers. I also noticed her looking at Instagram. The cappucinos were 6 Euro total.
- The coffees and snacks recharged us and we found a cab that took us to Terme Manzi for 20 Euro. It was about a 12-15 minute drive.
- We checked into the hotel and got another snack and some juice as well as a brief tour. There was a man mowing the only grass I saw in Italy in the courtyard. The hotel worker showed us the spa, the 1 Michelin star restaurant, the hotel bar/breakfast area and then finally led us to our room. Walking around we were both impressed by all the marble flooring.
- We then rested in the room for a bit and then changed into our bathing suits and checked out out the rooftop pool. After running back to our room to get towels I swam in it the pool immediately. It was a bit cold but the view of the mountain (or Horst) was nice and the water and blue tiling gave the whole pool and surrounding area a very bright and distinct feel.
- Next we headed to the adjacent restaurant to have lunch. We have two sandwiches and I had an Amalfi APA. The sandwhiches were OK but the beer was good. A bee harassed Maura and her sandwhich quite a bit. She almost had a breakdown and then lied to the hotel staff about being allergic. Somehow we got the bee to go away.
- We then went inside to the first floor and swam in the indoor pool. The indoor pool was heated to a very comfortable 90 degrees. Then we went back to the room, Maura rested and I went to back to rooftop pool - I wasn't sure if I was going to get another chance to swim in that pool.
- After this were ventured out towards the town area. We had apertivo at Terravo 91, it was a strange "club" type of atmosphere. There weren't maybe people there and the ones who were there didn't match the clientele I imagined a place like this would have. We both had spritzes (mine campari, Maura's aperol) and watched the sunset. The food that came with the spritzes wasn't great though there was a lot of it. A little rollup (like costco), a mini pizza, a little square of foccaccia with some yellow thing on top, peanuts, tortilla chips and some basil crackers. The two drinks with the food came out to 14 Euro - not too bad.
- After the sun had set we wandered over to Zelluso Pizzeria for dinner. It was very busy with both Italians and tourists. We didn't get good service, I ordered a peroni that never came. Maura got grilled swordfish and I got the DOC Pizza (which was 8 Euros and only OK). Zelluso's was inexpensive and just OK. I think we could have done better.
- At this point we were both very full. We walked through some local festival that was going on and back to out hotel room and fell asleep.
Day 6 - Ischia -> Rome
- Woke up early yet again so we could make the 8:40 AM ferry. Neither Maura nor I were very hungry at breakfast but we knew we wouldn't have much oppurtunity to eat so we ate. We both had cappucinos. I had a cornetto and a slice of poundcake (not sure what it really was) and a few small mozzerella balls.
- We caught a taxi to the ferry, we picked up the taxi drivers son halfway to the ferry dock. This didn't seem odd. The taxi was 20 Euro. The taxi drivers son told us where to go and he was on the ferry too.
- We sat indoors this time, it didn't seem like there was any outdoor seating anyways. The ferry ride was much smoother too. When we docked at Naples there was a huge cruise ship.
- We got off the ferry, I bought a water with a 50 Euro note to make some change for the next taxi. I was also thirsty. We corssed the street and hailed another taxi to Napoli Centrale.
- When we arrived to Napoli Centrale there wasn't a train for an hour so we had to wait. Neither one of was feeling that great - we didn't want to eat - so we just waited the hour.
- The train ride was 98 Euro for both of us. It was uneventful. I sat next to an Italian businessman (he had two cell phones and was wearing a nice suit).
- When we arrived in Rome we walked across the street and checked into our hotel, Gioberti Art Hotel. Despite being a four star hotel this was the least impressive hotel we stayed in. The shower door opened awkwardly, there was mildew on the AC vent, the floor wasn't totally flat.
- We rested for a bit and then left to get some lunch, we were starting to get hungry.
- The place we wanted to go for lunch - Roscioli Salumeria - was about a 30 minute walk. We walked over, stopping at a fountain on the way. As we got close we were both getting very hungry. We arrived at the restaurant and they had no reservations available. We didn't know what to do but we had to eat soon.
- So we want to the Roscioli bakery next door, I had a caffe and Maura had a Macciato.
- This was a neighborhood were a bit familiar with but Maura "didn't want pizza" which made finding a restaurant difficult sincw we knew there was a good Forno (pizza restaurant) nearby.
- We decided to go to a random restaurant because we were desparate, it wasn't even clear they served food. It probably wasn't going to be good. While we were waiting for the waiter to come out we decided to go to Forno Roscioli - it's run by the same family as the Salumeria.
- We got two supplis, a pesto pizza and another slice of pizza. I got a beer and Maura had a diet coke. All the food was good but it was probably a bit too much despite how hungry we were. We stood outside and ate with our food on a cart as a table, sharing it with some Germans.
- Even though we had too much food we decided to go to a nearby Gelato place - Frigidarium. I got the frigidarium flavor (like caramel) and crema florentina (like vanilla with chocolate swirl). Maura got fior di latte in a cone with whipped cream IIRC.
- Next we walked to a beer bar called Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà. I asked the man to recommed something unique "to here" and he recomended a Belgium Gose (which I didn't realize was Belgian). Luckily Maura realized this and asked for it. I asked the man for another beer and he recommended an Italian IPA. Both beers were good! We drank our beers and started our walk to the Vatican.
- We walked along the river Tiber for a while. Although we were in Trevastere (which is supposed to be an "up and coming" neighboring) the neighborhood we walked in seemed fairly ritzy for Rome.
- We got to the Vatican and took in St Peters Sq. It was huge, very crowded. I tried to post a picture of it to instagram but it didn't like my use of the word "pedophile" in the caption.
- We got in a very long line to enter the basilica. About halfway though a black lady came from nowhere and cut us in line. Maura just let her do it.
- We entered the basilica, it was enormous inside. Everything was very ornate. It was also very croweded.
- After leaving the basilica we were a bit confused as to how we could get to the top of the basilica. We eventually figured it out and paid 10 euros to take an elevator and then climb 300 stairs to the top. The walk up wasn't too hard but the spaces we had to fit into were really tight in places.
- The view at the top was increidible. We could see all the places we had already been in Rome (e.g. the colosseum), it was a nice thing to do on the last day.
- We descended the basilica and walked over to St Peters Sq. Maura bought some souvineirs. We found a fountain outside St Peters Sq (no free water in the Vatican) and rested for a bit. We had a longish walk to the Vatican Museums but we also had plenty of time to get there. The entrance was quite a far walk away and was oddly positioned at the edge of vatican city.
- There was the usual confusion entering a Roman museum but we eventually made it without issue. The vatican museum was very large and had every type of relic. Artifacts, tapestries, paintings, maps, moon rocks. We mostly interested in the Sistine Chapel though.
- For some reason the Sistine Chapel is considered a holy place and photos aren't allowed (though the surrounding areas is plastered with photos taken in the Sistine Chapel). The guards were constanting yelling "no photo" in their Italian accents.
- The chapel was about 100 ft tall on the inside and above about 12 ft is entirely made up of paintings.
- We left the Vatican and walked over to the subway. We bought two tickets and rode the subway for a few stops so I could do to Comme Il Latte for Gelato. We weren't that hungry but I wanted gelato. I got two scooped in a cone, chocolate and raspberry (I wanted pistachio but the man didn't understand me). Maura got a cooke sandwhich thing.
- On the way back to the hotel we stopped at a convience store and got chocolates, beer and chips.
- The walk back to the hotel was long, very, very long.... but we eventually made it. I drank my beer and we ate the chips and went to bed.
Day 7 - Rome
Day 8 - Rome
- Rain jacket
- Compressed backpack
- Compressed tote
- Spare key
- 4x Socks
- 4x underwear
- 4x undershirt
- 3x button down
- Swim trunks