We had our own, “Under The Tuscan Sun” experience, there was more rain than sun which we thought added to the romantic and unhurried feeling of our time in Ripoli, Tuscany. Continue reading “Under The Tuscan Sun”
We arrived in Assisi after travelling along the Amalfi Coast and then straight up the middle of Italy on the A1 Autostrada (see my last post for a reflection on the drive). We would be in Assisi for roughly 48hrs before heading to Tuscany and our AirBnB just outside of Florence. Assisi was the one place that I wanted to visit on our trip to Italy because it was the home of one of my heroes of faith – St Francis.
After five days we had to say goodbye to Positano which is now officially one of our favourite places in the world! Our next stop was Assisi, the home of St Francis, which meant that we had a six hour drive (the main reason we rented a car). We could have headed north back through Naples and Rome, but we decided to drive our little Fiat 500L south along the Amalfi Coast before heading inland and North towards Assisi.
The last four days in Positano have been the best so far, at least for me, on our Italy trip. Positano is absolutely beautiful and peaceful, for the first time in a a long I truly feel relaxed. Positano has been a great place to sleep in, wander and sit and take in the views. Its unhurried nature and relaxing atmosphere was exactly what we needed.
Carolyn booked an absolute spectacular place to stay is Positano, it’s a good sized one bedroom apartment with a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and spectacular views! We have absolutely loved our time here and would recommend it to anyone considering staying in Positano, here is the link – everyone should consider staying in Positano at least once in their lifetime. Link to Positano Accomodation
Every afternoon we enjoyed drinks by the beach at one of the many beach-side bars. Carolyn had her daily Aperol Spritz and I am committed to the big beers. Afternoon drinks come with a selection of peanuts, chips and olives, which is often enough for a late lunch for us.
From Positano you can catch a ferry to Capri and/or Amalfi. If you have to choose just one we would highly recommend Amalfi over Capri any day. Once at Amalfi be sure to catch the bus to Ravello and visit the Villa Cimbrone, this is were Wonder Woman was filmed. It has some of the most spectacular views you will see anywhere in the world.
Tomorrow we embark on a 6hr road trip to Assisi, driving along the rest of the Amalfi Coast and then up the middle of Italy. I’m really looking forward to visiting Assisi, St Francisi has been one of my hero’s of faith for a log time now. I’m also looking forward to the drive and getting away from the normal tourist destinations.
Link to Positano photos – http://altmanstravel.com/photos/positano/
Link to Amalfi photos – http://altmanstravel.com/photos/amalfi/
There are two kinds of people in the world, those who love Naples and those who don’t. I am in the later category while Carolyn is in firmly in the “loved Naples” camp. For me, Naples was crowded, dirty, narrow winding streets packed full of tiny street stores selling junk and absolutely no road rules what-so-ever! Driving in Naples is truely a life threatening experience, if you can survive driving in Naples you can drive anywhere.
It’s our last night and day in Rome, the eternal city. Six days have been more than enough to see and experience most of what a big city has to offer. No doubt there was more we could have seen, more tours we could have joined and more ancient sites we could have visited, they are everywhere.
The thing we have enjoyed most is wandering around the city without an agenda or tour schedule. This way you get to meet local Romans and discover cafes that are visited by locals more than tourists and deli’s selling all sorts of smoked meat and salami, cheese, olives and wine. We made this our dinner on more than one occasion.
One of our favorite places to eat was a small family run pizza and pasta place call Grano. Not just because the pizza and pasta were fantastic and all made on site by hand, but because of the owner Domenico and his uncle who were very welcoming and excited to see us every time we visited.
You will find Grano’s down a set of stairs that lead from Via Quattro Novembre to Via Magnanapoli. Across from Grano’s is a great little Gelato place and on the corner at the top of the stairs you will find authentic Sicily Canoli.
We learnt the hard way that it’s a good idea to avoid restaurants and cafe’s that have people out the front trying to get you to come inside, especially if they are speaking english. They are expensive and the food isn’t great.
As we prepare to leave Rome and head to Naples we woke early decided to have one last look at the Trevi Fountain. If you want to see it without 1000’s of people then early in the morning is the way to go. It was one last kiss as we said goodbye to Rome!
After more than 24hrs travelling time and some 36hrs since we actually left home, we arrived in Rome! Carolyn has booked all our accommodation through AirBnB and Fabrizio (the contact for where are staying in Rome) organised a car service to pick us up at the airport. It was quite exciting to come through customs and immigration to see a rather tall Italian man holding a sign with your name on it.
We have begun our trip to Italy! I’m not sure about you but we begin our holiday the moment we step out the door. Catching the train and the flight are all part of the journey for us.
We love the adventure of travelling and this trip has had the added bonus of starting off in the AMEX Airport Lounge. We haven’t visited an airport lounge before and I must admit it’s a pretty cool way to start our trip. There is unlimited champagne, wine, beer cheese and hot food. We could get use this.
Ahead of us is 24hrs and 30min of travelling time before we touch down in Rome, and while we might arrive a little tired and smelly due to 40hrs from our last shower, we will certainly arrive excited and ready to explore and experience the sites and sounds, along with the tastes of Italian wine and food.
Melina asked me before I left what I was looking forward to the most? Firstly I am looking forward to having uninterrupted and hurried time with Carolyn, I’m looking forward to building new memories and shared experiences. I’m certainly looking forward to taking lots of photos and doing lots of walks. I’m looking forward to just being away.
Next stop Italy!
It’s our last week! On Saturday we board the plane and head to Italy and Northern France. It has been several years since we had a decent break and I am certainly looking forward to a break from the week-to-week stuff, emails, meetings, phone calls, and did I say emails? While I love what I do and feel called to what I do, I’m looking forward to the break and looking forward to spending uninterrupted and unhurried time with Carolyn.
We all know that good holidays don’t just happen, they need research and planning and someone to pay a lot of attention to the details. Places and activites need to be booked in advance, especially in Italy if you want to see The David, Da Vinci’s Last Supper, Climb Leaning Tower of Pisa. Carolyn has smashed it and put together an amazing travel itinerary.
More than an awesome itinerary, Carolyn has also saved $$$ on the costs and made it possible to spend 5 weeks in Italy and France at half the cost of what most others spend. I reckon she could do this for a living! If you need travel advise or someone to put togther an itinerarty for a ceratin budget, then Carolyn is the one you need to talk to.
If you want to check out the places we are staying and the sights we are planning to see, take a look at our Itinerary which can be found here