Watch out Italy, they are here!
Boats, cars, trains, and buses is what my life has consisted of for the past 2 weeks, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Two weeks ago it all started when my 5’10” 12 year old brother tackled me at the train station; they were finally here! After he grabbed my bags I turned around to see my family holding signs with my name on it. I don’t know if they were more excited to see me, or the fact I had pizza in my hand for them. Needless to say it was so nice to be embraced by family.
The train ride to Naples was a quick one and a man named Sal was waiting for us at the end of the track to bring us to our beautiful hotel in Sorrento, Italy. Sal quickly became Uncle Sal and was our go to man, he knew everyone; whether it was his ex wife, brother, cousin, cousins cousins husband, didn’t matter he knew them. Throughout the weekend he drove us around set up reservations, and pretty much anything else we wanted to do on the Amalfi Coast. For dinner we went to Sal’s neighbors restaurant Inn Bufalito, which became our favorite restaurant and we may have eaten 3 times out of the five days we spent there… Anyways after a few glasses of wine and delicious food we went back to the hotel.
Friday morning we were up and out headed to the Isle of Capri. Incase you haven’t notice the way our traveling works is purely around food. As soon as we got off the ferry on Capri we ate a “snack” before getting on a bus that would drive us to the top. We wandered around Capri trying to find the Blue Grotto, which we saw from a distance high above. Then of course we realized we didn’t want to miss a meal and should eat before siesta. That night we got ready for dinner and were on our way to try something new but somehow we found ourselves back at Inn Bufalito for another amazing meal. That night the boys and I went to explore what the nightlife of Sorrento was all about.
Saturday Uncle Sal came bright and early at 9 am to drive us around the Amalfi Coast. But first he set up an olive oil tasting where they gave us a tour. After stuffing our faces with bread and oil we hopped back in the van. The drive was absolutely beautiful along the cliffs. We stopped to take pictures, and at a ceramics factory store. For lunch Uncle Sal set us up at a restaurant with the best pizza I have ever had. The owner kept bringing us out course after course; we started with cheeses, then pizza, pasta, dessert, and finally limoncello.
Sunday we were up and ready to climb Mt. Vesuvius and explore Pompeii. Mt. Vesuvius was really cool, and extremely windy hiking to the top. It was surreal standing on top of one of the most famous volcanoes to ever exist. At the top we grabbed a few snacks, coffee, and of course some Mt. Vesuvius wine. Once we finally made it back to the van from the windy trek down we went to explore Pompeii.
Monday we took the day to just roam around and shop around Sorrento. We spent our last night at the English bar downtown, where the owner actually had me bartending for my family. And once the clock struck midnight we all celebrated Nicco’s 18th birthday and then headed back to the hotel. Tuesday we left the beautiful lemon city of Sorrento and headed to Naples to catch our 11:00am train to Rome.
At the train station in Rome my family went to their hotel and I headed back to my apartment. Tuesday night I met them at Campo de Fiori for a walking tour around the city, and grabbed a quick dinner before we separated for the night. This part of their trip was a little bit of a blur, I had class, and had to get ready for spring break. Wednesday I was walking home from class at the Colosseum when I found them roaming around on segways, after that I didn’t see them till dinner. Thursday was our last day together. Communication here is a little difficult but I took a shot at trying to find them at the Vatican, just when I gave up and started walking back I passed them on the street, which was a nice surprise and I got to spend our last day at the Vatican and then lunch in Trestevere. Later that evening we met at their hotel and then went to dinner at Hostaria de Romana, (my grandparents favorite restaurant in Rome). We enjoyed our last meal together before we said goodbye. They explored Rome without me Friday on their last day as I headed to Greece for spring break. I was a little more upset about them leaving then I was expecting, but having spring break right after helped a lot. I think it was because this has been a dream trip for all of us, and was by far the best trip we have ever had. We had a lot of laughs, and amazing memories, I cannot wait for them to come back so we can explore even more together.
Time for the spring break of my life!
Seven ferry rides and numerous bus rides later we accomplished an amazing 10-day Grecian vacation. Plate smashing, donkey riding, booze cruise, atving through Corfu and Santorini, roaming around Athens and indulging in delicious Greek food can all be checked off my bucket list. It took us 2 bus rides and 2 boat rides but Saturday morning we finally arrived at the Pink Palace in Corfu, Greece. After check in it was time to start our spring break adventures; first up ATVing throughout Corfu. I know dad your probably having flashbacks with the dirt bike incident and snowmobile but you’ll be happy to know that I now think the boys should get four-wheelers! (Your welcome boys) Anyways we spent the next three days enjoying Corfu from a boat, and the beach. Sunday night was the Pink Toga party after dinner. This is where we got to experience the traditional Greek dances/music’s, plate smashing, and of course Ouzo.
Monday night we were on an overnight bus/ferries to make our way to the amazing city of Athens. We checked right into the hostel and then it was off on a walking tour to see the Temple of Zeus, Olympic Stadium and the Acropolis. After the walking tour we were on a hunt for Gyros, fish pedicures, and shopping. The fish pedicure was the weirdest, craziest, feeling ever and I cried and laughed that whole time. When your dangling your feet above the water they just come to the surface and stare at your feet with lust…it’s a little overwhelming and freaky. But I’m not going to lie my feet felt fresh and relieved when I was done. After the fish indulged on our dead skin we shopped our way back to the hostel. We had a group dinner right next to where we were staying. I cant even begin to talk about the Greek food we consumed this trip, I want to cry I miss it so much, the feta, chicken, moussaka, baklava, tztaziki…etc. After dinner we joined some of the others on our trip to a bar called 360, which was recommended by a local. By far the most amazing bar I have ever been too. It is an open rooftop where you can see the Acropolis all lit up at night. Unfortunately we had to be on the bus by 5:30 am so we didn’t get to stay much longer.
5:30 cam quick and before you knew it, it was time to board the ferry for Santorini. 7 hours later we arrived and checked into our hostel. We watched the sunset and grabbed some dinner before heading to the Highlander (a Scottish bar). Wednesday we explored the red sand beach, black sand beach, and did a wine tasting during the day. That evening we got all dolled up and headed to Oia, the picturesque village with the white houses and blue tops, this is where they filmed The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Here we took some pictures and enjoyed the scenery. When we got back to Fira we were exhausted, so we ate dinner at Mama’s which was of course delicious and headed back to the hostel. Friday we had until 5:30 to explore some more of Santorini. The best and easiest way to get around is via ATV. We were up and out early on the hunt for some ATVs and Donkeys. We successful managed to do both and we still made it to the beach. What more could a girl want then a glass of sangria, baked feta and the Mediterranean rays… Unfortunately 5:30 came to quick and it was time to start the two day journey home to Rome. That night we took the 7 hour ferry back to Athens and had the morning to explore the city one last time before driving 3 hour to catch the 24 hr. long ferry. We finally arrived in Rome around mid-night.
The past few weeks have seemed like a blur, I got to have adventures in new places. Two of the most memorable trips I have ever had with some pretty amazing people. Some of the traveling was long and exhausting but that’s why wine, and cards were invented. And to be honest my favorite part about traveling is the anticipation of what is going to happen, what its going to be like, so being on a boat for 24 hours didn’t really bother me. After spring break my new happy place in lying on a beach in Greece with stray dogs around me eating baked feta…
Thanks for reading, ciao!