Oh hey. Or should I say BUONGIORNO! I’m Heather. Does anyone remember me? Probably not. I’m the worst. I know what you’re thinking…’bout damn time Heather! Yeah yeah yeah I know I left you all high and dry for a little while, but I’m back to share some of the fun things I’ve been up to. Likeeeeeeee that I just got back from an awesome trip to Italy. Where I drank ALL the wine, and ate ALL the pizza and gelato, and drank NONE of the limoncello. Sorry. I love lemon flavored everything more than you know, but limoncello just did not do it for me.
Are you ready?! Prepare yourself for the longest post in the history of ever (on this blog). And this is only Part I! Here we gooooooooo!
FRIDAY + SATURDAY
The trip started out with a quick 6 hour flight on Friday morning from San Francisco to Atlanta to meet Emily. Thank goodness I was able to connect in Atlanta and meet up with Emily so we didn’t have to both fly to Rome alone! We had a great flight together watching movies (how good is Inside Out?!) and eating crappy airplane meals. We landed into Rome at 10am local time (aka 1am in my head and 4am in Emily’s #jetlagfordays) and were greeted by her parents and Mario, our BFF private driver. Thank the good Lord we had a 5 hour drive to the coast ahead of us and were able to catch up on a little bit of sleep! But not too much because well… have you ever driven in Italy? Yeah. Real life Nascar. Enough said.
Hours later, we (finally) arrived at our hotel in Ravello. Check out that view from our room! We showered, freshened up, and went downstairs to explore the hotel grounds and have some drinks and apps.
Fancy martinis, meat + cheese board, caprese salad, olives, and bread obviously.
A little while later we headed down to the main piazza in Ravello for dinner at a super authentic mom and pop Italian restaurant. It was delish! I thought I ordered scallops, but apparently I ordered scallopini. It was veal. Whoops! Italian miscommunication #1. I also tried limoncello for the first time this night! Not a fan.
Emily and I were up bright and early to fit in a workout before our busy day. Please look at this hotel’s gym.
Like, seriously? How is that real? It was amazing. Outdoor gyms with coastal views should be the norm. After the gym we got ready for the day and headed down to the breakfast buffet. Eveyrthing was SO fresh. I couldn’t get over it. Also, arugula at breakfast?? YES. America is doing it all wrong.
You know I can’t live without my poached eggs. And Italy does them perfectly. Mmmmmm!
After breakfast we headed off to tour the Amalfi coast by land. First up was Villa Rufolo right in Ravello where we were staying.
This view was one of my favorites from the entire trip. It looks fake!
Next we headed west on the coast to Amalfi. We explored the main piazza, the Amalfi Cathedral and lots of cute little shops along the tiny streets.
We made a pit stop in one the the popular cafes to try espresso with lemon peel (well Emily and Dori did). I just drooled over all the candies and pastries.
From Amalfi, we headed further west to Positano. But first – lunch! With the most amazing view.
The view was so distracting that I completely forgot to take pictures of our delicious lunch – pizza, caprese salad, 3 types of homemade pastas, and fruit with vanilla ice cream for dessert. I loved all of the colorful houses nestled in the hillside in Positano. Dori described the colorful squares on the mountainside as “laundry drying on the line.” So pretty!
We headed back to our hotel to enjoy some wine and relax on our terrace. Our hotel had that best fruit plates waiting for us each day when we returned to our rooms.
My first passionfruit! So tangy. I loved it.
Another early morning at the gym for Emily and I! Even the dumbbells in Italy are cooler than in the states. How do they do it??
Off to the breakfast buffet again. We needed to fill our bellies for the busy day we had ahead of us – a tour of the Amalfi coast by sea on a private boat! Woohoooooooo!
We headed to the Amalfi pier to meet our boat captains for our tour. I totally forgot to take a picture of our boat, but I think Emily has one somewhere. Achilles and Pino were our captains for the day and they were so much fun! Look – it’s Sofia Loren’s house!
Achilles and Pino cruised us from Amalfi to Positano to Capri and made sure they stopped at all of the awesome coves, grottos and main attractions along the way. This picture was taken in a cove underneath a massive bridge where Red Bull apparently holds a bridge diving contest.
Into the cave we go!
Shout out to Emily for this paparazzi shot of me lounging as we cruise into Positano.
After cruising past Positano we had some time to kill before arriving at Capri. Why not snuggle up and have some Prosecco? Yes it’s Prosecco in Italy, not Champagne.
We made a pit stop at the White Grotto, Green Grotto and Blue Grotto on our way to Capri. The names of each grotto represent the color that reflects from the water onto the ceiling of the grotto – so cool!
Look at how blue that water is! I love the Mediterranean.
The faraglioni in the distance! We’re almost at Capri!
Once we arrived at Capri we hopped in a red 1960 classic car with another crazy Italian driver and headed up to the top of the island check out the sights and some of the shops. Tom is BFF with every driver we have. We just let him do his thing.
After our terrifying drive up the hills of Capri and then back down to the pier, we got back on our boat. It was time to head back to Amalfi, but we obviously had to make a pit stop for some cave swimming! I NEED to get these pictures from Dori because this was one of my favorite parts of the whole day – maybe even the whole trip. Our boat had a diving board that we had so much fun flipping and diving off, and we got to swim into a cave, climb the rock walls, and jump in. Emily hated it and was hyperventilating the entire time because she was terrified of what she couldn’t see below her, but Tom and I LOVED it. We went back for seconds of the rock jumping! Thanks mom and dad for passing along the fearless dare devil genes 🙂
On our way back to Amalfi we stopped in Norano for lunch at an oceanside restaurant that was awesome. This meal is definitely at the top of my list for this trip, not only because of the food, but the atmosphere too. Finally some salad!
After lunch Achilles and Pino sadly had to bring us back to Amalfi. We said our goodbyes and headed to the piazza of Amalfi for our first gelato of the trip! Which I (again) forgot to document. Sometimes I’m just way too excited to eat and forget to take a picture of my food. Will you forgive me? Kthanks.
Our last day on the Amalfi coast boooooo! Emily and I woke up bright and early again for our last morning workout at our favorite gym in the world. We were both feeling pretty sore, so we decided to do some yoga, stretching and core work since we knew we would be walking a lot that day. I just can’t with this view.
Breakfast buffet round 3, then we were off. To Pompeii! Bye bye Ravello – you precious little son of a biscuit. We’ll be back before you know it!
I was realllllllly excited to see Pompeii. I couldn’t get over that we had learned about this place time and time again in school and read all about it in textbooks, and now I was about to see it in person!
Pompeii was fascinating (and also super crowded). We toured lots of the elaborate houses of the rich, the public baths, a bakery and a “fast food” shop. Our tour guide showed tons of artifacts that have been found after years and years excavating.
You’ve probably learned about people and animals being frozen in time when Mount Vesuvius erupted and destroyed Pompeii. Poor puppy.
There’s Vesuvius in the background! That sneaky little bugger.
After Pompeii we were back on the road again – Rome-bound this time!
Stay tuned for a recap of the second half of my Italian adventures. Italy Part II: Rome!
Have you ever been to the Amalfi Coast?
What are you favorite places to visit in Italy?