Idling with the Italians
Our agents travel to some pretty awesome destinations. When they return, our excitement to hear about their adventures is almost as great as their excitement is to share them. In ON LOCATION, they talk about the little nuances that make each place special. From Peru to South Africa, Switzerland, and Croatia, experience a fantastic second-hand journey and maybe take away some travel inspiration while you’re at it.
First things first: is Italian pizza like American Pizza? I must know.
Not exactly. Their pizza is thin with very little sauce. It actually reminds me a lot of a margarita pizza over here with its globs of mozzarella and slices of tomato along with basil. They also have a thicker crust style pizza called Focaccia that is piled with lots of vegetables. So, they have some similarities.
Well with that out of the way, let’s start from the beginning.
Ok, so I went to Rome first. I had already been there for work, so I decided to extend my stay after it was over. I spent three days there and after that, I extended in Sorrento, I took the train from Rome to Naples and visited Capri and Positano.
Rome has so much to see, what were the highlights?
The Vatican, Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain. I was signed up for a Vatican tour however the tour company got me mixed up with another tour so I missed the guided tour. Luckily, I was still able to go on a self-guided walking tour that took me through the Sistine Chapel and about two hours’ worth of the Vatican. It was beautiful, the amazing paintings on the ceilings and the detailed statues, all truly a work of art! It was incredible. The whole thing was overwhelming; there is so much history there. Too much for two hours. It would probably take you a few days to take it all in.
Well after that I went to Piazza Navona. Rome is filled with Piazza’s, which is basically an
open square and within the square there restaurants, artists painting, live music, people selling things, and kids running around with whatever knick-knack their parents got them. We ate a restaurant called Tre Scalini and it was fantastic! I saw the Trevi Fountain which is largest Baroque fountain and considered the most famous fountains in the world. I did throw a coin in the fountain. My next site was to find the Spanish steps however due to all the different alleys I was unable to find it.
Why was it hard to find?
Well, it was my first time there and not speaking the language it was difficult getting directions and my google maps was not working well on my phone. If you spoke the language it would make the trip much easier, but many people know enough English to get by though. Also, Rome is filled with alleys that have tons of shopping and restaurants. It can be a little disorienting on foot. Italy is nearly all walking with tons of cobblestone streets.
So other cities were similar?
Sorrento was like a smaller Rome. Most cities are unmistakably Italian. They all feel lost in history, a very old world feel.
How was Sorrento otherwise?
Sorrento is beautiful! It is a coastal town facing the Bay of Naples. Perched atop cliffs that separate the town from its busy marinas, it’s known for sweeping water views and the Piazza Tasso, a café-lined square. It’s also known for their lemons, they are huge and plentiful. You must try their lemon cello spritzers!
I would just assume that a visitor to Italy would want to stay in Rome. Why did you choose to venture out to these other, lesser known, places?
I am half Italian and my father’s family came from Naples. Since this was my first time to Europe, I thought it would be great to see where my grandparents came from.
So, what was your favorite city in Italy?
Positano. It is a gorgeous cliff side village overlooking the sea. I took a water taxi from Sorrento to reach it. It was amazing to see all these colorful homes built into the mountain. I’d like to know how they built them by hand back in the day. I spent the day exploring the area, looking at the unique shops and enjoying a wonderful lunch. It was time to return to Sorrento, the water was chill coming in, but later in the day the waters got pretty rough, I had
to wait for three different boats because the waves wouldn’t let people get on or off. This poor lady almost got thrown from the ramp. Eventually it calmed down though.
Just to bring us full circle, what was your favorite food?
It was all so good. I loved all the delis with lots of fresh mozzarella, olives, peppers and Italian meats, but I tell you, the coffee was incredible. Italy is known for its espresso, and it was served to me every morning at my bed and breakfast. I don’t know how they do it, but Italians just know how to make coffee.