We’re going to Italy: The plan is shaping up

Thursday Travel

The last time I was in Italy I was working on a television special for the Travel Channel, “Samantha Brown’s First Cruise” in 2004.  The cruise set sail from Barcelona, Spain and made stops along the way in Nice, Rome, Naples, Florence, Venice, Dubrovnik and Corfu. All beautiful places to behold.  Yet the thing that I remember most were the people that I worked with, especially the very wonderful Brian Miller of Wide Angle TV, aka THE best camera man ever and the very funny, charming and oh so professional Samantha Brown.  The rest of the crew wasn’t bad either.  It was on this trip that Brian introduced me to the “happy snap”TheCrew

which he’s taking, the Briny-Boo (Kettle One, tonic and lemon, never lime) and that you can believe Brian when he says he doesn’t need a tripod.  Because Mr. Miller is a human tripod as he illustrated when he made an incredible sweeping pan over the square of Florence and landing perfectly on Samantha as she delivered her line.  Bravo Mr. Miller!

On this trip we went to Rome for an incredibly short time, eight hours, in which we saw the Colosseum, the Forum, the Vatican and then returned to the ship.IMG_0423

We went to Naples where we had just enough time to walk in the Spanish quarter, see a few tripe shops, nosh on a genuine sfogliatelle and of course “mange” on pizza…,and returned to the ship.

TheCrewNaples

Our visit to Venice was filled with stunning sites.VeniceCanalVeniceStreetAnd my thought as we buzzed along on this fast paced trip is, “Can’t we stay just a bit longer?  Just once to linger over the beauty that was before us?”  Experience is our best advisor, so I have ingested that into my system.

So for OUR trip to Italy Nahid and I want a bit more time to explore and bask in the beauty of Rome.  To that end Nahid found an incredible apartment on Airbnb that’s in Trastevere just outside the hustle and bustle of Rome and from the Streetwise map of Rome a walk to the Colosseum.  We will update when we are in Rome.

Naples is shaping up.  We’ll train down from Rome and stay in Hotel Il Convento. It’s a good place to explore Naples proper and then to jump on the train to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum.  After that we can pick up a car and head to Positano.

Nahid and I were confused as to where to go next.  I remember reading an article about the “Spur” of Italy in the NYT.  After a bit of research we decided to visit a place neither one of us had been to.  So after the Amalfi Coast we are headed due eat and over quite a few mountains to Gargano Promontory, that is in Puglia.  The two towns are Vieste and Peschici.  We can’t wait to go.

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5 Responses to We’re going to Italy: The plan is shaping up

  1. It’s good that you are considering to go to South italy too. Many tourusts forget about the beauties of this part of italy. After all italian pictures that most of people have are from south (food, spaghetti, pizza, music, people, sea, islands, vesuvio, mandolino…). Sicily and Apulia regions are very nice to visit!

  2. champagne says:

    Yes I agree, the south of Italy is a wonderful place, Rome (central) and Naples (south) are my favorite cities! I hope you go to the gorgeous old greek section of Napoli (near the subterranean) – wonderful outdoor cafes, incredible sights, sounds, people watching and architecture… and also the waterfront for dinner. Caffee Gambrinus is an art nouveau treasure and Oscar Wilde’s favorite cafe. His favorite chocolates are at the delicious Naple’s Gay Odin chocolates. The museo archaeologico (roman sculpture and pompeiian ruins and art artifacts and frescoes and museo capidimonte (caravaggio, artemesia gentileschi – look for her Judith Slaying Holofornes – another better copy is in Florence at the Uffizi – plus other paintings of the amazing woman Renaissance artist are at the capidimonte) – are both world class museums! The gardens and park outside the capidimonte is gorgeous. Look for a dazzling, moss covered mermaid nymphs fountain and a beautiful view of Naples. Naples also has the best view of Vesuvius.

    With Rome since you’ve been before, try to go to some off the beaten path places. I just wrote a post on Trastevere (where you’ll be staying!!) … it’s Villa Farnesina. Have you been to the truly beautiful Protestant Cemetery in Testaccio? Keats and Shelley are there, Geothe’s son, Trelawney… it is a beautiful park and has an incredible view of the pyramid of Cestius. It’s truly one of the most wonderful places I’ve ever been in my life. No-one has complained when I’ve recommended they visit it. They all walk away enchanted with it. You can also see the Keats Shelly (Byron) house at the piazza di spagna (and have tea at babingtons and espresso chocolates and prosecco or a really good capp at 17th century Caffe Greco around the corner! It was the haunt of the English Romantics, Oscar Wilde, Gogol even wrote a novel there. Lunch and dinner in Trastevere are great – the bread at La Renella is sumptuous. Lunch and a visit to Campo dei Fiori is a must… the restaurant on the left side (if facing the bruno statue…) at the far far left, last restaurant has DELICIOUS food. Sorry the name has escaped me. The products sold at the markets are all high quality and wonderful. I always get spices for the famous Roman dishes penne alla’ariabiatta and artichokes with herbs and bring them back in my suitcase. Sunset on the Pincio (Pincian Hill) at the Borghese garden (just up the hill from spanish steps, right overlooking the piazza del popolo) – is the best sunset in the world!!! A long walk around the borghese gardens/park is a must! Also, you must visit the Villa Borghese! Make reservations in advance! You are allowed in 2 hour blocks. The best time to stroll around Rome is on SUndays when the pollution is gone and the cars are off the major roads. The ruins are most charming at night! Capitoline hill museums are incredible. The Palatine is wonderful. A Sunday on the Appian way is life changing.

    Enjoy your trip!

  3. champagne says:

    Yes I agree, the south of Italy is a wonderful place, Rome (central) and Naples (south) are my favorite cities! I hope you go to the gorgeous old greek section of Napoli (near the subterranean) – wonderful outdoor cafes, incredible sights, sounds, people watching and architecture… and also the waterfront for dinner. Caffee Gambrinus is an art nouveau treasure and Oscar Wilde’s favorite cafe. His favorite chocolates are at the delicious Naple’s Gay Odin chocolates. The museo archaeologico (roman sculpture and pompeiian ruins and art artifacts and frescoes and museo capidimonte (caravaggio, artemesia gentileschi – look for her Judith Slaying Holofornes – another better copy is in Florence at the Uffizi – plus other paintings of the amazing woman Renaissance artist are at the capidimonte) – are both world class museums! The gardens and park outside the capidimonte is gorgeous. Look for a dazzling, moss covered mermaid nymphs fountain and a beautiful view of Naples. Naples also has the best view of Vesuvius.

    With Rome since you’ve been before, try to go to some off the beaten path places. I just wrote a post on Trastevere (where you’ll be staying!!) … it’s Villa Farnesina. Have you been to the truly beautiful Protestant Cemetery in Testaccio? Keats and Shelley are there, Geothe’s son, Trelawney… it is a beautiful park and has an incredible view of the pyramid of Cestius. It’s truly one of the most wonderful places I’ve ever been in my life. No-one has complained when I’ve recommended they visit it. They all walk away enchanted with it. You can also see the Keats Shelly (Byron) house at the piazza di spagna (and have tea at babingtons and espresso chocolates and prosecco or a really good capp at 17th century Caffe Greco around the corner! It was the haunt of the English Romantics, Oscar Wilde, Gogol even wrote a novel there. Lunch and dinner in Trastevere are great – the bread at La Renella is sumptuous. Lunch and a visit to Campo dei Fiori is a must… the restaurant on the left side (if facing the bruno statue…) at the far far left, last restaurant has DELICIOUS food. Sorry the name has escaped me. The products sold at the markets are all high quality and wonderful. I always get spices for the famous Roman dishes penne alla’ariabiatta and artichokes with herbs and bring them back in my suitcase. Sunset on the Pincio (Pincian Hill) at the Borghese garden (just up the hill from spanish steps, right overlooking the piazza del popolo) – is the best sunset in the world!!! A long walk around the borghese gardens/park is a must! Also, you must visit the Villa Borghese! Make reservations in advance! You are allowed in 2 hour blocks. The best time to stroll around Rome is on SUndays when the pollution is gone and the cars are off the major roads. The ruins are most charming at night! Capitoline hill museums are incredible. The Palatine is wonderful. A Sunday on the Appian way is life changing.

    Enjoy your trip! !! Sorry if this posted twice, wordpress is acting up today and is showing this didn’t post.

  4. Kim says:

    This is going to be a fabulous trip. Sooo looking forward to seeing pictures, and getting recommendations for when it’s our turn to go!

    [K]

  5. Elenana says:

    You will absolutely love Trastevere! It’s a 15-minute walk from the Vatican – I did a day trip there by myself.

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