Ciao! Apologies for the delay on this post, I’ve been dying to share our Italy travel diary but jetlag and catching up with life in LA got the best of me, so here we go! Today I’m sharing Rome and Capri, next I’ll share a Positano Travel Guide, so get excited!
Prior to this trip, I’d been to Europe several times before but had never visited Italy. Even before going, I already knew Italy would become one of my favorite countries. My boyfriend and I love to travel and make a point to take one big trip a year. This was a bit of a last minute trip but fortunately we were able to book flights and most of our hotels on credit card points (the best way to travel, seriously!).
Although the Amalfi Coast (Capri + Positano) were the main highlights of the trip, but we were able to get a glimpse of Rome as well. If you’re flying from the West Coast, Europe can feel a bit far – it’s a much easier trip for our East Coast friends (in fact, almost everyone we encountered in Capri and Positano were from Manhattan). If you can fly directly into Rome or Naples, DO IT, because international travel + layovers can be a nightmare.
dress: band of gypsies
We only spent a couple days in the Eternal City. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you certainly can’t get through the city in a day. I could honestly spend weeks exploring the city. Instead of doing all of the typical tourist attractions, we decided to skip the crowds and lines and instead spend the time we had in Rome walking around the city leisurely. Knowing that Italy is definitely a destination we’ll return to, we felt fine skipping the usual “must-sees” and simply wandered around the city.
Going against my extreme type A / obsessive planning tendencies, we enjoyed Rome slowly, wandering from piazza to piazza, stopping regularly for spritzes + gelato. My favorite spots for apertivo time: the courtyard at Hotel de Russie and Ai Tre Scalini.
You really can’t have a terrible meal in Italy, but there certainly are tourist traps (and lots of them). If you’re looking for local and authentic joints with a neighborhood vibe, your best bet is usually to follow your eyes and ears.
From Rome we took a quick 1 hour train to Naples and caught a short ferry to Capri. It’s much easier to get to the Amalfi Coast if you fly directly into Naples as opposed to Rome, but there is so much more to do in Rome! I would choose Rome over Naples any day. If you have time, stop in Naples for the pizza. They’re famous for their extremely thin crust pizza. We made a pit stop at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele and it was one of the best decisions we made.
Seriously, life changing pizza.
We’ve done trips where we covered a different city a day in the past – while that is a lot of fun it is also so exhausting and you never really get to “know” a place. A lot of trip guides say you can cover the Amalfi Coast in a day or two, but I HIGHLY recommend staying longer!
Capri actually isn’t pronounced the way it’s spelled (like capri sun, or those awkward 3/4 length pants we all used to wear…) – Italians pronounce it “cahhh-pree!” and will pretend as though they don’t know what you’re talking about if you say it any other way.
When you first arrive in Marina Grande, you’ll want to get the hell out of there. Loud, crowded, and full of tourists – you’ll be wondering why the f*ck did I come to this place?! Every day between 10-4 the cruise ships arrive and it’s a clusterf*ck but towards late afternoon the crowds leave and the town is peaceful and quaint. For this reason you should spend at least one night on the island and experience the real Capri.
Once you get out of the Marina and into the main town square or venture even further out to Anacapri, you’ll find that the island is truly lovely and magical. We spent 3 nights on the island and it was the perfect amount of time for us.
Pictures don’t always tell a full story and although we got several days of sunshine and beautiful weather, it rained on as many days as it didn’t during our week and a half in Italy. Obviously this was entirely out of our control, and while a little bit of rain was fine in Rome, it did limit what we were able to do in Capri.
If you do visit Capri and get beautiful weather (which if you go during the summer months, you should!) here’s what to do:
Visit the beach clubs. The day we spent at La Fontelina was one of our favorites of the entire trip. Get a bottle of rose or a pitcher of sangria, and alternate between lounging on a beach chair and dipping into the sea.
La dolce vita indeed.
We didn’t get a chance to check out Il Riccio (near the famous Blue Grotto) due to the rain, but we heard great things about it as well.
Visit Anacapri – it’s a quick taxi or bus ride from the main square, for some reason we thought it would be a good idea to walk. Little did we know the path to Anacapri is a full on hike with what felt like thousands of stairs. Between the intense hike (seriously, dress for the occasion and bring water – we were so unprepared) and the stunning views from the top, it’ll take your breath away.
Go shopping in the main square. You could easily spend the day browsing the many designer boutiques on the island. If you’re looking for souvenirs or trinkets, Capri is known for their linens and custom handmade sandals.
Eat! Some restaurants we ate at and loved –
Villa Verde – because of the rain, we didn’t want to stray too far from where we were staying. Villa Verde was a solid option in the main square with the usual suspects on the menu – pasta, pizza, and a variety of mains. One of the better options to have dinner in the town.
Al Grottino – set “in a grotto,” we loved this restaurant for its intimate feel and simple, home cooked meals. We ate here several times and fell in love with the staff. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu!
Da Paolino – you may have seen photos of this restaurant with its many lemon trees. Although the restaurant was beautiful and lemon scented, it did feel slightly touristy. Still worth a visit if you have time as the ambiance is beautiful in the summer.
Buonocore Gelato – this was definitely a daily (or twice a day) habit for me. They make their waffle cones fresh on the spot, it’s practically impossible to walk by and smell the fresh cones and NOT get a gelato.
Rent a boat – 100% do this if you have a chance – we had originally scheduled a boat tour for a day but had to cancel because of the weather. I was a little disappointed that we did not get to see the famous Faraglioni rocks up close, but it’s really just an excuse to go back to Capri ASAP ; ).
Honestly, there isn’t TOO much to do on Capri. If you’re looking for a jam packed and action filled itinerary for this part of the Italy Travel Diary, you’ve come to the wrong place. The pace of living on the island is very slow, and we honestly spent our days walking around the town, hanging out at La Fontelina, and drinking spritzes. If this isn’t your thing, one full day might be more than enough for you.
Stayed tuned for the second half of my trip + Italy Travel Diary (my personal favorite) – A Positano travel guide!
As always, thank you for reading and if you ever have ANY questions about my Italy trip or are trying to plan your own trip, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask.