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Italy

The Best of the Italian Riviera in 3 Days

Posted by on Sep 24, 2017 | 0 comments

The Best of the Italian Riviera in 3 Days

The shining star of Italy’s Liguria region, the Italian Riviera stretches lazily along the Mediterranean connecting the South of France to Tuscany. Along that crescent-shaped coastline, you’ll find hidden turquoise coves sprinkled between stunning pastel-colored seaside towns.

After visiting Cinque Terre on our honeymoon, Dave and I were excited to head back to this beautiful part of Italy to see more. For this visit to the Italian Riviera, we chose Santa Margherita Ligure as our base of operation. With a central location along the coast and an abundance of reasonably-priced accommodations, it seemed like the perfect choice (and, indeed, it turned out to be).

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Elba Island Italy: Tuscany’s Best Beaches

Posted by on Aug 19, 2017 | 2 comments

Elba Island Italy: Tuscany’s Best Beaches

After a wonderful stay in the Republic of San Marino, we were so excited to head back to Florence for a visit to the villa where we got married. With our 2nd anniversary right around the corner, a reunion with our Italian family in Tuscany and a few days spent reminiscing about our beautiful wedding week were just what we needed!

The villa was even more magical than we remembered and we could have stayed for a month but, alas, after a few days it was time to move on to the next stop on our Italian tour, the island of Elba. So, after reluctant farewells to our villa family, we hopped back in the car for the drive to the coast.

Elba Island is the largest of the 7 islands in the Tuscan archipelago and the third largest in Italy, after Sardinia and Sicily. But aside from its popularity as a holiday destination, Elba is perhaps most famous for harboring French Emperor Napoleon during his exile in 1814-15.

But aside from the island’s rich Napoleonic history, most visitors flock to Elba Island for clear blue seas and magnificent beaches that could rival those in the Caribbean.

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The Republic of San Marino: Italy’s Mountaintop Microstate

Posted by on Aug 14, 2017 | 0 comments

The Republic of San Marino: Italy’s Mountaintop Microstate

After a glorious week island-hopping from Procida to Ischia and finally to the Amalfi Coast, it was time to head north. We hopped on the train from Sorrento to Naples to pick up the rental car that would be our primary transportation for the remainder of our time in Italy.

First up on the Italian road trip, a destination I’d always wanted to visit – the microstate of San Marino. Also known as the “Most Serene Republic of San Marino,” the world’s fifth smallest nation is an enclaved microstate completely surrounded by Italy.

Founded in A.D. 301 by a Christian stonemason named Marinus, San Marino is the lone survivor of Italy’s ancient city-state network. This tiny, landlocked nation situated at the top of Mount Titano somehow managed to outlast more powerful kingdoms like Genoa and Venice.

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The Amalfi Coast Italy in 4 Amazingly Affordable Days

Posted by on Aug 6, 2017 | 0 comments

The Amalfi Coast Italy in 4 Amazingly Affordable Days

After arriving in Naples and island hopping from Procida to Ischia for our first few nights, it was time to move on to our ultimate goal – the Amalfi Coast. I’d visited Positano once before, on Round the World #4, but it was January and everything was closed for the season. I couldn’t wait to go back and explore during the summer season and share this gorgeous part of Italy with Dave.

From Ischia, we had a few different options for getting to our next stop in Positano. We could ferry back to Naples and then take the train to Sorrento followed by a bus or boat to Positano. Or we could ferry to Capri, change boats and then head straight for Positano. Since we didn’t care for Naples at all and we loved the idea of stopping for lunch in Capri, we decided to go with option 2 and booked the 10:35am ferry to Capri.

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Italian Island-Hopping in Ischia Italy

Posted by on Jul 22, 2017 | 0 comments

Italian Island-Hopping in Ischia Italy

New destinations often cross my radar thanks to a friend who has visited there. In the case of Ischia, it was a friend who is actually from there! My friend Sandra lives in Washington DC but spends several weeks each summer visiting family on the Italian island of Ischia.

I’ve heard her talk about the place for years and since it was virtually impossible to ferry from Procida to our next stop in Positano without going through Ischia, we decided to spend a night and get a good look at this photogenic Italian island for ourselves.

Known for its mineral-rich thermal waters, the volcanic island of Ischia is home to spa towns, beach resorts, gardens, vineyards and one very impressive castle built on a rock near the island in 474 BC.

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Pretty Procida: Italy’s Best-Kept Island Secret

Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 | 2 comments

Pretty Procida: Italy’s Best-Kept Island Secret

After a fabulous 4-day road trip through Ireland it was time to move on to our next stop, Italy! The plan was to spend the first week along the Amalfi Coast before working our way up to Florence for our anniversary.

We flew from Dublin to Naples via Paris and made the most of a 10-hour (intentional) layover to take the train into the city and enjoy a perfect summer day in the French capital. The only down side of spending the day in Paris was that we didn’t arrive in Naples until nearly 11pm, meaning that we’d have to spend the night before taking the ferry to our first stop, the island of Procida Italy.

Procida has been on my radar since my well-traveled friend, Janice, visited several years ago sharing drool-worthy pictures on Facebook of pastel-colored homes cascading down a cliff to sparkling blue seas below. I immediately added Procida to my wish list and this seemed like the perfect place to start our Italian holiday.

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