Honeymoon Recap: Napoli

Good morning!n No “Five on Friday” for you today, but I think you’ll like this post! Now that the wedding recaps are complete, I can blog about our honeymoon! To sum it up, it was the most amazingly wonderful two weeks we could’ve ever asked for. It was our third time to Italy (2nd together), and I swear- it gets more and more special every time I visit.  We especially loved this trip because we got to explore the Amalfi Coast, which is even more beautiful in person than it is in pictures. Our itinerary was: Naples for 2 nights, Ischia for 4 nights, Sorrento for 3 nights, Positano for 4 nights and then 1 more night in Naples to be closer to the airport for our flight home. I’ll break the recap posts into each area that we visited, making sure to share what we did, where we stayed, what we ate (and where we ate where I can remember!), suggestions, etc.

img_6260

Where We Stayed:

For the first Naples stop, we stayed at the Renassaince Naples, which we really loved. It was a nice, clean hotel with decent size rooms, it had a great breakfast with beautiful views and most importantly, it was SUPER close to everything you’d want or need. We could literally walk out and be in various piazza’s in just a short walk. We were also surprised by a Luna di Miele gift (we assume it was organized by our travel agent: Coleen at Simply Honeymoons), which was a great way to be welcomed to the city!

dsc00010

img_6258 img_6275

img_6299

The hotel also had a small gym, which I used just once.

img_6314

For our last night in Naples at the end of our trip, our travel agent opted to put us at Grand Hotel Parker’s, and while it was a BEAUTIFUL hotel (very luxurious) with amazing views, we felt as though it was a bit too far out of the way for our liking. When we got there on Sunday afternoon, we were starving so we headed out to find food and had to walk and walk and walk in order to find anything. Granted, it was a Sunday and a lot of things are closed on Sundays, but still. It didn’t seem like it was a highly populated area of nearby piazza’s, cafes, etc., which was not the case with the Renaissance that we first stayed in. So, if your thing is views moreso than proximity to the action, then this is certainly the hotel for you because it was really, really nice and had wonderful views. Plus, our room was so great- it was 2 floors with 2 bathrooms! It was almost like a little apartment 🙂

img_6688 img_6691 img_6689 img_6698

What We Ate

I sent my parents a copy of the itinerary I created and they were laughing when they saw “eat pizza” on the list of “things to do” in Naples 😉 But the pizza in Napoli really is unlike anything we’ve ever had before. It was simply unbelievable. So basic, but so delicious! And cheap! 3 euros for a pizza- can’t get much better than that.

  • Aperol Spritz- These are the best thing ever! Paired with the “snacks” that cafes give you when you order drinks, it made for a perfect afternoon pickmeup.

img_6255

  • Cafe & Sfogliatelle at Gran Caffe Gambrinus, which is a well-known, very historic cafe in Naples. The sfogliatelle there were amazing!! If you don’t know what they are- google it, find an Italian bakery and get one. You won’t regret it!

dsc00021 img_6309

  • Pizza at Di Matteo. Tribunali Street is THE street to get pizza if you’re in Naples. If the line at Di Matteo is too long, there are at least a handful of other well-known, delicious places to choose from. We grabbed beers at the store next door, ordered a pizza and found a stoop to eat it on. It was amazing- and the pizza was only 3 euros- heck of a cheap date 😉

img_6265 img_6266

  • Lunch at Attori & Spettatori– We had been walking and walking and walking and finally stumbled upon this restaurant, which had everything we were looking for: drinks, food, outdoor seating, quiet area. We opted to get a piazza fritta, which is a “fried pizza”, a staple Naples is known for. It’s basically a calzone that’s been fried and while it’s good, we preferred the traditional pizza. This restaurant was great, though!

img_6283 img_6284 img_6281

  • Dinner at II Garum Ristorante– this was suggested by the hotel and it did not disappoint! We didn’t make reservations so we couldn’t eat outside, but the inside was warm and charming so it was great. We shared a few apps, but the star was the special of the night, which was a lobster tail pasta dish. SO good!

img_6304 img_6307 img_6310

  • Gelato- duh! I don’t remember the exact places, but everywhere we got one was great.

img_6308

What We Did

  • LOTS of walking around, checking out the various piazzas.
  • Tour “Naples Underground”- this was a really interesting part of our trip because we didn’t know that it even existed! From their siteForty meters below the characteristic and lively streets of the Historic Center of Naples, you find a different world, unexplored, isolated by time, but deeply connected with the world above. It’s the heart of Naples, and the place from which the city was born. To visit it is to travel to the past, a world 2400 years old.Every historic epic, from the foundation of Neopolis, to the bombs of WWII, has left it’s mark on the walls of the yellow tufa stone, the soul of Naples, and the stone with which the city was built. Naples Underground is the most famous and fascinating guided tour underneath the city of Naples. Our guides will take you on a journey through 2,400 years of history, from the ancient Greeks to modern times, unveiling the “womb” of Naples from an archaeological, historical, anthropological and geological point of view.. Head on over to their site to learn more- I know my explanation won’t do it justice!
  • Walk around & explore small streets & churches- Italy is FULL of both of these things and we really enjoyed just wandering and stumbling upon both.

dsc00056 dsc00067

  • Archaeological Museum- We didn’t get a chance to visit this, but I would’ve liked to have because it sounded amazing. They had lots of original pieces from Pompeii which would’ve been cool to see.
  • Eat pizza 😉 And mozzarella… no, seriously. Throughout the whole trip we couldn’t stop raving about how GOOD the mozzarella was. It was so creamy and fresh and flavorful- unlike anything we’ve ever had in the states!

Would we go back?

Absolutely!! While we had received words of caution before going (ie: hold your bag tight, leave your ring in the safe, etc.), we didn’t feel nervous or in danger at any point during our trip. Sure, there were a few homeless people asking for money and the city felt a little dirty, but nothing you wouldn’t get from any other city. Overall, we really loved Napoli and would totally go back!

Questions for you: Have you ever been to Napoli? What’s your favorite “big city”? Do you prefer fancy/loaded pizzas or more basic? What’s your favorite vacation drink?

 

Italy Recap Part 1: Rome

Hi friends! I feel like the start of my Italy vacation recap posts is long overdue. I can’t figure out if it’s because I don’t want to believe it’s over yet or because I have so much to share and don’t know how I want to do it. Whatever the reason, I’ve decided to make the plunge into my recaps today. I’ll preface this post by saying that I had very little (read: NOTHING) to do with the planning of this trip so I can’t really tell you why we went to the places we went and why we stayed at the particular places we did while at each location. It was solely RM’s brother and sister who worked with the travel agent to determine where we’d be going and where we’d be staying and I think they did a really great job! I loved each location for different reasons. They used Donna Franca tours, who specialize in Italian vacations, if you’re looking to have help planning your next vacation to Italy.

Boston–> Roma

Our flight wasn’t until 10:45pm on Thursday night (wayyyy past my bedtime!), so we decided to just go to the airport really early and eat dinner/have drinks before that.

IMG_1175 IMG_1178 IMG_1179

The flight was smooth and I think I was able to get about 3 hours of sleep 😉 We arrived in Rome around noon and luckily had car service to the apartment we rented. It was fun staying in an apartment for the first part of the trip because we were able to get comfortable and feel a sense of home.

IMG_1184
Continue reading

Birthday Celebrations

Ok, ok. I know. You’re probably all sick of hearing about my birthday, but I promise this is it! I want to have this as a reminder of how wonderful my birthday was this year. It was definitely one for the books. So many cards, texts, flowers, emails, Facebook notes… I feel SO blessed and loved. I wish it could be my birthday every day!

037

Most of you probably saw how I spent my Saturday, but if you didn’t, go check it out! It was a busy day for sure, but it was fun because I was able to pamper myself a little! Saturday night, some of my closest girlfriends and I got all done up and headed to The Brahmin for dinner before other friends met up for drinking. The girls know me so well because Jessi, Danielle and Amy all got me Prosecco! Amy also got me flowers:)

001 002

034

We headed to the Brahmin around 7pm so that we could eat and relax and not worry about the ridiculous line that forms there by, like, 9pm. It’s insane!

033The food was really quite tasty and we loved that it was all tapas style since we love sharing food! The waitress brought over shots and I think that’s what got me going to a drunken place I don’t tend to go! Luckily, I remembered dessert! 😉

020I was so happy to have so many friends around to make my birthday so special!

031And, a gym friend even came! Of COURSE we had to bring the guns out… it’s a gym thing.

030Not long after this, it was time for me to go home. Luckily, Rachel was nice enough and got me into a cab safely. THANK YOU, friend! JP sent me this photo the next day and it pretty much sums up the night and how happy I was:

001…….

My parents came into the city on Tuesday for post-birthday celebrations. We totally lucked out and had gorgeous weather. The city was still a little somber after Monday’s Marathon events, and the security/police presence was bigger than I’ve ever seen it, but we still made the best of the day. I loved seeing all the marathon runners wearing their blue jackets. I wanted to run up and hug every one of them.

We opted to stay in the Faneuil Hall and North End part of the city, which was fine by me. We played tourist walking up and down along Quincy Market,

016and decided to have lunch at the Salty Dog. Lunch was delicious (I splurged on a fried catfish sandwich!), the beer (first Sam Summer of the season) was so refreshing, but the company was the best part!

025After lunch, we walked along the water and up the back end of Hanover street. My mom wanted to take some cannoli’s home, so obviously Mike’s Pastry was a necessary stop. I couldn’t believe it-the line was short! This is unheard of at this place. I got a red velvet cupcake and then later stopped and got a gelato. So tasty!

024All that walking around really made us thirsty, so a stop at Bell In Hand was a perfect place to quench our thirst before my parents went to catch their train at North Station.

020I was sad to see them leave, but so thankful that I got to spend such a fun day in the city with them. They are just the cutest little people around!

So, there you have it- my 28th birthday celebrations are FINALLY all documented! If you made it this far, thanks for sticking through this monster post!

Questions for you: What’s the most memorable birthday you’ve had? Do you play tourist in your city?