Frederick on the Road: Italy

Italy!!! Gosh, like many of you, we’ve had trips booked and then cancelled because of Covid. This on in particular was scheduled for May of 2020 and we finally were able to make it happen. We started our two week Italy trip off in Rome which I was excited for yet was easily thinking it would be my least favorite part of the trip. Why? I was expecting it to be a tourist trap with too many people. Here’s what I learned quickly about Rome. Get off the main roads!!! But what about the historical sites? Yes, go see them. Pay a little bit more for private tours and enjoy them with 4-6 other people and then get off the main roads. I swear, down every alley and every turn it, magic awaits. Overhead string lights, no crowds, mom and pop style restaurants. Its really hard to describe, yet if you’ve been, you understand.

From Rome, we blasted off to Naples for a night which turned out to be the most interesting place we visited. The pizza? A 10/10. No questions about it… hands down, the best margarita pizza I’ve ever experienced. The location of where we stayed? The Air BnB was very nice.. however getting there was an absolute different story lol. The streets around our Air BnB were extremely tight. So tight, our taxi driver couldn’t get us to where we were staying. Meaning, we were dropped off in the shopping district with about 15 minutes of walking in front of us. I know… 15 minutes isn’t bad on paper, yet throw in cobblestone streets, walking through crowds of people with 2 large suit-cases and doing it all UP-HILL… 15 minutes feels like 45 minutes of pain. Once we got to the Air BnB and all of the frustration was out, we settled in with a good amount of beer and pizza and it turned out to be one of the most memorable nights of our trip… filled with great conversations and laughter all throughout

From Naples, we were off to the Amalfi Coast. We stayed in Positano to be exact, and it was breathtaking. This was one of the places we splurged on Air BnB’s because the view warranted it. We had such an incredible host who took great care of us and hooked us up with amazing recommendations and reservations. If you’ve never experienced Amalfi Coast be warned, the stairs were intense. I’ve never sweated that much going downhill. It felt like my internal breaking system in my thighs were going out on me. Yet, I managed. Don’t let that deter you though, they actually have a decent inner bus line that

From Naples, we travelled too Positano located on the Amalfi Coast which was stunning and then to Florence. From Florence to Tuscany and from Tuscany to Venice where funny enough, I ran into a friend of mine on the train!!! Frederick is world-wide apparently!

Lets speed things up with a Q & A because I really could spend the next ten hours detailing it all. Considering going to Italy soon or in the future? Give me a call, would love to give you my perspective.

Lessons learned on this trip:

1. Be present. Not sure about you, but I’m used to getting the check right after dinner and moving on. Doing that in parts of Italy seemed frowned upon… not in a bad way. I felt like it was their way of saying, “Hey, sit back, relax, enjoy this limoncello and just be present and when you’re ready to leave… I’ll come back.” I hardly felt rushed in Italy when doing anything, which is WILD because it completed contradicts how they drive.

2. Italians are the best drivers in the world. I get it now. The amount of confidence our Italian drivers had and the ones around of was incredible. There was no panic in close situations, just smooth reactions.

3. Get off the main road and explore. You never know what you’re going to find.

4. When traveling two days here, 2 days there, 1 night here, and 3 days there…. Get a hotel. The pain of not being able to get dropped off at the front door and having to walk up 3-6 flights of stairs (spiral in several locations) was too much to bear. It’s just annoying. Take out the huffing and puffing and anxiety of it all and just take an elevator to your room and relax. Our suitcases weighed as much as my house, and it wasn’t fun.

Place I liked the most?

· In order: Rome/Positano/Venice/Tuscany/Naples/Florence

o There was something special about Rome. The history. The architecture. The food. If you told me I had to spend two weeks again in one location, it would be Rome.

o Florence didn’t do it for me. Was it because I had food poisoning there? Perhaps. Was it because the streets were packed? Perhaps. Get of the main road Cory!! I did, and it still didn’t touch Rome. I will say, Florence felt super clean. I was impressed. Best thing about Florence, the Win Window. Literally…. Walk up to a tiny little window (just big enough to reach your arm through) in the side of the building and ring the bell. Order a red or white. Pretty cool!

Scariest place to drive?

· Naples. Too much to type out. But it was an experience I’ll never forget.

Must do?

· Rent a boat in the Amalfi for 6 hours and go swimming in the grottos. A memory I wont forget.

Best place to eat?

· La Scoglio. Thanks to Stanley Tucci’s “Searching for Italy” we took a boat to this restaurant in the Amalfi and it didn’t disappoint. Perhaps the best pasta I ate on the trip was at this restaurant.

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