As of today, it’s just two months until our adventure in Europe begins! I am bursting at the seams, and my stomach literally aches with excitement. This past weekend, I spent a lot of quality time with my Italian lessons, so I’m doing what I can to prepare myself.
I’ve already shared what we’ll be up to during the first week of our 16-day trip, and today I’m back with what we’ll be doing the balance of the time. Just like on the last post, I’ll be discussing the exact accommodations we’ve booked, the price of those digs, and any activities we participate in. So really, you’ll be able to book a similar trip if you so choose! I’ve also included a darling little map that I drew/illustrated with the driving details. Cominciamo!
Cinque Terre – 5.5 hour drive from Lauterbrunnen
On Saturday morning, we’ll wake in Lauterbrunnen and start the five-and-a-half-hour drive to Cinque Terre. Along the way we’ll pass through Lake Como, Milan, Genoa, and other Italian towns that I’m sure will be pulling our interest. A stop here or there for a snack will definitely be part of the leisurely drive. I plan, however, to be in Riomaggiore by 5pm. The Cinque Terre are are known for winding, dangerous roads, so by nightfall, the car should be parked! The Autosilos garage, at the tip of Riomaggiore is 40 euros for a two day park, but I think it will be worth it to hike the trails by foot. We’ll stay one night in Manarola at the Ca’D’Andrean for our first night ($160) then hike the next day to Monterosso going through Corniglia and Vernazza along the way. We’ll end in Monterossa and stay one night at the Hotel Margherita for $160. While the guidebooks say it only takes 5.5 hours to hike through all five towns, we’re allotting about 36 hours to experience the area, mostly following this NY Times article. After waking in Monterosso, we’ll hang out a bit before taking the Cinque Terre train back to the carpark and continuing our drive to Rome. We are a little on the fence about whether to drive down the coast, or whether to drive through the heart of Tuscany. We’ve spent time in Florence on a previous trip, so we’re not diehard about going there, but would love to hear your thoughts if anyone has an opinion on the matter!
Rome – 5-ish hours from La Spezia
I have a lot of excitement built up for Rome. I am not quite sure why, but it may or may not be related to how often I watch Eat, Pray, Love. Just saying. Anyway, we’ll ditch the car at the Rome airport and continue into the city via bus or train. Once in the city, we’ll be staying all three nights at the Albergo del Senato, which is the most pricey room we booked for the entire trip at about $275 per night. I had two separate people rave about the hotel, so I thought that it would be a nice splurge to be very centrally located in this infamous walking city.
One totally totally random side note. We happen to have a friend of a friend of the family who works at the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican. Although he has offered that we can actually stay at the embassy residences, I’m a little on the fence about it since it appears to be a bit of a distance from the city center. But it also seems to be a total once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so more on that as we get closer.
Since it’s both Matt and My first time to Rome, we are going to spend a day doing some very touristy things – the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Vatican, the many fountains and piazzas, and so on. I’ve toyed with getting a guide for these things since it came highly recommended by a few of you guys!
On our second night in Rome, we’re doing a twilight food tour (suggested by another reader, Sam) and I am so excited for it! It’s a little pricey, but got fabulous reviews on trip advisor!
Aside from the typical touristy spots and the food tour, I really just plan on wandering around, eating a lot, and drinking just as much.
Positano – 3.5 hours by train + boat from Rome
After four days and three nights in Rome, we’ll hop a train to Salerno, then grab a ferry into Positano. We’ll stay just two nights at the Albergo California which is about $200 each night. I honestly have zero plans for what we’ll do there. A couple of you recommended a few places to eat, so we’ll definitely have to put those on the schedule! Again, I think I’ll try to be on the “no-plan-plan” as much as possible. A day trip to Capri might be in the cards, but who knows! We’ll have to see where the wind takes us.
As most of you probably have experienced, sometimes you get back from a vacation and need a vacation! This is why we tacked a few days in Positano onto the end of the itinerary. I’m hoping to sit by a beach, drink in hand, and read or relax before heading home. Since our flights leave out of Rome, our plan is to take the last ferry and train out of Positano on Saturday evening. We’ll stay Saturday night at the Hotel Indigo in Rome, which I was able to get with points, but runs about $250/night. On Sunday morning, we’ll leisurely make our way to the airport for a noon flight back to the states!
I made this quick little road trip guide for the itinerary as well if anyone is interested in something similar in the future. Just HERE and it will expand to full size, then you can save or pin it!
Just like last time, any feedback is definitely welcome! I did get a TON of feedback on my original post, which I have all stowed away in my Evernote account for reference!
Allora, a domani!
p.s. Want more? I’m posting today over on the Bali blog about by top design book choices for every style. Check it out!