Traveling Italy is fun, sometimes stressful and mostly about eating. Traveling from the North to the South of Italy is ALL about eating, drinking and the occasional stress (mostly due to the fact that the North and the South could not be more opposite.)
We traveled more than 3000 km (this is just in the car, so excluding the 20km a day of walking) these last two weeks traveling Italy. If you’ve kept up with all the latest Instagram shots and stories you’ll know that it was an absolute trip of a lifetime, honestly we saw some of the most beautiful places, ate some of the best food, and laughed until we cried! There was barely not one place we didn’t touch (baring Napoli, but that’s a story in itself.)
One of the things I enjoyed most about the trip, apart from the fact that it was shared with family which in itself is a wonder, was that I was able to feel like I was working the whole way through. I literally storied my way through Italy, and it forced me to actually be aware and much more focused on the beauty of it all.
There is an obvious elephant in the room, Napoli, I’ve hardly posted any pictures of that place. Don’t get me wrong Italy, Napoli included is beautiful, but I wouldn’t intentionally go back. (Although I do think that it’s good experience even just once in your life.)
We started our family trip around Italy right in the north, the famous capital of fashion, coffee and all things “modern Italian”, Milan. Angelos’ family likes to joke that I am a northern Italian when it comes to all things Italy, and I must say, after this trip I will welcome that label any day of the week.
The north of Italy, for those who don’t know, is usually filled with all the places that you see on the pictures, it has good food, coffee, fashion and of course the famous gelato. Naturally all the Italian people are gorgeous, fashionable and irritatingly in such good shape, which is surprising considering the amount of carbs they eat everyday. I’ve spoken about Milan so many times, it’s getting old. There is the famous duomo, the shops, the beautiful arch and the castle, all within walking distance from the center piazza.
Then we hit Lake Como, the boys did some cycle tour with someone who carried the yellow jersey for four days in he Tour de France, and mom and I had breakfast by the lake. We were only there for two days but we managed to get everything in that we wanted to do, including a nice warm swim in the lake. Angelo and I even woke up early one morning to get the famous shot in! Bellagio was literally a place of dreams, there were quite a few tourists, but given that time of year it’s too be expected, all in all it’s just gorgeous beyond belief.
From there we traveled to Florence, which is my all time favorite city in Italy, its filled with art, culture and is actually where the Italian language originates from. So let’s just say the artist in me takes everything about that city in. We visited all our favorite spots, from Ditta Artigianale (best coffee in Florence), we did the sunset on the steps of of piazzale Michelangelo, and naturally had a panino from Anticio Vineao . All the good things in life.
After that we headed south to Napoli, aka Naples in English. Let me explain something to you, this big city is absolutely brimming with character and good intentions. It’s kind of like that old uncle who has also been really nice to you, but there is just something not right, he is a little too nice. You catch my drift? Naples is that guy. Dirty, filled with entire families on one scooter, and absolutely packed with traffic and loud voices, the stereotypical city “slum”, like a stray dog with more character than all the pure breeds combined. People shout at you, swear and maybe even spit on the ground near you, but wow, it’s one heck of an adrenaline rush getting around there. We arrived at our Air BnB and the manager told us to take off all our jewelry… just to be on the safe side. So it starts. As soon as you step out of the apartment you’re assaulted by the sounds of hooting cars and shouting humans. As well as rubbish all along the sides of the road. Now don’t get me wrong, as much as I will complain about Napoli, it truly was an experience we will never forget, after all… what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right?!
Our base was Napoli, and we ventured out onto the surrounding islands and places for about 3 days, which included the Amalfi coast, and Ischia, where we swam next to a private castle, yes you read that right. A private castle.
I absolutely loved Ischia, Positano was also beautiful, but full of tourists and grossly overpriced. Which means you can’t really sit back and relax, when you’re too busy worrying about the price of everything. Ischia was for sure the highlight of the trip, another one of Italy’s hidden treasures. It’s mostly Italians on the island, and naturally… being an island… there are loads of spots to swim at. A true mermaids dream, especially in the heat of the Italian summer.
After the trip we returned to pavia, only to leave (after completely moving apartments) for South Africa, literally the next day. It was literally two weeks of being in a different city almost every day, pure bliss for a traveler at heart. Who wouldn’t love that?!
Although this blog post is about 3 weeks late, the memories are still fresh. I documented the entire trip on my stories, as well as on my Travelibro app, so for videos and more pictures, check it out. (Plus this is my first paid collaboration, so you’ll be helping a sister out!)