Panini

Firenze (Florence) Italy

We love Firenze! It is a big and beautiful city. It is Italy. It is the capital of art and architecture in Italy. From the duomo to the ponte vecchio to the views this is an interesting city.

Stop at a bar or small restaurant and enjoy life as it passes by you. Have a cafè, panini, gelato or a glass of wine as you observe life.

Come and walk with us in Firenze in our video below and see this wonderful city…

– George

Categories: Church, Cooking, David, Duomo, Eating, Eating Italian, Espresso, Europe, Florence, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Museums, Panini, Ponte Vecchio, Ristorante, Romance, Towns, Traveling without a tour, Tuscany, Walking, Wine, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Isle of Capri’s Anacapri

Anacapri is the other city on Capri Isle. It is smaller, quieter and less hustle bustle. You can drive, hire a car or taxi or take the bus from Capri. We chose the bus. Near the top of the funicular is a bus station with busses to various attractions on the isle. The bus to Anacapri leaves from here and winds up a mountain to reach this city. Along the way are many wonderful vistas. You can sea the sea, the large marina far below and in the distant Mount Vesuvious. You get off in the center where you can catch a bus back to Capri.

B-Capri do

Anacapri

Walk the small streets and look at the restaurants and bars. Try to decide what to have for lunch in an hour or two. Look into the ceramic shops. We bought a very large spaghetti dish and they packed it for travel. We placed it in our suitcase and hoped for the best. It survived perfectly. The ceramics are made in this town and hand painted. They are all unique and beautiful.

One of the streets from the center leads down through these stores and restaurants to a small piazza with a church. Walking here is like mediating. It is quiet and peaceful. Enjoy this time before returning to the hustle bustle of massive tourists in Capri. This street has many tourists but beyond the piazza with the church are mostly locals.

B-Capri dr B-Capri dt

Someone house and the center of town at bus stop

On the way back to the center, we decided to eat lunch. We had seen a small restaurant/bar on the way that served food out a window to you on the street. We got two panini, a drink and a fabulous desert. The owners talk with you at the window. Everything is made in front of you and is very delicious.

Finally we were on the bus back to Capri with our dish in hand. The ride down is less dramatic as you are mostly on the mountain side of the road and not the cliff side. We arrived back at the bus station and began our stroll through the beautiful city of Capri once again. You could hear many different languages being spoken, Music, laughter and the clang of dishes at the restaurants and bars. This is what I love about Italy. It is always alive and full of life and fun. All you have to do is place yourself in it and enjoy it.

This is an Isle that is easy to be romantic. You feel it everywhere. You see couples in love all around you. Hold hands with your partner and enjoy your life.

Next BLOG will talk about why you want to spend the night in Capri.

George

 

Categories: Anacapri, Bars, Cafè, Campania, Capri, Ceramics, Eating, Eating Italian, Food, Funicular, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Mount Vesuvious, Mountain Towns, Panini, Romance, Shopping, Small Towns, Traveling without a tour, Walking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Some of Our Best Memories

We have assembled pictures of some of our best memories in Italy. Italy is always romantic and it is always memorable. There are so many special little moments. The architecture, the sites, the history, the people, the food, the wine, … and so much more.

Enjoy your trip to see relatives, sites, museums or to just be Italian for a short while.

Dolce far niente!

George & Jo

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Assisi, Beaches, Blue Flag Beaches, Casal Velino Marina, Cilento, Coliseum, cornetto, Dolce, Dolce far niente, Duomo, Eating Italian, Europe, Florence, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Greek Ruins, Italy, Marina Casal Velino, Montepulciano, Mountain Towns, Museums, Naples, Owning a home in Italy, Paestum, Panini, Pantheon, Pastry, Pizza, Planning a vacation, Positano, Ravello, Ristorante, Romance, Rome, Siena, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Spanish Steps, Stairs, Traveling without a tour, Trevi Fountain, Trottoria, Tuscany, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Top Beaches in Southern Campania Italy

Who doesn’t like a good beach on a hot summer day. If you have been reading our BLOG, you know that Italian beaches have clubs that give you a chase lounge or two, table and umbrella. They have great food service or you can bring your own, You can also go to nearby stores to get a pizza or panini. They serve all kinds of drinks right on the beach. A prosecco in a glass on the beach is divine!

There are many different types of beach in Southern Italy. Some with lava stone, small rocks or sand. All of these beaches are awarded the much coveted Blue Flag status.

Here are a small list of beaches to visit:

  1. Amalfi Coast – There are numerous small towns along the stretch from Positano to Salerno. Each may be on a beach or high above with stairs down. Some beaches are reachable only by boat. These beaches tend to be lava rock but the water is great. Pack a lunch and enjoy them.
  2. Capri – This island has two main beaches but they are small and heavy in boat and ferry traffic. Capri may not have the best beaches to relax on but is well worth a visit.
  3. Agropoli – has wonderful beaches and great for boating. This is a major town with an old section high up and worth exploring. The high-speed train stops here.
  4. Santa Maria Castellabate – This is a wonderful seaside town with small but nice beaches and a great promenade. There is the old mountain town of Castellabate high above and waiting to be explored.
  5. Casal Velino Marina – This is our beach town. It can get very crowded in August. The beach is wonderful sand. The waves are non-existent in the summer which makes it idea to swim and for small children. The beach clubs are wonderful. Friday is market day and an entire street is closed to an open air market.
  6. Ascea – We often go to this beach town as well. The sand has small pebbles but it is soft. There are beautiful rocks along the waterline. There are also great clubs here. Thursday is the market day and worth a visit. It is located on the road that parallels the beach. There is a train stop in this town.
  7. Sapri – Is a small town with a high-speed train stop along the sea. It is a cove with beaches and a great promenade.

Many of these towns have ferry services or small boats that can take you to other towns. You have so many choices in this part of Campania and it is home to the world-famous Mozzarella di Bufala. Have breakfast in a bar by the sea, have lunch in a restaurant or get a panini at a bar. There are so many choices of restaurants for dinner. This is paradise for both the beach goers and the explorers. Enjoy!

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Ascea, Bars, Beaches, Blue Flag Beaches, Buffalo Mozzarella, Campania, Capri, Casal Velino Marina, Castellabate, Europe, Ferries, General Travel, Italy, Mountain Towns, Panini, Pizza, Positano, Prosecco, Ristorante, Salerno, Sapri, Small Towns, Southern Italy, Trains, Traveling without a tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Plan a Trip to Italy – Part 12

Now you are in Italy and have a great small hotel. Where do you eat? I have posted on this before but to be complete in this series, we will post it again.

Italy is an easy place to find great local food. It is always fresh and usually organic. Italians love their country, their food and their wine. It shows when you eat in one of their restaurants. We have a few rules about food in Italy:

  • Do not eat at tourist places – they are usually close to the monuments tourists go to see. The food is not real Italian. You can find hamburgers, poorly prepared pasta and cheesy pizza.
  • Restorante are top of the line restaurants – They serve excellent food but are expensive.
  • Trottoria’s are local food for a moderate price – This is where we like to eat. They are everywhere and have fresh local food prepared correctly.
  • Pizzeria – These are restaurants that serve Pizza. You can have Restrorante and Pizzeria, Trattoria and Pizzeria or just Pizzeria.
  • Enotecca’s – these are wine bars that allow you to buy and sample different wines. You can usually eat small dishes as well. This is a great way to taste some of the local wines and determine which you like.
  • Breakfast is easy! Go to a local bar … that’s right a bar. They serve coffee (espresso or American or Cappuccino) and pastries. Cornetto is a croissant like pastry. The pastries are magnificent. Crispy and light. Normally you pick what you want and eat and then go to cash register and say what you had and pay. Some bars require you to pay in advance and take the ticket to the bar and order your food.

IMG_2059

Cornetti (multiple cornetto)

  • Gelateria – Italian ice cream. These places have a large number of types of ice cream. They are all made fresh and served soft. You can ask for a sample of several types and then choose what you want. You can get your gelato in a cone or a dish. Some places even make fresh waffle cones. Gelato is generally lower in calories, fat, cream, and sugar than other styles of ice cream.
  • Auto Grills – These are restaurants on the autostrada. They have surprisingly good food. You can get a panini, pasta, or sweet rolls. They also have tourist things like bags of pasta, candy and cookies.
  • Fruit & Vegetable stands/stores – Most large and small towns have these. Stop and buy some fruit to eat. Grapes, strawberries, peaches, apples or what ever is in season. Smell the fruit! You can actually smell fruit that is in season and ripe. Choose the most aromatic ones.

Choose wisely and enjoy the food. You don’t need to speak Italian. Just read the menu. Most items are listed the same as in nice Italian restaurants in the states. Point to what you want. Ordering the house wine is usually a treat in Italy. It is very good and inexpensive. It doesn’t come in a bottle but a litter or half litter pitcher.

Enjoy

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Auto Grills, Autostrada, Bars, cornetto, Enoteca, Europe, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Italy, Panini, Pastry, Ristorante, Trottoria, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Plan a Trip to Italy – Part 11

Your big day has finally come. You are going to Italy! Get to the airport early. We like to stop at Vino Volo after we get through security. We have a flight of wine (4 different glasses with about an ounce of wine each or one regular glass of wine). We also order some appetizers to go with the wine. For us this is the official start of our vacation.

Vino Volo

Vino Volo

We board the airplane early to ensure we get overhead space. The flight from Philadelphia to Rome is always full. We normally took US Airlines but they merged with American and they are one airline under the American name now. The planes are all newly painted with the new American logos. The plane is an airbus A330-300 – wide body. The non-stop flight is American 718 going to Rome and 719 returning. The 718 flight leaves Philadelphia at 6:25 pm and arrives in Rome the next day at 9:10 am. Coming home we leave Rome at 11:55 am and arrive in Philadelphia at 3:45 pm the same day.

American Airlines

The overnight flight going is mostly in darkness. After the meal service they turn off the cabin lights and you can sleep. If you don’t sleep onboard, you can watch movies or play games on your personal monitor in the back of the seat in front of you. You can also read. The flight goes fast if you can catch 2-3 hours sleep. Before landing you see the sun rise over Europe and a small breakfast service is given. The return flight has a lunch service and a snack before landing in Philly. It is in sun-light all the way so you can easily stay awake. We watch 3 movies to pass the time.

Arriving in Italy you are tired and your body is confused. After all it is 3:10 am back in Philly. We rent a car and drive to our first destination. We will stop on the Autostrada for a Panini (sandwich). This helps adjust your body to the new time zone. It is VERY important to not nap during the day! If you do you will wake-up in the middle of the night and be starving. Force yourself to stay awake and tour. Find something interesting to do. Have dinner and don’t go to bed before 8 pm. You will crash and sleep like a baby. When you wake up the next day you will be fully on Italy time.

Returning is easier since it is in daylight all the way. You arrive at 3:45 pm and by the time you get home it is after 5 pm (11 pm Italy time). Have some dinner to help adjust the time zone and go to bed around 8 pm. You will again wake-up on the correct time zone.

Arriving in Italy you have your adrenaline going, you are excited to start your vacation. Italy is a safe country. Violent crime is very low (even in the big cities). There are pickpockets so beware of who is around you. George puts his wallet and phone in front pockets. Jo Anne puts her purse straps over her head. Don’t stress about it! You are here to enjoy yourself and be romantic.

Italian Flag

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Airplanes, Auto Grills, Autostrada, Europe, Flights, General Travel, Italy, Panini, Romance, Rome, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What do We do First in a New City?

Europe - Satellite image - PlanetObserver

Europe – Satellite image – PlanetObserver (Photo credit: PlanetObserver)

When visiting a new city in Italy, we first walk the town to get to know it. We look for small interesting bars for breakfast. Yes breakfast is at a bar in Italy. You get your coffee and something sweet (cornetto – a croissant like sweet roll). Some Hotels include breakfast and even have American breakfasts as well. We like to eat like Italians when in Italy. Bars are also a great stop for lunch (panini) or gelato or an afternoon drink.

cornetto1 cornetto2

We also scout out interesting restaurants for lunch or dinner. In Italy we look for trattorias or pizzerias since the food is excellent and the price is usually lower than a restaurante. If we have rented a place with a kitchen, we enjoy cooking a meal once or twice. So we also look for small grocery stores that have fresh vegetables, cheese, bread and fruits. Cooking pasta with fresh vegetables in Italy is easy, fun and very healthy.

pasta vegetables

Next we look for interesting stores to visit on our walks. These usually have interesting owners that can give you a better prospective on the city. Some cities like Milan and Naples have a large Galleria (mall like) with shops. These are sometimes two streets covered with a glass roof and closed to traffic. Lastly we seek out major tourist attractions that we want to see while in the city. We also find the nearest public transportation in case of rain.

Galleria

Which ever country and city you travel to, get to know the city, meet the people, enjoy their food and wine. Let yourself relax, loose the stress and be an Italian for a short while. Your body will thank you and you will have beautiful memories.

Italy is a country of beautiful designs and romance. Think of the ancient architecture of Rome or the modern Ferrari or the fashion of Milan. Italians love to design beautiful things. If you are in a large city like Rome, the old section is walkable. In small cities you can easily walk around and get to know it quickly.

fashion milan Ferrari

Dolce far niente!

George & Jo Anne

Categories: Bars, cornetto, Eating Italian, Europe, Food, Gelato, Hotels, Italian Facts, Milan, Naples, Panini, Pastry, Ristorante, Romance, Rome, Trottoria, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dolce Far Niente

Remember that famous line, “Dolce Far Niente”, from Eat, Pray Love? It means the sweetness of doing nothing. Italians love to live life. They have a great culture, better and healthier food than we do and great wine. They know how to relax and enjoy family, friends and life. Most of their cities have little crime (pick pockets). A BLOG, “The sweetness of Doing Nothing” explains what this is from the BLOGgers point of view.


If we Americans want to truly understand this, we have to live it! When you go to Italy, don’t look to be waited on. Be a tourist but be a local as well. When having a glass of wine or something to eat, sit back and observe Italian life all around you. Do not be afraid to partake in it. Stop locals and try to talk with them. This will change your vacation in a very positive way.

Once you transition from a visitor observing life in Italy to a local participating in life, your experience will become memorable. You will never stop talking about it. It will be in the front of your mind until your next trip. Enjoy Italian life as you:

  1. Have breakfast in a bar. Enjoy a cornetto and cafè
  2. Have lunch at a bar or pizzeria. Enjoy a panini or a small pizza for lunch.
  3. Enjoy dinner in a trattoria with the locals.
  4. Stop during the day or for Happy Hour at a bar. Have your favorite beverage and some snacks.
  5. Stop for gelato often. Be a kid again.

We wish all of our readers Dolce far niente!

George & Jo Anne

Categories: Bars, Dolce, Dolce far niente, Europe, Gelato, General Travel, Italian Facts, Italy, Panini, Pastry, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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