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.
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.
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.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Airplanes, Auto Grills, Autostrada, Europe, Flights, General Travel, Italy, Panini, Romance, Rome, Wine
Tags: Flights, Food, Italian, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Panini, Romance, Rome, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism, Wine
The above picture is me sitting at a bar/cafe in Marina Casal Velino Italy (Campania). This is in Italy’s National Park, Cilento.
Italiano: Un tratto pedonale del lungomare di Casal Velino Marina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Across the street is the beach and the mighty sea. This bar has free WiFi so it is a great place to rest, catch up on emails and Facebook while having a gelato (ice cream), Panini (sandwich) or a drink. The Coffee called Cafe´(espresso) is fantastic. The machines produce such a great cup of coffee that Italians always go to these bars in the morning for a cup.
Imagine relaxing with a glass of wine after a day of walking around, you are on WiFi but you keep looking out at the sea. Palm trees are everywhere. This is our beach. Life is to be enjoyed! So what are you waiting for? Romance and adventure await you.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Campania, Casal Velino, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Wine
Tags: Campania, Casal Velino, Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, Coffee, Facebook, Food, Ice cream, Italian, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Panini, Romance, Tourism, Travel and Tourism, Wine
French wines are usually made to accompany food. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Italy has fantastic food everywhere. We even stopped at an “Auto Grill” on the autostrada (highway) and had a great espresso and pastry. Not like our turnpike rest areas. In Italy there are several common types of places to eat and a few others in certain areas.
- Bar – A place to eat or drink. In the morning you go here for coffee and pastry, at lunch you go for sandwiches (Panini). In the evening you go for a drink and a snack. Bars are cheapest if you stand and eat. Sitting at a table costs more but allows you to relax and observe Italy and its great people.
- Tratteria – these are small owned eating cafes with great food at reasonable costs. Lunch and dinner are great. Usually Italian favorites as well as local dishes are served. The atmosphere is simple but comfortable. A version of these are Pizzeria Trattoria. These include pizzas along other dishes.
- Ristorante – These are for lunch or dinner and are nice but expensive. The atmosphere is classic and the food is great. You can also find Pizzeria Ristorante’s.
- Osteria – These places usually serve wine and simple food with limited menus.
- Enotecca – Small wine bars that allow tasting local wines (for a charge) and serve small dishes or sandwiches. These are a great way to get to know local wines.
- Rotisserie – Small restaurants that specialize in roasting meats on a spit.
- Agritourism – Usually a farm-based establishment with a B&B type hotel and food grown or raised on their farm. They sometimes have stores to buy products and take home.
Pizza is everywhere! You can have it in Trattoria’s or Ristorante’s. Always stay away from touristy places serving hamburgers and hot dogs. The food won’t be good and prices will be high. Enjoy your trip, taste Italy’s great food & wines. Sit back and smile as you watch the Italians strolling with family at lunch time or in the evening. Lunch usually ranges from 12 noon to 3 pm (shorter in the north) and dinner from 6 pm (for tourists) to 11 pm. The south of Italy eats much later than the north.
Remember Italy is the land of romance. Sit back and enjoy yourself. Do NOT go into eating establishments in Italy and be in a hurry! Use a bar if you have to eat fast. Good food takes time to prepare and serve properly.
George & Jo
Categories: Amalfi Coast, General Travel, Italy, Milan, Positano, Rome, San Gimignano, Velina
Tags: Amalfi, amalficoast, Campania, Capri, Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, Family, Food, Italian, Italian people, Italy, Milan, No Tour Touring, Panini, Pasta, Pizza, Pizzeria Ristorante, Positano, Romance, Rome, Sorrento, Tourism, Trattoria, Travel, Travel Guides, Tuscany, United States, Wine