italy

How to Eat Gluten-Free in Italy

Could you imagine anything worse than a two week trip in Italy without being able to eat pizza and pasta?! I have a hard time wrapping my brain around such a concept, and an even harder time knowing why someone would consider a trip to the land of “BEST. FOOD. EVER.”, if they couldn’t eat most of it.  

Such was almost the case of a recent trip to Italy that I planned. I believe that food is an integral part of any vacation, and I knew that some research and planning needed to be done so that this trip to Cinque Terre, Florence, and Rome could be vegetarian and sans gluten— yet still amazing in the foodie department.

2 week Italy Itinerary

I love Italy. Like, loooooooove.  And I am speaking broadly here, because as well all know, there are many different destinations within Italy that you can visit and they all will afford you a different experience.  But since I have yet to find a region I didn’t like, I am using the blanket for the entire country. 

As such, for the past few months I have been blogging about different destinations within Italy, and sharing amazing places to stay, things to see and do, and even some detailed itineraries for some of the more popular destinations. Because there is so much to see, do, and fall in love with in this country, many people choose to include multiple destinations when they visit.

I would like to share with you my perfect two weeks in Italy itinerary, if I was headed there today. Of course, different stages of my life might produce a different itinerary, but for now, this would probably be it. It’s some of my favorite cities, in a logical and easily followed itinerary, that allows you to travel the country by train. (Have I mentioned yet how much I love good public transportation when I travel? I do.)

The energy of the Eternal City with a visit to Rome

The essence of Tuscany and incomparable charm with a stay in Florence

The quaintness and beauty by the sea in Cinque Terre

The romanticism and beautiful spirit of Venice

Take a look at the outline of my perfect two weeks in Italy and let it inspire you. 

TWO WEEK ITALY ITINERARY

But as always, what’s most important is figuring out what your perfect two weeks looks like, and making that come to life. If you are planning a trip for anywhere in Italy, I'd love for you to contact me to start planning the trip of YOUR dreams. 

Postcard Perfection in Tuscany

 

Yes, the scenery really is that gorgeous. The food really is that delectable. The wine really is that wonderful. The art really is that exquisite. All of it is true.  There are so many things to love about Tuscany, that it can be a little overwhelming when you try and wrap your head around it all and start to consider what might be best to put on your itinerary. 

My advice is this: Think about about who YOU are.  Then go from there. 

If you have an obsession with food and wine, you will be in heaven pretty much anywhere. Three of Italy’s greatest wine’s are produced here in this region, and the food is simply prepared, locally sourced, and out of this world amazing. Head up and down the region to taste each area’s specialties and fall in love with what is known as Slow Food.

If you are hoping to experience the artistic masterpieces that you’ve dreamed of seeing in person one day, make sure you include Florence.  This is a city like no other, and will surprise you time and time again, no matter how many times you visit. For such a small place, it is packed to the brim with treasures you love discovering.

Central Tuscany is where you will find the medieval hilltop fortresses, hillsides covered in vines, and rows upon rows of cypress trees. This is classic Tuscan countryside at it’s finest. The most well-known and visited part of this area is  the gothic town of Siena, which can give Florence a run for her money in terms of popularity.

If your intention is to slow down and not get caught up with all that you “must do” while you’re in one of the most exquisite destinations in the world, you probably want to spend some time in Northwestern Tuscany. Here you can really unwind and not feel the need to do much except relax and meander around hilltop villages and enjoy the regional cuisine.  This is the place to linger, but while you’re here you might as well take your picture hoisting up that famous tower.

pisa-174774_1280.jpg

I cannot think of a type of traveler that could not find their own perfection in Tuscany. Whether you are looking for relaxation at it’s finest, adventures of a lifetime, an epicurean delight, cultural wonders, natural beauty, authentic city life, or anything in between… you can find it here.

Figure out what your perfect postcard looks like, and we can make it come to life.

The Beauty of Cinque Terre

Dreamy Cinque Terre is a stretch of five towns across the enchanting Italian riviera. I have planned two trips that have included this picturesque part of Italy, and the more and more I learn about it, it is easily becoming one my top recommended Italian stops.  There is just so much to love about this area of pastel colored buildings, perched precariously on the cliffside and gazing out onto the sea. 

What are you looking for when you visit this part of Northern Italy? Well, if sun, sea, wine, hiking, and beautiful sunsets sound like your idea of la dolce vita, Cinque Terre just might be how you spell perfection in Italian.

First you must choose one of the five fishing villages that best suits your tastes.

Riomaggiore is the largest of the five, and is comprised of a tangle of homes that lead down a ravine to a small harbor. The view of this is postcard perfection.

Italy.Cinque.Terre.Manarola.2.jpg

Manarola is the next tiny town, and is best known for it’s grapevines. As with Riomaggiore, it can be heavily trafficked. 

Corniglia-LaMaddalena-7595499544_e2f5df034f_b.jpg

Corniglia can be considered the quiet middle village, and is the only one of the bunch not directly on the sea. It is surrounded by vineyards and you can take steep steps that will lead you down to a rocky cove.

Monterosso is considered the resort town of the area, and is the only one to have a tourist beach, and is the village that is most accessible by car. This is the place for crowds and a late-night scene, but it still possesses a charming old world charm in the historic center.

My favorite of the bunch- and I’m sure I’m not alone- is Vernazza. This small, quintessential village is the quaintest of the five, and is lined with cafes along it’s cobbled main street, and a bar hanging off the edge of the castle.

 

Are you thinking of a trip to Italy soon? If so, consider which one of these little towns is really speaking to you. It's an amazing place to spend some time, and is an easy trip from some of your other favorite Italian cities. Contact me if you'd like to be my next trip here and help me live vicariously through your travels.

Feature Friday: Where to stay in Venice

For me, Venice is the ultimate embodiment of romance. The gorgeous boutique hotel Ca Maria Adele does an outstanding job of representing that in the most luxurious and stylish way possible. It's location is right next to the Church of the Salute and it is a few yards away from the Grand Canal, where it's possible to take a romantic gondola ride and view the Royal Palace.

This luxury boutique hotel has only 12 rooms total, with 2 of them being suites. They are all decorated impeccably, in a distinct Venetian style, with the themed rooms being the most popular and incredibly lavish in every sense. Another bonus for couples looking for a romantic escape is that the hotel is adult's only, and the hotel's location puts it in one of Venice's most tranquil neighborhoods.

A quiet, romantic stay in Venice might be just what you are looking for after an activity-filled stop in Rome. If so, this is the perfect place to stay in order to accomplish that. 

Additional blogs you may find helpful if you are looking to spend some time in Rome before heading to Venice is the 3 day itinerary in Rome, and where to stay in Rome, for another great boutique hotel option. If you are considering a romantic trip to Italy, or perhaps a honeymoon, I would love to help you plan it!