Revealed: The Italian Itinerary
Leah Walker October 10, 2012

In case you’ve been M.I.A. for the last six or so months, you might not know that I’m headed to Europe for thirty days. Let me recap just so that everyone is up to speed. I explained in my recent post that Prague is the first stop on my Go with Oh tour. I also confessed that I don’t have many plans other than exploring Old Town and the pubs. Tisk-Tisk. I’m such a planner and somewhat ashamed of myself. Through the ever-so-professional video that accompanied the Prague post, you also learned that I’m not exactly an experienced beer drinker like my travel partner-in-crime, Lola. Nonetheless, I’m a trooper and will forge ahead without complaint.

Falling into the sky? (alone it stay <2>)

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After three beer-soaked nights in Prague, I’m off to Italy for eleven days. Originally, I only planned on visiting Florence and Tuscany, but Walks of Italy convinced me otherwise. Now in addition to Tuscany, I’m also headed to Rome, Naples, and the Amalfi Coast. Yep! I’m going to see some of the best parts of the country, and I couldn’t be happier. But between the wine, pizza, gelato, and pasta that I plan on devouring, I’m going to gain a good ten pounds in those eleven days. I don’t even care. It’s ITALY!

Tuscany

Tuscany paths?

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Who knew it would be so difficult to get to Florence from Prague? Not I. After checking flights into Pisa and Florence but coming up empty, I bit the bullet and bought a ticket into Milan and will take the train to Florence. In Florence from November 9-13, I’ll have three days in the city where I’ll take a walking and fashion tour. I’ll explore all the best museums, gardens, and piazzas. I even have an invitation to an event at the Uffizi Gallery. I’ll also take a day trip to Siena, a place I’ve been dying to visit for the Palio. On November 13, I’ll leave Florence to spend the night at a Tuscan farm where I’m sure to slip into a olive oil, wine, and cheese-induced coma.

Fields of Gold?

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One thing that Lola and I are excited about while in the Tuscan Region is trying cult wines known as Super Tuscan. They have an intriguing background and are quite delicious. Check out the video of Lola not only putting me though tolerance training for our trip, but also an elaboration on the Super Tuscan wines.

Rome

Castel Sant'Angelo (Rome)

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All roads lead to Rome, and I’ll be high-tailing it there on November 14. I’ve visited the Eternal City previously, but I’ve not done it as a self-catering holiday. I’m super-excited about this because I’ll have a refrigerator to store all of my leftovers. The last time I was in Rome I managed to fall in love not just the city, but with everything that crossed my lips. This time the remaining cacia e pepe, pasta all’ amatriciana, and pasta carbonara are going home with me. I don’t care if Europeans don’t do doggy bags. The mere thought of leaving a single slice of pizza on my plate is heartbreaking.

Rome_2009a

Keeping with the gluttony theme, I’ll be taking a Rome food tour where I’ll get to explore the Campo dei Fiori traditional market, make pizza, and sample more pastries than I can stomach at some of Rome’s best bakeries. Beyond stuffing my face, I’ll also have a tour of the Vatican and the Colosseum, both of which I’ve visited, but Walks of Italy have a few new things up their sleeves for me.

Along the river (Tevere, Rome)

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On my final day in Rome, I will take a day trip to Umbrian countryside to see the fortified Medieval town of Orvieto. A cable car will take me into the hilltop town where I’ll explore the caverns, churches, and St. Patrick’s Well.

Naples and the Amalfi Coast

Positively Amalfi

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After our Roman holiday, Lola and I will head south by rail to the Amalfi Coast. There, Walks of Italy will pick us up and give us a tour of the area. We considered renting scooters, but decided that sampling lemoncello and driving along cliffs with small, winding roads wouldn’t be the smartest thing we’ve ever done. Thus, no scooters for us. One night {November 17} will be spent in the area before heading to  Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii.

Pompeii, Italy

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Probably the most risky thing I will have done thus far is overindulging in food and spirits. That will change once I descend into the crater of Mt. Vesuvius with a volcano expert. Folks, this is an active volcano that destroyed Pompeii in 79 A.D. and has erupted 36 times since then. The last time it erupted was 1944. Here’s hoping it doesn’t see fit to explode in 2012. If I’m still alive, I’ll also visit what’s left of Pompeii. Then it’s off to Naples.

To be honest, Lola and I wouldn’t have chosen Naples as one of our stops, but it’s for one night {November 18}, AND I get to mark #53 off of my To-Do List, which is to eat pizza where it was invented.

Another really cool thing that Naples has is the Archaeological Museum. Co-Founder of Walks of Italy, Stephen Oddo, says that it is one of his favorite museums in the world. Inside of the Archaeological Museum is all the stuff found buried under the ash in Pompeii. Stephen even mentioned something about the Secret Cabinet in the museum. Apparently this area contains all the erotic finds from Pompeii. That’s something I’ve got to see!

After being sufficiently aroused in the most unlikely place {an architectural museum}, it will be time to say goodbye to Italy. I’m sure the eleven days will fly by, and I’ll be plotting my next trip before even boarding the plane.

The Italian leg of my trip is already chock-full of activities, but I’d love your recommendations, too. Give me your tips for the best coffee shops, restaurants, walks, sights, boutiques, or whatever!

A HUGE thanks goes out to Walks of Italy, my official tour company for Italy. Y’all should check them out for the most amazing activities.

 

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Leah Walker

Leah's a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. She documents her experiences whether that's in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. Leah freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, The Daily Basics, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah's thrilled to call Paris home after being awarded the coveted three-year Compétences & Talents visa from France, though her talents don't extend to speaking French. Yet.

40 Comments

  1. Ahh, I’ve always wanted to go to Tuscany and down the Amalfi Coast.. sounds like the perfect Italian getaway. I should’ve crashed that instead of Prague. Lol. But beer baths are so tempting. LOVE your Italy itinerary. I can only imagine how spectacular the rest of your GWO month is going to be like. 🙂

    1. I have to agree, Kieu. You should have crashed at least part of Italy instead. Walks of Italy really rolled out the red carpet for me. I have to say that I didn’t reveal all their tricks yet. 🙂

  2. Cacio e pepe and carbonara: now you are speaking my language!! And Super Tuscan – or for that matter, ANYTHING Tuscan! I just went to see Pompeii earlier this year and it was truly an amazing visit – make sure you have a true student of Pompeii and it history as your guide!

    1. There’s my foodie friend! I will have an amazing guide with me at Pompeii. Walks of Italy doesn’t work with anyone who isn’t the best! I’m very excited about all the portions, but this is one that I’m REALLY looking forward to.

    1. Thanks, Adam. I’m totally doing a Rome food tour, but it will be with Walks of Italy. I like your tip about doing it on the first day. I might have to switch some things around.

  3. Looks wicked! I wish I could’ve made it to Amalfi or Pompeii but just not enough time. You’re lucky! A great half day trip from Rome is to the old port city of Ostia Antica – beautiful site and virtually deserted as far as crowds go!

    1. Oh, believe me, I pinch myself daily. I feel very fortunate for the opportunity before me. I really want to make the most of it. Ostia Antica will have to wait until the next trip to Rome (and there will always be another). Italy is jam-packed full of goodness. Thanks for the tip. 🙂

    1. I think it would be better a little earlier in the year, but Tuscany is Tuscany in my book. I’d love to crack open a bottle of wine with you!

  4. L&L, I might just have to crash your dolce vita Italian party!!! This is one of my favorite countries, I mean top of the list probably, and I haven’t been in 3 years. And I just MUST visit Amalfi Coast… OK enjoy yourselves you two, including those “bella bella” shouts you will no doubt hear. 😉

    1. “Bella Bella” huh? I’m just fine with that! I really love Italy as well, and you’re certainly welcome to crash. I’ve got a whole list of people who say they’re coming. I’m not really sure what will happen if they show up, but I guess Lauren and I’ll just figure it out!

  5. Oh boy… I am so jealous and this is BEFORE the actual trip… cant wait to read the posts with all the exact details and pictures 🙂
    Hopefully by the time of your trip I’ll have a “home” in Edinburgh and you will consider it as a destination in your next European tour 😉

    1. Edinburgh will most certainly be on my priority list, as will meeting up with you. It really is one of my favorite cities, and I’d love to go back. Enjoy your time living there. I’m sure you’ll love it as well.

    1. Yeah, I figured that wine was some bad medicine. 🙂 Everybody has said that we won’t gain weight due to all the walking we’ll do. I don’t think anyone has the faintest idea exactly how much we’re planning on eating!

  6. What a brilliant itinerary! We can’t wait to watch you embark on your European tour with us! Looking so forward to meeting you when you finally make it to Barcelona! Have you started packing yet?

    1. I haven’t even BEGUN to even THINK about packing! The thought simply drives me mad. So much to do and so little time to do it, Allison. I can’t wait to meet the rest of the GWO folks. If y’all are as great at Sara, I’m in for a treat.

    1. Oh, you wouldn’t have time to meet us in Italy. You’ve got our “Welcome to England/Love Actually/Christmas Party” to prepare for. But, yes, we will no doubt dazzle everyone with our adventurous tales from Italy.

  7. Never been to Italy, so I will be looking forward to these posts as well as from Prague. Prague beer will turn you into a beer drinker. I’ll never forget my first sip of Pilsner Urquel in Prague. I melted into my pint.

  8. we’d like to make a request for one post consisting entirely of food photos. italian food is our weakness, and you already know that wine is our one true love.

  9. Loooooved Prague! We were just there – we came from Milan, actually, which we also loved. Such good food! Visit the Absintherie while you’re in Prague if you get sick of beer 😉

    1. You know I’m going to try my best to get those awesome photos for you. I hope I can wait to snap a few before digging in. 🙂

    1. I’m not sure if we’ll get a chance to go or not. If we do, it will be on the way to the Tuscan farm. In that case, we’ll most likely have a driver already. I’ll remember your offer just in case though. Thank you.

  10. Only spot on your itinerary I haven’t been is Amalfi Coast. I think you know of my undying love of Rome, but Orvieto comes in a close second. I know you’ll be there only a day, but try to eat at Trattoria da Carlo or La Bottega del Buon Vino, where I had some of the best meals I’ve ever had in all of Italy. Whatever you do, you must have cinghiale! And pici pasta! A shame you’ll be in Napoli only one night. Definitely go to the Archaeological Museum. And Pompeii – I was blown away. I still can’t wrap my mind around what happened there and what life must have been like before 79 AD.

    1. I know exactly who to turn to when it comes to Italy…my friend, Francesca! Thanks for the tips on Orvieto. Walks of Italy has something planned, but if I see Trattoria da Carlo, I’m going to make a detour. Cinghiale?!? I don’t know what it is, but I will find out!

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