Buon giorno! A few travel hiccups, but we just arrived in Italy!

These aren’t our photos, but rather some graciously sent to me by readers by way of my crowd-sourcing experiment. (I didn’t forget!)

Above: Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe from Gourmet Traveler // “Lago di Como, Varenna, number 3″ from Edward Brydon, and the beach at Tropea from Michelle Summerville at 3ontheGo.







Also, visual recommendations for:

Orvieto in Umbria (photo by Søren Larsen), from Nina (IG: @fritzwelt) // A family-run panini shop on Via Coronari in Roma from Kiana (The Barcelona Story) // The Blue Grotto in Capri from Nicole (Treasure Tromp) // dinner of wild boar beyond the piazza in Siena from Karen (@kciggy) // the beach at Capo Vaticano as well as “the best hotel room we’ve ever stayed in, complete with rooftop pool overlooking the ancient Sassi #palazzogattini” in Matera, both from  Michelle Summerville at 3ontheGo // and (below) L’Ariete in Montone, Umbria, photo by Andreas Sax: “perfect vacation in family-friendly apartment beautifully located btween the little gem Montone and rolling hills…offers great homemade products and even has a Montessori-influenced babysitter.” From Nina (IG: @fritzwelt)

(See more on my Italy inspiration board on Pinterest.)


Thank you so much for tagging these photos for me and for all of the suggestions everyone gave us, here.

In the end, we’ll be traveling from Rome up through Tuscany (sadly not as far north as Lucca, however, which so many people recommended) to stop at Siena as well as in many of the hill towns around Pienza; and then we’ll head back south via Orvieto before driving down to the Amalfi coast. We’ll fly out of Naples when it’s time to return (which hopefully won’t feel like too soon). Any more last-minute suggestions to add?

P.S. Pimsleur was so kind as to send us a download for their course in Italian (30 minutes a day!). I’ve been listening and practicing along whenever I have the chance. It’s been nice getting into the rhythm of the language before arriving. I’m curious: how much effort do you put into learning the language of a place before you arrive? Are there any phrases you make sure to look up? When I was in college, backpacking in France, I loved knowing how to ask for “un carafe ‘d’eau” so as to avoid paying for bottled water (a carafe of tap water is free—and just fine). Italians (or speakers): any tips?


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