Every cliche is true. Wine with every meal. Tuscan sun. Gelato.
Take me back.
Top tip: Ask the locals where to eat. They’re always right.
We spent our days getting lost amongst the canals. The pasta is so so good, and the red wine comes in litre carafes with every meal.
We found a little wine and tapas bar, where you could get wine by the glass, and just ate and drank what we fancied. It was heaven.
We took the ferry over to Murano, and explored the glass factories. It’s a little touristy, but interesting all the same.
The markets are really interesting. The fresh produce is amazing, and the seafood is a sight to see (we watched some sea snails trying to make an escape).
Top spot to eat: Antico Pizzo Risorto
Top thing to do: Just wander.
Made up of five small towns – Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare – it really is picture perfect. All the photos you see are just how it is. Almost too perfect to be true – but it is.
We stayed in the first of the 5 towns (closest to Pisa) – Riomaggiore. Our apartment was up on the hill, with a spectacular view. We stayed in Riomaggiore as it was quieter than the other towns, with less tourists about.
We took the train between each town as the track was unfortunately closed while we were there. Our favourites were Manarola and Vernazza, though we had the best gelato I’ve ever had in Corniglia (probably because it was after climbing the hill to get there!).
We spend our days exploring, and just enjoying every view.
Our favourite evening was after a long day exploring all the towns, and we ended up getting a takeaway pasta and local bottle of wine, and just sat on our balcony and watched the sun go down.
Top spot: There is a cliff top bar in Riomaggiore that is worth visiting. We drank red wine, and ate a tasty charcuterie platter.
Top food: Try the gelato every chance you get. And if you come across a little shop down an alley in Corniglia – I can recommend the dark chocolate and mango flavours.
Top drink: Try the local wines. The frozen Lemoncello slushy in Monterosso is yum too.
Claim to fame – we visited Florence two days before Kimye got married. Which we realised after we left, and suddenly things made sense (we spent an hour walking around that damn castle trying to find a way in, and couldn’t figure out why it was closed).
Florence was awesome, and we didn’t spend enough time there to do it justice. I know I’m banging on about the food, but we had yet another amazing dinner.
We did a Walkabout Tuscany Tour. It was a great way to see the region in a short amount of time. We went to Siena, Chianti, San Gimignano and Pisa.
Top tips: Explore after dark. Make sure to take a water bottle – it’s hot. Beware of pick pockets.
We stayed in an Airbnb apartment, just out of the main strip. Sorrento is surprisingly pretty – with little gardens dotted about, and perfect cobbled streets.
We had the best dinner recommendations from the owner of our Airbnb. The first one we tried, we turned up and the restaurant was deserted. We panicked – but shouldn’t have (we were probably just there about 2 hours earlier than all the locals). It’s still the best pasta I have ever had.
The second night we went to a great place – quintessentially Italian. It was on the waterfront, checkered tablecloths, and a man came over and serenaded us (which some people would love, but I got ridiculously awkward and giggled my way through it). The dinner was delicious.
Top drink: Lemoncello of course (it’s where it’s made)
Top restaurant: La Kambusa di Leonelli (unfortunately closed now)
I have to be honest. I really wasn’t a fan of Naples.
We stayed there just for one night ahead of our flight out the next day. I’m sure it would have been great if we’d had the time to explore further – but our experience was just loud, and crowded. And I’m not a fan of their pizza.
It does have a pretty fantastic train station though.
Overall, Italy is amazing. Go. Now.