• San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome

The official seat of the Roman pontiff, San Giovanni is the cathedral of Rome. It's been a cathedral in name more than spirit since Pope Julius II—he who commissioned all those Michelangelos—moved papal operations to Saint Peter's in the 16th century. (His motivation? It's where he planned to build his oversize tomb.) In the early 4th century, Emporer Constantine donated it to the Church for the construction of a cathedral and residence. It features spectacular interiors by Borromini, a sixteenth century coffered ceiling detailed with real gold, and an intricate mosaic floor. Pay close attention to the bronze front doors: they were taken from the Roman senate building in the Forum.

  • San Stefano Rotondo - Rome

A short walk from San Giovanni, San Stefano is tucked away on a side street next to a large hospital. Built in the style of a pagan temple (many of which were converted into early Christian churches) around 468, the central altar and circular nave call visitors back to an earlier time. What's most striking about San Stefano, however, are the 16th century frescoes of brutal martyrdoms, supposedly painted for departing missionaries to help them prepare for the worst. They give Saw a run for its money.

  • San Clemente - Rome

Rome is a layer cake of history, and nowhere is it easier to see that cross section of time than the complex of San Clemente, located in the shadow of the Colosseum. The ground layer is a medieval church, built circa 1110. Down a set of stairs, the next layer dates from the 4th century: an early church that was built on the foundation of a noble home. The basement of that home, the third layer holds a warehouse and served as a place of worship for followers of Mithras, a popular Persian god in Rome.

  • EUR - Rome

Rome—despite significant evidence to the contrary—is not made up entirely of churches. South of the city center lies the Fascist-era neighborhood of EUR, originally commissioned by dictator Benito Mussolini as a future sight for a world's fair, and a special spot not many tourists know to visit. Think ancient Rome with a dark modernist twist. The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana is a particularly striking answer to the Colosseum. Now, it houses the Fendi headquarters, and though you can’t tour the entire thing, you can see the ground floor.

  • Santa Prassede - Rome

Around the corner from the larger Santa Maria Maggiore, this 8th century church was designed to house the remains of the two martyred daughters of St. Peter's first Christian convert in Rome. A jewel box of a church, it's full of shimmering mosaics that give Ravenna's famous Byzantine tesserae a run for their money.

  • Bike Riding the Appian Way - Rome

South of the Aurelian Walls, the traditional boundaries of Rome, begins one of the oldest and most important roads in the world: the Appian Way. Begun in 312 BCE, parts of the road are still used today by cars, pedestrians, and—especially—bicyclists. The large and uneven basalt stones are the original paving. Rent bikes at the Parco Regionale dell'Appia Antica office and pedal past Christian catacombs, Roman tombs, and the distant arches of the Claudian Aqueduct for a memorable afternoon excursion.

  • Santa Maria in Aracoeli - Rome

Located on the Capitoline Hill (but inconveniently inaccessible from the Michelangelo-designed piazza outside its museum—you have to walk back down the hill and use a separate set of stairs up), Santa Maria in Aracoeli features rare Pinturicchio frescoes from the 15th century in the Bufalini chapel.

  • An Evening Stroll Through Trastevere - Rome

Try an unusual cocktail at Caffé della Scala (the "Black Velvet" is half Guinness, half prosecco, and a total delight; Via Della Scala 4; 39-06-580-3610) and catch live jazz or DJ set at Lettere Caffè Gallery. Don't forget to linger in some of the neighborhood's many piazze: the fountain in front of Santa Maria in Trastevere is particularly lovely at night.

  • Dancing in Testaccio - Rome

Until recently a meat processing district, Testaccio is now one of the hubs of Roman nightlife. Try Akab or On the Rox for their crowded dance floors and Conte Staccio for live music.

  • St. Peter’s Basilica - Rome

Viewing spot: The Knights of Malta Keyhole Unfortunately, there’s no other way to marvel at Michelangelo’s handiwork than to go inside of St. Peter’s Basilica, but you won’t want to miss seeing it from this other stealthier spot. It’s a teeny keyhole that perfectly frames the Renaissance church! Get there by climbing Aventine Hill and finding The Knights of Malta building, HQ to the world’s oldest order of knighthood.

  • The Beehive (Rome): This quaint, homey hostel is located just around the corner from Termini Station. The staff is warm and friendly, and there are plenty of room options (dorm and private) for every price range. Grab a cappuccino and a bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit from the cafe downstairs before you head out for a long day of exploring.
  • The Yellow (Rome): This spot embodies the definition of a “party hostel” in the best way. The Yellow is the perfect option for students or travelers looking to save money and meet new people from around the world. With a bar downstairs and a staff that will help you get connected and plan out your time in Rome, The Yellow is ideal for all those social butterflies out there (who don’t mind sleeping next to strangers, of course).
  • Wander through Trastevere (Rome): You will undoubtedly get lost walking through the perfectly charming neighborhood of Trastevere, but we promise that you will not be mad about it. Taxi drivers won’t even bother entering the tiny streets and will brusquely drop you off on the main road nearby. Wander the colorful, cobblestone alleyways and wonder why you have not yet looked up apartment prices in this adorable area.
  • Stroll down Via Vittorio Veneto (Rome): Start your trek down this glamorous and renowned street at Piazza Barberini. Check out the over-the-top Hotel Excelsior and the rooftop bar at the Hotel Eden. Conclude your tour down this famous walkway at the Villa Borghese, where you can rent a bike or get your art history fix at the gallery.
  • Villa Borghese (Rome): The gallery at the Villa Borghese features a collection of works by Bernini, Caravaggio, and Raphael. You’ll need to purchase tickets in advance online to see this impressive collection that includes baroque masterpieces like Apollo and Daphne.
  • Vatican (Rome): Home of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, the official HQ of the Catholic church will take at least an entire morning to conquer. Buy tickets in advance to avoid the queue to get into the museum, and plan on dressing modestly the day you visit (no shoulders or legs showing!).
  • Roman Forum and Colosseum (Rome): Get up early and give yourself the better half of your day to explore these two icons of ancient Rome. To make the most of your time, sign up for a walking tour or download Rick Steve’s audio guides for the both the Forum and Colosseum. Bring plenty of water when touring these two sites, as they are both in direct sunlight for the majority of the day.
  • Pantheon (Rome): Though the enormous (truly larger than life) Pantheon was originally built as a temple to all gods, this ancient behemoth is now a Catholic church. The Pantheon is the best preserved Roman monument, and to this day seems to be in pristine condition. Plug in an audio guide and look up at the “eye” of the Pantheon, a huge hole at the top of the dome. This dome remains the largest unsupported dome in the world.
  • Passeggiata del Pincio (Rome): Head to the park above Piazza del Popolo at sunset for a sweeping view of the city. Take in the accordion music and try to avoid being forced to buy a rose or a fidget spinner. The view from this elevated vantage point is incredible at sunset as the buildings turn pastel pink and orange.
  • Spanish Steps (Rome): A trip to Rome is incomplete without a pilgrimage to the historic Spanish Steps. The 135 sprawling steps, designed and built in the 17th century, served as a symbol of the newfound peace between France and Spain. Centuries later, local lovers as well as tourists from all over the world trek up and down this beloved staircase.
  • Trevi Fountain (Rome): Madly in love with Rome yet? Head to the Trevi Fountain to toss a coin and wish for a return trip. While Bernini’s fountain is gorgeous in the sunlight, we recommend swinging by late at night when it’s less crowded. Enjoy a scoop (or two, or three) of gelato on the steps and take in the glistening turquoise water.
  • Giolitti (Rome): You’ll want to end each and every meal with gelato from Giolitti. Ignore every other recommendation you’ve been given. That’s right — stride right past Grom through the neon sign of this true Roman staple. Pay for the number of scoops you want at the counter (uno, due, or tre — but let’s be honest, tre) before heading to the back of the shop with your receipt to order. Don’t stress about which flavor to choose. You’ll be back.
  • Bread-In (Rome): Don’t let the name or curb appeal fool you. If you’re a little hangry but want to save up for that dinner at Roscioli’s (see “Dinner”), order a fresh smoothie and panini at this hole in the wall. You’ll be well on your way to finishing the afternoon strong. Note: the fresh pesto at Bread-In is to-die-for.
  • Etabli (Rome): A traditional English/American brunch is hard to come by in Rome. Luckily, you can satisfy a benedict craving at Etabli (near Piazza Navona) during their weekend brunch offering (22€ per person).
  • La Casa Del Caffè Tazza D’oro (Rome): This is a CLUTCH pit stop on a hot afternoon in Rome, and it’s right around the corner from the Pantheon. The go-to drink is the café granita which is basically a coffee shaved ice with cream. If you’re not into sweet drinks or you’re in Rome on a cold day, grab a cappuccino or espresso.
  • Caffè Sant’Eustachio (Rome): Also near the Pantheon, this is a staple for coffee in Rome. Order at the register and stand at the counter like the locals do, or pay extra to sit at a table outside and people-watch to your heart’s content. Order a Shakerato and watch the barista work his magic.
  • Roscioli’s (Rome): Prepare yourself for a night full of heavenly carbonara and a heap of cacio e pepe that will make your eyes glaze over. The walls at Roscioli’s are covered floor to ceiling with an impressive and intimidating wine collection, but the staff will help you navigate your way to the perfect glass for your meal.
  • Dar Poeta (Rome): Nestled in a nondescript alleyway in Trastevere, Dar Poeta boasts a mile-long list of mouth-watering pizzas. They don’t take reservations, and everyone knows about this place. It’s worth the wait and definitely deserves the hype. Order a beer from the counter to distract you while you wait outside, and try the potato pizza!
  • L’Arcangelo (Rome): Sure, the vibes are cozy and the staff rocks at L’Arcangelo. But what’s most important here is that you order the gnocchi. This dish will cause any sensible carb-loving gal to daydream about napping on this bed of pillowy pasta perfection.
  • Colline Emiliane (Rome): Come for the hand-crafted pumpkin tortellini, stay for the literally perfect lemon meringue pie. Make a reservation at this busy, family-owned restaurant and make sure to peer into the front kitchen to catch a glimpse of the staff rolling out homemade pasta.
  • Salotto 42 (Rome): Swing by Salotto 42 day or night for a round of creative cocktails made with fresh ingredients . Enjoy the trendy vibes and try not to get too full on the delicious appetizers.
  • Freni e Frizioni (Rome): After a long day of ruin-touring and Vespa-dodging, a glass of chianti will be calling your name. Head to this busy cocktail bar for an evening of socializing and aperitivo (pre-dinner drink and snacks — aka a no brainer) in Trastevere.
  • An early morning cruise around the lake will infuse you with a lifetime of inspiration - Lake Como

When it comes to Lake Como, there is no better way to discover its breathtaking beauty than by boat. As you ride along the gentle waves taking in the snow-crowned peaks in the distance, as well as the lush, unspoiled landscapes within reach, trust me — it won’t take long before inspiration starts rushing in. And thanks to the countless number of boats, ferries, and steamers offering rides all throughout the day, there are plenty of opportunities to get out on the deep emerald water and cruise around. Although, for an extra serene experience, I recommend hopping aboard early in the morning. This way, you can bypass the crowds and have more alone time with Mother Nature.

  • There is an abundance of fairytale-like villages waiting to be explored - Lake Como

Once you’ve found yourself on the water, you’ll immediately notice that Lake Como is not only comprised of mesmerizing natural beauty. It’s also home to an abundance of stunning, picturesque villages. Think: colorful villas clustered along beautifully manicured hillsides; unruly ivy sprawling across striking facades; narrow cobblestone bridges and streets waiting to be roamed. In fact, these waterfront towns are so inviting, you might very well be tempted to jump right out of your boat and swim ashore. Or at least, that’s how it was for me.

  • You will gain a new appreciation for the magnificent historic architecture - Lake Como

From its legendary villas to its historic landmarks and ancient ruins, you’ll quickly realize Lake Como oozes with magnificent architecture. For instance, if you want to take a step back in time, make sure to check out the architectural masterpiece known as the Duomo di Como. Whether or not you’re an architectural fanatic, this cathedral will leave you intrigued. While the captivating carved-out exterior is awe-inspiring in itself, it isn’t until you enter inside that you’ll realize why this church is so often described as Italy’s finest example of the 14th-century transition from Gothic to Renaissance styles.

  • You can climb aboard the funicular railway to soar high above for an entirely new perspective - Lake Como

For a unique experience and entirely new perspective, climb aboard the funicular railway that connects the city of Como to the delightful hilltop village of Brunate and feast your eyes on the jaw-dropping, panoramic views of the lake and beyond as you soar high above. What makes this beloved railway so fascinating is the fact that it’s been in operation since 1894. But don’t worry, it’s incredibly safe, and is used by both residents and tourists daily. Plus, it’s only a 10-minute ride, making it the quickest way to travel between these two towns.

  • The slow, laid-back pace will instantly reset your mind and leave you feeling rejuvenated - Lake Como

So many of us live our days with the hustle-and-bustle mindset. And as much as we might try, we never can seem to get a grip on how to slow things down. That is until you make your way to Lake Como. It is here where that less-desired frantic way of life magically melts away, and suddenly you’re introduced to a much more enjoyable pace. One that is slower and filled with long, laid-back days of sunshine and laughter. One where your mind will instantly reset itself and you’ll learn to appreciate the small things again — you know, the little moments that paint the beautiful mosaic of life. Like the casual hellos to the locals you pass. Or the friendly faces you meet at cafes nestled in cozy corners. Or even the irresistible taste of authentic Italian pizza, pasta, wine, and of course, gelato. It will be during moments like these when you’ll realize Lake Como is more than just another dot on the map. It’s an idyllic retreat. No, scratch that: it’s a rejuvenating experience. And one you’ll forever savor.

  • Libreria Acqua Alta - Venice
  • Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy) *best restaurant in Europe*
  • Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy)
  • Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)
  • Reale (Castel Di Sangro, Italy)
  • The Best Times to Visit Italy's Beaches

Spring, summer, and autumn are heralded as the best times to visit Italy. The problem with late spring and summer, however, is that everyone has the same idea: including Italians with second homes by the sea. Umbrella and beach chair rental prices are exorbitant, and the beaches are crowded and noisy. Look instead to smaller villages near the sea, like Terlizzi in Puglia, where the sea remains warm through late October, and nearby beaches are quiet.

  • The Best Times to Visit Italy for Wine

In Terlizzi, for example, American expats Paul Cappelli and Steven Crutchfield own Villa Cappelli in Terlizzi. During the late and off season, rates are reduced from €100 to €80 (or just shy of $100) per night — and guests can enjoy some of Italy's finer offerings (think: wine and food). At Villa Cappelli, guests experience wine tastings with regional sommeliers, cooking classes, and cultural tours of Puglia. Their olive harvesting experiences are phenomenal, and give guests the opportunity to sample some of the finest olive oils in the world. And in November, the recently remodeled Venissa — a small boutique resort on the islands of Mazzorbo and Burano — celebrates the harvest of their Dorona vineyard. It's one of the most exclusive and prized vineyards in Italy. Owner Matteo Bisol hosts wine dinners and tours of Torcello Island’s Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the oldest church in Venice filled with spectacular Byzantine mosaics. Mazzorbo and Burano, both a quick 30 minute boat ride from the main city of Venice, are also home to outstanding lacemakers, and a beautiful fish market where local fishermen haul in their catch, roll up their sleeves, and fry seafood for guests on the spot.

  • The Cheapest Times to Visit Italy

Rome and Venice are bucket list cities, and visitors to Italy usually begin their trip in Rome, either flying into or connecting through Fiumicino Airport. Meridiana Airlines offers unheard of round trip flight deals between May and October, when they fly New York City to Rome (or to, Naples or Milan) for well under $500. Rome, like Florence, is inundated with tourists almost anytime of year except winter. This is a lovely time to visit, despite the occasional rain storm, as the city’s attractions are not busy. Hotels, like the new Le Méridien Visconti, located closer to the Vatican, are particularly affordable this time of year. One hour south of Rome by train is Naples, and local Tren Italia and Italo trains typically offer cheaper tickets when they are booked online in advance. Naples in the off season is nothing short of magical, and a popular destination for Italians who travel here to tour the city’s Christmas markets, which are some of the largest in Europe.

  • The Worst Times to Visit Italy for Crowds

Avoid at all costs Venice during Carnival if you abhor crowds. Hotels are at a premium, and the city’s bridges, boats, and attractions lose their charm, blocked as they are by hoards of mask-wearing revelers. For a real taste of Venice, the northern lagoon in either March or November is sublime. Tuscany is also on most people's radar, especially in the summer and autumn. This is bad news for travelers wanting to see Florence, Siena, or medieval hilltop towns like San Gemigano, which become clogged all day long with travelers. Tour busses logjam roads, museum lines are terrifying, and it’s hot as a crucible. Consider seeing these places during the off season and from afar, by renting a room at Monteverdi, in Tuscany’s Val D’Orcia region. From November through April rates are slashed, and the resort is an easy day trip from destinations like Pienza and Florence. Monteverdi’s spa and restaurant are open all year, and guests can experience Tuscany truffle hunting, wine tasting, or cooking classes in the village of Castiglioncello del Trinoro without having to journey far — thus saving on travel expenses.

  • See the sights at sunrise - Rome

By far the best idea I had during my time in Rome was to head out before sunrise and walk around the sleepy city as it woke or stroll the city streets after midnight while it slept. Whatever kind of person you are, (you know who you are) these are the ideal times to see places like the Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, Spanish Steps, the Pantheon or any piazzas before they are packed with crowds wielding selfie sticks, jostling for pictures, and queuing for entry. And the early morning or late night times give you an advantage many don’t experience.

  • Breakfast bliss at Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria - Rome

Please go to Roscioli Caffe Pasticceria. I mean it, this place is a dream. And I’m sad I only decided to go the last 2 weeks I was in Rome. Hidden behind its unassuming (and easy to miss) exterior is a tiny, sometimes hot and vibrant coffee bar packed with both Romans and tourists alike. If it’s crowded (and it will be) squeeze your way into a place at the marble bar like a true Italian. Before you know it, you’ll be given ice-cold flavored water and asked what you’re having. Order a cappuccino (it’s the only time of day you can really have one) and a cornetto salato. A croissant that rivals Paris’s version, this one is made with just French butter and egg. It’s then stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella or cured salmon and cheese with coriander seeds on top. It’s the perfect start to any day and while you won’t stay long you will leave on cloud nine from your breakfast bliss.

  • Feast al forno - Rome

Do yourself a favor and when you see the word “forno” on an awning, go inside. Al forno means cooked in the oven and these bakeries always have the best, quickest take away food options. It’s hard to really get a meal to-go in Rome, so al forno is Rome’s alternative to a New York slice or (dare I say bagel). Order by weight — it’s a fun experience from start to finish. Some of my favorites included Forno Campo de Fiori, which is a great spot for grabbing a few different kinds and then going outside to walk around the bustling Campo dei Fiori market. Also you can’t miss the porchetta at Antico Forno Roscioli. Yes, it’s the same group as the breakfast suggestion, but I give credit where credit is due and Roscioli’s pizza does not disappoint. Baked in five-foot-long slabs, you also order by weight and whatever freshness comes out of the oven. Some is seasoned simply, like the pizza rossa, which is brushed with a bright tomato sauce, that’s it. But, the true star is the porchetta. Equal parts crispy and just enough salty fat, the porchetta is layered onto their crispy focaccia topped with thinly sliced roasted potatoes and fried pieces of rosemary. It is out-of-this-world delicious, and you will thank me later.

  • Experience the art of aperitivo - Rome

If you normally eat dinner around 7pm, you will be out of luck while in Rome. In fact, most restaurants won’t even be open yet. Generally, Italians start dinner around 8:30pm — or even later, which is why aperitivo is so important! Do as the Italians do and enjoy an aperitivo and all the salty chips, olives, and roasted nuts that accompany them. For a fancier one check out Hotel de Russie’s gorgeous garden bar. The drinks are a splurge, but the aperitivo is plentiful and has a good variety of options. Otherwise meander in the Monti neighborhood, which in my opinion is a cooler version of Trastevere, which is also worth visiting but can be very touristy and very crowded at night. In Monti, wander the hip cobblestone streets and head to Piazza della Madonna dei Monti for some of the best people watching. The best part is its central proximity to sites, such as the Roman Forum and Colosseum, which are also beautiful at sunset.

  • Check out the Capitoline museums - Rome

Museums in Rome are not hard to come by. From the Vatican museums and Galleria Borghese to the National Museum of Rome, there are numerous collections that are worth a visit — but I’m here to tell you that the Capitoline Museums are also worth a visit. Located on the Piazza del Campidoglio, up on Capitoline Hill, the museums are made of two buildings facing each other with the impressive piazza in the middle. It houses an incredible collection of ancient Roman bronze and marble statues, medieval and Renaissance art, and many elaborate frescoes – but the best part is that it has one of the best views of the Roman Forum. And because you have to pay an entry fee, it’s never that crowded. Head over for “magic hour” when the museum offers a reduced entry rate and the sun hits the Roman Forum with an unbelievable golden glow. Be sure to follow signs for the Tabularium, which is the underground tunnel that links the two buildings and where the view is. Then head up to the cafe order a prosecco and sit in the gorgeous park right across the way.

  • Venture out to a villa - Rome

If you have an extra day or need a break from seeing ancient ruins and museums venture outside of Rome to Tivoli which is only a 30 minute trip if you manage to catch the fast train (and an hour if you find yourself on the slow version). The little Lazio town is beyond charming and full of history, stunning gardens, and gorgeous natural vistas — it’s like you’ve been transported into a dream. Tivoli is also home to Villa D’Este, a 16th-century villa famous for its terraced hillside Italian Renaissance garden, and especially for its profusion of fountains. It is now an Italian state museum, and is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Be sure to give yourself some time, there’s lots to see and many Instagramable photos to be taken. Have lunch at Ristorante Sibilla, which dates back to 1720. The restaurant is perched on a cliff next to the entrance to the Villa Gregorio reserve and literally up against the Temple of Sibilla. Sit under the breathtaking pergola and enjoy the view and some delicious food.

  • Gelato, gelato, gelato - Rome

You’ll want to end each and every meal with gelato, and in my opinion you can never go wrong with gelato as you stroll the streets. But when you’re looking for a really special experience, head to Giolitti. Truth be told, I can’t take credit for this because it was actually my boss who took me there the first time and it’s his favorite. It’s super old school with table service (waiters in white tuxedos) as well as a take away counter, but the gift is when you sit outside for service. Make sure you visit the original location near the Pantheon.

  • Ditch your diet - Rome

Again, this may seem like a ridiculous, and maybe even obvious tip — but it’s an important one. Food plays a major part in discovering the best of Rome, so when you’re there, embrace it. Try the local specialties like spaghetti carbonara, cacio e pepe, involtini, and saltimbocca alla romana. Go outside of your comfort zone. And always when dining out, order the house wine over a bottle of wine. Not only does it taste just as good, but also it’s much cheaper, and it’s usually served by the liter and comes in cute carafes. I could write an entire novel dedicated to where to eat so for now here are a few great finds:

  • Armando al Pantheon - Rome

There are just 14 tables at this cozy little place, located near some major tourist attractions — think Pantheon and Piazza Navona so be sure to book ahead and trust me when I say its worth it given the tourist location. Try the spaghetti carbonara and lemon pasta with arugula, and finish off with veal saltimbocca alla romana. All are traditional and amazing.

  • Santa Lucia - Rome

The best time to come is during warmer days so that you can enjoy their beautiful terrace outside. It can be a little touristy because Eat, Pray, Love was filmed there, but who doesn’t love a little film action. Prosecco, prosciutto, and mozzarella are things I’ll never leave without, and a simple macaroni with butter, mint and Parmesan really blew my mind.

  • La Fraschetta di Mastro Giorgio - Rome

Venture over to this restaurant in the historic district of Testaccio, an area that may not be Rome’s prettiest neighborhood, but its rich history more than makes up for it. The service is great and inviting. Order the zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies. They also have a great selection of cured meats and cheeses. And I know I’ve mentioned porchetta already but this is also a great one, served with piping hot salty focaccia. For pasta, try the spaghetti with chicory, a very delicious green topped with melty pecorino perfection.

  • Atrani - Amalfi coast

Less crowded beach than Amalfi

  • Franco's Bar - Positano
  • Eitch Borromini - Rome

Rooftop bar

  • Le Sirenuse - Positano
  • Spiaggia Di Cala Luna - Sardinia
  • Cala Coticcio Beach
  • Uffizi Gallery - Florence
  • Spirito - Rome

This bar in Rome is hidden behind an unassuming door at the Premiata Panineria al Pigneto sandwich shop. The door leads to a casino-themed bar where drinks are served off of blackjack and roulette tables. Visitors are invited to trade their winning chips in for drinks with unexpected ingredients like Kaffir lime oil and bacon- and fig-infused Laphroaig.

  • Gambino Vini Winery - Linguaglossa, Sicily, Italy

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013 for being “one of the world’s most active and iconic volcanoes,” Mount Etna is one of Sicily’s top attractions. Perched on the side of this active volcano, the Gambino Vini Winery overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. Visitors can enjoy views 3,000 feet above sea level while tasting wines made from the full-bodied, volcanic terroir. For example, the Feu D’o Bianco is a flavorful blend of the Grillo and Carricante grapes, while the Feu D’o Rosso has a strong red-fruit flavor and hints of licorice. Pair these wines with authentic Sicilian cuisine such as pasta alla norma and arancini di riso. (See Italy’s lesser known UNESCO World Heritage sites.)

  • Monteverdi - Castiglioncello del Trinoro, Sarteano SI, Italy

Nestled in the hills of Tuscany, this hotel is my happy place. They have a great spa to relax in, culinary classes where you can learn how to make pastas with their in-house chefs, an art gallery, and beautiful trails to go hiking — a little bit of everything.

  • Wine Tasting at Casanova Di Neri - Montalcino SI, Italy

Not only are the folks at Casanova Di Neri generous about their wine pours, but also about their information and knowledge, too. You’ll walk away feeling truly informed about wines of the region. Not to mention, the grounds of this vineyard are simply beautiful.

  • Osteria Perillà - Rocca D’orcia SI, Italy

This restaurant is located right in the middle of a small medieval town that really makes you feel like you’re in another time. They use sustainable, natural food that somehow feels very traditional but contemporary all at once. This is an exquisite meal that you should definitely make the trip to eat!

  • Cheese tour @ Podere il Casale - Pienza, Italy

In good weather, there are few experiences in this world more magical than enjoying a glass of local wine, eating the farm’s sheep and goat cheese and taking in the stunning views of Val D’orcia. Catch a glimpse of the wild peacocks, goats and livestock running around while enjoying lunch overlooking the property. This is what the Tuscany experience is all about!

  • Hotel Villa Stupenda - Lake Como

The understated suites look out onto Bellano harbor, where herons and cormorants gather. Inside, white Giorgetti armchairs and modular lamps are paired with original brickwork arches and exposed-beam ceilings. The only downside? A narrow road runs between the hotel and the lakeshore.

  • Ristorante Silvio - Lake Como

Ponzini is one of the few who have fishing rights on the lake—a privilege that has been passed down through his family for generations.

  • La Piazzetta - Lake Como

A wood-fired stone oven turns out crunchy buckwheat thin-crust pies. Standout toppings include locally sourced Gorgonzola, fresh marinated tuna, and red Tropea onions.

  • Pesa Vegia - Lake Como

Housed in a pink villa. Don’t miss his spin on a classic tiramisu, made with siphon-sprayed mascarpone foam.

  • Vanini Osvaldo olive oil shop - Lake Como

A family operation that has been producing fruity, full-flavored oils for more than 150 years.

  • Azienda Agricola Poppo olive oil shop - Lake Como

The small-batch oil is known for its pungent, grassy flavor.

  • Abbazia di Piona - Lake Como

An artisanal store run by monks in an 11th-century abbey. Almost everything here is made on site, from the limoncello and mandarin liqueur to beauty products such as beeswax soap.

  • Villa del Balbianello - Lake Como

Twentieth-century Italian explorer Guido Monzino’s former residence turned museum showcases his eclectic collection of artifacts, from pre-Columbian art to bearskins.

  • Hotel Pironi - Lakes Orta and Maggiore

Original frescoes and antiques are offset by modern fuchsia pillows and yellow lampshades. Downstairs, a vaulted wine cellar has been converted into a stylish bar with an impressive wine list.

  • Ristorante CasaBella - Lakes Orta and Maggiore

Reserve a table in the cozy, wood-paneled dining room or on the rooftop terrace, which has views of the neighboring Isola Bella.

  • Alessi - Lakes Orta and Maggiore

No seriously stylish house is complete without a steel-wire fruit basket by Fernando and Humberto Campana or a squirrel-shaped nutcracker by Andrea Branzi from iconic design firm Alessi. The company’s only factory store in Italy offers deep discounts and is located just north of Orta.

  • La Dispensa - Lakes Orta and Maggiore

For colorful Italian linen shirts and dresses

  • Hop a motorboat taxi - Lakes Orta and Maggiore

(Piazza Mario Motta, Orta San Giulio; 39-333/605-0288; ; from $5 per person) to San Giulio Island and tour its ancient basilica.

  • Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso Ballaro - Lakes Orta and Maggiore

A 12th-century church perched on a rock 45 feet above the lake.

  • Ristorante Taverna Kus - Lake Garda

A hilltop tavern with outdoor tables set in a lush garden. On the menu: fresh ribbon pasta with goose ragù or, in season, the creamy chestnut soup.

  • Wine Tasting - Lake Garda

Countess Maria Cristina Rizzardi personally oversees the wine production at her 550-year-old estate Guerrieri Rizzardi Azienda Agricola (4 Via Verdi, Bardolindo; 39-045/721-0028; tours by appointment). In summer, tastings of Bardolino, a dry red, and Chiaretto, a light pink rosé, are held in the kitchen garden of the lakeside family villa.

  • Vassalli Pasticcerie - Lake Garda

Salò’s foremost confectioner. Best buys: candied orange peel dipped in bitter dark chocolate and hazelnut torte.

  • Comincioli - Lake Garda

Produces the region’s only olive oil made exclusively from pulp; it has notes of almonds and artichoke.

  • Il Vittoriale degli Italiani - Lake Garda

The former mansion of Italian poet and eccentric Gabriele D’Annunzio. The museum is filled with his personal journals and belongings, including first editions of his most popular books, untouched since his death in 1938.

  • Hike Villa Borghese Cavazza - Lake Garda

A Venetian neo-Gothic-style villa on the private island of Isola del Garda (Lake Garda; 39-0365/62294; ), accessible by vaporetto from Salò.

  • Acquafredda di Maratea Beach - Basilicata

Six miles outside of the hamlet of Maratea, this rugged stretch of shoreline has the same blue water and dark gray sand of the Amalfi Coast, but it’s further north with none of the accompanying throngs of tourists. It’s a prime place for beachgoers in search of rustic beauty: In spite of neatly arranged sun loungers and beach umbrellas placed by local hotels, the rocky shoreline and cliffs jutting up on either side of the cove preserve the untamed feel of the area.

  • Marina Grande Beach - Positano

As if the views of deep greenish-blue seas weren’t enough, the stacks of pastel houses hugging the cliffs make Positano’s main beach feel like something plucked from a midcentury postcard. With over 300 yards of dark sand—large swathes of it dedicated to tidily arranged rows of beach umbrellas and lounge chairs in Technicolor shades of orange and blue—this spot always feels open and roomy in spite of summer crowds. Start in town with a leisurely outdoor lunch overlooking the Mediterranean, then sleep off the limoncello buzz with a snooze on the sand.

  • Camogli Beach - Liguria

Northwest Italy’s coastal towns tend to live in the shadow of the neighboring French Riviera, but that means beaches like Camogli’s have all the Mediterranean beauty with a fraction of the crowds you’ll find in Nice or St. Tropez. The beach in this little fishing village is pebbly but picturesque—the ancient Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta is perched on a promontory at the harbor’s northern end, with mountains rising up behind it. This spot has something for every traveler: swimming lessons to keep the kids busy, beachside drink service for the laid-back crowd, and rowboats, canoe rentals, and diving lessons for the adventure-seekers.

  • Scalo Maestro - Marettimo

Just off the western tip of Sicily, the island of Marettimo (population: 700) has the kind of wild beauty that gives every moment here a dreamlike quality. The tiny beach of Scalo Maestro is one of the few you can access from the shore, and its gentle slope and clear, calm waters are particularly swimmer- and snorkeler-friendly. Once you’ve had your fill of beach time, charter a boat for a tour of the island: it’s the only way to access Marettimo’s hidden sea caves. You can’t truly appreciate the magic of the Aegadian Islands until you’ve gone swimming in a sun-dappled Mediterranean grotto.

  • Porto Campana - Sardinia

Three miles of golden sand make up the Campana beachfront, and within that expanse you’ll find something to suit every type of beachgoer. Look for rental kiosks to try your hand at surfing, kiteboarding, or paddleboarding; kick back on a rented lounger with a cocktail; sign up for a scuba session with a local outfitter; or admire Campana’s dunes—some as high as 65 feet.

  • Otranto Beach - Otranto

This bay in the center of Italy’s easternmost town is all soft white sand and shallow turquoise water—a tiny sliver of the Caribbean perched on the Adriatic. And while the beach itself is as all-purpose as they come (great for swimming, sunning, snorkeling…), the best way to enjoy this place also happens to be the easiest: Stop in town to pick up a crisp white wine, a hunk of fresh bread, and a ball of Puglia’s creamy, buttery burrata, then while away a few hours sipping and snacking on this little seaside slice of heaven.

  • Poglinano a Mare Beach - Puglia

Nestled in an inlet bound by steep limestone cliffs, this spot is off the beaten path for most tourists, but it’s well worth the detour. Bring a beach chair for comfort—there’s no sand here, only smooth, salt-worn pebbles—and a pack a pair of water shoes if you’re the adventurous type. Then follow the lead of the locals: Climb a few feet up the cliffs, shimmy out until you’re over deep water, and take the leap. Toast your courage in a cliffside cove above the Adriatic at nearby Grotta Palazzese, possibly the most romantic restaurant in the world.

  • Spiaggia di Tuerredda - Sardinia

Even in the off-season, this island idyll is a must-see: The sea here is such a perfect shade of pale blue it doesn’t seem real, and since it’s sheltered from the bracing Mistral winds, the water is warm enough for swimming well into fall. There’s a scattering of casual beachfront restaurants and amenities if you’re interested in paddleboarding or kayaking, but be sure to find time for a languid stroll along the shore. Between the pristine setting, the sound of the waves, and the occasional whiff of Sardinia’s juniper trees on the breeze, your blood pressure will be dropping in no time.

  • Marina del Cantone Beach - Massa Lubrense

This beach is the place to go if you want authenticity: Despite its proximity to the Amalfi Coast’s tourist hotspots, Marina del Cantone is free of the overdevelopment (and accompanying sky-high prices) you’ll find in neighboring coastal towns, and you’re likely to be surrounded by locals. Be sure to wear sturdy sandals to shield your soles from the rocky beach, and if you’re feeling ambitious, hike the nearby footpaths for unbeatable views of the bay and the town from neighboring cliffs. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head into town for lunch with a view at Lo Scoglio. Their spaghetti con ricci di mare—pasta tossed with a sauce of sea urchin, olive oil, and garlic—is creamy, salty-sweet, and the perfect capstone to an Amalfi afternoon.

  • Rabbit Beach - Lampedusa

It takes a bit of determination to make your way to this secluded spot—the tiny island of Lampedusa is just over 100 miles off the coast of mainland Italy, closer to Tunisia than Europe—but the effort pays off. The water is shallow and perfectly clear even at the edges of the bay, and cliffs flanking the beach keep it sheltered from strong winds and waves. The visibility and abundant sea life (turtles includes) make snorkeling a must, but the remote location means you won’t find much in the way of facilities and amenities, so pack gear and provisions before you go.

  • Spiaggia di Chiaia di Luna - Ponza

This is Italy’s answer to the white cliffs of Dover. Sheer golden bluffs plummet over 300 feet down to sea level, where they’re bordered by a thin crescent of sand. It’s a must-see destination year round: If it’s too chilly for swimming, Instagram-worthy tableaux abound if you take a stroll along the beach or atop the coastal cliffs. And though the beach is the main draw, be sure to carve out enough time for inland exploring. Ponza has been settled since the Neolithic era, so the island is scattered with Roman and Etruscan ruins that archaeology buffs will love. For bonus points, pack The Odyssey for beach reading: Ponza is rumored to be Homer’s inspiration for the isle of Aeaea, where Odysseus meets the enchantress Circe.

  • La Catterdrale - Palmarola

From Ponza, charter a boat to the neighboring island of Palmarola for even more jaw-dropping scenery. The harbor beach on this uninhabited isle is beautiful enough, but for the real showstopper, head to La Cattedrale, a series of rocky arches jutting into the sea, so named for their resemblance to the vaulted naves of medieval churches. An afternoon spent swimming in the grottos, dozing in the shade of the cliffs, and spotting the dolphins that play offshore is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime experience you don’t want to miss.

  • Lido Beach - Lido di Venezia

Every visitor to Venice should make a visit to Lido Beach a mandatory part of the itinerary. When you find yourself maxing out on museums and piazzas, take the vaporetto to this seven-mile island on the edge of the Venetian Lagoon. At the height of summer, rent a cabana and kick back with a negroni to capture a bit of la dolce vita without having to do battle for towel turf on the public beach. In the off season, take a long walk on the empty expanse of shore, snag a few seashell souvenirs, and recharge—the quietude and open air are guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed and ready to dive back into the Venetian sightseeing fray.

  • Lago di Braies - South Tyrol

It may not be on the ocean, but this gem nestled in is guaranteed to satisfy beachgoers in search of beautiful scenery and a refreshing dip. The lake boasts clear, blue-green waters and white sand—a striking visual contrast to the dense pine forest and snow-dusted peaks that surround it. A day hike is the best way to see everything Lago di Braies has to offer: Pack your swimsuit, a towel, and a lunch, then venture out on the beginner-friendly footpath that circles the perimeter, pausing to picnic and swim at the first beach that suits your fancy. Be sure to stop at the Braies bungalow—built on stilts over the lake, it’s a cross between an alpine ski lodge and a Tahitian overwater cabana—for photo ops and rowboat rentals.

  • Scala dei Turchi - Sicily

One of the most visually striking beaches in the world, Sicily’s Turkish Steps are a must-visit for aesthetic reasons alone. The bright white marlstone has been slowly eroded, creating a sloping staircase that leads right into the sea. Go at low tide for the best views, and wear sturdy shoes for the journey—the climb is not for the faint of heart. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, pack a flashlight and stay until the sun sets. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better visual than that of the cliffs awash in gold and silhouetted against a fiery sky.

  • The Coffee Granita at Tre Scalini in Piazza Navona, Rome
  • Sandali Tipici - Maiori

Makes custom sandals

  • Aqua Pazza - Cetara

This seafood restaurant is delicious, and so fresh!

  • Cumpa Cosimo - Ravello
  • The Beach Club at Positano

You pay for the day, and the beach is so charming and picturesque. Amazing beach bar, too.

  • La Sireneuse

Make a reservation for lunch here for a stellar view.

  • JK Place - Capri.

This hotel is the chicest of chic. I sat there with my mouth hanging open the entire time. A MUST! Amazing cocktails, too, if you just want to go for a bite and an ogle.

  • Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop - Dolomites

Distance: 6.4 miles (10.3 km) loop Time: 3-4 hours Elevation Gain: 1300 feet (400 meters) Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

  • Rent a boat - Lago di Braies
  • Hike around Lago di Braies
  • Fanes Senes Braies Natural Park

• Swim in the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra) - Capri

• People-watch in La Piazzetta - Capri

• Sip a glass of fresh limoncello - Capri

• Visit the Villa San Michele and stroll through the gardens - Capri

• Walk Via Krupp and admire the views of the Faraglioni - Capri

  • Ride the chairlift up to Mount Solaro - Capri
  • Tropea Beach
  • Take a shuttle from Positano to lunch at Spiaggia di Laurito or walk 45 min from the village of Nerano to the Baia di leranto - Positano
  • Atrani
  • Laurito Beach - Positano

First, head to the ocean and post up on a white-sand beach like Laurito Beach, which is one of the most popular (and one of the smallest) for dedicated beachgoers. Arienzo Beach is a bit more difficult to access—visitors have to descend 300 steps—but all seem to agree that it’s well worth the trek, especially for the panoramic ocean views.

  • Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta - Positano

Make sure to stop by the famous 10th-century church Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, known for historical artifacts and its distinct architectural style. Other architectural must-sees include the majolical tile-clad central dome and Byzantine Black Madonna, which dates back to the 13th century.

  • The God’s Path - Positano

Thanks to its noteworthy cliffside location, there is plenty of hiking to do in Positano. Walk The God’s Path to snag some of the most scenic views on the Amalfi Coast. Another popular hike leads to Nerano, a small fishing village close by where you can spend the day swimming in the Bay of Ieranto.

  • Gran Caffè Diemme — Padua, Italy

For a taste of history along with your Spritz, pay a visit to the city where it all began. While there are plenty of cafes in Padua that serve up excellent versions of the drink, we’re partial to Gran Caffè Diemme, a modern cocktail den that serves up tasty shareable plates and antipasti to go along with Italian libations. Situate yourself at the bar and snack on Cantabrian Sea anchovies with butter and burrata while you sip on the classic cocktail.

  • Il Marchese — Rome

This stunning, light-filled space is adorned in stucco and velvet to give it an elegant, old-world European feel. Il Marchese specializes in amari and aperitivi and stocks hundreds of bottles that will appeal to every type of palate. Come early for an Aperol Spritz and small plates like arancini and beef tartare, then stay for expertly prepared pastas and dishes like octopus puttanesca.

  • Ristorante hotel grotta palazzese - Polignano a Mare
  • Saturnia Thermal Baths - Saturnia
  • Villa Rufolo - Ravello
  • Antichi Sapori - Montegrosso

The notes on my itinerary said to take a cab from my Puglia hotel to Antichi Sapori, but there are no cabs in Montegrosso, so the innkeeper drove me herself. “We call it a town,” she said as we pulled up to the tiny collection of buildings anchored by a church where the restaurant is located, “but really Montegrosso is just one street.” Set among the endless olive groves of Puglia, Antichi Sapori is the passion project of Pietro Zito, who tends to a large garden nearby, much of which is set aside to allow for the cultivation of wild greens and herbs. Zito’s aim is to keep the historic cooking traditions of the region alive. Everything about this place is an embodiment of the word rustic, from the tiled dining room with its wooden tables and farm-tool decorations to its hearty and delicious cooking. Though there is an à la carte menu, the set menu costs around $45 and is an obscene amount of food. You might start with a bowl of fresh fava beans topped with sharp cheese, a smattering of antipasti, toast with a puree of wild herbs, baked artichoke hearts, and more. Then come the two servings of pasta — which you choose from the pasta list — before you move on to the main course: grilled sausage, beef, pork, or sometimes donkey. This is where I discovered what chicory really tastes like in its original state, bitter and bracing, intermingled with handmade orecchiette. I marveled at the quality of the pork, with its deep, intense flavor, and found new hunger I thought I didn’t have when five or six different desserts appeared. Antichi Sapori represents Italian dining as it has been for hundreds of years: rustic, handmade, entirely reliant on the countryside around it. Most of all it feels outrageously generous, in its cooking and hospitality but also in its spirit. I left full, happy and sleepy — and one of the waiters was kind enough to drive me home.

  • Sorbillo, Naples

With a line almost as legendary as the pizza, it can be tempting to skip Sorbillo for one of the other very good pizza shops in Naples. But if you arrive a little before the noon opening, it’s likely you’ll make it into the first seating of the day. And what a wonderful feeling, to roll up your sleeves and dive in to these resplendent pies: tart sauce; gooey cheese; and a perfectly blistered, tangy crust. The two-level dining room is a hive of activity, with waiters hurrying back and forth carrying pies aloft to their lucky new owners. A seat downstairs offers a view into the kitchens, where the pizzaiolos spin and sweat in front of the restaurant’s giant ovens. What is it that makes Sorbillo the absolute best? It’s hard to say — perhaps it is the specific char created by the woodfired ovens, or the organic tomatoes that go into the sauce, or the care owner Gino Sorbillo puts into his dough. As is the case with all great pizza, there is likely a little magic involved, something unknowable that turns dough plus sauce plus cheese into something far greater than the sum of its parts. In this case that magic becomes the best pizza in Naples, and by extension the best pizza in the world. There’s no English menu, but if you speak no Italian you’ll do just fine guessing and pointing — it was this method that garnered me one of the best pizzas of the bunch, an artichoke-heavy vegetarian option with a glorious, pure acidity. The go-to order is the margherita with mozzarella di bufala, which takes the already decadent pie and ramps it up, adding a deliciously creamy element. Sorbillo also has an outpost in New York City — I have not eaten there and can’t attest to its greatness or not. I have to guess that the setting makes somewhat of a difference, and why shouldn’t it? Some things are worthy of pilgrimage. And to eat Neapolitan pizza this good in Naples with a glass (or three) of fantastic local wine came close to a religious experience.

  • Palermo to Siracusa

After enjoying ’s cuisine, art, architecture, history, and people, you’ll want to head eastward along the northern coast of Sicily on Route A-20 towards Messina, the closest point to the mainland of Italy. On the way, stop in the beach town of just an hour away. If the weather is warm, it’s a great place for a dip in the Mediterranean, and if you’re hungry, you’ll find pizza, pasta, and more at one of the cafes overlooking the beach.

From Cefalu, you’ll enjoy unsurpassed views of the Mediterranean, and you’ll arrive in after about two hours of driving. Take some time to explore the ancient city, and note its cathedral and unique bell tower, said to be the largest astronomical clock in the world. Seafood is the specialty in this city bordered by the Mediterranean and Ionian seas, so if it’s mealtime, enjoy some fresh fish.

One more hour of driving will take you to , hilltop city with views of the sea, cobblestone streets, and a welcoming place to rest for the night. Stop for cannoli or gelato and then stroll along the Corso with the locals on their evening passeggiatta and watch Mt. Etna sending smoke into the sky. In the morning, explore the ancient , still used for concerts and events. From Taormina, head south on A-18 for an hour to the city of , location of the area’s main airport. The ancient port city has much to see, and it’s worth exploring if there’s time. Another drive of about an hour will take you to , with thousands of years of history, Greek ruins, medieval buildings, and the lovely island of Ortygia, where I suggest you stay. This will allow you to experience its magnificent Piazza Duomo at night, sip a prosecco, and relax after a day on the road. A few reminders… You’ll undoubtedly encounter drivers who want to go faster than you. Move to the right to let them pass when you see them approaching or get their signal. Also, parking in these towns is difficult or impossible, but most have parking garages on their outskirts where you can leave your car and taxi to your destination.

  • Jerry Thomas Speakeasy - Rome
  • Le Due Torre - Bologna

We climbed all 498 steps to get a beautiful 360° view of the city. This is a bit of a challenge so I don’t recommend if you have breathing or knee problems. If you are able to make the trek, it is very much worth it.

  • The San Luca Express - Bologna

We hopped on the San Luca Express for a panoramic tour of the city and up the hill to the beautiful Basilica di San Luca. The train has an audio tour in 10 languages, and there are return trips every 15 or 30 minutes back to the city. Once at the top of the hill, you are delivered a majestic view of the hills that are Emilia Romagna, and the icing on the cake is the exquisite marble architecture of the centuries-old basilica. If you are feeling athletic, you can also walk to San Luca through 666 arcades. The walk is a moderate incline of a little over 2 miles/3.5 km. If you walk up, keep in mind you cannot take the train back as tickets are round trip and purchased in Piazza Maggiore at the center of the city.

  • “Ancient Rome tour” - Rome

We bought a combo pass for The Colosseum and The Roman Forums, which is easily 3-5 hours of walking and learning about the ancient city. To get to the area, you get to pass by the monument of Vittorio Emmanuele, which sits atop the modern Rome that looks down at the ancient landscape. We recommend bringing waters with you as there aren’t many places to buy food and drinks nearby. Comfortable shoes are also a must!

  • "Food and Beauty tour" - Rome

his day was our “Food and Beauty tour” day. We spent the day in the Municipio area. Our first stop was Sant’ Eustachio Il Caffè for some of the best and most coveted cappuccino in all of Rome. (The recipe is a secret!) Pro Tip: If you want to sit and enjoy your breakfast, the cost is more than just taking coffee and pastries to go. We strolled over to The Pantheon, then stopped for a quick meal at a “fast food” pasta place: Il Pastaio di Roma. Within minutes we were able to see Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, and then make our way to the Spanish Steps for sunset. Lots of great people-watching and love is in the air around those last three spots, for sure. We finished our night with the best meal we had in Rome at Piccolo Arancio. (If you’re looking for a bit more action, you can always opt for a street food tour of Rome!)

  • Grotta Palazzese - Puglia, Italy

This restaurant is situated in a cave right next to the Adriatic Sea. Its menu offers a series of seafood and fish specialties and Italian recipes. There is a tasting menu or you can order à la carte, but to be honest, the only thing that matters is the amazing view.

  • Abruzzo

East of Rome, the Abruzzo region of Southern Italy might just be one of the last towns in the country where a tourist can show up and be the only foreigner for miles, says Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights. “There are charming, beautiful hill towns — two favorites are Prezza and Pacentro, both easy to access from the ‘hub’ of Sulmona,” he says, “delicious restaurants and agriturismi [farm stays] and some absolutely stunning spots to hike, all for ridiculously low prices.” Case in point: in Pacentro, the top-rated restaurant on Trip Advisor has an estimated price range of $23 to $40 per meal.

dec 21 2015 ∞
dec 4 2019 +