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I think some days we did 20,000 steps and killed our incline target 8 fold!

Our first two days to settle into the time zone and the Italian way of life was in Rome. Felt incredible being in this ancient buzzing city.


We stayed at Le Meridien. About a 10-15 minute walk across one of the small bridges to the main shopping area and the Spanish steps. Rome is amazing. We loved just wandering wandering and wandering. Water also tastes so good. Bring a bottle to fill wherever you see a water fountain. Loved the 2 minute wolf it down espresso coffee. So tasty, creamy and strong! Must do it the Italian way and drink it standing up. Best one we had is near the pantheon navona square. I’ll send you the address. It is creamy and not bitter at all. One euro for a shot. Jae went there many years ago.




Omg! I love Tuscany! A dreamy escape. We picked up our car in Rome and had a 5 minute Italian street sign 101 course from the rental company. Here they are:


⁃ Blue line means metered parking.
⁃ White line means its free.
⁃ Beware of restricted entry zones. However usually where you see this sign then you also see a parking station sign. At most you pay 2-3 euros and hour.
⁃ GPS is a must.


Tuscany in July. The grass wasn’t as green as I imagined. It looked a little sunburnt and dry. Crunchy grass. Not much rain. Still so so beautiful with the gentle rolling hills, majestic Italian cypress trees, fields of golden sunflowers, olive trees and vineyards. Oh and lavender!! Soooo fragrant. There were heaps of lavender at our hotel. Also loved all the greenery growing over buildings. Adds so much charm.


It was a good idea being based out of town at Bagnaia (20 mins from Siena) and using that as our base to explore cities like Siena, Florence, Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino, San Gimignano and Chianti vineyards. At most we traveled 1.5 hours to reach a destination. Like hotel to florence and then we spent the day there. On our commute from Rome to the Bagnaia we covered three little towns. Didn’t feel rushed. Was just perfect. Montepulciano for lunch and shopping, Pienza for a shot of coffee and Montelcino to pick up brunello red wine. This is in the Val D’orcia region. Our hotel was great! (La Bagnaia Resort) with beautiful sunsets and a great restaurant on site. They were very helpful in telling us where to park for the bigger cities and also helping us to book a tour of one of the vineyards. We ate ate ate. Buffet breakfast… omg! Then drive… espresso…. lunch…. gelato… shopped! We walked a tonne in each town. Up hill and then down hill. I think some days we did 20,000 steps and killed our incline target 8 fold. Hubby had one of those watches that measured our activity. So I think our input (food and grog intake) was balanced with our output (10 to 20k in steps).


Memorable meals?


⁃ Florence. Via Della Spada 27. This place was recommended by our Italian korean Friend. Steak was awesome. Florentine steak is one of the best. Jae said this was one of the best steaks he has ever had.


⁃ Albergaccio di Castellina. Also recommended by our trusted Italian Friend. This one is not far from San Gimignano. It has Michelin star awarded. Lunch outside, breathing in the Tuscan air… ooh la la


⁃ Montepulciano – had lunch at Ristorante Degli Archi Caffe – simple fresh tomato based pasta and a delicious brucetta. Nothing fancy pants but pure and honestly yummy. The owner and staff were super nice. Views inside the restaurant were nice…but we sat outside near the arch and enjoyed people watching.


⁃ La Bagnaia Golf Resort – we had 3 dinners at the hotel. The main reason was because we had been out all day and it was convenient to grab dinner at 830 in the comforts of the hotel. The sun set just before 9pm… so it was magical. Food was great… but obviously more expensive than if you eat in one of the towns. I loved the spaghetti with caviar. Omg!!! (Oh, we had a beautiful suite in the same building as reception and the restaurant. Perfect for exhausted travellers)


⁃ Best gelato in the world? San Gimignano has one that won awards. It was in the piazza and so so creamy. I’ve been ruined for life now.


At Siena Cathedral


Michelin star restaurant near San Gimignano


Hubby in the vineyards


Endless fields of happiness


Tuscan grapes


Our little car, on our way back to our resort, La Bagnaia


La Bagnaia Golf Resort




So many lovely Tuscan sunsets


Pompeii, Sorrento, Positano and Capri

We stopped over in Pompeii before heading to Sorrento. Super hot! You need water and a hat!! So sad to imagine the people and children who were buried by the volcano. It was amazing to see this ancient city and Mount Versuvius.


In Sorrento, we stayed at the Hilton which is up on a hill and about 10 minute walk to town. We stayed on the ground floor so not much of a view. But we enjoyed the walk. Oh… and we got welcome bubbly! Woo Hoo! Oh.., we walked into town and saw the Continental. That looked like a better location. Close to town n close to Marina grande (which has loads of seafood restaurants). But we were still happy with the Hilton.
Breakfast was phenomenal – you squeeze your own fresh orange juice with a cute machine. Fresh produce like peaches, nectarines and apricots were on offer every morning. Lemons and lemon trees, peach trees, orange trees …everywhere. It’s like the garden of Eden in Sorrento. I loved it! I probably seemed like a concrete jungle dumb ass princess taking photos of things like lemons and peaches growing on trees. It was beautiful.


We caught the ferry to Positano one day and another day to Isle of Capri. Both from Marina Picolo. Around 30-40 euros return by boat. I think better than by car or bus as there isn’t traffic. Other option for positano is local bus where you may not get a seat. Or go on the red hop on hop off bus for 10 euros one way but you get a seat. We chose to go by boat. Walk to the marina piccolo is about 20 minutes. It’s a steep downhill but we liked it. Working for our lunch.


Positano … locals recommended Bruno’s for lunch. Great food. Great view. Great value. Loved it! Grilled seafood and spaghetti vongole. I would go back again 😉 So another Friend went to positano years ago and he also went to Bruno’s and loved it. Coincidence!


Capri … we just wondered around. We didn’t bother with the blue grotto boat tour although it is highly recommended. We are lazy tourists who don’t have to see everything. Just there to eat and wonder


Best meals in the Amalfi area?


⁃ Soul and Fish at Marina Grande, Sorrento. Best to book because it was busy. The seafood was soooo fresh!!! And it was sooooo tasty. Beautiful sunset view. We got a table by chance bc someone cancelled. Phew. I would have been sad if we didn’t get to eat there. Such tasty bright coloured prawns. Sweet tasting crabs with my pasta. Jae had fresh fresh mussels and calamaris


⁃ We had a great meal at Cafe Lantino which was set in a lemon tree garden. A lemon fell and knocked over my half drunk bellini. Bang! Luckily got a new one. It was such a pretty setting. Loved it


⁃ Another Favourite was a restaurant in an alley. Small cosy and basic. Hydrangeas in glass bottles picked from the owner’s garden. O’Murzill on Via Del Accademia.


Special memories in sorrento?


⁃ getting tailor made leather sandals. I love mine. Bought two for 50 euros each. Made to measure. Ha!


⁃ Soul and fish for dinner ⁃ Lemons, lemoncello, lemon icy drink (granita), lemon gelato


⁃ Seafood seafood seafood. It’s so different from Sydney. Smaller and tastier prawns n crabs. Big meaty lobster. Tasty fried anchovies. Surprising things?


⁃ the amount of tourists. It is busy everywhere…. except when driving in the Tuscan landscape


⁃ The amount of locals and foreigners traveling with their babies… sleeping in the pram or in the baby carrier


⁃ The tiny tiny cars tailor made for people my size. Make sure you have small sized suitcases


⁃ Steak florentine was surprisingly awesome .. though it looks raw


⁃ Espresso drunk tequila style is quite nice


⁃ The abundance of flowers, fruit and plants


⁃ Italian wines are fantastic! Cheap and great quality


⁃ So many people walking their dogs … so cute


Definitely recommend this adventure for couples and for those with older kids. There is a lot of walking.


In Sorrento!!


The pool and view at Hilton Sorento Palace


Just peachy!!


From the isle of Capri


Lovely little find for dinner in Sorrento. Delicious seafood! Didn’t have views but set in a gorgeous little alleyway perfect for people-watching!


Gets our tick of approval!


Our last meal in Marina Grande, Sorrento


Having a car in Tuscany was great! Flexibility on when and where to explore 😉 If driving, sort out the international Drivers Licence as you need it to rent the car. Also even with the GPS, best to have an address that you are aiming for within each city/town… ie write down an address for a restaurant or landmark. Then you can put it into the GPS. We didn’t get a Local SIM card for our phones bc it was too exxy to get one with data. Didn’t need it. Oh n in sorrento, the Hilton staff valet parked our car. 17 euro a day… about 2 minutes down the hill. We didn’t use the car during our time there but we thought it be better than returning it and then picking it up again to go to Rome. Oh… when we got our car in Rome, we accidentally paid for the option to reduce the excess for our rental car. The rental guy asked if we wanted insurance n we said yes. We didn’t realise we already had insurance. We didn’t realise he was talking about reducing the excess. Anyways…! So better to put in bold print to not pay for any other insurance. Only pay for the GPS. A case of lost in translation.

10 days
30 beautiful Italian meals
3 regions


Completely saturated with satisfaction. Thank you Ella for sorting this journey of eat pray love for us. We needed it!