Ciao! Here’s the first of my series of travel diaries from my post-graduation trip to Rome and the Amalfi Coast! I divided it up by place and days, so there will be a detailed post on each city we visited, and then a post that gives a more general overview of our travel itinerary for all 10 days. We visited Rome for the first two days of our trip, and then went to Sorrento and along the Amalfi Coast, and then returned back to Rome for a night before we flew out, which is why this covers day one and two, and then nine and ten!
Day 1: Rome
- We left the states around 5:30 pm and flew out of JFK directly into Rome. We slept on the plane and got to the hotel around 9:30 am. Rome may possibly be my favorite city in Europe that I’ve been to besides Prague. It’s not at all like an overwhelming city, and instead is so personal, historic, and charming. We went at the perfect time— right before tourist season hit but right when the weather got hot and gorgeous. We seriously had blue skies and sunshine all ten days we were in Italy and couldn’t get over how perfect it was. I couldn’t recommend a better time to go than the month of May!
Look at me trying to pack *light*!
- That morning we walked around the Piazza Navona (which was about a 30 second walk from our hotel) and had a tour of the Pantheon, the Roman ruins, and the Colosseum (shoot me an email if you want the name of our tour guide!). I started to become pretty tired during the afternoon because of jet lag, and we went back to our room to have a drink on our terrace and lay down for a bit.
My ensemble for the first day
- Dinner: Taverna il Trilussa
- We cabbed to this restaurant for dinner and it’s famous for their Ravioli Mimosa and tiramisu! It’s a fancier option with a quaint and cozy atmosphere. We sat inside but they have a beautiful outside garden as well. (Tip: put in a request when you make your reservation if you want to sit outside). They serve their pastas in pans and their wine by the bottle, so come with an empty stomach 🙂
- Stayed in: Hotel Raphael (“Terrace Suite” 518)
- This is a boutique Relais & Chateaux hotel located in the heart of the major Rome ancient sights, a few steps from Piazza Navona. There are a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars that line the quaint alleyways around it. We had the Terrace Suite (room 518) that overlooked gorgeous rooftops and a breathtaking church. The hotel also had a rooftop bar and restaurant, where we had a drink the second night and loved it. Overall, the staff was super accommodating and helpful and it is both a convenient and stunning boutique hotel. Also, can we look at how gorgeous the outside facade is?!
Day 2: Rome
- We had breakfast at our hotel and then walked ourselves to the Trevi Fountain, which was about a 10 minute walk.
- We ate gelato from Giolitti which is about a 5-10 minute walk from the Trevi Fountain. Johnny and I visited Rome together when we both lived abroad our junior year (see that travel diary here), and Giolitti was our favorite. It’s the oldest gelato shop in Rome and did NOT fail to disappoint a second (and third) time around.
- Then we had a private tour of Vatican City for a few hours that afternoon (again, shoot me an email if you’d like the name of our tour guide– she was awesome!).
- In the evening we had drinks on the rooftop of Hotel Raphael as I filled out a housing application for an apartment.. ha (see my post-grad update post here).
- Dinner: Pierluigi
- This is a very fancy and snazzy restaurant where President Obama had eaten a few weeks prior to us. Tip: request to sit outside so you can people watch– so many glam people came out of the palace next to the restaurant! We all got different lobster dishes (you got to pick out which lobster you wanted!) and it was divine.
- Stayed in: Hotel Raphael again and left the next morning for Sorrento! Check out our full Sorrento travel diary.
Views on our balcony as I had my morning coffee
Day 9: Rome
- After we toured the Amalfi Coast, we returned back to Rome in the afternoon for our final night of the trip.
- We checked in at our hotel in Rome and walked around the Spanish Steps are (which we hadn’t visited yet), and then went back to the Trevi Fountain and had yet another cone of gelato from Giolitti (can’t stop won’t stop).
Jacqueline trying to eat it as it dripped 🙂
- Dinner: Il Dulca
- This restaurant was recommended to us by someone who worked at the Hotel Hassler, where we were staying. It is located in the Trastevere area of Rome, which is my favorite area because of how quaint and lively it is (also more younger people hung out and lived in this area). Though the food was definitely yummy (try the truffle ravioli), the staff favored the native Italians over us and weren’t that friendly.
- Stayed in: Hotel Hassler
- This hotel is located in a completely different part of Rome than Hotel Raphael. It is right above the Spanish steps and has stunning panoramic views of the city skyline. It was very fancy (more in an upscale way than in an old-fashioned way) and had a cool palm courtyard with a fun bar where you can eat and have cocktails outside. If you are looking to stay by the Spanish Steps area of the city, this is a phenomenal option and we really enjoyed our stay here.
Day 10: Rome
- The next morning we woke up and flew out from Rome and had a layover in Madrid before heading back to JFK (tip: get a direct flight whenever possible, ha!).