Italy is one of my all-time favorite places – I’ve fallen in love with the people, the food, the culture, and the lifestyle or la dolce vita. We arrived from Berlin in the country’s capital, Rome, and I was bursting with excitement to get off the plane and emerge myself in Italian culture. I’ve visited the city several times and each time I find myself wanting to do nothing else besides roam around Rome and soak it all in. The picturesque cobblestone streets, the lively street artists, the countless gelato shops and of course the history.
Some of my favorite stops in Rome are:
Colosseo: I think this is one of the most obvious ones but each time I see it, it impresses me with it’s size, beauty and history.
Giolitti Gelateria: my favorite gelato in Rome! They’ve been family-run for over 100 years and the location near the Pantheon is the original store. You’ll want to visit more than once 😉
Il Forno Campo de’ Fiori: one of my favorite things to do on a nice day is go to the flower market at Campo de’ Fiori and then enjoy a slice of their incredibly delicious pizza.
Trastevere: a beautiful and picturesque neighborhood in Rome, worth exploring for hours.
Piazza del Poppolo: for an incredible view of the city, visit this piazza and climb to the top of the stairs.
After spending a few days in the city, we decided to rent a car and drive into the countryside. After only about 45 minutes of driving, we were in the heart of the countryside and what felt like a hundred years back in time. We landed in a small (small meaning 300 residents) town called Castel di Tora, which translates to “castle hill.” The castle is perched atop a hill with the streets of the town winding around it, all overlooking a beautiful lake. When we arrived, we discovered that cars were not permitted in the narrow and winding roads so we ditched our car, grabbed our bags and hiked up to our apartment. The panoramic views were spectacular, overlooking both the castle and the lake with crystal clear waters. We spent a magical evening exploring the old city and the following morning, we took a refreshing dip in the lake before heading off on our drive to Tuscany.