Perspectives of a Lady, Gentleman & Dane

italy Archive

Hannah Sheflyand

During my trip with my mom to Italy (recap here, here & here), we did a lot of site seeing, but we also did a lot of shopping; probably more then necessary. There is something so romantic about bringing home gifts to family members and close friends, especially when they are hard to find back home.

In Rome I was pretty selfish and bought a lot of little gifts for myself, but once we made it to the Amalfi coast, almost every store was calling me to all the perfect gifts I can bring home to others.

Lemons are everywhere around the Amalfi coast, not only growing abundantly from terraces, but hanging from fruit stands, painted on ceramics, and most importantly bottled up in Limoncello.

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SONY DSCLimoncello is a delicious candy like, yet pretty strong, dessert liqueur that most shop owners along the coast make themselves. This drink was a little too strong for me, one sip made me tipsy, but my mom loved it.

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As our first giveaway on this site, I would like to ship one reader a small bottle of Limoncello that I brought home. All you need to do to qualify is to comment on this post with one thing you love about travel, whether its to another country, another state or just taking a long drive, and include an email address to contact you (I can only ship in the US), and like us on facebook or instagram (if you have neither you can just subscribe to our blog) . A winner will be announced and contacted next Friday!

Hannah Sheflyand

The final part of our trip (part 1 & part 2 here) was spent in the beautiful Amalfi coast. After running around trying to fit in so many things for the first 7 days, we wanted a chance to just relax and enjoy the beauty of Italy, Sorrento was the perfect place to do just that.

Sorrento is a great hub to get around Amalfi coast. There is a train station right in the center of town, a dock with boats that travel to Capri and neighboring cities, and a bus that winds through the windy small roads towards Positano and Amalfi.

Sorrento itself is very touristy but clean. Almost everyone speaks English, fish is fresh, food is amazing and the people are all nice and calm. It was easy to spend hours wandering the streets, shopping and enjoying the serenity of this calm city.

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Sorrento, and all the neighboring cities, are all very busy in the summer, but we came late in the season and it was already getting chilly, so the crowds were mostly in our favor.

The second day we went to the island of Capri and Anacapri. I usually dont have any issues with sea sickness but it was so windy and the waves were so choppy that it took hours before I was back to my normal self. Because the waves were choppy we could not make it to the famous Blue Grotto but the day ended up great and filled with activities even without it. We first headed to Anacapri and took the chair lift up to Monte Solaro which has a beautiful 360degree view of the island and the amazingly blue water. We opted out of the chair lift back down and instead took a relaxing hour walk down the mountain to experience some more pretty views.

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Hannah Sheflyand

After spending our first few days in Rome, we headed down south. Many suggested that we do Naples and Pompeii all in one day but we wanted to take our time in both places.

We started by taking a bullet train to Naples and then a local commuter train (which I highly recommend to not take if you have luggage, the train is super packed and its about an hour commute) to Pompeii.

Pompeii was gorgeous, and a great place to visit, but if you don’t have a lot of time on your trip, I would skip Pompeii and head straight to Naples. The ruins of Pompeii are just that, ruins, and most of the notable artwork has been moved to the Archaeological Museum in Naples.

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SONY DSCIf you have the time to visit Pompeii then make sure you make the time to go up to Mt. Vesuvius. We went through the company Busvia del Vesuvio and loved it! The ride up was in a cross between a bus and a monster truck, super bumpy, yet scenic and well worthwhile. The best part was making it up to the top, viewing the city below, and enjoying being in the clouds.

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Hannah Sheflyand

Before my family and I moved to New York from Russia, we lived in Italy for about a year, in a small beach town outside of Rome called Passo Oscuro. Once we moved to New York I never had the opportunity to return up until a month ago, for my 25th birthday, where my mom gave me the awesome gift of taking me back to Rome.

We spent half our time in Rome, then day trips in Pompeii and Naples, and the rest of our time in the Sorrento area. It was an amazing experience and by the end of our trip we were well fed, with heavier bags and with a camera filled with thousands of pictures.

Since there is so much to tell about our vacation I figured I would split it into a couple of posts in the next few days.

Rome is a crazy busy city filled with a lot of tourists and since it was my first visit I tried to pack in as much of the popular tourist sites as possible so our days were super packed and we were exhausted by the end of each day.

We took an overnight flight from NY to Rome so we started our day pretty tired but wanted to get a jump start, so we grabbed our bags and headed to our hotel, and after getting lost wandering around for an hour and lugging our bags up 5 flights of stairs (note: always make sure you find a hotel with an elevator), we finally made it out of the hotel, bagless and ready to start being tourists!

SONY DSCOur hotel was in the perfect location, just a 10 minute walk from the Colosseum and also a 10 minute walk from Termini Station. We decided to start our first day with the Colosseum, since it was so close, the Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill.

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The Colosseum was gorgeous but super crowded and our tired bodies were pretty happy that we bought the Roma Pass and were able to skip most of the long lines.

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As you can tell by the silly photo above, by the time we made it to the Roman Forum, we reached a point of exhaustion but thought it best we keep it going to combat  jet lag.

SONY DSCWe finally headed back to the hotel and zonked out. We woke up, well rested, and off to another busy day out in Rome.

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Hannah Sheflyand

Any one who has traveled to any other time zone knows the feeling of the body dealing with jet lag. For me, once I am in a new place or back home, the hardest part is falling asleep and then staying asleep. I know part of it is just the time change but mostly if I am traveling I think my body is in a state of excitement and shock.

I have come to learn that a few things really help me out and I wanted to share and see if you have any other suggestions for our next trips.

1. Water, water and more water!- When my body is in a state of fluctuation I don’t know if I am sleepy, hungry or thirsty. I make sure that even if all the other needs are not met every half hour to hour I have a big cup of water so by the end of the day I have consumed 2 liters of water. I found following a schedule like this at least keeps my body in the right state of health. A great way to keep on track with this is to have a marked water bottle like the picture below.

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2. Taking naps- I find that compensating my tiredness with boosts of caffeine does not work as well as taking a nap. Especially if I take a red eye flight, I make sure to give myself time for a nap in the middle of the next day. There are 2 types of naps that will help you feel invigorated after. If I do not have much time I set my alarm for 30 min and try to fall asleep, this means I give myself somewhere between a 20-25 min nap. Any longer than that and your body falls into deep sleep and if woken up suddenly from that, you can often feel even worse then before the nap. With a 25 minute nap I often feel invigorated enough to get me through another half day but not to the point where I cant fall asleep at night. If I am super super exhausted because I did not get any sleep the night before I will try to take a nap around 11am and set my alarm to go off in about 1 hour 45min which give me about a 90 minute nap. This amount of time lets your body go through one REM sleep cycle, I always feel amazing after that. Most importantly I have found that taking a nap any time after 2pm is just a big no no because there is no chance of falling asleep later that night at a normal time. Read more…