Amalfi Town Italy is small, historic, and has a seafront location on the famous Coast. Once you walk through the arched entrance into Amalfi town proper, you will be In the historic main square, Piazza del Duomo. Here you will find a most impressive masterpiece, Cattedrale di Sant’Andrea. This centerpiece looms high over the bustling, crowded square and is really an incredible work of art.
Not only is the beautiful Cathedral in the piazza, but you will encounter a very interesting fountain, Fontana sant’Andrea. It serves as a meeting point for tourists and a source of free drinking water. In addition, it is the place for a photo opportunity, if you can find a few seconds alone with it!
I was surprised to see how crowded the square was! This is the Times Square of the Amalfi Coast – at least in August. There are rows of shops, outdoor restaurants, bars, wine shops and street vendors. There is a lot of hustle and bustle. Let’s not forget the many caffe’s and gelato shops to visit. The crowd follows the the main pedestrian road, Via Lorenzo D’Amalfi. It is bliss for shoppers since there is an abundance of stores, one after the other. Clothing, ceramics, shoes, handmade items- you can find anything.
If you head out of the arches toward the water, you will see Piazza Flavio Giola to your right. This is the transit hub of Amalfi town. Taxi, bus and ferry areas are located here. Additionally, you will find a few shops by the ferry station.
Amalfi Town Beach Clubs
You will also find beach clubs right outside of the historic center. It is always great to spend part of a hot day relaxing at the beach. All the beach clubs provide umbrellas and beds as well as a nice lunch and drinks. During high season, all beach clubs need reservations, I really liked the look of Marina Grande, but didn’t make a reservation. Stella Maris was the only one that is first come, first serve, but you must arrive early to get a lounge. We had first row on the water and a beautiful day!
Amalfi Italy Restaurants
My favorite meal was at Taverna deli Apostoli Ristorante. Enjoy this lovely family run restaurant, just left of the cathedral steps, at the top of the first flight. The food was great and it was so nice sitting outside looking at the piazza.
Sensi Restaurant has a beautiful view, and is inside the elegant Hotel Residence. The food, the service, and the ambiance is most excellent. Moreover, they serve a tasting menu only, with an optional wine pairing for each course.
Amalfi Town Italy Hotel
I really loved staying at Terrazza Duomo, which was directly across from the Duomo. I booked it for the fabulous view of the cathedral and it did not disappoint! It was wonderful to wake up to that view! But I didn’t realize that the room itself would be so awesome! It was a good size, sparkling clean, and beautifully, freshly decorated. As an added bonus, the hotel has a rooftop terrace to enjoy. This is where breakfast is served. In addition, the staff was so nice and accommodating. I highly recommend Terrazza Duomo when in Amalfi town Italy.
Ravello Italy is the definition of classy and chic. Located high above the Amalfi Coast’s seaside villages, Ravello offers stunning, panoramic views of the mountains and sea below. White houses cling to cliffs, along with green citrus groves dotted with yellow lemons. What’s more, majestic villas warmly welcome you for drinks or dinners. Enjoy the grandeur, beauty and pleasure of Ravello.
Ravello is perched 1200 feet above the Amalfi Coast. The drive up is a little terrifying for me, since cars and cliffs are not my thing! Yikes! It is quite a magical place. There are beautiful villas, cliffside gardens and stunning vistas. Certainly a place to visit on the Amalfi Coast!
Piazza Vescovado is the beautiful center hub of Ravello. It is a large square which embraces its ancient Duomo. Built in the 11th century, the Duomo is a dedication to Saint Mary of the Assumption. The exterior bears a stark white appearance. The interior, on the other hand, is adorned with granite columns, intricate mosaics, and a marble chapel.
In addition, the square hosts an array of cafes to sit, relax and absorb the beauty in front of you. Cafe Duomo happened to be my favorite. Delicious caffe espresso and cappuccino, along with pizza and other delights. In addition, the square hosts an array of cafes with delicious cappuccino, pizza and other delights. My favorite happened to be Caffe Duomo – great service and coffee!
There are so many little corners to discover that are certainly picture worthy. Discover the cobbled steps and ramps that go up and down the town. There is something to see at every turn. Indeed there is an abundance of vines and bougainvillea as well as fountains and statues.
What to do in Ravello Italy
To begin with, explore the main square Pizzza Vescovado. At the edge of the Piazza is a little park with stunning views – a great place for pictures. Next, at the edge of the square, visit Villa Ruffalo. It is an elegant villa with a small museum containing artwork and historical artifacts. In addition the terraced gardens are also a beautiful attraction for visitors.
Walk the entire Via Roma. This narrow cobbled street will tempt you with beautiful ceramics, clothing and a host of other beautiful souvenirs to take home. Don’t forget to purchase some Limoncello so that you can still savor the Amalfi Coast when you get back home.
Villa Cimbrone in Ravello
You must walk up to the spectacular 11th century, Villa Cimbrone. It is the pinnacle of Ravello and offers magnificent views of the Bay of Sorrento and coastline. The villa itself is a 5-star hotel – Hotel Villa Cimbrone. It boasts stunning terraced gardens that are open to the public from 9am till 8pm daily. It is truly a romantic, perfect spot for weddings and honeymoons.
Palazzo Avino Ravello Italy
Delight in dinner, drinks or both on Terrazza Belvedere at this fantastic destination. Palazzo Avino is a stunning 5-star hotel on Italy’s famous Amalfi coast. Originally it was a 12th century private villa for Italian nobility. Currently, it is one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever seen!
Where to Stay in Ravello
I would love to advise you to absolutely book Villa Cimbrone or Palazzo Avino. But I can only recommend if you are splurging on an extravagant honeymoon or simply have money to burn. I stayed at Palazzo Confalone and loved it. It was in the perfect location, with a beautiful room at a reasonable price in Ravello Italy.
Ravello in Pictures
Ravello Amalfi Coast is more beautiful than any picture can depict! But this will give you a taste of the beauty and magic of Ravello.
St Paul de Vence is one of the most beautiful destinations in France. This charming town is a feast for the eyes. What’s more, it is a medieval, romantic village with cobbled walkways and beautiful scenery. Among it’s narrow streets, fountains and staircases, it is a village abundant with flowers and vines covering the walkways and buildings. Entirely pedestrian, Saint-Paul-de-Vence is one of those perched villages where you can enjoy breathtaking panoramas of the sweeping views below.
It enjoys a privileged location, located fifteen minutes from the sea and twenty-five minutes from the Nice airport. Definitely an easy destination to get to. We spent one night on our way from Villefranche sur Mer to St. Tropez. I found that one night was perfect for us, since the village is small although exquisiste!
This small town, dating back to the 14th century, has been a land of artists since the dawn of time. Artist Mark Chegall made this his home for 30 years until his death at 97 in 1985. St. Paul de Vence is a place where many painters and artisans live today. It is full of art galleries, studios and artisan shops. In fact, there are 60!
Hotel Le St Paul
I highly recomment Hotel Le St. Paul as it was excellent. First, the room was amazing! It had a living area upstairs and then a bedroom downstairs! Secondly, the lobby and outdoor terrace were to perfection. We loved this hotel! Overall it was in a perfect spot and everything you would want for an authentic experience with excellent service!
St. Paul de Vence in Photos
To summarize, I am so glad that I decided to explore this gorgeous village. It was a totally pedestrian town which is a direct 10 minute walk from one end to the other. But expect that walk to turn into a few hours since there is so much to see. It was well worth the visit!
The city of Como Italy is clearly worth a visit! Thousands of people throng here to enjoy Como and the lake area. It has natural beauty and plenty to see and do. Moreover, since the train from Milan stops here, it is the perfect spot in Lake Como to stay for a day or more as a starting point for your vacation. In fact, Lake Como boasts an abundance of other beautiful towns and picturesque villages. Without a doubt, add Bellagio and Varenna to your list, as well as Como.
I found the city of Como lively and exciting. It has a multitude of fine restaurants, large piazzas, historical churches and beautiful architecture. Of course, the town center has delightful streets full of shops. Ideal for a fashion lover at any budget. Lastly, you will have your choice of cafes, where you can relax and sip coffee while you people-watch.
Things to do in Como Italy
Lose yourself in the delightful cobbled streets in town center. Wander to Piazza San Fedele. It is the main square of Como in the historical center of town. You will find the Basilica of San Fedele, a beautiful Romanesque church dating back to 1120. Moreover, every Saturday there is a market here with handcrafted items and antiques.
Next, stroll toward the magnificent Piazza del Duomo, and visit the Como Cathedral (Duomo di Como). This is the main church of Como, dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was built between the 14th and the 18th centuries. Although the Gothic style is predominant, the cathedral also hosts many Romanesque, Renaissance, and Baroque elements.
The Como Lakefront
You will find some of the best places to take pictures along the lakefront. Start at Piazza Cavour and go west (left) along the water. First, you will find the Volta Museum. It is a beautiful neoclassical temple built in 1927. It is dedicated to Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the electric battery, who was born and died in Como Italy. This photographic museum will wake up your camera!
Continue walking on Passeggiata Lino Gelpi and you will come upon Villa Gallia. There is a public walkway along the lake which is perfect for pictures! Next you will find historic and impressive Villa Olmo. It is a beautiful neoclassical villa dating back to the 1780s.
Como to Brunate
A fun thing to do is to take the funicular from Como Italy to the small adorable town of Brunate. From Piazza Cavour walk east (right) to the Como Brunate funicular. It is nearby the train station. The cable car scales the mountain and you arrive within a few minutes. Going up was easy, but going down…..I confess that I screamed from fright!! LOL
You will find stunning views when you reach the top. Of course there are places to eat, sip coffee and enjoy the wonderful views of Como, the lake, and the mountains.
l love to have a beach day on vacation. We walked to Lido di Villa Olmo, just a few steps away from the beautiful Villa. This lido has a small beach, two swimming pools, and a large meadow. In addition the Beach Bar offers drinks, hot and cold dishes, snacks and cocktails. It was a fun few hours and a good light lunch in Como Italy!
Lake Como Italy – Villa d’Este
Overlooking one of the most romantic lakes in the world, Lake Como, Villa d’Este is magnificent! If only my wallet could afford it! Located in Cernobbio, it is only a 15 minute car ride away. Definitely go for a drink on the most luxurious terrace on the lake! You can also walk the grounds and gardens. Worth the drive, for sure!
Varenna is yet another enchanting town on Lake Como. You will find magnificent scenery, beauty, charm, and perfect spots for photos at every turn. Bellagio may be my number one, but Varenna Italy is definitely next!
Recognized as one of the most picturesque towns on popular Lake Como, Varenna is enchanting and worth a visit. In addition, it is one of the easiest places to access. Since Varenna has its own railway station, you can take a direct, one hour train ride from Milan. Upon arrival, you will find magnificent scenery, beauty, charm, and perfect spots for photos at every turn.
This adorable small village flourishes with cobbled lanes, colorful shops, elegant villas and art-filled church galleries. Varenna, Lake Como is a smaller, slower paced town than Bellagio.
It is perfect for relaxing by the lake and taking a stroll to see its beauty. You will be free of the touristy crowds who tend to gather in Como and Bellagio.
Things to do in Varenna, Lake Como
Other than experiencing colorful town center itself, my highlight was exploring Villa Monastero. It is truly breathtaking and a photographer’s dream! We took a long stroll in the Villa’s botanical gardens. It has the most beautiful view of the lake. This spectacular villa is 8 centuries old, hosts a museum and conference center. Of course the main attraction is a gorgeous botanical garden.
Take a scenic walk on the trellised path of Passeggiata degli Innamorati. It displays wonderful views of both Varenna, Lake Como and the mountain backdrop. It is aptly named, since it is truly a romantic walk through a dreamlike lakeside town.
The Church of San Georgio is located in the town’s main square, Piazza St. Georgio. The church dates back to the 13th century and has many frescos and works of art dating between the 15th and 18th century.
Among other things to do is to explore the medieval Castello di Vezio. Next, visit Villa Cipressi, which is now an outstanding hotel. Then, take a boat tour of the lake. Lastly, make sure that you visit other towns along the lake; especially the nearby towns of Bellagio, Menaggio, Tremezzo and Lenno! Enjoy your visit to Varenna!
My favorite town in Lake Como is beautiful Bellagio! It is a charming, attractive town with the lake in front and the hills behind. Moreover, the views are spectacular. Here you will enjoy a pedestrian old town with cobblestone streets and colorful buildings. The food is great and the locals are so friendly. Bellagio Italy, known as the Pearl of Lake Como has everything I look for in an Italian town.
Of course, Bellagio, is considered the highlight of Lake Como. It has a wonderful blend of cute shops, caffes and delicious restaurants on active cobblestone streets. Not to mention spectacular views. It is a small town and completely walkable – perfect for taking a long leisurely stroll. Narrow streets run uphill from the lake giving you a beautiful lake view from the top of town. Moreover, there are some special hotels here.
Things to do in Bellagio Italy
Exploring the streets, especially with your camera, is one of the best and first things to do, since there are so many picturesque spots. Undeniably, Salita Serbelloni is one of the most beautiful. It is a long straight flight of stairs which runs from the harbor and goes straight up the hill. All along the street there are shops, small cafes, colourful houses and lots of plants and flowers. Indeed, you will definitely enjoy soaking in Italian sights and sounds of this special town.
Secondly, to see stunning views of the lake, beautiful plants, trees and walking paths, take a stroll to Melzi Gardens. They are on the grounds of a 1800’s villa once owned by the President of the Italian Republic. The gardens are free to the public and worth the 15 minute walk.
Third, take the time to visit other towns of Lake Como. You will fine Varenna, Lenno, Tremezza and Mennagio close by. The ferry in Bellagio is connected to many other Lake Como towns that criss cross the lake. This public boat service easily connects the shore towns. Go to Navigazione Laghi to see timetables and costs.
Lido di Bellagio
Then, I always try to fit in some fun in the sun! If you would like to relax in the sun with gazebos and sun beds, Bellagio offers Lido di Bellagio. It is on the shore of the lake between Bellagio and Villa Melzi. It is a fun little ‘beach’ where you can sip a cocktail and have a light lunch. Subsequently, in addition of things to do, visit the Romanesque basilica of San Giacomo (St James). The church was built in the 12th century and the iconic bell tower is seen from the shore.
At this point, follow your footsteps and your heart will be happy just to live in the moment of amazing Belligio Italy. Defiitely a must visit!
Eze is perched high up on a mountain top with stunning views of the sea in the French Riviera. It is one of the most beautiful medieval villages I’ve ever visited. There are narrow cobblestone streets that twist and turn among stone houses. The only way to access this village is by foot as there are no roads or cars. You’ll find hot pink bougainvillea, ivy and flowers growing everywhere. Browse or shop in the boutiques, art galleries and jewelry stores along the winding walkways. The twelfth century church dominates one aspect of the unique hilltop village, and is classified as an historical monument.
In addition, let me say a word about the food here – excellent!!! Really amazing, fresh, delicious French food. Everything – fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, etc. are all carried up to the restaurants by foot, as the village is totally pedestrian. Eze is well worth a visit if you are in the French Riviera.
Luxury: This is a one of a kind luxury hotel perched on a hilltop in the village of Eze. The views are stunning and the rooms are scattered throughout a portion of the medieval streets. Take in the magnificent scenery as you are in a very special area. The accommodations, service and staff are amazing, as well as the beauty of the entire property. In addition, there is a gym and small pool. Please be aware that this is quite an expensive hotel, however, you will feel like you’re in paradise.
This B&B owns two properties. The first is a XVI century charming guesthouse in a quiet, relaxing area only a 5 minute drive from Eze Village. It has an amazing sea view, pool and beautiful garden.
Next, they have the Village Suite, which is tucked away in Eze Village. I highly recommend the Village Suite for a wonderful experience because you are right in the heart of the medieval village. The rooftop terrace has stunning views of the coast. You really feel like you are walking back in time. Address: 23 C route de l’Adret,
Fine Dining: Upscale gourmet restaurant and bar with stunning views and delicious food. Expensive but worth the splurge. Amazing food that matches the incredible views of the French Riviera. World class food and service. Note – Elegant attire required. Address: Rue du Barri, Eze
Moderately Priced: Delicious fresh food with a beautiful view set on the top of the mountain. Great salads, pizzas and omelettes. Dining is available on the outdoor terrace and the view from the indoor dining room is fantastic. A terrific regional wine list. Address: 1 rue du Chateau, Eze
Casual Dining: This is a great little place for lunch. The food is absolutely delicious. Deli is a small cozy outdoor space in beautiful surroundings. The freshest ingredients are used. The tomatoes were so perfectly ripe and the cheeses were amazing!!! The salads and foods are so flavorful! They bake their own bread and use infused olive oils and balsamic. They also sell items in a little olive oil shop. I wish I could go back to eat again! Very kind and friendly staff/ family. You cannot be disappointed! Address: 5 rue du Chateau, Eze
La Plage d’Eze
Eze has one beach located at the bottom of the mountain in Eze-sur-Mer. It is a great beach for swimming. You will find two beach clubs; posh Papaya and casual Anjuna Bay. Both clubs rent beds and umbrellas for about 20 euros. Access the beach from the Eze-sur-Mer train station’s underpass. Make a right and walk along the beach to reach the restaurants/clubs. Enjoy your day in the French sunshine!
These beautiful gardens have species of plants from all around the world. The garden offers spectacular panoramic views of the Mediterranean as it perched on the highest point of Eze. Admission is 6 euros.
These historical ruins were built in 6 BC in honor of emperor Augustus. It sits at the highest point on the mountain. Take in the breathtaking views of the entire French Riviera and the beauty of the architecture of this amazing historical monument.
Do you like exercise and the great outdoors? Then this activity is for you! Hike down from Eze Village or up from Eze-sur-Mer (aka Eze-Bord-de-Mer) and enjoy the magnificent scenery. First of all, get an early start before the sun gets hot. In addition, take water and wear sneakers not flip flops. Most of the trail is stone and pebbles – you don’t want to slip. Depending upon your personal pace, this is about a 45-60 minute vertical hike, about 1650 feet, therefore expect a strenuous workout on the way up. Of course, you can always take it slower.
Hiking up the trail, I use the Eze-Bord-de-Mer train station as a landmark. At street level, with your back to the train station, make a right. Continue 5 minutes and on your left you will see a little sign ‘Sentier Nietzsche’. Follow ramp to the left and enjoy a healthy hike up to amazingly beautiful Eze Village.
The hike down from Eze Village gives you full views of the Mediterranean, so have your camera ready! When you finish the hike down, visit the lovely Eze-sur-Mer beach. Access to the descending trail from Eze village, is located at the bottom of the village (where the car parks are) on the cliffside. You will see a sign that says ‘EZE/MER – Gare Plage’. Enjoy the amazing scenic beauty on the way down.
Enjoy a fabulous day of sightseeing, shopping or the beach in this charming French old town. There is so much to see and do in this fantastic village! Villefranche-sur-Mer is definitely one of my favorite places on the French Riviera. Visit myVillefranche-sur-mer blog post to read more about this wonderful, charming town.
Monte Carlo, the land of the ultra rich and famous, is a mere 9 minute train ride from Eze. Visit the renowned Casino and if you get lucky, go shopping in the ultra high end stores! If not, enjoy sitting at a cafe in Casino Square and watch the people and exotic cars go by.
The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world. The 2018 Monaco Grand Prix will begin on Thursday, May 24, 2018 and end on Sunday, May 27, 2018. For tickets and packages, click HERE for the official Formula 1 Monaco site.
The capital of the French Riviera, Nice, hosts the area’s first winter event. This is amazing, world famous event attracts millions each year. The weather is mild even in the winter. In 2018, this carnival will be held from February 17th to March 3rd. Since this carnival spans a two week period, there are numerous festivities. Therefore, join in the fun!
Click HERE to see the Carnival’s official program and prices for grandstand or promenade tickets.
Nice to Eze – Take bus 82 about a 30 minute ride.
Monte Carlo to Eze – Take bus 112 about a 30 minute ride
Villefranche-sur-Mer to Eze – walk to Beaulieu-sur-Mer and take bus 83. About a 15 minute ride. Or you can take the Neitzsche Path and hike up to Eze.
Eze is easily accessible by buses that run regularly. Most noteworthy, for your return trip, please make sure to check the bus schedules. Once you are in Eze, taxis are hard to find. Therefore, they will be an expensive option when you find one.
One of Lake Garda‘s most popular towns is Bardolino. Located on the Verona side of Lake Garda’s southern point, it has easy access to other surrounding towns. Also, it can make a nice home-base for your lake vacation. Not only is it a delightful, lively village, but it is also the center of wine country since it is surrounded by hills covered with vineyards and olive groves.
We had a beautiful day visiting Bardolino. We started by taking the ferry from beautiful, bustling Sirmione, with a stop in enchanting Lazise and then arriving at the picturesque town of Bardolino.
One of the first things we noticed, was the tranquil marina filled with colorful motor boats. It definitely made me want to take a picture of the vivid part of daily life here. In addition, long lakeshore promenades add to the charm of village. There are many photo opportunities on the promenade, so definitely take a walk with your camera.
Bardolino’s historic center has a beautiful blend of narrow stone alleys and pretty pastel buildings. The town is fairly compact, therefore it is an easy walk from one end to the other. It is certainly lively with numerous shops, cafes and restaurants. The evening comes alive with several bars and clubs.
Restaurants in Bardolino use the local fish and fresh produce from their crops. In addition Bardolino is famous for it’s namesake red wine, Bardolino and for their Rosé, Chiaretto,
San Severo is a Romanesque church that has beautiful frescos and is worth a visit. Also visit the church “Santa Maria” in Cisano and the Olive Oil Museum which is on Gardesana state road.
Things to Do in Bardolino
You can find many things to do and keep busy in this town. First of all land sports include golf and tennis and of course hiking trails. You can even horseback ride, and mountain bike. Secondly there are many water sports available along the lake. Let’s not forget to visit some wineries. You will be able taste the area’s unique vintage, Bardolino DOC.
Certainly one of the most charming villages on the French Riviera – actually it’s my favorite!
Villefranche sur Mer is positioned on a beautiful bay between Monaco and Nice. Alongside its attractive harbor are cafes, restaurants and boats bobbing in the Mediterranean. If you are looking for a classic old town village with class and beauty, this is for you. This charming old town winds its way up narrow cobblestone streets with colorful buildings. Moreover, flowers, plants and ivy adorn the walkways, balconies and buildings. There are boutiques and cafes scattered all around. This town is a feast for your eyes and joy for your soul. Moreover, the restaurants here are incredibly delicious! I have been lucky enough to travel here 5 times and each and every visit just outdoes the last with the amazing food – just superb! Villefranche is a wonderful summer vacation spot, sometimes more busy than others due to cruise ships visit.
Lazise Italy is a charming lakeside village on Lake Garda’s southeast shore with an old town dating back to the 12th century. Not only is it a picturesque, pristine village, but it also has an upscale, impressive vibe. In fact, the lakefront promenade was designed in an exceptionally elegant fashion. Furthermore, you will be happy to discover a wide range of shops and restaurants sprinkled in the charming alleys of town. To be sure, I found it to be one of my favorite southern villages on Lake Garda.
The first thing to stand out when visiting Lazise, is it’s alluring 9th century medieval castle, Castello Scaliger di Lazise. Moreover, at the center of the village lies Lazise’s attractive busy harbor. Here, the ferries and boats glide frequently alongside the shore. In addition, Vittorio Emanuele Square is a delightful grand piazza containing a beautiful Romanesque church.
The lakeside promenade is bustling with people enjoying the wonderful view or enjoying the many bars, restaurants, cafes and gelato shops.
All things considered, yes, it’s worth the visit! In fact, Lazise is only a 30 minute drive from Verona and a short ferry ride from Sirmione.
Lazise Photo Tour
Photos always help me with getting to know a destination. Here is a photo tour of my time in Lazise…..
By and large, Lazise Italy is one of the most important villages on Lake Garda. Especially because of its natural beauty, a white sandy beach, and several water and land sport options. In addition, it is in close proximity to Gardaland and Canevaworld parks – both great for families with children.