Ravello

Ravello 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.

Villa Cimbrone
Entrance to Villa Cimbrone – at the top 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!

Ravello Italy

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.

Piazza Vescovado
Ravello Dumo
White Duomo of Ravello

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.

Ravello Amalfi Coast

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.

Via Roma

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

Villa Cimbrone
Villa Cimbrone’s Terrace of Infinity

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

Villa Avino Ravello
Palazzo Avino’s spectacular terrace over the sparkling Mediterranean Sea is a must!

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!

Palazzo Avino
Terrazzo Belvedere

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. Enjoy and click to enlarge.


Bellagio

Bellagio Italy the Pearl of Lake Como

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.

Bellagio Italy

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.

Melzi Gardens

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.

Melzi Gardens
Melzi Gardens

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.

Bellagio Lake Como Italy
Ferry Service throughout the lake

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.

Bellagio, Italy

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!


Taormina Travel

Taormina Italy

Perched upon a cliff above the shimmering sea, adorned with a backdrop of majestic mountains, Taormina Sicily is the sparkling jewel of Sicily. In the first place you will admire fantastic panoramic views of the sea. Secondly, you will also have a stunning view of famous Mount Etna idly smoking in the distance.
Taormina TravelThe natural scenery is a definitely a feast for your eyes as well as the magnificent town center.  Taormina’s main gathering place, Piazza IX April, has amazing views of the sea below.  It is in the center of town and a great place to eat, drink, listen to music and people watch.

 Piazza Aprile

The ancient city of Taormina is completely walkable and attractive.  For instance, flowers tumbling down balconies of pretty buildings and flowering oleander trees, just skyrocket the level of charm.  Furthermore, narrow cobblestone streets with cute little shops set the stage for delight!  It really is that good! The main pedestrian street, Corso Umberto, is simply charming.  In addition, there are two main gathering places, Piazza Aprile and Piazza Duomo.

Taormina Travel

Piazza Duomo

You will enjoy excellent restaurants and cafes to visit. Soak up the lively atmosphere of magnificent Taormina Italy. It is filled with people strolling along cobblestone streets listening to musicians singing all the Italian classics. You will enjoy browsing and shopping in the numerous luxury and local stores.

Read the Best of Taormina

Taormina Sicily

Views perfect for a picture!

For a bit of history, don’t miss the impressive and famous Greek Amphitheater. Meanwhile, don’t forget to visit the beautiful beaches. Ride the Funicular (cable car) down to the picturesque bay and beaches of Taormina Mare. All the beach clubs have delicious restaurants and also rent beds, towels and umbrellas.
Taormina TravelAll things considered, Taormina Sicily should be on the top of your list when you visit Italy

The Best of Taormina Sicily……..

HOTELS IN TAORMINA
Taormina Hotels

Taormina has fantastic world class hotels, luxury boutique hotels and wonderful B&B’s. Some have pools and most have stunning views.  Go to my TAORMINA HOTEL GUIDE for great hotel suggestions.

RESTAURANTS IN TAORMINA
Taormina Restaurants

Italy is known for its delicious cuisine and the amazing food in Sicily is one of the reasons why!  There are so many regional specialties and delicious fresh ingredients, not to mention the wine. Go to my Taormina Restaurant Guide for some great suggestions.

NIGHTLIFE IN TAORMINA

Taormina Nightlife

The town is energized and alive at night.  You will find a vast choice of things to do and places to go.  Dancing, cocktails, music or just getting gelato.  Check out my guide to Taormina Nightlife.

TAORMINA BEACHES
Taormina Beaches

THINGS TO DO in TAORMINA

Get ready for an Italian adventures listed on my Things to Do in Taormina post!


Sirmione, Italy

Sirmione Italy

Sirmione Italy is a beautiful, small resort town on Lake Garda’s southern tip. We loved this beautiful, colorful little village and it is definitely worth a visit when you’re in Italy. During the tourist season, it is bustling with people walking the mostly pedestrian cobblestone streets. In fact, I found it to be a perfect home base for visiting other nearby towns of Lake Garda via ferry.

Sirmione Castle Lake Garda Italy

Things to do in Sirmione Italy

Sirmione is picturesque, vibrant and totally walkable. The historical center has no shortage of cafes, restaurants and bars. Of course there are many boutiques and stores for those who love to shop. In addition, you have a choice of two beaches to enjoy fun in the sun. Not to mention, you will find the ferry conveniently located right in the middle of town in Piazza Giosue Carducci. This a a very pretty piazza with many places to sit, eat, people watch, and enjoy the view!

Piazza Giosue Carducci, Sirmione
Piazza Giosue Carducci, Sirmione

Rocca Scaligera – Sirmione Castle

Sirmione Castle
Castello Scaligeri or Rocca Scaligera

Sirmione Lake Garda is well known for it’s medieval castle – the Rocca Scaligera. This beautiful Sirmione castle is an imposing structure at the entrance of the historical part of town. Built in the 1400’s, it is one of the most well-preserved and spectacular castles built by the Della Scala family who once ruled Verona during the late 13th and 14th centuries.

Castle moat – still in use!

Lake Garda

Sirmione Lake Garda

Of course, Lake Garda is one of the beautiful attractions of Sirmione Italy. The water is crystal clear and alive with swans and ducks. The ferry was just a few steps from our hotel which made it so easy to visit other towns. Bardolino, Lazise and Garda were wonderful towns and a short ferry ride from Sirmione.

We see so many swans everyday in the lake – so sweet!

Sirmione Beaches

Lido delle Bionde

Lido delle Bionde, Sirmione

Only a short 20 minute walk from town on a scenic lakeside path, you will find Lido delle Bionde. This has a real sand beach with rentals available for lounges and umbrellas. In addition, there are also water toys to rent such as paddle boats and kayaks. We loved the outdoor restaurant here with a large terrace overlooking the beach. The menu included a large assortment of pasta, pizza, panini, snacks and drinks. All things considered, Lido delle Bionde was my favorite Sirmione beach!

Jamaica Beach

Jamaica Beach
Enjoying the Sirmione Sun!

Jamaica Beach is a pretty 25-30 minute walk from the historical part of town. It has a casual small bar/restaurant area, therefore you can relax with a drink or something to eat. The no-sand beach is mainly limestone formations with a beautiful view of the lake and mountains. Since there are no lounge rentals, bring a towel and enjoy the Sirmione sunshine.

Grotte di Catullo Sirmione Italy

Grotte di Catullo
Grotte di Catullo

Visit the remains of a Roman villa with panoramic views of the lake. Make sure to take your camera for the beautiful views. This villa was built between the 1st century BC and 1st century AD. In addition, the museum has artifacts from this villa and others finds on Lake Garda.

Waiting for the Ferry
Waiting for the ferry
Sirmione Hotel
Hotel by the Ferry

Venice Italy

Venice Travel Guide

Covid-19 Alert: As of June 1, 2022, the Green Pass or other equivalent certification is no longer required for entry or re-entry into Italy.COVID-19 restrictive measures for arrivals from abroad are no longer in force. The Italian government is now welcoming fully vaccinated U.S. citizens to visit.  Please review the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more specific information in English. 

Let me take you on a journey to amazing and romantic Venice. You will discover all that this magical city has to offer. Find top attractions, best hotels, delicious restaurants and much more advice on visiting this amazing city by reading my Venice travel guide.

Bridge of Sighs
Bridge of Sighs

Venice ItalyIn my opinion, this is the most enchanting and unique place in the world, not to mention one of the most visited. It is a city of canals, bridges and beautiful architecture.  Where else can you get serenaded on a gondola, lost in a maze of narrow cobblestone walkways and let your eyes feast on the amazing sights around you? Furthermore, Venice not only boasts spectacular scenery but is abundantly rich in art and history.

(more…)

Verona Italy

Verona Italy the City of Love

Discover Verona

I just spent 4 amazing days in Verona Italy. It is known as the city of love and the story of Romeo and Juliet. I found it to be one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. For example Verona boasts stunning architecture, Roman and medieval bridges, ancient frescos on building facades, beautiful churches, lovely piazzas – the list of WOW just goes on and on!

Verona

Not to mention that flowers and greenery are everywhere. It’s a photographers dream city. In addition, it is also the home of Valpolicella and Amarone wines! That raises the wow factor to the roof!  This ancient city is built on the banks of the Adige River and it is one of the main tourist destinations in Northern Italy. Once you visit, it is easy to see why. This city of love and passion is a must see.

Verona Piazza della Erbe

Every step is a surprise….

To truly discover Verona is to take hidden little streets. There are  wide roads dating back to Roman times, but also little, narrower medieval ones which hide treasures and amazing sights.

Explore VeronaVerona City Map

As you can see from the map above, the historic center of Verona is built between a narrow river bend. It has many popular attractions and is a totally walkable city. For example, to walk from the top of the map to the bottom is no longer that 20 minutes.

‘What to see in Verona’ Get the scoop on the most popular attractions.

Things to do in Verona’ – Check out the best tours – walking, biking, rafting, wineries……

Pictures of Verona Attractions

Piazza delle Erbe

This is my favorite and most picturesque piazza.

Piazza BraPiazza Bra Verona

This tremendous cobbled piazza has a park on one side and a line of restaurants and cafes along the other.

CastelvecchioVerona Castelvecchio

A spectacular medieval fortress which now holds a museum.

Verona ArenaVerona Arena

This ancient arena still has performances to this day.

Juliet’s HouseJuliet's House

Verona and love go together like Romeo and Juliet. This is a must-see attraction.

Sant’ Anastasia ChurchSaint Anastasia, Verona

Located by Piazza dei Signori, St. Anastasia is the biggest church in town.

Basilica of San ZenoSan Zeno, Verona

San Zeno Church is a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture.

Via MazziniVia Mazzini, Verona

Evening strolls and chic boutiques are the highlight of this most popular shopping street.

Pictures

VeronaVerona Market at Piazza Erbe


Positano Italy

Positano

Positano Italy is a stunning cliffside village located on the Amalfi Coast. Certainly a top resort destination, it is truly a jewel and not to be missed. Indeed, you will fall in love with Positano!  Bougainvillea, vegetation and flowers cascade down buildings and balconies. Boutiques, galleries and eateries line the streets. It is a shoppers paradise. There is a array of amazing hotels and delicious restaurants. Positano Amalfi Coast is absolutely fabulous, dripping with charm, and there is something to do for everyone!

Positano, Italy

Picturesque Positano is a magical and enchanted village known throughout the world. Celebrities arrive by land or by yacht in the  summer. It is built into a cliff and is also called the Vertical City. With this in mind, an unusual network of stairways enhance the town. There is only one street for vehicles. Hence, the rest of the village is pedestrian only. Getting around by foot will let you appreciate pastel-colored homes, flower filled terraces and endless steps carved out of the rock. There are narrow pedestrian alleys and, of course, steps that flow down to the busy harbor and beach.Positano Beaches

Yes, the beaches are the main event and a hub of activity. You will relax and swim in the sparkling blue Mediterranean. Then have a delicious lunch along the walkway. A perfect way to spend the day!

GETTING AROUND POSITANO

Via dei Mulini is the main road through town that leads down to the beach. The center of town begins at Piazza dei Mulino, which is where all vehicle traffic ends. After that, Via dei Mulini is pedestrian only.  It is a pleasure to stroll and browse in all the art galleries, boutiques and various shops. Try to stop in at Sapori e Porfumi di Positano. The fragrance of the candles and perfumes are fabulous! If you’re lucky to have a chat with the ‘Lemon Lady’, you will find that she is an amazing entrepreneur and spirit! Of course, you will also find an abundance of restaurants and cafes.Positano Shopping

You can reach every corner of this beautiful area without climbing countless steps. The local bus service is easily accessible. Bus stops are indicated with the sign Flavio Gioia and the orange busses have three routes: Interno Positano , which departs every 30 minutes from Piazza dei Mulini which tours around town. Montepertuso Nocelle departs every hour and goes to the higher communities. And lastly, Praiano-Positano, which brings you to the nearby town of Praiano. Furthermore, if you need information on getting here from Naples, read my Naples to Positano Guide.

Those charming steps…..

In my opinion, steps are a perfect way to burn off all that delicious Italian food! It’s like an Italian StairMaster – no need to hit the gym! Get a leg workout and your heart pumping while you see the sights. Although steps are the fastest route (shortcut), there are a few inclined winding roads that you can walk back and forth to your destinations. Take your time and enjoy the charm of discovering all the nooks and crannies this beautiful town has to offer. You will find boutiques, cafes, restaurants and of course, the best hotels in Positano.

Positano Italy

A few steps from the beach, you will find the church of Santa Maria Assunta. It features a majolica-tiled dome and a 13th-century Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary. Legend says that in the 12th century AD, a ship carrying this same icon came from the sea during a huge storm. The sailors all heard a voice saying, “Posa Posa” which means “leave me here”. Thus the name Positano.  Moreover, this is why the Madonna has been kept in Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta ever since.

Posa Posa – We DO NOT want to leave! Feel the warmth and friendliness of the wonderful locals. They are so welcoming. Take joy in the beauty of the landscape, the gorgeous views, and the pretty beaches. It is simply magical!

Positano

Remember to bring your camera everywhere!

THE BEST OF POSITANO…….

Positano BeachesPositano Amalfi Coast

If you’re looking to bask in the Mediterranean sun, you will love the beaches here.  Sun lovers will enjoy a beautiful smooth pebble beach and gorgeous blue water. Read about Spiaggia Grande and the beach clubs…..Comprehensive Guide to Positano Beaches.

POSITANO HOTELS – WHERE TO STAYPositano Guide

If you don’t know the layout of the land, or should I say cliff, it could be a challenge picking a hotel.  Do you want to be in the heart of town; high up on the cliff with stunning views; or down by the beach with fewer steps to climb.  I will help you in my comprehensive Hotel and Orientation Guide.

Restaurants in PositanoPositano Restaurants

The restaurant scene here is buzzing with delicious southern Italian food and beautiful ambiance. There are so many delicious choices for you!  Restaurant Guide

Positano NightlifePositano Nightlife

Nightlife in this glamorous town consists of everything from dining in a cliffside restaurant with a panoramic view to dancing till the wee hours of the morning in the hottest Amalfi Coast club.  Nightlife Guide.

Getting to Positano Amalfi CoastPositano Transportation

Closest Airport:  Naples Capodichino (NAP).
Various transportation options are available such as: ferry, train & bus, private transfer, and car rental. For comprehensive information on transportation choices, CLICK HERE.

Positano Amalfi Coast

Beautiful Steps

Positano Steps

More Steps!