Greetings, and welcome to the five-part blog series on our recent travels to Italy!
EAT MOVE REST IN ITALY
A 5-PART TOUR
Below you will find a handful of helpful information on delicious dining, fabulous fashion, and stunning sights from the 5 places that Dusty and I visited during our summer vacation abroad!
Also be sure to check out Parts 1-4 for an Italian, plant-based primer, and a taste of Venice, Florence, Tuscany, & Rome!
VENICE // FLORENCE // TUSCANY // ROME // POSITANO
Part 5: PLANT-BASED IN POSITANO
& THE AMALFI COAST
The Land of Lemons & Linens
Leaving Rome is never easy...there is always so much left undone--you can never overstay your welcome! On the other hand, it makes me excited to think about returning again someday.
We headed to the train station, feeling like pros this time, and jumped a train to Naples, or, Napoli, which was the furthest we could get to our final destination on the Amalfi Coast via rail.
When planning our trip, we determined where to stay, and where not to stay, with the help of our favorite, and amazingly helpful tour guide, Rick Steves, who said, skip Naples--there are too many other great Italian cities out there! From Naples, we were met by our private transport to Positano. The dense cityscape gradually turned into a jagged coastline overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. As we whizzed around the edge of Italy, the roads became narrower and narrower, until it almost felt as if we'd bump mirrors with cars (and mammoth tour buses) coming at us from the opposite direction.
Somehow, scooters and buses alike, made the weaving and hairpin turns look effortless. Beach goers and local villagers walked alongside the very perimeter of the sidewalk-less roads, seemingly without even an afterthought as to the risk of fatal injury. About every half mile, a tiny truck was stationed alongside the road, selling lemons the size of your head and fresh, lemony beverages spiked with limoncello. I was beginning to feel like I was in a Bond movie...or maybe, Under The Tuscan Sun--a must-see if you're wanting some inspiration to travel to Tuscany and Positano!
An Oceanfront Villa
We found another gem of an Airbnb for a bargain, that was nestled right into the cliffside, overlooking the bright, turquoise ocean. We first had to stop at Hotel Eden Roc, which managed the property, and the two bellboys shuttled us--me in an adorable mini-mobile and Dusty on a scooter.
The bellboy informed us that all hotel amenities, the pool, spa, and restaurant were available to us, and that the hotel's owner used to live here!
When we arrived at our villa, we were completely awestruck by the beauty that surrounded us. There was a lofted bedroom, a tiny kitchen, and a gorgeous boughanvillea-lined walkway leading to two separate terraces. We were informed that there was also a gardener who would be dropping by daily to collect fresh produce from the on-site garden, for the the hotel's restaurant.
We were so excited to explore and find that we were surrounded by a lush garden of fig trees, strawberries, fresh basil, lemons galore, and so much more!
Live Like A Local
After soaking up the sun on our terrace, we cautiously made our way along the edge of the narrow road about a five-minute's walk to the coastal village of Positano. The downhill shop and restaurant-lined town was bustling with sight-seers and local artisans standing outside of their family-owned, hand-crafted linen shops. The earth-toned, lightweight fabrics were just what we were searching for to enjoy our coastal experience. We both made sure to buy ourselves something special to remember Positano by.
The next stop, of course, was the local market, to pick up as much fruit and veg as we could carry home, along with some artisanal pasta and bread. There's nothing like eating ripe, seasonal, homegrown foods. We lived like the locals, and only bought what we needed for each day, and it was always so fresh and so clean!
After exploring the village and stocking up on fruits and veggies, it was time to hit the beach! We walked along the side of the cliffs, until we came to a stone staircase winding and weaving its way down to a secret beach, sandwiched between the rocks, and just a stone's throw from our Airbnb. One notable difference between our beaches and Italy's is the absence of sand. Most European beaches that we've visited have been dark, smooth stones, that if you're not careful, can be extremely hot to walk on barefoot! You'll either love or hate the feeling of laying on the stones, but I liked to think of it as a solid way to work out some knots in your back!
The weather was perfect the entire trip--not too dry, not too humid (with the exception of Rome, which was into the high 90s). The coastal breeze meant that Positano was slightly cooler, but still in the comfortable 80s, with sunshine all day.
After a day at the beach, we cleaned up and got ready to do what we do best--eat! We stopped off at a little sidewalk cafe on the walk down into the village and enjoyed some pasta with pomodoro sauce. Almost every restaurant menu in Italy had an abundance of fruit on their dessert menus, which we loved. Typically, you'd want to eat your fruit first for optimal digestion, but hey-it's a far better option than cheesecake like you see here in America! We also found some vegan limone (lemon) gelato that kept us coming back each night.
The winding corridors down to the city center were packed, wall-to-wall during the day, but in the evening, everyone congregated at a cluster of beachside restaurants. We wandered our way downhill, in and out of linen shops, art galleries, and bakeries, until we reached the bottom. We sat down to enjoy a drink and observed as an Italian toymaker displayed his arsenal of fun artifacts for a little girl.
Late that night, we sat out on our terrace and made up stories about the people floating in their impressive yachts that lit up the pitch black horizon.
The next day we hopped the ferry and took a 30-minute trip to the famed island of Capri--known for its extravagant shopping and ritzy population of tourists.
Fun In The Sun
Later in the afternoon, it was time for another day at the beach. I spent my time collecting blue-green sea glass, re-capping our adventures in my journal, and I finally cracked into my vacation book (which ended up being one of my all-time favorites), The Alchemist. Dusty spent most of his time in the water with the GoPro, per usual, and eventually climbed his way up the rocky ledge to dive into the deep, turquoise waves. Murmurs of varying languages and dialects carried across the sea breeze as I closed my eyes, and relished in the present moment.
That night, we made reservations at the Hotel Eden Roc restaurant, Adamo ed Eva, after discovering that they offered an entire four-course vegan dinner option! It was a week or two past our fourth wedding anniversary, but we decided to celebrate on our trip, and this restaurant was perfect. We couldn't have been more pleased with the food, the service, and the ambiance! We enjoyed one of the most gourmet and delicious meals of our lives, while overlooking the Mediterranean from the the rooftop restaurant.
La Bottega di Brunella
Special shout out to our favorite local linen distributor, La Bottega di Brunella, and Vito Mandara (follow @vitomadara on Instagram)! On our last day, Dusty and I wandered into what we agreed was the most beautiful linen shop, and each bought something for ourselves. We met Vito, whose family owns the linen store and crafts all of their own garments, and got to talking with him. It's funny just how small this world is--when Vito asked where we were from, he knew exactly where Nebraska was! He went on to tell us that he had actually spent a year as an exchange student here! He also said that he didn't miss it! hah!
Below, Dusty is wearing a cotton t-shirt and linen pants, both from the shop, and I'm sporting my awesome, new linen tote bag!
The Last Hurrah
On our last day, we spent the morning on our usual exploration via "jog-tography." We grabbed our iPhones, locked the door behind us, and hit the pavement for some sight-seeing and a good sweat session. After our final morning run in Italia, we grabbed a bite to eat an an adorable little cafe, called Casa e Botega. They offered smoothies, smoothie bowls, fresh juices, porridge, and an assortment of home goods. The ambiance was so fresh and beachy--someday we hope to have a place of our own with similar vibe!
After that, we bummed around town until dinner time, got dressed up, and went to a beachside restaurant for one final pizza and pasta combo, and listened to some live music.
Positano was positively wonderful!
After two and a half weeks abroad, can you believe we still weren't ready to come home?! Italy treated us so well, from the fresh markets to the home-cooked pastas and pizzas, we enjoy every minute of it. The deep history, the beautiful language, the fabulous fashion, the breathtaking scenery, and the wonderful people made us feel right at home.
We hope that you've thoroughly enjoyed this five-part, EatMoveRest In Italy series. It has been a joy piecing together so many photo-video memories, and sharing life through the lens with all of you has been a pleasure!
If you haven't already, be sure to check out:
We're looking forward to bringing you more travel and lifestyle content, and, of course, tons more plant-powered recipes, nutrition, fitness, workouts, rest & relaxation, and so much more!
As always, EatMoveRest Your Best!