Italy

Italy Part 3: Positano

Positano!  My Pinterest dreams came true!  I had been pinning pictures of Positano for some time before we booked our trip and to see it in person was like that feeling I had when I went to Disneyland for the first time at age 10.  Hahaha.  All the pictures I had seen and blogs I had read about this fantasy of a place made my eyes light up and basically... when we got off the bus.. I ran all the way to the bottom with my hands up in the air like a child (except to stop more than a handful of times for photo op's). =)

Positano's iconic icecream colored buildings scale down a small mountainside all the way to the sea.  With many towns on the Amalfi coast, you wonder how the layout of these small towns were built?!  There's one main road where cars can come in and out of, but it's small slow moving.  Everything else are pedestrian walkways and stairs just like all the other towns on the Amalfi.  As much as I day dreamed about this place and all the things we would do - it's hard to hit all the good eatery's and gelateria's in one day and soak up the sun while exploring the cliffside!  So we took it all in and decided that what we really wanted to do was rent beach chairs and umbrellas and lounge, get tan, and swim.  If you're from a tourist destination like Hawaii then it was kind of like our turn on Waikiki Beach =)  

The umbrella chairs were amazing.  We lounged and when it got too hot we jumped in the cool ocean.  Leisure and luxury at it's finest.  We walked up and down the beach collecting little pieces of Italian beach glass, played with my GoPro... and did that on repeat.  I almost forgot what life without kids was like.  Don't get me wrong - we missed our 2 munchkins like crazy, but we definitely took advantage of this alone time together doing what we wanted to do when we wanted.

After a few hours we rinsed off grabbed a bite to eat and did a little more exploring while still in awe of the raw beauty of Positano.  


 

Italy Part 2: Praiano

Praiano, Italy is definitely a hidden gem and on my list of go-to's and places to stay while traveling the Amalfi Coast.  Originally, when planning this trip, I only wanted to see and stay in Positano, because it was all I was seeing on Pinterest, Trip Advisor, and on social media accounts.  We had 2 nights and 3 days to spend on the Amalfi, and I thought Positano was all we had time for... clearly I was and am soooooo wrong.  Positano is freaking awesome... and I'll have pictures and a write up on it next!  So when researching for an Bread and Breakfast nothing really caught my attention.  I was looking for something specific; ocean view, small and quaint, affordable, clean, and a bit private.  While scrolling through Airbnb for the 100th time I saw a listing for a Villa that met my criteria.  I noticed it was in Praiano - okay, but where is Praiano?  It's about a 20 minute bus ride away from Positano!  I figured... sure.  If it's that close to Positano, the place I really wanted to go to, then we might as well venture out a bit and stay somewhere else we hadn't been and kill two birds with one stone.  Yes - there are lots of places to stay in Positano, but they are all really expensive and we were going to splurge in Capri - so I had to look elsewhere.  Done - and - booked!  You can read more about Villa il Frantoio on Trip Advisor or on the Airbnb link below!
 https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/8027169?checkin=01%2F29%2F2016&checkout=01%2F31%2F2016&s=Mlkk6vNa

All these towns on the Amalfi coast, if you aren't as traveled as I and didn't know, are situated on the side of cliffs.  These little towns are built from the top of where the public road starts all the way down to sea level.  Yes there are roads - like one road that only goes down to the main square and back up to the highway, but that's it!  To get to and from the ocean... and the place you are staying,  you have to hike it up and down all those stairs!  Praiano is not for the physically weak!  There was a warning at the Villa we stayed at that said - if you aren't able to walk up and down hundreds of stairs with your bags - then it wasn't the place for you.  If you're thinking what about the children and elderly... how do they walk up and down these stairs everyday?  Welp - they do and have been since they were more or less born.  Many places in Europe are like this - we Americans would cry and scream if we had to walk up and down hundreds and thousands of stairs everyday.  It's always nice to see how other people live their daily lives.  The advantage though, is privacy (less touristy), it's quiet, the views are AMAZING, the people are nice and welcoming, and the beaches were unbeatable.  If you're like me and from an island - you know what I mean when we don't like hundred's of people at the same beach you're at.  Praiano is hidden and kind of a local spot - and we totally crashed it. =)  
If traveling with limited time and a strict schedule - this is a great place to stay.  You're close to Positano (major tourist destination), it's beautiful and quiet. and most importantly it's not too far in and it's fairly easy to get back to Sorrento and on a train back to wherever it is you are going.  The trains stop at Sorrento!  Everything past it is all on your own - taxi, bus, rent a car, or private chauffeur.  The entire Amalfi Coast is one road with two lanes!  Again - if you're from an island or the North Shore of O'ahu like I am - you know what I'm talking about.  1 road with only 2 lanes means one thing and one things only... when it's tourist season there's death TRAFFIC!  You can be sitting in 3 hours of traffic when without traffic it's supposed to take 30 mins!  I don't know about you, but when traveling so far away from home with limited time, you don't want to waste 6 hours sitting in traffic.  We had our Villa arrange a private Taxi to pick us up in Sorrento and take us to Praiano.  Way less stress - and they know exactly where they are going!  

We got in the water - duh - and did probably one of the best things you could do on the Amalfi Coast!  Check back for more!

Xoxo,

Ida

*Clothes by Matt Bruening Label and Salt Liko.
 

 

 

Italy Part 1: Sorrento

Being that this is my first written blog ever - I figured I'd start off with my most recent summer trip to ITALY!  I honestly can't get enough of Italy.  I took a trip with my Photography class to Europe (Italy was one of the countries we toured) when I was a senior in high school and it opened this small town (Kahuku to be exact) / island girl's eyes to a little portion of how beautiful our world is and all that I have yet to see!  I knew that I NEEDED to come back and see more!  I ended up going back to Italy to Study Abroad when I was 19 in a tiny town in the Marche region called Macerata.  It was beyond breathtaking and opened my eyes even more. Of course... I knew this wasn't going to be my last trip to Italy so celebrating my husband and I's 5th wedding anniversary seemed like the perfect time to explore more!

So here - first stop, beautiful SORRENTO!  We stayed at the ever so coastal posh, Maison La Minervetta, which I found Pinterest-ing my life away. I later confirmed it's legit-ness on Trip Adviosr... and hello... it was AH-MAZING.  It's located right above Sorrento's Marina Grande and has a private staircase of about 300 that leads straight down to it's historic beach community.  This stylish hotel has only 12 rooms, which is one of the reasons I picked it, aside from it's interior decoration.  Of course the decor is Italian coastal inspired.  There are bold colors of reds, whites, and blues, coastal stripes, sail boats, anchors, italian designed tiles, pottery, and dishes, etc. The hotel staff was so friendly and treated everyone as though they were family.  Definitely another perk of staying in a small hotel.  Big resorts can be fun, but attention to detail is much more enjoyable.

We actually only stayed one night then made our way to the Amalfi Coast the next day, which is where we wanted to spend the majority of our trip.  Because of our brief stay, we made it a point to make the most it!  We swam in their pool which had a panorama of Mt. Etna and Sorrento's skyline, sunbathed on the docks of Marina Grande, took a dive in the crystal blue sea, had an ono Italian seafood dinner then took a night stroll around Sorrento's main square.  Real Italian food is always a plus, but real Italian seafood takes the cake.  SO fresh, light, and full of flavor.  I could go on and on about Sorrento and Maison La Minervetta, but I'll let the pictures do more talking. =)  Ciao! xx

Bikini - Issa de mar
Dress - Cassandra Rull
Shirt - Matt Bruening