A roadtrip is one of my favourite things to do when traveling. It gives you plenty of opportunities to snap pictures or to stop over whenever you feel like having a good look at some stunning views; It’s like having your own time to do your own thing. For this post I’m going to share to you how we hit the road to discover Italy outside of Rome on our recent trip.
Villa Gregoriana in Tivoli
It was spitting with rain when we headed on an early morning trip to Tivoli. It took an hour to reach the town located in central Italy, about 30 kilometres north-east of Rome. We arrived to discover a lovely, quaint little town. After a brief wander around the town-centre, we ended up exploring a place called Villa Gregoriana.
We were delighted to discover this massive park with pathways leading to eerie caves, and eventually a great waterfall. Villa Gregoriana is world famous for its epic waterfall created by the river Aniene. It is perfect for people who love nature and longer walks. Although we were exhausted after 2 hours of hiking around the park, we really enjoyed its peaceful surroundings and natural beauty.
Buffalo Cheese Farm
On our trip to Pompeii we stopped over at a farm on the outskirts of Rome to try out fresh Bufala mozzarella and meet some of the local patrons. Our guide bought loads for us to try, it was so fresh and soft, almost with a taste of fresh yoghurt. It was perfect as a snack on the way and we were very grateful to our horny friends!
Pompeii was once a thriving city located in the southern part of Italy. In 79 AD the eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed and buried the city under tons of volcanic ash and debris. First rediscovered when an archaeologist excavated it in 1748, the ruined city has remained frozen in time until present day and is one of the best glimpses into how the Romans, and even humans as a whole, used to live back then.
Pompeii is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The story of this place and the way it has been preserved left me very emotional; around 2,000 people died on that fateful day. Below is an image of a sign from the front door that says “beware of the dog”. It’s amazing to think that these designs were made so long ago.
I highly recommend you to visit Pompeii.
Amalfi Coast – Positano village
From Pompeii we drove to the scenic and breath-taking view of Amalfi coast. I’ve never been to a place so magical. It is located in the southern tip of Italy’s peninsula and a very popular destination for tourists and honeymooners.
We arrived at Positano, the most photogenic town on the coast. I was mesmerised by the vibrant lights at night. Did I mention that my favourite cuisine is Italian? You can’t imagine the excitement when I tried the authentic Napoli pizza. I ordered Calzone stuffed with fresh bufala mozzarella and fresh tomato sauce or as it’s more commonly known; Margherita! The mozzarella was so gooey and warm – I’m craving for it right now! Positano is a must to stop over when in the Amalfi coast; be sure to try their local food and enjoy a drink whilst spotting the newlyweds and wealthy holidaymakers!
I’ll be honest with you; this is one of the most tiring trips we did. The Vatican is overwhelming and as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world; you can expect plenty of tourists queuing to get in. I was so glad to have visited though. I was fascinated with the tons of ancient artifacts that they have collected over the long perid of time.
As a lover of ancient Egypt, I was delighted to discover an area dedicated to the subject – with many cool artifacts and burial objects of the pharaohs.
Where We Ate
Best Lasagna in Rome
We were delighted to find this local restaurant with a hipster vibe in the heart of Rome called Ai Tre Scalini; amazing food and delicious wine served by their friendly staff all at great prices! The place is always packed with locals so you can be sure to have a great authentic time.
Ricky is a fan of the famous chef/travel writer Anthony Bourdain and on one of his trips he paid a visit to a local shop called Bonci. Determined to track down this hidden gem, we set off on a journey through a less travelled area to find this pizza place and I’m delighted to say it didn’t disappoint. The pizza was sooo good; big rustic slices packed with flavourful ingredients. We were all so full that we had a long walk to burn it all off.
Famous local Tiramisu
Another one of Ricky’s well-researched gems was a local shop offering what is considered by many as ‘the best Tiramisu in Rome’. The treasure hunt was worth it in the end as we tucked into some decadently creamy coffee flavoured delights!
- When looking for an authentic local restaurant check the menu; if it’s written in Italian then it’s more likely not an overpriced tourist trap
- Do your research online before heading out to find the real local treasures (read more blogs and check out tripadvisor) – it’s how we found all our hidden gems that we would NEVER have found otherwise
- Try and learn a few Italian phrases, not everyone will speak English and it will be much appreciated!
- Be wary of pickpockets and always look after your belongings
- Water is safe to drink anywhere in Rome as long as there is no sign that says “not for drinking” (or equivalent in Italian!)
Have you been to Rome? Would love to hear your tips and experience. xoxo