*To kick off The Italian Diaries, I asked my husband, Pete, to write a guest post about our first day in Italy.*
Back when we first met, Maria and I decided that we wanted to travel to Italy together. She had already been there twice before (in 2005 and 2007), but it would be my first time in Europe.
In August 2014, we finally made it happen. For two weeks, we had the chance to explore Rome, Naples and the Amalfi Coast (as well as a few other surprise stops along the way). Joining us on the trip were Maria’s brother Joe and their parents, who were both born in Italy and are extremely knowledgeable about the area, the people, and the culture (and they speak the language).
Since we’ve reached the 2-year anniversary of our trip (and are becoming increasingly nostalgic), we wanted to take a look back at all of the incredible experiences.
Well, technically this isn’t the first stop. We flew into Fiumicino Airport in Rome, rented a car and headed towards Il Mezzogiorno (Southern Italy). “Mezzogiorno” literally means “Midday” and refers to the area from Naples south (including the islands of Sicily and Sardinia), where the intense sun beats down during the mid-afternoon hours.
After a 3+ hour drive, we arrived at Hotel Delfino in Massa Lubrense, a small fishing village on the Amalfi Coast located near Sorrento. And if we weren’t excited enough about being in Italy, check out these views:
By the way, that island off in the distance is Capri (we’ll get to that later in the trip).
Maria and I soaked it all in for awhile before making our way down to the pool area for a late afternoon snack. I want to take a moment here to say that a typical late afternoon snack for us at home usually consists of a yogurt or a few pretzels. In Italy, it’s this:
Caprese with ingredients as fresh as they come. Not a bad way to start our trip.
Earlier on in the day, the woman at the front desk mentioned that there was a little trail right around the corner that would take us to the town, so after a quick bite, Maria and I wandered out to explore.
We didn’t go all the way down (the trail was a little longer than we prepared for), but we were able to take this shot from above the village.
I’d say the locals have a pretty good view to wake up to every morning.
When we made it back to the hotel, we joined the family at the on-site restaurant and talked over the itinerary for the next two weeks. My father-in-law is a seafood lover, so of course, he went with the Catch of the Day for dinner.
After dinner, we were just about to call it a night and rest up for the adventure ahead, but the hotel had other plans. In a small room off the main hotel lobby, we stumbled across this:
Dancers and musicians playing all the Italian classics, everything from Funiculi Funicula to Volare. And they even let the hotel guests join in.
Overall, it was a pretty memorable first day for both of us. Next stop…Sorrento.