Italy (Florence, Rome & Almafi Coast)

Florence

Accommodation

RESIDENZA D’EPOCA – This cozy b&b couldn’t have been in a better location for my family and I (we were a group of 5). The only downside was that the temperature during our stay was in the 80’s and this accommodation couldn’t turn on the A/C. We found out that they were forbidden by law but the following week they would be able to. You can request a fan but most spots don’t have a fan for every room so it’s important to note: first ask, first serve.
Via Luigi Carlo Farini, 12, 50121 [website]

PALAZZO CASTRI 1874 – I stayed here for a work trip. It’s a wonderful 4-star hotel centrally located (10 minute walk from train station) that will provide a luxurious experience for your time in Italy. It’s super clean. The service is exceptional and there is a lovely back yard that includes a pool with indoor and outdoor access.
Piazza della Indipendenza, 7, 50129 [website]

IMG_4952
© Crissa Youngblood Photography

Sights

Exciting news! FAT TIRE TOURS is now in Italy! We would love to help you cross off your bucket list items in Rome, Florence, and Milan.

  • Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia
  • Florence’s famous Duomo
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • The Uffizi Gallery
  • The Baptistery Doors (including the Gates of Paradise)
  • Piazza della Signoria
  • Palazzo Vecchio (from the outside)
  • Piazza della Repubblica – once the Roman Forum
  • Mercato Nuovo – Florentine leather market
  • Orsanmichele Church
  • Il Porcellino
  • Vasari Corridor (from outside)
  • Loggia dei Lanzi – an open-air sculpture gallery
  • The view from PIAZZALE MICHELANGELO. This location is known as the best (free) view over Florence. You can beat the crowd by watching the sunrise as opposed to the sunset.
  • If you go in spring, check out the wisteria tunnel at BARDINI GARDENS.

Eats

pasta and italian foods in italy
© Crissa Youngblood Photography

TRATTORIA 4 LEONI – don’t miss the ravioli or their famous Florentine steak (always served super rare).
Via de’ Vellutini, 1r, 50125 

CAFFÈ GILLI – one of the oldest cafes in Florence. Order a cappuccino and a pretty dessert. My mom loved the Italian cookies. Hopefully you will hear music playing in PIAZZA DELLA REPUBLICA.
Via Roma, 1r, 50123 

HOSTARIA IL DESCO – go for the Florentine steak.
Via delle Terme, 23/ r, 50123

TRATTORIA SERGIO GOZZI – find this spot tucked between cheap leather shops near Mercato Centrale. My favorite lunch in Florence. Expect traditional Tuscan and go here earlier on your trip because you might want to return on the same trip!
Piazza di San Lorenzo, 8R, 50123

LA MENAGERE – cute spot for coffee. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner but since it’s not quintessential Italian, I would just pop in for the flower stand inside and a cappuccino.
Via de’ Ginori, 8, 50123

TRATTORIA MARIO – A Florence institution for 60 years, for local Tuscan cuisine. Only open for lunch; just sign in when you arrive and wait to be called.
Via Rosina, 2r, 50123

TRATTORIA SOSTANZA – Recommended: butter chicken
Via del Porcellana, 25/R, 50123

GOLDEN VIEW – Sit by the window. It will be a pinch-me-type-moment.
Via de’ Bardi, 58/r, 50125

BERBERÈ – craft beer and pizza. Also in Rome and Milan.
Piazza dei Nerli, 1, 50124

LA GIOSTRA – recommended by my best friend and my goodness, SO GOOD! This is my top pick for date night. The ambiance is perfect.
Borgo Pinti, 10,18 Rosso, 50121 

MERCATO CENTRALE – an amazing food market. Make sure to go upstairs to dine on the freshest of pastas.
Piazza del Mercato Centrale – Via dell’Ariento, 50123

a pink caffè sign in Florence, Italy
© Crissa Youngblood Photography

Shopping

MERCATO SAN LORENZO – great leather – purses, key chains, journals, bags, jackets, everything. Try to haggle and be wary of scams. It’s right next to the Medici Palace.

SBIGOLI TERRECOTTE – a favorite for pottery.
Via Sant’Egidio, 4/r, 50122

CERAMICHE RICCERI – purchase pottery from the sweetest owner, Luca.
Via dei Conti, 14/red, 50123

AQUA FLOR – go for the ambiance of a true workshop dedicated to the fine art of perfume making. This was a unique experience and I loved going here. You can choose from soaps, perfumes, candles and home fragrances.
Borgo Santa Croce, 6, 50122

SANTA MARIA NOVELLA PHARMACY – the oldest pharmacy in the world is a bucket list item for me because I have definitely learned to appreciate a good pharmacy from my time in Paris.
Via della Scala, 16, 50123

FLORENCE ANTIQUE MARKET – Open 9am – 7pm Monday through Saturday.
Piazza delle Pulci

FLOWER MARKET – Every Thursday morning from September through June.
Piazza della Repubblica

FIESOLE VINTAGE MARKET – Its held the first Saturday and Sunday of the month.

FORTEZZA DA BASSO ANTIQUE MARKET – This outdoor market is held on the third Saturday and Sunday of the month.
Piazzale Vittorio Veneto

SANTO SPIRITO FLEA MARKET – You can find this outdoor market on the second Sunday of the month.
Piazza Santo Spirito

Tuscany Day Trips

**My favorite day trip is hands down visiting Castello di Verrazzano in Chianti. Take a wine tasting tour and enjoy the ride. It’s perfection!**
Via Castello di Verrazzano, 1, 50022 Greve in Chianti FI, Italy [website]

When it came to the Tuscan countryside, our favorite sight was the SIENA CATHEDRAL as well as the town square. For all cathedrals you must be “properly dressed” (which means no shorts, sleeveless shirts, skirts, etc.) In Siena, don’t miss the soft almond pastries called Ricciarelli Alle Mandorle.

In Umbrio, you will want to get ceramics from Bellocci because they actually use the Umbrio clay.

We had the best wine and lunch experience in Orvieto at a beautiful hilltop winery.

Angela Rose in front of the roses in Tuscany, Italy by Crissa Youngblood
© Crissa Youngblood Photography

Rome

White bike in front of yellow wall in Rome, Italy
© Crissa Youngblood Photography

Accommodation

My family and I rented the Adriana Star Apartment through the company, “Sleep in Italy”.

Eats

It’s impossible to uncouple your favorite experiences here from the meals you ate…

AI TRE SCALINI BOTTIGLIERIA DAL 1895 – my favorite lunch in Rome.
Via Panisperna, 251, 00184

EMMA PIZZERIA – delicious for pizza and pasta.
Via del Monte della Farina, 28, 00186

L’ISOLA DELLA PIZZA – they like to send out appetizers for you (of their choice). Warning: they send A LOT of appetizers. You must come super hungry!
Via degli Scipioni, 45, 00192

TRATTORIA MONTI – family-run, small, and delicious.
Via di S. Vito, 13, 00185 

RISTORANTE PIERLUIGI – this upscale spot is located in one of the most beautiful squares of Rome.If you like fresh and excellent fish, this is the place. We suggest ordering the lobster pasta.
Piazza de’ Ricci, 144, 00186 

DA ENZO AL 29 – this was my personal favorite. Have your hotel/accommodation call and make a reservation for you. If not, make sure to get there no later than 7 pm. The restaurant opens at 7:30pm. Don’t leave without the pasta carbonara and their speciality meatballs. Da Enzo Al 29 is known for its carciofi giudia (fried artichoke), cacio e pépé, stuffed zucchini blossoms, and their perfectly-salted baccalà.
Via dei Vascellari, 29, 00153 

IL GELATO DI SAN CRISPINO and GELATERIA DEL TEATRO for the best gelato. When in Rome, right? Pro tip: You want gelato that is low or maybe even scooped from a bin below the gelato showcase NOT the kind where mounds and mounds of gelato are visible.

PIANO STRADA – go for a glass of wine or Prossecco because the drink menu is on pantone color cards!
22, Via delle Zoccolette, 00186

TONNARELLO – make sure to order their amatriciana dish!
Via della Paglia, 1, 00153

If you are going to the Rome train station, then make sure to arrive early so you can dine at IL MERCATO CENTRALE.
Roma Termini, Via Giovanni Giolitti, 36, 00185

vespa in front of a caffé in rome, italy

What to Order in Rome

Appetizer

  • Fried Artichoke
  • Burratta

Pasta

  • Pasta Carbonara (oh, I miss it!)
  • Cacio e Pépé
  • Amatriciana

Dessert

  • Panna Cotta
  • Chocolate Almond Cake
  • Tiramisu

Shopping

If you know me, you know I love all things vintage! In Rome there are some amazing markets for this.

PORTA PORTESE – open every Sunday morning

MERCATO DI VIA SANNIO – open every morning except Sunday. Closest metro station: San Giovanni

BORGHETTO FLAMINIO – open Sunday morning.

MERCATO MONTI – open every Saturday and Sunday from June to September. Closest metro station: Cavour
Via Leonina 46, Monti area

The best items to bring back from Rome is magnificently written by An American in Rome and can be found here.

More flea market details here.

Sights

We share a great article on 24 HOURS IN ROME over at Fat Tire Tours. I hope it’s helpful for you!

  • Capitol Hill
  • The Forum
  • The Colosseum
  • The Baths of Caracalla
  • The Circus Maximus
  • The Pantheon
  • The Sistine Chapel
  • The Vatican Museums
  • St.Peter’s Basilica
  • St. Paul Outside the Walls
  • The Moses by Michelangelo
  • The Appian Way
  • The Catacombs – My family and I did the Christian Catacombs
  • TREVI FOUNTAIN – Tip: Make sure to go before 9am otherwise it is super crowded.
  • The Spanish Steps at PIAZZA DI SPAGNA.
  • If you want a view overlooking Rome, you can buy a ticket and then access the terrace at MERCATI DI TRAIANO MUSEO DEI FORI IMPERIALI.
  • Don’t miss a walk through the TRETASVERE neighborhood. Definitely my favorite for a pre-dinner stroll.
  • Via Baccina has a picturesque view

Here’s a map of recommendations from my one of my quick trips to Roma!

pink bike in rome
© Crissa Youngblood Photography

Positano

Blue chairs and umbrellas on the beautiful Almafi Coast, Positano, Italy
© Crissa Youngblood Photography

Accommodation

HOTEL MIRAMARE – The most beautiful balcony views and the breakfast room is so perfect. I wanted to move in.
Via Trara Genoino, 27, 84017 www.miramarepositano.it/web/

Dinner

LO GUARRACINO – A delicious dinner option with a seaside view.
Via Positano D’America 12, 84017 www.loguarracinopositano.it/en/

DA ADOLFO – You will take a small boat from the port to this magical restaurant. The boat departs from the pier from 10am to 1pm (look for the red fish on the small white boat) and returns from 4pm onwards. Email info@daadolfo.com in order to make a reservation.
Via Laurito, 40, 84017 www.daadolfo.com

DA VINCENZO –  Dine here and make sure to stop by their shop next door before/after your meal.Viale Pasitea, 172/178, 84017 www.davincenzo.it

Coffee

COLLINA POSITANO BAKERY – The perfect spot if you need a morning or afternoon pick-me-up.
Via Cristoforo Colombo 1/3, 84017 www.collinabakery.it

Bar

FRANCO’S BAR – This is such a dreamy setting with sweepings views of the breathtaking Positano cliffs.
Via Cristoforo Colombo, 30, 84017 www.francosbar.com/en

The iconic yellow fountain at Franco's Bar in Positano, Italy by Crissa Youngblood
© Crissa Youngblood Photography

Milan

Accommodation

GIULIA – The perfect location with the Duomo literally right around the corner.

beautiful floors in milan, italy
© Crissa Youngblood Photography

Additional Resources:

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