Eating in Capri {Ristorante Michel'Angelo}

7.22.2015


Where to Eat in Capri

Where to eat in Capri

I have talked before about how twitter changed my life. Social media continues to amaze and connect me to wonderful people and places and experiences. This time it was Instagram. When Mark and I were in Capri this past May I got an email from a restaurant saying they had seem my posts on Instagram and they would love for us to try their restaurant. I feel like this only happens when I am on a romantic trip with my husband so I almost always politely decline. 

I am so happy that this time I said yes. 

What to Eat and Where to Stay on the Cilento Coast

7.10.2015

What to Eat and Where to Stay on the Cliento Coast

What to Eat and Where to Stay on the Cliento Coast

What to Eat and Where to Stay on the Cliento Coast

Last summer I spent just over 24 hours on the Cilento coast. I knew I wanted to come back spend some more time exploring this quiet frowsy counterpoint to the better known glittering and buzzy Amalfi Coast. Last month I spent two days with a group of travel bloggers visiting castles, mozzarella farms and enchanting seaside towns. Here are a few things I loved on the Cilento coast.


How to survive a Roman Heatwave

7.08.2015

How to survive a Roman Heatwave

How to survive a Roman Heatwave

Rome is hot right now. More than regular summer hot, which I really enjoy, but more like nothing is fun after five minutes outside hot. Which is kind of a drag. I follow the Roman rhythms and try to run my errands early in the morning and spend the hottest part of the day inside with the windows and shutters shut tight, venturing out again when the sun sets and there is usually a breeze. Here are a few more things I have been doing to get through the heatwave

You have to give the Italians extra credit for literary flair. The current heatwave is named Flegetonte, which Dante described as a river of blood that boiled souls. He's not wrong. 

How to Pack for the Amalfi Coast

7.01.2015

How to Pack for the Amalfi Coast

How to Pack for the Amalfi Coast

I recently went on a press trip to the Amalfi and Cilento coasts that dovetailed with a long planned family trip to Ponza. Packing was challenge. Now I knew that the Amalfi Coast has stairs. A lot of stairs. And we that we were going to be moving around a lot. In Ponza, the charming house we rent requires a vigorous hike on a very narrow path to reach. I had to have a dress for a Michelin starred dinner,  beach clothes, nature walk clothes and comfortable but chic travel to and from clothes. A few of my fellow travelers asked me how I did it, so I decided to share my secrets to how to pack for the Amalfi Coast here.

Finding the Authentic Amalfi Coast

6.26.2015

Where to eat and stay on the Amalfi Coast #SalernoC2C

Where to eat and stay on the Amalfi Coast #SalernoC2C

"I want an authentic Italian experience." I hear this a lot. I have talked about it before. But what does that really mean?

Here in my Roman neighborhood, I can debate the merits of obscure coves on the island of Ponza with my butcher, I know what time of year to greet my Bangladeshi fruttavendolo with Eid Mbarak, Forgot my wallet at my local bar? No problem, they know I will come back and settle up.

These are authentic experiences indeed, but ones that can only be had because I live here. Because I interact with the same people every day. But what about the visitor who is in Italy for a week or two, trying to make the most of a short time? Maybe they are jet lagged or traveling with small children. Does this make the fourth generation restaurant owner in Amalfi who serves dinner at 6pm inauthentic? Can I fault the bar in Positano for selling bagels? No. They are responding to market forces. The businesses in the towns along the Amalfi Coast have a few short months in which to earn a years worth of income.

So back to the question. What is an authentic experience? What is your responsibility as the visitor to the authentic experience, particularly in a place that relies heavily on tourism? I have been mulling these questions over and have a few thoughts. 

I spend a fair amount of time on the Amalfi Coast, but am hesitant to call myself an expert. Sure, I can tell you the best way to get there, where to park and a few of my favorite places to eat, but ultimately I am a visitor too, doing many of the same touristy things everyone else is doing. If the "authentic experience" is what you are seeking it is up to you as the visitor to do a little research. Maybe stay in one of the smaller villages on the coast. Find out about the place you are visiting. Not things like what the historic sites are or where to buy the cutest sandals, that's easy. But things like what are the daily rhythms of a place. (Hint, the Italians are not eating dinner at 6:00pm.) Stop by the local markets and see what is for sale. Those are things you should see on your restaurant menu (the Italians are drinking beer with their pizza, not Chianti).  Ask the parking attendant, the pharmacist, the barista where their favorite beach is. It is the simple everyday interactions that will deepen your understanding and experience. And if you feel like a bagel for breakfast or boat tour to Capri, you know what, that's ok too. Relax. It's your vacation after all. 

There are 13 towns of the Amalfi Coast. On my most recent trip I was shown many of the smaller places that people miss. Each one Authentic.

Shopping in Monti {Tina Sondergaard}

6.24.2015

Shopping in Rome

Shopping in Rome

Does this happen to you? You get an invitation to an event (My husband is a diplomat at the United Nations, so we get a lot of these.) You check the calendar, politely RSVP, and then the morning before the event you go to your closet and realize you have worn everything, sometimes more than once, already. No amount of scarf or shoe or jewelry trickery is going to fool anybody. It is time to go shopping. Now I love to shop. But not really for cocktail party dresses. Thankfully that has changed and I barely had to leave my street.

Tina Sondergaard has been designing dresses for years. I had walked by her store on via Boschetto oh, about a thousand times. I loved the 1950's vibe of the designs with echoes of an Ossining era Betty Draper, yet somehow just a little more modern. But was intimidated. Would the dresses fit me?, would the designer be annoyed if they didn't? Ridiculous. My pal Elizabeth instructed me to get over myself and go buy a dress. As I always do when she gives me advice, I listened.
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