5 days after my 30th birthday, I’ll be landing in Rome for my first Italian holiday with my girlfriends Kate and Marcia. Admittedly, I’m a bit late on my planning (just under a month to go now), but I’ve been immersing myself in books to get myself up to speed. Last minute bookings need to be tackled – like restaurant reservations, any skip the line attractions in Rome, boat transportation around the Amalfi Coast, etc.

Image by Alex Tihonov // Source: Lonely Planet

The first leg of our trip, we will be taking a car directly from the airport to Positano. After doing hours of research, I’ve concluded that at this point in my life, I’d pay extra to get somewhere faster and with as little hassle as possible with luggage.  Crowded trains and three young travelers screams “TAKE MY BAGS!”  No thanks.  We’ll save the trains for days when we have little to no bags.

Le Sirenuse is a definite on my hit list. Probably one of, if not the most famous hotel on the Amalfi coast.  If I’d have won the lottery, I’d book my stay here for the full week.  Instead, we opted for a sweet coastal airbnb so I can spend all of my remaining money buying linens and dinnerware.  The family fun hotel boasts a Michelin star restaurant and a champagne and oyster bar, which I plan to visit not only for the food and drinks but the breathtaking views. If there is one photo op I cannot miss, it’s the view from Le Sirenuse.

We have a day trip planned to Capri and weather and tide permitting, the Grotta Azzurra. I’m really more interested in walking around Capri and spending as much time immersed in the natural beauty.

With the relaxed atmosphere and the laid back boat schedules, I’m not too up in arms to get reservations for any specific restaurants.  I figure, we’ll just flock were the crowds go.  One restaurant that was on my radar was Da Adolfo.  I heard Leonardo DiCaprio went there recently and now it’s pretty much booked solid.  Thanks a lot, man. The other is La Conca del Sogno, which is both a beach club and a restaurant located between Positano and Capri. Can’t complain swimming in crystal blue waters in one of the more favored beach clubs with a highly recommended meal to follow, right?

After the relaxing part of our trip, we’re heading back to the city of Rome. Considering the time I had to prep for this trip, I’ve all but given up on picking up my 2 week crash course in Italian I took one winter semester to get my 150 credits toward the CPA.  Forutnately, this blog post consoled me.

While I can only hope to meet my very own Paolo to bring me to all the neat places around the city (right before he throws me under the bus that is), this is no Lizzy McGuire movie. Plus, I’ve seen Taken one too many times to trust really anyone these days.  Awful, isn’t it?

Instead, I’ve taken my search to the interweb for some recommendations for good places.  We’re making Trastevere our designated home base. While described as the side of the river you’d rather not be on, after doing some research, this place sounds pretty hip and up and coming. I’ll admit I have some qualms about not being a fluent Italian speaker and find myself frantically studying and conjugating verbs into the wee hours of the night to sound as up to speed as a four year old.  I think we’ll be ok.

Our plan of attack is to get skip the line passes to two to three major sites in Rome.  As a Roman Catholic myself (cafeteria Catholic, shamefully), I feel like I am obligated to see the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel.  Other more hokey, but necessary stops would include the Spanish Steps and the Trevi fountain. I have absolutely no clue where to eat in Rome, but briefly read through Conde Nast’s article to find some spots.  Any recommendations are happily welcomed!

Until then, I’m strategically packing my things into a carry on suitcase and memorizing all of the Italian vocab I can manage!

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