Fantasizing about Amalfi

So I have been back from the fabulous continent of Europe for the past 2 weeks and 3 days. My time at home has consisted of working cherry stands at farmers markets and trying not to eat any carbs (since we all know i had enough for a lifetime these past 4 months). Keeping busy at home has helped me from becoming depressed about having to leave my favorite city in the world, Florence.

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my little helper

But whenever I get any down time I constantly find myself fantasizing about the amazing trips I was able to take while living in Florence. And one of my favorites, without a doubt, is Amalfi coast.

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being touristy at Capri

When I was 16 my grandparents took my sister and I to the island of Capri and I fell in love with it. So I jumped on the opportunity to go back. The Amalfi Coast is in the southern part of Italy in the region of Campania. It consists of multiple coastal cities such as Positano, Sorrento and also the island of Capri.

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swimming in green grotto 5 years ago, is that really me? yikes.

The island of Capri is really small, it consists of two little towns, Capri and Anacapri. Pretty simple, which is what makes it so beautiful. If you have noticed in my previous posts, my friends and I enjoy to take the more complicated routes on our trips, so as usual we decided to hike up to town from the port instead of taking the funicular (a little tram thing). So after getting a little sweaty, our first stop in town was to get a yummy lemon iced slushy. After the first one, we became obsessed.

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yummm, strawberry & lemon

Anacapri is just a short bus ride up a VERY steep hill above the town of Capri. Capri, like the rest of Amalfi coast, is famous for lemons and limoncello but Anacapri is specifically famous for handmade leather sandals. Howerever, they are a little too over priced for what we wanted to pay.

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view from Anacapri

Our next day trip was to the coastal town of Positano, famous for its colorful houses stacked on a hill over looking the beach. In the summer, Italians flock to this small town for the beautiful weather and beach but luckily we beat the crowds and still had amazing weather and an even better time.

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view from our boat cruise

Positano consisted of relaxing on the beach, a little corona and then cliff jumping!

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the cliff where everyone jumped

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and then where we jumped…

So yes, we did jump like 20 feet lower than everyone else BUT it was still a great thrill and everyone else was doing like back flops, which we did not want to do. We jumped around 5 times and it was amazing (by the way everyone else only jumped once)!

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So. Much. Fun.

To anyone who is studying abroad or will be studying abroad in Europe, you MUST visit the Amalfi Coast, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world and you will not regret it!

I miss all of my adventures that I had while studying abroad in Florence. Living in Europe for 4 months taught me so much more about myself, brought me life long friendships and memories that I could never forget! I look forward to the next time that I will be able to travel to Italy because it was never goodbye it was just ciao for now!

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See you soon Italia!

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Under The Tuscan Sun

I was a very happy girl a couple weeks ago because my boyfriend of four years was able to come visit me in the wonderful country of Italy! We had an amazing time visiting Rome, Pisa and exploring my home away from home, Florence! For his last Friday here we were supposed to take a day trip to Siena with a tour group, unfortunately our trip got cancelled the day before due to not enough people signing up. We were all bummed but decided it wasn’t going to keep us down! Instead we decided to hop on a train and take a spontaneous trip to the small hill town of Cortona!

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my handsome bf and I on top of the Duomo

We start our adventure by barely making it to the train station on time, but of course still finding time for a necessary cappuccino. Running to the train, avoiding gypsies along the way, we jump on what we hoped would be the train taking us to Cortona.

Luckily, the train drops us off at the small town of Camucia, which is at the base of the hill that Cortona sits on. Naturally I had Rick Steves by my side to guide us along our trip, so we referenced him to see how to get to Cortona from there. He recommended that we take the bus that comes every hour and NOT to do the steep 4 mile hike up the hill. Being the smart people that we are, we decided to do the hike.

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sweating, and half way there

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the amazing views were a great distraction from the pain

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WE MADE IT

We were starved by the time we made it to town so first stop had to be food and wine! Instead of listening to Rick Steves we decided to trust our instincts and pop in a little place off of the main piazza.

As we walked in we were greeted by a man who only spoke Italian and two little kids running out from the kitchen, I automatically knew I was going to love this place. We were the only ones in the restaurant besides two older gentlemen seated right next to us. We quickly ordered wine and bruschetta before deciding what to eat.

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where we found our little restaurant

I am not exaggerating when I say that this one was of the best meals of my life, my mouth is watering as I am typing this.

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my spinach and ricotta gnocchi, perfection.

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the wine was amazing too, as usual.

Ari and Cassie were advised to order the famous wild boar spaghetti and they were not let down, it was incredible. No words were spoken while we ate each of our pastas and we all cleared our plates. As we were obsessing over our dishes we were too busy to notice the older gentleman next to us who had been eating alone and smiling while sipping his wine. Ari pointed him out to me and as I turned to look behind me I caught his attention, he took that as an opportunity to start conversation with us.

I have never been more grateful that I have taken Italian for 7 years because he didn’t speak a word of English. Luckily, I was able to hold enough conversation in order to find out that he had lived in Cortona for 30 years, he was 92 years old and he ate at that same restaurant every day for 30 years. It took everything in me not to burst into tears and bear hug him. As we had been eating, another small family had sat down to eat lunch as well. The two little boys were messing with each other and giggling, the old mad just smiled at them and laughed, he turned to me and told me they were his brothers great-grand children, I almost cried again. He enjoyed the simple things, such as sipping his chianti, watching us enjoy our tiramisu while telling us why Italian products are the best and laughing at his crazy great-grand nephews. We spent two and half hours in that restaurant and I never wanted to leave.

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cutest man in the world

If all we did in Cortona was hike the mountain and eat at the restaurant I would have been happy but we figured we should explore the town a little bit too.

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the town was picture perfect

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Cortona gave us the perfect taste of Italian culture and was exactly what anyone would picture when they think of the typical Tuscan hill town.

I am so lucky that my boyfriend Ari was able to visit me here and I loved being able to share all these new experiences with him. I know we will have many more adventures to come since we both share a passion for traveling πŸ™‚

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I love everything about this picture

Ciao for now!