We traveled to Italy for 10 days recently for a wedding in beautiful Orvieto, and extended the trip into a roadtrip down the coast. Our itinerary looked a little bit like this: We flew from JFK straight to Milan, and took the scenic route to Cinque Terre by stopping in the gorgeous little towns of Santa Margherita and Portofino! After two nights in Monterosso al Mare, we drove through Florence to stay for a night, Orvieto for two nights for the wedding, and down to the Amalfi Coast for 4 nights!
In Cinque Terre, each little town looked so beautiful online that we had a hard time deciding which one to stay in! We ended up staying at a beautiful little Airbnb called Casa dei Limon in Monterosso, the largest town, and absolutely loved it. We ate dinner there every night and chose the restaurant by the vibe of it - each one was truly incredible! One particular restaurant that stood out was Ristorante al Pozzo for fresh-caught seafood and pasta. Down on the Amalfi Coast, we stayed at Villa Minerva (a booking.com find) in the town of Praiano. We loved how "local" this town felt, as the amount of tourists was so much lower than the beautiful neighbors of Positano, Ravello and Amalfi. Our favorite restaurant in Praiano was Ristorante La Strada, a rooftop gem with impeccable service and a killer sunset view of Capri in the distance! In Orvieto, make sure you visit the incredible La Badia for dinner - it's a Michelin starred restaurant (and the specialty risotto was incredible).
In both Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast, where we spent a majority of our time, it's all about the sun and water in the summer! Each little beach town is incredible and one of the best pieces of advice I could give is to try to see either one by boat. A couple of highlights on the Amalfi Coast: Renting our own speedboat to explore Capri by ourselves (it's actually the same cost as paying for a crowded tour), exploring the GORGEOUS town of Ravello and the iconic Villa Cimbrone high up on the coast, checking out the rocky little beach of Furore, eating lemon gelato everywhere it is sold, and dinner every night looking out towards Capri. One main recommendation for Florence would be to walk up to Piazza de Michelangelo for sunset - it has the best view of the city!
Oh my goodness, we had so many crazy experiences on this trip! We had no idea what the Amalfi coast was truly like (we’ve only seen the gorgeous photos online), and driving on the Amalfi coast road is absolutely crazy! The giant mega buses and pro motorcyclists (many who fly their motorcycles out here just to drive this road) all compete with the cars, tourists and local buses on the most narrow, hairpin turns with a sheer drop to rocks and the ocean on the side, speeding faster than any of them should be! In addition, we had no idea JUST how many stairs were in the town of Praiano that led to our apartment. It was a solid 25 minute walk straight uphill and up more stairs than we could have ever imagined. But hey, it allowed us to have no guilt indulging in as much pizza, pasta and gelato as we wanted :) Just make sure you talk with your host or hotel before arriving to get the scoop on the parking or walking situation.
Many people think that traveling has to be expensive. We're incredibly lucky to travel so much for destination weddings, but there are tips and tricks that anyone can use while planning a trip. First, use a website like Skyscanner.com to find what the cheapest locations to fly to are. We've snatched up nonstop flights to amazing destinations overseas for as low as $200 by scouring this site. Second, use a credit card that has a great points system for travel. We love our Chase Sapphire Preferred cards and are always able to use points for our flights (total cost $400 for two nonstop, roundtrip tickets to Italy). Third, travel with friends. We love taking trips with friends for many reasons, but one is it cuts down all your accommodation costs by half or ⅔. Fourth, use Airbnb for local, authentic places to stay for a fraction of the cost of most hotels. Our beautiful Florence Airbnb had so much charm and was only $70/night. And finally, traveling often means prioritizing it. Think about how much money you can save towards a trip if you cut on eating out, Starbucks runs, and online shopping just for two months' time. We structure our lives in a way that prioritizes traveling because we adore it - it stretches us creatively, recharges us and we just prefer experiences over things!
3 Day Itinerary of the Amalfi Coast:
Day 1: Arrive into Naples airport, travel to your chosen town on the Amalfi Coast. Get lunch at a spot with a water view - this is why you came!! Eat gelato! Walk around Positano, relax on the beach and get dinner here. Positano is so iconic and you'll love wandering the streets soaking in the beauty. After dinner, stop by a local farmer's market to pick up fresh goodies for breakfast and tomorrow's adventure.
Day 2: Rent a boat and take it out to Capri. Sail through the iconic rock stacks, find the perfect spot to jump off and swim, dock in town and get lunch (a Caprese salad and pizza is a good choice), and relax before heading back to your town for dinner. (Note: although many boat places do tours out of all the towns, the only town that actually rents boats to you individually is in Amalfi.
Day 3: Drive up to Ravello. Get lunch in the square, wander the streets and shops, visit Villa Cimbrone and stay for the afternoon cappuccino at the hotel's restaurant. Drive back down to your town and enjoy a sunset dinner again - by the water!_____
We're Lauren & Tim Fair, a husband and wife team, and we LOVE what we do. Our photography style is organic and natural, shot on film + digital and focused on genuine emotions and beautiful moments. Every couple's story is unique and special, and we are so honored to capture such an exciting time in your life! We spend our free time traveling, restoring our old farmhouse, playing music, serving at our church, photographing life, and spending time with family + friends.
To view more of Lauren & Tim’s work, visit them here.
As photographers, we’re always on the lookout for new tools that will make our workflow faster and easier (while making our images look their best), and when we found Mastin Labs’ film presets for Lightroom, specifically Fuji Pro, Ilford B&W and Kodak Portra, we knew we had hit gold!
We downloaded and installed all three, and watched the included Getting Started tutorials Edit Your First Image and Using Tone Profiles that hold your hand and walk you through the presets and how they work.
The presets are incredibly easy to use, and quick to apply. And, we love that they are designed to replicate the films that we have known and loved.