I just got back from my trip to Italy with a girlfriend and I got a ton of questions from you guys on Instagram about where we stayed, ate etc. I know a lot of you are planning on doing some traveling this year, so I’m sharing all the deets about my trip and answering all your questions. I definitely have the travel itch right now, so hopefully this helps if you’re planning on going to Italy.
Where in Italy did you go?
We went to Puglia, Rome and Florence for two weeks.
How crowded was Italy?
Some places in Rome had a lot of tourists, but I feel like we went at the perfect time in May. It wasn’t the middle of tourist season which is typically in the summer, so we had great weather minus all the crowds. I would love to go back in the fall as well so if you’re hoping to avoid the crowds, I wouldn’t go during the peak summer season.
How was it traveling with Covid?
As far as masks go, we had to wear them on trains and international flights. They also required N95 masks so make sure you pack accordingly. I almost missed a flight because I didn’t have an N95 mask. Luckily, some strange hero man offered me an extra one so I could make my flight! Some cities like Rome were a little more strict about wearing masks than others. For instance, most of the museums and the Vatican required masks, but other than that, Florence and Puglia were pretty relaxed.
Did you get jetlag?
So Puglia was our first stop and I’m so glad because it allowed us time to chill and acclimate before going to the bigger cities. Believe it or not, I didn’t get jetlag at all this trip! I also came prepared with Benadryl after last year’s Greece ordeal, but I didn’t needn’t need it once. I think the difference this time was the fact that I got a good night’s sleep the first day we got in. I also wouldn’t allow myself to think of the time difference. Sometimes it’s all mental which just gives you unnecessary anxiety.
What did you do in Puglia?
We spent four days in Puglia and went to a couple different towns. We visited Ostuni, also known as The White City, which was very pretty. It reminded my of Greece – it was a little more quiet but the beach was gorgeous and I’ve heard they have some great restaurants. We also went to Locorotondo for lunch. The town was tiny, but charming and beautiful. We absolutely loved Monopoli – we kind of wish we had stayed there a couple days. Polignano a Mare was another one of our favorites – the views were insane! We ate at the Grotta Palazzese which is a famous restaurant inside a cave overlooking the water – very bougie menu btw. However, I will say Polignano was a lot more crowded than the other towns. If you’re going to Puglia, you need to go to Ristorante da Silvè for dinner – it was definitely a highlight of our trip.
What did you do in Rome?
One of the best things we did in Rome was go on a Vespa tour. It was so fun and I’m so glad we did it! I highly recommend it because it’s the best way to see the city, plus our drivers were incredible. We went to the Vatican as well which is a must! One of my favorite restaurants was called Ristorante Santa Cristina al Quirinale. Overall though, Rome was amazing and I absolutely can’t wait to go back!
What did you do in Florence?
I had very high expectations of Florence, but I wouldn’t say it was my favorite. I loved the walkability of it. The shopping was amazing which I definitely took advantage of. However, it was so crowded and filled with tourists. After about two days, I felt that I had seen everything and I just found Rome to be more appealing as far as the art, culture and history goes.
We stayed at the Hotel Savoy which is right in the middle of everything. It’s also right across from my favorite store, Luisaviaroma which was absolute heaven! I could have just hung out there everyday. They have a café and a rooftop. They play the best music and have the best selection of clothes! If you’re going to Florence, I also highly recommend going to Aquaflor to design your own custom scent. It’s a bit overwhelming because you’re in there for hours, but it’s a one of a kind experience. There are also a ton of museums and galleries like the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery which are all walkable.
As far as the night scene goes, if you’re looking for a place with a great vibe, food and drinks, then check out Locale Firenze. Flo and Villa Victoria and are two other places that seemed to have a good scene, but they really don’t get going until about midnight. My absolute favorite meal was at Osteria Antica – hands down the best seafood pasta I’ve ever had!
How to do stay tan while traveling?
I don’t know if I’m the best person to ask about this because after two weeks my tan was hanging on for dear life, but I have a pretty good system down. I’ll get a spray tan the day before a trip and I’m very diligent about moisturizing, especially after flying. I try to use oil free moisturizers because anything with oil will strip away the tan – something like Cetaphil or CeraVe will work. I also always bring Lux Unfiltered body cream and self-tanner with me. So, when the spray tan starts coming off, I’ll use equal parts tanner and moisturizer to help keep a light tan going so you don’t get streaky or patchy. This will work for about a week, so if you’re wanting your tan to last longer than that, then I recommend removing it and starting over at week two. I’ll use Bondi Sands tan eraser and an exfoliating mitt to get the tan off. Then you can get a fresh tan for the remainder of your trip.
What did you pack?
I shared a few things that I packed in this post, but I also linked most of my outfits on my LTK. For the most part, I packed dresses since I knew it would be hot. I also packed a few pairs of jeans which I did not wear. I wore jeans one day and was absolutely miserable. I brought a few pairs of light trousers, some shorts and a couple tops. I brought way too many pairs of shoes – I ended up wearing the same pair of sandals (similar here) the entire time because they went with everything. I wore my Air Forces once and only brought one pair of chunky heels for nighttime. Do not bring stilettos because the cobblestone streets and hills make wearing heels pretty treacherous. As far as toiletries go, I’d recommend SPF and light makeup, otherwise you’ll be miserable. I packed makeup wipes and my Elemis Cleansing Balm to remove makeup.