How did I ever go on this long without indulging in these delightful little things? It is nearly impossible to walk down a block in Florence and not spot a booming café with an assortment of cream and jam filled flaky pastries that pair perfectly with a frothy cappuccino.
This is the ideal breakfast for the local Italians—how they manage to still stay so skinny is question I’ve been pondering since I got here.
This past week I was let in on one of the many hidden treasures of Florence.
If you go to Florence and find yourself up into the wee hours of the morning, there are these “secret bakeries” sprinkled around the town that you can venture to if you have a keen sense of smell.
All you must do in order to find these secret bakeries is close your eyes and let the smell of fresh baked pastries permeating through the air lead you there. A short and stocky Italian man with a jolly smile and authentic baker’s hat will greet you as he is usually already hard at work making fresh pastries that will be consumed that day.
If the door is shut, you simply knock twice and wait for the man to open the door to his delicious haven of warm danishes, croissants and doughnuts.
After consuming tons of pastries and consequently perfecting my beach-ready physique, we ventured to the beautiful city of Sorrento and then to the Isle of Capri on the alluring Almalfi Coast.
The isle of Capri is situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Sorrentine Peninsula, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples. It is by far one of the most breathtaking places I have ever been to with its clear, perfectly blue waters and jagged, limestone rock that tower over the sea. In the nooks of rocks and crags you can gaze at the ancient ruins of the Imperial Roman villas or take a captivating boat tour through the Grotta Azura, or “Blue Grotto,” which offers a beautiful blue reflection when passing sunlight through its underwater caverns illuminates the cave.
After touring the beautiful island and taking a chair lift over the city, we dined at Villa Verde Ristorante, which had collages of all the famous celebrities that frequently go through—Mariah Carey, Jessica Simpson and Kevin Costner, just to name a few.
We finished our Italian coastal weekend with a trip to the ancient ruins of the Roman city, Pompeii, which is located in the Italian region of Campania. The catastrophic volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD has left this ancient city partially buried beneath a blanket of ash and dirt. The town is comprised of a small village of ruins from the original city as well as the mummified remains of some of the victims of the eruption.
Just when I think this trip couldn’t get any better, this upcoming weekend we are off to experience enchanting Gondola boat rides and the art of Venetian glass blowing in the one and only Venice.