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Italy

Lifestyle

My must-visit spots in Italy

5th September, 2022

Sightseeing in Rome with Sophia

Italy has always had a special place in my heart as we’ve been going there for family holidays since I was young. Given we haven’t been able to travel for so many years, making the trip there this year with my own family was wonderful. It’s also as magical as I remember it to be. I’ve always loved hearing people’s travel recommendations whether it’s places to stay or restaurants to check out. If you’re planning to head to Italy, these are a few places that got my tick of approval — hope they come in handy!

Taormina

This hilltop town in Sicily has been a beloved destination for my family and I for years. Luke and I even got married there so it’s definitely a place filled with so many great memories. It’s wonderful to now be able to bring my own family there and to see how much the girls love it. Here are a few of my faves.

Places to stay

We like to stay at the Mazzarò Sea Palace which is right on the beach and has a pool so it’s super easy, especially with kids in tow. It’s also right next to the cable car to get into town so it’s an ultra convenient spot. A few other spots that would be great to stay include the Four Seasons San Domenico, Grand Hotel Timeo and Villa Sant’Andrea. For a more budget-friendly option, the Hotel Gallodoro is great and is in a good location.

Places to eat

For coffee and granitas in the morning, definitely hit up Bam Bar. If you’re looking for places to eat that are by the beach I would recommend Il Barcaiolo (great view and seafood aplenty); Il Delfino (so much good seafood); Da Giovanni (beautiful hearty meals and also a great view of the water); Sant’Andrea (expect tasty fresh produce and seasonal dishes).

There are also spots in town that will satisfy any foodie. Try Four Seasons San Domenico (stunning hotel with a number of different restaurants that range from fine dining to casual bar fare); Granduca (for the pizza fans!); Raya Restaurant (great pasta and a picturesque setting); L’arco dei cappuccini (great pasta and seafood); Grand Hotel Timeo (this was my wedding reception venue! There are a range of options from bar food to an intimate dining experience with just 16 people).

If you’re in the mood for drinks or a fancy dinner option, my hit list would be Grand Hotel Timeo, Four Seasons San Domenico or Sant’Andrea. If you’re in the mood for dancing, then go to Morgana Bar.

Sightseeing/Activities

A lot of the time we had to make sure activities were child-friendly but luckily Taormina is a great spot for families, couples, seasoned travellers, you name it. I would highly recommend doing a walk around the public gardens which is so picturesque. If you want to work up a sweat do the Mount Etna day trip and walk the volcano. The kids really loved doing a boat tour of the grottos, and also enjoyed doing a cannoli cooking class at Roberto’s.

The famed Roberto’s where the girls did a cannoli cooking class

With Mum and the girls in Taormina

Rome

A bustling cultural wonderland, we were so excited to visit Rome with the girls. There are a number of iconic landmarks to see of course but it’s also a great spot to just stroll around and take in the city.

Places to stay

We stayed at the Villa Agrippina Gran Melia which is near Vatican City. It’s a great spot if you are travelling with kids as you can escape the heat in the middle of the day by hanging out at the pool. 

Places to eat

For an upmarket dining experience we loved Al Moro, which is near the Trevi Fountain. The menu is full of traditional Roman dishes and was absolutely delicious. Traverna Trilussa is all about rustic Italian dishes and is famed for its pasta. Ristorante Nino, which is right near the Spanish Steps, specialises in Tuscan meets traditional Roman cuisine and is more than 80 years old.

Enjoying a tour of the Coloseum

Aeolian Islands 

The Aeolian Islands are north of Sicily and considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. The sites are stunning and well worth a visit if you’re in Sicily (or elsewhere in Italy for that matter).

Isola di Salina

Places to stay

The Aeolian Islands is comprised of seven islands, one of which is Isola di Salina which is one of the islands we stayed on. Our hotel was called Capofaro and is a boutique hotel which only comprises 27 rooms. It was quite intimate which was a nice change of pace.

Places to eat:

You’re really spoilt for choice as far as restaurants in Salina are concerned. Try Porto Bello (close to the central port of the island, dreamy seafood dishes); La Pinnata del Monsu (lovely ambience and great local cuisine); La Locanda del Postino (serves great traditional Aeolian and Sicilian dishes); Ristorante Capofaro (views are unbeatable).

Activities

I’d highly suggest doing a boat tour around the island as the scenery is gorgeous. It’s also possible to visit other islands for day trips.

Panera Island

Places to stay

We stayed at Hotel Raya, which has a bit of a quirky vibe compared to the other places we stayed at giving it a little extra personality, plus the views are unbeatable.

Places to eat

If you love seafood, Cusiritati is a lovely restaurant to check out. Delicious local fare and the location and service was great.

Island life with the girls

If you’ve visited Italy, what are some of your must-visit spots?

Fashion, Lifestyle

Travel Photo Diary: Taormina

24th August, 2015
Mazzarò beach.

Mazzarò beach.

Chilling with my girl.

Chilling with my girl.

Bam Bar - best granita's in town!

Bam Bar – best granitas in town!

Beach days.

Beach days.

Mazzarò beach.

Beachside at Mazzarò beach.

Cruising in culottes.

Cruising in culottes.

Taking Sophia to the church where we were married.

Paying a visit to San Giuseppe Church where Luke and I were married.

Taking Sophia to the church where we were married.

Taking Sophia to the church where we were married.

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Exploring with Sophia.

Cooling down at a water fountain in the public gardens.

Cooling down at a water fountain in the public gardens.

Family time.

Family time by the pool.

Feeding the fish in Taormina's public gardens.

Feeding the fish in Taormina’s public gardens.

Sunset drinks at The Grand Hotel Timeo.

Sunset drinks at The Grand Hotel Timeo.

After recently spending some time in Sweden for a wedding, we decided to take a side trip to one of my favourite places in the world – Taormina in Italy. It’s actually the first time I’ve been back since Luke and I were married there and this time around we had a special guest in tow, Sophia. It was nice to have some quality family time and enjoy the summer sun. It was particularly special having Sophia there with us as we took her to the church where we were married and the gardens where we had our wedding photos taken. I’ve been spending time in Taormina with my family since I was very little, so it was nice to be able to enjoy it with my own family this time around.

See my favourite things to do and see in Taormina HERE.

Lifestyle

Visiting Taormina? Here’s the must-see list I give to my friends

25th March, 2015

Taormina

Taormina in Italy is without a doubt one of my favourite places in the world. Not only did I used to go there a lot when I was little, it’s also the place where Luke and I got married. I always get asked by my friends what they should see and do when they visit there and I always share the same list with them. If you’re planning a little trip away to enjoy the European summer this year definitely consider adding Taormina to your list – I promise you’ll love it. Here’s the must-see list…

Things to do: 

  • Visit Mazzaro beach and/or Isola Bella Beach.
  • Go to Bam Bar for a granita (an ice drink the Italians eat for breakfast). This is where all the locals go. It’s delicious!
  • Do a boat tour to see the grottos. You can get a boat at Mazzaro beach.
  • Visit the Greek Theatre in town (see if there is a performance you can see at night).
  • Visit the Taormina Public Gardens (Giardino Pubblico). It has stunning views over the bay to Giardini Naxos and Etna.
  • Visit Castelmola, a small town above Taormina. It has incredible views (and visit Bar Turrisi – it’s hilarious!).
  • If you have a few days, do a tour to Mt Etna. (It takes a day and it’s REALLY cold up top so take a jumper!)
  • You can also do the Godfather tour.

Places to eat:

  • Il Delfino Restaurant- it’s on Mazzaro Beach so it’s great for lunch off the beach. Really nice fresh fish!
  • Maffei’s Restaurant. Best food with a lovely courtyard setting.
  • Hotel Timeo (this is where we had our wedding reception) go there for sunset drinks and/or dinner. Delicious food and a stunning setting.
  • Ristorante L’Arco Dei Cappuccini- great food!
  • Ristorante Baronessa- rooftop dining so it has a beautiful view.
  • Granduca Restaurant- great pizza.

Places to drink: 

  • Metropole Hotel- great for sunset drinks.
  • Grand Hotel Timeo – stunning setting for sunset drinks (and try their peach bellini’s!)
  • Morgana Bar- garden bar for after dinner drinks…. and dancing!
Lifestyle

Amalfi Coast Photo Diary

20th August, 2013
Taking a dip at La Fontelina, Capri.

Taking a dip at La Fontelina, Capri.

Beautiful Positano.

Beautiful Positano.

Luke at La Conca del Sogno.

Luke at La Conca del Sogno.

La Conca del Sogno.

La Conca del Sogno.

Lunch at Ristorante Conca Del Sogno.

Lunch at Ristorante Conca Del Sogno.

La Conca del Sogno.

La Conca del Sogno.

Fresh watermelon at La Fontelina, Capri.

Fresh watermelon at La Fontelina, Capri.

Beautiful Capri.

Beautiful Capri.

Bougainvillea in Capri.

Bougainvillea in Capri.

La Fontelina, Capri.

La Fontelina, Capri.

Capri.

Capri.

Street signs in Capri.

Street signs in Capri.

Marzipan fruit.

Marzipan fruit.

The view of Positano from Le Sirenuse, Champagne & Oyster Bar.

The view of Positano from Le Sirenuse, Champagne & Oyster Bar.

At Le Sirenuse, Positano.

At Le Sirenuse, Positano.

The view from Il San Pietro Hotel, Positano.

The view from Il San Pietro Hotel, Positano.

My favourite place on earth is Italy and the Amalfi Coast is such a special place, filled with beautiful sights, delicious food and wonderful things to do. We recently stayed in Positano and did day trips around the other stunning parts of the Amalfi Coast. Here are some of my favourite spots, restaurants and things to do…

Da Adolfo, Positano – The Da Adolfo boat leaves Positano port every 30 minutes. It’s a gorgeous restaurant on a cute little beach, perfect for a lazy afternoon so pack a beach bag and stay for the day!

La Conca del Sogno, Restaurant and beach club- Located between Positano and Capri. Take a 30-minute boat ride and make it a day trip. Once again, it’s perfect for a long lunch while dipping into the ocean in-between courses.

La Fontelina, Capri – Capri is a must-see in itself. It’s a stunning town with beautiful views, loads of shopping, great restaurants and cafes. But if you are looking to escape the hassle and bustle then head down to La Fontelina, it’s a gorgeous little beach club with a delicious restaurant.

Le Sirenuse champagne and oyster bar – Enjoy oysters and Bellini’s while taking in the breathtaking views of Positano.

Zass, San Pietro Hotel, Positano – Located on the cliffs, it’s a five star restaurant and hotel bar and is another stunning location to enjoy dinner while taking in the stunning sights.

Music on the Rocks – Positano’s only nightclub and it’s a must!