Travel

I’m so blessed to get to travel for a living and be able to delve deep into the heart of each country, region, city and town that I visit. It’s inevitable that I come across some amazing places along the way that are just too good to keep a secret. Some are fancy, some are simple, some are just mom-and-pop shops, and all are worth visiting!

To help you make the most of your own travel plans, I’ve put together my picks for places to eat, sleep and spend the day in some of my favourite countries in the world, and shared them here in this section. Check back regularly for new discoveries!

Choose a Destination

WHEN IN ROME

Where to Stay

City Apartments — Want to live like a Roman on your vacation? For long- or short-term apartment rentals, City Apartments has a wide selection in many of Rome’s best and historical neighbourhoods. Their team will help provide you with the perfect flat on your next holiday in Rome.

Viale Opita Oppio 78, 00174
06 76983140
go2rome.com

Hotel Amalia — Located in the Prati area (Vatican City), this mid-range hotel offers good value and is steps away from many of Rome’s attractions.

Via Germanico, 66 Roma, Italia
06 39723 56
hotelamalia.com

Hotel dei Consoli

Via Varrone, 2/D Roma, Italia
06 68892972
hoteldeiconsoli.com

Hotel Scalinata di Spagna — Located at the top of the Spanish steps, this beautiful 16-room hotel is a stone’s throw away from Rome’s famous shopping district. Like its sister hotel, Hotel Amalia, it’s located in Prati and has very good value. The neighbourhood is less touristy than other areas, but within walking distance to everything.

Piazza Trinità dei Monti, 17 Roma, Italia
06 69940896
hotelscalinata.com

Kame Hall — This luxury four-room boutique hotel is perfectly situated near the Jewish ghetto and Campo dei Fiori. Consider this hotel your oasis from hectic Rome or long days of sightseeing and shopping.

Via Paganica Roma, Italia
06 68135568
kamehall.com

The Hotel Teatro Di Pompeo — Located in the Campo dei Fiori area, this small hotel offers very good value. It is literally built from the ruins of the ancient Roman Pompeo theatre, which dates back to the year 55 BC.

Largo del Pallaro, 8 Roma, Italia
06 6830 0170
hotelteatrodipompeo.it

Where to Eat

Da Vittorio — Da Vittorio in Trastevere is a place where you’ll find a bit of Naples in Rome. The pizza and pastas are excellent and very reasonably priced. The decor is very Italian in this small but popular spot, as it includes lots of Neapolitan memorabilia. Or, choose outdoor dining, but you might have a wait as it’s always busy.

Via di San Cosimato 14/a Roma, Italia
06 5800353

FiorFiore: Pizza a Taglio — This old bakery near the Spanish steps has now turned into one of the busiest places in the area, especially at lunchtime. If you’re looking for something on-the-go, they serve up some of the city’s best pizza a taglio. They also serve salads and drinks and have a few tables inside and out.

Via della Croce 17 Roma, Italia
06 6791386

L’Isola della Pizza — This trattoria offers so much more than it’s name implies. Although the pizza is excellent, the antipasti and pastas make it really worth the visit to this casual spot that’s mostly filled with locals. It’s located in the area of Prati near the Vatican and also has outdoor seating.

Via degli Scipioni, 45, 00192 Roma, Italy
06 3973 3483
isoladellapizza.com

La Montecarlo — Run by the daughter of the owner of legendary Pizzeria da Baffetto that is just around the corner on Via del Governo Vecchio, La Montecarlo can definitely hold its own. It’s known for it’s great pizza and homemade Roman desserts at inexpensive prices. Its fun and noisy atmosphere is a favourite with young locals and tourists alike.

Vicolo Savelli, 13, 00186 Roma, Italy
06 686 1877
lamontecarlo.it

Pizzeria da Baffetto — Pizzeria da Baffetto is a Roman institution. You will have to wait in line as the place is always packed, but its famous thin pizza and Roman atmosphere will make up for it. Highly recommended.

Via del Governo Vecchio 11
06 6861617
pizzeriabaffetto.it

Pizzeria Ivo — Located in the heart of Trastevere, this pizzeria is always busy serving up some of the best Roman-style pizza around. Don’t be discouraged if there is a long line: service is quick and they can have up to 15 pizzas in their wood-burning oven at once, and because the crust is so thin, it takes minutes to make. Their pastas are also very good. Highly recommended.

Via S. Francesco a Ripa, 158 Roma, Italia
06 5817082

Popi Popi — Enjoy the setting sun from an outdoor table at Pizzeria Popi-Popi. Inside, the place is big and the service is casual and fast. A favourite of Rome’s young crowd, it offers tasty traditional pizza and pasta at inexpensive prices.

Via delle Fratte di Trastevere 45 Roma, Italia
06 5895167

Remo — Located in the beautiful Piazza Farnese, this place offers good food and a romantic atmosphere. Having dinner on their terrace is highly recommended. For something more casual, Bar Camponeschi next door has a terrace bar that serves up light fare and drinks.

Piazza Farnese, 50/50a, 00186 Roma, Italy
06 68135104
ristorantecamponeschi.it

Ristorante Zio Ciro — Near Piazza Navona, Zio Ciro is a casual place where the waiters are from Napoli and like to have a lot of fun with the patrons and each other. The pizza and pasta are done “alla Napoletana” and are both excellent.

Via della Pace, 1, Rome, Italy
06 6864802

Trattoria Da Sergio — This is where most of the locals in the Campo dei Fiori area go for lunch. It’s casual and their pastas are all very good. They make an excellent bucatini alla matriciana, which is highly recommended.

Vicolo delle Grotte, 27, 00186 Roma, Italy
06 686 4293
WHEN IN CAPRI

Where to stay

Alla Bussola di Hermes — This 2 Star Hotel provides its guests with a comfortable stay in the centre of Anacapri. This hotel is family owned and it shows from the warmth and genuine hospitality each guest receives. There is internet access available; as well the kitchen facilities make it perfect for young families. There is also complementary shuttle service to La Bussola from Marina Grande and as well, the Grotta Azzurra bus stop is nearby.

Trav. La Vigna, 14 Anacapri, Italia
081 8382010
bussolahermes.com

Grand Hotel Quisisana — This 5-Star luxury hotel is situated on the exclusive Via Camerelle in the heart of Capri, just a few steps from the Piazzetta. The chic Quisisana is now a symbol of Capri, perhaps nearly as much as the Blue Grotto, and it’s been frequented by Hollywood Elite for decades. The Quisi Restaurant and the Colombaia Grill by the pool serve delicious meals. The QuisiBeauty facilities include a gym, massage, sauna, Turkish and whirlpool baths for good health. There is also a large open-air pool, a cozy indoor one, and two tennis courts.

Via Camerelle, 2 Capri, Italia
081 8370788
quisisana.com

Hotel Bellavista — Hotel Bellavista, is one of the oldest hotels on the island located in the centre of Anacapri. This 3-Star hotel offers bright large rooms with tall ceilings and majolica floors. The hotel is surrounded by a cultivated garden and it’s located on one of the most panoramic points on the isle with beautiful views of the Gulf of Naples and Pozzuoli, Ischia, Procida, and Vesuvio.

Via G.Orlandi, 10 Anacapri, Italia
081 8371463
bellavistacapri.com

Hotel Canasta — The 3-Star Canasta Hotel is located in a charming area of Capri, just a five-minute walk from the famous “Piazzetta” and just a few steps away from Via Camerelle, the fashionable shopping street. The romantic Faraglioni beach can also be reached in a twenty-minute walk. This small hotel, managed and owned by the D’Emilio family, has a personalized, friendly atmosphere and is open all year round.

Via Campo di Teste, 6 Capri, Italia
081 8370561
hotel-canasta.com

Hotel Capri — The 4-Star Hotel Capri is situated in the center of Capri near the famous La Piazzetta. It is one of the oldest hotels on the island and has just been recently renovated and decorated in neo-liberty style.

Via Roma, 71 Capri, Italia
081 8370003
htlcapri.net

JK Place Capri — Unlike other hotels in Capri, the 5-Star J.K. Place Capri is located right on the sea, allowing guests to arrive by boat and enjoy the soft sea breezes from the hotel terraces. All of the 22 generously sized rooms look onto the manicured garden or boast stunning views of the sea. Huge marble baths and showers with JK Place’s own luxurious products are also provided.

Via Prov. Marina Grande, 225 Capri, Italia
081 8384001
jkcapri.com

La Reginella — This 2-star hotel is situated in the hilly area of Capri with a splendid view over Marina Piccola and Monte Solaro. La Reginella  offers a simple and friendly atmosphere and is open all year.

Via Matermania, 36 Capri, Italia
081 8370500
hotellareginella.com

La Scalinatella — La Scalinatella is a 5-star luxury boutique hotel where guests can relax in a unique and intimate environment. The Morgano family, who own and run the hotel, have been able to create charming Italian-style ambience with the service and tradition of a grand hotel. Enjoy a traditional caprese meal in their restaurant or poolside with beautiful terrace views, as well as their impressive wine list.

Via Tragara, 8 Capri, Italia
081 8370633
scalinatella.com

La Tosca — The quaint and simple atmosphere and the warm hospitality of the owner Ettore are the main reasons this 1-star Hotel is so popular. It has been completely renovated and equipped with new comforts. From the wonderful terraces that overlook the ancient Monastery of S. Giacomo, you’ll have an impressive view of the Faraglioni rocks in a totally relaxing environment. The hotel is also only a few minutes walk to the main square.

Via D.Birago, 5 Capri, Italia
081 8370989
latoscahotel.com

La Vega — This small jewel of a hotel, located right opposite the beautiful Certosa di S. Giacomo monastery, has 24 double rooms, all spacious and tastefully furnished. Many rooms face the sea and all have terraces large enough to have breakfast, relax, or sunbathe in complete privacy. Every possible comfort has been provided at this 3-Star Hotel: direct dial telephone, air conditioning, mini-bar, satellite colour TV and jacuzzi.

Via Occhio Marino, 10 Capri, Italia
081 8370481
hotellavega.it

Villa Brunella — This small jewel nestled in the heart of a luxurious garden will charm you with its peaceful atmosphere. The genuine hospitality and friendly service offered by Vincenzo and his wife Signora Brunella, make any stay at this 4-star hotel special. From their terrace restaurant you can enjoy the pleasure of a traditional Caprese meal with a beautiful view overlooking Marina Piccola.

Via Tragara, 24 Capri, Italia
081 8370122
villabrunella.it

Villa San Felice — The Villa San Felice is situated just a few minutes from the famous Piazzetta, Capri’s main square. Immersed in a luscious flowering garden that surrounds it on all sides, this 3-Star Hotel boasts a magnificent entrance and a simple yet elegant atmosphere. In addition, the courteous and attentive staff create a sense of intimacy for a truly enjoyable stay, ensuring guests feel truly at home.

Via Li Campi, 13 Capri, Italia
081 8376122
hotelsanfelice.com

Where to Eat

Add ‘O’ Riccio — Few steps from the ‘Grotta Azzurra’, this family-run restaurant offers fresh seafood dishes. With a private downhill path to the seashore the guests can also enjoy a full day on the beach. Open for lunch from March to October and for dinner from June to September. Highly recommended.

Località Grotta Azzurra Capri, Italia
081 8371380

Buca di Baco — A small restaurant situated on the ruins of an ancient Greek wall in the heart of the old town centre of Capri. The menu offers traditional dishes that combine seafood specialties along with typical products from the region. A wood-burning oven also serves up excellent pizza.

Via Longano, 35 Capri, Italia
081 8370723

Capri’s — This is a recently renovated restaurant boasting a terrace with breathtaking views over the Gulf of Naples. The menu offers delicious fresh seafood dishes and a vast variety of pizzas. Highly recommended.

Via Roma, 38 Capri, Italia
081 837710
capris.it

Da Gemma — Opened during the second world war with just a couple of tables, this restaurant has grown to become one of the more popular eateries on the island. Photographs line the walls of the restaurant with celebrities from all over the world. The food is excellent in an environment that is relaxed, fun and authentic.

Via Madre Serafina, 6 Capri, Italia
081 8370461/83
dagemma.it

Da Gioia — Set in the Bay of Marina Piccola — the most picturesque of Capri’s beaches with its spectacular views of the Faraglioni rocks — the family-run Da Gioia restaurant offers customers a menu focusing on fish and seafood dishes. Equipped with sunny terraces and a private beach, it’s the perfect place to spend your days by the sea.

Via Mulo, 76, Capri, Italia
081 8377702
dagioiacapri.com

Da Giorgio — Since 1948, this renowned restaurant has been serving up Caprese-style dishes using simple and local ingredients. Among the specialties are pappardelle with prawns, seafood with artichokes, and mixed grilled seafood.

Via Roma, 34, Capri, Italia
081 8375777
dagiorgiocapri.com

Da Paolino — This restaurant is known mostly for its delicious seafood dishes, seasoned with local olive oil and garnished with creative flair by the kitchen team.

Via Palazzo a Mare, 11, Capri, Italia
081 8376102
paolinocapri.com

Fontelina — At the feet of the famous Faraglioni and open only for lunch from April to October, La Fontelina offers traditional dishes.

Località Faraglioni, Capri, Italia
081 8370845
fontelina-capri.com

L’Olivo — At this 2-Michelin Star restaurant, local traditional dishes have been reinterpreted in an innovative and modern way. A visit to the wine cellar is definitely recommended to admire the fine selection of regional, Italian, and foreign wines.

Via Capodimonte, 2/b Capri, Italia
081 9780111
capri-palace.com

La Canzone del Mare — Set in the enchanting bay of Marina Piccola, this restaurant serves up some of the finest local cuisine. Dine with breathtaking views of the stunning Faraglioni rocks. Open from Easter to October.

Via Marina Piccola, 93, Capri, Napoli, Italia
081 8370104
lacanzonedelmare.com

La Capannina — Close to the main piazzetta, this kitchen serves typical regional dishes such as aubergines stuffed with ricotta cheese, ravioli alla caprese, linguine pasta with redfish and stuffed small squid. It also has offerings of fresh fish that vary according to the day’s catch.

Via delle Botteghe 12bis/14 Capri, Italia
081 8370732
capannina-capri.com

La Savardina — Traditional homemade cooking served in a beautiful terrace setting, nestled among lemon trees and grapevines. Dishes are made with ingredients from the restaurant’s own vegetable and fruit gardens.

Via Lo Capo, 8, Capri, Italia
081 8376300

Le Grottelle — In the immediate vicinity of the natural arch, this rustic eatery that’s partly carved out of the rock serves up simple, authentic food. It’s one of the most charming locations on the island to enjoy a meal because of their beautiful terrace that has spectacular views of the Amalfi coast.

Via Arco Naturale, Capri, Italia
081 8375719

Mamma Giovanna — This traditional family-run restaurant, located in the centre of Anacapri, offers simple island food in a relaxed environment. The setting is beautiful whether you’re dining indoors or on their terrace.

Via Chiusarano, 6 Capri, Italia
081 8372057

Pizzeria Aumm Aumm — Located in the centre of Anacapri, this pizzaeria is open until the early hours of the morning. The menu features a careful selection of local specialties including delicious antipasti, pasta and desserts, and of course pizza made in a traditional wood-burning oven.

Via Caprile, 18, Capri, Italia
081 8373000
WHEN IN SICILY

Where to Stay

Domus Aurea — This beautiful 4-star hotel is known for its charm, elegance and wellness centre. The hotel has converted the rooms of an old rural residence and added luxury amenities along with Sicilian hospitality.

C.da Maddalusa S.S. 640 km 4, 150 | Valley of the Temple, 92100 Agrigento, Sicily, Italia
092 2511500
hoteldomusaurea.it

Foresteria Baglio della Luna — This 4-Star baglio is an extraordinary property featuring a courtyard,watchtower, wall fortifications and a terrace overlooking the breathtaking Valley of the Temples. A very thoughtful restoration has salvaged the ancient structures that date back to the 13th century. The hotel restaurant is excellent and considered one of the best in Agrigento.

Valle dei Templi, C.da Maddalusa Valle dei Templi (AG), Sicilia, Italia
092 2511061
bagliodellaluna.com

Grand Hotel delle Terme — A lovely hotel located in the beautiful seaport town of Sciacca. Known for their thermal baths and cures, beauty treatments, and physiotherapy.

Viale delle Terme, 1 Sciacca (AG), Sicilia, Italia
092 523133
grandhoteldelleterme.com

Hotel Grande Albergo Sole — In the heart of the Centro Storico and a few metres from Quattro Canti and the Town Hall, this is an ideal hotel for visiting old Palermo.

Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 291, Sicilia, Italia
091 6041111
angalahotels.it

Katane Palace — This modern hotel is centrally located between Il Centro Storico and the Trade Fair area. Il Cuciniere, the restaurant in the hotel, is also excellent to dine at.

Via Finocchiaro Aprile, 110 , Catania (CT), Sicilia, Italia
095 7470702
katanepalace.it

Massimo Plaza — Located in front of Teatro Massimo in the Centro Storico, this hotel boasts large, well looked-after rooms.

Via Maqueda, 437, Palermo (PA) Sicilia, Italia
091 325657
massimoplazahotel.com

Mercure Palermo Centro — A short distance from Teatro Massimo, Teatro Politeama and the Centro Storico. This hotel is well designed with up-to-date technology, including flat-screen TVs and rapid internet connection, plus high-quality furniture and decor.

Via Mariano Stabile, 112, Palermo (PA) Sicilia, Italia
091 324911
mercure.com

Where to Eat

Locanda Don Serafino — This elegant restaurant, located on the lower floors of a historic palace in Ragusa Ibla, offers an excellent tasting menu. It also offers well-supplied cellar and cigar list.  

Via Orfanotrofio, 39 Ragusa Ibla (RG) Sicilia, Italia
093 2248778
locandadonserafino.it

Where to stay in Ragusa

Eremo della Giubilliana — This interesting restored farmhouse and ex-hermitage is located just a few kilometers south of Ragusa towards Marina di Ragusa. All the rooms have been beautifully converted from the monks’ cells and have all the amenities; TV, air conditioning, private baths, and they’re beautifully furnished with Sicilian period furniture. There is also a swimming pool on the property.

Marina di Ragusa (RG) Sicilia, Italia
+39 0932 669119
eremodellagiubiliana.it

Giardino di Pietra — This B&B agritourismo with only 11 rooms is a splendid 18th century palace located in the centre of Ragusa Ibla. The rooms are large and comfortable with period furniture. Breakfast is served daily from products that are grown on their farm.

Giardino di Pietra
Via Chiasso Guerra, 13 Ragusa Ibla (RG) Sicilia, Italia
giardinodipietra.com
il barocco hotel

Il Barocco — This is a comfortable modern hotel in the centre of Ragusa Ibla with good prices. They also have a restaurant in the hotel that is very good.

Via Orfanotrofio, 29 Ragusa Ibla (RG) Sicilia, Italia
093 2663105
ilbarocco.it

L’Orangerie — An 18th century building in the heart of Modica. All rooms and apartments are furnished in the historical context of the building.

Vico de Naro, 5 Modica (RG) Sicilia, Italia
39 347 0674698
lorangerie.it

Palazzo degli Archi — A comfortable hotel with good prices located in the centre of Ragusa Ibla.

Corso Don Minzoni, 6 Ragusa Ibla (RG) Sicilia, Italia
39 0932 686750
palazzodegliarchihotel.it

Palazzo Failla — In Modica Alta, near the cathedral of San Giorgio and Castello dei Conti. Good restaurant.

Via Blandini, 5 Marina di Ragusa Sicilia, Italia
39 0932941059
palazzofailla.it

Villa Trombadore — A well-restored 18th century villa, furnished in period style. Located just a few steps from archaeological site and nature park of Cava d’Ispica.

Via Cava Ispica, 44 Modica (RG) Sicilia, Italia
WHEN IN FLORENCE

Where to Stay

Cosmopolitan Concept Hotel — This is a great business hotel. It’s conveniently located near the highway, the rooms are nice and big and well appointed with very modern decor. Each room comes with all the amenities.  When we were shooting Dolce Vita 5, our crew stayed here for a weekend before we left on our big eight-week-long adventure and it was the perfect place to get a restful start.

Via Baracca, 187 incrocio via Allori 50127 Firenze
+39 055 42 25 800
cosmopolitanhotel.it

Gallery Hotel Art — The Salvatore Ferragamo Fashion Group has launched an entirely new urban hotel experience. Created to reflect a mix of Asian and Florentine styles, this modern hotel features a popular fusion bar and restaurant. Make a point of visiting the rotating exhibitions in the Art Gallery that gives the hotel its name.

Vicolo dell'Oro 5 Firenze, Italia
055 27263
lungarnohotels.com

Il Guelfo Bianco — The Ferragamo Family has several chic hotels in Florence. Gallery Hotel Art in Florence will cost a pretty penny, but if you’re looking for something special, this is the place to go. Featuring a vast collection of modern art throughout the property and vintage Italian art-film projections in the main lobby, this boutique hotel will surely enhance your Florence experience.

Via Cavour, 57r Firenze, Italia
055 288330
ilguelfobianco.it

InOutFlorence — Town and country apartments for rent.

Via di Monteloro, 41 Sieci Firenze, Italia
055 8361204
inoutflorence.com

Lungarno — Located in the Oltrarno area, this hotel overlooks the Arno and is steps from the Ponte Vecchio.

Borbo San Jacopo, 14 Firenze, Italia
055 27261
lungarnohotels.com

Where to Eat

Bar Dolce Vita — Dolce Vita is more of a bar than a restaurant, but I’m mentioning it in this section because the food is so good. Located in the beautiful Piazza del Carmine, this place truly embodies the Dolce Vita with its outdoor patio and beautiful clientele. Popular for its aperitivo, the bar offers complimentary platters of pasta with the purchase of drinks.

Piazza del Carmine, 5, 50124 Firenze, Italy
055 284595
dolcevitaflorence.com

Borgo Antico — This restaurant seems like it’s been around forever, and for good reason. It’s located in one of the most beautiful piazzas and has a nice large terrace. Its casual menu has something for everyone: pizza, pasta, salads, and meats at reasonable prices.

Piazza Santo Spirito, 6r Firenze, Italia
055 210437
borgoanticofirenze.com

Cavolo Nero Bistrot — A more formal restaurant with excellent dishes, popular with the locals.

Via Guelfa 100 (near Fortezza da basso) Firenze, Italia
055 496433
cavolonerobistrot.it

Cibrèo — Located in the heart of the Sant’Ambrogio market, Cibrèo has become an institution in Florence. Flamboyant owner and chef Fabio Picchi provides his patrons with a wide variety of dining experiences: an upscale restaurant on one side, a casual trattoria (affectionately known by the locals as ‘Cibrèo povero’) on the other. And across the road, Cibrèo Caffè offers great coffee, snacks and a few light dishes. Fabio has now opened up his latest place across the road from the caffè, Teatro del Sale, which brings food and theatre together. There is a daily buffet served with live theatre performance.

Via dei Macci, 118r Firenze, Italia
055 2341100
edizioniteatrodelsalecibreofirenze.it

Danny Rock — Check out Danny Rock when you crave a great home-style burger in Florence, as they have the best ones in town. Also known for their crepes with Nutella, this Italian-style pub attracts mostly locals (believe it or not) and is most likely packed on the weekends.

Via Pandolfini, 13r Firenze, Italia
055 2340307
dannyrock.it

Fuori Porta — Located just outside the old wall of the city, this place is perfect for lunch on a warm sunny day. They have a large selection of wines and an even larger assortments of crostoni and salads if you’re feeling snacky.

Via del Monte alla Croci, 10r Firenze, Italia
055 2342483
fuoriporta.it

Garga — Popular with i Fiorentini for years, not only for the food, but also for the presence of flamboyant chef and owner Garga. The interior walls of the restaurant have been frescoed by Garga himself, and the menu is very interesting and eclectic.

Via San Zanobi, 33-R Firenze, Italia
055 475286
garga.it

Il Francescano — Located in one of my favourite piazzas in Florence, Santa Croce. This casual tratorria has a nice patio and simple, reasonably priced menu.

Largo Bargellini, 16 (piazza S.Croce) Firenze, Italia
055 241605
ilfrancescano.com

Il Pizzaiuolo — This place makes excellent Neapolitan-style pizza! It’s always packed but well worth the wait as they also offer other southern specialties like melanzane alla parmigiana.

Via De' Macci, 113r Firenze, Italia
055 241171
ilpizzaiuolo.it

Osteria De’ Benci — This place is a very typical trattoria. It’s loud, chaotic, open till the wee hours and the food is excellent. The service is not the greatest but you’ll hardly notice it when you’re starving for pasta at one o’clock in the morning. They have a great wine list and the menu has really interesting spins like alio e olio con Chianti, cleverly called Drunken Spaghetti.

Via dei Benci 13/r Firenze, Italia
055 234 4923
osteriadeibenci.it

Ristorante Acqua Al 2 — I’ve been going to this restaurant since the early ’90s, and it’s no wonder it’s one of my favourites. Giani and Stefano are the owners and they make everyone feel special. There may be huge a lineup but it’s worth the wait. Definitely order the pasta tris, which is a tasting of three types of pasta. Their beef tenderloin with a balsamic reduction is also a must.

Via Della Vigna Vecchia 40R 50122 Firenze, Italia
055 284170
acquaal2.it

Semolina L’Osteria — There’s always an air of familiarity the moment I step into this restaurant — it reminds me of the chaos in Napoli. Located near the Sant’Ambrogio fruit market, Semolina can be counted on for its fresh, quality dishes. Owned and managed by two brothers, Alfonso and Paulo, this place welcomes tourist and locals alike, making it one of the best eats in town. I recommend Paolo’s Sopprasatta di Polpo — thinly sliced octopus on a bed of rucola.

Piazza Ghiberti 87/r (zona Sant'Ambrogio) Firenze, Italia
055 2347584

Trattoria 4 Leoni — A popular place with i Fiorentini. The place has simple Tuscan dishes at reasonable prices and a great outdoor patio in a quiet piazza. Closed Wednesdays in the winter months.

Via dei Velluttini, 1r Firenze, Italia
055 218562
4leoni.com

Trattoria da Rocco — Mercato Sant’Ambrogio is very popular with the locals, mostly because it’s relatively tourist-free and the restaurants near the market are affordable. Inside the market, you’ll find a little communal cafeteria serving up delicious home-cooked Tuscan dishes. It’s a favourite with the students from the university across from the market. They serve lunch only and the menu changes daily. Wine is charged “da consumo” — how much you drink from the flask.

Mercato Sant'Ambrogio (inside) Firenze, Italia
339 2963055
trattoriadarocco.it

Yellow Bar Restaurant — Yellow Bar has great pizzas and excellent gnocchi. It’s a place we usually go to for a casual meal, especially late at night when most of the other restaurants have closed their kitchens.

Via del Proconsolo, 39r Firenze, Italia
055 211766
yellowbar.it

Treat Yourself

Bar Dolce Vita — Dolce Vita is more of a bar than a restaurant, but I’m mentioning it in this section because the food is so good. Located in the beautiful Piazza del Carmine, this place truly embodies the Dolce Vita with its outdoor patio and beautiful clientele. Popular for its aperitivo, the bar offers complimentary platters of pasta with the purchase of drinks.

Piazza del Carmine, 5, 50124 Firenze, Italy
055 284595
dolcevitaflorence.com

Bar Gelateria Vivoli — A favourite with a lot of the locals for having great ice cream. Located in the Santa Croce area off the beaten path.

Via Isole delle Stinche 7, Firenze, Italia
055 292334
vivoli.it

Cabiria Lounge Bar — The supreme merit of Cabiria, other than its particularly delicious brew of the ubiquitous sangria, is its location. Set on the Piazza Santo Spirito, its customers spill out into the square on summer evenings and marvel at the church that towers over its end. DJs play from 9pm onwards.

Piazza Santo Spirito 4/R - 50125, Firenze, Italia
055 215732
cafecabiria.com

Caffè Chiaroscuro — This interesting place in the historic city centre has recently been renovated. Its main attraction is the extraordinary variety of coffee blends on offer here, which come from all over the world as well as long leaf tea. This is a perfect place for an evening aperitif.

Via del Corso, 36/r Firenze, Italia
055 214247
chiaroscuro.it

Caffè Cibreo — This chic café is in Sant’ Ambrogio, one of Florence’s busiest neigbourhoods. It serves up excellent cappuccino and cornetti in the morning and light salads and sandwiches at lunch. This caffè is run by the owners of the famous Cibreo restaurant, which is located across the street.

Via Andrea Del Verrocchio, 5r
055 2345853
edizioniteatrodelsalecibreofirenze.it

Caffè delle Carrozze (Gelateria) — As Nina says, there is always room for gelato. My favourite and in my opinion, the best gelato in Florence is found at Caffè delle Carrozze. Located near Ponte Vecchio, it may appear to look like a gelato “tourist trap” but it’s definitely the real thing. I recommend mousse al cioccolatto or their yogurt gelato.

Piazza del Pesce n.3/4/5r (Ponte Vecchio) Firenze, Italia
055 2396810

Caffè Giacosa/ Roberto Cavalli — If Roberto Cavalli’s latest line of evening wear isn’t enough to have you drooling, then the luscious hot chocolate made by the adjoining café will. Sit in their big fluffy stools and rest your feet before heading out for more shopping on Via Tornabuoni.

Via della Spada 10 Firenze, Italia
055 2776328
caffegiacosa.it

Caffè Giubbe Rosse — The Caffè “Giubbe Rosse” ranks among the most famous literary meeting places both in Italy and abroad. The famous magazines “La Voce,” “Lacerba,” “Solaria,” and other more recent publications owe something to this Caffè where poets, artists and intellectuals meet and counter. In the morning, enjoy a cappuccino on the patio and watch as Piazza della Republica fills up with professionals, cyclists, tourists and the like.

Piazza della Republica 13/14r Firenze, Italia
055 212280
giubberosse.it

Caffè Italiano — This is one of my favorite places to drop in and have a coffee. The coffee is superb and the guys behind the bar are true Baristas. Caffè Italiano also has aperitivos hour and bartenders Ig and Stefan are always willing to talk passionately about the latest soccer match.

Via della Condotta, 56/r Firenze, Italia
055 289368
caffeitaliano.it

Cantinetta di Verrazano — This wine shop sells Castello Verrazzano’s famous Chianti and it’s a must for wine lovers when visiting Florence.

Via dei Tavolini,18/20r Firenze, Italia
055 268590
verrazzano.com

I Fratellini — This little hole in the wall is run by two brothers, Michele and Armando, and it has become a Florentine institution over the years. Have a glass of Chianti along with some of their homemade crostinis in the narrow laneway. You’re almost guaranteed to bump into someone you know.

Via dei Cimatori, 38r, Firenze, Italia
055 2396096
iduefratellini.it

L’Antico Trippaio (Roberto Marchetti) — Located in Piazza dei Cimatori, this is Florence’s answer to the hotdog stand. Roberto serves up porchetta and bollito paninis. Try one of these with his salsa verde sauce: it’s to die for!

Piazza dei Cimatori

Pasticceria Sieni — This place is always packed, so don’t be afraid to push your way through or you’ll never get your breakfast! Located near the Mercato San Lorenzo, this place has the best sfoglias when they’re hot out of the oven. Stop by for a cappuccino and experience the buzz of activities in this quaint café.

Via S. Antonino 54r, Firenze, Italia
055 213830
pasticceriasieni.it

Procacci — This classy truffle shop is located on the Rodeo Drive of Florence: Via Tornabuoni. It’s a Florentine institution that dates back to 1885. Try one of the panini tartufati and swish it down with a glass of Prosecco. It’s a real treat for those who would like to get a taste of the dolce vita.

Via Tornabuoni, 64r Firenze, Italia
055 211656
procacci1885.it

Rivoire — This Bar is perfectly situated in Piazza della Signoria, one of the most spectacular piazzas in Florence. Their coffee is excellent and they have a wide range of cornetti. Apertivo on the patio before dinner at Rivoire is a must as the piazza is stunningly lit in the evening.

Piazza della Signoria 4r, Firenze, Italia
055 214412
rivoire.it

Slowly Café — This slightly more upscale bar is visually stunning and you can always count on beautiful people coming and going. Be sure to get there for aperitivi, as they always have a fine selection of nibbles.

Via Porta Rossa, 63r, Firenze, Italia
055 2645354
slowlycafe.com

Tripperia Pollini Sergio — Tripe is not for everyone but for the Florentines it’s a staple street food. My favourite tripe stand is runned by Sergio, a friendly fellow who always gives me a free glass of red in a plastic cup.

Via dei Macci (in front of Cibreo)
WHEN IN NAPOLI

Where to Eat

Cicciotto — Downhill to Marechiaro is an enchanting panorama of the Gulf of Naples and the Trattoria Cicciotto, which serves up excellent seafood dishes and regional specialties. Highly recommended.

Calata Ponticello a Marechiaro, 32, Napoli, Italia
081 5751165
trattoriadacicciotto.it

La Sacrestia — Located on the street with one of the most panoramic views in the city, La Sacrestia offers some of the best traditional Neapolitan dishes in Naples. Homemade pasta and excellent seafood are house specialties.

Via Orazio, 116, Napoli, Italia
081 664186
lasacrestia.it

La Stanza del Gusto — Closed on Sundays and Mondays, this restaurant is famous for its creative cuisine based only on fresh local ingredients. The menu changes daily, which says a lot. Dishes such as octopus timballo with a potato cream sauce, or millefoglie di melanzane with smoked dried cod are a few of their signature dishes. Highly recommended.

Via Santa Maria di Costan­ti­nop­oli, 100, Napoli, Italia
081 401578
lastanzadelgusto.com
WHEN ON THE AMALFI COAST

Where to Stay

Agriturismo Villa Maria — It’s a bit of a climb up to Agriturismo Villa Maria, but the view is well worth it. Overlooking Minori, this farmhouse turned small hotel is a hidden gem, with rustic food and operational terrace-style lemon farming. Not to be confused with Professore’s Hotel Villa Maria in Ravello.

Via Pioppi Minori, Italia
089 877197
agriturismovillamaria.it

Buca di Bacco Hotel & Restaurant — Known as one of the best hotels in Positano. Perfectly situated on the beach near the town square, this hotel offers excellent service and has a one of the best restaurants in Positano serving up traditional dishes. It’s open for lunches and it’s casual enough if you’re spending a day at the beach and want a quick bite. Dinner is also casual and there’s a great terrace cocktail bar. Desserts are highly recommended!

Via Rampa Teglia, 4 Positano, Italia
089 875699
bucadibacco.it

Hotel Bacco — Located beside the Maris Cuomo winery.

Via Giambattista Lama, 16 San Michele Salerno, Italy
089 830360
baccofurore.it

Hotel Giordano — Owned and operated by the Palumbo family, this beautiful hotel offers its guests a warm and friendly atmosphere. A short walk from Villa Rufolo, the main square and Villa Cimbrone. It also has a pool and conference room, as well as guest parking.

Via SS. Trinità, 14, Ravello Salerno, Italy
089 857255
giordanohotel.it

Il San Pietro — Overlooking the bay of Positano, Il San Pietro is perhaps the most famous Five-Star Hotel along the Amalfi Coast, juxtaposing luxury with the rugged beauty and simplicity of the rocky coastline. It’s been described as heaven on earth with romantic views of the coast and of the ‘Faraglioni’ of Capri. Each of the 62 rooms has a private terrace and the hotel has a private beach, as well as well as a Michelin-rated restaurant with an incredibly beautiful terrace for dining.

Via Laurito, 2 Positano, Italia
089 875455
ilsanpietro.it

Villa Eva — This beautiful villa has some of the most enchanting views in Ravello and it’s the perfect place to hold your dream wedding. The staff is wonderful and can plan every aspect of your wedding from the catering, to photography to the flowers. They also have an outdoor bar and pizza oven in the gardens, that is open to the public when there are no functions on the grounds.

Ravello, Italia
089 857071
villa-eva.it

Villa Maria — This beautiful Villa turned hotel is perfectly situated between Villa Rufolo, the main square and Villa Cimbrone. Each room is unique and is tastefully decorated with period antiques. The staff is very warm and friendly and the service is fantastic. It also has one of the best restaurants in the town with the best terrace views. A romantic setting that you must visit if you’re anywhere along the coast.

Via Santa Chiara, 2, 84010 Ravello Salerno, Italy
089 857255
villamaria.it/restaurant-eng.aspx

Where to Eat

Marina Grande — The menu is mostly seafood, but the pasta and salads are also fantastic. Hang out on their lower deck for cocktails after dinner, where they sometimes have karaoke or a cover band. You can also opt to walk out to the sand and just lie down on a beach chair, order drinks, and hear the music and the ocean.

Viale della Regione, 4 84011 Amalfi (SA), Italy
089 871129
ristorantemarinagrande.com

A Paranza — Closed on Thursdays. Open daily from 15th June until 15th September. Located in the small pretty centre of Atrani, this tiny and cozy place offers only the freshest seafood made to local tradition.

Via Traversa Dragone, 1 Atrani (SA), Italia
081 8371380
ristoranteparanza.com

Acqua Pazza — Situated in one of the most typical fishing villages of the Campanian coast, this is the ideal place for people who love simple seafood done in the most traditional of ways.

Corso Garibaldi, 38 Cetara (SA)
089 261606
acquapazza.it

Andrea Pansa

Piazza Municipio 12, 84011 Amalfi (SA)
+39089873291
andreapansa.it

Antico Francischiello — A true trattoria typical of southern Italy, serving all the classic Mediterranean dishes. Frequented over the years by Italian and American actors, movie-directors and scriptwriters who have given the place nothing but rave reviews.

Via Partenope, 27 Massa Lubrense, Italia
081 5339780
francischiello.com

Buca di Bacco Hotel & Restaurant — Known as one of the best hotels in Positano. Perfectly situated on the beach near the town square, this hotel offers excellent service and has a one of the best restaurants in Positano serving up traditional dishes. It’s open for lunches and it’s casual enough if you’re spending a day at the beach and want a quick bite. Dinner is also casual and there’s a great terrace cocktail bar. Desserts are highly recommended!

Via Rampa Teglia, 4 Positano, Italia
089 875699
bucadibacco.it

Capo d’Orso — Located up on a rock, this place is famous for the beautiful view and the delicious homemade pasta dishes: ravioli with various fillings, scialatielli, laccetti and more. Other house specialties include fried fish courses and mixed grills.

Via D. Taiani-Maiori (SA), Italia
089 877022
ilfarodicapodorso.it

Caruso — This restaurant-museum, located in the historical centre of Sorrento, pays homage to the great tenor Enrico Caruso. It’s known for its refined menu and wine list.

Via S. Antonino, 12 Piazza Tasso, Sorrento, Italia
081 8073156
ristorantemuseocaruso.com

Cumpa’ Cosimo — This family-run restaurant is just a few steps from the cathedral square and offers a friendly, casual atmosphere in its two dining rooms.

Via Roma 44 Ravello, Italia
089 857156

Da Lorenzo — A family-run place with warm hospitality, Da Lorenzo is well known for its excellent seafood and traditional dishes.

Via Fra' G. Sasso, 4 Scala, Italia
089 858290
trattoriadalorenzo.com

Don Alfonso — Located between the Gulfs of Naples and Salerno, this family-run restaurant offers a menu based on traditional regional recipes using ingredients from the sea and land. Their rabbit roasted with herbs, garnished with their home-grown produce, is highly recommended.

Corso S. Agata, 11, Scala, Italia
081 8780026
donalfonso.com

Garden — Up on the cliff with a breathtaking panorama, this restaurant offers excellent regional cuisine in a friendly atmosphere.

Via Boccaccio, 4 Ravello, Italia
089 857226
gardenravello.com/en/restaurant/the_restaurant.asp

Il Cantuccio — This family-run trattoria is a good place to taste traditional Mediterranean recipes like homemade pasta and bread.

Via Marina del Cantone , Nerano, Italia
081 8081288
ristorantecantuccio.com

Il Pinguino — If you’re staying in the town of Ravello, Il Pinguino is worth the 15-minute walk over to the next town of Scala. It’s a casual family-run Pizzeria and restaurant that serves up excellent food. Highly recommended.

Via Frate Gerardo Sasso, 5 Scala, Italia
089 857304
pinguinobb.it

L’Arsenale — Close to the sea, beneath a high portico, sits this beautiful family-run seafood restaurant. Try the chef’s specialties: squid and potatoes, tiny moscardini and homemade scialatielli with sea urchins, crustaceans in a fresh tomato sauce are some of the favourites.

Via S. Giovanni a Mare, 4 Minori (SA), Italia
089 851418
ristorantelarsenale.it/homepage.htm

La Cambusa — Located down along the beach near Positano’s piazza, this restaurant is famous for its fresh seafood, a huge variety of which is proudly displayed on ice just inside the entrance. Baby squid and octopus with anchovies, insalata di polpo and their homemade mozzarella are highlights.

Piazza Vespucci, 4 Positano, Italia
089 875432
lacambusapositano.com

La Caravella — One of the most important and well-known restaurants in the area, La Caravella is located in the heart of the old town of Amalfi. Their elegant dishes are classic “mare e monte” based, which means fresh local ingredients from the land and sea make up their menu. In the ’60s this restaurant became a destination place as it was awarded a Michelin Guide Star.

Via Matteo Camera, 12, 84011 Amalfi (SA), Italia
089 871029
ristorantelacaravella.it

La Taverna Del Duca

Piazza dello Spirito Santo, 26 84011 Amalfi Salerno
089 872755
amalfilatavernadelduca.it‎

Lido Azzuro — This restaurant, located on the seaside of Amalfi, is the perfect place to taste and discover typical local recipes that are becoming harder to find in other restaurants along the coast. Lido Azzurro has enjoyed its success thanks to the generous hospitality of the family that owns it and its commitment to traditional dishes.

Lungomare dei Cavalieri 5 Amalfi (SA), Italia
089 871384
ristorantelidoazzurro.it/home.aspx

Maria Grazia — On a tiny pebble beach, this family-run trattoria serves simple, genuine and tasteful fish dishes. Open every day from March 10 to November 10.

Via Marina del Cantone, 65 80061 Massa Lubrense, Naples, Italy
081 8081674
ristorantemariagrazia.com

Max — Max can be found inside an art gallery at the centre of Positano. It features old eighteenth-century paintings and furniture that support its wonderful menu and beautifully prepared dishes. Its wine list boasts over six hundred different types of wine. Highly recommended.

Via dei Mulini, 22 Positano, Italia
089 875056
ristorantemax.it/ing/ristorante.htm

Osteria Da Luisella — This osteria offers typical dishes using local “mare e monte” or land and sea ingredients. Their pasta puttanesc” is excellent.

Piazza Umberto 1, Via Supportico Marinella, 84010 Atrani, Italy
089 871087

Quattro Passi — This is the ideal place for an unforgettable gastronomic experience. Delectable local ingredients make for a very creative menu. Also a large selection of local cheeses and more than 1200 wine labels to enjoy. I highly recommended it.

Loc. Nerano, 80061 Massa Lubrense, NA, Italy
081 8082800
ristorantequattropassi.com

Ristorante Santa Croce — For lunch, head to Santa Croce, which is a seafood restaurant you can only get to by water. Walk to the port of Amalfi and look for a boat that says “Santa Croce” on it; it will take you to the restaurant (You must have faith because there’s no official place it docks, but it will be there). The driver speaks broken English and the boat seats about 20 people — not many of them will be tourists.

84011 Amalfi
089 831089
ristorantesantacroce.it

Taverna del Capitano — Known for their fresh seafood dishes made with the daily catch of the local fishermen of Marina del Cantone. Their vegetable selection comes from their very own garden and all meats from local farmers, combining to make outstanding dishes.

Piazza delle Sirene 10/11 Marina del Cantone (NA) , Massa Lubresne, Italia
081 808 10 28
tavernadelcapitano.it

Villa Eva — This beautiful villa has some of the most enchanting views in Ravello and it’s the perfect place to hold your dream wedding. The staff is wonderful and can plan every aspect of your wedding from the catering, to photography to the flowers. They also have an outdoor bar and pizza oven in the gardens, that is open to the public when there are no functions on the grounds.

Ravello, Italia
089 857071
villa-eva.it

Villa Maria — This beautiful Villa turned hotel is perfectly situated between Villa Rufolo, the main square and Villa Cimbrone. Each room is unique and is tastefully decorated with period antiques. The staff is very warm and friendly and the service is fantastic. It also has one of the best restaurants in the town with the best terrace views. A romantic setting that you must visit if you’re anywhere along the coast.

Via Santa Chiara, 2, 84010 Ravello Salerno, Italy
089 857255
villamaria.it/restaurant-eng.aspx

Vittoria — The Vittoria restaurant and pizzeria stands in Ravello’s historic centre, just a stone’s throw from Piazza Duomo. It’s situated inside a wing of the old Rufolo Palace and looks out onto the Villa Rufolo. The family atmosphere is charming, and the kitchen serves up delicious dishes and pizza.

Via Dei Rufolo, 3 - Ravello Salerno, Italy
089 857947
ristorantepizzeriavittoria.it