Showing posts from March, 2018

Pepe In Grani

Where does one go to get the best pizza in Italy (and hence the world)? We were headed down to Naples, the birthplace of pizza... so... why wouldn't it be there right? Well, it turns out, it wasn't in Naples after all (though I'm sure their pizza is delicious too). My research turned up a place called Pepe In Grani, a restaurant far from the hustle and bustle, located in the small hometown of the chef, Caiazzo. For us, and for parking our monstrosity (not really), we were all too happy to make the detour out to a small town for Pepe's.

Research also put in our minds that we'd have to deal with lonnnngg line up as we hadn't made advanced reservations or the restaurant, but we figured, might as well try it.. who knows right? It was Sunday afternoon and we were driving from Rome. 
We finally made it Caiazzo around 1pm.. found free parking (free between 1-4pm... perfect!), and walked into town to the restaurant. We didn't know what to expect, but the restaurant…

All Roads Lead to Rome

Our goal was to get to Rome relatively quickly, so we made a quick pitstop through Pisa, which Phil wasn't entirely impressed with ("It's just a tower, that's leaning." His words). The fact that it snowed the next morning meant we were ready to make this a really quick stop.

Next stop, Rome! This is a city that I've been to before, but for Phil, it was his first time. As Phil's a bit of a history buff, I knew this was a city he'd enjoy. Happily, we also found a great Park4Nite spot near the Borghese Museum Park that was free and quiet. We ended up staying a total of 3 nights and 2 days in this amazing city.

 Our first day we spent wandering the city. We stopped at the Spanish steps (Phil didn't get what all the fuss was about), Trevi Fountain (way too crowded), the Piazza Venezia (Phil just wanted to know where Mussolini stood to give his speeches), and finally passed through the outer forum to reach the Colosseum.

We were a bit worried not having…

One more to tick off from the bucket list: Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre was another one of my bucket list to do’s. It’s a well known hike in Italy that links 5 extremely picturesque towns together along the northern coast. Tiny towns of colorful buildings perched on the edge of cliffsides and rugged coastline, these images have surely been featured in every travel magazine multiple times.

We did a bit of research before heading in and decided that parking would make most sense for us in La Spezia, a mid sized town just south of the southernmost town, Riomaggiore. We found a nice lot that happened to be free in the off season (yay for off-season!) and left the van there while we went on our mini-vacation from our vacation.
Research told us that some of the trails along this famed hike were now closed due to landslides that happened a few years ago. Many posters had commented that the lower coastal trails didn’t seem to be undergoing any reconstruction (sadly) any time soon, so we made the decision to purchase the hiking pass the also included…

Seeking the Sun: Spain and Portugal

We ended up spending around a week and a half in Spain and Portugal. While we had only planned to meet up with our friends just past the border of France in San Sebastian, we ended up spending almost the entire week with them throughout Spain and Portugal! It was a nice change to have someone else’s face other than Phil’s to look at. ;) Our plan to check out San Sebastian pretty much fell through the cracks.. the forecast for rain meant we left pretty immediately for where the sun was, in this case, Madrid. 
Madrid turned out to be a great place to visit. We also scored a sweet parking spot right in downtown via the app Park4Night (really.. we couldn’t do without this app!). 

We went on our first walking tour in Madrid, and the excellent experience led us to do walking Tours all over Spain/Portugal (Madrid, Toledo, Lisbon, Seville, Grenada and Barcelona). The guy in Madrid was really excellent, and we came away with some pretty interesting stories and a lot more Spanish history than wha…