Amanda is 26 weeks pregnant with our little Mars and we’re off to Italy to celebrate, relax, and enjoy our peaceful time together while we have it. There isn’t a better place to do that than Italy! The baby weight gained on this trip was the most enjoyed pounds put on due to the delizioso pizza and pasta!
There are a few key differences traveling with a pregnant Amanda compared to earlier adventures: 1) she wants to sleep a lot more including being happy to join me in my constant quest for daily naps! 2) we walk slower and take more breaks which is a good reminder to take in the beauty and not rush from place to place.
Trastevere, Castelgandalfo, and Polambara Sabina
First stop Rome! We stayed in a lively, trendy, local-heavy neighborhood just on the west side of the Tiber River from all the tourist attractions in Rome. This cute little neighborhood was by far our favorite part of Rome. We enjoyed wandering around the winding cobblestone streets finding seemingly hidden cafes, pizzerias, and gelaterias. It was fun and interesting eating meals and walking through streets side-by-side with the local Romans.
I worked in the evenings in Rome to be online from early morning to just after lunch back home. I decided this would be lower stress for me than taking a full two weeks off as I feel like I have a lot to do before the baby comes to be prepared to take a low-stress paternity leave. It was fun to adventure during the day and then come back and work in the evenings in some ways taking a break to go get dinner. It felt like we were living in Europe! We could definitely do this one day with me working an odd but totally doable schedule.
Praiano, Praia, Nocelle, and Positano
The Amalfi coast is one of our favorite places. We came here together our first time traveling together. I met Amanda at the airport in Rome 6 years ago when we just graduated from Cal Poly and embarked on the several hour journey on trains and busses to the Amalfi coast. That trip was special and was really a turning point in our relationship.
This time it has been just as enjoyable!
In the Amalfi Coast we have really unplugged and relaxed for a week. We spent days laying on the beach, wandering around the cute towns, kayaking, swimming and cooking fresh Italian food. We also did a lot of yoga in the mornings – a perfect way to start the day together.
We spent time discussing how to be the best parents we can be and establishing and writing down family values to help steer our decision making around our family. I think we’re going to get these written down and hung on the wall in our home so you won’t have to guess what they are for too long!
We decided the Amalfi Coast is our second favorite vacation spot besides Thailand! We also found maybe our second favorite AirBNB ever in the spot we stayed in Praiano called Casa Dionisia. It had a cozy bedroom, easy-to-use kitchen, breathtaking private patio, and fun outdoor shower. Plus, our hostess Melinda brought us fresh fruit and eggs from her garden that were all delicious!
We spent three days in Praiano and loved how quiet it is sitting between the increasingly touristy Amalfi and Positano. Positano has about 4000 locals and grows to 50,000 in the peak summer months!
After Praiano, we ventured to small town of Noccelle that sits in the very quiet hills above Positano. It was a fun location! You can only get to town by walking. To get up to our place you take a very local bus from Positano to the last stop and then walk about 5 minutes down a bunch of stairs. To get into Positano and the beaches it is an absurd probably 1000 stairs down to the coastline. It takes about 40 minutes and Amanda braves through all the steps with a smile even carrying little Mars along the way! (we could take the bus down if we wanted but that’s no fun)
Positano is a very cute little town. It is certainly picturesque. It is also full of tourists and is expensive. We found our favorite little areas that are more off-the-beaten-path. The farther, smaller Fernillo Beach is awesome. Better than the more popular main beach in every way: prettier, calmer, cheaper, more rocks to climb on and jump off, caves to explore, less boats, etc.
From Fernillo beach we kayaked out around the corner to the west exploring caves, a castle on the cliffside and lots of very pretty rock formations. It was a fun adventure!
Our AirBNB in Noccelle may be haunted and has very uncomfortable beds, rocks for pillows, and a fan in the bathroom that howls like a pack of wolves for minutes even after you’ve turned it off. We wouldn’t recommend it. Makes for a story though! However, it’s nice to wake up with the sound and smell of nature and an amazing view.
What a great trip! You can see a bunch more of the photos from our trip to Italy on our new SmugMug account here.