That One Time We Went to Italy
One of the reasons why we named our blog NOT UR AVG is because our daily experiences are never “average” per say. We always manage to get ourselves in the most ridiculous situations and have such incredible experiences that we love to share with the world. Our trip to Italy exemplifies one instance behind NOT UR AVG and here’s why:
S&J were halfway done with their study abroad semester in the summer of 2015, when they finally had a week break from classes. When you have nothing to do in Europe for a whole week what better place to go to than Italy?! We wanted to make the most out of our days so we signed up for a student Bus2Alps trip.
We highly recommend Bus2Alps to anyone between the ages of 18-25 (especially college students) in Europe.
Pick a city, sign up, and see all of the major sites with no planning.
Meet tons of students your age and make friends from across the world!
We decided to do the Amalfi Coast Trip and it was a blast! This was by far one of the most beautiful places we have ever been to in our young lives. We stayed in a nice hostel in Sorrento and took boats with the group each time we went on a different adventure.
One day, we went to Capri and spent the day exploring. We took a ski lift to Anacapri to enjoy the breathtaking view that you see below.
NOT UR AVG Story #1
At the end of the day trip to Capri, we had to make our way down the mountain to catch the ferry back to our hostel. A man driving what looked like a square automobile with 2 love seats in the back drove right up to us and offered us a quick ride to the bottom of the mountain. After walking all day this was a must! What we expected to be a normal car ride was actually a scene in Fast and Furious: *Italian Edition*. It was so much fun because he blasted music and there was no roof to his car; it was a ride of a lifetime!
That same day, we proceeded to do some “light shopping” and went to an Italian shoe store where they make custom leather sandals. First, you pick out the sole, the style, and the color leather you prefer. Then, you take a seat, they take your feet measurements, maybe chit chat with the cute Italian old men making the shoes, and patiently wait for the shoe magic to happen!
NOT UR AVG story #2
S&J are what we like to call “Walking Billboards”. People aren’t used to seeing such tall women (specifically two of them) especially in Western Europe, so it’s basically an open invitation to stare and comment. We became BFFs with the man making our shoes and he was so taken back by our heights, that he went to the back room to grab a measuring stick and measure the two of us… It was all good, though, because we got some free limoncello and spicy chocolate out of it!
Another day of the trip was dedicated to the stunning cliffside village of Positano. Bus2Alps was very laid back and allowed everyone to roam around and do their own thing as long as we got to the boat on time to return to the hostel. It was a peaceful day full of paninis, tanning, and nice (but not so subtle) Italian men.
The last day of the Bus2Alps trip we visited Pompeii, an ancient Roman town that is partially buried by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. It was amazing to add some culture to the trip and learn some history on our tour! From Pompeii we took the bus to Rome, where a group of us stayed for a few days to explore the city.
NOTURAVG Story #3
Now let us tell you about Rome… If we’re being honest, we could’ve done a little better in this city because we really didn’t love it as much as people said that we were going to. First off, we stayed at the Hostel Alessandro. If there is anything you’ll gain out of this post, it is to NOT TO STAY AT THAT HOSTEL. Don’t get us wrong, the staff was incredible and the roof top bar is cool, but the actual accommodation is unsanitary and not welcoming. The location of the hostel isn’t that great but it’s by the train station, which is the only plus.
“If the locals wait in line, then you know it’s worth it.” That’s our motto when traveling to places we’re not familiar with. For dinner we ate at an incredible pizza place (and that says a lot in Italy!) called Dar Poeta, and it was definitely one of the top 3 pizzas we’ve had in our lifetimes. The wait was half an hour, but 100% worth it.
If you’re lucky enough to visit Rome during the summer months, then you should definitely walk along the Tiber River at night. They have an annual festival called Lungo Il Tevere, where they set up a bunch of white tents with bars, shops, restaurants, and live music!
The rest of our trip in Rome was a blast because we ended up befriending two guys from Holland and two girls from the U.S! (Un)fortunately, we were all staying in that same hostel but we made the best out of it! A few people in Rome had told a lot of us about a restaurant called Tony’s and that we must go. They told us that you get an unlimited amount of food and alcohol if you say that you have a student discount or something like that. Before dinner, we all headed up to the hostel’s rooftop for some drinks.
Traveler’s Tip: Most hostels have a bar, and they usually serve drinks that are cheaper than those served at regular bars.
We ended up befriending a guy from Australia and and another from London who we had invited to dinner as well. It ended up being a 12-person Roman dinner, which needless to say was a night to remember! After we all had a drink, we headed to Tony’s. We had to split up into 3 cabs but the traffic ended up being so bad that we had all decided to get out of our cabs and walk the last 1/2 mile.
When we finally reached Tony’s, it was closed. You could only imagine how disappointed we all were! We decided to just walk around and find a place that looked good and that could seat 12 people. We ended up wandering around Trastevere and running into this guy who was promoting his restaurant (which no one was at) and who ended up giving us a deal. (Bruschetta + Pizza/Pasta + wine all for 10 euros…) All we can say is that we can understand why there weren’t many people at his restaurant, but hey, we were in great company!
If dessert is something you’re into: you MUST go to these 2 places in Rome:
2. Magnum Store
Of course, we visited the Coliseum and the Pantheon and absolutely loved learning about Roman history. These places are definitely a must, but that’s a given when visiting such a historical city. Also, if you have time we recommend visiting the ancient Roman ruins by the Coliseum.
Last but not least, we did lots of shopping (the Brandy Melville is actually amazing in Rome) but that’s nothing surprising considering we’re both such “light” shoppers. 😉 Comment below telling us your favorite memory in Italy or, if you’ve never been, which Italian city you want to visit the most!