April 2, 2015

We Need Your Recommendations: We’re Going to Italy!!



Yesterday when we walked through the door home from our Virginia trip, one of the first things we did was check the mail. This is sort of a tradition of ours after a trip, we sit down together and go through everything that came in while we’re gone. And I have to say, I kind of love it. I LOVE getting happy mail! We’re in this pretty incredible season of our life where we are getting to make SO many amazing new friends through conferences, workshops, weddings, or just online. And so at least a couple times a week, we get a super sweet thank you card or a “thinking of you” gift just because! It’s the BEST! And it just makes me want to be more & more of that kind of person for other people too. To be the person who sprinkles a little awesome in someone else’s life because I thought to…and because I actually made the effort to make that happen!

Well one of the things we had waiting on us, was this sweet gift that came wrapped in the most adorable camera wrapping paper from one of our all time favorite #justinandmarybrides EVER, Tiffany of Tiffany & Charlie fame! :) We shot the wedding for these guys five years ago, and I am SO excited to say that this July we will be shooting their vow renewal & anniversary shoot……in Italy!!!! AHHHH!!!

So when I opened up the paper (super carefully so I could keep it. obviously!) and saw this book, “Food, Wine, Rome,” I nearly died from excitement! It’s getting SO close, which means we need to get to planning! It also made me feel like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love, so maybe I’ll bring jeans an extra size big so I can eat all the pasta I want! :)

So this is where YOU guys come in! While we’re there, the general plan is to hit up Rome, Venice and the Amalfi Coast. I’ve been to Rome & Venice before, but only super briefly. And we’ve never been to the Amalfi. So we are looking for recommendations like crazy. We want to know where to eat, where to stay, how to travel, side trips, things to see in the cities, the order we should go down the coast, any of it! And if you’ve never been, tell us where you would WANT to go if you were headed to any of these cities! Let us know in the comments below! We can’t WAIT to see what you have to say!

And Tiffany & Charlie…you guys seriously ROCK our world! I am soooo excited to experience this with you!


  1. Michael Graham

    I used to live in Salerno (just South of the Amalfi coast) and there are a number of things you should know.

    Each village along the coast has something different to offer – Amalfi’s beach, Vietri’s pottery, ravello’s views, Positano’s charm…

    Capri is worth boating to and particular taking the single person gondolas to the top of Anacapri.

    There is a virtually unknown and untainted hike through the mountains above Amalfi called “The Path of the gods” that is other-worldly.

    There is excellent Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern food in Salerno.

    There is a pretty decent chance that I will be over at the same time. Feel free to email for even more specifics and details.

  2. Lou

    We went to Venice for our 1st wedding anniversary last year. As its the summer you’re going, I would book your hotels asap as it will be busy! Whilst in Venice we went over to Murano & Burano by boat, really lovely small islands, with colourful buildings and houses, all individual and different colours.

  3. Kerri Hamm

    Mary and Jusin! SOOO excited for you. Italy is my favorite place on earth.

    I went to all 3 of those cities 10 years ago so definitely have recommendations! I can tell you more in person!

    We stayed at the Luna Hotel Baglioni in Venice, right on the canal. You of course have to take a trip down the grand canal :) St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), and Doge’s palace are close by. Lots of great gelato in the square too!

    The Amalfi coast was hands down FAVORITE. We stayed in Sorrento at a cliffside hotel which was gorgeous. We took a drive to Positano and around the Amalfi coast. Note it is a 1 way road around the mountain! It took us like 4 hours and I was starving!!!

    Definitely take a day trip excursion to Capri. Go into the Grotto Azzurro (Blue Grotto), you’ll never forget that. Tons of great places to eat there. We took a cab down to Marina Piccola and ate there along this beautiful beach.

    We stayed with a friend in Rome who lives in Grottaferrata. But definitely see St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican, Spanish steps. I remember no photos were allowed inside the Vatican.

    SO many beautiful things ahead!! Get ready for it!

  4. Natalie

    You are going to love the Amalfi Coast! And you need to stay at Maison La Minervetta in Sorrento. Trust me. It’s a DREAM and the views are out of this world.

  5. Ally (almost!) Allison

    In Rome, you HAVE to eat at Ristorante Santa, as well as doing all the typical things – the Coliseum and the Vatican tour are amazing!

    In Venice, definitely take the ferries to Murano and Burano, and tour St. Peter’s Basilica.

    In the Amalfi coast, take a day trip to Capri and have a local take you to the grottos! Positano and Sorrento were also beautiful beachy towns! If you have time while in Amalfi, you can take the circumvesuiviana and visit the Pompeii ruins on a quick afternoon trip!

    Yall are going to have such a great time, I can’t wait to see your beautiful images!

  6. Ally (almost!) Allison

    Ristorance Santa Cristina**

  7. Allison Nance

    SO exciting! Italy is amazing – you WON’T have a bad meal anywhere! When you go to the Amalfi Coast, go to Positano and eat at La Tagliata – it’s a MUST! They grow a majority of their produce there at the restaurant, and make their own wine. They also have no menu – they cook you a true family style 6 course meal with what they have on hand. It’s an experience I’ll never forget! Have SO much fun!!!

  8. Matt Burfield

    I’ve just found your new site (awesome by the way) after watching a webinar you guys did in July 2014. So here’s my small way of saying thanks for such great info – when in Rome try to pay a visit to Ristorante Tre Scalini in the Piazza Navona.


    The food is great and the staff are super nice. If you give it a go I’d love to hear about your experience!

    Have a fab trip.

    Best wishes


  9. Rici

    OMG!!! OMG!!! Oh mio dio!!!!!!!!
    How incredible is that! Congrats to this insane opportunity! Do you need an assistant/translator/travel guide/ Italia affacinado??? ;) <3 <3 <3 freaking out with my keyboard in hand…
    I should send you an e-mail.
    in Venice I loved the Hotel Marconi http://www.hotelmarconi.it
    right next to the Rialto Bridge. Front rooms are insane, if you are lucky and Mary – on your own on the balcony – some gondoliere might sing for you ;) (at night time obviously…)

    There was a really good inside tip about a restaurante from a lady on a train, can´t remember right now, will write you as soon as I do.

    In Roma: I love to be above the "piazza del popolo" for sunset so you have the city at your feet which would be at the edge of the Giardino della Villa Borghese. Or even better if you have time visit Villa d`Este http://www.villadestetivoli.info/indexe.htm
    and watch it from there :)
    The more arty place to take a stroll in is Travestere for me. Many little shops, many creative places – good pizza (as soon as I remember I will let you know)
    At nigth there are street musicians. It´s best time ever material for my passionata heart.
    Best Gelato (ice cream) in all of town according to my Roman Friends is Giovanni Fassi. http://larici-photography.blogspot.de/2014/11/the-eternal-city-short-trip.html

    And also I should start writing serious Italian trip Blog posts. ;)

    I hope this was of some help. Let me know if I can do anything more for you.
    I have never been to the Amalfi coast, so you can write a travel post about it and make me a bit jealous. ;)
    So much love, tantissimi saluti, <3 Rici.

  10. sandra fazzino

    Ciao Justin & Mary! Italy in July will be gorgeous – and HOT! I have yet to visit Rome, but have been to Venice and the Amalfi Coast. We actually stayed in Sorrento and traveled down the coast on a motor scooter. I don’t recommend this! It was very adventurous, but it was not relaxing. ; ) The roads are narrow and windy, so even if you are in a car, the drive is not pleasant because of the huge buses and slow moving traffic. So, I highly recommend seeing the coast by boat. If you’ve been to Sausalito, Ca, you can imagine that small town times 100 in terms of tight narrow, crowded streets with homes and shops perched on hills. It’s gorgeous, but for me, personally, it’s best seen and experienced from the water itself and then hopping off for lunch or dinner and touring on foot. We also highly recommend Rick Steves travel books. He NEVER misses in terms of hotel and restaurant recommendations. Sorrento was magnificent and very very pleasant and enjoyable – even a touch less touristy. The coast is much more of an adventure. If you decide to stay in Sorrento, there are regular ferries that leave from its port. Be sure to buy some beautiful linen dresses for yourself while you’re there! This is a great hotel http://www.bellevue.it/ or the one next to it is also a good choice: http://www.continentalsorrento.com/ In boca al lupo! buon viaggio!

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