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Everything You Should See In Rome On Your First Visit

From the windy lanes of Trastevere to the monumental beauty of the Trevi Fountain, there are just some things you can’t miss in the eternal city. Rome simply isn’t Rome without the frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or the majesty of the Colosseum. 

It’s not easy to come up with a list of everything you should see in Rome on your first visit. The city is bursting with awe-inspiring historical treasures. After studying art history there for a year and living there for several more, I’ve come up with a list of the absolute must-sees for your first time in the Italian capital.

For each of Rome’s amazing famous sights, there’s an equal number of amazing secret spots!

Want to see some hidden corners of Rome on your visit, too? I’ve got you covered!

In the same way that Rome isn’t Rome without the Vatican or the Colosseum, she isn’t herself without carbonara and cacio e pepe, either! Want tips on where to get some of the best food in the city? I’ve got you covered, too!

Are you ready to discover everything you should see on your first visit to Rome? Andiamo!

1. St. Peter’s Basilica

Built over the course of 120 years by some of Italy’s most famous architects, including Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo, St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest Catholic church in the world. You can visit the crypts underneath, the church itself, and climb the dome on top.

2. The Vatican Museums

People have been visiting the Vatican Museums since the 16th century, and rightly so. With 54 galleries (called sale in Italian) and thousands of works of art that span the centuries, it’s a true treasure trove for lovers of art and art history. The final sala that visitors pass through is undoubtedly the museum’s most famous: the Sistine Chapel.

Beat The Crowds At The Vatican

There are both early morning and after-hours tours of St. Peter’s and the Vatican Museums! If you want a less crowded visit, go for one of these off-peak tours.

3. Trastevere

After visiting the Vatican, head over to Trastevere, which is on the same side of the Tiber river. Get lost in the narrow streets, take pictures of laundry drying in the sun, and just enjoy one of Rome’s most picturesque neighborhoods. 

Trastevere Food Tip

Trastevere has some great pizza places. Seu Pizza Illuminati, Pizzeria ai Marmi, Dar Poeta, and Ivo a Trastevere are regarded as some of the city’s best pizzerie. Try one to get some of the good stuff!

4. The Colosseum and the Ancient City

The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater that was constructed during the Roman empire. It was commissioned by the emperor Vespasian and opened by his son, Titus, in 80 AD. Famous for gladiatorial matches and animal fights, the Colosseum is the symbol of the eternal city.

A ticket to the Colosseum gets you into the adjacent Palatine Hill. Legend has it that Romulus and Remus, the founders Rome, were raised by a wolf in a cave there, which is the most central of the city’s seven hills. It later became an area inhabited by Rome’s elite, including some of the emperors. You can visit the ruins of many of the remaining structures today, along with the small museum there, and get great views of the Roman forum as well as the Circus Maximus.

The Roman forum was once the hub of the city’s public life, containing a host of temples, basilicas, and other public structures. Visit the forum and then walk down Via dei Fori Imperiali, where you’ll be able to see the fora and markets constructed by different emperors.

Pro Tip For Visiting The Ancient City

Don’t do this part of Rome without a guide! Whether it be a person, a book, or a blog post, the ancient city can be confusing (and can sometimes seem meaningless) if you don’t know what you’re looking at.

Secret Spot In The Ancient City

Ready for a break from the crowds? If you loved the ancient city and want more, head to the Celio hill behind the Colosseum, and visit Le Case Romane del Celio. Twenty rooms decorated with frescoes dating from between the second and fourth centuries unfold beneath the Basilica of Saints John and Paul and culminate in a small gallery displaying objects that were recovered during the excavation of the site. You’ll probably be one of a handful of visitors exploring this underground gem. If you love ancient Rome, don’t miss this secret spot!

5. The Jewish Ghetto 

Located in the city center, the Roman Jewish Ghetto was historically home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in Europe. You can visit the Jewish Museum of Rome in order to gain an understanding of the history of the area, and see the Synagogue, which is thought to be the largest in Italy. Other sights in the area include the Theater of Marcellus and the Bocca della Verità.

The Roman Jewish Ghetto also has some signature foods, like carciofi alla giudia (grilled artichokes) and pizza ebraica, which is actually a sweet!

6. Piazza Navona

Designed by famous Roman artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Piazza Navona is home to one of the city’s most spectacular fountains. Depicting the great rivers of the time, the four figures represent the Nile, the Ganges, the Rio de la Plata, and the Danube. The church of Sant’Agnese in Agone and the Palazzo Pamphilj (which is the current Brazilian embassy) are also both located in Piazza Navona.  

7. Campo de’ Fiori

Campo de’ Fiori was developed around 1456 by Pope Callixtus III. In the morning, the piazza comes alive thanks to its bustling market, and in the evening, it transforms into an evening hot-spot popular with tourists and foreign students. The central statue in the piazza depicts Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake for heresy in 1600.

Secret Spot Near Campo de’ Fiori

Exit the piazza onto via del Pellegrino and turn left at Arco degli Acetari. You’ll end up in a tiny little courtyard that doesn’t have any major sights, but is a great little spot for taking pictures!

Where To Eat Bear Campo de’ Fiori

There are two excellent spots to get pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) in this area. One is in Campo de’ Fiori itself. In the left corner of the piazza, if you’re facing the same way as Giordano Bruno, there’s a sign that says FORNO, which means oven in Italian. Some say that they have the best pizza bianca in the city. They also offer sandwiches and other baked goods.

Just outside of Campo de’ Fiori at Via dei Chiavari 34 is Roscioli Forno, which has the best pizza margherita al taglio that I’ve ever had. Order a few different slices – last time I was there we sampled the margherita, a slice with mushrooms, one with roasted potatoes, and another thick-crusted one with burrata and pesto that was delicious. 

Neither of these places have seating, so be prepared to munch your slices standing up.

8. The Pantheon

The first Pantheon in Rome was destroyed by a fire in the same year that the Colosseum opened, 80AD. In 118, the emperor Hadrian commissioned a new Pantheon, which is the structure that you can visit today. The Pantheon is considered to be the best-preserved ancient building in Rome and its dome is the largest unsupported dome in the world. Its oculus is 8 meters across, which is about 25 feet. You can visit the tomb of Raphael inside.

Beat The Crowds At The Pantheon

Despite some discussion about charging admission in the last few years, the Pantheon remains free to visit. For this reason, it’s a very popular sight. If you want to beat the crowd, visit when it opens at 8:30 am. 

9. The Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is the combination of two designs, one by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and one by Nicola Salvi. Completed in 1762, the fountain is an example of Roman baroque architecture. Legend has it that if you throw a coin into the fountain backwards over your left shoulder, you’ll return to Rome someday, if you throw two in, you’ll find a Roman romance, and if you throw in three, you’ll get married!

Beat The Crowds At The Trevi Fountain

Visiting the Trevi Fountain at peak times is pretty miserable, if I’m being honest. I highly recommend heading there while the city is still sleeping – around 7am, if you can. You’ll have a much better experience without the crowds! If you’re not a morning person, head there late at night to have a similar, crowd-free visit. 

10. The Spanish Steps

Named for the Spanish embassy to the Vatican, which is located in the square below, the Spanish Steps are another Roman icon. They were originally built to connect the church above to the piazza. There’s another famous fountain in the square called La Barcaccia, which was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s father, Pietro. 

A recent law was passed that prohibits sitting on the Spanish Steps, so you’ll have to take your pictures standing up! If you want to beat the crowds, head from the Trevi Fountain straight to the Spanish Steps on your early morning tour. 

Secret Spot Bear The Spanish Steps

Ready for another hidden corner of Rome? Walk down Via Margutta, which is very close to Piazza di Spagna. Made famous from the film Roman Holiday, Via Margutta has been home to a long line of artists and filmmakers and still has several art galleries on it. You can see a tribute to these artists in the form of a bucket of paint brushes atop a little fountain.

11. Monti

There’s nothing particular to see in Monti, but like Trastevere, it’s a great little neighborhood to wander around and get lost in. Located near the Colosseum, Monti is a hip little area full of second hand shops, cute cafés, and chic restaurants. 

12. Testaccio

Known commonly for its nightlife, Testaccio actually has some of the best food in the eternal city. If you want to try Roman street food, head to the Mercato di Testaccio, which is open from 7am to 3pm every day except Sunday. You can do your shopping and eat at the communal tables in the center of the market. Try supplì, carciofi alla guidia, or any of the other delights that look good to you. Looking for a sit-down meal? Book a table at Flavio al Velavevodetto, Felice a Testaccio, or Da Oio a Casa Mia for some traditional Roman fare.

So, there you have your list of everything you need to see in Rome on your first visit! If you’re spending more than just a few days there, don’t be afraid to explore beyond the city center. Rome is a series of layers, and each one you peel back reveals another treasure.

Advice Europe

9 Things Travelers Should Know Before Going To Rome

Rome – The Eternal City… and my favorite city in the world. My first trip to Rome swept me off of my feet. The second time? It did just the same. After revisiting my dear Rome many, many times, I’ve realized that there are some crucial tips new visitors to Rome should know before they experience the city for themselves. Here are nine of my essential things travelers should know before going to Rome.

It’s Is Incredibly Walkable

Public transportation in Rome’s center city is laughable, if you ask me. (Now, that being said, it’s the perfect home based for day trips around Italy!) And why would you ever want to miss any detail of this incredible place? Pack a comfortable pair of shoes, because Rome is incredibly walkable!

Walking through the neighborhoods of Rome is the best part of visiting the city. You’ll see unexpected ancient ruins, bustling piazzas and unassumingly beautiful churches along any path you take.

Always Book Ahead

Trips to the Colosseum or Vatican Museum can be booked ahead of time. And let me tell you, you’ll regret not doing the work upfront once you see the long, never-ending line of tourists waiting before these sights even open! Save yourself the headache (and some cash too!) and always book ahead. It’s one of the simples things travelers should know before going to Rome, if you ask me!

Wine May Be Cheaper Than Water In Restaurants, But It’s Free On The Streets!

Need I say more? Table wine is almost, if not always, cheaper that water in most Roman restaurants.

BUT – here’s a trick that most traveler’s should know! Those cute, strange little water fountains on the street? They pour clean, delicious and cold drinking water!

Block the end of the spout with your palm. Your delicious and free drinking water will pour effortlessly into a drinking fountain. Just watch a local do it if you’re feeling unsure! It’s also totally worth it to bring an empty, packable water bottle with you to refill whenever you get parched.

Plan For Late Dinners

Dinners start late in beautiful Roma. A typical Roman dinner begins around 8:30-9:00 pm. And they’re long and slow. Waiters don’t rush their guests into finishing their meals, like they do in America. In fact, you may find it difficult to flag them down to get your check!

The point is… enjoy every minute of the company in front of you over your meal. Talk, laugh, savor! “La bella vita” isn’t about rushing.

A Few Essential Italian Terms Will Always Work In Your Favor

Knowing a few key Italian terms will get you far in Rome! Knowing how to ask for a table for two in Italian will almost always get you in good graces with the host or hostess. That also goes for “please” and “thank you,” “excuse me” and “delicious.”

Be Aware Of Scams

There are some classic scams in Rome to look out for. Just being aware of what to watch out for could save you quite the headache!

One, never accept a rose, bracelet or any other item from a kind, helpful stranger. Two, if you’re in a major tourist spot – be aware of your bag always. Never let it out of your sight or out of your grasp. And never keep valuables in your pockets! Three, never sign a petition on the street or give your personal details. And four, always check your bill to see if it’s the right amount.

All things said and done – these are typical scams found throughout Europe. It’s not that Rome is a dangerous place. But it pays to be aware of what to look out for!

Research Your Restaurants Ahead Of Time

Whatever you do – don’t randomly pick a restaurant to go to during your time! There are so many amazing, life changing meals to be had in Rome. You don’t want to waste a single one on a tourist trap.

Believe me, you’re going to leave a major tourist sight and get hungry. Never trust the pictures of an unknown cafe or restaurant.

Do your research before you head out for the day, or ask a local for their recommendation. Simply put, always plan your meals into your itinerary!

Cash Is King

Rome runs mostly on cash. You’ll be surprised how many restaurants and stores do not offer card services! So, carry cash.

As I mentioned though, carry around an amount of cash that can get you through one day of traveling and exploring. Any more than that isn’t worth losing should you be pickpocketed.

Know Its History Ahead Of Time

Rome’s history will floor you if you take even a couple hours to read about it a month before you go. Your trip will mean a thousand times more to you if you know just the basics of Rome’s ancient lore, it’s rise, fall, political situation, cultural customs, culinary delights and famous art and architecture.

Going in clueless is just so wasteful! Feed your mind before you depart to Rome, because knowing just how aged and history-rich it is will fuel your explorations to new heights.


I hope you enjoy your time in Rome! Remember – walk slowly, enjoy every nuance and little detail, eat joyously and above, all things, live “la bella vita” when in the Eternal City.

Europe Hotels

The Most Picturesque Hotels In Italy

The Most Picturesque Hotels In Italy

In September, I was lucky enough to spend the entire month savoring “la dolce vita” to its utmost degree in Italy. My time in Italy has always been dear to my heart. The country has seen me through many chapters of my life and has never, ever failed to make me fall head over heels for its age and romance. Today, I’m sharing some of my absolutely favorite lodgings I’ve experienced in my dear Italia. From sun drenched bedrooms to sherbet colored seascapes, I’ve collected quite a few stunning stays… and I want you to experience them for yourself. Here are my picks of the most picturesque hotels in Italy!

Belmond Hotel Caruso

It’s hard to rank favorites. But I honestly believe that booking the Belmond Hotel Caruso is the closest thing I’ll have from a home away from home. Each time I visit, it doesn’t matter how long I’ve been away, I’m greeted by such warmth and hospitality. This former 11th century palace is a modern setting to a traveler’s fairytale. Standing on the edge of their infinity pools overlooking the scattered and colorful Ravello skyline below is the kind of peace I wish I could tap into everyday.

The Most Picturesque Hotels In Italy

Hotel Santa Caterina

The Amalfi Coast is well loved for a reason. Seeing the light settle and sparkle over the ocean in the evening, feeling the warmth of the Italian sun, the little moments of bliss and happiness – it’s all waiting for travelers to experience. Hotel Santa Caterina’s views of the crashing Mediterranean ocean is, simply put, stunning. Watching the beauty unfold below the deck while sipping on cappuccino is pretty much the Italian version of heaven, if you ask me! It’s the perfect setting and resting place for your Italian dream.

The Most Picturesque Hotels In Italy

Portrait Roma

As I woke up to watch the sunrise during my stay in Portrait Roma, I witnessed a sight of the ancient city I knew very few would be able to see for themselves. Portrait Roma’s special rooftop view of the Spanish steps is unlike any perspective found in the city. This hotel had my heart from the moment I entered and noticed the collection of 50’s and 60’s vintage photos of beauties, including my soul sister Audrey Hepburn. The perfect mix of cool, unique and heartfelt care adds up to Portrait Roma’s special mix. Staying here is so incredible. I just know Dame Traveler will love it too!

The Most Picturesque Hotels In Italy

NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi

Slow walks through NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi’s 13th century grounds, filled with stories of the old world and floating above the cliff tops of the Amalfi Coast – my love language. As an old soul and absolute romantic, I found myself tracing the steps of this former monastery of an Arab-Norman cloister with such revere and intrigue. The panoramic trail between the gardens and the coastline is meant for any traveler who longs for the old world.

The Most Picturesque Hotels In Italy

Hotel Mediterraneo Sorrento

The Italian elegance of this boutique hotel is truly magical. The sunsets over the cliffs of Sorrento, the authentic hospitality and ethereal atmosphere are some of my favorite elements about the Hotel Mediterraneo Sorrento. The hotel is also easily walkable into the city center and a paradise for anyone wanting to soak in slow, languid Italian lifestyle.

The Most Picturesque Hotels In Italy


I hope you enjoyed our round up of my picks of most picturesque hotels in Italy. What other cities’ most picturesque hotels would you like for us to share?

Europe Travel Planning

6 Easy & Picturesque Day Trips From Rome

The ancient city of Rome is filled with so much age, delicious foods and splendor, it’s hard to imagine wanting to leave its golden-hued streets. However, for a traveler looking to explore more of Italy… it’s amazing how well-connected the city is. Thanks to Italy’s train systems (although some would argue they can be chaotic at times), it’s easy for explorers to see more of the country’s beauty with just a day to spare. Here are seven easy and picturesque day trips from Rome.

Assisi

The Umbrian town of Assisi is so charming, you’ll hardly want to leave. There’s something truly magical about this hilly little town. From high above the hills, you’ll be able to see the stunning, sprawling views of the Italian countryside while leisurely exploring the narrow, Medieval streets.

 

Orvieto

Another Umbrian gem (that’s a great add-on from a day trip to Assisi)! Orvieto is truly what every Italian hill city should be – delightful, well preserved and colorful. This Medieval town has a complex underground tunnel system carved by the Etruscans 3,000 years ago… and that’s just the start of this town’s history.

 

Pompeii

Pompeii is a long day trip, but a totally worthy one. Be sure to come with a plan if you’re making the trip! The city of Pompeii stands as a relic of the volcanic eruption of 79 A.D. and it’s a must-do in Italy if you want to feel transported back in time. The history that is preserved in this city is incredible.

 

Hadrian’s Villa & Tivoli

Tivoli, a small Lazio town has a lot of picturesque sites to capture. But first things first, a stop to Hadrian’s Villa is a must. This site is huge (especially for travelers without a car) but so gorgeous! Hadrian, the Roman Emperor responsible for the creation of the Pantheon, had quite a villa to escape to. The whole area is a stunner, and very romantic. Find yourself lost as you explore the sprawling, ancient villa lined with marble pavement, statues, formal gardens, frescoed rooms and opulent details.

 

Bracciano

This hidden gem is a small lake town loved by Romans – need we say more? The quiet lake, medieval castle and absolute charm make it a perfect day trip from Rome. Find yourself connected to the beauty of nature while lazily strolling with locals enjoying the free time. Bracciano will make you feel like a real Italian on holiday.

 

Ostia Antica

This river town is one of the most well preserved ancient Roman cities, and it sits about an hour from Rome. Now, travelers can stroll through the ruins of Rome’s military siege of the town in between ancient buildings from the Republic and the Empire of the country. Be sure to stop at the ancient theater… it’s one of the oldest brick theaters in the world and is still used for concerts today!

 

 

Cruising Europe Reviews

Cities of Antiquity & The Holy Land and Mediterranean

A journey through Athens, Haifa, Ashdod, Limassol, Rhodes, Mykonos, Naples and Rome.

Athens, Greece
Many may view Athens as just a gateway to the gorgeous islands of Greece but this is far from the truth. For starters, the city is a Greek culinary hub with dozens of cafes and restaurants located in the beautiful Plaka district, joined together with gorgeous views of history all along the slopes of the Acropolis. It’s the ideal setting to enjoy traditional small plates of mezes and sip ouzo or dry Greek white wine. But aside from the delicious food, Athens is also home to some of the most amazing views, street art and charming streets!

Must visits: The Acropolis, Monastiraki Flea Market, Mount Lycabettus, Plaka district
Food/Drinks: Psaras Fish Tavern in the Plaka, Grande Bretagne Roof Garden


Mykonos
Made famous by the beautiful Jackie O in the 1960s, the island of Mykonos is the smallest of the Greek Islands. It is picture perfect in every way with its centuries old windmills perched on the seaside and a maze of narrow and charming  streets of whitewashed houses and pastel colored doors.

You’ll walk on bougainvillea on the streets and take in the senses of this beautiful piece of the earth. Some 400 churches dot the island’s stunning landscape, from the Panagia Paraportiani, or Church of Our Lady to the tiny little one room chapel in Little Venice which is my personal favorite.

One of the most romantic corners of the island is Little Venice. Here, rows of fishing houses with balconies are perched directly on the water and the famous thatched roof windmills, once used to grind wheat, overlook the harbor.

Must visits: Psarou Beach, Nammos Beach, The Windmills in Little Venice,
Food/Drinks: Nobu Matsuhisa Restaurant in the Belvedere Hotel, Jackie O Bar, Solymar

Rhodes 
The lush, fertile island of Rhodes is home to the Palace of the Grand Masters, a remarkable and sprawling fortification. Its historic quarter is Europe’s largest active medieval town.

Outside the city, forests of pine and cypress blanket mountain slopes and hug rocky shores. Vineyards and groves of citrus and olive soak up the Aegean sun. The Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem conquered the island in the 14th century, bringing great wealth from the Holy Land.

Crete
The largest of the Greek Islands, Crete was home to the Minoans, Europe’s earliest recorded civilization. Its capital, Heraklion, grew from the riches of the Venetian Empire, which ruled here for 4 centuries. The island is blessed with generous beaches, soaring mountains, deep gorges, and rivers.

The Holy Land
My mother and I have dreamed of experiencing the Holy Land for years and the time finally came to embark on this spiritual journey together!

Haifa
We spent two nights docked at the port of Haifa and it was enough time to visit the Bahai’ Gardens, the town of Acre, Nazareth, Capharnaum, Sea of Galilee and more.

Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the city of Haifa holds a significance to the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths where they all live in harmony together in this city.

Bahá’í Gardens
Pilgrims of the Bahá’í faith flock here to visit the Hanging Gardens and cascading terraces on a hillside in Haifa. A guided tour of the remarkable gardens is highly recommended.

Akko
The beach side town of Akko is one of the oldest cities in the world, continuously inhabited since some 4,000 years ago. The old city is incredibly well preserved and the fish and spice markets are a joy to wander through. (Insider Tip: don’t miss the underground city with all of its crusader halls and the citadel atop of the town offering gorgeous views of the sea.)

Sea of Galilee
Yardenit 
The Baptismal site on the Jordan river.
The Jordan River is the largest river in the Holy land. It is mentioned nearly 200 times in the Bible and New Testament, and it bears a very special spiritual significance and presence. This is where Jesus was anointed by the Spirit of God when he was baptized by John the Baptist in its waters.

“The Wall of New Life”

When Jesus came up out of the water, immediately He saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove: And a voice came down from heaven, “thou art my beloved Son, with thee I am pleased.” Three verses from Mark 1:9-11 are quoted in almost 100 languages and dialects are inscribed on ceramic panels forming together the “Wall of New Life” at Yardenit. Behind each language, there is a community that has visited Yardenit. This wall welcomes visitors at the entrance and runs along the banks of the River, following the baptism pools.

Church of the Beatitudes
This church was perched on a hillside with breathtaking views of the Sea of Galilee. We arrived around sunset, just as they were about to close, giving us a very peaceful place to end the day. The site truly took us back 2,000 years to the time when Christ preached the Sermon on the Mount.

Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes
The Church in Galilee where Jesus performed the miracle of feeding 5,000 people.


Ashdod
From this port, we had the opportunity to explore the holy sites of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The sixth largest city and the largest port in Israel, this is where most cruises dock when heading to Jerusalem. Located in the Southern District of the country, on the Mediterranean coast where it is situated near Tel Aviv to the north. Jerusalem is located just 33 miles to the east.

Bethlehem
Bethlehem, where Jesus was born and where Christians and Muslims live in harmony together.


The grotto of the Nativity is the place where Christ was born of the Virgin Mary. On this grotto, a Basilica with a nave and 4 aisles was built and it is accessible through a humble entrance. Around the grotto of the Nativity, there are other grottoes tied to the memory of St. Jerome. This was an incredibly emotional experience for me.

The Basilica and Grotto of the Nativity Grotto of St. Jerome and Church of St. Catherine.

Nazareth
The Church of the Annunciation of Mary in Nazareth houses a grotto that contains the cave-like home of the Virgin Mary. The cupola inside the church represents a lily flower as an image of Mary’s purity, and the exterior by a lantern symbolizing the Light of the World. We visited on a Sunday and heard prayers coming from the church as the people residing in Nazareth were getting ready for mass. I observed as they walked into the church and as I listened closely, I heard the prayers in my language, Assyrian / Chaldean, which is one of the oldest languages in the world, a dialect of Aramaic. This was a special and serendipitous surprise.

Capharnaum
Capharnaum is the town of Jesus. He turned this place into His base for preaching and performed many healing miracles here. It’s also home to a variety of ruins and artifacts from the Roman period. One of my favorite moments was when I decided to take a much needed a break to be alone for a little while. Something drew me to this gate where I stumbled upon the most peaceful scene I’ve ever laid my eyes on. A cloud of mist hovered over the Sea of Galilee and the calm water and reflections immediately whisked my heart away. I sat on a rock for about 30 minutes and I had the entire place to myself until my mom found me and joined me here. I’ve always struggled with meditation and I’m definitely not a yogi, but this place, this moment, inspired me and gave me a little taste of what its like to just be still. I think it’s very important to remember to remember to be present while we travel because it’s so easy to get lost in the commotion. I’ll never forget this special moment.


Jerusalem
Jerusalem is one of the holiest places in the world. This is where Jesus was crucified, where Jews built their sacred Temple and where Mohammed rose to heaven. I still can’t believe I got to walk the grounds of this awe-inspiring city, rich with history and faith!

We visited the Western Wall, an important religious site for the Jewish people, walked Via Dolorosa where Jesus walked during his crucifixion. This emotional walk lead us to the Holy Sepulchre church where the last station of the cross resides.
Garden of Gethsemane
The church built over the rock where Jesus prayed before His crucifixion in the Garden of Gethsemane. He cried in agony just as we do when our hearts are in pain. Hebrews 5:7: “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.”

Limassol, Cyprus
Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and its historic capital of Limassol boasts a long history. Legend tells us that the incredible Aegean landscape of Cyprus was the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.


The island nation is also home to Mt. Olympus, the perch from where Greek gods rules the ancient world. In the historic center, history stands in for mythology at the Limassol Castle and there are many charming shops and cafes to take a break from sightseeing.

Naples / Capri Island
With a history stretching back 2,500 years, Naples was long a cultural center of the Roman Empire. Napoli has a beautiful blend of architectural styles from classical Roman ruins to medieval castles and Renaissance / baroque buildings. Many awe inspiring structures line the Vespa filled streets and piazzas of the historic center – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With a desire to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, we decided to take a ferry boat to the island of Capri, just 1 hour from the port of Napoli. Tickets can be purchased at the kiosk right before departure and the kiosk is only a 5 minute walk from the Port of napoli.

Capri
The Island of Capri is one of the most beautiful islands I’ve ever seen and even with just a day trip, you can still enjoy all that it has to offer. Capri has no shortage of gorgeous views, gardens and cliffs along winding trails and roads. Gorgeous homes perch the hilltops and it is the shopping mecca of the Amalfi Coast.

Upon arrival by ferry, purchase tickets at the port where you’ll get off the ferry at the base of the island (pictured below) and take the Funicular up to Capri Town. This is where you’ll be able to explore. I recommend following the ceramic signs and maps that will lead you on the path to the gorgeous Faraglioni rocks and viewpoint.

After the mini hike, I highly recommend making your way back to the piazzetta to have lunch at one of the best authentic, family owned restaurants in Capri, Ristorante Michelangelo. Order the liguine limone, trust me, you won’t be disappointed!



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