We will start in Rome and end in Rome. The first stop outside of Rome will be Tivoli where we'll tour Hadrian's Villa. That will just be a day thing and we'll move right along to our night-time stop somewhere in the middle of the Molise area in the mountains on our way to Vieste on the Gargano Peninsula. Vieste is a beach haven with sun, beach umbrellas and will be a nice relaxing spot before heading on south and back to the interior a bit to Alberobello. Alberobello is a UNESCO World Heritage site with unique trulli buildings where we'll stay at the Trulla Holiday Hotel (picture shown above). It is definitely not anything like what we've stayed in before (love the name - reminds me of Mary Poppins). While we're there we will visit another UNESCO site: Matera. Matera was founded around 3 B.C. and, believe it or not, Troglodytes lived here.
From Matera, we move on to the Amalfi coast, which is one of my all-time favorites. This is where we discovered Pasteum in 2004. Pasteum has some of the best preserved Greek ruins of all time that still exist. I'm not sure we'll make it to Pasteum this time or not, but I highly recommend it to anyone visiting that area. We are planning on staying in a small town near Positano called Praiano. A friend from Boeing had family from there and recommended we stay there as it is only a few miles away and MUCH cheaper and has the same spectacular views. She was right. We stayed at Hotel Holiday when we were there before and I've booked us the superior room there again. The balcony rooms overlook the most incredible views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The slider leading out to the balcony stretched the entire length of the room; we left it open each night and let the sea breeze blow in and cool the room. It was heavenly.
Here is what our route looks like. We'll rent a car for about a week of it and then use bus/train for the part along the West coast.
We plan on visiting Mt. Vesuvius and probably Pompeii when we head up to Sorrento to stay a couple of days. We also will do some shopping in Sorrento. Sorrento is our splurge hotel city where we'll spend more than normal. Even with the splurge city, our average cost per night still is only $150 U.S. due to several of the town having inexpensive rates (off the beaten path).
All-in-all this will be a great trip. We'll have some relaxing time at the beach and historic sightseeing. I am very hopeful that we can have a great romantic trip. We've had a tough last year and a half and we both need the time to reconnect.
I'm excited about planning this trip. It is fun watching videos on the history of where we're going, making plans, looking at maps, picking hotels, and generally dreaming about taking time off.
I wish it we were leaving next week; sigh...