Visiting the Mediterranean With The Family
I'm now about ten days back from our family's trip to the Mediterranean, and finally feel like I've processed everything we did, saw, and experienced as a family enough to share my thoughts with you all! Not only was this trip so special because we could share our love for Europe with our parents, but we were able to visit one my rug vendors in person and get one-on-one guided tour time with him in Turkey, and see so many architectural relics that I love!
As you avid readers know, I have my architecture degree, and have spent so much time studying both art and architectural history, so being in places with such deep history is a bit more emotional for me than the average person. I’m not being dramatic when I say that I cried several times on our first trip to Europe, and continue to be overwhelmed by some of the buildings I see in person after studying them for so many years. Take a digital vacation with me through our photos, and you might find a few recommendations you want to try on your next trip! Enjoy! ITALY | 4 DAYS Rome I highly recommend doing the underground tour at the Coliseum - very cool, and very interesting for my fellow architecture nerds! Scooteroma were excellent tour guides - we have used them twice now. You get to see so much of the city this way! And if you're up for a walking food tour, we love this one from Eating Europe ! You will be so full by the end, but it's so worth it. Restaurant Recommendations Da Enzo is great, but very touristy with long lines (I'm not sure it’s THAT much better than other places). Trappizzino is an excellent lunch stop! We like to go to the random places you find down an alley - we were told locals would never wait in a line, so don’t be fooled by long lines! Walking and exploring to find those hidden gems is half the fun. Naples - Pompeii, Ravello, Amalfi, Positano Pompeii was a bit rough. It was very very crowded, and hard to maneuver around with very uneven surfaces. It was definitely interesting, and so worth spending time there, but I’m thankful we didn’t spend more than a few hours, for the sake of our feet and balance! We were able to link up with Christian again, with Barbaro Car Service. He drove us last year for our 10 year anniversary to the Amalfi Coast, and we have stayed friends since. He was so excited to meet our parents, and it truly made that part of the trip so special. He brought us to Ravello, which Brian and I didn’t get a chance to visit last year. It’s such a stunning town on the coast, up on the hillside instead of beach side like some of the other towns that line the Amalfi Coast. We visited Villa Rufolo, which is absolutely worth it! We then drove to Amalfi, where Christian dropped us off. We walked around a bit, got lunch and a beer, and then took the water ferry over to Positano. The best way to see the coast is by boat, and it was so nice to have a nice breeze, and a little break from all of our walking. We then got gelato at our favorite little spot in Positano, walked through the town and up all the stairs a bit, and did some shopping. We didn’t have a ton of time, but it was so special that we got to share some of the favorite places from our anniversary trip with our parents. And SO thankful we didn’t lose any luggage this time around! Turkey | 2 days We wish we had so much more time here! One of our best rug vendors at Markets lives in Istanbul, and he personally picked us up and spent the entire day with us, which was so generous of him to do when he's in the middle of Market season! We had the chance to shop for rugs of course, and have a special collection of items we sourced while in Turkey coming soon! We also had the chance to visit both the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia (another building I studied extensively both in high school and college). Turkey is such a beautiful country - it's so clean and well manicured, the Turkish people are so lovely, and the architecture is so rich in detail and history. We're excited to go back and spend more time there in the future! Greece | 3 Days Mykonos + Athens We spent some time at the beach in Mykonos, swimming in the crystal clear Aegean Sea. We shopped and took a million images too, because every little walkway you turn down is the most photographable area you’ve ever seen! The island as a whole is restricted in materials, as it must match the details of the Cycladic architecture of the island. Whitewashed walls (which used to be lime paint. but now is more standard paint that lasts longer) and blue doors. They do allow other colors of doors, but blue is the most prevalent. Tons of bougainvillea everywhere as well — just stunning! In Athens, we were able to go up to the Acropolis and see the Parthenon and other surrounding temples. It's definitely more of a city feel in general, and maybe not my favorite spot, but I think I could grow to like it more if we had spent some more time there. It was the tail end of the trip and we were all pretty exhausted, and it was a very hot day. We ended the trip with dinner on top of our hotel (Coco Mat Athens BC - definitely recommend). It has a perfect view of the Parthenon, and the city as a whole, and a great place to have drinks while the sun sets. We did so much that I think I need another vacation after our vacation :) But I'm so, so grateful that our parents were able to come to Europe for their first time with us and experience everything that we love about these places. Already looking forward to our next trip back! Do you have favorite places to visit in Europe? Share with us below!