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Trip Report Two Dip-$hits go to Italy! Amalfi Coast, Rome and Bologna

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We once took a comically disastrous trip to the Florida Keys. It was disastrous almost entirely due to our own errors. Plus being in the Florida Keys, we were surrounded by lots of other dipshits as that is the nature of the Florida Keys. We labeled that trip “Two Dipshits go to Florida”. And every trip since, no matter how successful, we use this phrase out of good humor.

This trip was sort of a delayed honeymoon but it didn't feel much like a honeymoon because we married back in April and have lived a whirlwind of buying a house, moving to a new city, buying a car, two job changes and major home damages caused by a freak emergency weather event all on the heels of a big, stressful wedding. So we felt like "old marrieds" by the time we left for Italy, and we were very ready to get the heck outta Dodge.

I got loads of help planning this trip here on Fodors. So I'm writing a report to give back and maybe someone will find something helpful in it for their planning. I told myself I was going to take great notes, but of course I did not. Here is what I did get.

Our Itinerary: 6 nights Praiano, 5 nights Rome, 4 nights Bologna. All apartment stays.

Flew Detroit to Naples via Amsterdam then Bologna to Detroit via Paris. All flights on time, smooth as could be. Tight connection times were no problem, and our luggage was first on the belt! Used Guemar travel for transport from NAP to Praiano, then from Praiano to Napoli train station. No complaints, would hire again. The driver on return had quite a lead foot, which DH got a kick out of.

*Sea, Sun & Bus-Foot on the Amalfi Coast*
We did a whole lot of nothing during our stay in Praiano and it was great. First things first on arrival, popped the bottle of Prosecco I requested in advance and shared on our HUGE, glorious terrace. Settled in, relaxed a bit then went out for pizza and salad at Trattoria San Gennaro, great pizza in my opinion. Picked up some more wine on the way home, nightcap on the terrace and off to bed. Day two we slept in then ran up to the market for supplies: fruit, coffee, milk, honey, bread, ham, buffalo mozzarella, arugula, oil & tuna, my standard shopping list. Came back and laid out on the terrace for much of the day. Then a late lunch/early dinner at Che Bonta, it was fantastic! Started with appetizers of mixed mussels & clams and melon with ham. Then I had the standard salad of the coast, mixed pale lettuces, arugula, corn, tomato, mozzarella and tuna. I see this salad on menus all over the coast. DH had ravioli in pomodoro sauce with prawns. Everything was delicious, we were both very happy with our meals and the bread basket was the best we had on the whole trip. Back to the apartment to do a whole lot of nothing. DH ran back up to Che Bonta later at night and brought home two pizzas. They were not as good as lunch.

Third day - us old goats finally get up and do something. Took the bus to Positano, walked down to main beach & hopped on shuttle to Arienzo. Spent a couple hours there, I had some fruit and DH had a sandwich. Water was fine for swimming but I didn't get all the way in. Then back to the main beach and up to the terrace at Bucca Di Bacco for spritz before our cooking class. Nice terrace, good drinks. Cooking class starts with three other couples, we made pasta and gnocchi with pesto and tomato sauces, and eggplant Parmesan. We also made cream puffs with lemon cream - this was my favorite dish. The staff was great, the head dude running the show was personable, with good humor, a likable guy. After class we all sat down at a long table at the edge of the covered patio with a late afternoon view of the beach, very nice setting. We sat across from a sincerely charming couple from Australia that were on the tail end of 6 weeks throughout Europe. After a long, leisurely dinner we started to make our way back to the bus for home. I stopped at one of the shops selling those cotton dresses because I LOVE that fabric. I wasn't in much of a mood to shop though and ended up petting the staff pooch instead, I missed my dog a lot already by then.

Next day we lounged around the terrace a bit, nibbled on our home supply. Took a walk down to La Praia for some afternoon cocktails. Didn't swim. I like One Fire better for swimming. After a couple hours we walked back towards apartment, stopped to buy some flowers and then got some gelato at Sibila Cafe, very good. DH picked dinner at La Strada tonight. I had fried zucchini blossoms that were not very good. I then had some kind of pasta with lemon cream sauce - I don't remember it exactly. It was fine but unremarkable. DH had lemon risotto with shrimp in a parmesan cup and that WAS remarkable, quite good. He won this round. We always have a winner and a loser at meals and he took this one. We tried to stop by Bar Le Fioriere for a nightcap but they were closed because it was a slow night. So we nightcapped it up at home on the terrace which was fine with me. Maybe now is a good time to mention that we had clear blue skies and sun every single day of our entire trip. Clear nights on the terrace in Praiano was beautiful with the lights of Positano to our right, the rest of Praiano to our left, the moon & stars above us and the dark sea sprinkled with a few ships stretched in front of us as far as we could see.

Fifth Day - We go again! Off to Ravello. This was the best day while on the AC, and was also the day I contracted the “Bus-Foot” which would last most of the rest of the trip. I’m going to post what I have now and come back to finish because otherwise I’ll never get this report up! A link to photos to come too. Thanks for reading if anyone actually is!

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