TRAVELING THROUGH WEST COAST ITALY

I have been to Italy many times now, I’ve visited the popular high traffic commercialized cities such as Rome, Venice, Florence and Milan. This time – I’m taking time to explore food through the West Coast of Italy traveling from South of France and head towards Africa from Sicily. Italy has always been the Eat Pray Love country for me, I took my time traveling through Italy. It would be endless long to write down my entire journey, but here would be my travel tips in summary.

TURIN

Turin is a beautiful peaceful place, I’ve only stayed 2 nights here exploring the town. Food is AMAZING.

SEE

  • Palatine Towers
  • Musei Reali Torino
  • Turin Cathedral
  • Piazza Castello
  • Piazza San Carlo

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  • Palazzo Carignano
  • Mole Antonelliana 
  • Teatro Gianduja – the building is amazing.

 EAT

  • Porto Di Savona Ristorante Torino – Try the Zucchini Stuffed with Ricotta Cheese. (This was prior to my Vegan Days) 
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  • Eataly – Slow Food Italia – awesome concept and food is good. 

STAY

  • Bamboo Eco Hostel – clean & good bathroom, good bed, good kitchen and hangout area to meet others.

 

 

CINQUE TERRE

CT is such a lovely beautiful place, it’s a must-go spot in Italy. If you love the ocean, beautiful views, hiking – this is the place for you.

SEE

  • Walk through the town of Vernazza and explore small alleys to discover beautiful views
  • Hike through Vernazza

ct_Vernazza

  • Take a ferry from Vernazza to Monterosso Al Mare
  • Swim and get tan in Monterosso and have lunch here
  • Take a train from Monterosso to Riomaggiore
  • Have a cocktail in A Pie De Ma, Riomaggiore
  • Hiking Trail in Riomaggiore is among the best (Sometimes closed) 

ct_hiking trail riomaggiore

  • Take a train to Manarola (time it for sunset) 

ct_manarola

 EAT

  • La Cantina Di Miky, Monterosso (Basil Pasta was super good) 

ct_basil Pasta

  • There is a very popular Ice Cream Store in Vernazza in the beginning of the small alley – you will see lots of people lining up to get ice cream. 

STAY

  • Ostello Corniglia – DO NOT STAY THERE! I had bed bugs attack there.
  • If you are on a budget, I would highly recommend that you stay at La Spezia area – which is a train ride from Cinque Terre. Ensure you know the train schedules to take the last train back to La Spezia.  

TRANSPORTATION

Ensure you get this Cinque Terre Card which allows you to use of ecological park buses, access to all trekking paths, wifi internet connection and unlimited train travel on the Levanto – Cinque Terre – La Spezia Line.

Price adults:

from 1 april to 1 november:

1 day Cinque Terre Train Card € 16

2 days Cinque Terre Train Card € 29

3 days Cinque Terre Train Card € 41

 

 

MODENA

Modena is another food town, here you would find the ultimate source for Balsamic Sauce, a town that celebrates food and history.

SEE

  • Palazzina Dei Giardini Modena
  • Ducal Palace of ModenaProcessed with MOLDIV
  • Millitary Academy of Modena
  • Torre Della Ghirlandina
  • Piazza Grande
  • Mercato storico Albinelli – very good market to check out Balsamic Sauce. This is my favourite brand of Balsamic! They are very good. 

modena_Balsamic Sauce

EAT

  • Osteria Francescana – Fine dining restaurant but you would need to book!

STAY

  • Ostello Modena San Filippo Neri – clean beds, good space, no common activities for getting to know people. Decent, central and good to sleep. Walking distance to bar, restaurants and the city. 

 

  

NAPOLI

Naples or Napoli is the city of Pizza! It offered me amazing food, amazing people and amazing views of the cities. There was definitely a lot more to explore here – and I would recommend to stay at least 4 nights here to explore day trips to Capri or Pompeii.

SEE

  • Galleria Umbertoi
  • Castel Sant’Elmo – super awesome view!

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  • Castle Nuovo
  • Piazza Plebiscito
  • Sant’Anna Dei Lombardi
  • San Gregorio Armeno – super cute street with things to buy and things to eat! 
  • There is a sea view at the end of the town which is beautiful.

naples sea view

EAT

  • Pizza a Portafoglio (Super Famous!)

modena pizza

  • Trattoria e Pizzeria ‘O Vesuvio (Neapolitan Restaurant – very authentic – super good pasta!)
  • Trattoria Da Nennella

STAY

  • La Controra Hostel Naples – It is a bit of a hilly walkway but it is one of the good ones. Clean beds, bathrooms, the reception peeps are the best. Great kitchen to cook too.

DAY TRIPS

  • Capri  – great day trip to a very cute island . It is an island where rich people live for a weekend getaway – yes I said LIVE. Houses here cost a BOMB! There was a beautiful estate on the top of the mountain that cost about USD13M. Nevertheless, get yourself immersed into this beautiful view from the top of Garden of Augustus. On my way back on the boat ride, the driver was kind enough to show us additional places of the island – blue hole which is beautiful.
  • Pompeii Trip – highly recommended trip! Please spare about half a day at least to walk around, I took about 5-6 hours. Strongly recommend that you purchase the audio guide – find someone in the queue to share as they have a promotion in which is cheaper to purchase two audio guides)
  • Cooking Class with Toffini Academy Corsi di Cucina  – entirely in Italian but you get a very authentic experience of the locals taking a cooking class. They have different teachers swinging by and putting together different courses. The facilities of the academy is beautifully designed and helpers to help you clean.

 

 

PALERMO, SICILIA

I lived in Palermo, Sicily for about 2 months, here are some of my fav joints and tips.

TIPS

If you are withdrawing from a Singapore Account – some ATMs would give you a higher credit of withdrawal – check around on the amount to withdraw before the actual withdrawal. 

SEE

  • Teatre Massimo – you can only view the place from outside – during some open day – you may enter. Took a few beautiful photos here.

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  • Quattro Canti
  • Cathedral di Palermo – must go to the rooftop!! 

rooftop

  • Capella Palantina
  • Night Stroll in via Maqueda
  • Fontana Pretoria

EAT 

There are many must try dishes here in Sicily. Caponata, Arancini, Cannoli are some of the important dishes you should try. Living here and having the locals show me different dishes – my two favourite local dish to eat would be – Sicilian Tuna Pasta and Tuna Meatball. They have it in most of the restaurants.

  • Osteria Lo Bianco
  • Trattoria Al Vecchio Club Rosanero (please reserve in advance) – this would be my favourite place to eat! 
  • Pacinotti’s (please reserve in advance)

DO

  • Cooking Class with Mamma Corleone – one of the most authentic cooking class experience I had.

cooking class

  • Take a road trip to Zingaro and have dinner at a beautiful town of Scopello – maybe stay there too. Here’s a view from Zingaro. 

zingalo

  • Take a road trip to Capo D’orlando and take a nice evening walk around the town of Capo D’Orlando. 
  • It’s a bit of a drive to this restaurant but it’s worth it. La Rotonda – Mushroom Specialist Restaurant, only locals will go to this place – get someone local to bring you here. Food is amazing and mushroom is superb! Call them up before heading there to reserve your spot. MUST TRY!
  • Take a road trip to Monreale – go up to the rooftop of the Cathedrale to get the beautiful sight of the town and visit this Bakery called Forno Litria.

STAY

  • Vespa B&B – operated by a couple (Italian + Korean), super clean, spacious, with lockers, WIFI, strategic location. Smack right in the town area. 

 

From Sicily, I departed with a Grimaldi ferry to Tunisia – take note that they do not have Tax Free counters here.

ferry to tunisia

That’s all folks! Italy is amazing and beautiful – I hope you enjoy it as I do.

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