My husband and I went on a 3-week trip to Italy in May. This was a great trip, a trip of a lifetime because we visited so many different areas in Italy in that amount of time. We started out in Sorrento, and traveled to Pompei, Anacapri and Capri, and the Amalfi Coast from that home base. Then we went to Tuscany, first to the Southeast Region, and then to the northwest region. Finally, we ended in Florence and then Rome. With all that traveling, I had to do my best to keep myself on track with my wellness routines. Trust me the trip was challenging to my body. I tried to bring everything I needed with me to keep my digestive system as close to what I was used to, for I wanted to be a happy camper. So grateful was I for my Melaleuca vitamins. They made it easy for me to stay organized and stick to my routine because the vitamins are separated into packets labeled am and pm. I have been taking them for about a year now and I see dramatic changes in my energy and digestion. Without bringing them I don’t think I would have had as good a vacation as I did. Absolutely no upset stomachs on this trip and I kept up with all the hill climbing that we did. Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi coast and Tuscany had some amazing hills and cliffs. This made it great for hiking. Of course, I had the hiking shoes with me that I purchased just before I left. These shoes were a life saver. Most roads we walked to get around were cobblestone, rocks and gravel. Being it was May we did have rain daily which was a bummer, but the hiking shoes kept me from slipping. You can get them in any athletic store, or online. I bought Salomon, which is a top brand. They were great, but I needed the wide width, so once we came home I returned them and got Oboz which are wider and are just as good.
I really missed my daily gym routine, but there was no time for that on this trip with all the sight-seeing and hotel hopping. Despite that we did get in a lot of walking and climbing so I used my glutes quite a bit. The hotels rooms were quite small. Thus, it was hard to do my routine yoga. I improvised and with discipline just did my yoga stretches on the beds. As long as I did some breathing and stretching before the day I was good to go. It was challenging but we would take rests and did some stretches on the benches. I packed my resistance bands but used them the least. I got quite a bit of a workout just with the massive amount of daily walking and I didn’t have a great deal of time in the room.
Eating in Italy is the best. They have the most scrumptious pastries and desserts. The breads are so good and crunchy. We dipped the bread in the olive oil and drank wine daily. In Tuscany, we ate the best pasta in Pienza, which was homemade. With all the walking we did, the carbs gave me energy and I burnt it off. I made sure I had a balanced breakfast of protein, carbs and fats so my body would work for me. The hotels have a continental breakfast included. They served yogurt, assorted fruit, toast with jellies and lots of pastries. Mostly croissants were served. That was big in Italy for breakfast. They would put out hard boiled eggs too but if you wanted scrambled in some places you had to ask for that. One of our stays in Tuscany put out ricotta and cheeses as a choice to put on or scoop up with delicious bread. It was so good. If you wanted anything close to American coffee, then the cappuccino is best. Their version of American is very strong! They don’t serve half and half. What they do serve is always steamed milk. I would ask the waiter for hot water in a pot and of course there are plenty of lemons in Italy. I would cut them up and put them in my water. I was used to doing this because at home I always start my day with warm water and lemons. It starts off my hydrating for the day. After breakfast, I always had my water bottle filled for our ventures, so I could drink water with the vino that we did and stay hydrated. It’s hard to get water to fill your bottle when you are out, and the water is not filtered, so I would fill up at the hotel. When we went out to dinner I made sure to choose protein, and it was mostly fish I picked, because, being by seas and gulfs, there was always a fresh catch of the day. I would try eating the pasta during the day for energy. That seemed to work. I had my gelato as an afternoon snack or just for lunch. I did not deprive myself of any delicacies because this was my vacation of a lifetime in a country that is known for amazing food and wine. If you plan out your day and keep your routine as close to what your body is used to you won’t have issues and gain pounds that you must shed when you get home, which is such a drag and a setback. After returning home it did take me about a week to get back on track anyway because you put your body through so much when you travel. The jet leg is crazy, and the airlines have no room for your legs unless you fly first class. The airline seats in economy class demand that your body be like a contortionist’s through the entire flight. Also, your clock is off because of the time difference. My body thanked me when I returned home to my routine.
This was my third time visiting Italy, so I was familiar with how to pack for traveling there, but this was my first traveling there in May, and the areas we visited had much more rocks and cliffs. My suggestion is that you pack light! Bring layers. Scarves are a must. You can buy them there and they can be your souvenir as well. I brought a cute rain jacket with a hood that became an essential. We purchased umbrellas there and due to the unending days of rain from every stand they sold like hot cakes. See my packing list below that may help you.
- Rain jacket with hood
- Umbrella (wind proof)
- Moto jacket
- Sweater (2 or 3) light weight if you go in April or May
- T shirts and long sleeve shirts
- 1 pair of shorts if it gets hot (which is not until June)
- 1 bathing suit and cover up (especially if hotel has a spa, you will need it)
- A lot of socks and underwear (no time for laundry)
- Toilet wipes (bathrooms are difficult in Italy)
- Hiking shoes and walking shoes
- Flats for night time dinner
- Black jeans, pants and blue jeans
- Lots of tops
- Passport holder
- Adapter for phone charger (3 prong for Europe)
- Good backpack that can get wet
- 1 cute cross body purse or fanny pack
- 2 pair of sunglasses
- Water bottle
- If you rent a car, buy an on-dash mount for your phone. Stops arguments between the driver and the navigator reading the GPS in the shotgun seat.
- Don’t bring too much toiletries except if you have something specific you need. Every hotel and Pharmacia has some and it just weighs your bag down.
Note: You don’t have to dress up in Italy because most of the time we were out sightseeing and then would stop for dinner. The restaurants accept you with sneakers and jeans. There were times I would just dress my outfit up with a scarf and just change my top and jacket to go out for dinner if we did stop at the room for a break. My feet were so tired from walking, that I did not want to put anything else on my feet. You can’t wear pointed high-heels in Italy. There is nothing but cobblestone. Some local women did anyway, when on dates, but when they did, they did struggle walking. I would say, if you dress up, wear a wedge heel, if any. I brought a pair but did not put them on. It’s just not the trip for that. All in all, the trip was amazing and unforgettable. When I returned home it made me realize how much I loved my home and my routine . Italy had some amazing cities and sights, but nothing is like my lovely hometown in New Jersey.