Lake Como

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Getting to Como was crazy.. haha but it was so worth getting here! I took a ferry from Ischia (an island near Capri) to Naples, train to Rome, flew from Rome to Milan LIN airport, shuttle from LIN airport to Malpensa airport, then took several different train connections to get to Lago Como and barely made the very last bus!! It was a full day haha

I was in Lake Como for 3 days and the first 2 days it was raining, storming, and the temperature was in the 50’s! I did not pack for cold weather and I was absolutely freezing. I went to some shops but one look at the designer price tag and I decided to go without a sweater. I actually thought about just buying a blanket or something because I was so cold but didn’t want to buy a fancy expensive jacket or sweater. haha

Thank goodness it cleared up and was 80 degrees my last full day. It was like staying in 2 different places when the weather changed. The color of the water changed and I really enjoyed walking around and seeing everything!

I spent 2 nights in Menaggio and 1 night in Veranna with a day trip to Bellagio (10 minute ferry ride) I stayed at the sweetest bed & breakfast so I had to include a pic for her.

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Como was a lot quieter than I was anticipating! In hindsight, I wish I had flown into Milan from the U.S. and stayed here first to get over the jet lag and read a few books and relaxed here. The towns are so quaint, serene, and lovely but public transportation ends at 8p.m. which was surprising to me and in the evenings everyone seemed to turn in early. It reminded me a lot of the quiet towns of Tuscany I’ve stayed in.

It was different after coming from towns where you don’t go to dinner until 8p.m, 9p.m., 10p.m., and here we ate very early and I was offered chamomile tea at 8p.m. after dinner “to help me sleep” so maybe not the best for night owls like me but I still enjoyed the beauty of the place!

I filmed a short video and will be posting it soon! XO

 

 

Praiano

 

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I shared this photo previously it’s a shot of Positano from Praiano and my new friends saw there was no where to sit – all the beds were full on the beach so I climbed these rocks and was rewarded with the best view! They brought me drinks since they felt bad I could’t get service up on the rocks! haha so sweet. Grazie Tony & Maria! 

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I had never been to Praiano before this summer! I had seen the twinkling lights and even fireworks and was so curious about the town. This trip I went to Praiano during the day for the beach club and at night it’s so pretty! They were having a festival of lights and just driving through the town you see all the streets light up with candles!! It was gorgeous and I went to Il Pirata for some good food & wine and a great view of the boats. These pictures were taken on the same day I went to Amalfi & Revello and after a day of swimming 🙂 Next time I’d like to spend more time here.

Oh and I had to share a clip of the watermelon party at the beach club (yes, that’s a thing!)

When someone brings a watermelon out they go crazy!

Ravello & Amalfi

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Up in the clouds is where you’ll find me 🙂 These pictures of me were taken at a villa in Ravello and I also spent some time in Amalfi.

Isn’t it crazy how one side of the mountain is so cloudy you actually feel like you’re walking around in the clouds at the tip top then a short walk later you’re in the sun again! For these 2 towns I would suggest maybe spending a couple of hours at each one but I just walked around and headed back to Praiano.

Praiano & Positano definitely have more things to do but these towns are so lovely to see & spend a little time! It felt like I was in heaven!

Also, part of packing light means I didn’t bring a ton of outfits.  I broke the fashion blogger rule of repeating outfits in pictures but the travel blogger side of me is thankful my luggage was so light 🙂 I also sometimes would wake up to run errands and end up going on these crazy day trips without much planning so it didn’t even occur to me, “oh I already have a ton of pics in this dress…” That’s what happens when you’re having fun!

Hope you enjoy my post!

 

XO JO

Capri for a day

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The great thing about staying in Positano is it’s so easy to take a ferry to go see other places! I took a day trip to Capri and honestly had no expectations when I arrived. Of course I’d heard of the famous island but I just got off the boat wide eyed in the morning and first things first had a cup of coffee at Cafe Augusto as soon as I arrived.

The staff was so sweet and friendly! When I travel solo of course you can research on your phone what to do and places to see but I have better luck when I get a cup of coffee and ask the waiters where I should go and what I should see.  They will tell you “skip this, go here it’s cheaper, buy a ticket at the stand here first and the last boat leaves at X time.” And it’s always nice making friends!

They told me to go to Capri town so I took the vernacular up the mountain which was absolutely packed! The views were worth it. I walked around and had a drink at restaurant Faraglioni to beat the heat. They were so nice and I was enjoying the company so I ended up staying and talking a while and they wouldn’t even let me pay! Extremely generous and welcoming staff.

They suggested I go the gardens which was a short walk so I paid the 1 euro entrance fee for the most magnificent views!

I opted to walk down the mountain instead of being crammed in the vernacular and apparently no one else had the same idea because I only saw a handful of people on my walk down but I got the best pictures and different views going this way! I cautiously went swimming at the beach by the port. ( I had my bag with me #solotravelprobs) And I took the last boat back to Positano. Capri was beautiful but you really need a few days here to see everything!

Positano Magic

After taking the train from Rome to Naples, I made my way to Positano {my favorite place in Italy} It’s beautiful but more than that, the people make it the best for me. South Italy has the friendliest, warmest, good people that I was so excited to see again. I was actually nervous about going back because I almost felt like I would spoil it. Does that make sense? It was so amazing the first time I wondered if it would be the same but it was even better.

I have friends who have made a day trip to Positano and thought it was pretty but I feel like they’re missing out on all the magic of that town. The Amalfi coast is beautiful and a day trip doesn’t do it justice! It was so nice to surprise some friends (locals I’d met last summer) and I always end up extending my stay because I love it so much. Saying good bye was soooo hard but I know I’ll keep coming back forever.

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Arienzo lunch

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This picture is a little goofy but I was happy in it so I’m leaving it here 🙂

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La Terra is the best restaurant to go to! It’s up on the mountain and you have to sit outside and enjoy the amazing view while eating their delicious food!

 

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shrimp at La Terra
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mussels at La Terra

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I may have forced this picture to happen ^ haha

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I wrote this post last year about my stay and how I fell in love with it.

You have to go to…

Best restaurants: 

La Terra restaurant for the view & food. It’s at the top of the mountain and you can get a shuttle there if you’re staying in Positano or a nearby town!

Ristorante da Constantino is my favorite and my friend Aida works there! She is the best and always entertains 🙂 I ate here 3 times this stay! And ate wayyyyy too much.

My favorite bars:

Bar Internazionale –  watering hole for a very casual laid back drink with locals

Music on the Rocks – for dancing and very late nights – its gets busier after 1a.m.  and you can take a dip in the ocean before calling it a night

La Pergola – down on the beach they make amazing craft cocktails

Best beaches:

Take a boat to Adolfo beach and eat everything at the restaurant!

Or walk down the stairs to Arienzo beach and we great food & drinks at the restaurant there as well! I actually went here twice this trip!

If you go to any of these places, please tell them I sent you! They’d be so happy to hear people read about them 🙂

My last day in Positano my friend brought me coffee early in the morning since I had a ferry to catch. I was actually able to fit all my luggage on a scooter and I sat on the back sipping coffee riding down the mountain watching the sun come up. 🌅Some of my favorite memories I don’t have any pictures of but Positano is pure magic and I will always come back here. 

Packing Light for Rookies

My first trip to Europe my friend Amanda gave me this advice:

Pack your suitcase. Unpack half of it. Then you’re golden.

I thought I knew how to pack light my first trip abroad when I was a student, and it was a learning experience. I remember my friend Zak was helping me load my big bulky suitcase packed for 6 weeks into the cab on the way to the airport and the handle snapped off. Before we even left for the airport! What a great start! haha and I had to deal with this enormous heavy suitcase pulling it onto boats using those skinny ramps in Venice or up into trains in Naples and when I was alone it was difficult because if I needed to let’s say use the restroom certain places it was too big to take with me so that was a dilemma.Learning to pack light has been trial and error and I’m happy to say I’m becoming quite the master at it.

I was mentally packing & unpacking for my most recent trip far in advance.

The beauty of packing light is, it can save you money, gives you freedom because you can throw your things together in a moment’s notice, and makes getting around SO much easier!

Especially for solo travel running after trains and ferries and navigating through the airport makes such a world of difference if you’ve packed light. You also realize how little you really need the more you travel.

This time I brought 2 small bags I wouldn’t have to check and I was even able to fit them on to a scooter if you can believe that! And they were light so I could easily carry them around without getting tired or if I was in between places to stay I could take them with me to a restaurant or cafe without taking up too much space.

My advice is to pack for a week even if you’re going away for a month. Wash your clothes (I hand washed things all the time). Bring pieces that go together easily. I pick a couple different colors and maybe 2 pairs of shoes that go with every outfit. I packed so light and there were still some outfits I never ended  up wearing!

Would you guys be interested in my favorite products I brought with me? If so I’ll do a post on that! How do you manage packing light for your travel and what are your best tips?

 

 

****Since you guys asked… here’s some pictures of my luggage with some of my favorite beauty products I’ve been using!

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Favorite deodorant. Beauty elixir mist. (I got the travel size from Sephora).  GlamGlow hydrating mask. Dry shampoo love the volume this gives! Almay eye makeup remover pads. This washcloth also removes all your makeup without any product!

A good time to buy travel size beauty products is after Christmastime! Just go on Sephora, Ulta, or Nordstrom when they do a sale and buy a kit!

Loved the eye mask I tried on this last trip! I also tried this lip mask and it was so hydrating! And I’m eyeing this glamglow set!

So this clear bag is a vacuum-sealed bag I got from Target but all you do is push air out of it and it frees up space! Then when I’m staying somewhere for just a night I don’t really properly unpack so it makes it easier for me to see the outfit I’m wanting to wear.

My travel staple is a dress like that red one. I think dresses are easier to wear because it’s just the simplest thing to me.  Rather than piecing together an outfit and matching things it takes me 30 seconds to get dressed and the cotton dress I can ball up tight in my bag and it doesn’t really wrinkle. I got it for $5 at H&M in DC years ago and have probably worn it at least once a week since then! (just go to the clearance section in the store.)

 

Something I’ve encountered at a few airbnb’s in Europe is they don’t always supply you with shampoo, conditioner, or soap so I always bring some with me in case. Normally I keep some hotel samples in my bathroom at home so I throw a few in my suitcase before leaving!

I also always bring a couple washcloths (since you’re in someone’s home I wouldn’t want any makeup coming off on their nice towels.)

I pack a small mirror with suction cups on the back because bathrooms don’t always have great light and I prefer to find some natural light for applying makeup if I can. When travelling with someone I also don’t want to take over the bathroom so that way I can shower and then do the rest of my regimen with my little mirror and let them use the bathroom.

I never travel without my satin pillowcase. I won’t wake up with lines on my face, it prevents wrinkles and smooths my hair so I don’t have to style it was much in the morning and can get up & go!

Please ask any questions you have or if there’s something else you think I should include!

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QUEEN MODA POSITANO LOOK 3

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Here is the final look we did in Positano for Queen Moda! Such a fun beachy bohemian look. I could have stayed all day shooting!

Queen Moda Positano Look 2

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Here’s my second look from the collaboration with Queen Moda Positano! If you get the chance to go to Positano definitely go to the dress shop they have such beautiful handmade pieces!

QUEEN MODA POSITANO Look 1

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*Disclaimer – my hair looked pretty decent before I put on a helmet and jumped on a scooter to get to the shoot. haha This is the first look we shot! Hope you like it!

Travel Style

When I travel I tend to pick a few colors (normally a mix of white, black, and cognac accents) with a few fun colorful pieces to mix and match. It makes packing so much easier! And you don’t spend as much time putting together an outfit.

I’m going to show you some of my favorite picks for travel to everywhere I’ve been the past month. Lyst has made shopping so much easier for me. I always prefer online shopping because I actually hate trying clothes on and Lyst has some of my favorite designers all in one place! (Anyone else love Revolve?)

In Italy here’s some of my favorite looks to wear on the Amalfi Coast whether you’re having pizza in Positano or exploring caves in Capri! I always try to pack only 3 pairs of shoes even if I’m traveling for a month so I pick shoes that will go with almost any outfit.

PicMonkey Colla54234534ge.jpg1) For Love & Lemons top & bottom 2) For Love & Lemons blouse 3) Rag&Bone off the shoulder Love their tops! 4)Tabitha Simmons & they have the best selection of heels 5) Vince Camuto gold sandals 6) Soludos espadrilles 6) Valentino cross body 7)BCBG Generation 8) lemon clutch {all found on Lyst!!}

In Lake Como these pieces would be perfect!

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1)Auguste dress 2)BCBGMAXAZRIA dress

 

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1) A.L.C. 2) Elliatt 3) Lovers & Friends 4) Faithfull the Brand

 

And I would totally rock these in Paris. PicMonke5425432y Collage

1)C&C California 2) Solace London

Here’s my take on Parisian style. Tennis shoes for day time and stilettos for the evening. I love pieces you can take from daytime to nighttime. And of course I had to style the shoot with baguettes. {Is there anything more French?} Hat from Forever 21. Heels from Lulu’s. Tennis shoes from Target.

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The other model tried to eat the baguettes!

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