If you want a more Italian experience/ ambiance you need to go for the later reservation, after 9:00. The 7:00/ 7:30 reservations will be all foreigners. I highly recommend making reservations before hand. We had no trouble making the night before and day of reservations.

Lunch & Dinner - Trastevere Neigborhood

Trattoria de Gli Amici

The Trattotoria is managed by a social cooperative promoted by Saint'Egido Community. Disabled people, professionals and volunteers work here together because best things are made in friendship. We happened upon this restaurant on our trip back in 2014, it is located in a charming Piazza just a tiny bit off the beaten path with a very nice outside area. We immediately fell in love with the mission, the food is great and despite being in a very touristy area/ time only Italians were at the restaurant.
Piazza S Egido 6, Roma - Trastevere
06 5806033

Dinner - Campo Di Fiori neighborhood

PianoStrada laboratorio di cucina

Beautiful. Located just a few blocks from our hotel and just far enough from the touristy craziness to offer a quiet dinner. We walked by and fell in love with the interior. Flowers, candles, plants, dried fruits in beautiful jars cover every inch of the restaurant. The dinner was absolutely delicious. I had a special that was a pasta with seabass, it was beyond. I am drooling as I write this and the bread is amazing.
Via delle Zoccolette, 22, 00186 Roma RM
+39 06 8957 2296

Dinner - Piazza Navaona area

Ristorante Santa Lucia

Beautiful terraced deck a few blocks from Piazza Navona. Great food and love the ambiance.
Largo Febo, 12, 00186 Roma RM
+39 06 6880 2427

Lunch - Between Pantheon & Piazza Navona

Ginger Sapori e Salute

Great stop, in the middle of everything. Very nice salads if you need a change of pace from pizza and pasta. Very pretty modern interior.
St. Eustachio Square, 54-55, Centro Storico

Coffee & Breakfast - Piazza Navona Neigborhhod

Casa & Bottega

This was our morning hangout when we came back in 2014. Love this place, great for a coffee and pastry and to regroup when you are in the city center.

Casual Lunch & Dinner - Tastevere Neighborhood

Ai Marmi

Next time!!!! We didn't make it, but have heard its delicious pizza! Will just have to come back.
Viale di Trastevere, 53-59, 00153 Roma RM


Italian womens boutique

Nina Loca

Beautiful Italian clothing, great price point, a lot of linen and leatther. I scored here, leather jacket, 2 tops, a skirt and leather belt! Located near Campo DiFiori on a very touristy street, but this was a great find!
Via dei Giubbonari, 67, 00186 Roma RM


Fabindia Roma

Walked by this boutique on our first afternoon in Rome and returned a few times to purchase several small pouches for organizing/ traveling. All the products are designed in Italy and then printed and assembled in India. These make great gifts!
Via del Banco di Santo Spirito, 40, 00186 Roma RM


Nice hotel - great price

Piazza Farnese Luxury Suites

I ended up really liking this hotel and the location (I wasn't sure at first). It is right off of Campi DiFiore which isn't my favorite Piazza, but ended up finding some really cute spots in this neighborhood. My room number was 102 and had been recently renovated, I would stay in this room again. My parents stayed on the piazza side and it was loud. The staff is super welcoming and helpful. I didn't love the lobby area, but plenty of cute places to hang out close by. Just a tip before checking in ask for your room to not have the cleaning scent sprayed (it is very strong).
Piazza Farnese 101, 00186 Roma, Italia

Notes For Next Time

If staying at Farnese, check out Via del Pellegrino for cute cafés and shops.

Antica Latteria Roma - right next to our hotel, cute little wine bar. It was closed the first few nights we were there and so we didn't discover it until our last night in Rome.
Vicolo del Gallo, 4, 00186 Roma RM

In 2014 we stayed on a quiet street off of Via Del Paca. It was an AIRBNB, I really liked this area and would recommend staying there if you can find a nice place.


 Le Marais is one of those areas in Paris that you will just never be able to get enough of. The neighborhood is packed to the gills with exciting cafes, boutiques and boulangeries… to pop into.  Below I am sharing a selection of my personal favorites in Le Marais:


Le Marais
Le Marais

Maleka Designs Paris
Beautiful Marais Apartment across from the Picasso Museum
2 Rue de Thiorny Le Marais Paris |
Living like a local, not a tourist is always my aim when traveling. This airbnb is authentic Parisian living located in the heart of my favorite neighborhood Le Marais. Charming, stylish, peaceful and light filled one-bedroom apartment, beautifully renovated and furnished with antique pieces.


Folks and Sparrows - Paris

Used Book Cafe - Paris

Broken Arm - Paris


Café Charlot Paris

Boots Café - Paris


Café Charlot – best for lunch
38 Rue de Bretagne
This is the place to be in Le Marais. I can sit here for hours soaking in all the fashionable people.  The menu is simple and delicious, the chèvre chaud is devine!

Folks and Sparrows – best for breakfast
14 Rue Sain Sebastian, Paris 75011
Adorable rustic café tucked away on a quiet street in Le Marais. Loved it for breakfast.

Used Book Cafe  – best for afternoon coffee after shopping at Merci
111 boulevard Beaumarchais 75003 Paris (located on ground floor of  Merci)
Rendez-vous over a cup of coffee or for a quick lunch surrounded  by over 10,000 books. Loved it for an apres shopping at Merci cappuccino stop.

Cinèma Café – best for  lunch
Bright, chic, fun vibe, great place to meet for lunch around a plate of charcuterie, salad or soup. Try the ginger lemonade.

Broken Arm – best for breakfast
12 Rue Perrée, 75003 Paris
Offers great coffee in a trendy setting inside or out.

Boots Café – best for breakfast or a late afternoon pick me up
19 Rue du Pont Choux, 75003
Open 10 – 6
Paris’s smallest coffee shop. They advertise Coffee to go, but its super cute cafe decor will make you want to stay at one of the two tiny tables and enjoy your coffee there.

Marché des Enfants
39 Rue de Bretagne, 3rd
At 400-years-old, the Marais-based Marché des Enfants Rouges is worth browsing whether you’re hungry or not (you can always stock up on fresh cut flowers, fruits, vegetables and the best butter you will ever have).


Merci –  Concept Store
111 blvd du Beaumarchais
It is impossible to go to Le Marais without spending some time wandering through my favorite concept store. Great spot for gifts, check out the Merci line of lines, to have a café crème in their Used Book Café or a bite to eat in the chic Cinema Café.

Isabel Marant
47 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris
Bought the coziest sweater here. Beautiful chic french line

Rue Debelleyme 22
German company, most clothing is made in Italy. They are known for their denim, but I purchased a beautiful small leather cross saddle bag.

Le Labo Fragrances
7, rue Froissart 75003 Paris
Paris is the place to purchase perfume. Le Labo makes 10 handmade exclusive scents which they customize for you in the shop !


 Venturing outside of Le Marais

Buvette Paris

For 8 euros for a week pass you can bike around the city using one of the 20,000 bikes available in the city. You pick up the bike at one destination and deliver it at another. Be sure to check out the bikes before picking yours, as they often have flat tires…. Biking can be daunting in Paris, stick to the smaller streets and it is a great way to get around. Most busy roads have a bike/bus lane.

Claus– favorite time breakfast, must make a reservation
14 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001
On the ground floor there’s a carefully curated selection of biscuits, mueslis, jams and other condiments, and in the green-carpeted dining room upstairs, you settle at a white table for a good feed. Combines a chic boutique vibe with a cozy home atmosphere.  Ride bikes from the Marais.

Buvette –  9ème – South Pigalle – favorite time dinner
28 Rue Henry Monnier, 75009 Paris, France
Rustic chic French bistro. Short and sweet menu, order a lot and share. I dream of the tartines slathered in mint pesto and fava beans and for desert the peach tart with whipped crème fraiche.

Cafe Charlot - Paris


Obica - Florence

Obica - Florence

Caffe' Dell Oro - Florence


Obica – Mozzarella Bar
Via Tornabuoni 16
Beautiful courtyard in the city center.

Caffe’ Dell Oro
Lungarno degli Acciaioli, 2, 50123 Firenze, Italy
Beautiful breakfast sanctuary, immediately off the Ponte Vecchio.


Riva Lofts

Riva Lofts

Riva Lofts
Via Baccio Bandinelli, 98, 50142 Firenze, Italie
+39 055 713 0272 | www.
Boutique hotel blending city lifestyle with a welcoming warm atmosphere.  Ten minute bike ride, 20 minute walk along the river  park (bikes free for guests). Easy to drive to and park at hotel.


Piazzetta dei Del Bene, 7/a
+39 055 268528
Closed Monday.
Tues – Sat 10-10
Sunday 5pm-10
Minutes from the Ponte Vecchio, but feels like one of the quietest squares in town. Great neighborhood bar feel nestled at the end of an alley under a fig tree. Hip, relaxed and delicious place, perfect to stop at any hour of the day.


Tuscany – Pienza – Val d’Orcia

La Bandita Countryhouse - Tuscany

La Bandita Countryhouse - Tuscany

La Bandita Countryhouse - Tuscany

La Bandita Countryhouse - Tuscany

La Bandita Countryhouse

Pienza Italy

La Bandita Country House Pienza

Pienza - Tuscany


Day Trips

Monteverdi - Tuscany

Monteverdi - Tuscany

Dopolavoro - Tuscany

Dopolavoro - Tuscany

Monteverdi – Castiglioncello Del Trinoro Tuscany – hotel, spa and restaurant
Exquisitely restored 12th century mini village (25 inhabitants) of Castiglioncello del Trinoro, Tuscany.  Be ready to relax with a fabulous book and soak in the beautiful setting. Gorgeous spa, restaurant, bar and Enoteca. Great for a day trip or spend a night or 2 here.

Dopolavoro Restorante & Bar – Below La Foce
Traditional Tuscan farm to table dining, vegetable garden is across the street. Often have live music in the evenings.

La Foce – Gardens
Marvelous estate, you can stay here or if budget does not allow go for a garden tour and hike.


La Bandita Townhouse – Pienza
Boutique hotel located in the heart of Pienza. Mix of modern and old.  The restaurant was our go to hangout.
Casina Di Piazza – Pienza – Airbnb
Great price, center of town, clean 2 bedroom Airbnb.


La Bandita Townhouse - Tuscany

La Bandita Townhouse

La Bandita Townhouse - Tuscany

Il Picolo - Pienza

La Bandita Townhomes – A must
We spent a lot of time here (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Elegant setting, friendly staff and excelent  food.

Trattoria Latte du Luna – Simple, fresh and resonable
Authentic Tuscan restaurant. Very reasonable, Try the peci pasta

Buon Gusto – Galato and smoothies
The best spot for homemade gelato.

Il Picolo Caffe – casual dining
Cozy inside seating, great outside patio in the back. After traveling all day and having a big pasta lunch at La Bandita, this was a great spot for a casual dinner of prosciutto, cheese, and antipasto.


Il Bar - Pienza

Bar Il Casello – Best view in Pienza
Order inside and enjoy your vino overlooking the Tuscan fields