SPRING into Romance in Rome, Naples & Capri

May 28, 2013

Primavera is a pleasant time of year when Italy’s temperatures warm up and flowers are in bloom, a time to enjoy an after-dinner passeggiata without the hordes of tourists and excruciating heat. Spring is a time for love and an opportunity to indulge your culinary palate with great food and wine. To me, this is one of the best times to visit Italy. And after an 8 hour flight, I landed in Rome with one thing in mind, to relax and unwind. Our agenda was simple, to enjoy leisurely days eating, shopping, site seeing, and exploring the historical splendors of Rome, Naples, and Capri.


Our holiday began in the Eternal City. This was not my first visit to Rome. Actually, I had been there many times before so I wanted this visit to be more about doing the things I enjoyed most. I made reservations at the Inn at the Spanish Steps, a luxury boutique hotel on Via Condotti in a national monument building next door to Prada and Gucci, at the foot of the world-famous Spanish Steps. The room was elegantly furnished and spacious, and the staff friendly and kind. What stole our hearts though was the enchanting rooftop garden terrace with its lovely views, orange trees and cyclamen blooming all around us. It provided the perfect backdrop to enjoy morning breakfast and cappuccino before heading out.  

Each morning we were greeted by a little boy who sat outside the steps of Gucci and befittingly serenaded us with the love lyrics to “Besame Mucho” before we headed out for the day. I will never forget him.

For the next few days we walked the ancient streets of Rome, shopped, took a horse drawn carriage ride to see the Roman ruins, threw good luck coins into the Trevi Fountain at night, ate gelato, and sat back to enjoy the city’s magnificence.

They say, “When in Rome do as the Roman’s do!” And that we did eating and drinking at some of Rome’s finest establishments. We lunched at Il Palazzetto Restaurant and Wine Bar located in a 16th-century building overlooking the Spanish Steps; drank aperitivi at the 250 year old Antico Cafe Greco; and enjoyed an incredibly delicious dinner with wine at Clemente alla Maddalena located in Piazza della Maddalena, a few steps from the Pantheon.

It was a wonderful time, so it came as no surprise that we bid farewell to Rome with a heavy heart and headed south towards Naples.


Naples is a colorful city full of character and charm, much like the people who reside there. It is situated on the west coast of Italy by the Gulf of Naples, halfway between Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, and is known for its rich history, art, culture, architecture, music, and gastronomy.

We stayed at the Hotel Excelsior in a spectacular room with gorgeous views over the Bay of Naples. While there I visited the San Carlo opera house, the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, the Castel dell’Ovo, Castel Nuovo, Piazza del Mercato, Santa Chiara Church and the Duomo. I went shopping in the some of the city’s finest sartorie, but best of all I enjoyed a relaxing in-room massage at the end of a long day.  

The food in Naples is some of the freshest and tastiest in all of Italy. We ate mouth-watering pizza made with fresh mozzarella di bufala, fresh seafood prepared to perfection, and finished each meal with fragrant espresso and pastries.

After shopping and eating to my heart’s content we sailed off to Capri…  


There was a slight chill in the air and a light mist as we boarded the ferry that would take us to the enchanting Italian island of Capri located across the Gulf of Naples, in the Tyrrhenian Sea. This portion of the trip was arranged by a dear friend, so I had no idea what to expect.

When we arrived on the island, we hailed a taxi and watched in anticipation as we made our way to the center of Capri. There, just steps away from the Piazzetta stood the luxurious Grand Hotel Quisiana. This masterpiece of Italian elegance is the perfect example of Capri’s Dolce Vita. A place you must visit to truly appreciate the magnitude of its beauty.

Our suite was decorated with antiques in delicate shades of white that exquisitely enhanced the breathtaking ocean view from our terrace. The large bathroom was stocked with luxurious toiletries that embodied the beautiful scents of Capri. It was the perfect backdrop for a warm bath. One I enjoyed before heading out to the hotel’s gourmet restaurant for dinner.

We arrived at the renowned QVISI RESTAURANT to find the same soft lighting, candles, and white hues found throughout the hotel. Live music played softly, befitting the magical atmosphere of this fine restaurant. I was excited to experience the epitome of gastronomic excellence with a special person, who like me, takes great pride and pleasure in the art of eating. We decided to order the Tasting Menu which consisted of 8 courses. Each dish featured traditional regional cuisine with a new contemporary twist. Each meal transformed into a gastronomic journey exploring the flavors and aromas of the Mediterranean. Each dish presented as if a work of art. It was an experience I will never forget, made even more incredible by the company I shared it with.

After dinner we headed to the piano bar to savor a glass of grappa while listening to the talented gentleman play piano. It was a truly magical experience that defies words. One I will never forget. One I will keep in my heart forever. And if you are ever fortunate enough to visit this exquisite island, I hope you too have the privilege of experiencing this hotel.

The remainder of our days were spent exploring the island, eating, relaxing and indulging in the pleasure of Il Dolce Far Niente – the sweetness of doing nothing but savouring and enjoying life and each other. Until next time!

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