Days and Nights of Shakerato


The land of the shakerato calls, and we heed its silky, crema-topped siren song.

We are going away to Italy in just two weeks, and the vacation couldn't come sooner: Five days in Santa Margherita Ligure on the coast of Liguria, followed by seven days in Grosseto in the Maremma region of Tuscany, and, finally, three days in Rome.

We are reading up on all of our guidebooks and perusing the web for things to do and, of course, places to eat. If you have any suggestions based on your own visits to these places, please leave a comment below.



Oh, so jealous. Actually just recently came back from a vacation in Rome. Unfortunately, I can't remember exactly where some things are. There's this pizza place off of Via di Trastevere a couple blocks away from Piazza sonnino that has great suppli. There's a chocolate store and internet point nearby.

Dar Poeta has awesome pizza. The mozzarella di bufala with cherry tomatoes and basil. Simply heaven. They are known for their various bruschetta and you can get calzone di nutella there for dessert.

There's also a great pasta place in Trastevere called Spaghetteria with the jolliest owner.

And don't forget to have tons of pesto in Liguria, which I'm sure you know already!


How exciting--we're doing almost the exact same trip at the end of the summer. Spending five nights at Villa Gnocchi in SML, and then a week in Rome. I can't wait to see your recap!


Oh how wonderful - I am green with envy! Have a fantastic trip!!


Hi Janet, Thank you so much for the recommendations. Even though you don't have the exact locations, that might make it all the more fun to try to find them.

Hey Debbie, I've checked out the Villa Gnocchi online! It looks great. We would have considered it only we wanted to be right on the water. This is our second trip to Liguria. We stayed in Camogli last time. Looking forward to hearing about your experience.

Hi Cathy, Thanks so much. I've been reading with great interest all of your posts about Sicily.


You wil likely visit Portofino, but travel on foot above the town and through the bouganvillea lined paths to the little town of Frutuoso wich was the ancestral town of the seafaring Doria family. I don't think you can reach it by car. there above the halv sunken family crypt, you can sit on a small esplanade and savor the best scampi I've ever had and a large, unlabeled bottle of superb wine. If you bring a snorkel and mask, you can slip into the water by the crypt and find a submerged Madonna basking in the water softened rays of sun and welcoming you.


Completely invidioso! Things to have in SML are the specialties of the region - pansotti (but if you are allergic to walnuts, take a pass on that) and trenette alla pesto. Also, if you can get your hands on locally made limoncello and amaretto they will spoil you forever for the stuff you can get in the U.S. Second the suggestion to go to Portofino. Great restaurants where you can lunch near the yachts. Definitely also try to go to the smaller towns (I think there's boat transportation.) You can hike in Portofino to a house on a hill that was used in the movie "Enchanted April." The view from there is amazing!


Hi Francis, I think I know the location you are talking about (though, from your description, I regret I didn't eat a meal there). Here's a photo I snapped on our last visit:

We stayed in Camogli, just north. I hiked on the path between the two towns, and though it was beautiful, I accidently took the advanced route, which was treacherous (I sprained my ankle). Next time I'll be better prepared.

Hi KB, No walnut allergies for me, so I can't wait to dive into some pansotti!


Not far from Grosseto is the isthmus that contains Porto Ercole on the south and Porto Santo Stefano on the north. (You have to take the causeway from Orbetello and then choose to turn left, for Porto Ercole). P.E. is a lovely little town but the really amazing treat is the hotel, Il Pelicano, a little further on the windy road. Treat yourself to an amazing lunch (the view is almost better than the food, but both are worth the drive). Climb down the stairway to the rocky beach and slide into the blue, blue water. If anyone should happen to challang you, as a non-hotel guest (it's shockingly expensive), just smile.
I've been back (for lunch only) three times since the first visit at age 12, swum every time, and it never loses its understated, sun-kissed allure. Enjoy.


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