Where we stayed

Hotel Savoia & Jolanda

  • Convenient location on the water and a short walk to San Marco Square
  • Being that it was on the water, super easy to get to and from Airport / train station via water taxi
  • Decent sized room; they added a cot bed for Sienna and we still had plenty of space
  • On-site gym, but you must book time at the gym in advance
  • On-site restaurant that was perfect for after dinner drinks on the water (watch out for mosquitos) and banana gondolas (aka banana splits)
  • They gave us a bag of yummy Italian cookies on arrival and departure
  • It is a very busy area with people arriving during the day for day trips (that would be my only minus)

Venice Itinerary

Day 1:

  • Land at VCE airport and take pre-booked Water Taxi to the Hotel. We used Consorzio Motoscafi
  • St. Marks Basilica – 45 minute Self Guided Tour (we did not take that long). Tour booked through Viator. Make sure the read the fine print, as we had the vouchers and had to go to a separate location to actually get the tickets to enter St. Mark’s
  • Grabbed Gelato at Bar Americano aka American Snack Bar. This place is super close to the square and we grabbed snacks and treats there daily. Perfect for a quick bite!
  • Walked around for a bit and did some shopping. There are lots of high end stores, if you are looking to treat yourself 🙂
  • Rest at hotel
  • Dinner Le Tole Spaghetteria Pizzeria. This was the best meal we had in Venice!
  • After Dinner Spritzes at OZIO | Artisanal Wine Bar

Day 2:

  • Shopping. I may have splurged on a bag. Make sure to bring your passport for VAT refund forms!
  • Gondola Ride. No need to pre-book this. There are multiple locations offering Gondola rides and you can hop right on. I believe we paid 90 Euros for the shortest ride option….who knows if that is a fair price or not 🙂
  • Mask Making at San Marco 596 Venetian Masks. The class prior to us was running late, so we had a drink and fries at the cafe across the way while we waited. We enjoyed making masks! Note: the instructor likes to take breaks, so I am guessing he is usually behind schedule. I grabbed a Spritz across the way, and all was good!
  • Dinner at Antico Gatoleto. Food was decent. This place was very kid friendly, if you are traveling with kids…else I’d skip.
  • After Dinner Spritzes and banana gondola at our hotel’s restaurant Ristorante Principessa
Gondola Ride
Pizza at Antico Gatoleto
Banana gondola at Ristorante Principessa

Day 3:

  • Doge’s Palace – 2 hours Kid Friendly tour. There are a few options available depending on child ages. We did the “Perfect Venetian Crime”. It was €100 but includes the price of museum admission which is almost €100 anyway!
  • Ferry to Burano
    • No need to pre-book, just buy tickets when you arrive at the ferry dock.
    • We considered going to Murano as well, it is actually a much shorter ferry ride, but we were exhausted and the ferry was packed. You can definitely visit both places in 1 day though.
  • Dinner at Trattoria Zaccaria. We did not have dinner reservation this last night, so ended going here since it is super close to the hotel and had vegetarian options. It was decent.
  • After Dinner Spritzes at our hotel’s restaurant Ristorante Principessa. This night we got attacked by mosquitos, so we didn’t stay long. Pack your bug spray!
Doge’s Palace – 2 hours Kid Friendly tour
Colorful Houses on Burano

Day 4:

  • Water Taxi to Train Station to Positano. We pre-booked our water taxi with Consorzio Motoscafi
  • Train to Naples. We pre-booked our train tickets here


Where we stayed

Casa Caldiero – Building with 9 apartments/condos. We rented through Airbnb.

  • Amazing views on Positano
  • Owner lives in the building and is very helpful – he will even coordinate porters for you who will take your luggage from the road to the condo
  • 177 stairs down to beach (so don’t leave anything in the apartment).
  • Great location!
  • Can hear loud music at night from beach side bars

If we go back, we would look into staying at one of the hotels beach level and skip the 177 stairs. Here are some of the hotels that looked like good options.

Positano Itinerary

Day 4:

  • Taxi to Positano. We pre-booked our taxi using Positano Taxi Service. €170 each way for a large, comfortable van and it takes about 90 minutes.
  • Arrive in Positano, hired porters to take luggage to AirBnB. Hotels may arrange this for you, but make sure you work with your contact to ensure you have someone helping with your luggage. There are a lot of stairs in Positano.
  • Arrive at Airbnb. We stayed in one of the apartments in Casa Caldiero
  • Pick up food at local market (The wine shop Positano vini e panini) for dinner.
  • Walk around, grab gelato (it’s everywhere)

Day 5:

  • Family Photos. We booked using Our photographer was Barbara and Claudio (only Claudio was there). We just did a 30 minute session and got 15 amazing photo!
  • Beach Club on the main Positano Beach, Spiaggia Grande L’Incanto. Pre book chairs here. 2 beach chairs + umbrella are $85 Euros.
    • This was the most affordable beach club we visited.
    • Ordering food was convenient. They had a QR you could scan to bring up the menu and order directly from your phone. We had the pizza and it was pretty good!
    • The beach is very rocky, make sure to bring water shoes
    • We sat in the front row (book early for front row)
    • This beach club apparently gets really crowded later in the summer, but was not bad when we were there. If you are looking for something similar but less crowded, checkout the beach club we went to on day 8 (see below).
  • Dinner at Rada. This was the restaurant where it says kids should be 10 or older for dinner, but we had no issue getting Sienna in. It is small and outdoors, so as long as you don’t have kids running around, you would be ok. It was very delicious! Highly recommend.
Family Pics
Beach Club on the main Positano Beach, Spiaggia Grande

Day 6:

  • Arienzo Beach Club
    • This was the most expensive beach club by far, but was such a fun day. Price includes beach umbrella, sunbeds, towels, waters, welcome bottle of champagne, and a 2 course lunch.
    • Book chairs at the club here. Prices range from $235-$473 per person (kids are a little cheaper)
    • A boat picked us up on the main Positano beach, and took us to the private beach club
    • There were not a ton of kids there, but Sienna did find a couple to play with…so all was good.
    • The lunch was pretty good and there were enough options for us vegetarians.
    • We had so much fun at this beach club. It was definitely my favorite, as it should be for the price. If you want to splurge one day, I definitely recommend.
  • We stayed in for dinner and ate food we picked up at the local market

Day 7:

  • Private Boat Day we used Restart Boat & Yacht
  • We had to email with someone there to book a customized trip. We went with an 8 hour excursion that left from the dock in Positano.
  • The trip we took included lunch at a coastal restaurant, sight seeing nearby islands, exploring some of the caves, a trip around Capri, and then some swimming.
  • Tip – be very specific about your “must-have’s”. We ended up making some compromises later on in the day that I wish we had prioritized. We ran out of time and had to choose between swimming and actually going into Capri. We wanted to do both and would have gladly skipped some of the sightseeing.
  • We stayed in for dinner and ate food we picked up at the local market
Private Boat Day
Private Boat Day

Day 8:

  • Da Ferdinando Beach Club
    • This beach Club in on the other side of Positano. You can take a boat or there is a pathway from the main beach area that takes you directly to it (it’s just 100+ stairs down to it)
    • Another affordable beach club option, it is $95 Euros for 2 chairs. Book chairs here
    • We pre-booked and were first row.
    • You can order food / drinks to your chair from a server (no app here) and there is also an on-site restaurant with a larger menu
    • This beach club is more chill and less crowded than the main beach. I really liked this one too (I actually liked all of them because what’s not to like about a beach club)
    • There looked to be a couple other beach clubs right by this one, if for some reason this one is booked up.
    • Sienna and Jonathan rented a paddleboard for €12 and had some fun!
  • Dinner at La Pergola restaurant Positano. I had the cyclops salad and we all shared a pizza.

Note on Positano Beach Clubs…

When we were figuring out which beach clubs we wanted to visit in Positano, I found this blog post and went with her 2 favorites (Arienzo and Da Ferdinando Beach Club). I don’t know this person, but she does a good job of reviewing all the Positano beach clubs, so it is definitely worth checking out. My friend who visited recently went to the Da Adolfo Beach Club and enjoyed it.

Day 9:

  • Taxi to Naples Train Station. We pre-booked our train tickets to Rome here
  • 1 hour train ride from Naples to Rome


Where we stayed

Navona Palace Luxury Inn

  • This is where we stayed when we visited Rome in 2015, but had totally forgotten we had booked the same hotel. There has been some renovations since we were last there, and it was very nice.
  • In 2015 they had a gym, which is part of the reason we re-booked (or at least we think that is why), but they have since done away with the gym and turned it into a spa
  • Our room had a hot tub on the outdoor patio, which is not necessary in Rome, but a fun addition. At least one of us enjoyed using it both nights we were there
  • Hotel is super close to Piazza Navona and the Pantheon

Rome Itinerary

We have been to Rome previously, so we didn’t do a great job of planning out days here. I would make sure to have a plan and book things like the Colosseum and Pantheon in advance. We were also interested in doing a Gelato making class, an they were all booked up as well (so book early!)

Day 9:

  • Arrive at At Hotel Navona Palace Luxury Inn. Our room was not ready yet, so we dropped our bags off.
  • Quick working lunch at Trentaquattro Roma XXXIV
    • There are cafes everywhere, this one was right outside our hotel and had a nice patio. The food was average.
  • Walked around Piazza Navona
  • Walked to Pantheon. The ticket situation was too confusing so we did not end up going in. Jonathan and I saw it in 2015, so not a big deal….but if you want to see it, make sure to get tickets ahead of time.
  • Checked into Hotel
  • Rowboats In Villa Borghese
  • Spanish Steps, where we saw a person dressed up like a giant panda (made Sienna’s day)
  • Dinner at at Pasta e Vino. This is one of my friends favorite restaurants in Rome, so we had to check it out. It was very good….but we were pretty over pasta at this point 🙂
  • After Dinner Spritzes at the restaurant across from our hotel, Famo Pace. Nothing special, just convenient.
  • Sienna and I took advantage of the Hot Tub we had on our hotel room patio (even though it was 90 degrees out).
Rowboats In Villa Borghese
Panda by the Spanish Steps

Day 10:

Jonathan was very sick this day, so Sienna and I were on our own. We did the best we could, but did not see as much as we would have liked.

  • Gnocchi Making Class at Ristorante Tucci on Piazza Navona. We booked via Get Your Guide
    • $45 per person, for a 2 hour class
    • The class was easy enough that Sienna was able to follow along and make Gnocchi as well (she is now an expert)
    • We enjoyed the class, the only minus was that once we were done making the Gnocchi, we had to wait 20-30 mins for them to cook it and bring it to us. The class came with Bruschetta to enjoy, along with a glass of wine (Fanta for Sienna) and a shot of Limoncello…so we had that to entertain us while we waited.
    • There are lot of cooking classes on Get Your Guide. We really wanted to do a gelato making class, but they were all sold out.
  • Stopped for Gelato at Piazza Navona (several options to choose from)
  • Colosseum, we did not book a tour in advance but I figured since we were in Rome Sienna needed to at least see it. We just walked around the outside and saw as much as we could
  • Walked around the Colosseum area and stopped at a little place close by and bought some Macarons
  • For Dinner, Jonathan still wasn’t feeling well but wanted to get out of the hotel for a bit, so we went to a cafe on Piazza Navona Square. There are tons of options to choose from and all of the hosts will come after you and try to talk you into eating at their restaurant. They are all pretty touristy, but we finally selected one that had Minestrone Soup (because I was over past and pizza at this point). It was average.
  • Back to the hotel, and Sienna took advantage of the hot tub again
Gnocchi Making Class

Day 11:

  • Taxi to Rome Airport
  • If you stay at Navona Palace Luxury Inn, they have a car service they can help you book to the airport. We already had a car booked.
  • Arrive home in Atlanta!