My Summer in Europe is over but I’m not ready to let go of my time there babes. I find myself scrolling through photos saying “Wow T, how in the world is this your life??!!” I mean this summer makes 5 years in a row that I have visited Rome and nearly a decade of summers in Nice. I say this all the time, don’t be afraid to dream big and chase after those dreams. Nothing and no one can take away what is meant for you.
My first time on a flight attendant trip to Rome I was alone, no crew with me, and quite frankly, shitting bricks over the prospect of navigating the train station from Naples to Rome. Rome used to feel soooo intimidating, NOW her gorgeous streets feel familiar and inviting.
This Summer I was feeling very nostalgic, I wanted to visit all my fave shops and restaurants during my 9 days in the city. But COVID limited much of my exploring, so many shops had shut down and restaurants were closed. 2020 had hit my beautiful Roma hard.
Our hotel was situated in the heart of Roma’s gorgeous hilly street, Via Vittorio Veneto. The US Embassy is right down the street, it’s like a 15 min walk to all the “sights”, and I love the feeling of returning to the neighborhood after a day of exploring…like coming home. I stay at the Grand Flora pretty much every year because the service is fabulous, the location is perfect, and we have our pick of lovely restaurants right outside the doors. Damn you Corona, like almost all the shops and restaurants were closed in my beautiful little neighborhood. It was sad. Fortunately, the one place I really love having dinner was open, so the guys and I pretty much ate there every night. But yeah, the typical Roman lifestyle was nothing like I have come to love. Masks on every face, streets were silent, no crowds of tourists corralling in the Piazza di Spagna to get a pic on the famous Spanish Steps, and very few gathered to marvel at the beauty at the Trevi Fountain.
Rome was but a shell during its historically busiest tourist month. Without American tourists I would say the city had around 60%-70% less visitors, devastating for so many business owners.
I made the most of my time there nonetheless!! Thankfully, I was able to pop into my favorite gelato spot again, La Strega Nocciola for THE BEST most delicious vegan flavors. Hands down my favorite combo is dark chocolate & melon (cantaloupe).
I even convinced my boys aka the 2 co-captains I fly with to take a cooking class with me at Tucci Restaurant. Super cool, because we learned to make tiramisu and homemade pasta!! They had a blast and enjoyed eating our pasta while looking out on the Piazza Navona.
We also had the utter pleasure of having dinner with a friend we made a couple years ago, Father Hank, an American priest at the Vatican. He is so gracious of his time and knowledge. It was a definite highlight of my time in Rome this summer just having dinner, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Such a simple thing like having dinner out is a luxury this year so yeah, I relished every moment of it.
Hotel: Le Meridien Nice
What can I say, Nice is yet another city I call home. I literally know most of the neighborhoods including the neighboring cities like Antibes and Monaco. The Cote d’Azur is by far the place to be in summertime. It always seems like all of France flocks south to enjoy that quintessential beach lifestyle. There is a city for every personality and Nice is what I call the Santa Monica of South of France. Beach vibes, lots of families, everyone on chill, people out and about well after sunset, and I LOVE IT ALL!!! I would say Old Town is my favorite part of Nice because the little streets are so cute, I love the shops, the restaurants are AMAZING, and the people are my kind of people who are open and inviting.
When it comes to where to stay if you visit Nice, you gotta be on the Promenade des Anglais!! Le Meridien Nice has the prime corner spot and the hotel is completely renovated, woohoo!! The only thing that used to, in my opinion, keep it from being my favorite hotel were the rooms, but now that they are all new it is definitely my favorite hotel in Nice. They make THE BEST croissants and host a very delicious high tea, just sayin I love me a high tea service. Back to the location, you walk out the front door and BAM everything is at your doorstep!! How about a 1 min walk to the beach, yep staying there you can be at the beach in 1 minute!
Shops & restaurants are literally right behind the hotel and Old Town Nice is a mere 5 minute walk. Like I said it is a prime location.
My highlight in Nice this year was discovering a new restaurant, which wasn’t new at all. I had just missed seeing it. Open for 7 years, it is perched at the top of a street in Old Town. I had such a delicious vegan Banh Mi bowl all in house made ingredients. Clearly a local favorite, the 2 young women working there knew all the customers and took pride in presenting beautiful flavorful creations. I was like HOW did I miss seeing you guys??
That’s a wrap darlings on my Summer in Europe. It’s so fun to look back at my past summers in Europe at all my different adventures. I’m going to link my past blog below so you can check those out.