History and Relaxation: 9 Summer Days in Rome and Positano

Advisor - Kaetlin Fehl
Curated By

Kaetlin Fehl

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  • Rome

  • Positano

  • Arts & Culture

  • Beaches

  • City Travel

  • Italy

  • Summer

  • History

  • Relaxation

You can enjoy both the city and the beach in Rome and Positano.
Curator’s statement

Italy holds a special place in my heart. Having spent most of my childhood and a college semester abroad there, Italian summers are part of my core memories. It doesn't matter if you're in the city or at the beach, this is the perfect place to unwind and bask in la dolce vita. Whether you're people watching in the piazza with a Spritz in hand or swimming in the blue grottos of Positano, you truly can't go wrong.

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Where to stay

UNAHOTELS Trastevere Roma

A stylish and modern hotel in the heart of Rome's vibrant Trastevere district, offering a blend of contemporary comfort and Italian charm.

Le Sirenuse

Positano's most iconic hotel remains family-owned, full of character and always in demand.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Villa Agrippina Gran Meliá

Elegant property along the banks of the River Tiber with sophisticated rooms.

Fora Perks
  • Complimentary lunch or dinner, once per stay.

  • VIP welcome amenities.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Extended check-in/out.

Advisor - Kaetlin Fehl

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Day 1: Arrive and head to Trastevere

The cobblestone streets of Trastevere, neighborhood in Rome.

You'll probably arrive in Rome at Fiumicino airport if you're traveling internationally. I'd highly recommend pre-booking a car service to take you from the airport to your hotel, these are inexpensive if booked in advance. Taxi drivers can be aggressive at this airport and the last thing you want to do after a long-haul flight is try to figure out the public transportation system (we can save that for day two.) If you're arriving through Ciampino, one of the smaller regional airports, then grabbing a taxi is pretty straightforward. Head to your hotel to refresh and then wander around the cobblestone streets of Trastevere for the afternoon. I'd highly recommend booking a hotel in this part of town for the first leg of the trip. Make sure to stop for an apertivo at Piazza di Santa Maria around sunset for the best people-watching. Head down the street to Ivo to grab pizza for dinner. This is a hot spot with locals and my personal favorite pizzeria in all of Rome.

Day 2: A lay of the land

A charming and historic islet in the Tiber River in Rome.

Take a morning stroll over to Tiber Island, stopping for a cappuccino e cornetto at a local bar along the way. Cafes are actually called bars in Italy and are integral to Roman culture serving as neighborhood watering holes. You'll typically pay for your coffee at the cash register and then take your receipt over to the bar where they will make it for you. Romans almost always stay at the bar top to drink their coffee, never sitting down at a table. After coffee, continue exploring the city on foot while crossing over to the other side of the river. I'd recommend making your way toward the Spanish Steps. You'll be able to stop at the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Via Del Corso along the way.

Stop for lunch on a side street away from the masses and then head to Giolitti to polish it off with some afternoon gelato. Continue wandering around the city on foot for the rest of the day before heading back to Trastevere for dinner - this is the best way to explore Rome. I'd recommend Roma Sparita (Anthony Bourdain's favorite Roman restaurant) or Da Enzo for dinner. I would call to try and make a reservation at Da Enzo if possible, if not, be prepared to wait in line for dinner. It will be well worth it!

Day 3: Piazza Venezia & Colosseum

The Colosseum is an iconic ancient amphitheater in Rome.

Head back to your neighborhood bar for breakfast and coffee before catching the tram from Viale Trastevere to take you to Piazza Venezia. You can buy tram tickets at any Tabacchi shops. Get off in Piazza Venezia and start making your way towards the Colosseum, you'll be able to see it in the distance. Join a walking tour of the Roman Forum and Colosseum to learn more about ancient Roman history. You'll need to buy tickets for one of these tours in advance. After the tour, head back to Trastevere to grab lunch at Donkey Punch where you will have the BEST panini of your life. Head back to your hotel for an afternoon nap, or a riposo as the Italians call it. Head back out for dinner at La Tavernetta 29 da Tony e Andreas.

Day 4: Take train & ferry to Positano

Chez Black is a renowned and lively beachside restaurant in Positano.

Grab coffee and then taxi over (using ItTaxi or Uber) to Roma Termini to catch a train to Salerno. You'll need to buy these train tickets in advance as well! Once you arrive, you'll take the ferry to Positano. You can buy these tickets in advance or day of at the ticket office. If you have some time to kill before the ferry leaves, grab lunch on the water at a local seafood spot. Arriving in Positano by ferry is by far the best, you'll get to see tons of cute coastal towns along the way before pulling up to the most picturesque view of Positano. Make sure to buy a mini bottle of Prosecco from the concession stand to level up your ride. You'll want to ensure you have a porter service confirmed with your hotel, otherwise, you'll be schlepping your suitcases up A LOT of stairs once you arrive. After you get settled, head out to explore the town on foot. It's small so nothing is too far, but it's on the side of a mountain so everything is either up or down steps. You will definitely get your cardio in here! I'd recommend heading down to the water to grab dinner at Chez Black or finding a restaurant on a side street higher up to enjoy the views. You can't really go wrong here.

Day 5: Boat day & Michelin-starred dinner

Explore the coasts of the island aboard a private Italian gozzo boat.

It's boat day! Grab breakfast at your hotel or stop somewhere on your way down to the water. Head out for a private or shared boat tour for the day. They'll take you out on a classic Italian gozzo boat to spend the day like a local. You'll stop to swim in different coves and grottos, cliff dive, and enjoy prosecco and apertivo snacks on board. If you're lucky, your host will bring stuff fresh from their garden (think tomatoes, olives, and figs). Make sure to stop for lunch at Ristorante Da Teresa, a local spot only accessible by boat. The seafood pasta there is to die for. Spend the rest of the afternoon boating around the coastline before heading back in for the day. After a refresh back at the hotel, pop over to Luna at Villa Magia for a Michelin-star worthy dinner with amazing views. This one is worth the splurge.

Day 6: Beach club in Positano

Beach club in Positano with striped chairs.

It's not a trip to the Amalfi Coast without a day spent at a beach club. I highly recommend La Scogliera in Positano. It's tucked away and feels super luxe and exclusive. The service is incredible and it is SO picturesque with pairs of blue striped beach chairs scattered amongst the cliffs. This MUST be booked in advance. The beach clubs in Positano sell out weeks, or even months in advance. Spend the entire day here enjoying spritzes, soaking up the sun, and floating in the water. You can have lunch here or pop back over to the main drag to grab lunch at Chez Black.

Day 7: Head back to Rome

Rome skyline during the day.

It’s time to head back to Rome. Check out of your hotel and head back to the ferry to return to Salerno. From here, you’ll catch the train back to Roma Termini. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could take a train to Naples instead to have lunch before hopping on a later train back to Rome. This time around, I’d recommend staying in the Borgo neighborhood. This is a really cute, historic part of Rome near the Vatican. It’s super peaceful and not quite as rowdy as Trastevere, but still full of great restaurants and shops. Be sure to grab an alfresco dinner at Borgosteria on Borgo Pio — their carbonara is to die for.

Day 8: Vatican

A picture of the walls of the Vatican.

Since you’re staying by Vatican City, it only makes sense to go see the Vatican. Start your day at St Peter’s Basilica. You don’t need a ticket, but will probably need to wait in line to get inside. This is single handily the most beautiful church I have ever seen. You can even take the elevator (or the stairs) to the top of the dome for a small fee. The views are unbeatable. Next, head over to the Vatican Museums. You can easily spend the entire day roaming the halls here. Make sure you book tickets in advance - especially if you want to enter The Sistine Chapel. It’s a must! You can stop for a casual lunch at the cafe in the courtyard here. Once you’re done, wander over to Castel Sant’Angelo. The angels that line the bridge here leading up to the castle were all designed by Bernini. If you’re feeling up to it, buy tickets to go inside to explore further, but I think you see the best parts without needing to enter. Head back out to Trastevere or Borgo Pio for dinner before calling it a night.

Day 9: Last moments in Rome

A cup of espresso against black background.

Visit your local bar one last time for a send-off coffee and cornetto before heading home! If you have time for a quick lunch, Antico Forno Roscioli is a great takeaway pizza/bakery to stop at. I’d always recommend booking a car service to take you back to the airport to avoid the hassle of tracking down a taxi.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Lizz Callaway’s guide, A Roman Holiday: A Guide to a Romantic Getaway in Rome.

Advisor - Kaetlin Fehl

Travel Advisor

Kaetlin Fehl

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Rome and travel to Positano.