Amalfi or bust

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Searching for La Dolce Vita (and gelato) on Italy's Amalfi Coast

On any given day, miles and miles of road trip itineraries speed through my head. One moment I want to drive Route 66 in a Figaro and stay at the iconic, 1949-built Wigwam Motel. The next moment I want to take a surfing trip around ALL of Australia in a camper van, stopping in at hotels every few weeks for sanity and a really good rain shower. These two polar-opposite ideas don’t even begin to cover my weakness for cycling around Scandinavia, or wandering through someone’s wine country – any set of vines will do.

Gridlocked on this tempting topic, my No. 1 road trip would rove Italy’s Amalfi Coast by pearly white Vespa. If the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s steep bluffs and standout vistas are anything like my pasta-powered Cinque Terre adventure a few years ago, I might not want to fly home. If I stayed, at least it would be cheap to fill up the Vespa’s tiny tank.

Viewfinder Tip: When road-tripping through Italy, one must eat gelato. At least daily.

In a perfect world, my husband Nathan and I would rock his and hers scooters, one of them with a sidecar for Mr. Nacho King, our dog (and turn up the sound to this road trip playlist). Because nachos have no place in the birthplace of pasta, we might have to change Nacho’s name to “Signor Spaghetti” for our trip. Spaghetti would wear a little black helmet and doggles (dog goggles).

Vroom-vroom-vrooming the coastline’s mini and meandering roads would take us from Sorrento to Salerno. We’d stop frequently for lunch at eateries carved into sea cliffs, and take impromptu dips at pebble beaches. Gelato would be on the menu. Every. Single. Day. We’d drink copious amounts of wine, too (once we finished scooting, of course).

La Dolce Vita

We’d pack light, and tow our Dolce Vita essentials in a sleek, pod-like trailer. I’d sport a red scarf for effect, which would would flutter in the wind behind me like a flag that proclaims “I’m on a honeymoonish vacation, please excuse my slow North American speed.” My other seaside sportswear musts would include a flowy dress, and leathers of all sorts—for safety, people! My husband’s duds would veer between dark jeans, a white V-neck shirt, and a leather jacket, plus a seersucker suit (with shorts for bottoms) for dinner hour.

If this two-wheeled getaway seems unusually vivid, here’s why: I was never the girl that planned her wedding day with volumes of scrapbooks and fabric swaths, it was always the honeymoon I cared about.

My hotel requirements for the trip would be simple: seaside perches with dapper design. Dog friendliness would be the only challenge, so we might have to dress up Signor Spaghetti like a hairy child. Two of my top lodging choices: Casa Angelina Lifestyle Hotel and Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi. See you on the road!

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Trip Styler

Trish Friesen chose an unlikely profession given her fear of flying and propensity toward car, air, boat, train, and chairlift sickness. Thanks to Gravol, Sea-Bands, and cruise ship stabilizers, the reluctant—yet enthusiastic—jetsetter packs her bag once every two weeks to swim with sharks in the Great Barrier Reef or to sample the latest libation in Portland. Trish unpacks her suitcase in Vancouver, Canada, Eh! where she’s the editor-in-chief of TripStyler.com, a travel lifestyle website for aspiring jetsetters. Find her moonlighting on Expedia, Fodor's, Jetsetter, and as a travel expert on TV while circumventing the globe with her entourage: a MacBook Air, an Olympus camera, and the biggest carry-on she can fit on the plane.

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