We are here to listen and learn: Wise Women is a series distilling women’s specific expertise into advice and education that build us all up together.
Marina Cacciapuoti is the founder of Italy Segreta — a travel consultancy centered around experiencing, discovering, and really understanding the magic of Italy. Consider Marina, based between NY and Rome, a wealth of endless secret tips and local discoveries…
What's your #1 recommended itinerary for discovering lesser-known Italy for yourself?
For a long weekend travel to the Island of Ponza as the Romans do!
The island simply doesn’t change. Regardless of passing time or social media attention, it stays authentic to what it was and still is: a fisherman’s island and THE quintessential Roman retreat. It's meant to provide Romans with the simple island life — days are spent picking up mozzarella, fruits, and vegetables by the port, taking a short boat ride to the beach at Frontone, and enjoying all that the Mediterranean has to offer.
1 / Stay
Chiaia Di Luna or Rent Casa Fontana
2 / Aperitivo
Chaiai di Luna Terrace Bar
3 / Do
Rent a boat with a guide right by the port and travel to the nearby island, Palamarola, or simply sail around the island to discover the different bays and grottes
Buy pizza rossa and snacks by the port before heading to sea
Visit the natural thermal pools at Cala Feola
Spend the day by the sea at Da Enzo Al Frontone “beach club”
4 / Bakery
Paticceria da Gildo
5 / Eat
A Casa Di Assunta
Da Enzo Al Frontone
Gennarino a Mare
La Marina, Sapori di Ponza
What is “dolce far niente”?
Dolce Far Niente: the “sweetness of doing nothing” or “the sweet idleness.”
This means everything to me as an Italian, it’s really about taking and making time to appreciate the life around you, to slow down and take a directionless stroll, a midday nap, a long coffee break (we don’t take coffee to go), sit on a bench and just observe the world and to enjoy the present. It’s important to not confuse it with laziness or inefficiency; it will actually make you feel quite the opposite.
It’s so easy when abroad (mostly in cities like NYC) to fall into a work pit and a strict life schedule where we are always in a hurry, or checking our phones or bank accounts or feeling the need to catch up on some chores. Everything is planned and running on a tight routine, from the moment your alarm rings to when you fall asleep (exhausted)… but what if sometimes you did nothing?
The key to succeeding at the art of Dolce Far Niente is to not overthink it…While life is too short to not enjoy the little things life has to offer, you don’t have to go far to find them…you just have to learn how to look.
The best way to most authentically be an Italian “armchair traveler” from home is to:
1 / Listen to — Lucio Dalla, Lucio Battisti and Rino Gaetano
2 / Prepare — Spaghetti Alle Vongole paired with San Pellegrino and a glass of Sicilian white wine (I love Occhipinti)
3 / See (Art) — Ferdinando Scianna - his photography catches the details of daily life, each photo tells a story
4 / See (Film) —
8 ½ - Fellini
Il Gattopardo - Visconti
Cinema Paradiso - Tornatore
La Grande bellezza - Sorrentino
Non ci resta che piangere - Massimo Troisi, Roberto Benigni