Travel Like an Editor: Laura Simola’s Romantic Italian Getaway
I’ve been dreaming about traveling to Italy ever since I can remember. Maybe it’s the Italian in me, but it has always been at the top of my travel list. So on the occasion of my 27th birthday, I finally decided to take the plunge and book a flight. After some deliberation, my boyfriend, Holden, and I decided on four cities: Cinque Terre (which is really an area with five adorable towns!), Florence, Capri, and Rome. While they’re all in different regions, we were determined to see as much as possible during our two-week getaway. I knew packing for 14 days wasn’t going to be easy, but I focused on simplicity, comfort, and threw in a few standout accessories for good measure. For the most part, I stuck with the basics and added a few layering pieces, as well as pieces that could easily make up an entire outfit, like dresses and rompers. Since this trip was going to be a non-stop adventure, I wanted items I could put together effortlessly to make for a stress-free vacation. Here’s what I landed on.
When we first arrived in Cinque Terre, the worst possible travel scenario happened: I lost my luggage. So on day one, I reworked my airport look by tying the bottom of my tee into a knot to give it a little European flair. I’m eternally grateful that my co-worker suggested I pack an extra outfit in my carry-on. Had I not, I would have been stuck in airport clothes for two days straight (not cute). Thankfully, I wore my sneakers on the plane, which was perfect for hiking up and down Cinque Terre’s hilly landscape.
Since I didn’t wear any makeup on the plane, I always pack a few of my must-haves in my carry-on to look fresh-faced after landing. My daytime beauty regimen is pretty simple and consists of four products (pictured above): RMS “un” cover-up to conceal my dark circles, La Prairie’s cheek cream to give my cheeks a sun-kissed glow, Kevin Aucoin’s volume mascara for natural looking lashes that won’t smudge, and Dior Addict Lip Glow, which brings out my natural color while keeping my lips moisturized.
Shop it: 1. Helmet Lang T-shirt, $140; saksfifthavenue.com. Lululemon leggings, $98; lululemon.com. Saint Laurent sneakers, $545; ssense.com. Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag, $895; net-a-porter.com. 2. and 3. Solid & Striped dress, $114; shopspring.com for similar style. Saint Laurent sneakers, $545; ssense.com. 4. Dior Addict Lip Glow, $33; sephora.com. RMS Beauty “un” cover-up, $36; sephora.com. La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush, $70; bergdorfgoodman.com. Kevin Aucoin The Volume Mascara, $28; sephora.com.
Our second stop was the romantic city of Florence—where our luggage finally arrived! The weather was mostly warm during the day but chilly at night, so layers were a key part of my wardrobe. I had organized a few tours so I made sure to carry a large enough bag that could hold my camera, a water bottle, a jean jacket, and any souvenirs that I’d inevitably purchase for family. The Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag was the perfect size.
When I pack, I prefer to stick to basics—jeans and a tank are my go-tos. However, this silk dress wound up being my favorite piece. I styled it a few different ways throughout my vacation. In Florence, I added a white T underneath while gallivanting through the Boboli Gardens. For a night out, I opted for an asymmetrical top with silky lounge pants, which were not only comfy, but also easy to pack since they’re thin and lay flat.
Shop it: 1 and 2. J Brand jean jacket, $178; saksfifthavenue.com. Barneys New York T-shirt, $70; barneys.com. Silk Laundry slip dress, $152; silklaundry.com. Illesteva Hamilton sunglasses, $290; net-a-porter.com. Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag, $895; net-a-porter.com. 3. RE/DONE Elsa jeans, $315; barneys.com. Cami NYC Racer White, $148; shopbop.com. Illesteva Hamilton sunglasses, $290; net-a-porter.com. Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in Dark Side of the Moon, $18; sephora.com. Dior Addict Lip Glow, $33; sephora.com. 4. T by Alexander Wang top, $250; barneys.com. Clu pants, $265; shopspring.com.
I knew I would be jumping into the Mediterranean here, so I made sure to pack a couple of chic swimsuits for relaxing on the coast. My favorite brand at the moment is Solid & Striped—their suits seem to hug all the right spots and offer the perfect amount of coverage. I packed a striped one-piece and a gingham bikini. Fitting in with the seaside décor (the Michelin-starred restaurant and beach club, Il’Riccio, pictured above, is not to be missed), I threw a white lace-trimmed cover-up and a fun textured hat for a transitional lunch-to-beach look.
Before leaving the states, my sister-in-law urged me to not pack sandals, since Capri is known for their customizable handmade styles. I was able to design my own pair at the CapriTouch store—the shoemaker made them in less than 20 minutes! My embossed initials truly make them one-of-a-kind. Aside from my large handbag, I packed a clutch for shorter outings—the pastel colors make it easy to wear both day and night—and the adorable cat design never fails to put a smile on my face.
Shop it: 1. Solid & Striped, Morgan bikini top, $88; shopbop.com for similar style. Solid & Striped, bikini bottom, $88; shopbop.com for similar style. Thierry Lasry S=sunglasses, $385; modaoperandi.com for similar style. 1. and 2. Solid & Striped Anne-Marie one piece, $168; shopbop.com for similar style. Yosuzi hat, $311; matchesfashion.com. Tom Ford lipstick in Solar Affair, $53; shopspring.com. Jennifer Fisher ring, $265; barneys.com for similar style. Edie Parker clutch, $1,495; fwrd.com. 4. Coolchange tunic, $119; saksfifthavenue.com for similar style. Yosuzi hat, $311; matchesfashion.com.
We ended our trip in the Eternal City. For a day full of sightseeing—on Vespas, no less—I opted for a crop top, gingham shorts, black ankle boots, and red sunglasses to add some color. At night, I chose an off-the-shoulder romper and a matching pink lip. While touring the Vatican, I reworked my silk dress (again!). Since it’s a religious site, your shoulders need to be covered, so I draped my jean jacket over them and finished with silver loafers, which make any outfit look both effortlessly cool and polished.
I don’t like to travel with a lot of jewelry so I stuck to a minimal look here. My silver and gold Cape Cod bracelet has been on my wrist for almost eight years now (a sentimental gift from Holden when we first started dating). The art deco necklace is a gift from my grandmother, and my midi rings are always fun and never seem to slip off my fingers. To supplement the classic assortment, I collected Cruciani bracelets at each stop during the trip. Each design has a different meaning. They were the perfect layering pieces.
Shop it: 1. and 2. Elizabeth and James, $98; shopspring.com for similar style. Club Monaco shorts, $49; clubmonaco.com. Thierry Lasry sunglasses, $385; modaoperandi.com for similar. Stuart Weitzman boots, $525; stuartweitzman.com for similar style. Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag, $895; net-a-porter.com. 3. Gucci loafers, $670; nordstrom.com. Catbird midi rings, $64; catbirdnyc.com. Cruciani bracelets, starting at $15; amazon.com. 4. Just One Answer romper, $90; revolve.com. 5. J Brand jean jacket, $178; saksfifthavenue.com. Silk Laundry slip dress, $152; silklaundry.com. Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag, $895; net-a-porter.com. Gucci loafers, $670; nordstrom.com.