The Miami Dream through the Eyes of a Vespa Rider
Enjoying the ocean breeze while riding the newly enhanced Vespa GTS 300 on a journey through great architecture, fashion nostalgia, and excellent cuisine.
Duration: Saturday late morning – because it's Miami and the nightlife is super cool – to the morning after, savoring a sky-high Sunday brunch
Itinerary: from Miami Design District through Wynwood and Downtown Miami, across the Venetian Causeway to reach South Beach and Surfside, for a total of 20 miles, Wow! No problem, our Vespa will hit the target
Equipment: light sneakers, trendy clothes, a backpack with all the essentials for a night in a luxury hotel, and an adventurous spirit
When one thinks about Miami, images of palm tree-lined avenues, colorful houses, and speed boats crossing the deep blue of the ocean come to mind. The year-round warm weather makes it the perfect place to ride the new Vespa GTS 300, discovering authentic and refined Italian food. We get up ‘latish’ after a night on the town, wear easy-breezy clothes and light sneakers, and put on our coordinated helmets. Yes, let’s start our journey discovering Miami onboard our super stylish Vespa. Luxury and technology come together to give a smooth and comfortable ride wherever our dreams might take us.
First, we decide to go to Wynwood, one of the city’s most fashionable and colorful districts, filled with murals and funky art galleries. We choose to take a look at Wynwood Walls, a unique outdoor destination showcasing amazing works by some of the world’s best-known street artists and have a light snack at Joey’s, a modern Italian café decorated with concrete flooring and marble tables. After a reinvigorating espresso, we decide to get on the saddle and drive through Little Havana, to enjoy a bit of Latin American vibes, and then swiftly head Downtown. Here, we have fun riding through the district’s multi-million dollar skyscrapers and futuristic structures. Exciting, but we feel something is missing. Wait, we need to get to the beach!
The best way to reach South Beach is through the Venetian Causeway. This bike and pedestrian-friendly bridge crosses the Biscayne Bay and connects a series of artificial islands whose names are inspired by Italian legacy. With the warm wind in our face, we enjoy the tropical scenery while riding our loyal companion. To await us on the other side, sandy beaches and the glamorous scene around hipster nightclubs and indie fashion shops. We decide to go along glitzy Ocean Drive through the notorious Art Deco District and enjoy the ensemble of colorful buildings that dates back to the early 1930s. This whimsical architecture is home today to a vibrant and varied community that loves to enjoy life to the rhythm of Latin music. The salty and effervescent breeze coming from the ocean soothe our souls, and suddenly we spot a beautiful place that invites us to stop and park our Vespa.
Villa Casa Casuarina, Gianni’s Restaurant
The villa is better known, maybe, as the ex Versace Mansion. Wow! Even if you are not a fashion connoisseur, you inevitably get intrigued by this preciously decorated house where designer Gianni Versace once lived extravagantly. It is now a renowned boutique hotel. Efforts have been made to maintain its visible glamour almost untouched, and Gianni's Restaurant is proof that past and present can coexist. The restaurant offers upscale Mediterranean seafood and quality meat dishes in a setting made of frescoes and mosaics. At the Raw Bar, you can have delicious appetizers such as Florida Stone Crab Claws, Tuna Tartare, and oysters. The main menu specialties are Lobster Spaghetti and Branzino, grilled sea bass with sea salt and baby vegetables. It is hard to hold back a kind of melancholic feeling, imagining the life of the great designer around these premises.
Le Sirenuse Restaurant & Champagne Bar
Long-distance journeys are perfect and economical on our two-wheel companion. We are amazed by the relatively quiet, charming town of Surfside and its picturesque downtown district. There is an eclectic mix of visitors around here, but it's along the mile-long stretch beach and promenade that we decide to take a break from our carefree ride.
We park our Vespa, then, and start looking around. Not far, inspired by the Amalfi Coast lifestyle and spirit, Le Sirenuse Restaurant & Champagne Bar at the Surf Club conveys the magic of Southern Italy cuisine and savoir-faire. We enter into a fluid décor made of shades of magnolia, sea green, and mahogany, topped with unprecedented ocean views. The Sunday brunch is a seafood feast of flavors and specialties. Try the Tartare di Tonno Rosso, a dish made with tuna, marinated onions, and red grapes or the Carpaccio di Ricciola served with field greens and infused with orange and aromatic herbs. The dinner menu makes the restaurant a hot spot for refined and exclusive food. Inspired by the atmosphere, we sit at one of its tables, ready for an exceptional culinary experience. Our attention falls on the 'Passione' meal, a tasting journey through ten individually selected courses. But we also choose one dish from the caviar and oyster proposals in the A la Carte menu. All accompanied, of course, by carefully picked champagne and Italian sparkling wines. To conclude this fantastic gastronomic experience, we soothe our palate with the Amalfi Coast lemon sponge cake delight. Yummy!
1 Hotel South Beach
After a romantic walk on the beach, we turn on the engine of our stylish companion and head back south again, right before sunset, fully taking in the scenery along Collins Avenue. I have reserved a special treat for my fiancé for the night. A stay at the seductive 1 Hotel South Beach, a luxury boutique hotel designed using reclaimed materials. Sustainability and simplicity are the key-words. Nature is the primary element throughout the space, and each room is equipped with 100% organic cotton linen. A complimentary bottle of champagne is waiting for us in the room. We embrace the calming atmosphere and indulge in a reinvigorating sleep. As the morning rises, we improvise some outdoor yoga with a master teacher and then head up to the rooftop pool for a tasty pool-side breakfast in one of the Ultra Sky Cabanas. To discover our inner Zen, we also decide to pamper ourselves with one of their nature-inspired Spa treatments.
After being spoiled to the full, it’s time to say hello to our super stylish two-wheel companion again, turn on the engine, and get ready for more adventures. Our motto for today is:
We Love Miami.