Free Outdoor Dupont Circle Yoga & Sushi + Italy Bound!

Hello my friends! Last night, I made it to the free outdoor Dupont Circle yoga again!


It’s put on my Lululemon and is every Wednesday night from 6 to 7 p.m. during summer. So awesome! As you know, I went running yesterday morning, and I definitely don’t normally do two workouts in one day, but a bunch of friends wanted to go to yoga last night and I couldn’t turn down the chance to spend such a beautiful evening outdoors with my buddies.


Each week the class is taught by a different instructor – this week was a woman from EPIC Yoga – love that studio. It was a great yoga class, too! Harder than the last time I went.


As I mentioned before, it’s definitely hard to feel zen and yoga-ish when there are loud horns and sirens and tons of people walking by and gawking, but it’s still fun to do something different and to be outside. I have to say, though, that the best part of the class by far was when my friend Turner’s arm got pooped on by a bird during shavasana. Um, yeah. It was hilarious – don’t worry, she was laughing too. :) Part of the perils of outdoor yoga, I suppose! Lol.

Scene of the crime ;)


After yoga, the girls and I all walked over to nearby Sakana for some sushi, recommended by our friend Kristen. There were six of us and they were able to fit us all at a table outside – win.


First up – edamame for the table:


And then a big platter of sushi to share! Spicy tuna, yellowtail, eel, and avocado with salmon. I love that they put eyes on the avocado roll.


Hit the spot – delicious sushi! But of course the conversation and time with the girls was the real highlight. :)


Such a fun night – thanks, ladies!

And now – time to finish packing and head to the airport! I’m so excited – Matt and I leave for Italy today!! As I mentioned, we’re headed there for my grad school BFF Elle’s wedding next weekend. We’re going early since we figured if we’re flying all the way to Italy, we’d better make a vacation out of it! We’re flying into Rome, spending a couple days there, then driving up to Cinque Terre for a couple days, then to Florence for a couple days, and then to the wedding venue for the rest of the trip, which is near Rome. I’ve been to Rome and Florence before but never to Cinque Terre, and Matt hasn’t been to any of them! If you have any recommendations for “don’t miss” things to do/places to eat in those areas, please share! We’ll also accept any tips related to driving around Italy – should be an adventure to say the least. ;)

I’ll be back on Memorial Day! Posting will be a little sporadic until then as I enjoy the trip, but I have set up two guest posts (one with fun recipes and one inspirational weight loss/running story) that will auto-publish next week and I’ll try to pop in with some photos from our adventures from time to time, too. Until then, my friends!


  1. 1

    Have fun in Italy! :) Outdoor yoga looks so fun…wish my city was as cool as yours!

  2. 3

    Oh Anne, I’m so excited for you/envious of you! I lived in Rome for awhile and I miss it every day. My must-see spot in Rome is Parco degli Aranci at the top of Aventine Hill – it’s a magnificent view of the city in a grove of oranges – go at sunset and you’ll see tons of couple and a spectacular view. Email me if you want any more recs, I am full of them! Buon viaggio!

  3. 4

    Love the outdoor yoga. Awesome idea and what a pretty day you had for it! Have a grand old time in Italy and take lots of pictures for me to feel jealous over.

  4. 5

    So jealous of your Italy trip.
    In Florence eat at Zeb!!! You have to at least once get pear and cheese ravioli while in Italy, and Zeb’s version is amazing!

    In Rome, there is a great salad/smoothie/juice place called Ginger that is super nice. I know you don’t go all the way to Italy to eat a salad, but at least take a peek inside because the space is really cute.

    I can’t remember where I ate Cinque Terre, but I’m so jealous- that hike is so gorgeous. Have so much fun!!

  5. 6

    Was it Mimi? She’s at Epic and a few classes at my gym. LOVE her classes.

  6. 8

    Have an amazing time in Italy!! What a great way to kick off the summer!

  7. 9

    I just got back from Rome and Florence (we were also there for a wedding for 10 days) and had some truly amazing meals. My favorite, by far, was Roscioli’s in Campo Di Fiori in Rome. Try to make a reservation if you can – It was absolutely amazing.

    Also, if you have time and are walking around Rome, explore the Testaccio neighborhood – we had fantastic sandwiches, meats and cheese at this amazing deli called Volpetti.

    I missed out on this particular trip, but my husband and some friends had some of the best pizza (we live in NYC and have some pretty damn good pizza here too) at Pizzagusto close to the Piti Palace in Florence.

    Have fun!

    • 10

      Gusta pizza is amazing – I studied in Florence for a summer and lived around the corner! Gusta Panino is one of the best sandwich places I think! it’s practically on the other side of Gusta Pizza on the square. Both places have the nicest people who love what they do and really enjoy socializing and serving Americans! Enjoy!

  8. 11

    Oh! One more thing – we downloaded Elizabeth Minchilli’s Eat Rome app (she is a pretty well known Italian/British food blogger) and it was awesome. Every single place she suggested on the app ended up being really good – and the best part was that you could use it offline. We would have missed out on a lot of good food if it hadn’t been for her. We didn’t do the one for Florence since that is where the wedding was and we had less time to explore, but I would imagine her recommendations for Florence are as good as they were for Rome.

  9. 13

    Oh, I am so envious! My husband and I honeymooned in Italy two years ago, and the highlight of our trip was Cinque Terre (Venice was a close second). We stayed in Vernazza and I highly recommend a sunset dinner at Belforte (ask for a table outside), breakfast at the Blue Marlin (I still dream of their coffee), and the pesto pasta at Vulnetia. In general, it will be hard to go wrong – what I remember the most about Vernazza was how fresh all the food was. And of course, you will work up an appetite hiking those trails! Enjoy – you will fall in love with the Cinque Terre!

    PS – I love reading your blog – it keeps me inspired to eat healthier and keep up my running. I look forward to reading about your marathon training.

  10. 15

    I did study abroad in Italy and we went to Cinque Terre one weekend. I recommend hiking the whole trail. The first two (Northern cities) were my favorite. You’re hiking through narrow trails through groves of (I think it was) olives and grapes right along the coast. The last part of the trail is beautiful too, but it’s a paved trail. It took us all day to hike but we stopped in the towns, swam, drank wine, and ate.

    I went to school in Montipulcino, just south of Florence. BEAUTIFUL city in the heart of Tuscany. It’s on a hill which provides some of the best views of the Tuscan landscape. I’d recommend checking it out if you have time. The movie Under The Tuscan Sun was filmed there, too.

    Have fun!

  11. 16

    Have a blast in Italy! Seems like its going to be an amazing trip!

  12. 17

    Oh and we used trains and buses the whole time I was there. Just look for train times before hand so you’re not wasting time sitting at the train station or miss a train by 5 minutes and have to wait 2 hours for the next one (did that a few times)

  13. 18

    Have fun in Italy!! If you’re looking for good Neapolitan pizza place (i.e., regular pizza) you should try Dar Poeta ( which is delicious! I also went for a fantastic run in Rome and ended my workout by running up the Spanish steps! I highly recommend running up them if you can squeeze it in to your schedule! Also, this is a little far out from Rome, but if you make a day trip to Ostia you can see some awesome ruins (so cool!) and then have lunch at La Posta Vecchia ( a GORGEOUS villa on the water. It was the highlight of my last trip to Rome!!

  14. 19

    Have a wonderful time in Italy! Cinque Terre is amazing!! Hike/walk the whole way through all of the towns (unless parts are closed)–it’s worth the work!

  15. 20

    I just got back from Italy (my first time in Europe!) and had a fabulous time. I hope the weather is just as perfect for you guys as it was for us. Now I’m going to read through these comments to see if I missed out on anything while I was there and need to go back ;). Have a blast!

  16. 21

    Best restaurant I ate at in Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre was right at the bottom of the street near the docks. Think this is it, had fresh fried anchovies and a seafood risotto that were incredible.

  17. 22

    I always think about going and then remember how just meeting there for a running group gets kind of gross comments from some of the men who hang out on the benches. I can only imagine what they think of downward dog…

  18. 24
    Veronique says

    I love Italy, you are so lucky to go there !!
    I went to Cinque Terre last summer and fell in love with the place !! Here are some recommandations:
    1. If the weather permits, go to the beach at Monterosso, it’s beautiful and very relaxing.
    2. Cliff jumping at Manarola. It’s about 8 or 9 feet high, in the city itself by the water. You should see a lot of people doing it.
    3. Eat in a restaurant in one of the smaller towns (aka Manarola, Corniglia or Vernazza). We went to Manarola and it was so nice. There were less tourists and it was more relaxed than Riomaggiore or Monterosso.

    Hope you enjoy your trip :)

  19. 25

    Ohh my gosh I am jealous of your trip. I studied abroad and Florence and traveled every weekend so Italy feels like a second home to me. Cinque Terre is AMAZING – definitely hike through all of the cities. When you are in Florence, go get lunch at a little hole in the wall panini shop called Gusta Panini. Best sandwiches in Italy and the Italian guys who own it are very cute :)

  20. 26

    I loved Cinque Terre when I was there in August! The beaches in monterosso is the best for laying out. You have to try their lemon gelato, best of my entire trip! The hike between monterosso and vernazza was pretty brutal in the 90 degree heat but the “lovers walk” from riomaggiore to manarola was absolutely breath taking as the sun was setting, bring a lock to chain on the fence for eternal love! Have a great trip, I’m so jealous!

  21. 27
    elisabeth says

    Have a fantastic trip! I’ve not been to Italy, so I have no recommendations, but I’ll be looking forward to hearing about it when you come back :)

  22. 28

    I studied abroad in Florence so I have a million recommendations but I’ll leave you with just one: L’Art Bar in Florence! It is absolutely amazing and has happy hour where drinks are a bit cheaper.

  23. 29

    Enjoy Italy! The trail between Manarola and Riomaggiore (the “Walk of Love”) was closed when I went due to rock slides, nearly foiling my boyfriend’s plans, but he proposed at the trail’s locked gate anyway! We left a lock on the railing on the Riomaggiore side of the trail to commemorate our engagement. :) Be sure to leave one, too!

  24. 31
    Caroline says

    Cinque Terre is the most beautiful place in the world! I’ve been there a few time and I just love it.
    The beach in Monterosso is the only one in the Cinque Terre. Right across from the beach is a very simple bar, where you can sit outside and eat delicious foccacia. I think it is called Il Massimo. You have to eat foccacia and pasta with pesto while your there because this is a typical food, and drink Limoncello. In Monterosse there is also a hotel/restaurant called ‘Porto Roca’, it is a little above Monterosso on a cliff, so you have to walk up there. There you’ve got an excellent view and the food is inceredible. It is not an everyday go to restaurant, but you should really take the chance and go there. They have the BEST food you can imagine. I don’t think I have ever eaten better food than there. But I doubt you will have one bad meal during the entire trip.
    You should definitly do the hikes between the small cities. If you don’t have the time for all of them, then do the one between Monterosso and Vernazza, and then take boat to the other cities. The Lovers walk is often really crowded and not a hike, really a walk you can to with flip flops. If you got time left you should go to Portofino, and then you will never leave Italy again.

  25. 32

    Have an awesome trip!!! I’m far too close to Italy to never have been…maybe this Summer :)

  26. 33

    How funny about the bird poop – the dangers of outdoor yoga. Haha!

    Enjoy Italy – how exciting! I’ve only been to Rome, but I remember the food was amazing! And it’s amazing to just walk around and see all the history that’s there. I guess my suggestion is travel on foot whenever you can – you never know what you’ll find!

  27. 34

    In Florence, try Trattoria Zsa Zsa for dinner. The trio of soups is incredible. I know it will be summer, but still. Amazing! I went to Italy a few years ago with my family and had an icredible time. Enjoy!

  28. 35

    YESS!!!!! ITALY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  29. 37

    Hey Anne- not sure if anyone has commented about this, but when I studied abroad in Florence we all took the train to Cinque Terre and you can hike/walk through the 5 towns. We took the train to Monterosso (the furthest town) and hiked back through the towns that way. And there are lots of places to jump off and go swimming along the way. Oh, and this was back in 2006, but there was an AMAZING bagel shop, honestly best bagels I’ve ever had in my life, in Florence on the left side of the street somewhere on via san gallo :) have fun!

  30. 38

    I am currently living in Rome so hopefully the below tips are helpful:

    For useful apps I would recommend Elizabeth Minchilli as well. Another good person to look up is Katie Parla who has both a blog about Rome and an app. She also co-edits the Rome Digest – it’s high season in Rome now and the website does a breakdown of the various weekly events. E.g. this weekend there is a wine festival at Eataly (metro stop Piramide).

    Some of my favourite restaurants in Rome:

    Fishmarket in Trastevere – one of the cheapest but good places to get fish in Rome, including fritto misto (mixed deep-fried seafood).

    Urbana 47 in Via Urbana in Monti (my favourite neighborhood in Rome, an area close to the Colosseum full of cute shops) – they do a modern twist on classic Italian dishes using seasonal and local ingredients only. Definitely book (

    For a really old-school elegant classical Roman dining experience: Paris in Trastevere – definitely order the deep-fried artichokes as a starter, just incredible. (

    For a slightly cheaper way of trying all the classical Roman dishes head to Carbonara on Via Panisperna in Monti (

    There are plenty of good Enotecas in Rome as well – 2 of my favourite ones in the centre are Palatium (just off Via del Corso) – an entire enoteca dedicated to wine from Lazio, the region Rome is situated in, and Enoteca Provincia Roma, just off the end off Via del Corso, which does great food as well.

    For ice-cream – head to Fatamorgana for delicious ice-cream with interesting flavours (fennel, liquorice and honey? gorgonzola and pear?) as well as all the classics such as pistachio, amarena, stracciatella etc. If you are looking for good ice-cream in the centre, around Via del Corso, it gets a little trickier – you can always head to Giolitti close to the Parliament, but while this place is always a hit with tourists, it’s ice-cream does contain a whole host of fillers and sweeteners (although the taste is still pretty spot on).

    Another tip bearing in mind is that there is a reason most Italians stand at the bar when they have their morning coffee and pastry – many places charge 3 times as much when you sit at one of their tables! One exception to this is a small Sicilian chain called Ciuri Ciuri (with various locations across Central Rome) – not only do they not charge extra but they also do amazing brioche and pistachio-cream filled croissants (not to mention the fact they have 3 different types of pistachio ice-cream and amazing cannoli as well).

    I shall stop with the rambling now. Hope you have a fantastic trip – Italy is an awesome place to travel and you arrived just before it gets uncomfortably hot, perfect for sight-seeing and enjoying lunches and dinners al fresco.

  31. 39

    I’m SO jealous you’re heading to Rome!! Though some of the best times I had ended up being when I wandered somewhere/got lost, the best pizza (and I ate a LOT of pizza there!) was at Chicco di Grano (Via degli Zingari, 6, 00184 Rome, Italy; about a block from Cavour Metro stop). I’d also suggest an evening out in Trastevere – a neighborhood across the river. It has some awesome bars/hangouts and there is a little gem (can’t remember the name) that serves shots in chocolate cups which of course is fun! Also, if you like chocolates and limoncello (who doesn’t?! And also makes great gifts), check out Sulle Ali Del Cioccolatot (Via di Torre Argentina, 80 – 00186 Rome).

    For sights:
    DO THE FREE WALKING TOUR – it is 100% free (though tips encouraged..)! ( Meet at 5:30 at the Spanish Steps and you’ll go on a 2 hour walking tour with a guide and other travelers. This was absolutely one of the best things I did.
    Colosseum – spend the extra money for a tour, it’s worth it
    Roman Forum – there are a lot of tours that are free and you just tip the guide
    Church of Sant’Ignazio Di Loyola (Via del Caravita, 8a, 00186) – I’m not going to say what the ‘trick’ of this church is because you have to see it for yourself!!
    If you have time (doesn’t take long but kind of out of the way depending on where you are): Keyhole on Aventine Hill (Atop the Aventine Hill at Piazza Cavalieri di Malta in Via di S. Sabina)

    Oh, and eat as much gelato as you can :)

  32. 40

    I just can’t get myself to try sushi, but the eyes on the avocado made me smile :) And ITALY?!?! Oh, so jealous. Have a wonderful time, and look forward to pictures when you get back!

  33. 41

    Best gelatteria near Piaza Navona–It’s called Marriott (maybe different spelling).
    If you have a chance to stop in Reggio Emilia it’s a quaint town a bit north of Florence…and it’s the home of parmagiano reggiano cheese.

  34. 42

    Ah, looooove those cities!! Vernazza and Riomaggiore were my favorite of the cinque terre. Hiking the little love trail between all five cities is fun. I think it took us about 3 hrs? We stayed in Vernazza at this little B&B, which was/is owned by this younger couple. The breakfasts were out of this world and the fresh cappucinnos…ah!

    In Florence, be sure to go to the piazzale michaelangelo…nice hike up to the top of the hill and a great look out point over the entire city at night. There are also lots of cute restaurants on your walk up to the lookout point that I wished we would have discovered prior to our last night there. Looked like a fun, young, hip place to hang out and grab food.

  35. 43

    That yoga class looks like a lot of fun! Plus that sushi looks delicious!

    That is so exciting about Italy, so jealous, you will have a great time I’m sure :)

  36. 44

    Have a blast! My tips is I hope you or your husband can drive a manual car!

  37. 46

    I can’t wait to read about your trip to Italy! My fiance and I are honeymooning in Cinque Terre, Florence, and Milan in July :) Can’t wait!!!!

  38. 47

    We honeymooned in Italy – Rome and Tuscany, with a day trip down to Pompeii. In Rome, my two favorite places we ate at were both by Campo de Fiori: Grappolo D’Oro Zampanò for real spaghetti carbonara (it’s off the square, Google the address), and Forno (right on the square) for Roman-style thin crust pizza.

    When you’re in Florence, if you have the chance to get out to any of the little wine villages in Tuscany, do it! Such cute little towns to wander around, great wine, hearty Tuscan food.

    Driving advice: on the interstates, seriously stay out of the left lane unless you are passing someone – the crazy fast drivers will not appreciate it otherwise! IN Rome, pay close attention at stoplights – people take the lane markers (and even the light color, hah!) as “suggestions”. There were definitely a lot of aggressive drivers, but not worse than you see in many cities here.

  39. 48
    Paula Sparkle says

    How great there is yoga in Dupont Circle now! – 10 minute walk from where I lived in DC! Great excuse to come back and work out! BTW notice you like the Georgetown SeaCatch too – it is beautiful on the Canal – my Aunts loved it!

    PS Enjoy Italy1 – went for the first time in 2011 – the art, the architecture, the food, the history, the people – absolutely gorgeous and amazing!- Hotel Eden has a great panaromic view of the Rome from its dining room/lounge – near the Spanish Steps and Via Veneto!

  40. 49

    Outdoor yoga sounds fun and that sushi looks delish!

    Have a great time in Italy! I spent a summer studying abroad in Florence and traveled to Rome and Cinque Terre after. Definitely do the entire hike of the Cinque Terre – it was by far one of my favorite parts!

    Have a great time!!! Can’t wait to read about it when you get back!

  41. 50

    I just got back from Italy, hope I’m not too late with this suggestion, but this day bike tour of Tuscany was amazing!

  42. 51

    URBANA 47!
    When you’re in Rome, you absolutely MUST go there. It’s in Monti

    It’s a “slow food” restaurant, meaning that their focus is on local whole food. I would recommend going for dinner. They have both vegetarian and meat options and it’s absolutely wonderful. The vibe of the place is very hippy-cool, and just, I cannot give it enough praise.

  43. 52

    Also! Cannot believe I forgot this. The most amazing gelato that I had in Rome was from a place called San Crispino. There is one right by Trevi Fountain, and another one somewhere else…here’s the link
    Trust me, you will think all gelato is good until you try this. It’s so smooth and rich, and such a hidden gem. There flavors are extremely creative, including ginger cinnamon (a personal favorite), walnut date, chocolate/caramel/vanilla merengue (there are pieces of merengue in it), and of course the classics: pistachio, hazelnut, coffee, chocolate etc etc. I would seriously recommend the ginger cinnamon (it might actually be cinnamon-something else or ginger-something else) and the hazelnut or coffee. OUT OF THIS WORLD.

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