On Wednesday, the pals were spotted driving around Los Angeles together, shortly after returning from their Italian getaway near Lake Como.
A newly single Cyrus, 26, was behind the wheel, wearing a gray T-shirt with her blonde locks down loosely by her shoulders, while Carter, 30 — who recently announced her split from husband Brody Jenner — sat in the passenger seat and sported a pair of sunglasses.
Their outing comes just a few days after the stars were photographed showing some major public displays of affection, as they cuddled and kissed poolside in Italy.
A source previously told PEOPLE that Cyrus and Carter spent several days at the il Sereno Hotel near Lake Como, along with Cyrus’ older sister Brandi.
Despite Cyrus and Carter’s intimate interactions over the weekend, the source noted that the pair have mutual friends in common and are “just having fun” together.
Cyrus “wasn’t introducing Kaitlynn as her girlfriend,” the source told PEOPLE. “She only called Kaitlynn her friend.”
“They were with other friends, spent time by the pool and enjoyed a boat tour on the lake,” the source continued. “Everyone seemed very happy. They were in a party mood, had cocktails and seemed to have a great time.”
“Miley seemed especially great. She was very happy and laughing a lot. You could tell she had fun. She was very close with Kaitlynn,” the source added.
A post shared by Brandi Cyrus (@brandicyrus) on Aug 9, 2019 at 10:05am PDT
Hours before Cyrus and Carter were spotted kissing, Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth announced their breakup in a statement shared exclusively to PEOPLE.
Cyrus also shared multiple photos of herself in Italy without her 3.5-carat cushion-cut diamond engagement ring and wedding band earlier in the day.
“Liam and Miley have agreed to separate at this time,” a rep for Cyrus said. “Ever-evolving, changing as partners and individuals, they have decided this is what’s best while they both focus on themselves and careers. They still remain dedicated parents to all of their animals they share while lovingly taking this time apart. Please respect their process and privacy.”
An insider told PEOPLE the pair actually split months ago, while multiple sources agreed that Cyrus’ public displays of affection with Carter are partly because the singer is hurting from her breakup.
“She’s genuinely trying to have fun and put on a good face,” said a source close to Cyrus. “Yes, she’s trying to push Liam’s buttons whether she’ll admit it or not, but she’s hurt.”
On Monday, another insider told PEOPLE Cyrus “really fought to make” her marriage work. “She wanted to go to therapy,” said the insider. “She just wants to be in a healthy and focused place.”
Cyrus met Hemsworth in 2009 on the set of The Last Song, and had a rocky, on-again, off-again relationship for years before he proposed in 2012. The two ended their engagement and broke up a year later, before reconciling in 2015.
Then in December 2018, they wed during an intimate ceremony at their home in Franklin, Tennessee, following the loss of their Malibu home in the Woolsey fire.
“Miley took [the fire] a lot harder than Liam did, and he is the one who helped her get through it and realize everything would be okay,” said the Cyrus source. “She even said it all the time herself, that he was her ‘survival partner.’ She took their commitment to marriage seriously and was so excited about being married once she realized it’s what she wanted.”
As for Carter, she announced her split from Jenner, 35, whom she wed in 2018, earlier this month.
“Brody Jenner and Kaitlynn Carter have decided to amicably separate,” the pair’s reps, Scott Newman and Lindsay Maguire, told PEOPLE. “They love and respect one another, and know that this is the best decision for their relationship moving forward,” the reps added.
At the time, an insider said Jenner and Carter were not legally married as they never made their union official.