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Saturday, 11 July 2015

Italy Part Due- Sorrento


Now you've seen where stayed, we can now share the photos of what we got up to!
27th June

Having arrived at the hotel quite late the night before, it was so dark you could only make out the twinkly lights of Sorrento in the distance. So, when we woke up the next day the view from our hotel was a welcoming sight. The views of the Amalfi Coast and neighbouring hillside towns were spectacular, which instantly made us excited to get out and explore.


We started our day with a morning dip in the pool and relaxed in the sunshine. This was nice as it was totally different to the fast paced lifestyle of being in Venice, so it was good to just put our feet up (or in the pool for that matter!).







After spending an hour or so in the pool, we were eager to travel into Sorrento and make the most of our day. However, things didn't go exactly to plan!

From what we were told before we arrived, buses ran frequently and were easy to catch just outside the hotel. When we tried it out ourselves, we found the timetables were all out of date, and spent almost an hour waiting for a bus that never came! When we asked at the hotel, they didn't know the up to date bus times and told us that services stop running in the middle of the day, but continued later in the afternoon.

As we didn't want to spend too much of our holiday waiting for buses, we decided to take the hotel up on their offer of driving us into Sorrento. When we arrived into town, we were still curious about getting a bus back to our hotel. After asking nearly every person at the main bus station, we soon got the horrible realisation that no one could help us. In some cases the language barrier was too much of an issue, and in other cases they simply had no idea where our hotel was!

So, we decided to just bite the bullet and be driven around by the hotel for the next 5 days. At first, we were really disheartened about having this unexpected expense to cover, but in hindsight having being driven everywhere allowed us to make the most of our time in Sorrento!

After our transport issue was sorted, we took time to walk around the town and get some ideas of where to go for dinner that evening. The afternoon seemed to fly by, and after taking in some of the main sights we headed get to the hotel to get ready for that evening.





We decided to have dinner that evening at "Ristorante o' Parruchiano La Favorita", a place David had seen on Trip Advisor and heard good things about.







It was so interesting inside the restaurant, with lemon trees surrounding you & branches hanging literally just above your head. During our meal we witnessed at least 3 lemons fall from the trees, which were all pretty close to our table! After dinner we finished our evening with drinks at a few bars, and David realised whisky still isn't his friend. Best stick to beer for now!


28th June

Our second day had a more positive start than the first, and we began with a nice light breakfast at the hotel around 8am. We got ourselves ready, took a few photos around the grounds of the hotel and headed into Sorrento for around 11:30, aiming to have some lunch before heading to the beach.
















We grabbed some lunch from "Song'e Napule", a stylish little place along the main street in Sorrento, which was literally opposite where we had dinner the night before. The long blackboard extending through the restaurant was cool, as you can read messages from tourists about their travels. We both enjoyed a Margherita pizza. There's nothing quite like proper Italian pizza. It's just so much more fresh and juicy compared to what you'd get in the UK! At 6 per pizza it was a real bargain too.


After lunch we walked down the super steep and winding footpath to Leonelli's Beach, located in Marina Piccola.









Sorrento isn't known for it's beaches, so if you want to visit one it's normally a private one with a decking area where you can pay to hire a sun bed & cabin. Worth every penny though as you can have food and drink brought out to you if you so wish!














After spending the day at the beach, we made our way back to the hotel to have dinner there. Before eating, we explored the grounds some more as it was turning into a beautiful evening.






After taking a few photos, we sat in the lobby area and waited to be called down for dinner.



We had no idea of what dinner at the hotel would be like, as we had only seen the food that they prepared for breakfast the past two mornings. However, we were really impressed. The starter course was mozzarella on lemon leaves, followed by bolognese for the first course and a lemon chicken dish for the main. This was so filling as most evenings we were just having a main course and that was it!




Shortly after sitting down for dinner, we were soon joined by a small group of cats. Fronted by the hotels own pet named "Panda" (actually named after the Italian designed Fiat Panda car!), she sat below our table for most of the meal. When any others would approach us she would stand her ground, hoping to get some of our chicken in return. Silly Panda.

We soon found that she recently had kittens, and we actually saw her feeding them one day! It was hard to catch a glimpse of them all though, as they would soon scurry away if you got too close.





29th June

On our 3rd day we got up, had breakfast as usual and at around 10am we made our way to the Marina in Sorrento (not far from the beach the day before). We knew that from here, you could get a ferry to the island of Capri for the day, so we paid around €30 each and got ourselves a return ticket.

Despite only being a half an hour ride there, it was really hot on the ferry and the big windows surrounding us just made it feel even hotter! So if you ever fancy doing this in the summer, be sure to bring a fan for the journey!

When you arrive in Capri there's lots of tourist information booths with details on various excursions on offer. To make the most of our day in Capri, we decided to book a 1 hour boat tour around the island and then spend the rest of the day on land.

Before the tour departed, we had enough time for lunch and a little explore of the Marina and surrounding areas.





























After the boat tour we made our way to the beach, which we stayed at for a couple of hours. This beach was rather rocky, and as we weren't staying long we just put our towels straight on the ground. So, not as luxurious as the day before, but still nice!






When we had finished sunbathing we headed back to the Marina to wait for the ferry ride back to Sorrento.



When we arrived back in Sorrento, we had an early dinner at a cute traditional Italian restaurant called "La Lanterna", which clearly takes it's name from the avenue of lanterns leading through the restaurants entrance.

When we say an early dinner, we mean early! Even though it was 5pm, as you can see from the photo below we were the only customers in the restaurant. Italians are known for eating much later than this, so if you want the experience of eating with locals definitely hold out a few hours.





Even though eating in the evening would have been a nicer setting, we wanted have dinner soon so we could finally explore the back streets of Sorrento.


















When we had finished wandering the streets of Sorrento, we decided to call it a day and spend the rest of our evening at the hotel!


30th June

On day 4 we decided to do a tour of the Amalfi Coast, as the next day we were flying back to the UK.

Our first stop on the bus was a village called Positano, a beautiful place full of pastel coloured houses lining the hillside. Known for it's boutiques selling lightweight linen garments and handmade sandals, it's one of the most sort after places to live in on the Amalfi Coast.

























After spending only an hour in Positano, we met up with our guide and continued with our trip to the next the stop - Amalfi.



Whilst most of the people on our tour decided to make the most of our 2 hours in Amalfi by going on a boat trip, we decided to pass on this as we had done something very similar in Capri.


We took a short walk to a private beach, and in no time we were sat on our own sun beds, eating our lunch under the umbrella. We're glad to have had some time in the shade, as it was such a hot day we could have easily burned!









Once we were finished soaking up the sun in Amalfi, we had an ice cream, got back on the coach and made our way to the 3rd and final stop - Ravello.








      





Of all the 3 destinations we visited during our Amalfi Coast tour, Ravello was the nicest, most peaceful little village. Above is the organic vegetable garden for the Villa Maria Restaurant, which is just to the right of the photo. We weren't in Ravello long enough to experience their food, but apparently their organic pizza is amazing!

Once we were back at the hotel and had enough time to put our feet up, we got ourselves ready for our last evening in Sorrento.


We arrived at the Bellevue Syrene at the perfect time, just as the sun was setting. Overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea and with a view of Mount Vesuvius in the distance, it was the the perfect surrounding for our last evening dinner in Sorrento.












1st July

The first day of the month saw our last day in Sorrento, and we planned to spend it at the hotel.

Our transport back to the Airport was booked for 5pm that day, so luckily the lovely people at the hotel allowed us to spend the whole day by the pool! There also weren't any new guests expected to check in to our room, so we were able to leave our luggage there all day which was good!


We also topped off our trip with a lovely lunch provided by the hotel, and like the dinner a few nights before it didn't disappoint!






If you are planning a trip to Sorrento and you want to relax, our advice is to stay somewhere away from the busy town centre. Although this would ideally require you to hire a car, or in our case being chauffeured around by the hotel!

We absolutely loved coming to Italy! To check out our amazing hotel in detail click here, and to see what we got up to in Venice click here!

Where are your favourite places to visit? 


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