Next Stop: Sorrento

24 May

Since ancient times, the  coastline of Naples and it’s islands has drawn visitors from Emperors to bohemians to day-trippers. Locations such as Capri have been the muse for European artists, writers, celebrities and the stage for some epic ’50s films.

Mistake #1

Never make the Amalfi Coast a “pit stop”. You will do it no justice and you’ll start wishing you’d shaved some days off other locations to spend more time there!

Where to stay: You’ve probably realised by now that I’m more of a B&B girl than I am a 5 star Hilton type. I always base myself in Sorrento for easy access to day-trip destinations, atmosphere and quite frankly, the warmth of the community and the limoncello. Bookings can be difficult during peak season so plan ahead.

Check out the following accommodation sites for some ‘off-the-beaten-track’ options:

Booking

Venere

B&B Planet

Homelidays

Only Apartments

When to go: Italy is beautiful all year ’round, but to experience the Amalfi Coast in full bloom, go during the Summer (or Spring at the very least!). This the season where you will experience  la dolce vita, the late evening strolls on a perfect summer’s night, the 00’s of gelato flavours, the beach and lido culture. Contrary to British opinion, the amazing weather (unless you have an aversion to sunshine and heat). You will also find that many restaurants and atmospheric bars close during the ‘off season’.

Day Trips:

  • Mt Vesuvius
  • Pompeii
  • Ischia island
  • Capri
  • Positano
  • Ravello
  • Naples

Where to eat:

Like most popular tourist haunts, Sorrento has not be spared the cheap + nasty Italian restaurants aimed at Americans (they serve ketchup with everything – gross). Ask locals, ask your hosts, have a peak in the window to validate your gut feeling – if there are some local-looking folks, enter, if not.. walk on.

My current two favourites (which are very easy on the pocket also) are: Leone Rosso + Inn Buffalito.

Search for the Lemon Garden in the city centre which is an old citrus farm that has been owned by the same family for generations. You can sample free local liquers (but you will most certainly want to purchase your own). If you can’t find it, just stroll around the city centre and you will be inundated with some gorgeous flavours – I highly recommend the melone, fragolino, limoncello and crema di limoncello.

Shopping Cart: Lace, ceramics, inlaid wood, linen, liquers, volcanic treasures, bespoke leather sandals

To Drive or Not to Drive: Not for the faint-hearted, put it that way! I have driven all over Italy (I am female, but a fiesty one) but would never drive around the Amalfi coast – it’s just not cut out for tourist traffic. Parking is horrendous, streets are very narrow and curvaceous and it is very easy to commute to all the best destinations using other means – ferries, pullmans (fancy buses), taxis and sometimes your hotel or host usually offers some sort of transfer service to rectify Sorrento’s traffic “issues”.

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4 Responses to “Next Stop: Sorrento”

  1. bagnidilucca May 24, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Driving around the Amalfi coast is terrifying!!! The roads are narrow and winding and the Italian drivers are mad.

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