Okay! So what don’t you get with a weekend on the Sorrento Coast?
You get the sun (usually) and you always get the wonderful food, the history, the culture, the scenery and of course, the ever-entertaining Italians themselves…
Sorrento Coast – Capri
But what you don’t get is time.
A weekend is fine, if everything goes well, but if a plane is delayed, a suitcase lost or any kind of distraction put in your way, then it is not enough. So it is a good idea to plan to lessen the chance of these distractions taking place.
This was brought home to me with a crystal clarity, similar to the Mediteraenean sea itself, when we flew to Naples to celebrate Clare’s 50th birthday.
Clare and me at Herculaneum
Because of this lack of time we thought it was easier to stay in Naples, so the first thing we missed out on was the wonderful range of Sorrento accommodation. From small independent villas and private apartments, tucked away in any one of the romantic marinas that dot the length of the Sorrento coast, to 4 star hotels like the Hotel Cristina, with its panoramic views across the Bay of Naples to Mount Vesuvius itself!
Also we realised that we would not be able to see everything in the area, so we made the decision to leave a visit to the famous Pompeii and a climb up Mount Vesuvius to another time, as we wanted when we had the kids with us.
Because we were in Naples we thought it would be quickest to use the trains that ferry tourists and locals up and down the coast. But first we got on the wrong train and had to double back and then the train that we finally got was stopped half way between Sorrento and Naples and we had to wait for another train to come and take us the rest of the way.
That sort of thing is frustrating enough if you are commuting, but if you only have 48 hours and 5 of them are spent messing about on trains then something needs to give. For us it was a restful afternoon and pre-dinner drinks.
Instead we dashed back to the hotel, quickly got changed and picked the closest restaurant that we could find.
Fortunately, the standard of restaurants in Naples is high, so we were not disappointed, but had we chosen Sorrento private car and van with driver, to help us with our transport our 48 hours on the Sorrento coast would have been much more relaxing.
Celebrating Clare’s 50th birthday in Shanti Bar in Naples
As it was, we still managed to fit in a visit to Herculaneum and the island of Capri, with a few bar stops in Sorrento itself and two wonderful nights in Naples enjoying the hospitality of restaurants and bars, including the fabulous Shanti art and music bar on via G. Paladino – which gets a massive thumbs up for the atmosphere, the food, the guys who work there and the music we heard there.
So lessons learnt!
But with a limousine and a driver to take us we would have seen a whole lot more and hared about a whole lot less.