Archive for November, 2012
A whole delicious week away in Italy with my husband and without the kids? What more could a girl ask for? We decided to have a holiday in September this year to try and avoid the insanity of August that exists on any European coastline from Brighton to Athens. We love Italy and had an amazing time in Rome in the spring. This time we decided to check out the Amalfi Coast. (John did keep trying to re-route our trip through Rome, just to eat at our favourite place there.) Fly direct into Naples, then spend 3 nights in Sorrento and 5 nights in Positano. We arrived on a gorgeous blue-sky day, the kind that makes you forget why you were every stressed or worried about anything. I mean, really! Have another vino and enjoy la dolce vita!
Sorrento is a gorgeous little town set on top of a sheer cliff wall, above the Bay of Naples. What it lacks in big-ticket site-seeing items it makes up for in sheer charm. The little narrow streets leading out in big,big views was always amazing and surprising. We had a charming little hotel, just on the edge of the main city, between the Marina Piccolo and the Marina Grande. The irony is that the “big” marina is actually little and the “little” one is big. How very misleading and confusing and well….Italian of them! The hotel had a lovely view from the restaurant on top, where breakfast was served every morning and you could also have a drink at night. We did this the first night before venturing off and eating in the garden of a restaurant in the town center, seated underneath an ancient Roman arch. After that first night, we decided that it was our moral imperative to have a drink each night at a different rooftop bar. There was no shortage to choose from and we could’ve done this for two weeks at least without repeating, if we had been staying that long.
One of the best restaurants we ate at was L’Antica Trattoria, (http://www.lanticatrattoria.com/) . It was one of the few we tried that did not have a view, but the Trip Advisor reviews were so glowing that we had to give it a go. It was definitely an amazing meal and the familial yet professional service was lovely. An older Italian gentleman in a dark suit, obviously well-fed from his own restaurant, served as our host and waiter. At one point he wordlessly pressed a beautiful flower onto the side of my wine glass. At the end of the meal, when John protested that he could not eat the last bite of his dessert, the gentleman took a spoon, filled it from the remnants on the plate and promptly popped it into John’s mouth, with a very self-satisfied air.
While we spent most of the evenings wandering from view to view and fabulous meal to the next, the days were all spent on the water. While there is no beach to speak of, they have overcome that ingeniously with a series of beach clubs: manmade structures jutting out into the ocean, with lounge chairs, changing rooms, and chair-side service. We made use of these each day, only rousing ourselves for the occasional dip or for lunch in the club’s open air restaurant.
After three lovely nights of Sorrento and all her charm (I can see why William Waldorf Astor built his home there when he was US ambassador to Italy. See http://www.sanctuare.com/RMI_frame/new/Countries/Europe/tritone.php for some amazing drool-worthy photos. You can rent it! Invite me if you do.), it was time to move onto Positano. We were excited to head there as we had heard so many good things and we figured if we loved Sorrento, then Positano was REALLY going to knock our socks off. Plus, while our Sorrento hotel was lovely, we had gotten a last minute deal on the room. It turned out to be the cupboard under the stairs, more or less. John barely fit into the shower. So, we were looking forward to a bit more luxury in Positano.