The boy & I are off on our holidays in September and I am beside myself with excitement. Italy is quite possibly my favorite country to visit: a big dose of history, gorgeous architecture and some of the world’s best food. What could be better?
It’s the first time I’ll have gone with my boyfriend and I really want to show him why I’m so crazy about Italy, and with this in mind I wanted to document how I’ve planned our trip as it’s a little different to what we’ve done before.
Our itinerary: Rome-Naples-Sorrento
We’re flying in and out of Rome Ciampino airport, as thanks to some pretty cheap flights (hello Ryanair) this was the easiest option. Our outbound flight is painfully early, leaving Stansted at around 8am, meaning we land in Rome at approximately 12pm. From the airport, we’re planning on taking a Terravision shuttle bus to Rome’s Termini station, from where we’ll get the train down to the Amalfi coast.
We’re staying in Sorrento, which will give us the perfect base to explore the Amalfi coast and also Pompeii, which I’m very excited about seeing. It’s not a direct train from Rome to Sorrento as we’ll have to change in Naples, but from researching this it looks like a case of simply going downstairs to a different section of the train station in Naples and getting the rather rickety sounding Circumvesuviana train. It’s about an hour from Rome Termini to Naples, and then another hour from Naples to Sorrento. All in all, I’m factoring in about three and a half hours to get to Sorrento from Rome which means all being well we’ll get there about 4pm or so.
We’re spending three nights in Sorrento, at a small three star hotel called the Comfort Hotel Gardenia. We were looking for somewhere clean, comfortable and central and it *looks* like it fits the bill just fine. There’s also a pool and a roof terrace with gorgeous views of the rather ominous Vesuvius in the background.
I’m keeping our time in Sorrento flexible. We’ll arrive around Sunday afternoon and leave for Naples on Wednesday lunchtime so we’ll have two full days and two half days to spend there. I’m vaguely thinking we’ll spend one of our two full days in Positano, and the other full day visiting Pompeii. Then again I also want to explore the old town of Sorrento and if there’s time, visit Capri by boat. I naturally have factored in aperitivo time every day too!
[Photo credit: here]
From Sorrento on Wednesday, we’ll head back on the Circumvesuviana train to Naples for a short one night stay. I wanted to break this up for two reasons; firstly, it gives us a little bit of breathing room in terms of traveling time, as although train travel is convenient, it can be a teeny bit knackering. Secondly, whilst I’ve heard Naples can be a little gritty, it’s also the birthplace of PIZZA and obviously everybody has time for pizza. So far, I’ve narrowed it down to six different places I want to eat at. One being Da Michele, one of the world’s most famous pizzerias and serving only two delicious options. It’s also ridiculously cheap as well so there’s that.
Just one night planned in Naples, as on Thursday we’ll head back on the fast train to Rome. We’re staying at the Welcome Piram hotel, which is a four star hotel close to Termini station and opposite the Museo Nazionale Romano. I’ve stayed in that area plenty of times before, and whilst it’s not the prettiest, it’s perfect for walking to the Colosseum and the Forum.
Whilst we’re there I’ve planned a number of sightseeing excursions to the Forum and Colosseum, but the one I’m most excited about is the Scavi tour of the Necropolis, directly underneath St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican city. Bear with me, I’m aware it sounds a little creepy, but parts of the necropolis date back to the Roman Imperial period and the tour ends at St. Peter’s tomb, which is where St. Peter is believed to have been laid to rest. Only 250 people per day are allowed to visit, and tours are arranged months in advance through the Vatican which I’ve been able to do. It’s only about 13 euros but just requires a bit of forward planning.
Our trip back is pretty easy – just a bus back to the airport, and then we’re flying back on Sunday lunchtime, so will be back home early afternoon. Although obviously I don’t want to think about that now!
The Logistics: My Go To Guides
- Flights booked through Ryanair. Obviously not for the experience, but because they’re dirt cheap. I think we got them for about £120 return.
- All hotels booked through Booking.com. I pretty much always use them as I find the hotel selection to be great, and I’m now a ‘Genius’ which means I sometimes get 10% or so discounts which is always welcome. It’s also really easy to use and great for booking work travel too.
- I’ve pre-booked train travel between Rome and Naples via Rail Europe in Piccadilly in London. It’s impossible to pre-book train travel between Naples and Sorrento but this is about 3.30 euros one way so dirt cheap!
- For guidebooks I just love Lonely Planet guides and also Wallpaper city guides. They’re really comprehensive and full of tiny local gems.
So that’s our planned trip. I’m hoping all goes smoothly – I might do an updated post after our holiday to see how easy it was in practice. I’m going to do an overall holiday post as well, just like my Mexico post – so be prepared for many many photos of prosecco, pasta and pizza…