Ever since I studied Latin at school (it sounds much posher than it was!) I’ve always wanted to visit Pompeii. This year I finally got round to it with a little help from the Sorrento tourist board. They arranged six nights for us in the Grand Hotel La Pace in Saint A’gnello. One of Sorrento’s hidden gem, this little village is a half-hour’s walk from Sorrento main town and the ideal base for a day trip to Pompeii. And not forgetting my lovely boyfriend Sharps, who booked us flights to Naples after I dropped lots of (un)subtle hints about what I’d like to do for my birthday – discover Sorrento’s hidden gems.
My mum was also uncharacteristically excited about the prospect of our trip to Sorrento. She waxed lyrical about how lovely the Italian town is and how we simply must visit the Amalfi Coast and the island of Capri. While we were in total agreement with her (something of a rarity) that with its breathtaking coastline it is a stunning part of Italy, we weren’t quite prepared for the vast numbers of tourists. Thinking about it now this seems silly. The Amalfi coast is a hotspot for honeymooners – a couple of my just-married friends are spending their honeymoon in Praiano. So a word of advice in that it’s definitely worth travelling off season, as opposed to the summer months like we did, to check out Sorrento’s hidden gems.
Clearly the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento aren’t exactly hidden gems. But if you know where to look it’s still possible to avoid the crowds (honestly), and even find some of Sorrento’s hidden gems amongst them. For instance, we discovered the most amazing ice cream shop, Primavera Sorrento. Despite being in the centre of Sorrento can be quite easy to miss. And you really wouldn’t want to miss out on experiencing the incredible array of ice creams, sorbets and gelati they have on offer. There are over 80 different types so it may take you a while to choose.
They even had a Kate and William’s wedding cake flavour. In response to my query as to how they obtained the recipe for the Royal wedding cake apparently they found it online. Something of a local legend, its owner Antonio Cafiero still works in the shop, on of Sorrento’s hidden gems, which produces all of its own home-made ice-cream and cakes. The walls of Primavera are covered with photographs of Antonio and various celebrities including The Pope. Antonio made a cake for him that was sent to Naples.
We also loved that we were staying slightly out of Sorrento. The location of Saint A’gnello was perfect. It was much more relaxed, slightly cheaper and the ideal place for a quiet dinner and drinks, while still allowing you to soak up the surrounds. If you are after something a little more lively Sorrento is just a 10-minute taxi ride away (but at 20 Euros a pop you’d be better off getting local transport which runs till about midnight), meaning you can have the best of both worlds.
Have you been to the Amalfi Coast and what did you think of it? Let me know.