Here we are, back in Italy for the third time in as many years. After visiting beautiful Naples last year we decided we wanted to explore more of the Campania region. Our itinerary for this trip would be Sorrento, Positano and the Roman town of Herculaneum. Once again we booked this as a package trip through Jet2. We love our Jet2 trips and would recommend them to anyone, this is our 7th booking.
Day One – Back In Italy
We landed at Naples International Airport late in the morning. Our coach transfer into Sorrento was already arranged through Jet2. The journey from the airport into Sorrento took around two hours. Vicky had a bit of a sleep on the coach but as usual I was wide awake and taking in all the scenery. Our home for four nights was the Hotel Tirrenia situated on Corso Italia, the main street through Sorrento.
Hungry, thirsty and eager to start exploring we had a quick change and freshen up and wandered into town. Our first stop, Piazza Tasso. We sat for an hour in Bar Ercolano with an ice cold Birra Moretti and complimentary nibbles. We planned what we wanted to do for the rest of the day.
The back streets of Sorrento. Long narrow streets full of shops selling leather goods, ceramics and of course lemons. One of the places we had researched before our visit was a place called Bar Veneruso. This place serves incredible cakes and pastries. So if you have a sweet tooth we highly recommend it. Espresso’s ordered, we also indulged in some sweet treats of our own.
Pizza Time Again !
After more walking and a bit of shopping it was starting to get late, we were even more hungry and ready to tuck into some proper Italian food. If you’ve read any of our other blogs you’ll know we always like to do some research into places to eat. Vicky found a fab little pizza place called Pizzeria da Franco. Its a bit of a walk and on the way out of the main town, but so worth it. The restaurant is full of old wooden tables, almost like picnic benches and your pizza comes served on a tin tray. This place is no-frills, full of locals, not expensive and the food is delicious.
Next on the menu were cocktails. Heading back into town we found a great little bar. Here, Vicky experienced her first ever Espresso Martini. Lets just say it wouldn’t be the first one that night or for the rest of the trip. She made me promise that once we returned home we had to buy the ingredients to make them, a cocktail shaker and the glasses to serve them in.
By the end of the evening we were absolutely knackered so we retired to our room, shared a bottle of Prosecco on our balcony then hit the bed. A great first day in Sorrento.
Day Two – More Sightseeing
Our second day we would spend more time in the town. Deciding not to have breakfast in the hotel we set out in search of coffee and Cannoli. We found this great little pastry shop and ordered two Espresso’s and two Cannoli. I first tried these delicious little pastry treats in Naples in 2018, it was great to be eating them once more. Fuelled up we were ready to go. If you are regulars to our blog then you’ll know that we always try and seek out local churches on our travels. Sorrento would be no different.
The first church we would visit was the beautiful main Cathedral, Cattedrale dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo. Set back just off the main street of Corso Italia, outside stands a statue dedicated to Saint John Paul II. It’s also home to a very impressive scene of the Nativity.
Winding through the backstreets we did some shopping. Sorrento is famous for its Lemons, Limoncello, Leather and Porcelain. Try hitting up the many shops selling Limoncello and chocolate, you will be inundated with staff offering you free samples, you’ll either end up drunk from the many shots of Limoncello and cream liqueurs or on a huge sugar rush !
One fab little restaurant you should check out is Trattoria da Emilia located on the sea front in Marina Grande. The food here is fantastic. Simple, homemade and traditional and most of all cheap. The ravioli is to die for and they are huge !
After lunch we ended up down at the Marina Piccola, not before watching wild Dolphins swimming across the Bay of Naples from one of the towns many cliff top viewing areas. That was a special moment.
We visited many other churches during our time here, we even walked the old city wall which was nice. Sorrento is a fairly small town, you can pretty much see everything here in a couple of days so we do advise you to have extra trips planned.
Day Three – Picture Perfect Positano
We had heard so many good things about Positano prior to booking this trip so we were really excited to finally get to be here. It has been on our list of places to visit in Italy for a long time.
Getting to Positano from Sorrento is easy. The main bus and train station in the centre of town was only a short walk from our hotel. Tickets were only €4 each which included a return trip, these were for the SITA bus. The journey took around an hour. The bus was very busy and we had to stand the whole way there. When you arrive in Positano the bus stop you need to get off at is Sponda.
The walk from the bus stop down into the town is as expected, beautiful. I am sure you have all seen the pictures. Different coloured pastel buildings hugging the side of the cliff edge, overlooking the sea.
Doing The Tourist Thing
As expected it is very busy with tourists. We were hoping to have a walk across the beach to paddle our feet, the sand here is volcanic and therefore is black, but most of it is sectioned off into private beach ‘resort’s offering astronomical charges for sunbed hire. There is a tiny strip of ‘public’ beach here, it was very busy so we didn’t bother going on it.
We had a walk around, explored the tiny streets and after some gift shopping headed over to Fornillo Beach.
Fornillo Beach is a smaller, cleaner, less busy area of the town just West of the centre. A short 10 minute walk with cliff top views.
Here you will find yet more private hire sunbed’s but some great beach front family run restaurants. We ate at a place called Da Ferdinando’s where we had one of the best Caprese Sandwiches we have ever eaten. Seriously good, go find this place when you visit.
It was definitely worth visiting Positano, don’t expect too much, this place is small but does have some great things to do. Although we had return coach tickets we decided to get the ferry back to Sorrento which cost €15 each for a one way trip. This was a great idea as the views back towards land were just as beautiful as the views out to sea on our journey inward. Tip, if you do get the bus from Sorrento, sit on the right side going and the left side coming back. That way you’ll get the best views across the bay.
Day Four – Herculaneum
After visiting Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius during our time in Naples last year we knew we had to come back to the area. This time to visit Herculaneum. We didn’t have the time to see everything. Fast forward a year and here we are.
Travelling to Herculaneum was just as easy as getting to Positano. Tickets were bought from the same booth in the main station as before.
We don’t want to get into too much detail here about this trip as we feel it deserves a blog of its own and we have a number of great photos. A completely different experience to Pompeii, nowhere near as busy, a lot smaller but just as much to see. We even think that the mosaics, frescoes and some of the buildings were better.
Read A Trip To Herculaneum to follow on from this post.
If you are planning on visiting Naples and the Amalfi coast, here are some other things you could get up to. Read our posts from our trip in 2018. Guide To Naples, Part One, Guide To Naples, Part Two and Pompeii And Vesuvius.