Italy Travel Guide – Sorrento

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While most couples jet off on their honeymoon the day after their wedding, we had a long-term visa to apply for, a trip to India, fashion week and a new job to attend to. So, James and I decided to put our dream honeymoon on hold till the summer – better weather, less stress, a carefully curated honeymoon wardrobe and a larger holiday kitty to have fun with made a lot more sense than rushing through things at the last minute after planning a wedding by ourselves.

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Ever since we were long distance dating and using Pinterest to plan our lives together across different continents, we knew that we wanted to visit Italy on our honeymoon. I had never been, James had only been to Sicily, and we were both very eager to explore the Southeastern part of the country, famous for the most beautiful coastline in the world – the Amalfi coast.

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Over two absolutely glorious, loved-up weeks of scrumptious Italian food, swimming in clear green seas, romantic lunches in parks, shopping in crowded markets and trying out new bars and cafes, we’ve fallen in love with bright little Vespa’s, vintage Fiat 500’s, unusual flavours of gelato, chilled lemon granitas, breezy boat rides, colourful houses on hills, hot pink bougainvillea and the feel of the sun gently glazing our skin to a cinnamon glow.

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We couldn’t recommend visiting more, which is why we put together a little list of the things we loved doing most in the Land of the Limoncello – hoping you feel as inspired to visit Sorrento as we felt during our stay.

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Photography: James Moore, Anushka Moore

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1. Go to the beach

The beaches of Sorrento are very tiny and usually crammed with people, so your best bet would be to go between 8 and 10 am if you believe in the concept of personal space. You can also rent a sunbed, a bright striped umbrella and make use of the changing facilities disguised adorably as bright, colourful beach huts from establishments like Peter’s Beach that also serve you beverages, etc. along the Sorrento docks.

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2. Rent a car or Vespa

Microscopic little Smart cars, Fiat 500’s and Vespa’s are a big part of Italian culture. Why not experience it first hand by renting one of your choice and taking a romantic drive along the beautiful Amalfi Coast? We did a lot of research on Sorrento’s many car rental companies and eventually rented from Europcar (which we believed to be the most efficient and reasonable) and drove to Amalfi and Ravello, although you can also stop at Positano and Salerno which are breathtaking! (P.S Car companies usually charge a standard €500 as a deposit – so make sure you put it on a credit card rather than a debit card to have it credited back to your account overnight, rather than being €500 short on your holiday while you wait 5-6 days for a refund if you use a debit card). Remember, if you find a car company you want to rent from, go online and book it there – they sometimes have great deals and discounts for those who book online. Also, stop in at their office to ask what documents they’ll need to see before they hand their car over to you.

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3. Hop on a ferry

Sorrento’s Marina Grande is only about a 30-45 minute ferry ride away from Positano and the islands of Capri and Ischia. Take full advantage of their proximity and head down to the beach where you can book a ferry ride to any of these little towns. Remember to book a day or two in advance and do only 1-2 towns per day maximum, as they all involve a lot of walking and tourist attractions that take up a significant amount of time.

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4. Ride the train

Sorrento has three different kinds of trains. (a) A city train which runs on the streets and takes you sightseeing around the most popular areas of Sorrento . You can buy a ticket and get on it at the Piazza Tasso – the city’s main square. (b) The standard train that you get from the train station that is very cheap, but not air-conditioned. It is very small, very hot, very old and usually packed to more than maximum capacity. We took this train to visit the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. (c) The express train which is modern, air conditioned, relatively a lot more expensive and thus, practically empty. We used this train to get to Naples as it was a longer journey and we had luggage.

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5. Shop in the markets

Sorrento is a fascinating maze of little alleyways and side streets selling everything from scarves to bags, fancy bottles of Limoncello, jewellery, little trinkets for around your home, beach cover-ups, hats and basically everything else under the sun. Stay tuned for a full post on shopping in Sorrento coming up soon!

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6. Go on a Limoncello tour

Sorrento is famous for its lemons and its Limoncello. Head to Via San Cesario – a little street lined with stores selling goods made from lemons. These stores usually have reps waiting outside with free samples they hand out to tourists, so enjoy getting tipsy on them for free (although it would be polite to buy at least one bottle while you’re at it!) If you’re interested in learning about the production of Limoncello, I believe there are also organized tours that take you to various Limoncello factories. Same concept – larger, more expensive scale.

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7. Experience the cuisine

Contrary to popular belief, Italian food is so much more than just tomato-based pizza and pasta. Their selection of seafood is impressive to say the least, but if you fancy something more interesting than just a fish, try my favourites – a salmon pasta or mussels and clams with spaghetti. Wash it down with some wonderful, fruity, full-bodied wine or, if you’re feeling adventurous, a chilled lemon granita. Abandon your regular soft drinks for Lemon Soda – an absolute godsend in the scorching heat (we drank it like water). Finish every meal with a shot of Limoncello (most restaurants serve it for free) and if you’re in the mood for a spot of dessert, hit up one of the many gelato shops or order a slice of Pastiera – a traditional Neapolitan cake. I will be doing a detailed review on our favourite places for food and drinks in Sorrento on the blog very soon.

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8. People watch

Amidst all this excitement of taking ferries and riding trains, exploring new towns, renting Vespas and zipping off into the sunset, make sure you take a few days out to just relax and experience the city and its colourful culture. Sorrento welcomes thousands of people from all walks of life and from all around the world. A front row seat in Fauno Bar at Piazza Tasso is the perfect place to observe them, not to mention get a glimpse into the lives of the locals over a glass or two of the good stuff. Just make sure you have your sunglasses on! 😉

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Don’t forget your sunblock and stay tuned for more posts from Italy coming up soon! Ciao!

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2 Comments

  1. Marika Baptista
    July 29, 2015 / 8:12 am

    Being a die-hard lover of everything Italian, this post makes me want to book the next flight out to Sorrento *sigh*….Gorgeous Photography!! With a ‘Trip to Italy’ being high on my bucket list I can’t wait for your posts on the food & shopping 🙂

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ABOUT

Anushka Moore is an almost-thirty-something blogger who moved across the world when the love she met on Tinder put a ring on it. She now lives in Manchester with her husband and her two little Poodle-cross fur children.

Her day job includes running her own social media content company and is the founder of popular Instagram account, Midsize Collective.

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