Sorrento ItalyI can’t believe a year has passed since we went to Sorrento and I still haven’t got around to writing about it. That just goes to prove how hard it is juggling a blog and a full-time job… oh and an extended family, a house, a home and all of the other bits and pieces that go in to make the normal run-of-the-mill life. There is never enough time in the day!

We visited last year, just Paul and I, to attend our friend’s wedding. Trust me, Sorrento makes a wonderfully romantic venue for tieing the knot.

Although I lived in Italy for almost 20 years, I never got to see Sorrento and the surrounding area. I had heard of its beauty many times and knew it was extremely popular the world over. Sorrento was firmly on my bucket list and our wedding invitation was the perfect occasion to tick it off.

Cloisters Sorrento

The Cloisters in Sorrento is the perfect wedding venue.

As the wedding was to be held on the Saturday, we decided to ask the grandparents to look after the girls for a few days and make a short break out of it, after all, what’s the point of going all that way to turn around and come straight back? I couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing the places I had heard so much about.

lemon tree sorrento

When anyone speaks of Sorrento in Italy, you hear descriptive words like lemons, music, stunning views and romance – in Italian obviously but I’ll save you that for now. I had conjured up a meraviglioso picture in my mind and I was curious to see how close my thoughts were to reality.

Getting to Sorrento

Getting to Sorrento is fun. We booked flights into Naples – another notorious city I want to return to one day. Then from the city you have a few options – hire a car and drive along the coast, jump on a coach or bus, get a taxi or take the ferry and sail around the coast to the harbour of Sorrento. Guess which option we went for?

The ferry!

Naples to Sorrento ferry

In order to do this, you have to catch a bus from the airport to Naples harbour. It’s not difficult and there are plenty of instructions online in places like TripAdvisor. It’s cheap and easy and on arrival, there are plenty of places where you can buy your ticket. All of them speak English and will be able to direct you to the right dock.

There are various ferries and we caught the one above. It meant we had to sit inside and couldn’t see much out of the windows that were covered in sea salt but there was a great Italian waiter who was selling drinks and snacks, so we bought a couple of beers to get into the holiday mood.

Cheers to being a couple for a few days and cin cin to Italia!

The ferry doesn’t take long and our friends due to marry were waiting in the harbour for us, they had been there a couple of days already, as stated by Italian law when you get married in the country.

Sorrento harbour Italy

Wheeling the suitcase into town – luckily there’s a lift in the cliff!

We stopped for drinks with them and then made our way via a lift in the cliff up to the town and on to our hotel with plans to meet later for dinner.

Hotels in Sorrento

We did what everyone does – pump ‘Hotels in Sorrento’ into the search box and click go. Up came the normal sites and after a few days of research, we decided on Hotel Europa. It was walking distance from the centre, situated on the coast and had some great reviews.

Hotel Europa Palace Sorrento

We weren’t disappointed – apart from the noise from the road, the Sorrentini do love to hit their hooters! The hotel had a charm of years-gone-by. I could imagine being here in the 20’s and being part of the ‘in crowd’. Our bedroom was comfortable and there were some lovely facilities, like the swimming pool and beach.

Hotel Europa Sorrento

Places to eat in Sorrento

We had booked bed and breakfast as we knew we’d be out and about during the days and eating with our friends in the evenings. We needn’t have worried as Sorrento is a town full of restaurants, pizzerias, bars and various eateries to suit all pockets. The streets are lined with choice – fish, pasta, pizza, meat, you name it, you can find it and freshly cooked too with wonderful waiting service. Prices are reasonable plus, if you’re lucky, there is a glass of limoncello offered by the house with the bill. Salute!

eating in Sorrento

Shopping in Sorrento

If like me, you like to buy things to take home that remind you of your time spent in a place, you won’t be disappointed. Sorrento has streets and alleys lined with shops selling everything you’d imagine to buy; leather, limoncello, ceramics, oil paintings and much more. I adored the handmade leather sandals, typical to the area but couldn’t verify spending €100 on a pair no matter how beautiful they were. Reluctantly leaving the overpriced sandals to one side, I filled our suitcase with limoncello, an oil painting, a leather purse, a beautiful scarf and plenty more bits and pieces.

You will love the shopping!

shopping in sorrento

Things to do in Sorrento

There are plenty of romantic things to do in Sorrento – getting married has to be the best by far! But we also enjoyed beautiful walks along the stunning coastline, through the town and stopping on the clifftops to watch the sunset is a must. There’s a wide terrace where people congregate to watch the sun descend over the sea, luckily there is a bar there too, so order an Aperol spritz and enjoy the moment.

sunset in Sorrento

sunset in sorrento

Fun things to do in Sorrento

Sorrento is beautifully positioned as the perfect base for exploring the area and on our 4-night break we managed to fit in Vesuvio, Pompei and the Island of Capri which I shall be writing about separately as they were so impressive.

Enjoy some of my favourite photos that I took in Sorrento.

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short break sorrento

Rifugio Rumor Campomolon, ArsieroLast weekend I took a quick trip over to Italy to see my grandson christened. I can’t believe that after the hottest August on record for years in Folgaria I arrive and the heavens opened! Not only that it didn’t stop for two days but thank goodness it cleared for the christening.

As always it’s the perfect time to catch up with my best friends in Italy, we’re all really bad at keeping in touch, the odd Facebook comment but never lots of texts or phone calls as much as we’d like to. Nevertheless, it’s like picking up where we left off and there are certainly no breaks in the conversation as we all struggle to get a word in edgeways.

This time we organised to eat out on Saturday night, I left the choice up to them and a group of 12 of us drove across the mountain pass to Rifugio Rumor which is in Campomolon in Veneto and is at 1748m above sea level – imagine the view in the daytime?

Rifugio Rumor - Veneto

It’s a long twisty drive to get there and from Folgaria it took about half an hour, our reserved table had already been laid up, it is a rustic setting so don’t go expecting linen napkins, silver cutlery and crystal glasses, the idea of these Refuge restaurants was born years ago for people travelling from one place to another and needing a stopover, nowadays they are very popular with cyclists, motorcyclists, hikers and families too looking for a day out a little different to the usual.

Filet steak grilling in front of the fire

We chose from three starters, I chose Fettucine alle finferli (local wild mushrooms) which I forgot to photograph as they were so delicious and for main course the speciality of the house is grilled meat.

mixed grill Rifugio Rumor

Filet steak, costine (ribs) and tagliata di manzo grilled in front of the open fire, so tender it melts in your mouth. Served with potatoes and fried tomatoes. Delizioso!

bread and wine

Dessert was a plate of Salame al cioccolato and bottles of grappa were strategically placed on the table, prugna and white or Limoncello which I chose :)

Rifugio Rumor after dinner

The cost of the whole meal including alcohol was €25.00 per head and considering fillet steak was included I think it was excellent value for money.

Gianni rifugio Rumor

Our host and manager of Rifugio Rumor Gianni Marenda

If you’re ever in the Dolomites keep an eye out on your map for Rifugio as there are many dotted about and they all have good wholesome meals on offer, the views are spectacular and it’s a fabulous experience to be on top of the world enjoying a good meal.

I’m linking up with The Crazy Kitchen and her fab Foodie Foto Friday

The Crazy Kitchen