Italy is a favoured tourist destination with much to offer and few people need an introduction to Sorrento just 31 miles south of Naples and rich in history. For centuries, it has been a popular holiday resort with those from the UK, Northern Europe and Scandinavia. With mild winters, warm spring, autumn and hot Summers it has a climate to suit all tastes. Mythology identifies this area as the land of the Sirens, beautiful sea maidens whose singing lured mariners to their doom.
The Grand Hotel Parco del Sole, a 4 star residence situated in the small town of Sant'Agnello on the outskirts of Sorrento makes a good base for visiting this wonderful region. The entrance is impressive, entering up a driveway lined with palm trees and manicured gardens before entering the lobby and being met by friendly smiling reception staff. The rooms are spacious with high ceilings, large comfortable beds, flat screen TV, safe, dressing unit with large drawers and a wardrobe with sliding doors big enough to swallow more than enough clothes for a 2 week stay and glass doors leading to a large patio with table and chairs overlooking gardens. Bathrooms that have recently been refurbished tiled in green and tan, toilet, bidet, wash basin and shower over the full size bath. Soap and shampoo are supplied as are towels. Towels for use at the pool are collected from the pool area. The pool does not open until 9am thus avoiding the problem often caused by guests getting up at sunrise to reserve sun loungers. A free shuttle bus operates from the hotel into the centre of Sorrento or it can be walked in about 15 minutes. The hotel backed by tree clad hills with swimming pool, sun bathing area and outdoor restaurant set amongst orange and lemon trees makes a refreshing change from sea views, creating a relaxed and serine atmosphere. 3 nights a week during the warm weather dinner is had at the open air restaurant by the pool though it does have a roof just in case of inclement weather and also its own bar so something refreshing is always at hand and yes, it is ‘all inclusive’.
Sorrento is a gem, situated on the Amalfi Coast that has been described by many as the most beautiful coast line in the world. Sitting on a plateau affording views across the bay of Naples to the north and out to the island of Capri in the east this town is an example of mixing the old with the new.
The beautiful Sorrento Cathedral built between the 10th and 12th centuries is believed to be erected on the ruins of the ancient Temple dedicated to Jupiter. Painted entirely on cloth is the central ceiling whilst in the Chapel of the Sacrament is a wooden cross from the 15th century. Wander along Corso Italia into the Piazza Tasso where horse drawn carriages await to give you that special tour of the town. Hidden in the corner of the Piazza is the narrow street of Via San Cesareo home to many small shops selling a range of goods from quality leather items to the famous Limoncello, a liqueur made from the peel of St Theresa lemons and allowed to ferment. In the leather shops, it is possible to barter when buying their goods thus resulting in quality products at a very reasonable price. The side streets are home to restaurants, some with Al Fresco eating but all exuding that Italian friendliness and flair. Coffee shops delivering a selection of coffee that have the taste buds tingling and of course pastries and cakes that make it all worth while
The coastline is home to small towns full of Italian history and architecture. Amalfi first mentioned in the 6th century with its wonderful St Andrews Cathedral dating back to the 11th century. The Museum of Handmade Paper celebrating Amalfi being one of the first paper making towns in Europe and the Arsenal of the Maritime Republic dating back centuries. The narrow streets are home to cafes and restaurants which during the summer are thronged with tourists.
The small town of Positano built into the side of a hill enjoying splendid views out across the Amalfi coast. After leaving your transport at the top of the town wind your way through the traffic free cobbled streets, past small shops selling colourfully painted tiles and silks, artists studios and galleries displaying paintings and drawings, meander under vine covered walkways leading to the sandy beach that is home to bars and restaurants stocked with fresh seafood. Sit in the sunshine, sip a cool refreshing drink and dream as you look out on the blue Mediterranean as it laps gently on the shore.
Last night at the hotel is dinner around the pool and its BBQ night. Steaks, grilled Sword Fish and large Mediterranean Prawns washed down by an excellent chilled Rose wine that is part of the “all-inclusive” package. For those not wanting BBQ there are various pastas, fish, salads and to finish, some really amazing deserts.
This is an area that has much to offer with Pompeii, Herculaneum, Capri and Ravello, the village in the mountains all within easy reach of Sorrento. An area that will create memories that will last a lifetime
Alan Fairfax -
is a travel writer for
YOUR HOLIDAY TV
Alan also writes for the
Ashford Advertiser Media Group with regional papers across Kent with regular holiday & travel sections in all editions
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Alan's video of his visit to Sorrento
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