Fancy some winter sun? Head over to Italy’s West coast and sample the serene town of Sorrento, just across the bay from Naples. It makes the ideal location for a long weekend away.
Jump on a bus from Naples airport straight to Sorrento or, if you arrive at an unsociable hour, get a taxi to Naples bus station and head over to Sorrento via one of the buses there. Skirting along the Mediterranean coast through the curving roads provides the perfect prelude to what should be an exhilarating weekend away.
Once you have arrived at your hostel, avoid the beaches and head straight over to the pontoons. At only nine euros a day, not only do they give you great views of Sorrento balancing impossibly high above you, and also Mount Vesuvius watching over Naples far across the bay, but they also give you a feeling of privacy and exclusivity in Sorrento where this means everything. From your lounge the degree of activities is up to you but I would recommend at least dipping yourself into the ocean to do a bit of snorkeling to sample the local wildlife on offer. For lunch you have a couple of options, either indulge yourself with a beautiful fish course, where you will be shown the catch of the day for your perusal, or grab a couple of euros and head up the tiny side streets that criss-cross the town to explore the shops to purchase a baton of bread and any one of the variety of cheeses, meats, oils or tapenades. Then sit yourself down on a bench in one of plazas and see if you can spot the rich and famous. For the evening, try one of the many restaurants along the seafront and engulf yourself in the Italian lifestyle with a bottle of vino and a basket of bread.
Wake up early and jump on the train (by far the easiest and quickest way) to Pompeii or Herculaneum. Both provide a fascinating insight into the lives of the Romans a yonder ago. Pompeii is the more famous of the two but I would personally recommend escaping the hordes of tourists and heading to Herculean for a relatively more laid back experience. Either way both are fascinating as they provide a snapshot of a time long ago and if you’re feeling up to it you can see both, as they are only a couple of train stops apart. Finish off your day by taking a stroll through Sorrento’s harbour and once again sampling the excellent seafood on offer.
If I have one word of warning it is that this is a holiday of luxury and although it can be done on a modest budget, be prepared to spend a little more than your average backpacker’s holiday. But trust me, this is most definitely worth it.
Stay – Seven Hostel from £7 per person per night
Fly – Liverpool to Naples with Easyjet from £85 return