We're just back from a month long trip to Europe. Our first stop was in southern Italy, arriving in Naples, visiting the fascinating ruins of Pompeii, enjoying the luxury of Capri, the lively city of Sorrento, and the gorgeous Amalfi Coast. This renowned region of Italy offers something for everyone; from ultraluxury hotels, dining, and yachting, to laid back resorts and beaches, wine tasting, and strolling ancient streets to take in the art and shops. Want the details so we can begin planning your trip? September and October are prime months. Let's get started.
After a smooth fifty minute ferry ride from Naples, we arrived on the renowned island of Capri, where our Jumeirah partners met us, and drove us up the mountain to the spectacular Capri Palace. Class and luxurious the Capri Palace is much more than just a hotel, it is an experience within a special destination. Surrounded by pristine beauty, it feels like an oasis in the heart of the Mediterranean, nested in Anacapri, the highest location of the Island, and just ten minutes from the super chic town of Capri. Beautiful suites with balconies present a stunning ocean over the inviting swimming pool. The Two MIchelin-starred restaurant, L'Olivio, is an unforgettable experience all it's own with impeccable service, food that combines unique flavors and art, and a wine list you could read for days. Then you have the glamorous 'll Riccio Restaurant and Beach Club where you need to keep an eye out for the rich and famous in for lunch off their yachts. Amazing seafood here, and one of the most incredible dessert parlors on earth. And of course, a fabulous wellness spa and gym to balance out the irresistible food and wine.
We decided to make a day of our transfer from Capri to Sorrento. First the ferry, then our private driver met us (driving in this area is crazy, best to have a driver) and gave us an orientation of the the large bay that stretches from Naples, past Pompeii and a section of the wine country before curving around toward Sorrento. Our first stop was a wonderful local winery for lunch accompanied by a splendid wine pairing. Then off to Pompeii, where we met our private guide, and spent two hours in the ancient city, destroyed by the eruption, then found and painstakingly resorted. Also incredible to see how the eruption filled in the land and pushed the sea back from the city for miles. And fascinating to see the private homes filled with art, bakeries, shops, restaurants, and streets so perfectly laid-out, which made it possible to imagine the life the people lived at the time.
We really enjoyed the lively vibe of Sorrento and staying at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria is a pure pleasurer. Depending on your suite location you can overlook the beautiful orange groves, or enjoy amazing views of the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Vesuvius. Large pool and pool bar, Michelin-starred restaurant, soothing spa, and an elevator to take you down to the hotel's private beach. Walk out the front door and you're in Sorrento's main square, and from there you can walk in any direction for find local artisan shops, name brand shopping, casual restaurants and pizzerias, or fine dining options galore. And if you like gelato, you'll be in heaven each evening strolling along and trying to decide which enticing shop to order from. The answer is Raki. You'll have to wait in line but it's worth it. Sorrento is also the perfect place to stay to explore the entire Amalfi coast by boat, preferably, or if you want to stay on the coast, our recommendation is the Caruso, Belmond Amalfi Coast in Ravello. The sea views are ridiculous, and your out of the fray during the day, then at night you can head down to Amalfi and Positano for more leisurely shopping and fine dining with the best Italian wines.
OK, Italy was fantastic, but next up is Mallorca, Spain. Stay tuned. And get in touch soon so we can start planning your trip.
Stephen and Kim Vletas