I arrived in Naples, Italy at approximately 10.30am local time on the 3rd of May with my fiancé Ryan. As we got off the plane we were shuddered with rain, this is not what we expected from Italy, we had enough rain at home in the UK.
At the airport, there was an extremely long queue of people that seemed to go on forever, but beside the entrance, there were huge fragrant lemons that actually made being in Italy more real. Our transfer to the hotel was in a coach, and as we travelled around the Amalfi Coast - we saw mount Vesuvius and stunning sites that truly made you question whether you were dreaming or not.
The coach eventually got to our hotel and we were called off as it was our stop, the hotel caravel. as we entered the hotel we gave our passports for photo id and were given our room key, door number.
The room was beautiful with a view of Mount Vesuvius just from our balcony and of course the gorgeous pool. Apart from the rain, our pounding heads and our exhausted bodies from an excited sleepless night it was the perfect first holiday, we freshened up and headed out to find some paracetamol in the nearest pharmacy.
Little did we know Italy was very expensive. For something that costs only around 16p in the UK, cost a whopping 6 euro’s. The tablets knocked us for 6 and we slept for 4 hours in the hotel room. We woke up to the sound of beeps from the Italian drivers, and we found out it was time for dinner, how exciting!
The waiter Angelo (a real charmer) approached us, offering to take our jackets and to help ourselves to the table of stunning fresh salads, home-cooked Italian bread, and of course olives (my favourite).
I order prawn cocktail for starter, and it was like no pub classic though, the prawns were huge. The sauce and salad were just to die for. Ryan ordered saucy basil and, tomato fusilli with the good old parmesan!
The next day was Saturday, and we a good kip with no children to wake us up. Strangely we woke up at 8 am, this was shocking considering that normally we can’t get out of bed! We headed down to try what Italians have for breakfast, we met with Angelo again and were seated outside in the sunshine as the rain we were greeted with thankfully went away.
We sat by the pool, I ordered a cocktail called blue lagoon with lots of gin, it cost me around 10 euros. Ahh well were on holiday it's not every day you get to sip a beautiful cocktail while relaxing in the 23c sunshine.
I went up to the room on my own to get my phone and to sort out some boring stuff to do with planes that I won’t go into, and as I checked out on the balcony Ryan wasn’t there, and his chair wasn’t either.
I got in the lift, racing down to see where he had gone, but he was on the stairs on his way to the room, oops. While I was in the room the chair had collapsed with him on it, how funny! A typical Ryan thing to do. We were getting peckish and didn’t pay for a 'full board basis with the hotel so we went out looking for, of course pizza, you can’t stay in Sorento without trying real pizza!
We walked up just from the hotel, looked at a menu; a very tall guy came out and said “come in come in, ill give you cheap pizza and, good wine” we felt forced as he had no customers, but we gave it a shot.
He seated us but we said we wanted to eat back at the hotel so he said “no problem come see how your pizza is made” we were all gathered in the kitchen watching the real art of Italian cooking he gave us a great deal only 10 euro’s for two medium pizzas, he heated the stone pizza oven and began to cook chucking fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil randomly on the base.
It was a real work of art, the guy wasn’t all that bad he the boxed up our pizzas and off we went to the hotel, sat by the pool with a bottle of cheap red wine and chowed down the delicious pizza sitting in the sun it was pure bliss.
Time went on and we got ready for dinner I know, I know; food food food that's all I talk about. For dinner, I ordered a fishy starter and, fishy main just because I thought i'd have a change but it honestly wasn’t my favourite choice, luckily Ryan shared his lasagne and pork escalope with me YUM!
We both had the same desert which was a huge block of frozen orange flavoured cream with dried/frozen orange slices that was lovely not going to lie but very sickly.
We then headed to the cafe bar and the wonderful waiter asked what drink we would like, as we had never tried one (Italian coffee) we ordered; an amaretto coffee with a tiny marzipan biscuit that was delightful.
We got into the lift, discovering there was a games room floor, so we had a little look, then played a few games of pool, but after; cheeses, cream, and alcohol I started to feel queasy and called it a night.
We went to the room and put on some tv on expecting good old English programs and films to get us to sleep like back at home but we found none of the channels was in English. So, instead, we talked about what our next adventure would be; we planned to go to the town centre.
The next day was Sunday (our final full day/night) we woke up, had a bath, then headed down for some well-needed breakfast; we had simple but tasty granola.
We started our journey by walking down to the marina area and walking on the cliffs to try, enter the beach but we had no way of that; as it was blocked off. We strolled into town with olive trees to our left and jasmine to our right.
I approached a frail old lady and asked where the town centre was as we had no clue where we were going but she replied with “il Bagno è così” (the toilet is that way) she didn’t know what I was saying so we carried on, and found we were brought to a huge city centre with hundreds of restaurants, live music, tons of people, limoncello shops (the drink Sorento is famous for) and hundreds of shops filled with designer clothing.
If you want to make limoncello, here is my traditional Italian recipe to make your own. It takes 2 weeks to make, but is so delicious and is definitely worth it!
We chose to go into a children’s boutique as our daughter Olivia loves dresses. We walked in and was greeted by a gentleman who asked what we were looking for. I just said "we are just looking at the moment" (it was costly at 90+ euro for a 2-year-olds dress).
The man turned around and said, "ok bye bye, out of my shop." Well, that was no way to speak to a possible customer, but anyway, we went through the town in the boiling heat. We picked out some gifts made from lemon (as its the Sorento fruit) for the family when we got back.
We treated ourselves to some delicious fresh gelato; vanilla ice cream yummy oh and some tasty fries who a very charming Italian guy invited us into his busy restaurant served us them for a good price and he sang “just one cornetto give it to me, just one cornetto from Italy” love that guy!
We headed back after going in a few more shops took our things back to our room, then popped down to the pool as we hadn’t actually been in once (it wasn’t heated..) we braved it and just got in, it was freezing. Considering you would expect the boiling weather to have heated it naturally? Anyway, we got out after one lap and dried off almost instantly.
We went back to the room and got ready for dinner (our last night) I had a very expensive but amazing red wine, Ryan got a sweet white wine; we sat by the orange trees as the sun went down, a cat approached us that looked exactly like our cat at home and Angelo the waiter called the cat over and fed him some food, what a diamond man he was!
A middle-aged man approached us with a ukulele singing the song by Elvis Presley “I can't help falling in love with you” this made our last evening so special and romantic!
Monday (our last day ) it was raining god it was a sign, it was our time to leave Italy the beautiful weather we had disappeared which made leaving a little easier being my first holiday it went very quickly. We went up onto the rooftop and Ryan was scared of heights and his fear was even worse because of the rooftop being slippery and wet.
We both ordered the same main typical English people chips, burger, onion rings but unfortunately, as the Italians are used to such fresh flavourful foods they burned our burgers' oh well its the thought the counts our bad for ordering something not Italian in Italy haha. We left the bar, walked around the pool in the rain even though it was wet and moody it was still warm enough.
I said to Ryan I wanted to taste an orange from the tree as i'd only ever really had English and Spanish ones, so he picked me up and together we picked the biggest juiciest one I could reach! we took it to the barman, he cut it and sprinkled brown sugar on which was lovely.
Soon it was time to go in our transfers, the driver didn’t speak much English so we were pretty silent for the whole hour journey. At the airport we decided to look in some shops, trying lots of aged; vinegars not just balsamic we ended up purchasing a small passion fruit one as they gave me a cocktail recipe for when I got home, even though we never did end up using it for that, we just had it on salads etc.
Our plane luckily was on time so we headed down to find there was no one to check tickets and passports yet, we got chatting to a lovely old couple for about half an hour to pass the time and then got onto the plane. On the journey home I was sceptical as there was a lot of turbulence and a thunderstorm going on which didn’t help I was right at the front of the aeroplane next to a window where I could see everything.
As we touched down to Gatwick airport I was getting super excited to see the kids as it was the longest we had spent without them. I phoned my brother, then he came to pick us up. The next day was weird, waking up to children, tons of responsibilities work, school runs to think about and it was slightly overwhelming but we got through it!
I can honestly say that I couldn’t have spent my first holiday with a better person, it was an unbelievable experience, and Italy you gorgeous country we will meet again, it has made me open my eyes to traveling, and experiences but next time we will be bringing the kids!