Relax in Ravello

cropped-20180530_124824.jpgRavello…connected to Amalfi by Sita Bus or by driving up to heightened views of this stunning place.  With its beautiful and historic Villa Rufolo and gardens, the colours you will see are amazing.

Ravello is such a tranquil place with its Cathedral in the piazza, surrounded by nice places to eat and drink.  There are some very nice shops also selling artistic plates and vases.

If driving, there is a reasonably sized car park which is signposted as you arrive up into the main square.

I myself spent the day here as it was peaceful even though there were many visitors.  I really enjoyed Villa Rufolo..it was so historic and you feel like you are taken back in time.  The floral displays in the gardens are stunning

With such a breathtaking place like here, you will understand what I mean when you visit. If you would like further information about your visit to Ravello, please contact me directly.

 

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The Grand Hotel Nastroazzurro

The Grand Hotel Nastroazzurro
Piano Di sorrento- SOUTHERN ITALY.

The Grand Nastroazzurro Hotel is set within the mountain views of Piano Di Sorrento. Just a short journey from Sorrento itself. The Sorrento coast offers beauty, culture and a taste of what Southern Italy is all about.
The Hotel itself brings about all you could imagine about what a vacation is all about. As soon as you arrive, you can feel the warm welcome that awaits you. You know that upon walking into the reception area, you are not only a guest, but a friend too. That is how the Management Team make you feel; very comfortable and relaxed.
The Director, Massimo Tridici is exceptional with his professionalism , ensuring everything is in place for you, from the very beginning of your holiday and throughout.
The team that support Massimo are extremely professional, supportive and are always there to assist you with your needs. They are available at all times. The Night Manager, Michele Esposito also attends to your needs and he too is exceptional and is at your disposal.
I hear you ask how I know so much about this Hotel and, how I have become so knowledgeable about the team.
I myself first came to Nastroazzurro with my Husband 7 years ago as it was ideal for us with it being an Adult only Hotel. Perfect location and an excellent time all round.
Having stayed here a number of times, we just wanted to return year after year, even with my friend. And now my Husband and I visit everyone at the Hotel at least once a month. Now that we live out here in Italy.
The Hotel is under the Sensimar holiday group and is open from the end of March to the end of October. However, Nastroazzurro opens for a short period in November and for Christmas. You can book directly with the Hotel for these periods.
The Hotel is very relaxing with a beautiful terrace to sit outside, whether you just want to read a book or sip a nice cold drink. The bar team are there to assist you and are on hand for drinks. There is an excellent selection of Wines, Prosecco, branded Spirits . Some speciality spirits are also available at an extra cost . Well worth treating yourself. The Bar Manager, Carmine Di Massa ensures his Team provide you with the best service. Carmine himself is outstanding in his professional role and is a great team player when it comes to his famous Pool Party’s during the hot summer months.
There is also the Sunset Bar which is on the top terrace of the annexe. There are some guest rooms, Gymnasium and health spa in the annex. The Sunset Bar is open during the summer months and opens early evening. The views are stunning.
You can relax by the Pool which is well serviced, clean and safe. Sun lounges are available and towels from reception are also available. The poolside bar and lunchtime buffets are fantastic.
The food is displayed beautifully. There is so much choice for everyone’s dietary requirements and tastes. Hot food is available and there is a selection of salads, pizza, pasta, fish. Everything you could possibly imagine and more.
The Maitre D and the Assistant Maitre D are always there for the lunchtime setting, evening and breakfast settings.
Breakfast is served in the main restaurant of the Hotel. Again, there is so much choice for breakfast. The Restaurant team work so hard to make sure you experience great food at all times.
Of an evening, the Menu choice is changed on a daily basis. The choice is excellent . The wine and Prosecco flow very well with your evening meal.
There are themed evenings, Tuesday’s is a fish Dinner or Sunset Dinner. Both of these events have a Buffett meal. Thursday’s is the Directors Gala Dinner and Saturdays is Italian Night with the local Duo..Lello and Carlo. This night also has a Buffett meal. During the Summer months, the Buffett themes are set out at the Poolside, with all the tables beautifully set out.
The entertainment throughout is set at the right pitch for all ages; ranging from saxophone players, various singers and some low key evenings with a disco of a Sunday evening.
The Hotel is very well presented. The Rooms are all of a good size. Rooms are very clean. The cleaning team provide you with a clean and tidy room on a daily basis. There is a laundry service available if you require any of your clothes to be cleaned and ironed during your stay. This is at an extra cost but not expensive.
The Hotel also provides assistance for guests with physical disability needs. During my recent stay here, I observed that there were wheelchairs available. The Hotel ensures all needs are met and supported. There is also a free shuttle bus that takes guests into the town of Sorrento. This can be booked with reception.
Since I have been coming to Nastroazzurro, there have been many Wedding receptions held here. I would say this Hotel is a perfect setting for a wedding reception. Having spoken with many newly weds here, they have all been very happy and pleased with their reception and stay here.
During my 2 day stay here, I had the opportunity to talk with other guests. Having asked them what it is about Nastroazzurro they have enjoyed, the first thing they all commented on , was the staff and how nothing was too much trouble. The guests I spoke with were all very pleased with the Hotel and it’s standards. Guests enjoyed the entertainment, the food was described as outstanding and the rooms were described as being of a very good standard.
Many guests were returning because they had had such an amazing time. The overall feel from the guests, was very positive and there were a lot of happy guests. The atmosphere created by the staff here was certainly evident in the guests.
I hope I have left you with a positive sense of relaxation, fun and enjoyment with this review of the Grand Hotel Nastroazzurro. You will not be disappointed. Just one final touch…many thanks to the Hotel and all the Staff for everything you do for your Guests.

Sunny Sorrento

Sweeping along the amalfi coast, Sorrento is such a beautiful spot to spend a sunny day or even for a full vacation.

With its interesting narrow streets littered with restaurants, shops and souvenirs; you will see why Sorrento is such a popular town to visit.

The large square..piazza tasso is so lovely to sit and watch the world go by over a plate of pasta.  There is so much to take in from every angle.

There are many hotels and boutique bed and breakfast to stay covering all budgets and styles.  Staying in the centre itself is ideal as you can easily access the public transport, taking you to Amalfi and Positano. You can even get on the train to Pompeii from here.  The public transport is a great way to travel and is very cheap.

At the port, you can take the ferry across to Amalfi and Positano and Capri and Naples. It dies get very busy during the summer season, so pre book your ferry tickets.  There are many excursions available for you to book at the local travel agents in the town itself.

Sorrento is definitely top of my list for its romantic atmosphere, food and the people there.  There is a great Bar and Restaurant called the Foreigners. This is just a short walk towards the port from the centre.  The views are amazing from this bar and restaurant and the food is very good.

If you would like any further advice or ideas about your stay in Sorrento..please message me here in the comments section. 74d4fb4108aa9d4ddd9c059ae76cf434.jpg

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Picture Perfect Positano

A little History…

The ancient Greeks and Phoenicians used Positano as an important stop on their journeys west, and legend has it that the town was named after Poseidon, god of the sea. In Roman times, Positano was used as a store house for products from the Isle of Capri, which lies off the coast. Most of the town was built in the middle ages, around the Benedictine Abbey of St Vito, which was established in the ninth century. During the period of the Maritime Republics, from the 15th to the 17th centuries, Positano became a rich trading port. The town became popular with rich British and German tourists in the early 20th century and has prospered as a resort.

Positano and it’s Beauty….

The windy, sweeping streets that wrap around the edges of this amazing place. Swept away by the stunning beaches, it’s such a joy to see holiday makers and locals enjoy a pizza or an ice cold lemon sorbet on the beach.

And of course..there are the fashionistics..shoes, bags, designer labels. The elegant boutiques that draw you in..even just to look.

The smell of the fresh fish and seafood..the taste of the grilled meats..and the wine of course.  There are so many restaurants and bars to look over at the emerald blues and greens of the sea.

A favourite place of mine to eat is Chez Black. I highly recommend this place. Such beautiful food.  Not to mention the Paradise Lounge.. amazing cocktails too.

Positano is a lovely place to stay and visit. There are plenty of hotels and B and B places.  It is very busy in the height of the summer.  It’s a great place to relax and enjoy a summer vacation.

Families, couples and even single travellers will find something unique for themselves.

Positano is easy to reach from Sorrento by bus and by bus from Amalfi.

You can also take a ferry across from Sorrento and Amalfi. Or, if you are staying in Salerno, you can also get a ferry across from there. 20180720_143741.jpg

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If you would like any further travelling details in how to get there, please contact me and I will respond to your questions and comments.

 

 

 

Pompeii..a must see

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If it is history and archaeology you are interested in, then Pompeii is the place to visit.

Pompeii, unlike the other towns in Campania founded for the most part by Greek colonists, was built by the Oscans, probably around the 9-8th century B.C., even if the evidence now available does not go back beyond the 6th century.
The town developed on lava terracing formed many centuries earlier. It constituted an important natural defence against the threat of invasion by neighbouring peoples. At the same time the volcanic nature of the land meant the territory of the Sarno valley was particularly fertile, thereby allowing for the rapid development of the agricultural economy.

Pompeii soon made contact with the nearby Greek colonies, whose culture, way of life and the religion of Magna Graecia it quickly absorbed.

Evidence of this is to be found in the shape of the Doric temple which stands in the Triangular Forum. The city was subject to the Etruscans for almost fifty years (until 474 B.C.) when the latter occupied part of inland Campania.

Immediately afterwards it came back under the Greek sphere of influence. It then became part of the Samnite area of expansion (5th century), under whom it saw remarkable growth, forming that historical centre whose remains are still visible.

This can be identified in part of the most ancient boundary wall, in the architecture of several houses (those characterised by a Tuscan-type atrium), in the public buildings in the Triangular Forum and in the Temple of Apollo in the Civic Forum.
Meanwhile Rome had begun its gradual advance towards southern Italy and had started to overcome the resistance of the Italic peoples.

As a consequence even the Samnites were forced to surrender to the Eternal City, though only after three long and bitter wars, the last of which was fought in the years between 298 and 290 B.C. As a result of the conquest of Campania, Pompeii also ended up under Roman dominion, becoming an “associate”, a status which allowed for the maintenance of a relative local autonomy. From that time on its history was closely connected with that of the Eternal City and only on the occasion of the social war waged by the Italic peoples in a final attempt to defend their freedom, did it ally itself with the insurrectionary movement (91 B.C.). In 89 B.C., however, it was besieged by Sulla, taken by storm and thus brought back under the aegis of Rome.

In 80 B.C. it became a Roman colony with the name of Colonia Cornelia Veneria Pompei. As in the past, Pompeii continued to expand and develop in every sector, in the economic field in particular, greatly helped by its fertile hinterland and its advantageous position. All the activities linked to trade and maritime traffic saw a period of growth.

This remarkable development had immediate results: outside, it led to an increase in the level of prestige of Pompeii compared with other Campanian towns; within, as a consequence of growing wealth, there was a general increase in the standard of living for many of the social classes. As a result the “middle-class”, that is to say the class of merchants and entrepreneurs who had built Pompeii’s fortune and had reaped their reward, was able to establish itself in an increasingly prominent way.
Pompeii’s flourishing economy led to a decisive population increase, widespread affluence and in addition the remarkable embellishment of the town. It is true to say that the middle-class derived great pleasure from competing with the nobility in the construction of splendid villas.
The nouveaux riches, in their desire to outdo the aristocratic class who traditionally held power, vied in displaying their own wealth through the opulence of their houses and the preciousness of their ornaments and jewellery. The urban building expansion took place for the most part along Via dell’Abbondanza, a symbolic centre of the new emerging class. However, the life and splendour of Pompeii was destined to come to an end. The first inklings of the tragedy were felt in about 62 A.D., when a violent earthquake devastated the city and the surrounding countryside. It was no mean feat to recover from this blow. The least well-off class suffered the most serious consequences, having seen their houses destroyed.

Most of the public and private buildings were still at the strengthening and restoration stage when Vesuvius became active, and in the space of a few hours sowed death and destruction on the city. It was the 24th August in the year 79 A.D. A heavy shower of ash, lapilli and lava from the volcano began to rain down onto the city and onto nearby Herculaneum and Stabiae.

All was buried beneath a thick blanket of volcanic material to a depth of several metres. The inhabitants, who for the most part fled in the direction of the coast, were suffocated by the fumes of the gases, others met death in their own homes.

Being in Pompeii will take you back in time. I myself have visited many times and I gain a feeling of something different every time.

There are many gift shop stalls, hotels to stay nearby and plenty of places to eat and drink.

There are 2 train stations. Pompeii’s main train station is a 20 minute walk from the ruins. You will stop here if you are travelling by train from Salerno. Only a 45 minute train journey.  Outside you can pick up a taxi for 15 euros to the ruins or you can wait until there is a group of 6 getting a shuttle taxi at 3 euros each person.

The 2nd station  is known as Pompeii Scavi. You will stop here if travelling from Sorrento. Only half an hour journey. The ruins are a 2 minute walk from here.

It is certainly worth a visit…a must see on your list of places to visit here in the South.

 

 

 

Eat, Drink and Shop in Salerno…

Salerno is a place not many of you might think about when planning a trip or holiday when you are looking at Southern Italy, as most think about heading for the Sorrento-Amalfi coast for their main stay.

You will be amazed at what Salerno has to offer!.

You will be welcomed by the stunning promenade and sea at the port of Salerno.  This is complimented by the architecture of the just some of the beautiful buildings.

There are plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants to chose from. Just relax and enjoy the sun In Salerno.

You can also take the ferry across to Salerno from Amalfi and Positano.  You can buy your ferry tickets on line or at the ticket office at the port.

If it is shopping you enjoy, then Corso Vittoria Emmanuele is the long shopping street that leads through the new and the old town.

There is always a bargain to be had, fashion for all. It’s also nice to sit and have a coffee along the way.

Salerno is also served by a central Train Station which is at the very top of the new town.  You can easily get to Napoli Centrale from here. Or you could take a train ride into Cava De Terreni. This is a really nice town to see for shops and little places to eat.

Salerno is a beautiful place to visit or even stay as there are some nice hotels close by to the shopping area.

There is so much Salerno has to offer and be enjoyed.  This is a great place to come to if you feel like a little something different from Sorrento and Amalfi.

I would recommend giving Salerno a visit for all it has to offer.  So maybe you can put this place on your list of possibilities for your next vacation here in the South.20180627_12394620180627_123703.jpg20180627_120736.jpg20180627_114324.jpg20180627_113954.jpg20180627_112555.jpg

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The Jewel of the South

Having travelled the Northern parts of Italy, I had the travel bug in me for Italy.  The culture, the food, the beauty of its nature and personality.

It was 8 years ago when I first came to Southern Italy. But it was the Jewel of the South that attracted me.

The jewel being the Sorrento-Amalfi coast.  When I first came here, I knew straight away why it was the Jewel.

The clear blue coast, with her beauty surrounding me.  It was like time had stood still and nothing had changed.

It is a tourist attraction but not over commercialised.  There is so much to take in and see and do here.

Whether you are sitting in the plaza of Sorrento eating Pizza, enjoying a delicious fish dish in Positano or sipping a glass of Prosecco in Amalfi. All is beautiful and so relaxing.

Travelling around is very easy to do.  The transport is very accessible.  You can take a train to Pompeii from Sorrento. A bus to Positano and Amalfi from Sorrento.

There is so much history from the ruins of Pompeii. A well worth visit.

There are so many restaurants to choose from. Not to mention the Gelato and espresso of course.

There is something for everyone of all ages and interests.

The Jewel awaits you, so why not follow my journey of this beautiful coast.