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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
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.
For tailormade city breaks to Sorrento, Silver Travel Advisor recommends Kirker Holidays.
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